54TH Troop Carrier Wing
May, 1998
Colorado Springs! Here We Come!
Here's all the information you need to sign up for our upcoming reunion. See next page for all the details. Max Elliott has been working with Mark Clements of "Group Tour Resources" and they have planned an exciting time for us.

Thanks to all who returned our inquiry form last May. We realize too many aren't physically able to travel, and you will be missed. Notes to share will be appreciated from any who can't attend, no matter what the reason may be.

We will be expecting quick responses from all of you!! Registration Deadline: Sept 1, 1998

More Book News:

Bob Monson, 33rd TCS, 374th TCG, sent info on another book by Michael Claringbould, P. O. Box 214, Suva, Fiji. "The Forgotten Fifth" is a photographic chronology of the Fifth Air Force in action in WWII, containing 154 photos and their stories. The cost is $35.40 or $19.06 for 5 or more.

Colonel Imparato's fourth book, "History of the 374th Troop Carrier Group in World War II," is due off the press in late May or June. He will sell it to any of you for $30 (plus $2 shipping) His address is 155 Bayview Dr, Belleair, FL 33756.

Colonel Imparato sent a clipping about his meeting after 53 years with John McCollom, one of those downed airmen the Colonel helped to rescue. That rescue story is told in his book, "Rescue from Shangri-La."

A new book from WideWing Publications, 9017 Stonewall Jackson Hwy, Front Royal, VA 22630, is "WWII Pacific War Eagles." This is a "coffee-table" type color picture book. Cost is $39.95 & $5(s&h.)

Frederick Hill, Photo-lab Chief of the 17th Recon Sqdn of the 71st Recon Group, sent info on the above book. He wonders whether any of the 54th dropped the 503rd Paratroop Regimental Combat team on Corregidor, Feb, 1945. He says his group was flown from Lingayen to Ie Shima by a group of C-46 Troop Carriers. He'd like to hear from any who might know about the above. His address is 400 Sunset Dr, La Grande, OR 97850.

Jim Coutts reports that the 33rd was reactivated into the 33rd Flight Test Sqdn in 1994. The 33rd keeps trying to get its logo officially recognized by the Helaldry Section of the Air Force. He wonders whether any of the other squadrons have had any luck with their emblems. In response to our Townsville stories, he remembers landing there and that he chose a pork and bean sandwich over a bully beef. Never again, he vows! After a long search he has found a fellow 33rd pilot, Joe Skalski. Joe's health is not too good, but he would enjoy letters from any who knew him. His address is 776 7th Ave, Riveredge, NJ 07661.
Ray Epling honored:

Ray's health has been improving rapidly since his successful Batista heart and cataract surgeries. He was selected Youth Day Honorary Grand Marshall in his hometown, Winters, CA. The celebration was held April 24 & 25.

C-47s Still Earning Their Keep:

Here are a few quotes from a clipping sent by Stan Zakheim: "…many of the 3,500 C-47s still flying worldwide aren't pampered air show entries. Even after six decades and three wars behind them, these planes earn their keep. Over a dozen national freight companies use refurbished C-47s ..(because) …there's not another aircraft for $200,000 that will carry as much cargo…they don't need long runways …their fat wheels can land on nearly any surface …it's one of the few airplanes left you actually have to fly...the autopilot is the guy next to you…but beware of those flips…that's the only fast thing that plane does. 10,000 'Skytrains' were built in WWII."

A note to the uninitiated--Jungle Juice is made by sundry bright lads on the Island as a means of obtaining filthy lucre. It is consumed by other lads (not so bright) who pay as much as #10 (pounds) for a bottle of this deadly potion. It is made by tossing any dried fruit available, along with anything else that will ferment, into a tin of water, and bottling the resulting brew after a few days have elapsed. It is a slow and painful death.

(From "Memories of Moresby")

The Trouble Tree

The carpenter I hired to help me restore an old farmhouse had just finished a rough first day on the job. A flat tire made him lose an hour of work, his electric saw quit, and now his ancient pickup truck refused to start.

While I drove him home, he sat in stony silence. On arriving, he invited me in to meet his family. As we walked toward the front door, he paused briefly at a small tree, touching tips of the branches with both hands. When opening the door, he underwent as amazing transformation. His tanned face was wreathed in smiles and he hugged his two small children and gave his wife a kiss.

Afterward he walked me to the car. We passed the tree and my curiosity got the better of me. I asked him about what I had seen him do earlier.

"Oh, that's my trouble tree," he replied. "I know I can't help having troubles on the job, but one thing's for sure, my troubles don't belong in the house with my wife and children. So I just hang them upon the tree every night when I come home. Then in the morning, I pick them up again."

"Funny thing is," he smiled, "when I come out in the morning to pick 'em up, there ain't nearly as many as I remember hanging up the night before."

Editor's notes:

We recently received this story from a friend via e-mail. It seemed good advice, even for retired folk, and also a story one might want to pass on to his children and grandchildren.

We will be visiting our daughter and her family in San Carlos, June 18 to July 31, to celebrate our granddaughter's graduation from college, and the homecoming of our grandson. He has been in Ecuador for the last year as an exchange student under the auspices of the American Field Service Scholarship Program.

Your registration can be sent to our home as usual, but if you need to reach us for any special reason, the address is: 2921 Franciscan Ct, San Carlos, CA 94070. Phone # is 650/367-0127. 

Murphy's 13th Law:

Success always occurs in private, And failure in full public view.

(From Dan Brennan's Irish Note Pad)

4TH 54TH Troop Carrier Wing Reunion

October 15-18, 1998

Best Western LeBaron Hotel

314 West Bijou St.

Colorado Springs, CO 80905


Thu, Oct 15

4:00pm on: Registration / Hospitality Room, Suite 103

Dinner on your own

7:00pm on: Visiting, Snacks and Fun Time, Suite 103

Fri, Oct 16

7:00am on Breakfast on your own

9:00am-3:00pm City Tour--Includes U.S. Air Force Academy, Garden of the Gods, Lunch at Gusippees Old Depot Restaurant, & Old Colo City

Evening Excursion to Cripple Creek (includes dinner)

Sat, Oct 17

7:00am on: Breakfast on your own

9:00am-3:00pm Royal Gorge Bridge Tour - the world's highest suspension bridge, the aerial tram, world's steepest incline railway to bottom, and more (includes lunch)

6:30pm Banquet - Be in good voice to sing "Off We Go Into the Wild Blue Yonder" Speaker from the Air Force Academy Door Prizes

Sun, Oct 18

At your pleasure Breakfast on your own

8:30am Farewell & brief business meeting, Suite 103

Return form below to Glenn McMurry,
8944 Krueger St, Culver City, CA 90232-2437

___Yes, I'm coming:

Name (please print)______________________________Group & Squadron________

Name(s) of Guest(s)____________________________________________________

Cost for ______person(s)

at $110 each……………………………$_______

(This is the total cost for all functions as listed above)

Check banquet menu choice: Chicken #_____, Fish #_____, Vegetarian #_____

___Sorry, I can't come, but please keep sending the newsletter

Voluntary contribution for mailing expense…$_______

(not necessary if you have contributed within the last year)

Total enclosed (make checks to Glenn McMurry).$_______

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Note: Make any address changes on the back of this form

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Hotel Information: The Best Western LeBaron Hotel will reserve a block of rooms for our reunion attendees until September 15, 1998. The charge for ether a single or double room is $67.00, plus an 8.1% tax. Reservations received after September 15 will be provided on a space available basis and may be subject to a higher rate. Check-in time is 11:00am & check-out time is 3:00pm. The hotel provides free shuttle rides to and from the airport. After arriving at the airport and claiming your luggage, call the hotel for shuttle service. The hotel phone number is 1-800-477-8610.

Airport Information: Colorado Springs is proud of its Airport Improvement Project, which was completed in 1994 and cost $140 million. They claim to have direct and non-stop flights from all major hub cities. You can get a booklet listing airlines and flight schedules by writing to Colorado Springs Airport, 7770 Drennan Rd, Colorado Springs, CO 80916.

When making your plane reservations, don't forget to ask for senior citizen discounts.

Do make every effort to come to Colorado Springs for our 4th reunion. Who knows? There may not be another for you or for any of us! Time takes its toll on us all!
Reservations deadline: Sept 1, 1998