455th Patch740th Patch741st Patch742nd Patch743rd Patch

455th Bombardment Group (H)

2007 455th BG Reunion

Gathering

We met at the Omni Hotel in San Antonio from 17 to 21 October 2007.

This group was taking advantage of some good weather, sitting outside the front entrance to the hotel.

Henry Paris with his companion Mavis.  Henry was 743rd.

Frank & Dorothy Lashinsky.  Frank was 740th.

Bernice Larson with Bob Caldwell.  Bob was 741st.

In the Hospitality Room on the 20th Floor.

The view from here was worth the climb -- but I was pleased that we had an elevator.

Lee and Bob Slane at the left join her cousin Bob Caldwell and Bernice Larson.  The Slanes reside in Shreveport.  Bob is retired from USAF, a WWII B-17 pilot in 8th Air Force who fit right in with our reunion group and both seemed to thoroughly enjoy the weekend.  Bob is an ex-POW and has published a book about the experience.

"Journey to Freedom and Beyond"

iUniverse, Lincoln, NE, 2007

Hospitality Room
Hospitality Room

Past President Ed Riggs, 740th, chats with President Rod Clarke, 743rd.

Photo archives were brought by Craig Ward.

Becky Ward (Craig's sister)

Craig Ward, Editor of "Cerignola Connection"

Frank Lashinsky, Past President

Hospitality Room
Hospitality Room

In the Hospitality Room.

Paul Moritz, 742nd

John Davis, 741st

Paul is another first time attendee.  He came from western Massachusets, but Texas didn't seem to frighten him a bit.  Like Gil Gilson, below, we hope that Paul will make these reunions a habit.

John Davis is newly married.  His wife Jane accompanied him on this trip.  Recent word from him said that they are planning to go skiing soon.  Did you know that he is a ski champion in his age bracket?

At the 741st Squadron Banquet

Carl Barr,743rd

Carl Loiocano, 741st

Vervin "Gil" Gilson, 741st

This was Gil's first time at one of our reunions and he brought quite an entourage -- ten family members!  When they departed Saturday, they were on the way to Italy with a planned visit to Cerignola and the San Giovani facilities.

Some of his family is shown in the group photo below, joined by Senator George McGovern, 741st

Banquet
Banquet

At the 741st Squadron Banquet

Gil Gilson's family with George McGovern

Grandson Alex Gilson (with George's hand on his shoulder) surprised his grandpa.  He had taken a piece of note paper and gone about the tables getting various signatures.  Gil then took him to the front of the room to get the signature of the Senator.  Imagine Gil's surprise when George showed him where he had signed it -- the second autograph on the page!   Alex was not a bit shy.

Bob Caldwell, 741st

His companion, Bernice Larson

His cousin, Lee Slane

Colonel Robert Slane, 8th Air Force B-17 pilot

Banquet
Hospitality Room

In the Hospitality Room

Julie Summerfield

Carl Barr, 743rd

Julie Summerfield came to the reunion with the hope that she might find someone who had known her father, Lt. Walter I. Summerfield, who died in June 2006.  I did remember him, and just a brief search of my book found his name on 15th AF Special Order # 219, dated 20 Sep 1944, which had assigned both of us to the 743rd Bomb Squadron (H).   You can see in the photo that she was glad that she had come, and I was too.  We hope that she and Rob Haley will join us again next year.

At the Group Banquet Saturday evening President Rod Clarke with our Guest Speaker an Air Force Command Sergeant Major who had a great sense of humor as he related some of his own military experiences.  He drew some comparisons between the bomb runs which we had made in the B-24 and the modern day Air Force bombing capability.  He demonstrated that it is far superior today, but he also said that our contribution had made today possible.

His wife was with him -- she is also a Chief Master Sergeant.

Banquet
Banquet

At the Group Banquet Saturday evening

Our Group Banner proudly displayed.