The Base Visits Reunions / Contacts Pictures Franco-American Association
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Present on the Independence Day ceremony of the Franco-American Association in Crepy on June 29th 2008, Glen Brady and Ernie Fazio stayed for several days in Laon area and visited with their friends. Here at Laurette and Daniel Sénéchal.
Three generations !
Ashley Baronet came on June 25th 2008 and visited the old base. Her father was born in the base hospital when her grand-father was serving on Laon AB. Ashley's mission was to take pictures of the base and of the house in Couvron where the family lived.
After a first visit in 2007, Will Gullette (here in Coucy-le-Chateau) stayed again in Laon area for one week in June 2008, bicycling around and painting.
On April 25th 2008, Bill Byrne with his wife Mollie saw again the famous stairs from the Laon train station to the Upper City. He had not walked up these stairs since 1952 when he was serving on the Couvron NATO Base.
Thomas E. Mize and his son, despite of the transportation strikes, could come for a one-day trip and visit the Laon city and the old base on November 21st 2007.
Born in the hospital of the old Laon-Couvron base, Rita Dello Stritto discovered her birth place on July 16th 2007, after more than fifty years, with her sister Anita born in Chateauroux. The two sisters, welcomed by par Bernard Croza, were guided through their visit of the now Quartier Mangin by Michel Delozanne.
Brady (who is living in Oklahoma City) and his friends Ernie Fazio
and Bill Matta were very warmly welcomed on July 2nd 2007 by Captaine
Alain Poggiale, Chief of Staff of the Urban Operations Training Center of
Sissonne. Also accompanied by Jean-François Martin and Marc Berriot,
passionate historians of Sissonne, they could go on the field and see where the
"Camp Oklahoma City" of the 82nd US Airborne Division was at the end
of the WWII.
At this time, were also in Sissonne the 241st and 242nd General Hospitals of the US Army.
William Gullette was 11 y.o. when his father was a Squadron Commander on the Laon base. He was very interested in seeing again the control tower where his father went so often while himself was attending the school base. Loving much the area, he stayed for three days in Laon and area on early June of 2007.
Paul and Simone Wright, visiting with family in Belgium, came and saw Laon again on May 28th 2007, after more than 50 years. Receiving them was a true pleasure !
Lt Walt Schmuck was killed in 1957 near Laon in the first fatal B-57 accident of the 38th Bomb Wing. That is with great emotion that his widow, Gloria, visited the old base in April 2007 and saw again the "Chateau du Bois Roger" in Laniscourt, where she had been living.
Sid and Teri Wainman, after a previous visit in 2003, came again and visited Laon in April 2006. Again a very nice meeting !
On April 23rd 2005, Bill Griffin came back and visit the Laon area after more than 40 years. With him were his wife Pamela, his son Kamal, his daughter-in-law Jonnel and his grandson Micah. A very moving visit, and that shows that the friendship is not stopped by the generations.
A 50 years travel through the time for Cork Hardinge, who came back to Laon on February 12th 2005 and visited the old base, the Crepy monument and the Laon cathedral despite of a cold rainy and windy weather.
On November 21st, Ted Ford (4th from the left) from Philadelphia, Jerry McAuliffe and Bill Mata (5th and 2nd from the left) from California, attended the reunion organized by the Franco-American Association and celebrated Thanksgiving with their French friends. The reunion was held on the old base and the chef had made a big beautiful and very good Franco-American cake.
On their fiftieth wedding anniversary travel, John and Pat Hines came back on September 1st to visit Laon, the old base where John served as a Voodoo pilot from 1961 to 1964, and the village of Craonne where they lived at that time.
Josseline Wood had left Laon and Assis-sur-Serre in 1966. She was then Josseline Sharp. She was pleased to see again the area on February 13th 2004. She is now living close to Washington D.C. and would like much to hear from old friends.
Joe Arnold, who served on the Base from 1955 to 1959, found many changes when he came back with his daughter Jodi on September 20th 2003.
Major E. Magwood with his wife Nelly came and visited their French family. We could meet them on Sunday August 10th 2003 and it was a very nice meeting.
On August 4th 2003, Jo Ory-Kaufman came from Louisiana with her husband Jerry and could see the Chateau de Bellevue, in Crepy, where she had been living from 1955 to 1958 with her parents. A moment of strong emotion with many memories after so many years.
From June 16th to 19th 2003, Russ Hood whose father had been in charge of the Base hospital, came back with his wife Maureen. He could visit the actual "Quartier Mangin" on which he had been living, and he found back with pleasure fourty years later the Gravel Pit of the GRH now "Cité Marquette".
Maureen is also an artist who is present on www.art02.com
From June 11th to 21st 2003, Glen Brady and Bill Mata were once again laonese. They had come especially for the reunion of the French-American Association of Aisne that was held on June 15th, and they used this opportunity for touring again in the Laon area and for visiting with old friends.
On October 3rd, Philip Schaaf visited Laon and found back the house he was living in with his parents in G.RH. He also remembered with much emotion the private school he attended in the upper city ; he was then 7 y.o.
From September 7th to
14th, a reunion of the Verdun American High School alumni was
held in France.
Two days from this week were free for the attendees to visit the cities of the Bases they were coming from. So, on 10th and 11th, eight were visiting Laon and area. They are : Barbara McDonald Burt, Kenneth Childs, Clarence Harrison-Stewart, Fax Koontz with Maryann Jarutowicz, Craig and Mary-Jane Lentz, and Cathy Wallis.
From Verdun to Laon, by Reims, like 40 years ago.
Our friends could visit the old base and were very moved with the warmful way they have been welcomed on the actual Quartier Mangin.
April 26th 2002 : Our office has been honoured with the visit of John and Joan Bissell, from Bloomfield Hills, MI. They were on the Base in 1957-1958.
March 30th 2002 : visiting Europ with his son, our true friend Glen Brady is in Laon. They met with Dan Buret and Bernard Croza before going to Belgium and visit Ray Mory.
Jack and Margaret Helmes, who had already visited us on April 2001, came again on early november with their son Jeffrey and daughter-in-law Pat. A true pleasure to meet them again.
June 24th 2001, the French-American Association had a reunion in honour of the
Col. Jerry McAuliffe, who is preparing to publish a book on the AF Bases in France, attended this reunion which gathered more than 30 former french personnels of the Laon AFB.
Bob Perigo's daughter, Denise, also attended this reunion and stayed for one week in Laon area. (Photo : Denise Perigo on the Laon ramparts).
After 40 years, and thanks to our website, Chuck Cole, whose father was based on Laon AFB, could renew the contact with his childhood french friend Philippe Duchemin. Chuck and Kathy, his wife, arrived in Laon on May 12th 2001. "L'Union", local newspaper, published a long report about this very moving reunion (from left : Bernard Croza, Philippe Duchemin, Chuck and Kathy Cole).
Cathy Campbell, Lt Mix' daughter, came on Nov. 24th 1999 and visited in Versigny the house she left when she was the age of her own daughter Caroline. She was received by M. Serge Leclere (himself ancient of the french personnel of the Base) and his wife, actual owners of the house. And she had a moving reunion with her childhood friends, Mrs Georgette Lafaux and daughters, now in Reims.
Cathy Campbell is also a talented painter. You can see her page on www.art02.com .
The Base Visits Reunions / Contacts Pictures Franco-American Association
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