the assorted works of G. H. Spaulding


Chattanooga II 2016






(Added on Nov 17, 2016)  The VP-17 reunion has been a great pleasure for Irene and me. We have derived a fond relationship with the members. We look forward to the next one and plan for it. Being the only enlisted at the Chattanooga reunion, Irene and I felt at home with all present. Irene and I wish all VP-17’ers God speed and a safe and well year.

John and Irene Pendleton



You guys did it again.  What a great Reunion!  Maggie and I had such a wonderful time.  As we age, friendship becomes more precious than ever.  I have been blessed to have been a part of VP-17.  My military friends are amazed how tight we all are as an outfit.  They don't have reunions.  They don't have any friends from their time in the service. 


Until we meet again, stay safe and healthy.


Very sincerely yours,

Benny and Maggie Cheng





Thank you again for your warm hospitality and conversations this past weekend. VP-17 was clearly a life changing experience for many and that experience and memories stayed close to our collective hearts. Carol and I owe BBO, you and others for a terrific experience.


If we can do anything to support the VP-17 reunion effort in the future please let us know. VP-17 means a lot to us to this day - thanks for reinforcing the memories.


Cheers aye,

Rick and Carol Munro




Billy Bob,


I don't think I thanked you enough or hugged you enough for all the hard work you did putting this reunion together.      You had amazing help from Marta and Jack and they deserve a huge round of applause. And, as always, Gerry keeps the family together with his perfect communications network.


Thanks again for everything.    Robin and I had a fabulous time.








I had such a great weekend it was so much fun and I loved the Sculpture dedication Thanks Bill you are the best.


Sally Dete





I cannot find the words to adequately express my gratitude for being a small part of our 2016 Reunion.  Being a part of the remarkable people gathered to celebrate those years was truly great.  Remembering those times and seeing the people that make it so special brings me so much joy.  We may have laughed at our antics but one thing remains in the forefront.  We did it together.  Thanks to all of you for clearly pointing out that Yesterday is composed of memories, Today is what brings those memories into light, and Tomorrow is our plan for more Yesterdays.  Thanks again.


Jack & Barbara Schrager






This is Bill Davis, I was an AT2, Inflight Tech with VP 17 from May 1972 to June 1973.  I stumbled upon your website looking for a “PATRON 17” Shoulder Patch I need to complete a shadow box I am putting together. 


Do you have any idea where I could find one as I have NOT been able to locate one via the internet and they are NOT at any of the garage sale/consignment type venues. Also, looks like you guys just had a reunion; when do you expect to have the next one and where?




Bill Davis





Ken and I had so much fun. Bill, you did a great job of arranging everything.  Thank you so much.


Emily Crandall




Thanks for pulling so many things together and for helping make the 2016 reunion so great.


Jim Carlson


Note: Jim provided a bio update and photo of himself and his fiancee Bridget which are now posted to our Alumni Bios & Photos page. Thanks, Jim.





Welcome Aboard

to those who joined our alumni group for the first time this year.

Glad to have you with us!


Rick & Carol Munro 1979-81 (XO/CO)


Glenn & Madonna MacDonald 1980-83


Jim Carlson (1973-76) & his fiancee Bridget Zolman


"Bullet" Bob Barclay & his new bride Anna


Mark Byars and his new bride Pam


Skipper Bill Ketchum and his daughter

Katherine LeDoyne, still the sweet princess

we first met back in Hawaii


New couple in need of a room.

Wait a minute -- is that a bird?

Never mind.





Courtesy of Jack Schrager 


(These are not thumbnails and this is not a slide show.

Just scroll through the pictures at your own pace.)




Thursday afternoon....


Gathering of "eagles" at the Springhill Suites


For reference, here's who came:


Bill Ketchum - CO, VP-17 1972-74, & daughter Katherine  

   Bill & Anna Overend

   Ger Spaulding

Sally Dete

Pat & Kate Maley

   Ken & Emily Crandall

   Daryl & Susi Ray

   Ben & Maggie Cheng

Rick & Carol Munro - CO, VP-17 1980-81

   Guy & Vicki Leary

Marta Heffner & Kelly Hayden

   Jack & Barbara Schrager

   Jon & Kathy Dresel  

   Doc & Kathy Bakken  

Bill & Robin O'Brien

Doug & Nonie McWhorter

      Bob & Anna Barclay

Mark & Pam Byars

Larry & Leanne Lane  

John & Irene Pendleton

Jim McGroarty

Glenn & Madonna MacDonald

Jim Carlson & Bridget Zolman

Jim & Pam Whatley

Plus a few more sons and daughters







Thursday night, dinner at Chattanooga's

Bluewater Grill 




Back to the Hospitality Suite, where the booze

is paid for and treasured conversation

among old friends is plentiful.

BTW, who said, "The next round is on me?"



At breakfast on Friday some of us decide  to

venture to the top of Lookout Mountain........



...while others opt for "sea" duty--a cruise on the

Tennessee River aboard the Southern Belle. 



Friday evening is set aside for a BBQ buffet dinner followed by a live band performance, all in our very own Hospitality Suite. When the band strikes up, we are joined by other hotel guests who wander in to see what the commotion is all about. Along with us they enjoy the good music. 



Wait a minute!

Let's have a closer look at that last one!


Roxbury Boys, eat your hearts out!

Quiet trespassers. But they were OK and we didn't mind.

"No BBQ for you!!" cried the soup Nazi.


Following a leisurely breakfast on Saturday it's off to the Sculpture Fields at Montague Park to plant a Commemorative tree to memorialize and honor those who have served  in VP-17. The tree is planted near the “Anchors”, a 65-foot sculpture which memorializes the four Marines and one Sailor killed by a terrorist in Chattanooga in 2015.

After the tree planting ceremony, art tour

and fun visit to the artist's home, it's time

for lunch. Some go to the Boathouse.

Following a Boathouse bellyful, all rivers lead

back to Reunion HQ for a bit of reminiscing

around the dormant fire pit.



 And then comes our Saturday night Grand Finale - a steak-dinner banquet at the Chattanooga Golf and Country Club overlooking the Tennessee River. Remarks by Captain Ketchum. Trouble is we have no photos of this event - ZERO, NONE, NADA. Seems our official photographer Jack Schrager made it to the banquet OK, but his camera decided to stay behind in the Hospitality Suite. PLEASE HELP! SURELY SOME OF YOU TOOK AT LEAST A FEW SNAPS SATURDAY NIGHT WITH YOUR DIGITAL CAMERAS OR SMART PHONES. IF SO, PLEASE EMAIL YOURS TO GER AT SO I CAN POST THEM TO THIS SITE.



Sunday, the day of departure, is a day of hugs,

kisses and tears - probably more than at any

previous  reunion, as with each passing year

our love and appreciation for our VP-17 family grows.

 Or, to paraphrase that wise, proverbial philosopher

Benny Cheng:

"As we age, friends become more precious than ever."




(PENSACOLA?), 2018! 



Return to VP-17 Home Page

Welcome Aboard


And now available in Kindle format...


Short Stories



"The Doolittle Raid: How America Responded to the Sneak Attack on Pearl Harbor"

The Mission That Saved Guadalcanal

"Enigmatic Man"

 "Ticket to Stalag Luft III"

DECREE Chapter 1


"Inaugural Ball"
"Don't Need No Stinkin' Badges"
"Coffee at the White House"

"Toss Up" "Waddlethromp" "Zero-g"

About the Author

Photo Scrapbook
















For What It's Worth