Walton Beach, FL
March 9 - 11, 2001
A huge "Thank You"
is extended to Gene and Barbara Schaltenbrand for offering to
host the 71st SOS reunion. It is not an easy job to coordinate
such an event, but they succeeded with ease. The time-of-year,
location, and accommodations at the Four Points-Sheraton Hotel,
Ft. Walton Beach, FL were very satisfactory. Reunion members
were so pleased with the location and accommodations at Ft. Walton
Beach, and decided to hold the next reunion in two years at the
same location. The exact dates have not been confirmed, but likely
will be the second weekend in March, 2003.
Additionally, it was proposed
and decided to also hold a reunion in 2002 at Columbus, Indiana,
home location of the 71st. Many members felt it important to
have reunions more frequently than every two years due to the
age of many members. The second location will make it easier
for 71st members to travel to one or the other location. More
details will forthcoming as they unfold.
The special guest speaker at
the Saturday evening dinner was U. S. Air Force Captain Justin
Caroll. Captain Caroll is assigned to the 4th SOS as an Electronics
Warfare Officer (EWO) on the AC-130U gunship. Justin made a very
interesting presentation about state-of-the-art gunship technology,
and some of the missions and assignments he has completed.
One of the other nice offerings
for reunion attendees was a guided tour of an AC-130U gunship
at Hurlburt Field. Members were amazed at the tremendous advances
in gunship technology since the formative years of the AC-47
and AC-119 of the 60s.
The Tiki Hut at the hotel was
a gathering place for swapping stories and reviewing many photos,
newspaper clippings, and documents pertaining to the 71st. Members
should be encouraged to bring more items to the next reunion
to share with others.
The Shadow reunion
would not have been complete without the appearance of a special
Jim Pyle and The man who knows what evil lurks beneath
the jungle canopy.
Continue with more
Shadow Reunion 2001 coverage by viewing the following links.