Las Vegas 1994


Members who attended the Las Vegas reunion the last week in October were treated to a great Ready Room meeting place, superb weather, excitement and surprises of all kinds, and wonderful camaraderie with remembered, and recently met, squadron mates. On display in the Ready Room were notebooks containing all squadron newsletters dating from 1942, squadron histories, reunion snapshots from 1990 and 1992. Commanding Officer biographies, and all Association newsletters. They proved very popular with all who saw them, and provoked many just-remembered sea stories and events from those who had "been there". They will be bigger and better for the Norfolk reunion. Several members brought their own pictures of times past for display on the bulletin boards. Ken and Vivian Cory earned the complete admiration of all concerned by their untiring work in preparation and operation of the Ready Room. Al and Hattie Jansen spent a lot of time with the hotel coordinator making sure facilities were the best we could get, and functions were carried out on schedule.

Although the Pensacola and Jacksonville reunions hosted over 360 each, the attendance this time was 167, and those absent members were really missed. Because the attendance wasn’t as expected, the hotel felt obliged to reduce the complimentary services originally planned, but the most important functions — meeting and greeting, renewing old acquaintances and making new ones, could not be dampened. Members went on tours of Hoover Dam, Nellis Air Force Base, and visited many of the other hotels and casinos. There were many outstanding shows to see at night, and the Ready Room was host to a crowd every minute it was open.

    The expected guest speaker, Patron Forty-Five’s Commanding Officer, and the P-3 for static display, were unable to make the trip to Las Vegas. On Saturday, when it was evident the speaker was not enroute, Leo Connolly arranged for a member of the Las Vegas Navy Recruiting Station to address the group at the banquet. In what has to be considered a stroke of pure brilliance, Leo made the day! AT1 Richard F. Johnson III, USN arrived in dress blues and gave a truly inspiring and eloquent presentation, describing the entire current recruiting philosophy, trends in recruiting and candidates’ qualifications, and the state of the Navy in general from all points of interest. He fielded questions from all corners of the room, and was extremely knowledgeable and able to satisfy all inquiries with thorough and complete answers. He remained after the banquet to informally answer questions and discuss any related subject. We can be eminently proud of our Navy, with professionals such as AT1 Johnson representing the United States. One major note of interest: Johnson reported in a telephone call to the Association in December, that his career received a "tremendous boost" because letters to his commanding officer were so complimentary of his presentation, knowledge, and deportment—and he wanted the Association to know how much he appreciated the response.

    Five past Commanding Officers were in attendance and were a continuous source of anecdotes and other stories of past squadron history from a unique perspective. Those attending and accorded special recognition at the banquet were, in chronological order: Wendell (Skeet) Bemis ‘52; Eric Pollard ‘57; Alan Lee ‘62; John Chappell ‘63; and David Hume ‘65.

    The Banquet on Saturday night was held in a huge room located at the top of the Riviera Hotel, and its monstrous windows on opposite sides of the room provided awe inspiring sights of the mountains in the distance and the city lights below. The brunch, also held in the same room the next morning, was more than sumptuous, with something for everyone’s taste or diet. The service at both the banquet and the brunch was outstanding.

    Even taking into account the few and inevitable glitches, all who attended seemed to have a great time reminiscing, trying the delicious food, attending the fabulous shows and some even had fun engaging in a few games of chance — and agreed to meet again in Norfolk in ‘96.

Send questions, comments or suggestions regarding this website to: