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Reunion 2002  
Virginia Photos
This year’s 361st Fighter Group Reunion was held in Virginia and was attended by 83 Association members and guests. One of the latter was Steve Gotts who took part in a few of the planned events and has offered the following selection of photos taken during the Reunion.

Please click on the thumbnail picture for a high quality enlargement.

Prior to the Reunion, Steve stayed with former 376th FS pilot Bob Volkman and his wife Jane in Wilmington, Delaware. They visited the Air Mobility Command Museum at Dover AFB, where Bob posed for this picture with this beautifully restored P-51D Mustang.
A visit to Cape May provided an opportunity to visit the Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum , which included this airworthy 1943 Boeing Stearman PT-17, the type in which Bob Volkman and many hundreds of other USAAC pilots did their basic flight training.

The major event of the Reunion was a guided tour of Langley AFB, where the fledgling 361st Fighter Group flew its first training missions with P-47's. Here, former 374th Squadron pilot Charlie Screws gets a close-up view of the cockpit of a 1st Fighter Wing F-15 Eagle.

Serving US Air Force personnel were on hand to act as guides and answer the many questions posed by 361sters. Former 374th pilots Al Hill (at left) and John Olmstead are shown here picking up tips on the F-15 cockpit.

While Stan Rames of the 375th and Al Hill receive their briefing, Joe Mack Zieske (son of the late 374th pilot Clarence “Bud” Zieske) and Association Treasurer Barney Vellutello await their turn.

Among the many familiar faces present during the Reunion were a few new ones. Attending their very first reunion was ex-374th Fighter Squadron pilot Paul C. Holter and his wife Marion, from California.

361sters gather near the F-15 to hear about the fighter’s weapon systems. Wearing his 361st cap is former 376th FS pilot Frank Johnson, while newly elected Association Vice-President Cecil Laxton (4th from right), also ex-376th, reminisces.

With the Eagle as a backdrop, the tour party obligingly lined up for group photos, along with their US Air Force hosts.

Kneeling at right is former 374th Squadron pilot Tom Moore, who was newly elected President of the 361st Fighter Group Association for the coming year. Dave Landin, who organised this year’s Reunion, is kneeling third from right.

Following lunch in the Officers’ Club at Langley Air Force Base, Association members were briefed on the present-day role of the US Air Force.

Two 1st Fighter Wing officers conducted the briefing, with a superb presentation of computer graphics and movies illustrating aircraft types and deployments. Without exception, everyone was greatly impressed.

That evening, Association members gathered in the Williamsburg Hospitality House Hotel for the Reunion Banquet. Here, Joe Redden’s camera captured Steve Gotts with Joe Mack Zieske, reflecting on yet another highly successful reunion for the 361st FG Association.