A Last Hurrah for the 353rd Fighter Group

Important Announcement

Colchester

In 2015 it will be 70 years since the end of World War II and exactly 20 years since the memorial at Raydon was dedicated to the memory of the of the 353rd Fighter Group and to their comrades who made the ultimate sacrifice during World War II. In the years since the war the village of Raydon has often welcomed returning veterans. Wartime events, both good and bad were remembered and  firm, lasting friendships were made. Our last official visit from the 353rd was in 1999 and now, sadly but inevitably, most of the veterans have left us. Their memory is still fondly held and we therefore warmly invite families of veterans to join with us in a very special event to give the men of the 353rd a “Last Hurrah” in 2015.

Programme

Friday Aug 21

AM Reception in Colchester Town Hall

PM Free time in the historic town of Colchester

PM Welcome dinner with speaker Dr. Graham Cross “The History of the 353rd FG in WWII”

Saturday Aug 22

AM Service to Rededicate the Raydon Memorial

PM “Air Gathering” at Raydon Airfield with historic aircraft, vehicles and displays

Sunday Aug 23

AM/PM Visit to Raydon Church (TBC) and guests of Raydon Village

PM Optional visit to Metfield Airfield (the home of the 353rd until April 1944)

Monday Aug 24

AM Visit to the Cambridge American Military Cemetery at Madingley

PM Optional visit to either Imperial War Museum Duxford or Cambridge

PM Farewell Dinner at Colchester for families and local people.

The tour party will be based in a hotel in central Colchester – further details will be supplied to those interested in attending. You are, of course, free to attend as much or as little as you chose and make your own plans at any time.

Reunion coordinator for the weekend will be Graham Cross who acted in that capacity for the Group in their 1990, 92, 95 and 99 UK Reunions. Many highly experienced people are involved here in the UK  to make the weekend a success.

Some families of veterans have already expressed an interest in attending so can I ask now that anyone that wants to come please let me know via my email slybird353 with @hotmail.co.uk added to it

Can I also stress that at this stage this is a private event for the families of veterans and that the reunion tour is organised for them to join with local people to remember their loved ones service. Further details of any public events during the weekend will be released at a later date.

This really is the “Last Hurrah” for the 353rd Fighter Group – living memory of those wartime years is rapidly passing from the scene. This is a chance to say a final thank you to all those who served and we look forward to seeing as many of you as possible in Raydon next August.

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9 Comments

Filed under 353rd Fighter Group

9 responses to “A Last Hurrah for the 353rd Fighter Group

  1. Sandy Kuhna

    Mike and I are planning to be there to represent Douglas Makikuhna. He still thinks he might go but will be 93 by then.
    Sandy

    • Great news Sandy – we’ll have a warm welcome for you. We also plan to have some of the key events broadcast on the web so that veterans and others unable to attend can still tune in and be with us.

      • Scott Bishop

        I would love to come. We will work on it. Scott Bishop ( Lt. John W. Bishop..” Patrica Baby”)

  2. ttwteach

    What a fabulous tribute to many of our Greatest Generation. How I wish I could bring my mother in honor of my dad, Lt. Col (Ret) Jack Terzian, and his P47 “Marty”. So proud of him and all these brave, gallant men. May God bless each and every one of them.

  3. Marty Terzian

    Through the tears, I was reading about the Last Hurrah for the 353rd. If Jack were alive I would have them there somehow. Fond memories of such beautiful young men – eager and handsome – yet knowing each was thinking,
    “Let’s get this war over and get on with life.” I think I loved everyone of you, but there was one wild Armenian who stole my heart. We were married months short of 70 years, but he left in 2013 to fly sorties with those of you already departed.
    Then I reminisced about, “Hey Vic. Remember when we went to Albuquerque, raided Beck’s closet for clothes we didn’t have, It was cold in those hills!! and went up to the mountain for dinner. However, don’t think you and Elda enjoyed the trip down, though the scenery was beautiful”
    And then: “Hey, Beck, I finally got Bob to go back to his formula although I think he still prefers your Scotch!”
    I give thanks for all the fabulous people we met who gave their service and often their lives. I would be remiss not to give mention and thanks to Anne Brusselmans for aiding in the evasion and rescue of so many Allied servicemen and to her daughter, Yvonne, who continues spreading her memory.
    So many memories, and as long as there is a member of Jake’s (Jack Terzian) family around, you and your families will always be remembered and loved.

  4. blueglas@comcast.net

    Sirs:  Hello.  My wife and I are interested in attending.  My Father, Robert F Hahn, was a member of 351st Fighter Squadron, 353rdFighter Group, from Dec 1944 to July 1945.    He currently is in an assisted living facility and very doubtful he would be able to attend.  He is now 93.  Thank you.

  5. My father, Michael J Martorella, 352nd Fighter Squadron P-51, SX-I (Jeannie) is no longer with us and i will make every effort to attend the Last Hurrah in his honor. The rekindling of so many important facts and untold stories regarding the 353rd Fighter Group continues to expand our understanding of the extraordinary accomplishments of those young pilots and crews. Thank you!

  6. Lynda Lancaster Legge

    Hello, my Father, Billy Jack Lancaster, 352nd Fighter Squadron P-51 from January 1945 until mid-April 1945, has passed on but my husband and I would really like to attend in his stead. We are new to this site and were brought here by our research through his footlocker which contains all his training, operations and flying records. Any information sent to our email would be greatly appreciated and we will plan accordingly. Thanks!!!

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