John G. Esposito, Editor               SUMMER                         2004

On Sunday, June 13, 2004, the subject meeting was conducted. In attendance were: Gary Gross, Bill Locke, Dick Webb, Ken Garvin, Dan Dwyer, John Esposito, Ed LaFontaine, Ken Fryover, Dale Woods, Herm Schmidt.

Vic Murray, Tour & Travel Coordinator of the Holiday Inn, addressed attendees.  A tour of the facilities was given to all.


A block of 125 rooms will be reserved for the members attending the reunion in May '05.  The cost will be $75.00/day for a single or double occupancy, and will apply for up to 2 days before and 2 days after the reunion (based on availability). Rooms for 3 are $85, and for 4 are $95.

Reservations may be made now by calling the hotel directly at 207-755-2311, or using the 800-345-5050 number.

The association will be compensated 1 night for each 50 rooms occupied each day. These comps will be raffled off at the banquet and will be applied to the winner's room charge.  Cost of raffle tickets will be determined by the amount money received go into the general fund.

Room reservations MUST BE MADE PRIOR TO APRIL 22, 2005.  After this date the room rate will go to $136/day.

Visit the Holiday Inn By the Bay web-site at www.innbythebay.com for hotel details.
The hotel will cater a luncheon cruise on the Bay Mist. Cruise is about 4 hours.  Boat is handicap accessible.  Maximum capacity is 300.  Transportation will be provided.

Banquet menu will be a choice between Crabmeat Stuffed Haddock, or Roast Prime Rib.
There are 4 RV hook-ups (electric only) at the hotel.

 Hotel checkout time is noon.

Airport pick-up for the hotel is available by dialing *30 at the airport.

 Any special dietary needs should be conveyed to the hotel prior to arrival.
The ready room will provide beer and wine only and will not be open during any planned activity.

Registration fee will be $25/person (member AND spouse/ significant other guests) with a maximum of $50 per party.
A reunion booklet will be made for attendees only.

Nametags will be required for all events and for visiting the Ready Room.


Motion to elect Dan Dwyer to replace Bob Nelson as the On-Line Coordinator/ Director was made, seconded and carried. Congratulations Dan!  Bob Nelson will be maintained as a Director without a Portfolio.

Dick Webb gave the Treasurer's report and all is well with the finances.

Gary Gross gave the Storekeeper's report.  Request to increase the cost of the coffee mugs was granted as they currently are barely a break-even item when shipping is included.  Increase to be determined.

John Esposito asked if the format of the newsletter should be changed, and if so, to what new format.  It was unanimously agreed to keep the current format.  It was also suggested to have those members that are on-line receive their newsletter from the website to reduce the costs of printing and postage.  This is under study.

Ed LaFontaine asked how much of the exhibit materials he should bring.  A logistic problem exists if he is to fly to the reunion. Some models are quite large and currently do not have any case enclosures for shipping thus risking damage in transit.  Ed will investigate the cost of encasing these models in plastic to prevent damage in shipping, or while on display.  Some models were accidentally damaged at the Pensacola reunion and repairs were needed.  Current plans are being made to bring only a sample of each of the 3 aircraft types and the bell for the 2 Bells Ceremony.

Dan Dwyer stated that he can provide the on-line roster listing in text, Excel, and Word formats.

Selections of future reunion sites will be determined by who volunteers to lead the activities. This person will be allowed select the site. Final  approval  will be made by the BOD.

Subject of assisting members financially to attend the reunion has been tabled until some future date to be determined.

      Dale Woods has requested a receipt from the association for the video `Red Ships off Our Shores' with the additional phrasing that it will not be duplicated or put up for sale in order to maintain the original agreement with CBS at its acquisition.  Ed will locate the tape and verify that the original agreement is still in our possession.

Meeting was adjourned at 1130 hrs.

Submitted by Dale Woods, Acting.

The following articles are available from small stores:
The Story of VPB-111   $29.00. Now back in stock.
Low Level Liberators  $29.00. Now back in stock.
Dumbo or Turtle. $1.84
Black Jack: $0.40.
Khaki: Blackjack, Turtle, or Dumbo patch. $18.00.
Navy blue with choice of patch. $18.00
White ball caps with Flight Wings and VPB111/VP21. $10.00.
License Plate:
VPB 111/VP21 Veterans Assn. Blackjack logo: $10.00.
Customized coffee mugs with Blackjack Logo and your name, rate or flight wings. $25.00.
Blackjack, Dumbo, or Turtle. $6.34.
Cloisonné Lapel/Hat pins: $4.00
Black and white print of P2V7 signed and numbered by artist Robert Howath: $10.00.
White golf shirts: super quality VPB111/VP21 Veterans Association. $25.00.
VPB-111 WWII period videotape by Marc Ponto, son of co-pilot Warren Ponto. Cost is $12. Expanded description appears in our website.

All prices include postage.
Contact Storekeeper:
Gary Gross,
4595 S. Robert Blake Ave.
Inverness, FL 34452-7820
E-mail address: storekeeper@vp21.org

It is with great regret that I make mention of the passing of our following brethren:

. Noel Melville - Cause of death was a home accident.

. D.J. (Duke) Turner. Passed away April '04 after a long illness. He was in VPB-111 and was a crewman in R.L. Fleming's `Doc's Delight', PBY-1.

. John J. McCarthy, Lt. Squadron Cmdr. of VPB-111.  Flew B-24 convoy protection missions in both the European and Pacific theaters. He was awarded the DFC.

. Cmdr. Ifft, former C.O . of VP 21. Died of a heart attack.

Our thoughts and prayers go with them and their survivors.

Our website contains a full obituary and photos when available.

The following people have graciously made donations to our association since the last edition of the Newsletter:
. William  Petersen
. Duane F. Becker
. Charles Bingar
. Kenneth K. Diemer
. William  J. Gerber
. Frank W. Higgins
. John W. Orrill
. Geri (Hibner) Rabb
. Frank C. Richter
. Joseph E. Sheehan
. Michael W. Weatherington
. Shealy O. Whigham
. Dale. E. Woods
. James B. Young

Also, I would like to extend a special note of gratitude to Dave Wilding, PH3 for his most appreciated gift of 50 CDs, which contains photos of people, places, and aircraft which were taken during his 1964-1967 tour of duty with VP-21.  Frank Balogh has been posting them on the website, and members may purchase one of these CDs from the Storekeeper for $5.00. Each of the 500 photos is in both High and Low resolution so you can view them on your computer, and make large, high quality prints. Your generosity is much appreciated.  Thanks for helping to keep our association airborne.

PLEASE NOTE:  The VPB-111/VP-21 Veterans Association charges no dues. Our operations are totally supported by generous contributions from our membership, and by proceeds from the sale of our squadron's articles.  The Association comes under Section 501c (19) of the Internal Revenue Code as “not for profit” organization. As such, contributions are legitimate tax deductions.  Please make your checks payable to the `VPB-111/VP-21 Veterans Association', and forward them to our Treasurer Richard S. Webb whose address appears on the back cover of this newsletter. He can also be reached at Treasurer@VPB-111.org.

On June 5, 2004, 5 members of our association met under the wing of P2V7, BUNO #145915 and represented our squadron.  They were: Frank Balogh, Harold `Zipgun' Zuber, Fred Lemire, Ron Petrick, and John Esposito.  In spite of the rain, all had a good time.  Some of the celebrities on deck at this historical gathering were:

. Brig. General Paul Tibbets, Atomic Mission Commander and Pilot of the B-29  `Enola Gay'.
. Several of the Tuskegee Airman and Ground Crew..
. Captain “Dutch” Van Kirk.  Navigator of the B-29 `Enola Gay'..
. Sgt. William Fili - B24 Engineer, Ploesti Raid, former POW.
. Lt. Carl Constein - C-46 Hump Pilot and local author.
.Geoffrey Morley-Mower- Wing Commander North African RAF Hurricane Pilot.
. Lt. Robert Bolander - P-61 Pilot credited with 4 kills with the 422 NFS.
. Lt. Col. Dick Hewitt- 144 Combat missions in P-47s and P-51s.
. Lt. Col. Robert Mc Clung -  Black Sheep C.O. and `Pappy' Boynton's Wing Man.
. Sgt. Robert Wison - 17thAirbourne Paratrooper, Rhine Jump.
. A luftwaffe pilot (name unknown).

These were but a few. All were available for personal conversation.  This was truly a fine experience.  I hope those of you who can, will plan to attend this event next year.  It is generally held the first weekend in June.

 Support the effort of having our government obtain and return the remains of our VP-5 brethren from Greenland since 1962. Bill Locke requests that each member write to his congressman for the retrieval of the crewmen of VP-5's LA 9, #131521 whose remains are on a glacier in Greenland from a crash that occurred in 1962.  Details are on VP Navy website www.vpnavy.com.   It's time to bring these comrades home.

Obtain your copy of the `Vagabond' Newsletter
by accessing same directly from our website.  This would result in a tremendous savings by defraying both the printing and postage expenses, as well as assuring that you receive   both prompt and damage free delivery.  
 If you opt to do this, be sure to advise Ron Lenhoff so that he may delete you name from the active mailing list.  

Next Newsletter is targeted for publication in September '04.

That's it for now.  Have a happy and safe summer.

John Esposito.
A non-profit, fraternal, and historical association devoted to the reestablishment of contact with shipmates of the past, to strengthen the camaraderie among its members, to record and preserve the memories and incidents of the Association, to preserve the memory of departed shipmates, and to promote the comfort and welfare of its members and survivors. No dues are assessed!

Wallace L. Lightfoot, Chairman Emeritus, 349 McIntosh Ave., Orange Park, FL 32073
William Locke, Chairman, 255 Mere Point Rd., Brunswick, ME 04011
Ron Lenhoff, Director/Secretary, 972 Wedgewood Dr., Independence, KY  41051
Richard S. Webb, Dir/Treasurer, 219 Montoya Dr., Lady Lake, FL  32159-8642
John G. Esposito, Editor/Director, 862 Central Ave., Southampton, PA  18966
Edward LaFontaine, Museum Director, 161 Jackson Dr., Frankfort, KY  40601
Fred Schuster, Dir/Historian, 2713Cabin Creek Rd., Edwardsville, IL 62025
Dan Dwyer, Online Coordinator, Director, #6 Sarah Liberty Lane, Scarborough, ME 04074
Robert Nelson, (To be determined), 49 Woodland Drive, Tequesta FL 33469
Harry Dunlap, 2003 Reunion Coordinator, 5803 Eastshore Dr., Pensacola FL 32505
Gary Gross, Director/Storekeeper, 4595S Robert Blake Ave., Inverness, FL  34452-7820.  
Frank Balogh, Web-site/Director1749 Burroughs Dr, Dayton, OH 45406

The `Vagabond News' is the official publication of the VPB-111/ VP-21 Veterans Association, and is circulated quarterly in the Winter (January/March), Spring (April/June), Summer (July/September), and Fall (October/December), as a third class bulk-rate mail from Southampton, PA, Post Office (Permit #61). All costs of the publication are supported by voluntary contribution only. To ensure that materials of interest are promptly published, members should submit same prior to the publishing quarter to John G. Esposito, 862 Central Ave., Southampton, PA 18966. All inputs will be published in a timely manner.