1969 Andrews AFB

A program from the 1969 Reunion at Andrews Air Force Base (Washington, D.C.) held June 27-29, 1969.

This was the 25th Anniversary.  Here is just a few of the interesting things you will find in this reunion program:

  • Award of the Croix De Guerre with Palm to the 100th Bomb Group
  • Reunion Dinner Menu
  • In Memoriam
  • Quotes from Letters
  • Reunion Theme
  • Group Humor
  • "A Typical Day in the Life, Near Thorpe Abbotts 1944" by John Archer

Click here to view the Acrobat PDF file of the program.

Thanks to Dave Treanor for providing this program.

"Blow-Out" In Palm Springs

By Jan Riddling & Mike Faley
Splasher Six, Winter 2002
Cindy Goodman, Editor

Bright California sunshine flooded Palm Springs as a mini-reunion was held January 17 & 18 at the Palm Springs Air Museum. Museum Director, Sharon Maguire and her entire staff did a wonderful job in accommodating the 39 Veterans, their families, and friends. Representing the 100th Bomb Group Memorial Museum at Thorpe Abbotts, England was Ron Batley, Museum Curator and his wife, Carol Batley, Museum Volunteer & Richard Gibson, Museum Trustee. Although Cindy Goodman was unable to attend, present were Jan Riddling, Mike Faley and Greg Hatzenbuhler of the 100th’s Historical Staff. Paul West and Harry Nelson, two of the three Web Masters were present, with Charlie Cole regrettably unable to attend.

On Saturday, Mike and Greg started early on getting their displays in order. New displays included the medals, uniform and A-2 jacket of Charlie Gunter (350th Bomb Squadron Navigator), 482ndBG patch and Crew photo from Burke Hyatt (crew flew 13 missions with 100th BG before being transferred to 482nd), Lead Crew patch and photo from Herb Grand, Earl Benham’s "Hard Luck" A-2 jacket and Jack Kidd’s uniform. The 918th Living Memorial (Kevin Gray, Dave Webster, Brian Thraikill,) also had a display including a complete (3d) replica of a Combat Box, a replica B-17 cockpit, Norden bombsight and the remarkable sound of Kevin’s soundtrack of aircraft fly-by’s and WWII music. Eyes could not help but look up at the aircraft sounds and toes taped at the 40’s music that filled the area with wonderful nostalgia.

The events started at 11am with the standing-room-only showing of the new documentary "B-17 Flying Legend", by Mark Frijo. This documentary includes many 100th BG photos and video footage supplied by the 100th Bomb Group Foundation. In the afternoon the hanger was filled with over 600 patrons who couldn’t wait to hear the stories of "The Bloody Hundredth". John Lynch gave the welcome, the colors were presented and John led the Pledge of Allegiance. The ceremonies were turned over to Bob Wolff, President of the 100th Bomb Group Foundation, who introduced Group Navigator, Harry Crosby writer of "A Wing and a Prayer".

Harry gave an interesting talk on the often-surprised reaction people have when they realize that Veterans of the 100th did survive the war after all! Harry also mentioned some of the famous missions in which the 100th was involved. Next up was 418th Navigator Ernie Warsaw, the only survivor of "Picklepuss", (the plane involved in the legendary "wheels down" incident) touched humorously on some true communications between pilots and crew chiefs. Question from pilot… "Something loose in cockpit." Answer by crew chief… "Something tightened in cockpit."Question from pilot… "Number three engine missing." Answer by crew chief… "Engine found on right wing after brief search." The crowd love it, and Ernie told us that they were from actual maintenance requests submitted by the US Marine Corps pilots and written replies from repair crews…SNAFU in other words. Frank Murphy, 418th Navigator on the Cruikshank Crew, spoke next and gave us an insightful look into his flying career and life as a member of the 100th in a POW camp. He mentioned that when he arrived at Stalag Luft III he remembered hearing "What took you so long?" shouted from other POW’s. Frank was roommates with Richard Carey and Pinky Helstrom to name a few. Frank wrote a wonderful and highly recommended book on his experiences with the 100th Bomb Group called "Luck of the Draw". Henry Cervantes (349th Pilot) gave an interesting look into his life with the 100th and beyond. His new book"Piloto Migrant Worker to Jet Pilot" chronicles his long and vivid career with emphasis on the mission April 7, 1945 (Buchen) when "E Z Goin" was rammed by a German pilot. 351st Bombardier Joe Straus talked of being assigned to the 100th on December 24, 1944 and completing 31 missions, while Jack Robins (418th Radio Operator ) spoke of his mission to Berlin on 6 March 1944 where 15 out of 30 aircraft were shot down. Jack was a POW for 14 months. Bob Wolff (418th Pilot) was our last speaker and held the crowd intently as he told of his remarkable story of going over the Alps on the August 17, 1943 mission to Regensburg.

John Lynch then introduced the members of the 918th Living Memorial Group and those from the Memorial Museum in England. All the Veterans with the 100th were asked to stand and the crowd gave them a huge round of applause. The program concluded with the retiring of the colors. The 80 degrees plus temperatures combined with clear skies were perfect for the hanger doors to be thrown open as the B-17 "Miss Angela" took to the air and flew with all her glory for a crowd of 300-500 people. Her fly-by’s, with those four deep throated engines, were a definite thrill enhanced only by the "Little Friend", a P-51 that flew a beautiful display of that aircraft’s abilities.

In the evening, approximately 150 people gathered at the Billy Reed’s Restaurant for a delicious meal and lots of visiting, while Sunday was a gorgeous day to gather leisurely at the Museum. All too soon it was time to say "Farewell until next time." When the 100th gathers it is always a "blow-out" and this was no exception. Based on the list of those who signed in, we had 39 Veterans. Thanks to all the wives, family and friends who attended…your presence was greatly appreciated.

100TH VETERANS IN ATTENDANCE Bruce Alshouse, Richard Anderson, Joseph Armanini, Earl Behnam, Don Bradley, Bill Brown, Andrew Burkhart, Rinaldo Bussino, Henry Cervantes, Harry Crosby, Douglas Drysdale, Rick Erickson, Don Friedman, Hal Higgs, Gene Jensen, George Keller, Gayle Leonard, Dale Long, John Luckadoo, James Mack, Warren McCoy, Frank Murphy, James Olmstead, Joe Orendoff, Jack Ogg, Dan Radice, Glenn Rake, Bill Roche, Leon Schwartz, Danny Shaffer, Robert Shoens, Philip Soto, Keith Sprague, Dave Talichet, Robert Tienken, Richard Tunncliff, William Veal, Charlie Wilson, Bob Wolff, Bill Woods.

FAMILIES AND OTHERS The 19 Friends and Family of Irene and Richard Carey, Carley, Lexie, Emily and Curtis & Eva Wilson, Robert Larson, Sergio Trejo, John Kolacki, Marilyn Barbarita, Ray & Dolly Cary, David & Virgina Steele and Bruce & Jeanne Swinehart, 918th Living Memorial Group Ron & Carol Batley & Richard Gibson, Paul West & Harry Nelson Jan Riddling, Mike Faley & Greg Hatzenbuhler.

2011 Cleveland

Cleveland 2011 Photos

Cleveland, Ohio, September 8-11, 2011
By Joe Urice, 351st Squadron

The 2011 Cleveland Reunion possibly will go down in history as one of the 100thBG's special ones. Members were informed early on to expect a good reunion at Cleveland and it went far beyond that "good" description to result perhaps in one that might set a new and higher standard for our reunions. Nancy Putnam and her volunteers are to be highly congratulated for an impressive and unforgettable event.  The tone was set from the get go by the registration volunteers Jerri Erickson,  This time the thrust of the reunion indicated an increased direction towards historical events to go along side by side with the local events available for members' different interest levels. 

Unfortunately a few long planned and anticipated projects such as the availability of two active duty KC-135 tankers were unable to be at Cleveland due to our nation's more pressing needs and those needs also caused the absence of the Alabama National Guard F-16 fighter of Willow Run performance fame piloted by Brian Vaughn. Fortunately six active military members headed by Colonel Joseph William DeMarco of the Mildenhall 100thARW were able join us along with Ivan Rasmaussen, another active duty military member assigned to the Altus, Ok, Air Base. But so many other events were planned and presented for our benefit that reunion attendees could unfortunately not participate in all of them. 

Those in attendance who were current on their dues received the first of our newest100th Bomb Group Foundation Roster. Those not in attendance will receive their rosters by mail.

But perhaps the most rewarding event was the experience of meeting with old-time friends plus enjoying new friends among the 55 veterans and others of the approximate 288 total members that attended. 

Some of the events were the following from which to chose :

Jan Zdiarsky's presentation as Director of Museum of Air Battle Over the Ore Mountains on September 11, 1944 and which is located in the Czech Republic was outstanding. Jan's excellent presentation of new developments for the museum along with his long journey to be with us are just indicators of his great enthusiasm for his works. 

Ron and Carol Batley of Thorpe Abbott Museum in England were also present at the PX with many unique items. I hope that many took the opportunity to sign for the Museum's quarterly newsletter, the "Century Bulletin".

Val Burges is an outstanding authority on worldwide WW2 POWs and a Honorary Member of the Stalag Luft III Association. She came to us from Sheridan, Wyoming. "War's Voices" is a non-profit funding operation developing an internet archive of Stalag lll oral histories. Ms. Burgess highly impressed me by personally knowing a former Stalag lll POW neighbor of mine, Bob Wineberg, as well as his wife, Nina, and also his history authority son at Columbia, MO. Among Ms. Burgess's many detailed stories was those involving individual POW camps and individuals throughout Germany and its conquered lands in Europe.

The Doolittle featured speaker, Jonna Doolittle Hoppes, during her tours in the United States and Europe, has delivered the message since 2005 of "If we don't record our stories, they will be lost". She is the granddaughter of General Jimmy Doolittle and is the author of two books, "Calculated Risks" and "Just Doing My Job". She expertly shared her wide range of knowledge concerning General Doolittle's life and military exploits. 

The Tallichet B-17 " Memphis Belle " walk thru privileges and photo opportunities were followed by its three time fly over of the100thBG Restaurant where we had just enjoyed its excellent meals and service. The plane's prominent vertical tail was freshly repainted with our WW2 square "D" emblem. 

Our three B-17 restoration projects speakers were {1} Joseph Krzeminski, who spoke on the transforming of the Tallichet B-17 into the grand aircraft that it presently is.; {2} Afred Hagen, who gave us the amazing story of the recovery and restoration of the B-17E, the Swamp Ghost"; and {3} Randy Kemp delivered the story of the B-17G, the "Champagne Lady".

The optional City "Lolly The Trolley" Tour Bus had Lakefront Museum and several other viewing options available. 

An excellent discussion forum of approximately15-20 veterans that covered many different topics was presented ably by Mike Faley. A non-veteran member observed that this forum was one of the highlights of the reunion for her. 

The fabulous service, hospitality and food of the 100th Bomb Group Restaurant and the Sheraton Hotel staff were unsurpassed.

The PX room project was a grand success from a financial and item availability standpoint. Besides the many clothing, books, 2 1/2 inch square patches and many other items made available, there were several renown artists' prints of WW2 scenes available along with the showing of two new 100thBG theme pencil drawings by Robert Bailey who donated one for the benefit of the100thBG Foundation. It is now sold. Nancy Putnam, Mike Faley, Dan Rosenthal, David Distelrath and Ed Blanchard and several other volunteers – notably Alyece Urice and Jessica Putnam - made this year's PX project extremely successful. The PX room was also again favored by the air crew equipment display of Chip Buerger & George Bruekett, who also appeared in full air flight dress at the Memphis Belle tarmac display where all the veterans gathered for a group picture. Joe and Jack OLeary held up Jack's Thorpe Abbotts flag as part of this photo opportunity. This reunion will possibility be recalled as "the great camera shoot off" because of the outstanding number of pictures taken during the event. Two members {Jeanne and William Swinehart} returned to Cleveland this time from their Carmichael, CA home with a DVD of the entire PSAM meeting of last January. They again filmed the majority of this present reunion. A special shirt honoring the fallen crew of Adrian Caldwell's father was seen along with the outstanding markers and pictures made by Joe O'Leary whose father was a copilot with the 100thBG. 

Among the new business items of note was the Board's decision was to change the dues year from January to December, a calendar year basis rather than the awkward September 1st to August 31 period. Dues paid at this time are to carry over through the full 2012 year. The Board also regretfully revealed the voluntary retirement departure of two of its long time veteran stalwarts, Grant Fuller and Bud Vieth. The next full reunion location for its 2113 event was warmly welcomed after being determined for Savannah, GA , the home of the 8thAF Museum. The Palm Springs, CA off-year event will be on February 25, 2012, where now exists a permanent 100thBG exhibit in conjunction with the large PSAM collection. The recently purchased painting by the 100thBG Foundation of the "High Noon Blitz" by Robert Bailey will now hang there