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Newsletter The Mariners of VP/VPB-26 Newsletter

VP/VPB-26 Reunion 2007
September 27th to 30th, 2007

VP/VPB-26 Reunion Registration Form 2007
Updated 25APR2007
VP/VPB-26 Reunion Announcement 2007
Updated 25APR2007

Mark Your Calendar Now!

32nd Annual Reunion
September 27 - 30, 2007

Concord Hilton
Concord, CA

$89 + tax per night

Tentatively Scheduled Events
  • Thursday - Check-in
  • Friday - Napa Valley Wine Tour;
  • Saturday - San Francisco Tour;
  • Sunday - Dinner Banquet
Complimentary hotel parking; complimentary shuttle (within 5 mile area); local airports - San Francisco or Oakland; hotel accessibility via Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) or East Bay Shuttle; nearest AmTrak station located in Martinez, CA

For additional details or information contact Sid Damstra at (925) 687-6139 or email to: sidney1@astound.net [27NOV2006]

UPDATE "...On 9/29/07, members of VP-26 during the period of 1952-56 began gathering at the Drury Plaza Hotel right in downtown St. Louis for a time of sharing memories, family updates, and just having fun together under the able leadership of Dotty and Bill Mills. Some came a bit late and others had to leave a bit early but ultimately there were 22 present and accounted for..." Contributed by REARICK, LT Anderson (Andy) Retired andy.rearick@juno.com [19JAN2008]

Attendies included:
      Bill and Dotty Mills, "Hosts with the most."
      Norm and Carol Berglund
      Don and Marion Weisel
      Andy and Ann Rearick
      Bob and Dorrie Tomenendal
      Jack and Frances Stevens
      Bruce and Patsy Morton
      Tom and Marj Cass
      Ted and Dolores Bochniarz
      Jake and Nan Kertz
      Bill Hannan
      Russ Vollmer
Each one present received a 2008 calendar and a nice ball point pen from Estelle George, wife of our former commanding officer, P. J. George, as an indication of her best wishes and desire to be with us if it were possible.

In addition as mementoes of the reunion our hosts provided each man with a small model of "The Spirit of St. Louis" airplane flown by Charles Lindbergh and each woman received a colorful hand made scarf. The planes had "VP-26 Reunion St. Louis '07" inscribed on the underside of the wing.

The Hotel was very pleasant and helpful and I personally think the best times of all were when the group gathered just for talk and fellowship in the morning for the breakfast buffet (free) and in the early evening for a snack time (cocktail hour) in the well appointed and friendly atmosphere of the vast hotel lounge area. The Mills also maintained a "Ready Room" in their "suite" for those who felt they had to gab late into the night. At our age there were not many night owls!

Our Sunday morning was mostly "free time" for a "walkabout" the local area and then we traveled by bus to the Historic Aircraft Restoration Museum, a non profit organization located at the Creve Coeur Airport, where we toured three hangers full of very old airplanes that are all maintained in flying condition. Some brave souls even took rides in the SNJ, the plane most of us trained in, and/or the old Stearman biplane. Your reporter remained firmly grounded!

Monday was an all day (almost) bus tour of St. Louis with Linda Koenig, a truly outstanding tour leader. We toured the old St. Louis Cathedral constructed in 1770 and subsequently toured the newer, and much larger and more modern St. Louis Cathedral. Both share the name and both are still in use. We also visited the old Court House/Museum where the Dred Scot decision was handed down (look it up on the "Web") that ultimately resulted in the Civil War. We also saw the magnificent Clydesdale horses maintained by the Budweiser Co..

Tuesday morning we walked to the Gateway Arch from our hotel and took the tram ride to the top where the view across the city was magnificent. Each. Tram car consisted of a small compartment, no windows, with 5 seats all facing the center and entry door. Not a place for anyone with claustrophobia.

The views from the top provided great picture opportunities When we came down we viewed the film that recorded the construction of this amazing Arch. What was also amazing as we watched the obviously dangerous construction methods, was that no one was killed during its construction -- especially when they estimated there would be 16 fatalities. We then toured the Museum of Westward Expansion which is in the base of the Arch and then walked around down town St. Louis.

That evening we had our dinner and farewell banquet during a cruise on a stern wheeler traveling up and down (or was it down and up) on the great Mississippi We were entertained by two very good musicians playing old time music and rag time on the piano and banjo. The evening closed with reluctant farewells in the hotel lobby as many were departing early the next morning (including your reporter).

Andy Rearick
VP-26 52-54

UPDATE "...VPB/VP-26 2007 Reunion to be held in Concord, CA on September 27-30, 2007. Registration to be included in the The Mariners of VP/VPB-26 May Newsletter. If you are not on our mailing list and are interested please contact Gene Balog bilgepump26@cfl.rr.com..." Contributed by BALOG, AE2 Gene bilgepump26@cfl.rr.com [12MAR2007]

"VP/VPB-26 Reunion Association Summary Page"