The 93rd’s 2010 Reunion is in the history books. If we count the baby (Gerald and Lisa Veteto’s granddaughter; Maxine’s great granddaughter), we had 93 people attend our October Savannah reunion. With 22 veterans in attendance we dedicated the stained glass window in the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum Chapel. Needless to say, the dedication was the reunion’s highlight. Paul Levine provided excellent leadership throughout the 3-year project culminating with the dedication ceremony. Our group can be proud of our successful stained glass window project.
At our annual business meeting on October 23rd we decided to organize a Hardwick trip for May 2011 with a goal of participating in the Memorial Day program at the American Military Cemetery in Cambridge, England. Don Morrison is coordinating the arrangements with Colin Mann, President of the Friends of the 93rd, in England. The trip will be a great experience and I encourage everyone to consider taking part. Rayann, Emma and I are planning to be there.
During the business meeting, the 93rd Air Ground Operations Wing Historian presented a CD with the official Air Force history of the 93rd Bombardment Group (Heavy) from 1942–1945. Copies were provided to every veteran and family group present. Included with the CD was the unit patch for today’s 93rd based at Moody Air Force Base, GA. The 93rd’s commander, Colonel John P. Horner leads more than 2,500 battlefield Airmen at fifteen locations throughout the continental United States. They provide rapidly deployable fully integrated, highly specialized forces for active internal and external “outside the wire” airbase defense. Colonel Horner was our keynote speaker at our Memorial dinner on Saturday night providing great insight into the critical mission the 93rd provides for today’s Air Force. I am pleased to report that Colonel Horner was recently nominated by the President for promotion to Brigadier General continuing the 93rd’s proud tradition of “minting” general officers!
The nominating committee (Fernley Smith, Bob Stahl and Joe Duran) presented a slate of candidates to fill our officer positions. Our officer’s terms are two-years long. The 2010-2012 officers are:
President John Marx
Executive Vice President Jim Root
Secretary Phyllis Duran
Treasurer, Membership, PX Mgr Jim Guddal
Editor of the Ball of Fire JoAnne Sargent
Convention/Reunion Coordinator Jim Root
Historian Don Morrison
Vice President to the John Lee
2nd Air Division Association
We welcome Jim Root and Phyllis Duran to the board. They replace Gerald Veteto and Paul Levine who served so well during the last two years. We will miss their leadership and many contributions. We look forward to the new ideas and energy Jim and Phyllis bring to their roles.
We will continue to use the veteran’s advisory board composed of Fernley Smith, Charles Sill, and Cal Davidson to provide advice and assistance. In addition to our elected officers, we have identified other critical roles and those most suited to fulfill them as follows:
Graphics/Media Kent Jaquith
Documentary Project Michael Sellers
Photographer Bill Sargent/Joe Duran
Webmaster Michael Sellers
Reunion Committee Joe & Phyllis Duran
Our webmaster, Michael Sellers, provided a review of the 93rd’s web page features. We now have a PX with some great 93rd keepsakes. The site allows for payment using PayPal as well. Additional improvements are in the works. I encourage you to check out the web page at www.93bg.com. We have a message board, Facebook page and reunion photos as well.
Last year, we selected Tucson, AZ for the 2011 Reunion. Planning is well underway with Jim Root and the committee moving forward with the detailed plans. Look elsewhere in this issue for more details. Watch the Ball of Fire and the web page for additional information and plan to join us in Tucson, AZ for the 2011 Reunion.
The 2012 reunion will be held in the Seattle/Tacoma area in the great state of Washington. We plan to continue our tradition of conducting separate reunions as long as we can. In addition, we encourage those who are able, to also attend the 2ADA, 8th Air Force Historical Society, and Heritage League events, whenever possible.
Tidal Wave over Ploesti
Left picture: Bryan Moon's Tidal Wave Over Ploesti presented by James & Corinne Guddal and the 93rd Bombardment Group Association in memory of those courageous young men who flew this mission 1 August 1943.
Right picture: James Guddal and Vivian Rogers-Price with fuselage section of B-24.
During our visit to the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum in Savannah, the 93rd Bomb Group Association in conjunction with Jim and Corinne Guddal presented Bryan Moon’s painting, titled “Tidal Wave over Ploesti” to the museum for a permanent Ploesti display. The painting along with a fuselage section of a downed B-24 were purchased from Artist Bryan Moon by Jim and Corinne with the intent of adding to the 93rd’s legacy at the museum and to memorialize the sacrifices of the men of the 93rd who lost their lives in this critical mission. Our association provided the shipping and sponsored the presentation ceremony during our reunion. The museum intends to add the painting and fuselage to their Ploesti mission feature. The museum hopes to recruit participation from the other Ploesti groups: 98th, 376th and 389th. The fifth group, the 44th, has already participated in the effort. Additional funds are required to complete the display and research the history. We plan to match member contributions up to $5,000 resulting in a total gift of $10,000 for our share of the project. Oral histories from our members who participated are earnestly sought for inclusion in the display. This project will help us accomplish our goal of educating future generations of Americans about the sacrifices of the 93rd during WW II.
John Marx, President - winter 2011