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 President's Corner

Published in the April 2009 Ragged Irregular

One of the wonderful things in life is when you have something special planned.  Like a vacation, a special party,  getting married or when I was discharged from the Air Force. The 91st Bomb Group Memorial Association has several items to consider attending.

The first is a special event named, "Doolittle Returns to Bassingbourn". The granddaughter of General Doolittle will be at Bassingbourn on Saturday 23 May 2009 signing her two books, "Calculated Risk" & Just Doing My Job". If you are fortunate to attend,  you should contact David Crow at: drakecrow@aol.com for additional information.

Next, we have a Rally-Round planned for July 16 - 19, 2009 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Gary Hall  is the activity planner and  he is has the complete information under a separate heading. Several groups have a reunion or rally round each year and I believe we should follow their lead.
Third, the next reunion is in the planning stages and currently is planned for September 28 to October 3, 2010. The location is Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio. As most of you know, the Memphis Belle is being rebuilt there and should be well along with the re-construction. We recently had a question from the person rebuilding the inside of the plane, specifically the Navigators Table. Seems the table was on the right side of the plane and the question was sent to the Mike Banta Ring of Veterans. After many answers from the veterans and the Historian of Boeing Aircraft Company, it was determined that the factory built table was on the left side of the plane and that a field modification must have moved the table to the right side.

The 91st BGMA has 3 strong sides to the success and the first is the veterans, historians and associate members. Their interest and desire to share their knowledge, learn more about the history of the 91st and to keep the memory alive has been incredible. The next side is the Mike Banta Ring. The 91st veterans, ages 85 to 95 have been providing answers to questions asked by anyone. These men are living history and know the truth about what happened. Several times the question comes up, " Did anyone know my Father, Grandfather, Uncle, etc. because many veterans never talked about their experiences. Just recently, a this type of question was asked and Mike Banta answered because he had flown with this man. This could only happen with the RING, that has been answering questions for over 10 years.

The Web Page was started on January 17, 1999 and 2 days later the Ring was started. Mike and I had no knowledge of each other, but without each other, we would not have enjoyed the many rewards of supplying information to so many. The 91st now has a NEW LOOK web page with several new features. A very interesting one is the 91st YouTube.com that is located on the bottom left of the web page. We have several videos that play on the computer when you select one and we will add more as we go along. The next is the 91st BG Blog where anyone can ask a question or just make a statement. This replaces the Guest Book because we had many computer problems with the Guest Book.

We continue looking for help for the web page because we have about 2 years worth of work to just add the information we have now. I've looked at many Web Pages, but I believe the 91st WEB PAGE is the most complete, the most detailed and provides the most information of any web page regarding the WWII era.

The PX will soon have a new book available: "Merseburg: Blood, Flak & Oil".

Jim Shepherd