TAC MISSILEER DAYTON MINI-REUNION 2016
It all started last October, 2015 at our reunion in Orlando, FL. There were about 6 of us couples that were together a lot of time during the Reunion. We had a great time going out to eat in the evening and getting together for breakfast.
Early this year, Clark Wormer contacted myself and Frank Roales and asked us what we thought about all of us getting together this year in Dayton, OH after the opening of the 4th wing of the museum. Well, I took the idea and ran with it. I told them, if the Southern gang could get together in the off year and have a mini-reunion in Orlando, why can’t we have a Mini-reunion in Dayton this year. So, taking the bull by the horns, I sent out a note to all the Tac Missileers to see what kind of response there was. It was rather encouraging and we decided to put all the wheels in motion. Clark, Frank, and I decided to check out the museum to see what there was around the museum in Dayton and paid a visit to the museum itself. We had decided to see if we could have a behind the scene tour of the Restoration area of the museum. I sent an e-mail to the Museum’s web site and received a call from Jane Leach, the lady in charge of the tours and she was more than helpful to arrange things on their end to make this happen. The only day they did the tours was on Fridays. So, we planned our mini-reunion based on this information. Jane also gave me the lady in charge of the Dayton Convention and Visitors Bureau, Lisa Willis, who would be very instrumental on getting us information on hotels in that area and also take care of preparing our name tags, goodie bags, and a sign to be put in the Hotel to welcome us. In going thru the information, the one that was close was the Hope Hotel and Richard Holbrooke Convention Center. I contacted Susan White there and she was more than helpful to accommodate us, including giving us a special rate for the mini-reunion and gave us a room where we could gather and have our meet-and-greet. We also decided to have the mini-reunion in July, the month after the opening of the fourth wing at the museum. I had Russ Reston send out to all Tac Misileers an invitation to this reunion. We ended up with 35 people, members and spouses. After a few glitches, everything was in order. All we needed to do is hire a bus to take us to the Restoration Area as Jane would take care of the escorts as we were going on base.
Lisa Willis sent me an e-mail of the placque that would go in the Hotel and the name tags and they were fantastic. We discussed how many we needed and I sent her the names of all those that would attend and she took care of getting them all ready, along with nice bags with goodies in them. She had them sent to the Hotel so that they would be there when we arrived. Susan White did an excellent job of arranging everything at the Hotel. The room she had arranged for us to have was at the back of the Hotel and next to the bar and the restaurant, which made it nice and private. Max Butler, treasurer of the Tac Missileers, gave us new Tac Missileer hats for us to wear when we went on the tour. Susan also introduced me to the manager of the restaurant as we wanted to reserve an area in the restaurant so we could get together Friday evening for a meal. Everything was all arranged except for having all the information for the museum.
My wonderful wife, Jonna, and I went up a day early to make sure all arrangements were taken care of. Thursday arrived and everyone started showing up. Jonna and several other ladies, Loretta Roales, Becky Wormer, and Carolyn Wilczynski took care of getting all the snack foods out and ready for all those arriving. Meet-and-greet was from 4:00pm to 6:00pm and everyone had a great time. I welcomed all to the mini-reunion and explained the agenda for Thursday evening and Friday. After 6:00pm, we all went our merry way to get something to eat. After everyone checked in, I sent all the details of those going on the tour to Jane Leach at the Museum so she could have it for when we got there on Friday Morning.
Friday morning came and we all showed up at the museum to be greeted by a green bus to transport us to the Restoration Area. Our escorts met us at the bus and verified the information I had e-mailed to Jane with their indentification and we were off to the Restoration Area. As we were going to the area, the escort was very knowledgable of the Wright Patterson Air Force Base and it was very informative on what is at the base and what is done there. We were met with 6 tour guides at the Restoration area. They were excited to have us there and treated us special as we are all veterans and what we did when we served in the Air Force. There was so much to see in the area and it was exciting to see how they restore aircraft and other interesting aerospace items. Among those aircraft that they are restoring or will restore is the B-17 Swoose and the more knowadgable B-17, Memphis Belle. According to the tour guide, it will be put on display in the museum in 2018. It was such a rush to be able to touch a major part of history. When you stood in front of the Memphis Belle, you were spell bound. We could have spent hours there but we were limited on time and we had to leave after an hour. The bus took us to the museum where everyone was ready for some lunch and tour the fourth building. Larry Johnson and I headed out to tour the museum and of course we had to go see the Matador and the Mace-B that are in the museum and Larry was excited as the Mace-B on display was stationed in Okinawa. One good thing about the Restoration area tour is that they took care of the accommodations of those that needed help in getting around.
When you walk into the fourth building, to the right is the XB-70, Valkyrie, which was formerly over on the other side of the runway. It is an awesome aircraft and the only one in existence but in the new wing, it’s just a toy. It was great looking all over the wing and seeing all the experimental aircraft that we saw on the other side in 2009. We were exhausted by the time we saw what we could and then went back to the hotel to relax and recover from a great morning at the museum.
In the evening, we got together for some leftover snacks and then went to dinner at the restaurant and had a great last meal together. Everyone felt that this mini-reunion was great as we could spend time together and it was more intimate and we could spend more time with a small group instead of trying to get to see everyone at the regular reunion, which is really great. One of those at the mini-reunion said that even though no one as this mini-reunion was from the base he was stationed at, he felt like one of the gang as he was totally accepted into the rest of us. Also, one thing about these mini- reunions is that some people who were there may not be able to make the one in Las Vegas and they were glad to be in Dayton and enjoyed themselves. We left Friday morning, tired but had a great time, visiting with all those that attended.
Those that attended were: Larry and Sandy Johnston, Robert and Carol Murley, Alfred and Elsie Sobloeski, Norman and Dana Tramra, Michael and Carolyn Wilczynski, Felix and son, Fred Wylezik, Art and Sheila Donahue, Frank and Loretta Roales, Clark and Becky Wormer, Bill Whisler and Rita Larson, George and Dee Beaumont, Jerry and Jonna Brenner, James and Susan Cagle, Jack Calloway, Glen J Curl and son Joseph A Curl, John Downs, Robert H and Dorothy A Schneider-Fuelling, James Garner, and Frank Jr and Leslie S Hall.
We are all looking forward to all of us getting together in Las Vegas in 2017. See you all there.
TAC Missileers Secretary