San Antonio 2006


Nicki and I arrived in San Antonio on Tuesday, 24 October, having driven down from Fort Worth a day early to help set up things at the hotel. As it turned out, we weren’t that early. Jim & Suzi Means, Frank & Marge Kennedy, Gene Graham and Ray Casey (Our Reunion Planner), had all arrived before us and greeted us in the hotel lobby. Other members arrived later in the day.  We all had great fun Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning visiting, setting up the ready room, finalizing hotel plans and sampling local restaurants.  

Wednesday, 25 October started out as a rainy and overcast day. It doesn’t rain a lot in the San Antonio area but it seems that a hurricane had made landfall on the Pacific coast of Mexico and the moisture was moving over southern Texas. It was a good day to stay inside and sample the great food in the hotel restaurant. Registration started at noon right on schedule and continued throughout the afternoon. Our first planned activity, a Mexican dinner on the Riverwalk and a River Cruise took place Wednesday evening as planned. Miraculously, the rain had slowed to a sprinkle by the time we reached the Restaurant and had stopped before we boarded our boats. The Mexican food at Casa Rio was fantastic and it was a great night to cruise the famous river walk.

Thursday morning, 26 October buses departed the hotel at 0930 for a tour of the  Institute of Texan Cultures and the Alamo. “Six Flags” have flown over Texas and each country has left its mark as we discovered during our guided tour through the Institute. Later, we boarded our buses and traveled to the Alamo Plaza where we had lunch on our own at the Rivercenter Mall. After lunch, we met at the Rivercenter IMAX Theater for a movie presentation of “The Price of Freedom” which chronicles the story of the battle of the Alamo. After seeing the movie, we walked over to the Alamo (constructed in 1718) to view the hallowed grounds. We had just enough time to explore the historic Menger Hotel before we boarded our buses for the trip back to the hotel. Thursday evening, some of our group departed the hotel at 1800 for a group dinner at a working Longhorn Cattle Ranch where they enjoyed a traditional cowboy supper and western style entertainment. Others took the time to check out the cuisine at the hotel or at local restaurants.

Friday, 27 October buses departed the hotel at 0900 for the scenic drive to Fredericksburg, Texas. Fredericksburg is a German community located in the Texas Hill Country with historic homes and shops, wooden sidewalks and uniquely Texas curios. It is also the home town of Admiral Nimitz and the home of the Museum of the Pacific War, the worlds leading institution dedicated to preserving the history of WWII in the Pacific. We arrived back at our hotel in time to prepare for the Friday evening Welcome Reception. Everyone in attendance enjoyed the Mexican Fiesta themed reception complete with a Mariachi Band.

Saturday, 28 October was the busiest day of the reunion. Our association business meeting started at 0800 and ended just in time for members to board buses for the 0930 sightseeing tour of San Antonio. The tour was outstanding and included visits to Mission San Jose, known as the “Queen of Spanish Missions”, the San Fernando Cathedral (built in 1738) and the historic King William District. We had time for lunch on the Riverwalk and arrived back at our hotel with time to get ready for the 1800 Cocktails and 1900 Banquet Dinner. The banquet was great. An honor guard from Uvalde High School performed at the banquet opening. CDR Mark Turner, the current Commanding Officer of Patrol Squadron Forty Five and five of his squadron members were our special guests. CDR Turner gave us an update on squadron operations and turned the podium over to our special guest speaker, VADM Walter Massenburg. VADM Massenburg, as most of you know, is a member of the association. He presented an overview on the future of patrol aviation.

Sunday, 29 October came too early. Our group breakfast started at 0800 and ended at 1000. We said our goodbyes until next time and departed for home.

 Note: The San Antonio Doubletree Hotel was perfect. The hospitality (ready) room, the banquet room, and the reception room were just right. All the activities were well organized and the food was prepared well. The hotel staff and the citizens of San Antonio made us feel very welcome. We extend our thanks to Ray Casey, Military Reunion Planners, for helping us select the hotel and activities and for his organizational skills. In addition, thanks to Jim and Suzi Means, and all the other members that helped, for providing one of the association’s best reunions. 

Steve Riddle (Association Webmaster)

Send questions, comments or suggestions regarding this website to: