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29 TH BOMB GROUP ASSOCIATION NEWSLETTER
2605 Paddock Lane
Lancaster, PA 17603
I know that this has taken a long time to get out but it took a while to gather all of the necessary information. Included is all of the information about the November reunion.
A MESSAGE FROM OUR PRESIDENT, BEN ROBERTSON:
I spent the week of March 20 th in Las Vegas negotiating with hotels for accommodations for our reunion on November 9 th, 10 th and 11 th, 2006. Just so you don’t think I was carousing instead of working, please note that I received responses to my inquiries before traveling to Las Vegas from thirteen hotels and I talked to the sales departments of each one as well as the Las Vegas Convention and Visitor’s Authority before making a selection.
The hotel with the best proposal was the NEW FRONTIER at the center of the “Strip” at Desert Inn Road. It is across the street from the new Wynn Las Vegas, adjacent to the Fashion Show Mall (the ladies will like this!), and just north of the Mirage, Venetian and other major hotels and only three miles north of McCarran Airport.
The hotel has 986 guest rooms including 400 suites in a sixteen story atrium structure, a 100,000 square foot casino and about 10,000 square feet of exhibit and meeting rooms. It is one of the older hotels on the “Strip”, but has been renovated and remodeled in the past few years. The guest rooms and suites which I inspected were very nice. Standard guest rooms are about 400 square feet and feature large closets, remote control TV’s with pay-for-view movies, and either two full size beds or one king. Atrium suites are 600 square feet featuring separate living and bedroom areas, wet bars complete with refrigerators, two remote control TV’s and either two full size beds or one king.
Rates for members will be as follows:
Standard: 11-09: $55.00; 11-10 & 11-11: $110.00
Atrium Suite: 11-09: $75.00: 11-10 & 11-11: $130.00
(plus tax – currently 9% and an energy surcharge of $3.27)
Based on quotations which I received from other hotels bidding for our business, these are exceptionally good rates for Las Vegas for a Nellis AFB air show and a three day holiday weekend (Veteran’s Day – actually on Saturday 11-11 is observed nationally on Monday, 11-13).
For your information, here are a few of the hotel requirements:
All rates are good for two days before and two days after our scheduled reunion dates so those members desiring to enjoy Las Vegas or surrounding attractions prior to or following our meeting will be charged the $55.00 (standard) or $75.00 (atrium suite) rate.
The hotel does not have an airport shuttle; however, there are numerous van shuttles which run frequently from McCarran to anyplace on the “Strip”, and of course there are limousines and taxis. Transportation up and down the “Strip” is frequent and adequate.
Most of the final arrangements have been completed for our reunion in November. On Thursday evening, arrival day for most of our attendees and members, there will be hors d’oeuvres and a no-host cash bar at an informal location in the hotel following registration. On Friday, a tour to Hoover Dam will be offered including a boat trip on Lake Mead (must do both). Friday evening there will be a banquet in the hotel ballroom at which time a short business meeting will be held. Dinner entrée choices are expected to be salmon or prime rib and there will be a no-host cash bar. A speaker following the business meeting is being considered and there will be a Purple Heart presentation during the evening.
On Saturday, attendance at the Nellis AFB annual air show will be offered. This is a two day, all day open house affair open to the public. There will be a variety of static displays of aircraft including a large warbird collection as well as other military hardware and flying exhibitions and demonstrations. The Thunderbirds will fly at about 3:00 pm.
The cost of the Friday tour to Hoover Dam will be $52.00 per person excluding lunch. There is no cost for the air show on Saturday except transportation at $18.00 per person. Registration for the two tours must be made with your reunion registration as I must confirm the number of passengers for the bus company in advance of the trips.
I have a thought or two about the air show. Unlike the national air races at Reno where we have a grandstand so people can sit down to watch, and where all kinds of refreshments are available, Nellis AFB has no grandstand and, I understand at present (subject to further info) no provisions for refreshments. So, it will be a day of walking, standing and neck craning. This is no problem for our younger attendees, but could prove strenuous for some of us old codgers. I therefore suggest that we plan our arrival at say, 10:30 am and return to the hotel after the Thunderbirds fly at about 3:30 pm., rather than arrival at 9:00 am and a return of 4:00 or 5:00 pm. Those who want more air show could attend on their own on Sunday. I will appreciate it if each of you when registering with Allan, express your preference about this. Would you like all day or my shortened version?
Saturday night will be another banquet at the hotel ballroom with entrée selections probably chicken Marsala or filet mignon. Once again there will be a no-host cash bar. An active duty military officer from the Air force is scheduled to be our Saturday evening speaker.
I also must mention that Jon and Andy, grandsons of “Red” Erwin, who are ESPN photographers, will be at the reunion recording our activities.
I hope that each member that is physically able will attend.
A MESSAGE FROM OUR HISTORIAN, JOE CHOVELAK:
My greatest priority at present is to complete the project of updating all of the 21 LOST CREW REPORTS of the 29 th BG. As of now I have completed eleven reports. The reports are long and very time consuming and I have basically completed these by myself. In order to complete the rest of the reports before the reunion, I started to look for help and found a person who has helped me on previous reports. She has agreed to help and I am very happy to have Joan Blyth as my Assistant Historian. Thank you Joan for agreeing to help me in this lengthy endeavor. Currently, Joan and I are working on two crews (Watson and Miller) which will be completed very soon. That will leave us with 8 reports to go. How is each report being recorded? After compiling a written copy of each report, we will then scan that information and create its own CD. In this way, we will have both a hard copy and a digital copy for future use and reference. Then in the future when requests come in, we will be able to provide the information requested in a short period of time and be able to send it at a very low cost.
The Memorabilia Room will be very active with all of the information that will be displayed. We are asking that you bring any documents/photos of the LOST CREWS that you might have so that we can display them. In addition, we would like to have a TV with DVDs to show other programs and maybe show some old VHS tapes of Bomber Boys. I will have a copy of THE PACIFIC THEATER which was narrated by Jerry Dunphy in an ABC TV network special in 1984 showing remarkable scenery of Japan. We have asked for volunteers to assist us by answering questions about the 29 th BG such as airplane commanders, crew chiefs, bomb loaders, gunners, etc. The web master, Fred Bouzek, will also be available to show us all about our web site. I hope that we will have adequate facilities from the hotel to accomplish all of these things.
We have started a new “lending” program that will help our friends who are unable to attend the reunion yet who would like the information on the missing crews. We hope to have the program up and running after the reunion. Here’s how it works. When someone requests information, I will mail him a hard copy of the report. He will have the report for a week. He can make copies of it, send copies to friends, and then send the original back to me by the end of the week. At present, I have sent a copy of the Russell Crew (74 pages) to someone. I’m using its mailing as a test to see if a week is adequate time for its return. So far, so good. I received it back in less than a week. Thanks, Peter!
I am really looking forward to our reunion. Because it may be the last one, I urge you to attend. Also, if you wish to have a CD of the 29 th BG, now is the time to purchase one. They will be available for $35. for a limited time (by mail as well as at the reunion) and then their production will be discontinued. Thank you for allowing me to be your Historian for 22 years. Although it has been a lot of hard work, it has been my pleasure to serve my fellow veterans in this manner.
With Regards, Joe Chovelak 29 th BG Historian
IN MEMORIAM: Our deepest sympathy to the families of the following members who passed away.
Adam, George F. III Armorer Crew Chief, 43 rd Sqdn, Hawks’ Crew, Died April 18, 2006
Creighton, Charles V. 52 nd Sqdn. Date of death unknown.
Deak, Donald D. Rt. Gunner, 43 rd Sqdn, Arbree’s Crew, Died October 30, 2005
Derringe, Ed T. Pilot, 43 rd Sqdn, Broderick’s Crew, Died November 25, 2005
Eggen, Arvid T. CFC Specialist, 43 rd Sqdn, Henry’s Crew, Died March 19, 2006
Hagedorn, William H. 43 rd Sqdn, Died November 18, 2005
Lee, Lawrence M. CFC Specialist, 43 rd Sqdn, Died March 20, 2006
Marks, Charles L. CFC Specialist, 52 nd Sqdn, Died February 6, 2006
Moffa, Benjamin Lt. Gunner, 52 nd Sqdn, Timm’s Crew, Died December 23, 2005
Morgan, Vernon Navigator, Died March 15, 2005
Oleshansky, Herman Navigator, 43 rd Sqdn, Dostalek’s Crew, Died September 9, 2006
Pearman, Lt Col. Henry C. Bombardier, 43 rd Sqdn, Died March 19, 2006
Price, James E. Crew Chief, 6 th Sqdn, Lichte & Culver’s Gr. Crew, Died March 4, 2006
DUES: Our 2006 fiscal year starts on Oct.1, 2006 and runs through September 30, 2007. The dues are $10.00 per year and are strictly on a voluntary basis. These help cover the cost of getting out this Newsletter and misc. expenses. Any help you can give is appreciated. Thanks for your support.
ROSTERS: The cost for a roster is now $5.00. The roster is currently being updated. Hopefully, a new updated roster will be available by the Las Vegas reunion.
PICTURES: Tony Simeral commissioned an artist to paint his plane leading a formation past Mt. Fujiyama and donated a large amount of prints to the Assn. These prints measure 23" x 28" and are lithographed on heavy white stock, very suitable for framing. They are beautiful, to say the least and a few of our members have donated them to their Legion or VFW Posts as well as to other organizations. If you would care to purchase one or more, they can be had for $15.00 each or two for $25.00 post paid. Please make your check out to the 29th Bomb Group Assn. and send it to me. They will be sent out shortly after I receive your check.
CAPS: We do not have any caps at this time. As far as I know, there are no plans to have more caps made.
WEBSITE: Have you checked out the 29 th Bomb Group Association website. It’s at www.29bg.com
It contains much important information and a guestbook with comments from those that have visited the site. If you have not visited it yet, give it a try. These newsletters are posted on the website.
Please send your reunion registration and tour requests to my attention. All hotel registrations should be made with the hotel.
Reunion registration cost = $100.00 per person (includes hors d’oeuvres Thursday night and dinner Friday and Saturday night)
Hoover Dam tour = $52.00 per person (lunch not included)
Air show bus transportation = $18.00 per person
If you would like to receive confirmation and newsletters by e-mail, please include your e-mail address. If you e-mail me, please include B-29 in the subject line.