Alexandria, VA 2010


The 2010 Patrol Squadron FORTY-FIVE Association Reunion was held in Alexandria, Virginia, right outside Washington D.C. It commenced on Wednesday, September 29th and ended on Sunday, October 3rd. The center of activity, and where most people stayed, was the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites which provided us a comfortable Hospitality Room for the duration of the reunion.

The first day, Wednesday, was, as usual, a little slow but that allowed the Association Officers and Planners the opportunity to ensure that all was squared away before most of the members arrived. Thursday morning was the first scheduled activity: a motor coach ride to the relatively new World War II Memorial in DC. This inspiring monument is in close proximity (walking distance) to the Korean War Memorial, the US Navy Memorial, The FDR Memorial and “The Wall” – the heart wrenching memorial those lost during the Vietnam War.

Thursday evening featured the free “Meet and Greet” Icebreaker Reception in our Ready Room, after which members broke off into groups for dinner at locations of their choice.

Friday was a busy day with a choice of two tours. The most popular was the bus ride to Naval Air Station Patuxent River, MD (where a lot of us went through the “RAG” back in the day) followed but an informative tour of the Air Station and the Naval Air Test Center/Museum. Included was an update on the status of the P-8 Poseidon aircraft’s introduction to the fleet and a tour of one of these incredible multi-mission planes. The optional tour was to Arlington National Cemetery and sightseeing at John F. Kennedy’s grave, Arlington House, Watergate, Capitol Hill, Ford’s Theater, the Pentagon and Kennedy Center. Perhaps the highlight of this tour was observing the solemn ceremony of the changing of the guard and the Tomb of the Unknown. Cocktails and dinner that evening were at various “no-host” locations.

The Semi-Annual Patrol Squadron 45 Association Members Business Meeting commenced at 0800 sharp Saturday morning. All members were encouraged but not required to attend. At this meeting, the Officers of the Association made extraordinary proposals and weighty decisions the will affect the course of this group for ages to come.

The tour for Saturday was The Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum’s newest facility, The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center which houses over 80 aircraft and dozens of space artifact displays.  This was a great experience for our members, and we enjoyed hearing the “rest of the story” on many displays from some of our more senior members who had actually “been there – done that."

That evening the traditional Reunion Banquet (with cocktails beforehand) was held in the hotel’s Commonwealth Banquet Room. Various speeches and presentations were made capped off by an address by RADM William Moran concerning the “Future of Naval Aviation.” The Admiral was introduced by CDR Mike Doherty, the current commanding officer of VP-45. Of note, RADM Moran served his “department head” tour with the Pelicans.

This was clearly a very successful and entertaining reunion. I was unable to attend due to a schedule conflict with the Big Island of Hawaii but was able to reconstruct this reunion’s events with the help of Dick Gray (Association VP) and the newsletters published by VAMD Wally Massenburg (Association Secretary). Next reunion = Mobile, AL, October 18-21, 2012. Be there, Aloha!

Bill Hobgood (Association WebMaster)

Send questions, comments or suggestions regarding this website to: