Contributed by LARSON, LCDR John Retired firstname.lastname@example.org
DECEMBER 1, 1998
Seasons Greetings everyone.
This will be the last newsletter before the VP-90 Reunion on March 19-21, 1999 in Pensacola, Florida. Only those that I hear from will receive any further information about the reunion. For those attending, please send me the form at the end of this newsletter. I would like to receive the money then too. Just make a check out to me or send cash. I will be using that money to pay for the buffet and charges on Saturday night. The cost will be $22.00/person. It will cost $15.00 for the meal, $7.00 for setup, cleanup, security, and a bartender.
There were 4 buffet choices. I did a sample survey of a few people and we will have the basic buffet. 2 salad selections, 2 meats (red meat and a poultry), 2 potato choices and 2 vegetables. There will be a bar setup for 2 hours in the Cubi Café (the first hour for socializing).
The dress code for the entire weekend will be casual dress. The museum has to clear everyone out at 5:00 PM, closing time. We can't get into the Cubi Café until 5:30 or 6:00 PM. So the plan will probably be go to the IMAX theatre for the 3:00 PM showing and then take our personal tour of the museum at 4:00 PM. After that we could retire to the Cubi Café. We will have the Café for 2 hours. These are tentative plans; I wanted to give you an idea of what the plan is for Sat night. If we get a bigger turnout, we might have to switch rooms. The Cubi Café can hold 100 people. If we go over the 100 we would have to move into the Blue Angel Atrium. If that happens then we will have to refigure the costs.We were originally planning on meeting Friday night at Trader Jon's Bar in downtown Pensacola. He had a stroke in Sept; he is 82 years old. The family has decided to sell the bar, so it might not be open in March. We could possible meet at the Seville Quarter complex. It is a New Orleans style bar downtown. We will be posting all the meeting places and times in our hospitality room at the hotel.
If you would like to spend Friday at NAS Pensacola, Florida, here is what is happening.
The Lighthouse is across the street from the Museum. On the Friday lunch menu (10:30-2:00 PM) is the Sandwich Bar and Gumbo Buffet. At the CPO Club (for E-7 through E-9/ Civilian equivalent and authorized guest), which is in the same place. There is a social hour (4-6 pm) with hors doeuvres and special beverage prices.
Mustin Beach Officer Club; on Friday nights, there is an ALL you can eat Seafood Buffet. Reservations requested at (850)-455-2276.
Ducks Complex. It is located across from the gym on Radford Blvd. They have Gosalimo's Italian Restaurant. There is also Ducks game room and Bleacher Sport Pub in the same complex. I would imagine this is where all the young sailors hang out.
On Sunday, we could gather for a Sunday Brunch. Right now the O Club doesn't know if they will have a brunch the weekend we will be there. I will find out in Jan if they will have one that weekend. There is a Sunday Brunch at the Seville Quarter. We will be posting more info on Sunday's Brunch at the reunion.After my experience with my active duty squadron reunion and recommendations from others, the reunion committee has decided to setup our base of operations or "Duty Office" at one of the hotels. That way people can hang around the hospitality room and visit more with fellow squadron mates. We tried to set up out on Pensacola Beach, but unfortunately there is a "UFO Convention" on the beach. They have invaded the beaches. So we found a hotel in historic downtown Pensacola. It is the Days Inn at 710 Palafox St. Their tel. No. is (850)-438-4922. We have set aside 40 rooms for our group. The cost is $54.00 for 1-4 persons in a room. They will hold the rooms until Feb. 19th. After that they will release the rooms and the general public will then get the rooms. To get one of these rooms, call the hotel and ask for one of the "VP-90 group rooms", otherwise you will be charged a higher rate. They are held under my name. You will be responsible for your own charges. The hotel will give us a hospitality room; the room is 750 sq. ft. We will have it for the entire weekend. They will be bringing in a bar for our use (BYOB). If you don't want to stay there, you can still stop by and read what the itinerary will be for the weekend and socialize with everyone. We are going to have a photographer there taking pictures. He will have a display set up too, where people can order a commemorative print of yourself from him. So if you want to bring a picture of yourself and a P-3, he can design a print for you. He will also have copy machines set up to copy pictures of other member's favorite shots. So bring your pictures and scrapbooks to the reunion for others to see and copy. Also we will see if we can get a VCR machine to view members tapes. I am in contact with a company in Pensacola; A and J Mugs, that makes ceramic Navy style coffee mugs and beer steins. I am trying to see if we can get some made with either Lambert the Lion and/or the last squadron patch logo on these items. The individual cost are low (coffee mug $10.00 and beer stein $13.00), but there is a big initial design costs involved. We are hoping to have them at the reunion to so people can order these items. If you aren't coming to the reunion, but would like to get a coffee mug or beer stein, visit their web site at: http://ajmugs.com. If we order at least 50 items we will get a break on the design costs. Roughly it be an additional $5.00 per item going with both squadron logos options.The Days Inn is centrally located. It is half way to NAS and the beaches. It is blocks from the attractions downtown. If you want to stay at the Navy Lodge across the street from the Museum, retirees can only make a reservation 30 days in advance. Their Tel no is (850)-456-8676. There are beach cottages too on base. To reserve those call (850)-452-2535. There are trailers to rent on base too. Contact the Navy Lodge to rent them. Call 1-800-NAVY INN.
Again please detach the bottom of this newsletter and send it back if you are coming. If you have email, you can send it back that way also. Please fill out the form and then send it to me on the internet. I need it to plan for how many are coming. Please answer all the questions. If you want to golf at Nas Pensacola, they want to know a month in advance the number that want to golf on base. Also the catering people want to know the number of guests coming for the buffet. We need an exact number for the buffet.
On the bus situation, we have only heard from 2 people. Unless we get a lot more members, the bus probably won't happen.In the last newsletter I had the wrong Tel no for Ron Hilson. He is arranging the bus. His correct number is (612)-424-6030. For those of you who might want to fly. In the Minneapolis newspaper last month, Hobbit Travel is offering a $199.00 round trip fare to Pensacola. Their tel. No is (612)-338-8880. I don't know any of the details on that offer. I heard from a member in Chicago. He saw a $210.00 round trip fare to Pensacola on the internet. Here are some web sites for checking on airfares. 1. http://www.biztravel.com 2. http://www.travelzoo.com/ 3. http://www.easysabre.com/ 4. http://www.travelcity.com/. If anyone would like to share a ride or who is looking for a ride to Pensacola. Let me know and I will try to hook the parties up. If someone is taking a RV down, I have info on campground locations. If someone wants info on renting condos on the beach, I have that too. If you want to go on a fishing charter, there are a few fishing boats listed in a brochure I have. If you want to golf at some of the public courses I will have that info. I will have that posted at the hospitality room for you. If you want to contact them before the reunion, I can get that to you too. That is what is going to be nice about the hospitality room, we can post info, what is the itinerary for the weekend, what attractions to see in the area. Not to mention just standing around having a cool one and visiting with friends. And of course telling those sea stories.At some time during the weekend we will have a meeting to discuss the next reunion. We would also like to hold an auction. We need to raise money for the next reunion. Ron Leis will again be called on to be the auctioneer. If you would like to bring something (squadron memorabilia) to the reunion to sell, please do. The money would go to the group planning the next reunion. We will probably hold the auction in our hospitality room sometime during the day on Sat.
The following remarks are from Mel Henschel, a drilling F/E. He got back from doing his AT with one of the VP squadrons at NAS Willow Grove. "We went to Roosey Roads and Panama, a week in each. The flights were all counter-drug flts except one ASW w/a US sub. As far as the counter-drug flts, we were very unsuccessful. I think that the drug runners have figures out another way to transport drugs. Last year we found several targets but this year nothing. We did participate in a SAR mission at the end of one our flights which turned out to be very successful. A Swiss sailor was en route to Venezuela, whose 72' boat exploded. We found him in a covered raft and were able to get an exact location for a pick-up by VC-8 from Roosey. It was the high point of the cruise. I still do enjoy going on AT and hope to get back to Kef soon. We do have some upcoming events in Barbers Pt and Kinloss, Scotland.As you have probably heard, VP-91 will be decommissioning by the first of the year. We are going to one Wing and may have seen the last of Westpac as the West Coast squadrons are also doing their AT in the Gulf of Mexico and Eastpac. You may have heard that Howard AFB is closing in Panama. I have heard rumors that we may begin operating out of Costa Rica for Eastpac ops.We got the feeling that the active duty squadron tolerated us, but wished we weren't there. I think that because we only have a couple of crews at a time, they don't really see us as much of an asset. It would be better I think, if we went as a squadron like we used to do".
If anyone is interested in attending the VP-91 decommissioning ceremony, it will be held on March 27,1999. It is one week after our reunion. This will be the end of the VP era at NAS Moffett Field. I am watching to see when NAS Barbers Point will have their decommissioning. It should be sometime in the first part of 1999. With the closing of those 2 bases, it will be the end of West Coast VP as we used to know it. Ron Leis and Bob Korman are on special assignment. They are taking a WestPac mini-cruise right now. They are going to Hawaii, Guam and hopefully get back to the P.I. They will debrief us on their adventure at the reunion. If you would like to check on traveling Space A, here are some web sites. The Air Force http://www.seanet.com/atkinsp/sapcea/ and the Navy http://www.ee.umd.edu/medlab/spacea/nalo.html . The closest AFB to Pensacola is Eglin AFB in Ft. Walton. Tyndall AFB is near Pamama City. The Minnesota ANG flies C-130's. They get to Tyndall occasionally. Their Space A Tel no is (612)-713-2450 or 2461. There is an AF Reserve C-130 squadron also in Minneapolis. Their Space A no is (612)-713-1741. I don't know if they ever get to the panhandle of Florida.
There is a ¾ scale replica of the Vietnam wall in Wash D.C. at Pensacola. It is the nations first full name replica. I don't know if we as a group would like to gather there, say on Sun afternoon? If you would like to visit the Wall's website, here is the address: http://www.Thewall.com.
Other tidbits of info
1. I found out that there is a movement to save the old Hanger One at NAS Glenview, Illinois. They are going to try save it and turn it into a museum. If you would like to donate money or get more info contact. Elizabeth I. Dinsmore (chairperson), at Glenview Hanger One Foundation, P.O. Box 198, Glenview, IL 60025. Her Tel. No. is (847)-724-8233.
2. If you would like more info on the future of the VP Navy, go to the VP website (http://www.vpnavy.org) and look under the VP-4 Squadron Page. LT Graves wrote an article about AIP. VP-5 is the first squadron to get this update and VP-4is the second3. Web sites in Pensacola; Pensacola Gulf Coast Newspaper: http://www.gulfcoastgateway.com, Downtown Pensacola: http://www.downtownpensacola.com/, Trader Jon's Bar: http://www.vitualpcola.com/Traderjons, Seville Quarter complex: http://www.rosies.com/frame.htm and MWR at NAS Pensacola, Florida: http://www.mwr.pcola.navy.mil.
4. Books to get.
There is a 210 page paperback P2V book. The title is "Coffee on the Wing Beam", it is written by Capt Brian McGuiness. The cost is $11.95 and $2.00 shipping/handling, and $1.00 sh/handle for additional books. Mail to: Knights of the Red Branch Press, P. O. Box 296, Clearlake, WA 98235-0296.
BOOKs: ...Title: "COFFEE ON THE WING BEAM-Memories of the P2V Neptune" By Capt. Brian McGuiness USNR (Ret.). From Operation Market Time in Vietnam to the latter days of the Cold War, with vignettes of the Pueblo seizure, the earlier Korean War, the Truculent Turtle, and all eight models of the venerable P2V Neptune aircraft. The author recalls the excitement, luck, redeemable stupidity, brilliance and shenanigans that made up the modus operandi of patrol aviation. Knights of the Red Branch Press, P.O. Box 296, Clearlake, WA 98235-0296. 140pp of text, maps and illustrations, and 16pp of photographs. Paperback $11.95 plus $3 shipping/handling. Contact author for Brochure and ordering information at (360)856-4010 or "print and mail in online order form." [10SEP98]
Another book is a P-3 book, "The Age of Orion" by David Reade. It is an illustrated Lockheed book of the P-3. The cost is $34.96 on the web.
BOOKs: ...Title: "Age of Orion" by David Reade... [This 223 page profusely illustrated book is the definitive history of the P-3 Orion aircraft]
We are looking forward to the VP-90 5th anniversary reunion since decommissioning. The last reunion in Mazomanie, WI was a lot of fun. It was great to get together again. Everyone there had a good time. The reunion committee is hoping that you will be able to make it to this reunion. It is a special time when you can gather together with your fellow squadron mates and relive the golden years of VP-90.
SEE YOU IN MARCH!
Spouse Name ___________________________________________
Years in Squadron __________________________
Highest Rank/Rating ________________________
Planning on Attending the Reunion in Pensacola YES NO
Number of People Attending (I am assuming that this is the number for the buffet too) _____
Expected day of Arrival Wed Thurs Fri Sat
Interest in Golf YES NO
Plan on playing at NAS Pensacola, Florida Fri Sat Sun
Number playing Golf ________
Meeting for Fri night social gathering YES NO
Attending Sat Dinner YES NO
Meeting for Sun Brunch YES NO
Interested in going to Battleship Alabama Park in Mobile YES NO
Interested in going to the Wall downtown as a group YES NO
Interested in buying a coffee mug or beer stein YES NO
Suggestion for activities
Mail to: John Larson, 1496 Auburn Court, Eagan, MN 55122-1858.
Email is: email@example.com phone is (651)-456-9617.
"VP-90 Association Newsletter Summary Page"