Welcome to the VMF/VMA-311 REUNION ASSOCIATION NEWSLETTER 5

                               

 

                             

MCASYuma1971 


THE FIGHTIN’ 311 TOMCATS OFFICERS

 

GEORGE AND JACKIE PHANDER                          JIM AND SUE GALCHICK                                CECIL AND CHRIS CHEEKA

3032 POTSHOP ROAD                                                1290 E. 12TH ST.                                                  2207 LILAC ST. S.E.

NORRISTOWN, PA  19403                                        SALEM, OH  44460                                              LACEY, WA  98503

Piboxer@comcast.net                                                  jgalchick@neo.rr.com                                          ccheeka@comcast.net

610-584-5654                                                                 330-337-9383                                                         360-352-7227

 

OFFICIAL WEB SITE: www.vmf-vma-311reunion.org

FRED TOWNSLEY, 805 PRICE AVE, CHANDLER, OK  73834, 405-2580532  oldsargfred@gmail.com

 

MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN:  CHARLES “RALPHIE” REED, 14 BRENTWOOD ROAD, KINGSTON, MA  02364

Cread1@comcast.net

 

       

***************************************************************************************************************

JULY 2016 EDITION

 

PENSACOLA, FLORIDA REUNION 2016

12-15 OCTOBER

 

THOSE WHO WERE AT THE SAN ANTONIO REUNION WERE SENT PACKETS AND I’VE MAILED OUT SOME BESIDES. AS OF THIS WRITING WE HAVE ABOUT 25 HEARTY SOULS WAITING IN LINE. ALL THE DOWN PAYMENTS HAVE BEEN MADE AND EVERYTHING IS STILL A GO. IN 20 YEARS WE HAVE ONLY BEEN RAILED OUT ONE DAY SO THE ODDS ARE EVER IN OUR FAVOR. WEATHER RUNS IN THE 70S AND 80S THAT TIME OF YEAR SO IT SHOULD BE NICE. MAKE SURE WHEN YOU SEND ME YOUR INFORMATION THAT YOU ALSO CALL THE HOTEL AND RESERVE YOUR ROOM. RESERVATIONSAT THE HOTEL AS FOLLOWS:

HILTON GARDEN INN     

850-479-8900

REUNION CODE: VMF/VMA-311 OR VMA

ROOMS ARE $119 WHICH INCLUDE A BREAKFAST VOUCHER FOR EACH NIGHT YOU STAY. GROUP RATE GOOD 3 DAYS PRIOR AND AFTER THE REUNION.

A COUPLE PEOPLE HAVE ASKED WHY THEY HAVE TO MAKE A MENU SELECTION IF IT IS A BUFFET. THEY HAVE TO HAVE SOME IDEA OF HOW MUCH OF THE THINGS TO COOK ALTHOUGH THEY USUALLY ALLOW FOR ABOUT FIVE PERCENT MORE. I’M SURE THERE WILL BE MORE THAN ENOUGH TO EAT.

WHEN WE WERE DOWN THERE LAST YEAR THEY SAID THAT THE HOTEL WAS GOING TO BE UNDERGOING A FACELIFT SO IT WILL BE DONE BY THEN. THERE WAS A NICE POOL AND LOTS OF SITTING AREA IN THE LOBBY.

        THE AUCTION WILL BE HELD ON FRIDAY NIGHT SO BRING SOMETHING AND TAKE SOMETHING HOME. WE MAKE A LITTLE MONEY TO KEEP THE GROUP GOING AND USUALLY MAKE A DONATION TO SOMETHING. RALPHIE REED AND JIM DAVIS HAVE SIGNED UP FOR THE REUNION SO I IMAGINE THAT THEY WILL BE RUNNING THE AUCTION.

        CASUAL DRESS FOR THE DINNER. WEAR WHATEVER SUITS YOU. WE ARE NOT THAT FORMAL. THOSE DRIVING IN BE CAREFUL ON THE ROADS AND HAVE A SAFE JOURNEY. WE’LL SEE YOU IN THE SUNSHINE STATE!

 

 

NEW ALUMNI

 

         

HILL, ROCKY                                               1950 W. SAN MARCOSBLVD. SITE 140

                                                                        SAN MARCOS, CA  92038

                                                                        714-552-6776, K-3, 1954-56

 

OUBRE, JOHN                                              31217 THREE PALMS LANE, TAVARES, FL   32778

                                                                        Joubre46@gmail.com  1972-73, BEN HOI, 1972-73, LINE CHIEF

 

MESNIER, GARY                                         5822 ROBERT ST., ST. LOUIS, MO  63109

                                                                        314-353-5154,  rmesnier@hotmail.com (DAUGHTER EMAIL)

                                                                        1961-64

 

REDMON, JOE “RED”                                    1196 TEN LAKE DRIVE, DEFUNIAK SPRINGS, FL  32433

                                                                        850-859-5034, jredmon1@panhandle.rr.com

                                                                        1967-68, CHU LAI, HYDRAULICS

 

LOST IN THE MAIL

 

FLOYD IRVINE                                            LKA YUCCA VALLEY, CA

 

BARRY ICKES                                             LKA HOLIDAYSBURG, PA

 

JOEL WILLIAMS                        LKA LYKENS, PA

 

TAPS

 

DELMER MORRIS                      ORANGE, CA  1952-53, K-3, PILOT

 

BILL STOW                                  TEMECULA, CA , 1954-54, EL TORO, MAINTENANCE

 

JERRY W. “HOOK” WILSON   CHU LAI, PILOT, DIED 1988 (SON SENDS)

 

ED WILKINSON                          MAY 2016, CHU LAI 1967-68, ORDNANCE

 

GAIL BROWN                              WIFE OF STEVE KALAFUT (1964-66)

 

(NAMES WILL BE READ AT THE MEMORIAL SERVICE IN PENSACOLA)

 

ADDRESS AND EMAIL CHANGES

 

BILL BANKS                                 10153 VANTAGE POINT COURT, NEW MARKET, MD  21774

                                                        301-682-2942, backshore@earthlink.net

 

RICHARD ELKINS                      1349 W. HORIZON RIDGE PKWY APT. 517, HENDERSON, NV  89012-2468

                                                        702-586-0856, richelkins2012@gmail.com

 

PETE GUNNING                           89510 HWY 101 N. #31, FLORENCE, OR  97439                                                        avianartist@charter.net

 

BART JOHNSON                         1040 REGAL WAY, WOODLAND PARK, CO  80863                                                         zoomieandqueen@yahoo.com

 

DICK LEBER                                 17338 SE 82ND DRIVE, CLACKAMAS, OR  97015-9516

                                                        Richardleber@comcast.net

3.SAM RIEL                                  747 TUTTLE ST, BELPRE, OH  45714-2052

 

HARLAN ROESER                      4855 LUSTER LEAF CIRCLE, APT. 304, MYRTLE BEACH, SC  29577-7602

                                                        Hroeser@sccoast.net

 

JOEL WADE                                 PO BOX 458, PAAUILO, HI  96776-0458          808-776-1479,  faa.joel@gmail.com

 

DONATIONS

 

JERRY HOLLERAN (55-57), QUEENS, NY; JIM KOTMEL (67-68), MAPLE HEIGHTS, OH; CRAIG CARMICHAEL, (ROI NAMUR NEWS) POWELL. OH; TOM LACKOVIC, LOS GOTOS, CA. THANKS FOR YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT.

 

BLUE ANGELS AND PENSACOLA

 

SOME HAVE ASKED THAT WHILE IN PENSACOLA IF THEY WOULD BE ABLE TO SEE THE BLUE ANGELS PRACTICE. JIM DAVIS,  WHO LIVES THERE REPLIED” THE “BLUES” PRACTICE EVERY TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY DURING THE SEASON AT 0900. THERE IS A BUS THAT WILL TAKE VISITORS FROM THE MUSEUM TO THE STANDS ON THE AIRFIELD TO VIEW THE PRACTICES. BE HERE ON TUESDAY OR WEDNESDAY AND YOU CAN SEE THE PRACTICE AIR SHOW. THEY FLY OUT ON THURSDAYS TO WHEREVER THEIR NEXT SHOW IS, RETURNING ON SUNDAYS. THEIR LAST SHOW OF THE YEAR IS HERE AT PENSACOLA VETERANS DAY WEEKEND (MARINE CORPS BIRTHDAY TOO) IN NOVEMBER. THEN TAKE A FEW WEEKS OFF , THEN GO TO EL CENTRO, CA THE FIRST WEEK IN JANUARY TO START THE NEXT SEASON PRACTICES AND BREAK IN NEW TEAM MEMBER PILOTS.”

        I’'M WORKING WITH BEACH BUM TROLLEY TO MAYBE GIVE US SOME TRANSPORTATION ON WEDSNESDAY OF THE REUNION FOR ANY WHO WILL BE CHECKED IN AND WANT TO GO TO THE PRACTICE FROM THE HOTEL. WE WONT BE DOING THE MUSEUM TOUR UNTIL THURSDAY. ANYONE WHO IS CHECKED IN AT THE HOTEL ON TUESDAY CAN BE READY TO GO WEDNESDAY MORNING PROBABLY AT AROUND 0800-0830.

 


JERRY W. WILSON II, “THANK YOU FOR GETTING BACK TO ME. SADLY, MY FATHER PASSED AWAY IN 1988. HIS FULL NAME WAS JERRY WOODROW WILSON AND I BELIEVE HIS CALL SIGN WAS HOOK. HE ALSO FLEY WITH VMA-212 AND VMA-223. HE LOVED THE A-4 AND THE F-8. I STILL HAVE A LAST “GUNFIGHTER” BUTTON OF HIS. HIS LAST SQUADRON HE FLEW A-6S OUT OF CHERRY POINT. HIS LAST ASSIGNMENT BEFORE RETIRING WAS MARINE LAISON ST THE NAVAL AIR ENGINEERING CENTER IN LAKEHUREST. HE SERIOUSLY HATED THAT! HE WAS A BIG PROPONENT OF THE AM2 MATTING AND THEREFORE HATED THE EARLY AV-8! I REMEMBER MANY WEEKENDS SPENT AT THE BEACH AT BOGUE FIELD. THE ONLY OTHER PILOT I CAN REMEMBER WAS JOHN LYTLE. I AM RAMBLING A BIT. KIND OF A TRAIN OR THOUGHT THING. THIS BIT OF REMEMBRANCE HAS BEEN UNEXPECTEDLY EMOTIONAL FOR ME. AFTER GRADUATING FROM THE CITADEL I WAS COMMISIONED, WITH MY FATHER’S BLESSINGS, IN THE ARMY (I WAS NEARSIGHTED AND THE ARMY HAS MORE TANKS). FOR THE PAST 25 YEARS I HAVE BEEN AN AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLER WITH THE FAA EVER SINCE 2000 AND HAVE BEEN AT SAVANNAH TRACON WHERE I HAVE THE PLEASURE OF WORKING WITH MARINE F-18S AND RECENTLY F-35S OUT OF MCAS BEAUFORT. PLEASE READ MY FATHER’S NAME AT YOUR MEMORIAL SERVICE. HIS GREATEST JOY IN LIFE WAS FLYING FOR THE MARINE CORPS.”

        (EDITOR NOTE: SEEMS THERE WAS A JOHN LITTLE(SP) THAT WAS KILLED IN A TRAINING ACCIDENT AT EL TORO OR SOMEWHERE,. I REMEMBER POSTING THE NAME SOME YEARS AGO IN THE NEWSLETTER. THIS JOHN LYTLE IS OF DIFFERENT SPELLING. MAY NOT BE THE SAME PILOT.)

 

THINGS FROM THE PAST

 

THIS IS FROM PETE MCGEE WHO WAS A PILOT WHO JOINED THE SQUADRON IN 1951 AT K-3. THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE JOINED OUR BAND OF MERRY TOMCATS THE LAST HALF DOZEN YEARS MIGHT NOT HAVE SEEN THIS. IT’S A GOOD READ. “I WANT TO THROW IN MY COMMENTS ABOUT THE SQUADRON PATCH. I  JOINED VMF-311 IN MAY OR JUNE 1951 AT K-3 . THE COMMANDING OFFICER WAS JOHN KINNEY OF WWII FAME. LES DARBYSHIRE AND I JOINED THE GROUP OF SECOND LIEUTENANTS BILL PARCELL, RUBE WADELL AND ED BALLOCO, WHO WERE AMONG THE FIRST GROUP OF 2ND LT. AVIATORS THE CORPS HAD SEEN SINCE THE END OF WWII. THE CAUSE OF THE SHORTAGE WAS POST-WAR ECONOMICS AND HARRY TRUMAN’S ATTEMPT TO PUT THE MARINE CORPS OUT OF BUSINESS.

        AS TO THE PATCH. THE SQUADRON HAD A PARAPATETIC LIFE IN KOREA BECAUSE OF MAINTENANCE PROBLEMS. DUST BEING THE BIGGER ONE UNTIL THEY PUT FILTERS IN THE NOSE OF THE TIP TANKS AND SOLVED MATTERS. THE VERSION OR THE ORIGIN OF THE PATCH THAT I WAS TAUGHT WAS THAT ONE DANNY JOHNSON WAS THE CREATOR.

THE ORIGINAL PATCH WAS JUST A HEART ITSELF, AND THAT WAS OBVIOUS- CALL SIGN “WILLIE LOVE”. THE CAT, SYLVESTER, WAS CHOSEN BECAUSE AT THE TIME HE WAS QUIT FAMOUS FOR GETTING KICKED AROUND IN CARTOONS . THE PATCH ON HIS BUTT WAS ADDED TO SHOW OUR GETTING KICKED AROUND BECAUSE OF MAINTENANCE PROBLEMS.

        THE ORIGINAL PATCH HAD SYLVESTER RIDING A STOVE PIPE BECAUSE VMF-311 WAS THE ONLY JET SQUADRON IN KOREA. ( I DON’T KNOW HOW IT MORPHED INTO A ROCKET.) THE ORIGINAL HAD A SMALL ROCKET, LIKE A SCAR, ATTACHED TO THE STOVEPIPE TO SHOW HOW LITTLE ORDNANCE WE COULD CARRY, PARTICULARILY ON A HOT DAY. THE ORIGINAL SYLVESTER HAS A “FINGER” THAT WAS THE PROBLEM . IT WAS POINTED UPWARD AND WOULD NOT PASS MUSTER, SO THE SINGLE DIGIT WAS REVERSED TO POINT DOWN.

        IN MY OPINION THE CURRENT PATCH IS FINE, BUT I THINK THE ORIGINAL WAS MUCH MORE TO THE POINT.

        THAT’S MY VERSION AND I’M STICKING TO IT!”

 

FOR YOU CIVIL WAR BUFFS WHO WERE NOT AT THE QUANTICO REUNION: THE UNION ORDER OF BATTLE OF THE FIRST MANASSAS LISTS, IN THE SECOND DIVISION, UNDER COLONEL DAVID HUNTER AND COLONEL ANDREW PORTER, FIRST BRIGADE THE UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS BATTALION, COMMANDING OFFICER MAJOR J.G. REYNOLDS

 

THERE’S ANOTHER BOOK OUR BY A 311 PILOT , I BELIEVE, CALLED “THE DARK SIDE OF HEAVEN” BY CAPTAIN ROBERT G. LATHROP AVAILABLE THROUGH WWW.AGEVIEWPRESS.COM. NO FURTHER INFO ON THIS.

 

WHILE SCOUNGING THROUGH SOME BACK THINGS I RAN ACROSS THIS FROM MORRIS LIEBHABER. IT IS THE COMPLETE DUTY ROSTER OF VMF-311 MAG-31, 4TH MARINE BASE DEFENSE AIRCRAFT WING. GOING THROUGH THE ROSTER THERE ARE MANY NAMES THAT WE HAVE KNOWN OVER THE YEARS AND I THOUGHT I WOULD LIST THEM. THE DATE IS 1 DECEMBER 1943 A YEAR AFTER THE SQUADRON WAS FORMED. MAJOR HARRY HOOPER COMMANDING.

 

FIRST LIEUTENANTS:  VIC CROWE (ASSISTANT ATHELETIC OFFICER), MAX HALPIN (ASST PARACHUTE OFFICER), JOHN TORRENCE (ASST AG)

 

SECOND LIEUTENANTS:  CARLOS AMSPOKER(ASST ORD. OFFICER),

 

STAFF SERGEANTS:  PHIL BAKER (ENGINEERING CREW), CLARENCE SLABY (ENGINEERING CREW), AL TEDESCHI (RADIO MECHANIC AND OPERATOR)

 

SERGEANTS:  WAYNE GRANGER (ENGINEERING CREW), ROBERT HORRELL (ENGINEERING CREW), LEWIS HUNTINGTON TRANSPORTATION), MORRIS LIEBHABER (MACHINE SHOP),

 

CORPORALS:  DICK ARNOLD (ELECTRICIAN), FRED BAUER (CREW CHIEF), JOE SUTULA (CREW CHIEF)

 

PRIVATE FIRST CLASS:  RAY BOWERS (LINE CREW), DON CHECKSFIELD (LINE CREW), JOE COTY (TRUCK DRIVER), CLAYTON CUSHMAN (TRUCK DRIVER), ART DOWS (ELECTRICIAN), JIM KOMMANDAT (LINE CRE), HAROLD PHILLIPS (FIELD TELEPHONE), RENDOL WIDDON (LINE CREW), GEORGE ZABOROSKI (TRUCK DRIVER).

 

PRIVATES:  BILL MIRICLE (TRUCK DRIVER), JOHN STYGLES (TRUCK DRIVER), GARDNER WILSON (POST EXCHANGE OPERATOR)

 

UNITED STATES NAVY ATTACHED: LT. OTTO HANSON, CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER AND 7 CORPSMEN.

 

CRAIG CARMICHAEL , USN, WRITES AND PUBLISHES THE “ROI NAMUR NEWS”. AS VMF-311 WAS ONE OF THE SQUADRONS THATY WAS INVOLVED IN THE ROI-NAMUR CAMPAIGN WE GET HIS NEWSLETTER AND I SEND HIM OURS. HE SENDS THIS: “ANCHORS AWEIGH AND SEMPER FIDELIS! FROM A FORMER NAVY RADIOMAN WHO SERVED IN BOTH ARGUS 21 (EARLY WARNING RADAR, DF TOWER & CIC ON ROI) AND COMM UNIT #8 ON NAMUR (LOCATED IN THE UNDERGROUND RADIOSHACK ACROSS THE STREET FROM THE ISLAND COMMANDER’S HQ ON THE NE CORNER OF NAMUR). YOU MAY HAVE SEEN ME PECKING AT THE TELETYPE MACHINE IN THE AEROLOGY OFFICE ABOUT A 100 YARDS FROM THE END OF THE 4300 FT RUNWAY , ACROSS THE STREET FROM THE BOMBED OUT CONCRETE BUILDING OCCUPIED BY THE JAPANESE COMMANDER BEFORE THE 4TH MARDIV FORCED HIM TO FLEE TO HIS BOMB SHELTER BEHIND HIS HQ BUILDING. I SPENT PART OF MY 22 MONTHS ON R-N AT THE ABLE RADAR INSTALLATION AT THE WEST END OF ROI SANDBAGGING AND SIGGING BOMB SHELTERS THAT WERE NO LONGER NEEDED AFTER THE JAP BOMBING ATTACK AT 0220 ON 2-12-44. I VIVIDLY RECALL ONE OF THE CORSAIR SQUADRONS MADE THEIR LOW LEVEL MOCK STRAFFING ATTACK AT FULL THROTTLE NOT MORE THAN 50 FEET OFF THE DECK THAT RAISED THE HACKELS ON THE BACK OF OUR NECKS! IF THE 109TH Cbs HAD FINISHED THAT 4300 FT. RUNWAY A FEW DAYS EARLIER, TO ALLOW ONE OF THE CORSAIR SQUADRONS TO ARRIVE AND DEFEND THE ISLANDS, I DOUBT THAT THE JAPS WOULD HAVE STAGED THEIR ATTACK        5      THAT BLEW UP THE BOMB AND AMMO DUMP THAT BURNED UP 80% OF ALL THE TENTS AND THE BIG SUPPLY DUMP ON ROI. SOMANY MEN LOST EVERY ARTICLE OF CLOTHING, WALLETS, PHOTOS, AND PERSONAL GEAR RIGHT DOWN TO THEIR SKIVVIES, THEY TOOK UP CLOTHING DONATIONS FROM THE 20% OF MEN WHO ESCAPED THE INFERNO THAT BECAME KNOWN AS “THE ROI MASSACRE”. 38 MEN WERE KILLED OUTRIGHT, 675 WOUNDED AND EVACUATED TO THE AIEA NAVAL BASE IN PEARL HARBOR. 88 MILLION IN BURNED AND DESTROYED SUPPLIES OF EVERY KIND TO OUTFIT A NAVAL AIR BASE! 50 YERS LATER, IN OCTOBER 1993, WHEN I ADVIRTISED IN SEVERAL VETERANS PUBLICATIONS MY INTENTIONS TO HOST A 50TH ANNIVERSARY REUNION TO COMMEMORATE THE U.S. CONQUEST OF THE FIRST PIECE OF JAPANESE REAL ESTATE IN WWII, I RECEIVED A LETTER FROM A MAN NAMED RALPH COTE IN ILLINOIS: “AT LAST I”VE FOUND THE REAL C.D. CARMICHAEL! AFTER THE JAP BOMBING RAID THAT BURNED UP MY ENTIRE SEA BAG AND EVERY PIECE OF CLOTHING AND ALL MY PERSONAL GEAR, SOMEBODY GAVE ME A TEE SHIRT WITH THE NAME C.D. CARMICHAEL STENCILED ON IT. I WORE IT SO LONG MY BUDDIES CALLED ME C.D.” RALPH COTE BECAME OUR FAVORITE ENTERTAINER AT ALL THE ROI-NAMUR REUNIONS. HE WAS A MAGICIAN AND PERFORMED HIS MAGIC TRICKS OF ALL KINDS TO THE IMMENSE ENJOYMENT OF ALL. THERE WERE OTHERES WHO CONTRIBUTED THEIR TALENTS TO MAKE OUR BIANNUAL REUNIONS A GREAT SUCCESS. TO KEEP THE FOLKS INFORMED AND CONNECTED BETWEEN THE TWO REUNION YEARS I DECIDED TO LAUNCH A PUBLICATION I NAMED THE ROI-NAMUR NEWS . IF THE NAME SOUNDS FAMILIAR TO THE FEW REMAINING VETERANS OF ROI-NAMUR---THERE’S A GOOD REASON FOR IT! A MAN I ONLY KNEW AS TERRY, DISTRIBUTED A SINGLE LEGAL SIZED SHEET ONCE A WEEK ON ROI-NAMUR WITH NEWS COPIED BY ONE OF OUR RADIOMEN FROM ONE OF THE U.S. NEWS SERVICES IN THE STATES TO OUR ARMED FORCES OVERSEAS. MY EFFORTS TO KEEP US INFORMED AND IN CONTACT WITH EACH OTHER WERE WELCOMED AND VOLUNTARILY SUPPORTED FINANCIALLY BY 140 READERS AT ITS PEAK, A YEAR OR TWO BEFORE I SUSPENDED PUBLICATION IN 2006, DUE TO THE STEADY DECLINE IN OUR READERSHIP TO ALMOST ZERO, DUE TO THE DEATHS OF MY READERS.

        ONE LAST BIT OF COINCEDENCE, IF YOU STILL BELIEVE IN COINCEDENCE AT THIS LATE PERIOD IN YOUR LIVES. 1N 1947, I RODE THE NORTH HIGH STREET, COLUMBUS OHIO TRANSPORT ATHORITY FROM MY HOME NEAR 1ST AVENUE AND HIGH TO THE 15TH AVE. ENTRANCE TO OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY WHERE I HAD ENROLLED IN JANUARY 1947 UNDER THE G.I. BILL, LIKE MILLIONS OF OTHER VETERANS OF WWII. AS I WAS ABOUT TO LEAVE THE TROLLEY AT THE 15TH AVE. ENTRANCE TO OSU, I SAW ACROSS THE ISLE A FAMILIAR FACE. IT WAS NONE OTHER THAN TERRY (LAST NAME UNKNOWN) FROM ROI-NAMUR WHO DISTRIBUTED COPIES OF THE ROI-NAMUR NEWS! HE RECOGNIZED ME AT FIRST GLANCEALTHOUGH HE DIDN’T KNOW MY NAME EITHER. WE GREETED EACH OTHER ENTHUSIASTICALLY, AND WALKED TOGETHER ACROSS THE STREET TO THE CAMPUS ASTONDED BY THE MILLION TO ONE ODDS OF OUR MEETING OVER TWO YEARS AFTER PARTING COMPANY ON ROI-NAMUR, 8000 MILES DISTANT FROM COLUMBUS. LOOKING BACKTO THAT INCEDENT 70 YEARS AGO I CAN ONLY MARVEL THAT THE LORD HAS ARRANGED SO MANY INCEDENTS I USED TO THINK WERE MERE COINCEDENCE! NO LONGER! IT’S A MIRACLE OF THE LORD’S DOING, AND I CAN’T BE PERSUADED OTHERWISE! HOW ABOUT YOU?

        I RECEIVED THE LAST EDITION OF “THE FIGHTIN’ 311” AND REALIZED I HADN’T WRITTEN TO YOU FOLKS FOR SOME TIME. NEEDLESS TO SAY, I DIDN’T SEE MANY FAMILIAR NAMES IN THE LAST EDITION ALTHOUGH I’VE KNOWN A FEW OF YOUR MEN OVER THE YEARS WHO ATTENDED THE REUNIONS. VMF 111, 224, 311 AND 441 AND THEIR GROUND CREWS WERE CAUGHT UP IN THE ROI MASSACRE. I BECAME AQUAINTED WITH GENE (GARDNER) WILSON AND WE PLAYED GOLF A FEW TIMES BUT HAVEN’T SEEN HIS NAME IN ANY RECENT EDITIONS. “

 

CRAIG TALKS ABOUT COINCEDENCES. I WAS LAYING ON THE FLOOR IN DA NANG WAITING FOR A CHOPPER RIDE BACK TO CHU LAI ON NEW YEARS DAY 1968 AND AS I PEEKED OUT FROM UNDER MY HELMET I SPOTTED A GUY WALKING BY THAT I WENT TO SCHOOL WITH.  ANOTHER ONE LAST YEAR I WAS GETTING SOMETHING DONE AT THE VA IN CLEVELAND AND DOWN THE HALL MARILYN IS PUSHING JIM KOTMEL IN A WHEELCHAIR. WE WERE TOGETHER IN CHU LAI. WE MEET UP AT THE REUNIONS OTHERWISE. MY DAD TELLS OF ONE. AFTER THE WAR IN EUROPE MY DAD WAS WATCHING A BALL GAME IN BREMEN , GERMANY AND THE SHORTSTOP WAS ONE OF THE GUYS HE WENT TO SCHOOL WITH IN TWIN ROCKS, PA. CHANCE MEETINGS ALL BY DESIGN OR NOT.

 

YOU’LL NOTICE THAT I’M THROWING IN THINGS HERE THAT ARE NOT IN ANY PARTICULAR ORDER. CECIL CHEEKA JUST CALLED AND WANTED ME TO MAKE A NOTE THAT IF ANYONE COMING TO THE REUNION KNOWS OF ANY 311 ALUMNI THAT HAS PASSED THAT WE MIGHT NOT KNOW OF MAKE SURE YOU MENTION THAT WHEN YOU CHECK IN SO WE CAN ADD THEM TO THE MEMORIAL PROGRAM. I WAS JUST INFORMED THAT THERE WILL BE A MARINE COLOR GUARD IN ATTENDANCE FOR THE MEMORIAL SERVICE. CECIL WILL BE HANDLING THE MEMORIAL SERVICE.

 

HAVEN’T CHECKED IN ON THE SQUADRON LATELY IN YUMA. I THOUGHT MAYBE I WOULD REQUEST THAT THEY MIGHT SEND SOMEONE TO THE REUNION AS A REPRESENTITIVE. I BOMBED OUT ON A GUEST SPEAKER IN SAN ANTONIO BUT WE MADE THINGS WORK OUT AT THE BANQUET. WE HAD AN ALUMNI ,J.M.MEDRANO,THAT WORKED FOR THE VA SHOW UP AND WE USED HIM FOR A SPEAKER AND BECAUSE MANY OF US DEAL WITH THE VA, IT WORKED OUT GREAT AND HE ANSWERED A LOT OF QUESTIONS. I THOUGHT WE MAY BE ABLE TO GET MY GOOD WIFE THE FIRST SERGEANT TO SING A SONG OR TWO. YOU NEVER KNOW!!

 

THIS IS A COPY OF THE ORDNANCE PATCH THAT JERRY WILSONS SON HAD OF HIS FATHER’S. I HAVE NEVER SEEN THIS ONE BEFORE BUT IT MUST HAVE COME FROM THE CHU LAI ERA.

 

        WHILE I’M THINKING ABOUT IT, DEADLINE FOR GETTING BACK TO ME ON THE REUNION IS MIDDLE OF SEPTEMBER. I DON’T NEED THE MONEY AT THAT TIME BUT I DO NEED TO KNOW IF YOU ARE COMING SO I CAN GIVE THE NUMBERS TO THE HOTEL AND TOUR PEOPLE. WE HAVE TO GET ALL THE PAPERWORK COMPLETED ALSO BEFORE WE HEAD OUT TO PENSACOLA.

 

        A NUMBER OF PEOPLE WILL BE SPENDING A WEEK THERE SO IF YOU ARE CHECKING IN EARLY WE WILL BE WONDERING ABOUT TRYING NOT TO GET INTO TROUBLE. USUALLY THE HOTEL HAS BEEN LETTING US SET UP THE HOSPITALITY ROOM ON TUESDAY SO WE DON’T HAVE ANYTHING TO DO EXCEPT GREET THE PEOPLE ON WEDNESDAY.

 

        I GET PERIODICALS FROM THE VFW, AMVETS AND AMERICAN LEGION AND I USUALLY READ ALL THE ARTICLES. THE VFW HAS A GREAT SERIES ON THE VIETNAM WAR BATTLES. A FEW MONTHS AGO I WAS READING ABOUT A BATTLE THAT WAS BEING WAGED BY THE ARMY 28IR . THE STORY HIGHLIGHTS A PFC. TIM NOE WHO WAS WOUNDED AND PROVIDED COVERING FIRE ,WHILE WOUNDED, TO HIS COMPANY A GRENADE LANDED IN THE MIDDLE OF THREE SOLDIERS AND PFC NOE JUMPED ON IT AND SAVED THE LIVES OF THE OTHERS. THE KICKER WAS THE LAST LINE “FOR HIS ACTIONS PFC NOE WAS AWARDED THE SILVER STAR.” I REALLY COULDN’T BELIEVE WHAT I WAS READING AND THAT STUCK IN MY CRAW ENOUGH TO WRITE THE EDITOR OF THE STORY AND ASK IF THAT DIDN’T SEEM A LITTLE ODD TO HIM. HE SAID IT TOOK HIM ABACK ALSO. HE CONTACTED THE 28 REGT. ALUMNI GROUP AND THEY SAID THEY WERE IN THE PROCESS OF TRYING TO GET IT UPGRADED. TO ME THAT IS MOH ACTION NO BRAINER. NOT ONLY WAS PFC NOE SLIGHTED BUT THERE WAS ANOTHER THAT JUMPED ON A GRENADE PRIOR TO THAT BATTLE AND DIDN’T GET THE MOH. IN OUR LITTLE TOWN OF SALEM WE HAVE A MARINE NAMED RALPH DIAZ WHO WAS AWARDED THE MOH, POSTHUMOUSLY, FOR JUMPING ON A GRENADE. I HOPE THEY GET THESE GUYS THEIR DUE. THAT STILL UPSETS ME.

 

        IT IS WITH GREAT REMORSE THAT I PASS THIS ALONG. OUR BUDDY, FRED TOWNSLEY, RELAYED TO ME THAT HE WILL BE RESIGNING AS WEBMASTER COME REUNION TIME. SHORTLY AFTER WE HEADED THIS GROUP IN 1996 FRED SAID HE WOULD PRODUCE A WEB PAGE AND DO ALL THE EMAIL NEWSLETTER NOTICES. OVER THE YEARS HE AND ETHEL HAVE BEEN A GREAT CORNERSTONE IN OUR ALUMNI GROUP. NOT ONLY DID HE RUN THE WEB SITE BUT GOT ME THROUGH SOME TECH PROBLEMS THAT EVER HAVE PLAGUED ME THROUGHT THE YEARS. FRED IS A COMPUTER WHIZ TO MY COMPUTER IGNORANCE. DOT DAVIS WAS LINED UP TO SUCCEED FRED BUT THERE ARE NOW SOME HEALTH ISSUES INVOLVED. ANYONE WHO WOULD BE WILLING TO TAKE OVER AS WEB MASTER WE’D SURE BE GLAD TO HEAR FROM YOU. SO UP UNTIL REUNION TIME FRED IS STILL ON ACTIVE DUTY.

 

WE WISH YOU ALL WELL AND GOD BLESS.

SEMPER FIDELIS

FOR THE ALUMNI ASSN.

JIM GALCHICK

 

                                                                                                       

TOMCAT AIR. ON TIME. ON TARGET




REGISTRATION INFORMATION FOR THE VMF/VMA-311 ALUMNI ASSOCIATION REUNION

12-15 OCTOBER 2016


HILTON GARDENS INN PENSACOLA, FLA.


REGISTRATION SIGN UP FEE: $10.00 x ____ TOTAL ______________

NAVAL MUSEUM TOUR (LUNCH INCLUDED) $48.00 x ____ TOTAL ______________

PENSACOLA TOUR AND MEMORIAL SERVICE (LUNCH INCLUDED) $48.00 x ____ TOTAL ______________

DOLPHIN TOUR (LUNCH INCLUDED) $48.00 x ____ TOTAL ______________

BANQUET SELECTION (all selections $46.00):



BEEF x ____ TOTAL ______________

CHIX x ____ TOTAL ______________

FISH x ____ TOTAL ______________

*VEG x ____ TOTAL ______________

CHECK TOTAL: ______________


MAKE CHECKS PAYABLE TO: VMF/VMA-311 REUNION ASSOCIATION

MAIL TO: JIM GALCHICK

1290 E. 12th ST.

SALEM, OHIO 44460

ANY QUESTIONS AT ALL FEEL FREE TO CALL AT 330-337-9383 OR EMAIL AT: jgalchick@neo.rr.com


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REUNION AGENDA (ABBREVIATED)


WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 12th:

CHECK INTO THE HOTEL AND THE HOSPITALITY ROOM. REMEMBER TO PICK UP YOUR WELCOME PACKET. THERE WILL BE A MEMORABILIA TABLE IF YOU CARE TO USE IT. SNACKS AND DRINKS PROVIDED. DINNER IS ON YOUR OWN.


THURSDAY OCTOBER 13th::

COMPLIMENTARY HOTEL BREAKFAST 0600 TO 1000. CATCH BEACH BUM TROLLEY FOR A TOUR OF THE NAVAL MUSEUM, FLIGHT SCHOOL, IMAX THEATER. THIS IS A GUIDED TOUR. PRETTY MUCH A FULL DAY, LUNCH IN THE CUBI BAR. WHEELCHAIRS ARE AVAILABLE. PICTURE ID IS NEEDED FOR THE MUSEUM. IF TRAVELING WITH A NON-US CITIZEN THEY NEED TO HAVE GONE THROUGH THE VETTING PROCESS IN ORDER TO BE ALLOWED ADMITTANCE.

THIS TOUR IS PRETTY MUCH THE WHOLE DAY. EVENING DINNER IS ON YOUR OWN.



FRIDAY OCTOBER 14th :

COMPLIMENTARY BREAKFAST AT THE HOTEL 0600 TO1000. BEACH BUM TROLLEY WILL PIC( US UP FOR A TOUR OF PENSACOLA AND AFTER THAT WE WILL GATHER IN VETERANS PARK FOR OUR MEMORIAL SERVICE. FROM THERE WE WILL GO TO MC GUIRE'S FAMOUS EATERY FOR LUNCH (BRING YOUR APPETITE!). THIS PLACE IS A MUST SEE. EVENING DINNER IS ON YOUR OWN. WE WILL BE BACK IN PLENTY OF TIME TO REST UP FOR THE AUCTION.

ACTION WILL BEGIN AT 1900. BRING SOMETHING TO SELL AND BUY SOMETHING TO TAKE HOME E. THIS IS A LOT OF FUN AND WE, AS USUAL WILL PROVIDE SOME SNACKS.


SATURDAY OCTOBER 15th:

COMPLIMENTARY BREAKFAST AT THE HOTEL 0630 TO 1130. BUSINESS MEETING IN THE HOSPITALITY ROOM. ELECTION OF OFFICERS, FINANCIAL REPORT, DECIDE LOCATION OF REUNION 2018.

CLEAR OUT HOSPITALITY ROOM. ANYONE G0ING ON THE DOLPHIN TOUR WILL AWAIT THE BEACH BUM TROLLEY. YOU WILL GET A GUIDED TOUR OF HARBOR AND WATCH DOLPHINS JUMP IN THE BOATS WAKE. RETURN IN PLENTY OF TIME FOR THE BANQUET.

BANQUET STARTS AT 18OO WITH DINNER STARTING AT 1900. BRING YOUR CAMERAS. MAYBE WE'LL HAVE A GUEST SPEAKER OF TWO. HOPEFULLY VMA-311CAN MAKE IT THIS YEAR OR A REP.

GOOD EVENING PLANNED.




SUNDAY OCTOBER 15th:


CHECK OUT FROM THE HOTEL. SOME OF US WILL BE STAYING UNTIL MONDAY. TRAVEL SAFELY. SEE YOU IN 2018,GOD WILLING!




BANQUET SELECTIONS


BEEF:

BEEF BURGUNDY (CHUNKS OF BEEF SIMMERED IN BURGUNDY WINE)


CHICKEN:

CHICKEN MARSELA (MARSELA WINE AND MUSHROOM SAUCE)



SEAFOOD:

TALAPIA IMPERIAL (STUFFED WITH CRAB)

****VEGETARIAN:

DO NOT ORDER THIS AS A REGULAR ENTREE. IF YOU ARE VEGAN OR HAVE DIETARY REQUIREMENTS THAT DO NOT INCLUDE BEEF, FISH OR CHICKEN USE VEGETARIAN SELECTION AND STATE YOUR NEEDS. IN THE PAST THIS HASBEEN A PASTA DISH OF SOME KIND.

MEAL INCLUDES:

FRESH GARDEN SALAD

HERB ROASTED RED POTATOES

GREEN BEANS ALMONDINE

ROLLS AND BUTTER

COFFEE, TEA, WATER

GLASS OF RED OR WHITE WINE (IF YOU CHOOSE)

ASSORTED BUFFET CAKES

ALL BUFFET CHOICES ARE THE SAME PRICE. THE CATERER SAID THEY USUALLY HAVE ENOUGH OVERAGE FOR SECONDS FOR THE BIG EATERS AMONG US.

PRICES FOR THE BUFFET ARE INCLUSIVE OF ABOUT 30% TAX