25 August 1999


All Squadrons Willy Victor Reunion

Dear Shipmate,

We are pleased that you will attend the “All Squadrons Willy Victor Reunion”. We are writing
at this time to:
• update you on our progress
• determine how many attendees will be participating on the NAS Patuxent River Base tour
• provide you with an overview of reunion activities
• give you an idea of what to expect in Solomons Island.

We believe that the reunion will be a great time, filled with memories and opportunities to share our common experience.

As of this moment, the reunion program is shaping up nicely. We are privileged to have in attendance Roz Brown, one of our own, a Willy Victor sailor (VW-15/13) turned professional musician. We’ll hear from Roz on both Thursday and Friday evening. Also on Friday evening, we’ll hear from Joe Coggeshall, a VW-13 flight engineer (VW-13) who now travels the world with a message of inspiration and motivation. On Saturday, LCDR LEIGH Armistead, USN, an expert on AEW operations during the Cold War and author of the book, Grease Pencils and Yellow Bananas will be with us to share his thoughts and insights of our mission and contribution. Our keynote speaker is CDR Ed Stafford, USN Ret. Ed was Operations Officer for VW-15, and has a distinguished post navy career as an author.

One of our most important speakers, however, will be you! At each of our gatherings we will open the floor for “Two Minute Memories” So bring your best sea stories and memories to share with your shipmates!

Throughout the event, we will maintain a 1100 square foot “Duty Office”. Here you’ll be able to grab a coffee, chat with friends, view videos and display your own unique memorabilia. (One of us is bringing a R-3350 Cylinder head and the Super Connie NATOPS Manual! Everyone’s dream.) So bring your Willy Victor stuff! The Duty Office will also have reunion tee shirts, our unique reunion patch and, the now famous “Wes Mortensen Videos”. Besides all that this is where you will be able to place orders for a great Willy Victor golf shirt and for individual squadron patches!

Enclosed you will find a draft agenda. If you’d like to be part of the program, contact the reunion committee! Also, we are including a brochure describing all of the eateries and shops on Solomons Island proper. Calvert and St. Mary’s counties are great place to  visit, so plan to come early or stay a couple days after the reunion to look around.

The bus tour of NAS Patuxent River is designed to visit places of significance to the “VW” community. This includes a visit to the Naval Air Warfare Center’s Force Warfare Test Squadron flight line (hangar 306) where we will see P-3, S-3, E-2C and C-130 aircraft on static display. (photography will be permitted). Some of you will have been stationed in this hangar! We will have lunch at Pax River’s Cedar Point Officers Club, and wind up our tour at the Patuxent Naval Aviation Museum. We must know in advance how many people will be taking this tour. A tour registration form is included in this packet.

In Summary, this is going to be a great event! (And there’s still time to sign up a friend.) We’re glad you’re coming and we hope you enjoy the enclosed material!


                                                                                                        The Reunion Committee

Thursday 14 October

1200 Duty Office Opens (Mill Creek Room)
Check in any time (Every one gets a liberty card - no one will be assigned to mess cooking or compartment cleaning!)

2000 Welcome Aboard
• Cash Bar and Free Munchies
• Review Final Agenda
• Music by Roz Brown, VW-1 5/13
• Preview of Reunion Events
• Wes Mortensen Video, AEWBARRONPAC
• Roz Brown, singing
• Comments from Ex Commanding Officers present
• Roz Brown & some of the greatest conversation you’ve had in 35 years!
• And don’t forget those “Two Minute Memories”, have your sea stories ready!!

Friday, 15 October

0800 Duty Office Opens

AM Getting to know the area

1045 NAS Patuxent Base Tour
• See the changes along MD route 5 as we approach the Naval Air Station

• Cruise the base “main drag”

• Lunch at the Patuxent River Officer’s club

• Return via Cedar Point the Chesapeake Bay “Gold Coast”

• Observe a moment of reflection where we lost a several shipmates when a VW-1 3 Willy Victor landed short of Patuxent’s Runway 06

• See how “base realignment” has resulted in explosive growth at Patuxent!

• Visit the Force Warfare Test Squadron Flight line (aircraft on static display including AEW E-2C Hawkeye)

• See all of Patuxent’s VW hangars and Barracks areas

• Visit the Patuxent Naval Air Museum (more aircraft + indoor exhibits)

• Depart via Great Mills Road and see how time and a growing economy have changed Lexington Park!

1700 Buses arrive at Holiday Inn Select

1800 Dinner at one of Solomons many good restaurants
• Gaze at the river with your significant other

• Or, “join up” with your squadron mates in town for dinner and memories!

2000 Program (Quarters for Muster)!
• Welcome
• Music by our own “Willy Victor Musician”, Roz Brown
• Cash bar and free munchies
• Greetings form RADM Gene Dicky, VW-l 1
• Speaker Joe Coggshall, VW-13
• More music by Roz Brown
• Video (bring your hanky), Wes Mortensen, AEWBARRONPAC
• Music by Roz Brown, great conversation and “two minute memories”!

2300 Meeting Room Closes (The town doesn’t close until 0200)

Saturday, 16 October

0800 Duty Office Opens

0900 Presentations Begin
• Videos
• Slide Presentation (Argentia or Midway revisited)
 LCDR Leigh Armistead Presentation, Airborne Early Warning and the Cold War.

Meet and talk with LCDR Leigh Armistead in the duty office (he’s interested in our
history too)!

1130 Lunch

1330 Presentations Continue
• Current Intelligence Brief, presented by Naval Reserve Intelligence Area-19
• Slide Presentation (Argentia or Midway revisited)
• Open slots for your presentation (contact any member of the committee)

1600 Secure from presentations
All Squadrons Willy Victor Reunion

Saturday, 16 October

1830 Cash Bar

1900 Banquet
• Invocation

• Navy Color Guard

• Remembrance of our fallen comrades
“Navy Hymn”, sung by Danny Smith, VW- 13

• Dinner


- Recognition of our service
- Key Note Speaker Ed Stafford, CDR USN Ret

• Cash Bar and Mixer

Sunday, 17 October

0800 Duty Office Opens

• Check out

• Pick up your memorabilia and other material on display in the duty office

• Breakfast with squadron mates and new friends (at the restaurant of your choice)

• Take a walk on the Solomons Board Walk

• See points of interest around the area

• Plan additional activities with those staying over

1300 Duty Office Secured

NAS Patuxent River Bus Tour

We must receive your registration for the Patuxent River
Base tour by 20 September 1999

The NAS Public Affairs Office has arranged for us to lease Navy busses for our base tour event (They aren’t fancy, but when was the last time you were on a real “crew bus”?) The total number of seats available for this tour is
162. Assignment of these seats will be on a first come, first served basis. If considerably more than 162 persons desire to participate in the base tour we will try to acquire additional transportation (but we cannot guarantee more than these initiall 62 seats).

The cost of the bus tour will be $17.00 per person. This price includes a great lunch at the Cedar Point Officers Club.

Please include your name and the number of people in your party, and please do it today!

Thank You!

Your registration may be e-mailed to Sam Leach at:

Registrations may be mailed to:
Sam Leach
P0 BOX 741
Lexington Park, MD 20653-0741

The Reunion Duty Office

What will you find in the Reunion Duty Office?

• A friendly face who can help you with information about reunion events or local

• A Roster of personnel attending (indicating those who have arrived by squadron)

• A cup of coffee (0800 - 0930)

• A VCR and a good selection of Super Connie tapes

-Bring your favorite tapes and share them with your shipmates!!

• Tables where you can display your photos and memorabilia

- Sam’s NATOPS manual will be there. (Look up gross take off weights, or find out where the Number 6 UHF antenna was located!)

- You’ll see what’s left of an R-3350 cylinder head that washed in the surf behind Argentia’s Miami hangar from the Willy Victor “era” until Sam found it in 1985

• A place to meet plan and pass the word concerning squadron specific activities

- Such as, a dinner for your squadron mates in the Loft Dining Room at the Solomons pier restaurant)

• Order Forms for your “cold war certificate”

What can you buy in the “Ship’s Store”?

• Reunion Tee Shirts

• Reunion Patches

• A selection of Shirts Supplied by the Patuxent Naval Air Museum

• LCDR Leigh Armistead’s latest book (have him sign it on Saturday)!

• Order Forms for

- Reunion Golf Shirts

- Squadron Patches (for all squadrons we hope!)

Help Make the Reunion a Success!

The $35.00 per person registration fee was settled on way back in January. Since then, the committee has learned a few things about putting on an event of this magnitude! We’ve discovered that there are many unanticipated expenses! We have decided, therefore, to offer you an opportunity to “Sponsor” some part of the reunion expenses through a donation to the committee. Donors will be recognized in the final reunion agenda. Please make your checks payable to the “Willy Victor Reunion Group” and mail them to Sam Leach (our Treasurer) at P0 Box 741, Lexington Park, MD. Any excess funds will be donated to the Patuxent Naval Air Museum.

                                                                                                                                 Thank you

   Volunteers Needed -

We need folks who would volunteer for the following:

• To be the official reunion photographer (some experience desired)
• To work on a reunion “Cruise Book” that will document the event (it’s
not necessarily going to be fancy, but with today’s electronic images, we should be able to get it together if we put it on a CD)
• To prepare name tags for all attendees

• To assemble matching US Navy, Maryland, Canadian and US flags (we Maryland types will assist)
• To provide a Windows 98 computer and “projector” for projecting Power point presentations
• To assemble Power Point Presentations from JPEG images (if needed)
• To act as squadron activities coordinator
• To assemble a list of shipmates lost while on active duty
• Tell us what you are good at, have access to, or would like to do!