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ReunionsREUNIONs: "...VP-23 Reunion schedule for Thompson Point, Brunswick Maine on July 25th, 2015..." Contributed by Daniel MacWalters dsmacwal@hotmail.com [26JAN2015]

ReunionsREUNIONs: "...PB2Y Flying Boat Squadrons (VE-1, VP/VPB-1, VP-2, VPB-4, VP/VPB-13, VP/VPB-15, VP-23, VP-24, VP-71, VP/VPB-100, VP-102, VPB-104, VPB-200, FAW-2, FAW-3, FAW-14, VR-2 and VR-8) are having a Reunion. October 26-29, 2006 in Tucson, Arizona. Please contact Jeff Eden jeden@teamshoppremiums.com or (480)-767-1175 for further information..." Contributed by Bob Cooley robtcool@aol.com [05JUL2006]

ReunionsREUNIONs: "...VPB-114, VPW-3, VPM-3, VP-HL-3, VX-4, VP-23, VJ-2 and VW-4, Oct 12-15, 2005, Pensacola, FL. Contact: HURRICANE HUNTERS, 2818 Cedarcrewst Dr., Orange Park, FL 32073 (904)264-6078...Wings Of Gold - Winter 2004/05 Magazine - Page 57..." WebSite: Association of Naval Aviation http://www.anahq.org/ [15APR2005]

ReunionsREUNIONs: "...September 2003 VP-23 Reunion..." Contributed by Jack Malone (VP-23 1953-1955) irish.jpm@verizon.net [03OCT2004]

In September of 2003 a group 45 Shipmates, who served with VP-23 between 1950-1960, had a Reunion at NAS Brunswick, Maine. The highlight of our four days together had to be a three-hour tour of the Naval Air Station, hosted by the Officers and Men of VP-26. In addition, we had a truly inspiring welcome and briefing by the Commodore of Patrol & Reconnaissance Wing Five.

NOTE: The last stop on our tour of the base being the memorial garden at the base chapel. It was there that we discovered that there were two plaques missing for crews that VP-23 lost in 1954 and 1957. When I returned home, with the help of my VP-23 Shipmates, we raised funds for the plaques, and went back to the base on 16 May 2004 and conducted a memorial service and dedication..

Who would ever believe that a weekend in Brunswick, Maine, in the middle of May, would produce unprecedented 70-degree weather? Well, the Crews of MA-5 and LJ-11 must have know what our mission was to be on this particular weekend and showed their favor by arranging beautiful weather for a memorable dedication.

Loyal Shipmates and family members traveled from the far comers of the United States to be together, to reminisce, laugh, shed a few tears and pay tribute.

The family members of our Honored Crews were:

    Robert & Ardith Martin, brother of LTJG William Martin
    Gloria Prosser, wife of John Holle, ADC
    Tom & Hope Lamb, daughter of John Holle, ADC
    Robert G. Mason, Jr., son of Robert G. Mason, AOI
    Bruce Mason, son of Robert G. Mason
    Nelma Mason, daughter of Robert G. Mason

    Honored Guest, Gene Forsyth, sole survivor of LJ-11 Crew, attended with his daughters, Laurie Swift and Pam Richards.
Shipmates & Wife Attendees:

    Badstuebner, Arthur & Connie
    Beaudet, Ron & Nancy
    Bemard, Fred & Amy
    Brillhart, Dave & Mary
    Brown, Don & Carol
    Boomgarden, Lowell
    Boyle, Jim & Dolores
    Christensen, Ron
    Conroy, John & Janet
    Cottrill, Bob & Glenda
    Dwyer, Joe & Margaret
    Forsyth, Gene
    Galleshaw, Jim & Louise
    Geiger, Otto & Lisa
    Grace, LCDR(Ret) Joseph
    Kreger, Richard
    Kuzmich, John & Beverly
    Lever, Jim & Pat
    Lewis, Rodger & Jean
    Magowan, Bill & Elaine
    Malone, Jack & Ann
    Muldoon, Bob & Pat
    Penzine', Don & Peg
    Rich, RADML (Ret) Harry
    Sheets, CAPT (Ret) James
    Sheets, Joanne
    Spiech, John
    Wagner, Richard
    Webb, Donald & Jacquiline
    Wilcox, Elmer & Jean
    Wynn, Lester & Dora

At the outset let me say, the accommodations at the Parkwood Inn were outstanding. Those who arrived on Friday enjoyed each others company in the comfort of a beautiful lounge, fully equipped with a bar and fireplace.

I know others enjoyed the beautiful indoor pool because we saw the wine bottles and glasses when Ann and I went to the exercise room early Saturday morning.

On Saturday evening we had a get-together dinner at the Taste of Maine in Bath. Needless to say, with sixty people we had the entire lower level as our private banquet room. While awaiting dinner, Jack Malone couldn't resist getting a microphone to thank everyone for coming. He introduced the family members present, Bob Martin and his wife Ardith, Hope Lamb, her husband Tom and her mother Gloria. Gene Forsyth received a standing ovation, along with his daughters Laurie and Pam. Jack also introduced Bob Muldoon and his wife Pat. Bob was a Navy diver aboard the USS Penguin. He worked on the recovery of the MA 5 Crew. Bob came to the dedication because he wanted to meet the family members and to pay his respects to the crew. Like all of you, although fifty years had passed the memory of lost shipmates still lingered. Jack introduced and thanked Don Penzine' for handling the Parkwood reservations, Don Brown for arranging the dinner, getting the buses and the exemplary job of ordering the plaques, as well as arranging with the Harpswell Garden Club for their placement.
Accolades also went to Butch Brillhart, Elmer Wilcox and Otto Geiger for their tireless efforts in the planning of the dedication. After a scrumptious dinner and evening of sea stories at one end of the table and grandchildren stories at the other end, everyone returned to the Parkwood for a nightcap.

Sunday afternoon, at precisely 1400 hours, two buses pulled into the Parkwood parking lot. The pre-arranged security procedure for boarding the buses was efficiently handled by our own former Police Chief Otto Geiger. Ron Beaudet, Jim Boyle and Elmer Wilcox assisted him. The only access to the base was by private bus. Everyone had to present his or her Dedication Invitation and photo ID in order to board the bus.

We arrived on schedule at the NAS Brunswick, Maine Chapel at 1430 hours. The Senior Chaplain, Captain John Wohlrabe, greeted us at the door. A sailor in his/her crisp white uniform escorted each lady down the aisle. The Service of Remembrance began with the Presentation of Colors by a Navy Honor Guard, followed by the National Anthem. After retiring the Colors, the Invocation was given by Captain Wahlrabe, followed by a welcome given by Mrs. Marcy McGuire, President of the Harpswell Garden Club. Chamber Ringers performed a rendition of "Farewell My Friend Until We Meet Again". Commander Robert Dishmann, Commanding Officer, VP-8, Command Master Chief Charles Blackston, VP-8 and Chaplain, LCDR Robert Purser did Scripture Readings. The congregation then sang the Hymn, Praise To The Lord, The Almighty. Captain Robert Winneg, Commanding Officer, NAS Brunswick, Maine gave Command Welcome & Commemorative Address. The congregation followed with the Navy Hymn, Eternal Father, Strong To Save.

Everyone proceeded to the garden for the Friendship Plaque Rededication Ceremony conducted by Mrs. Gerry Orem. Everyone then assembled in the Memorial Garden for the VP-23 Dedication. Rear Admiral Harry Rich, a PPC in VP-23 at the time of the LJ-ll accident, introduced the VP-23 Group and Chief Dave Brillhart. Chief Brillhart thanked all present for permitting us the opportunity to honor our crews by placing plaques in these hallowed grounds. He explained our honoring the sole survivor of the LJ-ll Crew, Gene Forsyth, by placing his name on the plaque with his crew and that the unveiling would be done by his daughters. He also spoke of Hope Lamb and how she would unveil her Father's plaque.

Don Penzine' gave a short remembrance for the Crew of MA-5, followed by Jack Malone who read the contents of the plaque. Ron Christensen did a similar remembrance for the LJ-ll Crew, followed by Arthur Badstuebner's reading of the plaque. Chaplain, LT. Bernard Welch conducted a Benediction, there was a moment of silent prayer and Chief John Baker concluded the program with Taps.

Following the dedication, the ladies of the Harpswell Garden Club provided a beautiful assortment of refreshments in the Chapel Meeting Hall. After socializing for about an hour, and after many tears and thanks, we boarded the coaches and returned to the Parkwood. I can honestly say, without reservation, everyone was completely in awe of the entire ceremony. It was truly a beautiful and memorable experience. On a personal note, I could not have been more pleased to witness the reaction and outpouring of love and appreciation from the families of our deceased Shipmates. What you have given those people will remain with them for the rest of their lives. On behalf of all of you I graciously accepted the kind words of Rear Admiral Rich when he said, "for fifty years the former Officers of VP-23 have met and discussed the need for plaques for these two crews. We talked and talked about it, but you guys did it and I'm really proud of you". To quote the families," thank you for remembering and honoring our loved ones. May God bless you all." That, my Shipmates, says it all.

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Memorial Brochure
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ReunionsREUNIONs: "...REUNION: 8 - 10 February 2002 at Pensacola FL . For all personnel who served in VP-23 between 1951 - 1955. For details see: http://home.earthlink.net/~capnbilly/vp23_intro.htm or contact Jack Martin jwmartin@gate.net or Elmer Wilcox Herkyjean@yahoo.com..." Contributed by Billy Rawl billy@capnbilly.com [26MAR2001]

UPDATE "...A Reunion of VP-23 personnel from 1951 - 1955 was conducted at the Bay Beach Inn in Pensacola (Gulf Breeze), Florida from February 8 - 10, 2002. There were approximately 60 attendees, including spouses and significant others. Activities included a hospitality room, tour of the Pensacola Naval Aviation Museum, Banquet, and much renewing of old friendships among Shipmates who, in many cases, had not met in more than 45 years. Thanks to the efforts of the organizers, Jack Martin, Art (Koko) Koelsch, Elmer Wilcox and various & sundry others too numerous to name here, the event was a smashing success. A full report, including pictures, list of attendees, and all other pertinent information has been posted at http://home.earthlink.net/~capnbilly/vp23_intro.htm. Contributed by Billy Rawl billy@capnbilly.com..." [URL Updated 12JUN2002 | 19FEB2002]

ReunionsREUNIONs: "...SQUADRON Reunion ANNOUNCEMENT. "U. S. Navy VP/VPB-23 Reunion Oct - 4 Oct 7, 2001 San Diego, CA U.S.Grant Hotel -- Memorial Service for fallen comrades North Island Chapel Oct 4, 2001 - 10AM -11AM. WWII PBY Pilots and Aircrewmen of VP/VPB-23 who flew in Pacific War 1941-1945 for further information Contact Don Klotz DKlotzVP23@AOL.com (203) 762-9111..." Contributed by Francis H. Clifton FHCPBYFOR@Webtv.net [13JUN2001]

ReunionsREUNIONs: "...September 14-17, 2000: VP-23 in Colorado Springs, CO. Hotel and details to be announced later..." PBY Catalina International Association Volume 12 Number 1, 2000 [12AUG2000]

ReunionsREUNIONs: "...The 25th Reunion of VW-4 (Hurricane Hunters) and its predecessor squadrons (VPB-114/VPM3/VPW3/VPHL3/VP-23/VJ-2) and those crews of VX-4 who flew hurricanes in the PB-1W. We will meet in Pensacola, Florida from 20-24 September 2000..." Contributed by Bob Fitzsimmons granfitz@leading.net [01FEB2000]


ReunionsREUNIONs: "...20-24 October 1999, NAS Pensacola, Florida. Contact: D. Klotz, 296 Millstone Road., Wilton, CT 06897. 203-762-9111..." Proceeding/September 1999 Page 124 [04SEP99]

ReunionsREUNIONs: "...San Francisco 20-24 May 1999 for PB4Y '99. Liberator and Privateer guys/gals, attend your own squadron reunion first. If you can't do that, then make good use of your limited time as many others have from the 50+ PB4Y squadrons and share those PB4Y Experiences with others who "speak" PB4Y. No translation necessary! All family, grandkids (Free & 1/2 price!) and friends are welcome! Please contact Ron Sathre (son of deceased Plane Captain Ray Sathre, VPB-121), Int'l PB4Y Association, 31262 San Andreas Drive, Union City, CA 94587-2856 (510) 487-PB4Y to register today. Visit the website for more information..." Contributed by PB4YGuy@aol.com WebSite: http://www.PB4Y.com [03MAY99]

ReunionsREUNIONs: "...VP-23 Navy Seahawks '55 To '58. October 5, 1999. Tucson, Arizona. Point of Contact: Ken Deller, 12113 Palm Springs Avenue NE, Albuquerque, NM 87111-5419. Phone: 505.298.5705 or E-Mail: kensand@flash.net..." [07MAY99]

ReunionsREUNIONs: "...VP/VPB-23 (WWII PBY Sqdn. So Pac '41-45): Don Klotz (203)762-9111..." VFW Magazine May 1999 Page 53 WebSite: http://www.vfw.org/ [06MAY99]

ReunionsREUNIONs: "...I am Bob Fitzsimmons, and I have the honor to serve as president of an organization known as "Hurricane Hunters, Inc." We are a non-profit corporation located at 2818 Cedarcrest Drive, Orange Park, FL 32073-6512. We rewpresent all of the squadrons which had hurricane/tropical storm reconnaissance as their mission from 1943 through 1975. Those squadrons are: VPB-114; VPW-3; VPM-3; VPHL-3; VP-23; VJ-2; and VW-4. We also have in our membership fields those flight crews from VX-4 in the years 1946 to late 1951 who actually flew in any storm and were under the direction of the Naval Weather Service. This upcoming Asheville reunion in September will be our 24th. The 25th is upcoming in 2000 but the dates are not yet locked in stone. Pensacola is the place. Additional information will follow..." Contributed by Robert Fitzsimmons, Jr granfitz@leading.net [10MAR99]

ReunionsREUNIONs: "...VP/VPB-23 - WW II, 1941-1945 all hands and guests. Pensacola, FL, October 20-24, 1999. Contact Don Klotz, 296 Millstone Road, Wilton, CT. 06897. Also, get squadron Newsletter "BLACK CAT LOG", $20/yr. Sumitted by Francs H. Clfton 1/5/99..." Contributed by Francis H. Clifton FHCPBYFOR@webtv.net [06JAN99]

ReunionsREUNIONs: "...00OCT99--Attention all Seahawks in VP-23, during time of Sept. 1954 until Sept. 1958. We are planning a Reunion in Tucson, Arizona, Oct. 1999. Anyone interested in attending, please contact Ken Deller at 12113 Palm Springs Ave. NE, Albuquerque, NM 87111-5419 or e-mail me ASAP..." Contributed by Ken Deller kensand@flash.net [24DEC98]

ReunionsREUNIONs: "...VP/VPB-23 PBY Pilots: Don Klotz (203)762-9111..." VFW Magazine May 1998 Page 52 WebSite: http://www.vfw.org/magazine/51.shtml [07MAY98]

ReunionsREUNIONs: "...SPRING 1998--If you were an enlisted man in VP-23 from about January 1952 until December of 1954 and would like to attend a reunion in the spring of 1998 in San Antonio, Texas write to Jerry Ristow, 739 Glenn Dr. Waukesha, WI 53188. Or Alex Harpowiski at amyheidi@voyager.net..."

UPDATE VP-23 Reunion "...Francis Clifton and Bill Ondrejcka at Corpus Christi Reunion October 1998..." Contributed by Francis H. Clifton FHCPBYFOR@webtv.net [23JAN99]

ReunionsREUNIONs: "...08OCT97--(1941-45) SanDiego, California. Contact Don Klotz, phone (203)762-9111 or FAX 762-9763..." DAV Sept/Oct 97 Page 31

ReunionsREUNIONs: "...05SEP97--...for those from the vintage years of VP-23, there is a planned reunion in Brunswick, ME, Sept 5-6 1997. Reservation at the Radisson Eastlant Hotel, Portland. For information, call Bob Bingham at 972-292-1105..." Contributed by Franklyn P. Smith star@mnsinc.com

ReunionsREUNIONs: "...31OCT97--Navy Hurricane Hunters (VPB-114, VPW-3, VPM-3, VPHL-3, VX-4, VP-23, VJ-2 & VW-4), 31 OCT-2 NOV 1997, Kissimmee, FL: Hurricane Hunters, 2818 Cedarcrest Dr., Orange Park, FL 32073 (904) 264-6078 " http://www.erols.com/dutrauch/reunions.html

ReunionsREUNIONs: "...31AUG95--In honor of the 50-year anniversary commemoration of VJ Day and the end of World War II, the first all-squadron reunion of pilots and aircrewmen who flew PBYs in World War II will be held Aug. 31-Sept. 95 at the U.S. Grant Hotel. The reunion will bring together more than 100 members of the U.S. Navy Patrol Bombing Squadron VP/VPB-23, one of the oldest squadrons in naval aviation. In 1944, the original squadron VP-23 was reformed at North Island and redesignated VPB-23..." http://sddt.com/files/library/95headlines/DN95_08_28/LOCALS95_08_28.html

"VP-23 Summary Page"