As I said in the first letter it seems impossible that we are holding our 50th reunion - but here it is only a few weeks away. The returns promise once again a banner reunion as some members are traveling as far away as the state of Washington and other long distances.
During this past year mini reunions have been held. Pinky Harris hosted a cook out with ten couples attending. Bill Morrissey also had a gathering at his home where a good time was had by all. There is a group of 6 or 7 couples that go out to dinner every month. The bond between our members grow stronger as the years go by and when death takes a member or spouse we pay our respects at the wake and funeral.
Ten years ago many of us went to Europe on a Battle Field Tour retracing our steps through France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Germany. It was a unforgettable experience and for a few years following we showed pictures, slides etc. about this event
Dec 1st - 3rd of this past year 1995, 12 members of the 150th along with 7 wives came close to equaling the trip to Europe. It did not last as long but the experience will be just as memorable.
It all came about when our President, Bob Pearl read that the 150th was to be reactivated in Meridian, Mississippi, 2 years ago. Bob kept corresponding with Sgt. Richard D. Scott of the 150th in Meridian as to the time and place of the activation ceremony and invitations were sent to members of the original 150th to attend.
Members attending with their wives were Bob Pearl, Joe Lenza, Arthur Boucher, Joe Calve, Ralph DeSimone, Norm Cortis and Nick Kakunes. The others were Arthur Makholm, Tim Butters, Pat MacIsaac, Bob Spear, and Curt Shaw.
Arriving Friday afternoon in Meridian, we were greeted by Sgt. Scott and transported to our Motel. A welcoming party was held in the hospitality room which everyone enjoyed, The members and their wives from Meridian, told us that Mississippi was known as the HOSPITALITY STATE and they were correct.
Saturday morning we were transported to a casino on an Indian Reservation. A good time was had by all even though only a couple of people came out ahead. In the evening we were taken to the Armory where we again enjoyed ourselves. A skit was put on which included Art Boucher in his original army uniform, Eisenhower jacket, ribbons etc. Some were thinking about re-enlisting, but Joe Calve said they would take women and children first.
A Christmas Party with Santa Claus was held for the children and door prizes were given out. Later, a Pot Luck supper was thoroughly enjoyed. The wives prepared the meal, and believe they all tried to outdo each other. We were taught how to say you all "Y'LL" which we did a lot of kidding about.
Sunday afternoon was the highlight of our trip. Around 100 soldiers were in attendance in Dress Uniform. Before the ceremony, we were surrounded by young soldiers asking us about our experiences in Europe. The stories we told, have been retold many times at our reunions and we never seem to get tired listening to them. Probably our wives do but they are kind enough not to say anything.
The ceremony started at 2 PM and at times it brought tears to our eyes. Our President, Bob Pearl, was on the reviewing stand along with the Mayor of Meridian John R. Smith, U.S Congressman Sonny Montgomery, Major General James H Garner, Brigadier General Fletcher Coker, Bn Commander Lt. Col. Michael D. Gilpin, Sgt. Major David Johnson, and Sgt. Richard Scott who coordinated the actives.
Each one gave a short address with Bob telling about our unit building the first bridge across the Rhine along with other exploits of our Bn. Bob also stated that he is confident that the new 150th will maintain the standards set by us during WWII.
Sonny Montgomery gave the keynote address and a main part of his speech really glorified our outfit. He was in the Inf. in WW II, receiving the Bronze Star. Congressman Montgomery told about crossing bridges that we probably erected. He went on to mention the decorations we received. One DSC, 18 Silver Stars with 4 clusters, 11 Soldiers medals, over 200 Bronze Stars with clusters, 1 Legion of Merit, 280 Purple Hearts with 45 clusters, 66 Certificates of Merit. The Presidential Unit Citation, along with the ETO Ribbon with 5 clusters, were awarded to all of the men of the 150th.
He then stated that we constructed more than 300 bridges, many under heavy enemy fire, that we were a highly decorated Bn and asked that we stand to be recognized. As we stood we all felt that Col. Reagan along with others that have gone before us were looking down upon this ceremony.
Again the genuine hospitality shown by everyone in Meridian will remain with us throughout our lives. An invitation has been extended to the 150th in Meridian to attend our 50th Reunion.
Another side story was on Sunday morning, Pat MacIsaac with Arthur Makholm drove over to Jackson, Miss. and visited Henry Gray. He was a lst Lt. in Pat's Platoon and came into the outfit on cadre with then Capt Makholm. The visit lasted over an hour and Henry could not thank them enough. Henry is now legally blind and he never believed that he would ever meet anyone from the Bn. again.
Monday morning we headed home by Amtrak arriving back late Tuesday evening. Although it was a long ride, we wouldn't have missed it. I hope that I have in a small degree conveyed the close friendship that we share.
AS YOU RECALL Shoreway Acres is a BYOB Resort which sure cuts the cost. The hospitality room will be open Monday Noon for early arrivals serving sandwiches, snacks, and your choice of beverages. Sharns and O'Douls are becoming increasingly popular. The charge remains the same as in past years $20 early arrivals, $15 Wed Arrivals and dues $10 for men only.
WE are all looking forward to greeting you at Shoreway Acres. REMEMBER those who do not come are disappointing someone who is there. Get your reservation in by April lst.
Arthur Boucher, Vinny Bianchi, Tim Butters, Ed Borge, Carl Ciambrone, Al Campopiano, John David, Ralph DeSimone, John Disalvo, Jimmy Dellova, Jim Donoghue, Pinky Harris, Roland Lee, Charlie Mone, Bill Morrissey, Bob Pearl, Pat MacIsaac, Paul Routhier, and Curt Shaw.
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