2016 REUNION

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The tenth reunion of the Flying Circus was held in September in Savannah, Georgia. Steve Rossiter again put together a great reunion and found a good base of operations for the event. Here is Steve's report.

 

21 Sep: Starting on the evening of this date, the first storytelling (as best we could remember, true, some exaggeration and maybe some outright lies) started at the hotel hospitality hour.  This continued until the free booze ran out.  We even had some exchanges with a Navy group reunion from the USS Simon Lake.

 

22 Sep:  Daytime operations were independent with some folks going around Savannah and even out to Tybee Island to check out the beach.  Some of us also visited the “Mighty 8th Air Force Museum” which covered the establishment of the 8th Air Force at Hunter Field during WWII. Hunter was Hunter Air Force Base before the Army took over in 1966. We gathered again for free booze and moved into our private hospitality Headquarters where we need not be as politically correct.  That is to say we could be as rude, crude and socially unacceptable as we cared to be, as Cav Troops tend to be.

 

23 Sep:  We started our day by gathering in the hotel breakfast area to begin deveining what would happen with the various groups of us for the day.

 

Three vehicle loads of us started our day with a formal tour of Hunter Army Airfield, the aviation facility of the Stewart/Hunter Complex. Ft. Stewart now being the big dog and home of the 3rd Mechanized Infantry Division.  The facility commander briefed us, along with members of the 315th Infantry Regiment Association members, about the history and current operations of the Stewart/Hunter Complex.

 

Sadly, LC Squires advised us of some disturbing news.  The US Army has eliminated the Aerial Scout Helicopter and replaced our Scout mission with drones.  We have been replaced by silicon chips!!!!!

 

After the tour a few of us did a bit of exploring of Hunter before we returned to the hotel.  Others did Savannah tours and/or the Mighty 8th Air Force Museum.

 

Once again, we gather for the free booze and further reconnection with our brothers including the later arrivals. 

 

24 Sep:  We started our day by gathering in the hotel breakfast area to determine what would happen with the various groups of us for the day.  During the day various contingents went in various directions to see the sights they had not yet had the opportunity to see in and around Savannah.

 

We began gathering as a major group around the end of the time of the free booze (are you seeing a pattern here?).  At 1900 hours we sat down for our traditional Saturday night dinner at which time we honored our brothers, past and present.

 

After dinner we continued in our hospitality headquarters with an audio visual presentation by Bill Conway and Bill Medsker.  The two Bills provided the audio to pictures they brought along from their time “in country.”  Medsker actually had pictures provided by Al Smith who was one of the “boat people.”  Al arrived in country by boat with the original first Vietnam members of the “First Team.”  These guys cleared the Aviation Platoon area by hand and while living in tents, built the building many of the rest of us used when we got there as replacements.  Seeing the early development of the “Golf Course” was terrific.

 

25 Sep: As a group, we gathered for the final time at LZ Savannah in the breakfast area for a couple of hours before heading onto the next activities.  Most headed straight home while some of us headed home after months on the road.  The reunion was the start of an extended trip for Batman, who was headed to Colorado and Utah.

 

For the most part, the ladies did their thing and allowed us old Cav dudes to reconnect without undue influence by the female contingent.  In the evenings they even claimed a table of their own in the hospitality headquarters.

 

Some Observations

 

I would say everyone had a good time, as we always do, at the 2016 Flying Circus Reunion.  The hotel was wonderful and there was plenty to do in Savannah.

 

My first reunion was at Key West.  It appears to me that we are changing the event with more naps in the afternoon so we can keep up with the late nights.  Some or our minions are becoming limited in mobility and considering the youngest member present was 66 years old, it should be expected.

 

For me personally, the Flying Circus Reunion is by far the best gathering of any Veterans' groups I participate in.  The size of our group and the relationships we had in combat makes our relationships much more like a WWII bomber flight crew than the relationships we might have had with a another larger aviation unit.  As time goes on, we need to keep each other in our prayers.  Some of our guys have had some tough times already and as time goes on, more of us will get to have our turns.

 

by Steve Rossiter

The following members attended the reunion :

Anderson, Pete    "Snake"
Brattain, Bruce "Batman"
Childress, Stan & Gloria   "Playboy"
Conway, Bill "Swamp Fox"
Cox, Joe & Sheila "Outlaw"
Farmerie, Dennis & Carolyn "Blade"
Gardiner, Ken & Sally "Cisco"
Grant, Cleveland "Gomer"
Gray, Dave "Fox"
Grossmann, Ron  
Harris, Jon & Lynn "Little Luke"
Hirlston, Carl & Patsy "Big H"
Holmes, Ed  "Chartreuse Ox"
McAllister, Charlie  & Bonnie  "Taters"
Medsker, Bill "Muscles"
Rossiter, Steve & Sherry "King Nine"
Temme, George    

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Back row - left to right:

Cleveland Grant, Pete Anderson, George Temme, Ron Grossmann, Charlie McAllister, Bruce Brattain

Middle row :

Carl Hirlston, Dennis Farmerie, Ed Holmes, Ken Gardiner, Bill Conway, Rod Brooks

Front row :

Joe Cox, Steve Rossiter, Bill Medsker, Dave Gray, Stan Childress

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Bottom left - then clockwise:

Lynn Harris, Patsy Hirlston, Bonnie McAllister, Gloria Childress, Carolyn Farmerie, Sherry Rossiter, Sheila Cox, Sally Gardiner

by S. Rossiter

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OK - first things first - the bar is over there.

by Ken Gardiner

That's the way I remember it ..........

by S. Rossiter

Are those doors to keep people out, or to keep us in?

by S. Rossiter

Visit to the Aviation facility at the Hunter Army Airfield along with some members of the 315th Infantry Regiment Association

by S. Rossiter

I'll distract them - you see if you can get it started

Stan Childress in front, Bill Conway inside - Blackhawk helicopter

by S. Rossiter

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Low hours, nice and clean - I'll take it

Bill Medsker

by S. Rossiter

AH-64D Apache helicopter

by S. Rossiter