The Navy VC-8 Redtail Squadron held their recent reunion at the Hope Hotel just outside Gate12A at Wright Patterson Air Force Base. Lisa Willis, the Green County, Ohio, CVB representative, did an outstanding job of coordinating activities, establishing points of contact at places visited, and arranging transportation. The Hope Hotel (named after Bob Hope, and the home of the surviving “Doolittle Raiders” reunion) was an excellent choice. Ms. Billie Meeks, director of sales and catering, was a most gracious host. She coordinated all of their needs, including a generous room rate, hospitality suite, lunches, and banquet facilities.
The reunion was held Thursday through Sunday. The Thursday Night get-together and registration included catered hors d’oeuvres. Banners, hospitality bags and name tags were provided by Green County CVB. On Friday, after a complimentary breakfast buffet, Mr. Wilber Dahmer Bus Service provided transportation to the National Museum of the United States Air Force. After three hours they returned to the Hope Hotel, where a gourmet lunch buffet revitalized everyone before they returned to finish the Museum tour. There was a special guided tour through all the Presidential Aircraft from Franklin Roosevelt through John F. Kennedy, thanks to Jane Leach, Museum Special Events Coordinator. Group photos were taken by Reunion Photo Service.
The second day was equally informative and exciting. The morning was spent learning the history of the Wright Brothers and their contribution to aviation. Reunion members were bused to Federal Park of Huffman Prairie Interpretive Center, where they saw a movie about the lives of Orville and Wilber. They visited the Wright Brothers Flying Field and the Wright Brothers Museum in downtown Dayton to see all of their inventions. All of these educational adventures were scheduled and coordinated by Park Ranger Mandy Way. In the afternoon, the final tour was at Dayton’s Carillon Historical Park, where they lunched at the Culp Café and toured the historical buildings and exhibits. Exhausted from the day’s events they returned to the hotel to rest before their “sit-down dinner,” with exquisite menu and beautiful table setting. The squadron continued the tradition of passing of “The Loving Cup” (made from a large propeller dome) full of Puerto Rico rum, a remembrance of when the squadron was home ported at Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico. The reunion ended with Sunday morning breakfast and “goodbyes” until next year.
Reported by Jim Rueff, Pensacola, Florida.