416th Bombardment Group (L)
September 4-6, 2014
Veterans present at the Reunion Banquet
Left to Right seated: Bob Kehres, Wayne Downing, Ralph Conte, Dave Andrews
Standing: Joe Meagher, Bob Basnett, Roland Dullnig
(Photo courtesy of Wayne Sayles)
2014 Reunion a Success!
416th Bomb Group Veterans, Families and Friends meet —
From San Antonio to Fargo and California to Connecticut, veterans of the 416th Bomb Group along with family and friends converged on Indianapolis, Illinois from September 4 to 6, 2014 to celebrate the achievements of their historic combat unit during World War II.
For the first time in a decade, the number of WWII veterans nationally that pass away each year is shrinking rather than growing. Ironically, that is not a good sign. What it actually reflects is the staggering fact that most of them have already made their final journey. For those of us who were born during that war, or in the "Baby Boom" immediately following its conclusion, it's hard to comprehend. The seventy-year interval seemingly passed like the blink of an eye—and in the scheme of the universe probably so. But, those days are gone and we are left to carry their torch and fortunately to remember our front row seat in the lives of the "Greatest Generation". We also have the honor and privilege to preserve and tell their story from a unique perspective. The reunions do that and institutions like the 416th Archive assure that future generations will be able to learn from the lessons of history.
Chris and Mary Adams, with the dedicated help of their daughter Amanda and son-in-law Zach, hosted the event at the Hilton Indianapolis Hotel and Suites this year, just a stone's throw from the Capitol building. The turnout of 50 guests, 7 of whom were 416th veterans, included many spouses and family members of deceased veterans. As always, the highlight of the reunion was the Hospitality Room, well stocked with snacks and refreshments, where longstanding friendships were rekindled. An outing to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and its fascinating museum was scheduled, as was a group luncheon and status briefings from the New England Air Museum (Carl Sgamboti) and the 416th Bomb Group Archive (Wayne and Doris Sayles). Chris Adams presented a summary of changes and projects at the Group web site, http://416th.com . The business meeting on Saturday was well attended and the group unanimously voted to accept a most welcome offer from Kathe Rensner (niece of Francis De Mand) to host the 2015 reunion at Albuquerque, New Mexico. The banquet was held at the Hilton on Saturday evening, with many poignant farewells at the Sunday morning breakfast.
View the 416th Bomb Group Reunion Newsletter published by Jane & Doug Enman shortly after the Reunion.