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Newsletter VP-90 Association Newsletter

Contributed by LARSON, LCDR John Retired oriondriver1975@yahoo.com

VP-90 Reunion
March 6-9, 2008
Pensacola, Florida

Greetings Fellow Lions

UPDATE "...Here are the pictures that Chris Lajiness took at the VP-90 Reunion (http://www.flickr.com/photos/squadron90/ ). A lot of great pictures. Enjoy them, it was a great time to get together again with old squadron mates and remember the ones who are no longer with us. John Larson..." Forwarded by BROWN, Bob "Skinny" skinnybp3fe@yahoo.com [03JUL2012]

Greetings Everyone,

Well we had another successful Reunion on March 6-9, 2008. It is always fun getting back to Pensacola Florida, the cradle of Naval Aviation. On Thursday, a group of Lions made it to Ron Hilson's home for the early bird social. We had our dinners on Friday and Saturday at the Oaks Restaurant at the golf course on base. We would like to thank Ron and Barb Hilson for organizing and hosting the Reunion.

On Friday night Capt Downey showed the video "Treasures of Lake Michigan" It is about the aircraft that were retrieved after training accidents off the carriers Wolverine and Sable during World War II. Capt Downey was a pilot during World War II and flew in famous battles throughout the Pacific theater. He was the youngest Naval Aviator of World War II. He was commissioned at the age of 18 in 1943. He was 17 days younger than President Bush when he attained his wings.

On Sat morning we gathered at the Naval Aviation Museum for our tour. Ron and Howard Rundell, a former CO of VP-93 (Selfridge, MI) gave us a fine tour of the museum. Two of the prized possessions of the museum are the NC-4, the aircraft that crossed the Atlantic in 1919 and a SBD-4 Dauntless diver bomber. That aircraft was in Hawaii during the Pearl Harbor, Hawaii attack and then was involved in the Battle of Midway. The plane then ended up at NAS Glenview, Illinois for carrier qualifications for the new pilots. It sadly was lost and laid at the bottom of Lake Michigan for many years before being retrieved and sent to the museum and restored.

After the tour we had lunch at the Cubi Café followed by a tour of the flight line aircraft that the museum has. There is a P-3A on the flight line; it has the markings of VP-69 and BUNO: 152152. We also got to see VP-90's print Sorry Charlie hanging in the gallery on the second deck. We want to thank Ron again for all the work he did in getting our print displayed at the museum. For me personally it was great seeing the print, after all that Bruce Rubenstein did to get that project going and then helping out get the print out to you and other museums.

Mike Stungis did a great job helping out with the raffles and raising money for the next Reunion. After we had our dinner on Sat night we got to listen to Capt Downey tell stories of his experiences as a pilot during WW II. After the war he was a CO of several Reserve squadrons, including a VS squadron at NAS Glenview, Illinois. He is now 83 years old and still flies his 3 vintage aircraft.

We then had our business meeting. We talked about the next Reunion. The choices were Las Vegas or Fort Worth, Texas. The majority wanted to go to Ft Worth. W.W. Thompson will be organizing the next Reunion. The plan is to have it in April 2010. We then recognized those who were attending the Reunion for the first time. We had several. We are getting more and more new attendees at these Reunions. Then we named and rang the bell for our Shipmates, who have passed on since the squadron was decommissioned.

Then it was time for the famous Ron Leis and Skinny Brown auction. It is always the highlight of the evening to watch them conduct the auction. We were able to raise $1700.00 from the auction and the raffle to be used for the next Reunion. Thanks again Mike Stungis, Ron Leis, and Skinny Brown. We would also like to thank Jim Harrington for setting up the VP-90 website and to Gene Koelker for bringing the VP-90 memorabilia to every Reunion. We can't leave out Don Grobl. We want to thank him for making the Reunion pins. He has made every Reunion pin since we started having Reunions.

On Sunday morning for those that were still there, there was a last gathering at Oak Restaurant for Sunday Brunch.

For those who haven't been to a Reunion you are missing out on seeing old friends and reliving the time you spent in VP-90. We hope you will consider attending these events. Those of us who attend these Reunions enjoy the time together with our fellow Shipmates. We hope to see you in Fort Worth in April 2010.

Take Care you Shipmate.

John Larson

"VP-90 Association Reunion Summary Page"