The Wright-Patterson AFB is located in Fairborn, Ohio, just a few miles from Dayton. The site has the unique distinction of being the birthplace of aviation. It was here that the Wright Brothers successfully achieved the first manned, powered flight. Wright-Patt base was established in 1948 with the merger of the Wilbur Wright Field and Patterson Field. It is considered one of the largest, most diverse, and organizationally complex bases in the Air Force.

The Wright-Patterson base is home to the 88th Air Base Wing, the Air Force Research Laboratory, the National Air and Space Intelligence Center, the Air Force Institute of Technology, the 445th Airlift Wing, the National Museum of the Air Force, HQ Air Force Material Command, and more!

The Bob Hope Hotel is located right on the base, and is very military-friendly. They had Welcome signs made up for us and gave us complimentary use of a meeting room for each day of our reunion October 2 - October 5, 2017.

Our 2017 Attendees

Day 1 - Meet and Greet

Bob Sterkenburg hauled his very cool 1947 Willys jeep to the reunion. We had a chance to enjoy it before the Meet and Greet officially began. 

David Kerr

Bob Sterkenburg

Wanda Kerr

Willie & Jean Altemose, Marie Katrancha

Bob Sterkenburg, Willie Altemose

Odie Blackburn, Dan Foranda

Richard Mack, Esther Heath

Judy Mack

John & Marjorie Simpson, Esther Heath

Loretta & Odie Blackburn, Sue Taylor

Rose & Tom Gajeski, Willie Altemose

Encarna Grace, Carol Fern

Margo Vickery

New member John Jedrzejek trying to behave

Sue Taylor, Marcia Sterkenburg, new member Larry Prins

Ralph and Esther Heath

Bob & Marcia Sterkenburg

Dinner at the hotel restaurant, Packy's. Left to Right: Jean & Willie Altemose, Sue Taylor, Wanda Kerr, Marie Katrancha, Bob & Marcia Sterkenburg

Bill Vickery, holding the bolt that punctured his tire on the way to the reunion. Had to go buy a new tire!

Day Two - Base Tour

Rhonda Parker, AFRL Chief of Information Protection

Maj Aaron Rittgers (Lt Col Select) Commander of the Base and the 88th Security Forces; Chief of Security Forces

Wayne Sperry, Program Protection Supervisor in Area B, WPAFB

Ready for the base tour

Willie Altemose and Dennis Galt

Lunch at the mess hall... the "dining facility"

The old mess hall ain't what it used to be!

Bruce and Carol Fern

Going to observe CATM - Combat Arms Training & Maintenance

Q & A period, and an opportunity to hold an M-4 carbine

Ready for Combat Arms Training tour

Waiting for the guy in charge (Dave is guarding Wanda)

Preparing to be deployed to the Middle East

May God protect each one

Observing Military Dog Training

We toured one of the two Fisher Houses on the base. They function like a Ronald McDonald House for out-of-town families/patients who are being treated at Wright-Patt Medical Center.

These houses provide a comfortable place to stay at no charge. A tour guide explained the history and function of the Fisher Houses. 

Day 3 - The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force

We arrived a little early. Waiting for the museum to open.

Joe and Sis Bowers

Tom and Rose Gajeski

Willie and Jean Altemose

Bill and Margo Vickery

Bruce Fern, Lillian Phaup, Carol Fern

John and Marjorie Simpson

David Kerr, Marcia Sterkenburg, Dan Foranda

Encarna Grace

Bob and Ginger Schenk
(new members)

Dennis Galt

Odie and Loretta Blackburn

Dan, Dennis, Tom, Marie, Rose

The Scooter Brigade!  Racing at 2pm

Marie looking stylish on a scooter

Museum Photos
WW2 era -
Hover to pause on photo, or use arrows on the sides to change slides

Cold War / Vietnam Era

Current Cool Military Aircraft

Dinner at Abuelo's

Music in the hotel lobby - Dave & Wanda Kerr

Day 4 - Vote on reunion location, Raffle, Rides in Bob's jeep, Lunch Buffet

Dan trying to keep order

Raffle ladies - Sue Taylor, Marie Katrancha, Marcia Sterkenburg

Some raffle winnings

Dianne Hughes in Bob Sterkenburg's jeep

Graphics on the hood

Bob Sterkenburg

Lunch buffet at the Bob Hope Hotel

Lovely table setting

Los Toros de 3973rd 2017

A good time was had by all!

3 Comments

  1. So sorry we missed the 2017 reunion which would have been our first. I was at Moron from June 1958 to June 1961.I will make every effort to make 2018. PETE DAIKOS

  2. Jaw dropping to see so many I think I knew way back when, though the majority are strangers to me except that anyone from the 3973rd will never be a stranger in my heart. I finally got to see some special people I had not seen in so many years and some I was hoping I would see for the first time..

    I’m wearing Dennis’s T-shirt as I type.

    Dan Moore

Leave a Reply to Dan Moore Cancel reply

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