"Second to None"
Meet our founders Richard & Clara Vaught
In March of 1988, Richard and I planned a trip to visit our daughter and family at Langley AFB, VA where her husband was stationed.
Staying in touch over the years with quite a few members of the Squadron, we got in touch with Frank Yoder in PA, Richard Couch in MI, Hollis Tessmer in GA and John Kerns close by at Langley, VA. The Tessmers were unable to make it so it was just the four couples who got together and we enjoyed our time together.
Then in 1992, Richard was forced to take a medical retirement and I left the work force in 1993 to spend time with him. In March of 1993, we visited our daughter and family who had been transferred to Florida. Enroute we visited several members we had kept in contact with. We visited Claude Lawson in White Pine, TN. (He has Lou Gehrig's Disease since 1982 & is bedridden), James "Archie" Williams in Bryson City, NC (He passed away Dec. 1995), Alvin Hill in Concord, NC, Hollis Tessmer in Barnesville, GA. All had voiced they would like to have a reunion. Then in May we visited John Kerns and Jesse Goddard in FL. They also voiced they would like to have a reunion. So when we returned home, we got busy getting as much information and addresses together that we could and with such a short time we sent out letters to what names and addresses that we came up with and held the 1st reunion in September 1993 and had 40 to 45 in attendance. Everyone seemed to enjoy getting together and reminiscing about 40 years ago and some didn't recognize others until they would tell them their names. That made it all worthwhile seeing how they seemed to enjoy the time spend together and they wanted to have still another reunion in 1994 about the same time.
When we got home we started going thru all the orders Richard had, took the names and serial numbers from those and made several trips to Horace Ray's in Bowling Green, KY as had had a Retired AF Microfiche list and Computer Phone Disc and we would spend several days there at different times going to the Library to use the Microfiche list to see if some names appeared on the Retired List. Also he would give us printouts from his Computer Phone Disc and there may be 12 or more with the same name and on Saturdays (when phone rates are lowest) Richard would spend all day calling each one on those lists to see if they were the correct person that had been in the Squadron and make sure we had the correct address and phone number. So the 2nd reunion was a larger success with 118 in attendance. All seemed to enjoy it again and voiced they would like to continue and have a reunion the next year same time in September 1995.
We started working on it as soon as we returned home. Several members sent us copies of orders they had and we went thru them and once again took names and went to Horace Ray's and Richard would start his calling again to make sure that person had been in the squadron. We mailed out approximately 400 letters for 1995. About 50 letters were returned due to forwarding time expired or incorrect address so we would try other avenues to locate them. Our reunion grew in 1995 with 150 in attendance. We dedicated a Plaque for the members who could not answer the roll call and it is to hang in the Smyrna Town Centre.
Those in attendance seemed to enjoy the reunion and have a good time and they wanted to continue with another one in 1996.
Again we started working on it as soon as we returned home. We were able to locate quite a few more members and we mailed out 500 letters for the 1996 reunion. If anyone knows of someone who isn't on the Roster and knows their address of their general whereabouts, if you would pass that on we'd be happy to try to locate them. And if anyone knows of someone that needs to be added to the Deceased List, if you would pass that to us we will have their name put on the plaque.
We are most grateful to the following: Horace Ray who has spent time at their Library to see if some of the members were on the retired list, also for time spent checking names on Computer Phone Disc, Dexter Neyman for handling park reservations, contacting the photographer, obtaining the hats and Plaque for Deceased, Hollis Tessmer for help in getting things for picnics and Dell baking a lot of goodies for hospitality time, Alvin and Vera Hill who most graciously helped in preparation and serving of food at the picnics.
A lot of work and time has been put into each reunion researching and calling names to make sure they were in Squadron, mailing letters, traveling to Smyrna and Murfreesboro to check out motels and working with personnel there setting up arrangements with personnel at the Smyrna Town Centre to make arrangements for the Saturday Night Buffet' As Richard and I see the results of our work, effort and time it has been worth it and has been both gratifying and rewarding and we hope that each of you have enjoyed it as well.
Richard E. & Clara K. Vaught
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