www.VP-21.org, and www.VPB-111.org
John G. Esposito, Editor WINTER 2009
A MESSAGE FROM THE LEFT SEAT:
This will, in all probability, be the last newsletter you'll receive before the cut off date for signing up for the 2009 reunion in Branson, MO, so I'll use this opportunity to strongly suggest that you get your reservations in. Rooms should be reserved by 17 March. After that, fifty percent of those that aren't will be released back to the hotel and those who are late may be out of luck. Payment for all events must be made by 16 April. Carter Nute and Jim Mattson (both trained by me) have set up a great agenda and it would be a shame to miss out. The $313 price certainly covers a lot. Personally, I'm looking forward to the Yakov Smirnoff show. I've seen him on TV and can safely say he's a riot.
As has been the case with all our past reunions, this one promises to be a great time. I'm looking forward to seeing you all there.
I'm still looking for subjects for discussion at the business meeting. If you have anything you want to have discussed, please send me an email. Please do so even if you won't be able to be at the reunion.
Keep safe and be well.
FROM THE WEBMASTER:
Hope all are having a comfortable winter. Here in Dayton it has been a
fairly typical one - sub-zero temps one week, lots of snow, then a thawing-out and then re-freezing the slush and remaining snow to ice. Then more snow on top of the ice. But this usually means a nice spring (I say hopefully).
*Memorabilia Artifacts* My thanks to the most recent contributions of artifacts of memorabilia from Ron Tewers, `52-`55. Ron sent me a 30 August `55 Squadron Training Schedule, and a 23 April `55 Enlisted Ratings Advancement Notice. Both of these are now posted on our History page. Thanks again, Ron!
Anyone else out there have any memorabilia to share? Please send it to me.
*Website Stats* Since we started the website, we have had in excess of 25,000 unique visitors, and almost 47,000 page hits. We get an average of 35 new/first-time visitors, and 100 returning visitors per week. Of these 135 visitors, they look at about 400 pages of info, and almost half of these are roster pages.
And here is some added trivia: Among all visitors to our website, most have the Windows XP OS on their computer, use the Windows Internet Explorer 6.X browser, have their screen displays set at 1024 X 768 pixels resolution, and use a palette of 16.7 million different colors.
*Website Usage* So far there have been no complaints regarding the ease of use, or the content of our website. I'd like to take that as a compliment, but it may mean that you've just been too shy to say anything. If you have an idea or suggestion for improvement, please let me know, and I'll engage what limited and remaining gray matter I have left toward fixing or improving it.
Reminder: I WANT YOUR BIOGRAPHY!
Sincere and respectful regards to all my VPB-111 and VP-21 brethren,
Frank Balogh Jr.
1749 Burroughs Drive
Dayton, OH 45406
The following named persons have generously made contributions to our organization since the last issue of the Newsletter:
• Charles F. Bringar
• Raymond H. Gaus
• William J. Locke
• John W. Moore
• Allan J. Place
• Frederick J. Radebaugh
• Michael W. Weatherington
Thanks to each of you 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 the generous contributions of our membership, and by the sale of our squadron products. The Association comes under section 501(C) 19, of the Internal Revenue Code as a "Not for Profit" organization. As such, contributions are legitimate tax deductions. Please make your contribution checks payable to the "VPB-111/VP-21 Veterans Association" and forward them to the Treasurer, Richard S. Webb, 219 Montoya Drive, Lady Lake, Florida, 32159-8642.
It is with deep regret that I make mention of the passing of our following shipmates:
DONNA LOCKE, wife of our Chairman, Bill Locke. Donna passed away on 18 January 2009 at her home. A celebration of her love of life was held at the Bailey Island Library Hall on Saturday, Jan. 24, at 2 p.m.
WILLIAM F. ASPINALL, 83, retired U.S.N. Chief Petty Officer of Memphis died November 23, 2008. A WWII veteran, he was assigned to Monterey Carrier, received the Air Medal for the Korean Conflict and served during the Cuban crisis. Mr. Aspinall is survived by his wife of 60 years, Grace Theresa Aspinall; daughters, Theresa Ann Baker, Susan Aspinall-Friloux; sons, William F. Aspinall, Jr., David A. Aspinall; 11 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Visitation at Roller Family Funeral Home was held at 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, November 24, Rosary at 7 p.m. Mass, 9 a.m., Wednesday at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church, with burial following at West Tennessee Veterans Cemetery. Roller Family Funeral Home 901-371-9500.
BERNARD SODERLAND: The following message was received from his daughter:
“I am the daughter of Bernard Soderlund who was in VP-21. I was wondering if any of the gentlemen who were in the same squadron at the same time as my father in 1952---could I email them to find out about him. He passed away when I was 10 yrs. old from multiple sclerosis. I would enjoy hearing stories about him if anyone remembers him. Thanks.
My return email address is email@example.com.
May they rest in peace.
REMEMBERING DONNA LOCKE:
During her short stay with us, Donna Locke, made a positive impact on many people in many ways. She was born Donna Elden Leeman, daughter of Ellis W. and Florence Johnson Leeman on June 15, 1938 at the Brunswick Hospital. She grew up on Bailey Island and later moved to Orr's Island. In 1983 she moved to Aroostook County in the town of Quimby Village on St. Froid Lake. Moosehead Lake was a family camp get-away. She attended both the Bailey and Orr's Island Schools and graduated from Brunswick High School in 1956. She attended the University of Maine at Fort Kent.
As a young woman, Donna worked on the islands in many places including Merrill's Wharf, The Willows Cottages, Cook's, and Rock Ovens, as well as, Lee's Tire in Brunswick. Having volunteered at local schools, she later became a substitute teacher and education technician at the Eagle Lake Elementary School. A strong believer in civic responsibility, she always worked the voting polls in any town in which she lived. She was a member of the Eastern Star and the PEO and was involved with many other clubs and organizations. She taught piano, played the organ for weddings and other church events, and sang in many choirs where she often performed solo. She was a Cub Scout den mother, an avid bridge player, and
loving the outdoors, she canoed, kayaked, hunted, fished, snowmobiled, golfed, camped, gardened and was a general handy-woman, able to fix anything. Her many and varied artistic and crafting talents, always completed with loving perfection, will be cherished for generations. Donna was an excellent cook and a fun and gracious hostess. Her door was always open to family and friends.
Donna was predeceased by her former husband Joseph W. Leet and her husband Walter E. Lawson, Jr. She was blessed in 2002 to meet Commander William J. Locke, U.S. Navy, (Ret) on a date arranged by their respective daughters to attend the Navy Ball. They married on April 3, 2003 and began a whirlwind of love, fun and travel, cherishing their time and life together. Bill was her tireless champion in the battle of her life. She is survived by her husband William Locke of Brunswick, her sister and brother-in-law Shirley and Donald Coffin of Bailey Island, her children and their spouses Diane and Wayne Gagne of Orr's Island, Ellis and Suzanne Leet and Tyler Leet of Bailey Island; step-children Robert and Patricia Lawson of Bailey Island, Veronica and Lee Jones of Harpswell, Laura and Paul Mourning and Tracy and Pat Adams of New York, Kimberly and Richard Heim, III of Austin, TX, and Courtney and Greg Im of Woolwich; her grandchildren Hillary Ramsay, Wesley and Bailey Gagne, Iven and Izaac Leet, Shandy and Tory Lawson, Christopher, Courtney and Cody Baker, Emma and Louisa Mourning, Simone Heim, and Will and Tallulah Im; and her great-grandson Aidan Ramsay. A celebration of her love of life will be held at the Bailey Island Library Hall on Saturday, January 24th at 2 PM. The family wishes to thank the staffs of Parkview Hospital, Mercy Hospital and CHANS for the compassionate care Donna received during her long illness.
As a result of these good things, and many more, not to mention the contributions that she has made to our Association, she not only stood behind Bill in everything he did for our group, but she was always right there alongside him every step of the way in ensuring that all of our goals and objectives were properly completed in a timely manner.
Donna Locke was not only all of the above. Donna Locke was our friend. She will long be missed, but never forgotten.
FROM THE RADIO COMPARTMENT:
I have been receiving returned Vagabond Newsletters with the notation `Temporarily Away'. I feel that this may be due to vacations or perhaps you have a summer and a winter address that I am unaware of. If this is the case, would you please forward the correct addresses and the time that you spend at each to prevent the cost of the returned mail.
Dale Woods, 5480 W. Arrowhead Lakes Drive, Glendale, AZ 85308
623-376-8851 (ph and fax)
May all of your headaches, cares and woes last every bit as long as your New Year's resolutions.
VPB-111/VP-21 VETERANS ASSOCIATION
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!
William Locke, Chairman, 255 Mere Point Rd., Brunswick, ME 04011
Dale Woods, Secretary, 5480 W. Arrowhead Lake Dr. Glendale, AZ 85306
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, Special Projects, 49 Woodland Drive, Tequesta FL 33469
Harry Dunlap, Director, 5803 Eastshore Dr., Pensacola FL 32505
Ron Novay, Director/Storekeeper, 7775 LakeHardeman Rd., Saulsburry, TN 38067
Frank Balogh, Web-site/Director1749 Burroughs Dr, Dayton, OH 45406
Garry Gross, Director, 8660 East Rosemont Court, Inverness, FL 34450
The `Vagabond News' is the official publication of the 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.
VPB-111/VP21 VETERANS ASSOCIATION Nonprofit Org.
5480 W. Arrowhead Lakes Dr. U.S. Postage
Glendale, AZ 85308 PAID Permit #61
Return Service Requested Southampton, PA