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These are items of interest to military reunions including reunions that have already happened so others can learn from reunion experience. If you have military reunion news, a story or report about your military reunion or want to add yours to our list of upcoming reunions, e-mail us. If you are listing your reunion, send the reunion name, date, place and contact info. To add your reunion picture, see requirements.

Ken Frantz, COL USMC (RET), President (MCEA) shared the 2010 reunion & rewards banquet program for the 18th Annual Marine Corps Engineer Association.

History loves company
A heroic story emerged as members of a Marine Corps Fighter Squadron from World War II reunited in Prince William County, Virginia.  20 original members of VMF 422, along with a Navy lieutenant who has become part of their family, began their reunion with a visit to Marine Corps Base (MCB) Quantico, Virginia, where some started their military experiences. It was a chance to tell their dramatic story to 35 relatives and friends and a new generation of Marines who welcomed them.  VMF 422, known as the "Flying Buccaneers," lost almost all its aircraft in what has been called the worst accident in naval aviation history.
On January 25, 1944, the squadron was on a flight over the Pacific Ocean, when it ran into a horrific storm and lost six men. 13 aircraft were forced to crash land in rough waters. Survivors spent three days in a dozen life rafts, threatened by sharks and overwhelmed by rain.  They fired flares and pistols and were spotted by US Navy Lt. George Davidson and his "flying boat." The group was too heavy for Davidson's patrol bomber to lift, so he called for help. The Marines were eventually taken to safety by a US Naval destroyer.
They found George Davidson in Florida nearly a half-century later and invited him to attend their first reunion in 1991.  He and his wife of 58 years, Barbara, have met with the group ever since.
This year's was probably of the last reunion for members of VMF 422 who are in their 80s and 90s.  "We hope we can have several more reunions, but it looks doubtful.  Most of the original members are getting to the point they can't travel," said Dan Brouse, who organized this year's reunion, and whose father, Jack Brouse, is president of the VMF 422 Association.

Mustangs still run together
   The Marine Corps Mustang Association is made up of US Marines who served as enlisted men and worked their way up to the ranks of commissioned officers. There are 1,600 members in five chapters. Not too long ago on continents not far away, these men fought for the American way of life. Decades have passed, but they still enjoy each other’s company and hold frequent reunions.
   Florida has one of the largest chapters, which meets four times a year. Reunions have included riding in amphibious assault vehicles, visiting the Naval Aviation museum and country western themes.
   The Florida chapter is sponsoring this year’s National Marine Mustang Convention at Daytona Beach, Florida, in September. Visits to The Kennedy Space Center and St. Augustine are just a couple of the fun things in store. Membership is open to Marines who served on active duty as enlisted men, then became commissioned or warrant officers. The association is always looking for new members. If you qualify, contact Florida Mustang Association USMC, PO Box 770787, Winter Garden FL 34777.

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Hospitality is where it's at
by Douglas Bell
I consider the Hospitality Room to be the key to a successful reunion. It is the focal point of everything the 1st ProvMarine Brigade, Korea 1950, does except the banquet. A volunteer hospitality committee sets up the room and runs it themselves. We cater it ourselves, and buy everything locally. The hospitality room opens at noon the day before the reunion starts.

"Early Birds" do the leg work, purchasing beer, soft drinks, wine, chips and snacks. Then we have an Early Bird pre-reunion reception. On the first reunion day, the hospitality room is used as a registration, reception and lounge area. The first evening we hold a reception with cold cuts and salads purchased and set up by the hospitality committee. It is the event of the evening. The next day we hold a business meeting in the morning where coffee and pastries are served, again catered by the hospitality committee.

During the day the room is the focal point for sea stories and a general gathering place. The second evening, the hotel caters our banquet in another room which the hospitality committee decorates. After the banquet we return again to the hospitality room. Incidentally, we never close the room as long as two people are using it!

The third morning, coffee, pastries and general bull sessions are in the hospitality room while the ladies take off for a mall or outlet. We hold a farewell party the last evening in the hospitality room and order in pizza. We keep cold cuts, salads, beer, wine and soft drinks stocked the entire time.

All hospitality room expenses are paid from part of the registration fee of $35-40 per person. It pays for the hospitality room, banquet, door prizes, everything. It sure works for us.

The Hospitality Committee is given a budget and is reimbursed for all receipts. I pay the banquet cost the morning after the banquet. Our hospitality rooms are usually complimentary. When pizza is delivered, I pay for it. I also make sure all bills are paid before I leave because we want to be welcomed back.

About the author
Douglas L Bell, LtCol USMC retired, enlisted in 1945 and retired February 1972. He served in the Mariannas, Philippines, Korea, Japan Cuba, Okinawa, Vietnam and many stateside locations. Dog Company, 2nd Battalion, Fifth Marines, 1st Provisional Marine Brigade served from the August 2, 1950 landing at the Pusan Perimeter (Korea) and later joined the 1st Marine Division for the landing at Inchon Korea on September 15, 1950.

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