Joint Bomb Group Reunion 2018 (Dayton Ohio)

     On Thursday, September 13th, we departed home base Luray heading to Dayton Ohio, where we attended Captain Johns Bomb Group Reunion (yes, Captain John flew his own airplane to his Bomb Group Reunion), which is really no surprise since he is still one of the most active Angel Flight Pilots in the Country! Many people at the reunion asked John if he was still flying, and his answer was “NO”…… not since Thursday, when we landed at Wright Brothers Field!   We had a fantastic four days at the reunion and departed Dayton heading for home on Monday, September 17th (in the remnants of Hurricane Florence)

     During our time there, we attended three different dinners, the first being an individual group dinner (Johns 484th Bomb Group), the second being a total  Formal Group Banquet….. (this was a Joint Group Reunion that included the 98th, 376th, 451st, 455th, 460th, 461st, 464th, 465th, 484th & 485th Bomb Groups), the third was a farewell dinner which also included all groups. The formal Group Banquet included a 16 piece orchestra….. and they were amazing!  We had all had breakfast together each morning and all during the day (and late into the evening) there was a hospitality room open for getting together (what great conversations and comradeship took place there).

     On Friday and Sunday, we departed the hotel for the Airforce Museum at Wright Paterson Air Force Base, what an amazing place, especially for these two pilots….. and to top it off, I had a personal tour guide that explained things to me from a first-hand experience…. and that was Captain John! While at the museum on Saturday we all attended a “Presidential Unit Citation Medals Ceremony” in the Carney Auditorium, where all the Veterans of the 15th Airforce Bomb Group Reunion in attendance were personally presented the Presidential Unit Citation Medal by Lt, Gen. C.D. Moore II, USAF, Ret.

     On Saturday we had several very interesting veteran speakers to listen to, one being Captain John……. I could sit all day listening to these guys! (I will post a link to their talks as soon as it is available)

     We attended a Memorial Service on Sunday morning and the Farewell Dinner on Sunday evening.

     I am very honored to have been able to attend this amazing reunion with Captain John….. being around such great American Heros and hearing their stories is something that I will always hold in my memories as priceless, and it certainly reinforces what I have always known……. the freedoms that we all enjoy today have not and do not come free, so lets never forget and lets never take them for granted, and whenever the chance arises, shake the hand of a Veteran!

     We would like to say a Big “Thank You for a Job Well Done” to all involved in putting this fantastic reunion together, it was absolutely AMAZING!

     Thank You So Much, Captain John, for letting me tag along!

(next years reunion will be held in Dallas Texas)

Following are some photos of this great event, hope you enjoy!

(2 Videos follow the photos as well)

 

 

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Heading to Dayton Ohio to attend Johns Bomb Group Reunion
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Day 1 (evening of meet and greet and great converstaions)
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Day 1 (Many Great Stories)
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Day ……. (what great conversations)
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Day 1…….. (John with Helen and her daugher, Susan…… Helen is the widow of Johns Radio Operator)
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Day 1 …… (I had to get in on the photo as well!)
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Day 2 (heading to the airforce museum)
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Day 2…… (In front of the B24 “Strawberry Bitch”) the veteran with John is not only a veteran, he is also a fellow “U.F.O.”
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Day 2……. (again, I had to get in the photo as well….. and with honor!)
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Day 2 (John with Susan and her Mother, Hellen (Hellen is the widow of Johns Radio Operator)
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Day 2 (Captain John recieving the “Presidential Unit Citation Medal” from Lt. Gen. C.D. Moore II, USAF, Ret.
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Day 2 (B24 Command Pilot, John Billings with Lt. Gen. C.D. Moore II, USAF, Ret.
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Day 2 (Carney Auditorium) Air Force Museum
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Day 2 (Carney Auditorium)
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Day 2 ….In front of the B24 Bomber “Strawberry Bitch” (I am so honored to tag around with this American Hero!)
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Day 2 …….Lunch at the Air Force Museum…… Hot Dog load with Mac&Cheese!
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Day 2 ….. Evening social hour
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Day 2 ….. Individual Group Banquet
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Day 2 …… Individual Group Banquet
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Day 2 …… Individual Group Banquet
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Day 2 ….. Dick Olsen and his son Mark ….. Individual Group Banquet
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Day 2 ( Individual Group Banquet)
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Day 2 ….. more social time in the hospitality room)
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Day 2 (Hospitality Room)
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Day 3 …… John gave a great talk (and a GREAT one it was!)
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Day 3 …… John was one of four great speakers
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Day 3 …… Another great Veteran speaker
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Day 3 …… had a big crowd for the Veteran Speakers
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Day 3 ….. Another great Veteran Speaker
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Day 3 ….. Another great Veteran Speaker
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Day 3 …… after the Veteran Speakers
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Day 3 …… After the Veteran Speakers
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Day 3 …… After the Veteran Speakers with Philip and Tracy Andrew
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Day 3 …….. late evening in the hospitality room (sometimes very late!)
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Day 3 …… Late evening in the hospitality room
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Day 3 …… late evening in the hospitality room (Great conversations going on everywhere!
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Day 3 ……. hospitality room

 

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Group Picture…….. what a great looking group of True American Heroes!

 

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Day 4 …… More great conversations before the Group Banquet
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Day 4 ……. Group Banquet
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Day 4 ……. Group Banquet
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Day 4 ……. Group Banquet
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Day 4 …….. Group Banquet
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Day 4 ………. Group Banquet
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Day 4 ……… Group Banquet
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Day 4 …….. Group Banquet (must have been around 250 in attendance!)
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Day 4 …… Group Banquet (Had a fantastic 16 piece Orchestra
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Day 4 ……. Group Banquet (Helen and her Daughter Susan) Helen is the widow of Johns Radio Operator
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Day 4 …….. Group Banquet
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Day 4 ……. Group Banquet
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Day 4 …….. Group Banquet
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Day 4 …….. Group Banquet
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Day 4 ……. Group Banquet
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Day 4 …….. Group Banquet
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Day 4 …….. Group Banquet (It must be the Jacket)…. see the Video of John dancing with this lovely lady at the end of these photos!  (after that, I asked to borrow his jacket)
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Day 4 ……. Our entertainment at the Group Banquet (They were FANTASTIC!)
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Day 4 ……. Group Banquet
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Day 4 …… Group Banquet
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Day 4 …….. Group Banquet
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Day 4 ……. Group Banquet
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Day 5 ……. at the morning Memorial Service
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Day 4 ……… Convesations in the lobby
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Day 5 ……. Farewell Dinner
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Day 5 …….. Farewell Dinner (I am so honored to be staning with these guys, Ryan O’Brien, John, Jerry Levin) Members of the 48
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Day 5 …… Farewell Dinner (Ryan O’Brien, John Billings, Jerry Levin, Jack Ferris (Members of the 484th)
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Last Day at Breakfast …… Dave Blake and John (Dave is a big part of getting these reunions together)
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Heading home, fying thru the remnants of Hurricane Floren

I love this Video…… check it out!  I call it…. 

“It Must Have Been the Jacket”

 

The following video is of our flight to and from the reunion in Dayton Ohio, our flight home had us in the remnants of Hurricane Florence.

 

Thank you for your time and have a great day!

14 thoughts on “Joint Bomb Group Reunion 2018 (Dayton Ohio)”

  1. Nevin, thanks for being such a GREAT friend to a man who is a real hero to me. I count it a blessing to know you both.

  2. Patricia Mahorney

    What a wonderful get-together of amazing men. It makes my heart feel good to see them re-living their experiences. The “Jacket” is certainly an “eye popper” and did the trick it seems:) Thank you too Nevin for taking these great pictures and sharing them, Pat, Strasburg, VA

  3. Thank you both for sharing your amazing trip with all of us.It sure looks like you both had a lot of fun.The pictures and videos were great as usual.I want to thank Captain John and you for all that you both have done and continue to do.You both are truly two Amazing Men and I love you both very much.

  4. WOW! Thanks Nevin for sharing the reunion with us and the pictures are great, as usual. I felt like I was there with you two. From take off at Luray to landing back at Luray. You had 26 veterans from 10 bomb groups (15th Air Force) The 15th had 21 Bomb Groups so about half were represented. The ranks are getting mighty thin! It is the same with us from the Mighty 8th. The 15th was “history” by the end of 1945. The Mighty 8th, today, is the “First line of defense” for the United States. Did you get to see the SWOOSE? You two are remarkable. I love that sport coat!

  5. Kandi McInturff

    WOW!!! What a grand adventure! Thank you for taking us along through your amazing photos. What an honor and privilege to witness a part of past and present history. Congratulations Mr. John! We love you guys!!!

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