A reunion group of former and current Marines attached to the
squadron from its inception in July 1943 at
Lynn Hagen, Editor and
Jim Gill, 1st Vice Chairman, Robertsdale AL
Van McCarty, Executive
James Brady, Executive
“THE BEST TOUR I HAD IN THE MARINE CORPS WAS MY TOUR WITH VMFA-115, ONLY I DIDN’T KNOW IT THEN.” (A Marine Corps officer’s statement.)
we now have all returned home from the last reunion in
started out Thursday in the Margate Inn on Paugus Bay of Lake
Winnipesaukee. This lake is located in
the White Mountains of New Hampshire and is within eyesight of
We started our reunion with the annual business meeting Friday
morning. We discussed where we would
like to have the next reunion. We
elected James Brady to replace Jerry Rudd on the executive committee. Jim lives
After the business meeting we boarded a bus to travel to the
Portsmouth Naval Yard at
The driver was telling about having third graders coming for a tour and when he told them that next to the old Marine Barracks building there was a graveyard for three Marine mascot bulldogs and a horse named “Old Tom” who was ridden by a Col. Huntington, USMC about the 1898 era. The children always asked for a special tour to see the graveyard. Well, then came the VMF 115 group on a tour bus, also asking to see the animal graveyard, the driver obliged and we saw the Marine barracks with the graveyard next to it.
Marine Barracks have been closed for several years. The Marines arrived at
The Naval Prison for Marines and sailors was closed in
1974. 86,000 Prisoners went though
They also built the first submarines here
in 1917 and also the first
During WWII, in 1943, there were over 20,000 civilian workers at the shipyard.
The first warship built in
North America, HMS Falkland was built in 1690 at
The first submarine was built with an all welded steel hull, was the SNAPPER in 1937.
50% of all subs built during
WWII were built in
The tour guide gave each of us a history book of the shipyard,
titled “Cradle of American Shipbuilding”.
In the book, one page
describes the normal work day of 10 hours a day which was changed to an 8 hour
day for all mechanics, workmen, and laborers employed by or on behalf of the
Government of the
One of the advertisements that the Naval Board has used to
prevent closing of the shipyard in 1876 was that the harbor is open in the
coldest weather, and the port is at all tides and seasons accessible, is a
refuge for vessels coming from a sickly station with an epidemic on board, the
ships can occupy the outer harbor. The last statement was that there was a
large population in and around
The clock in the tower of the former Naval Base headquarters building is reputed to be the first clock in the U.S. Navy to strike ships bells rather than the hours. A shipyard worker received patent rights to the striking mechanism in 1879.
In 1905 at the invitation of President Theodore Roosevelt,
In 1941, three British and one French submarine were overhauled under Lend-Lease. The British submarine in particular had seen considerable service and required complete and extensive refits.
After the war, the shipyard
was ideally situated to receive the surrender of German submarines captured in
We were served a wonderful meal in the officers club on base and
then proceeded to tour the submarine museum.
We saw a devise used to rescue sailors from submarines, and a history of
the base, and many items of interest about the construction of submarines and
ships constructed through out the years at
Typical of Marines, one of our Marines said he would rather take an airplane than have 800 feet of water above his head.
Friday evening everyone was on there own for evening meal. Several of us went to a Steak and Seafood Restaurant just down the road that had to be tops in all respect.
We had a nice Ready Room for everyone to meet and spend time with new and old friends. The room was decorated with the current recruiting posters showing drill instructor giving a meaningful command. Many of the wedding guests who were also in the hotel gave our Ready Room a good look as they walked by. This year we were missing the normal assortment of “cruise books”, squadron photos, photo albums that we have had in the past. Next year we will try to get back to having everyone bring mementoes of their time in the squadron. The word did not get out to attendees to bring these along to share. It can be hard to “drag” these things on a airplane when you are already carrying a couple of heavy suitcases. We will see about replacing our squadron banner that was stolen at the Beaufort reunion. From now on we will be more careful and hang the banners inside the building.
We were again happy to have Dorothy Alton and her son, Roy in
attendance. She has not missed a reunion. In the later years, either her son or
daughter has accompanied her. Dorothy lives in
Also in attendance was Carol Ann Egy, of Gulf Breeze,
Receipts: Those who want receipts for funds they gave to me at the reunion, please let me know and I will send you one. During the reunions things get hectic and rushed, so feel free to ask for a receipt.
we started out with breakfast courtesy of the motel, and then departed to
Saturday evening we had our yearly banquet. We started as usual with 4 Marines from the local area Marine Corps League presenting the colors. Marine Corps hymn was then sung by everyone with a wonderful meal of prime rib, strawberries and ice cream, chicken, and a salad.
We did not have a special speaker this year. For a program, I introduced our WWII Marines, Andy Moynihan, William Hodson, Dorothy Alton, Ken Goode and Don Sypkens. Also Andy Moynihan’s friend, Ed Davis who served in WWII in VMF-214 was honored.
I then introduced the Korean War veterans, and this is starting to be a sizeable group at our reunions. Jim Gill, John Reader, Ken Uhl, Ray Shinkle, and Tom Tucker.
We want to thank Lisa Hazeltine and her father, Andy Moyihan for all the work they did getting the reunion organized and the very good time we all had. Thanks.
Brady will be taking over the
position that was held by Jerry Rudd.
Jim lives in
and Helen Tucker, 18
Ed and Natalie Davis were guests at the banquet. Ed and Natalie were friends of our host, Andy Moyihan.
Ed and Bonnie Malin, also friends of Andy’s.
Dorothy Alton and son/Roy, Longport NJ/Margate, NJ
and Mrs. Reader,
and Helen Tucker,
and Cindy Hagen,
and Linda Blasko,
and Elaine Carpenter, Port
Carol Ann Egy, Gulf Breeze, FL
and Jane Gibson,
and Joyce Gill,
and Vi Goode,
Moyihan/family Liza, John, Andrew and Nate,
William Hodson, wife Dorothy, and daughter, Patty, Brawley, CA
Mr. and Mrs. Ray Teague, Oak Leaf, TX
and Darlene Kennedy,
and Liza Chouinard,
and Emily Teague, 602 Shallow Creek,
Tom and Helen Tucker, made their first reunion. Tom was in the squadron as ordnance during the Korean War. The Tuckers live in Crystal City, Missouri. 636-937-6817
John and Darlene Kennedy,
Ron Hendrickson “Skitch” joined us for his first reunion. Ron served in 115 at
We welcome these individuals and couples who made the first reunion and we expect to see them at later reunions.
and Linda Blasko who have attended
other reunions, traveled from
and Lisa Chouinard drove up from
PUBLICATIONS ABOUT USMC AIRPLANES
The November edition
of “FLYING” magazine has an interesting article about
The July 2006 issue of Smithsonian “Air and Space” has an article about the F4D Skyray aircraft.
There is a photo of a VMF(AW)-115 F4D aircraft in the article. It shows 19 F4D aircraft in a circle with all the ground support equipment and all the Marines attached to the squadron. The article tells of all the attributes of the F4D “Ford” aircraft. The 19 aircraft are of VMF(aw)-115.
New Addresses and Emails, Etc.
and Judy Twomey has moved into an
assisted living center named
Lynn Guyer >firstname.lastname@example.org
received a telephone call from Max Ballard, who saw our newsletter on
the internet site. Max was in 115 in
1970-71 and worked in engine shop with a MOS of 6024. Max is trying to locate Marines who he served
with. Max had spent several trips to Udorn Air Force Base in
Bussell, was in 115 from January 1982
thru May 1983 as Intel officer and Ground Safety Officer. He is presently flying for Delta Air Lines
Andy Galante was in 115 from October
1962 to April 9, 1963, before being transferred to
Micheal A. Boudreaux (also known as Bozo), 707 S. 2nd
W. Long >email@example.com.
Paul was with 115 in
James A. Swindell Jim served with 115 in Danang in 1966 with 115. He saw our notice of reunion in the Legion magazine. Jim also served in VMFA-314, the “Black Knights” squadron. He said he still has his coffee cup with the 115 shield on it and also a VMFA-314 coffee cup. He treats them with a lot of care.
deployed out of
THE PRESENT COMMANDING OFFICER OF VMFA-115
Col. Randy “Fester” Nash, who took
the squadron to
I received a notice from Don Emello about a mistake is the last newsletter. Don stated that Jack Maas was the CO of the squadron taking over from Col. Tim Cole in the middle of 1953. This is a discrepancy from the 115 History book where I took this information.
Ken and Vi Goode new
MaGaa, pilot in the squadron in 1966
era emails a new address:
Harvey, was in 115 from 1967-68 in
Fuchs, >leonard.fuchs @cox.net,
Len was a 1st Lt.
In the squadron in 1970-71, was in S-4A, Buildings and Grounds. He retired from
USMC as a
Stockwell sstockwell@FOAMEX.com Stephen read about us in the March/April
edition of Vietnam Veterans of America magazine. Stephen was in 115 from February 1971 to
November 1971 as a
“Editors note”: Maybe we should plan a reunion in the future
for PA. There are a lot of Marines from 115 in
Paul W. Long, was with 115 in
Jimmye L. Jones firstname.lastname@example.org Jimmye “served four tours in VMFA-115,
Cherry Point in 1962-65, Atsugi from 65-66, Vietnam1966, and
Jim Perry, Perry2656@aol.com, emailed asking about reunions. He said it is difficult to travel with his wife, but is interested in our organization. Jim was in the squadron from October 65 to September 1966. He asked if I was there when the squadron broke 1000 combat sorties.
Jim was a friend of 2nd Lt. James Pitts, who took his own life in November 1966. Lt. Pitts was a friend of Jim’s and they had served in VMF-251 and had made a Med cruise together as well as countless deployments. Lt. Pitts was the Maintenance control officer. Jim said that the best tour I had in the Marine Corps was his tour with 115, only he didn’t know it then.
Gollihur, was in 115 from November
1967 to December 1968.
Mike stated that when he checked into Avionics, B.C. Kidd and
Dave Horne were in charge of the radar shop. He served under 3 CO’s, the last
and Naomi Vess with a new email
address: >email@example.com Paul
and Naomi were planning to come to
I have a copy of the original orders for the squadron to deploy
from Cherry Point to
B. Maas, Jr. “Cactus Air Force” VMF-112, CO of VMF-115 in
Jack Maas was our guest of honor and main speaker at our reunion
In the June 2006 issue of a magazine called “WORLD WAR II, they have written a complete story about Jack’s USMC career.
The story starts with Jack being assigned to VMF-112 flying F4F’s,
Jack tells about
May 13, 1943 Jack shot his next aircraft down, a Japanese Zero and
got a probable west of
He was assigned to VMF-451 at Mojave, that was preparing to go aboard the USS Bunker Hill to return to the Pacific, but changed squadrons as joined VMF-322. The USS Bunker Hill was damaged on May 11, 1945.
Jack then transferred with the squadron to Kadena,
Jack made “ACE” with his fifth kill flying out of Kadena flying a FG-1D. A Goodyear Aircraft built version of the Corsair. He was credited with shooting down a “Tojo” , a Japanese interceptor aircraft (Nakijima Ki44 )and a half share credit north of Izena Shima to Ie Shimaon May 25, 1945.
Upon returning to the
states, Jack became an instructor at
After returning stateside he did tours at
We were excited to have him as our main speaker at our banquet. He told about pre-flighting an aircraft, then getting ready to fly, when the plane captain told Jack he couldn’t fly this airplane, the engine had been removed.
Our reunion normally starts with some people arriving on Thursday. Come Friday morning, we will start by having our required annual business meeting. After the business meeting, we normally have some type of bus tour to visit something with a military/aviation/Marine theme or other interesting places in the area. Friday night we all go out for supper in small groups or as one large group. This is a time to take your “old buddies and their wives” out for a quiet dinner.
Saturday again starts with another tour, trying to have a noon meal with the tour, and then returning to the hotel early to prepare for the banquet.
Saturday night we have a formal banquet. This is a formal affair. Marines who drive their own vehicles like to wear their suits, those who fly are excused due to the amount of luggage they carry.
We try to have a program and/or a main speaker. Then we bring the group again to attention, and the Marine Honor Guard retires the colors.
The costs of the reunions for each person attending is
determined by the total costs of bus trips, ready room rental, ready room
snacks, banquet room rent, banquet meal costs and small miscellaneous
expenses. We try to determine the cost
in advance, and let everyone know the costs.
We try to keep under budget and normally do. One of the costs is renting tour buses. These normally are $650.00 to $700.00 for a
full day, or an hourly rate for partial time, and we divide the costs by total
attendance. The larger the group, the lower the cost. We had full bus loads at
We will try to attend the graduation ceremony at the Marine
Corps Recruit Depot in
Located approximately 15 miles from downtown
These patches are available from Sgt. Mike’s catalog. The Joe’s Joker patch of VMF-115 is the patch that Walt Disney created for Joe Foss for his new squadron. Sgt Mikes telephone 1.866.776.2607
STORY ABOUT THE F4D SKYRAY AIRCRAFT
In the July 2006 issue of Smithsonian Air and Space
magazine, there is an article on the Skyray aircraft. VMF(AW)-115 flew this aircraft from April
1955 to September 1963 when the squadron changed to the F4B Phantom. These
aircraft were used by the Navy and Marines during the Cuban Missile Crisis. The
F4D that are available in museums include the
During a telephone conversation
with Leroy Blonshine who was in the metal shop in 1966-67, said his brother-in-law,
Merritt Smith died of Agent Orange cancer, lymph nodes, shortly after returning
AGENT ORANGE IN 115 PERSONNEL
In the future, if anyone would like to participate in writing a “buddy letter” to the VA for an agent orange claim, maybe we could keep a confidential list of those having agent orange troubles. Many Marines that I have talked to are having trouble with agent orange. Marines serving at the Danang air base seem to have the most diagnoses of Agent Orange problems. There is a possibility that we could get those with AO problems to send a letter to the VA. The more letters, the better the chances are for a claim.
Many people have contact me for information and want to be added to the roster. I ask them if they have any problems with agent orange and I get many “yes” replies.
Information from Marines wanting information, or in need of something, etc.
Salvatore would like to know if any
of the WWII group (1943-45) would have any of the dates and islands that
the VMF-115 squadron was sent to during WWII.
He would like to hear from anyone who can help him with this.
Martinello, who is the son of the
late Joesph Martinello, inquired about the
Looking for: GySgt. Theodore J. Thomas, USMC retired is looking for a Sgt. Larry Anderson who was in avionics with 115 during the 1966-67 era. Mr. Thomas was his “best man” at his wedding in 1963. 615-595-2480 >firstname.lastname@example.org
Capt. Chamberlain, a current Silver Eagle pilot was asked by his skipper to find any alumni associations. He said we qualify. Hopefully we can get together with the squadron again for a 65th or 70th anniversary reunion of this squadron. 1943 + 65 years will be 2008. We had a very good time having the 60th reunion at Beaufort in 2003 and look forward to doing this again. >chamberlinba@ 2mawbft.usmc.mil
This was a subject we brought up a few years ago to sustain our
organization. We decided on a $10.00 per year dues. This pays for the cost of publication of the
newsletter, envelopes, mailing costs, costs of our legal matters, (State of
We are printing between 300 – 350 copies of the newsletter. Also I have costs related to “new discoveries”. Those who just discovered us and would like a copy of the roster and I throw in some old copies of the newsletter and mail to them.
Please, if you enjoy receiving the newsletter and would like for
this group to continue, please mail your dues. What we ask is that the checks
be made out to the VMF/VMF (aw)/VMFA-115 Marine Reunion Assn. Inc. or a
shortened version of same. The mailing address is
Our contract has been signed for the 2007 reunion. This will be held at the Holiday Inn San Diego Bayside. The web site for the hotel is www.holinnbayside.com. Telephone (800)-650-6660, (619) 224-1787
The charge for hotel rooms is $115.00 single or double. To make reservations for the guaranteed rate, please tell the representative that you are with the VMFA-115 group. If you are planning on attending, please mark this on your new calendar.
This hotel is located
near the bay in
The Marine Corps Air Station at
Our reunion will start Friday morning with our annual business meeting. This is mandatory that we have this after breakfast. After the meeting we will load buses and hopefully head for Marine Corps Recruit Depot for graduation ceremony. This is a must for those who have not been a part of it or those who have not seen it. We will try to have a tour bus to make easier access onto the base. There are bleachers to observe the graduation events. This is a place to wear your Marine Corps or the VMFA-115 cap to identify yourself as a Marine. At past graduations, they call attention to former Marine units, and maybe we will be so honored.
After the ceremony, if possible, we will let everyone have the noon meal at the Recruit Depot. You will also have time to take a short walk around the depot to see what has changed over the years. (They now park on the parade deck).
After the noon meal, we will head for the Marine Air Station at
Saturday, we will try to see if possible to take everyone to the
Navy’s aircraft carrier, the USS Midway that is tied to a pier in downtown
This itinerary is just the ideas that I have planned. They are subject to change. I must contact all of these organizations to make firm arrangements. If anyone has any ideas for a tour on Saturday beside the USS Midway, please feel free to contact me.
1969 Edition of the VMFA-115 Cruise Book
We have been donated a copy of the cruise book of this era by Jerry and Elaine Carpenter. The C.O. in the front of the book is Lt. Col. R.R. Norton (Nov. 68 - July 69).