The 2017 reunion in Rome, NY is now a living memory of renewed friendships, hugs, tower tours, airplane rides, canal voyage, museum visit, lunches, banquets, speeches, toasting, more hugs, and goodbyes. May we all live in good health and enjoy many more such reunions.
The 49th is more than an Association. We are a living example of friends with a common tradition kept alive with what we share - friendship, service to our country, memories of those who have passed on, and experiences in accomplishing a noble mission. Our tradition lives on.
A suggestion for the next reunion may be premature, but excuse the enthusiasm to address it now. Please, 'pencil-in' Thursday 13 September 2018 thru Sunday 16 September. Also, pencil-in the Norfolk, Virginia area which includes Virginia Beach, Norfolk, and Newport News. We usually settle this by committee action and popular vote, and that still applies. If someone has other suggestions, let me know and we'll put it to a vote. (By the way, if we have it as suggested, there's a good possibility for a tour on either a Nimitz class aircraft carrier or a nuclear sub).
Our great reunion in Rome could not have been the success it was without Mike Baldwin and Bill Mahaffy. Our 'boots on the ground' guys did very well and deserve top kudos. We also sent appreciation letters to Col Emil Filkorn, NEADS Commander who spoke at our banquet, Col John Balbierer who hosted our NEADS tour, and Mr. Sam D'Urso who hosted the tower tour. A final letter of appreciation was sent to LtCol Clarence Macasek, 49th Fighter Training Squadron Commander for the participation of Major Andrew Pence and Capt John McGowan at the reunion. 'Samson' and 'Paddy' developed a wonderful rapport with all members and enhanced the special connection we share with the active duty 49th FTS.
Many photos were taken at the reunion and we will have these posted on this web site, thanks to Bob and Cathy Elliott. Expect the next Hangman edition (Volume 15, Issue 3) by early November, in electronic format. We are always looking for new articles, so please send anecdotes or stories about your experiences while on active duty in the 49th.
Finally, we're on a search for someone to fill the Vice Commander slot. Volunteers are welcome.
Stay well 49ers and stay in touch with each other. Don't wait for the 2018 reunion for your next personal touch with your friends at the 49th. God Bless America.