Per Bill Vickery email dated June 6, 2007:

"Savannah, Georgia was the site for a reunion of former Strategic Air Command Air Police members and/or their family members of the 3973rd Headquarters, 3973rd Operations, and 3973rd Combat Defense Squadrons of Moron and San Pablo Air Bases, Spain from 1957 through 1967. The reunion began the afternoon of 1 June and continued through the morning of 3 June 2007. Members came from as far west as California and as far east as Connecticut.

Those attending were: Robert (Bobby) Allen; Willie & Jean Altmose; Bess Baker (widow of John Baker) & guest, Sonny Fields; Billy Joe & Sis Bowers; Odie & Loretta Blackburn; Bill & Mary Kay Brewer; Fred & Trish Brooks; Jim Burger and Wanda; John & Ellen Cardinali; Gordon & Joan Coleman; Dudley Easton; Bernie & Heneritta Ence; Bruce & Carol Fern; Dan & Rosalie Foronda; Ron & Barb Frankovich; Dennis & Loise Galt & Daughter Natali; George Foster; Wynsel & Shirley Goolsby; Tony & Encarna Grace; Charlie & LouAnn Hardwick; Ralph & Esther Heath; Jim & Eunice Hester, Bill & Peggy Helms; Chuck & Judy Hilliard; Wayne & Lucille Hughart; Ray & Dianne Hughes; Bill Jones; Larry & Denise Jachelski; Marie Katrancha (widow of George Katrancha) & son Adam; David & Wanda Kerr; Richard & Laura Krepps; Bob & Mary Lou Lockhart; George & Eloise Mongeon & sons, Dan & Terry; Lou Morgantini & Cheryl Gardzalla; Travis & Kathy Quinn; Tony Santos; Edwin & Elaine Savitsky; Larry & Janicegail Slone; Dwight & Janet Smith; Paul & Barbara Tamborini; Bob & Sue Taylor, Dorsha Tugultschinow; Joe & Rose Vaccone; Bill & Margo Vickery; Tom & Nadine Walls; Bill & Dell Ree Wallace; Regis & Millie Wasiecko; Nolan & Nona Watson; and J.E. & Linda Young."

Video courtesy of Dennis Galt

"This was the first time many of the former co-workers had seen each other since 1962 and 1963. It was noted that some of the members have changed somewhat. One of the highlights of the reunion was when each former member got up and told what they had been up to over the last 40 some years. Some of our former co-workers brought scrapbooks and/or old photos to share with others. We were especially pleased that our former first sergeant, SMSgt (retired) George Mongeon, in his 80s, made it to the reunion. And, one of our former commanders, Captain (retired) Billy J. Mitchell sent us a very nice note of regrets that was shared with our members. Captain Mitchell reminded us of our positive role in ending the cold war. We sold raffle tickets on several door prizes donated by Otto Kosa, Dennis Galt, Bill Vickery, and Willie Altemose raising some cash for our newly formed organization.

On day two of the reunion, we had a tour of the historic part of Savannah, Georgia, a ride on an old time large steam ship type boat in the Savannah River, and dined that evening at Lady and Sons (Paula Deen’s Place) for supper and door prize drawing. And, we did all that with Tropical Storm Barry hitting Savannah that day!   First Sergeant Mongeon led us to the boat. One of the items of business decided upon was a nickname for our former co-workers. Sixteen possible names were submitted and the one with the most votes was “Los Toros de 3973rd.” We also decided to have another reunion in 2008 and then have one every two years thereafter. Dianne Hughes volunteered to be our treasurer. The 2007 reunion tee shirts designed and delivered by Dennis Galt all the way from California were a big hit. On day three of the reunion, the highlight was a great concert put on by one of our members, Dave Kerr and his acoustical guitar. Dave is able to play all types of music, but his southern gospel music and vocals were especially well received.

Reaching out and finding former members for a reunion can be a fun experience. A downside to our experience was that we found out that at least 36 of our former members have passed on. Time waits for no one. Date and place of our 2008 reunion is unknown. Some good site suggestions were made and several folks are pondering taking on reunion committee duties for 2008. Our web site will be a good place to check on developments."

JE & Linda Young

SMSgt Mongeon and sons. The son sitting is a retired U.S. Army Major General.

Left to right: Bob Taylor, Willie Altemose & Chyck Hilliard

Bill Wallace, David Kerr, Larry Jachelski

Tony Santos, Edwin Savitsky, & Bruce Fern

Bill Vickery & Ray Hughes

Joe Bowers

Wayne Hughart

Nolan & Nona Watson

Bill Vickery

Dan Foronda explaining stuff to Joe Bowers, Bob Allen

Dave Kerr playing guitar

Dave & Wet Wanda Kerr

Larry & Denise Jachelski

Ralph & Esther Heath

Larry & Janicegail Slone

Nolan Watson, Wynsel Goolsby, Larry Slone, Dudley Easton

Lots of guys sitting down

Larry Jachelski and his sax

Dennis Galt, Richard Kreps, Joe Bowers

Reunion 2007 K-9 group 500px w Morgantini EDIT1

K-9 guys at the 2007 reunion


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *