Arising from the suggestion that the 2005 Reunion should be
arranged to allow for events to be held for Currahee's to pay
a special tribute to those of the 3-506th that made the ultimate
sacrifice, plans were started for a reunion in Washington DC.
Following an initial recon of hotels in late 2004, a finalization
gathering of the organizing committee was held. This was arranged
in February '05 to coincide with those meeting for the annual
19th February tribute at the Wall. The Doubletree Hotel, Crystal
City, Arlington VA was the venue and the Banquet / Events Manager
put in the extra effort sufficient to convince the organizers
that this was the right place with the right facilities for the
2005 Reunion and that the 3-506th would be welcome there.
Although the 2005 Reunion was scheduled to start on 27th July,
many Pathfinders arrived early to settle in. There was no shortage
of volunteers to help assembling registration goody bags, setting
up the Hospitality Room and a massive silent auction and of course
building the reception area and registration facilities which
this year were aided by the use of a computerized database.
A total of 70 Currahee's attended the 2005 Reunion along with
62 family members and friends and 15 special guests. We also
welcomed 5 new KIA families. Special mention must be made of
our Gold Star Mother from Kansas, Marge Herrick who this year
attended with her daughter Lynette Maxwell.
Attendees were issued their reunion bag containing: reunion
tee shirt, beer/soda glass with 506th and Task Force logo, maps,
schedule of events, KIA list with Wall locations of names, and
suggested places to visit and dine area maps plus many other
reunion odds and ends. Tickets indicating choice of menu for
the banquet were included with the name tags.
The pack also included a very special gift from the estate
of the late Joe Beyrle (3-506th WW2). This was an original First
Day Cover commemorating the dedication of the Wall in 1982.
Most then quickly retired to the hospitality room which this
year was very well organized by the Silent Auction committee
and our main bartender and hospitality room host Roosevelt Mitchell.
Roosey did a fine job.
Incorporating the cost of the drinks into the registration
fee negated the need to issue tickets or to "pass the hat".
The Battalion Colors were on display in the Hospitality Room
along with many tables laden with the items donated for the silent
auction. There were so many items that extra tables had to be
brought in for the display.
Of particular note, available for general inspection, were
the large folders containing all the details of the KIA's. There
were also maps of the Phan Thiet area, a number of personal photo
albums and other items of interest left in the room for all to
peruse and discuss.
On Thursday the first "formal" event of the Reunion
took place, this was the first of the 3 meetings arranged to
discuss the questions of the future organization or not of the
3-506th group. Task Force members and their wives or significant
others were all welcomed to participate in the Thursday and Friday
open discussion meetings. At these first and second meetings
there were some very spirited and emotional discussions but in
true Currahee spirit all present kept an open mind. At the outset
special note was taken of the importance of taking out insurance
to protect any organizers of future reunions from personal liabilities.
The Saturday decision meeting is referred to at the end of
The group was also addressed by our invited guests from the
town of Toccoa in Georgia, traditional home of the 506th and
of course, Currahee Mountain. Representing the Toccoa Chamber
of Commerce was Cynthia Brown. Brenda Owens and Ray Ward spoke
about the Toccoa Museum and Historical Society. From the 506th
Association, Gene Overton, and from the 101st Association Dick
Schonberger, both gave brief presentations to the group.
On Friday morning a very moving ceremony was held at the Tomb
of the Unknown Solider at Arlington National Cemetery. The start
of the 3-506th wreath laying was delayed by the presence of a
full US Navy entourage including 2 Admirals, a US Navy band,
full honor guard and 2 color guards. This resulted in a very
large audience when the time arrived for the 4 Currahee's to
step forward for the laying of a beautiful wreath to the memory
of the KIA's. The Currahee's were escorted by the full military
representation of the Old Guard with a wreath bearer and bugler
who played taps. The whole ceremony took place with great solemnity
and silence was impeccably observed throughout. With the bearers
of the battalion colors and the US flag as well as the wreath
laying party all Company units of the 3-506th were officially
After walking down from the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier another
wreath was placed at the 101st memorial this time in a more informal
ceremony with many group photos taken as a light rain began to
That evening a fine banquet dinner program was held with an
excellent meal provided by a very helpful hotel staff. Our guest
speaker Clancy Lyall, a WW II Currahee and a member of the Band
of Brothers, gave a short but poignant presentation.
The color guard drilled and lead by Jerry Gomes performed
Following the meal the winners of the silent auction were
announced. This was followed by a live auction of a number of
select and rare items, including some special gifts from the
estate of the late Joe Beyrle, and a US Flag with certificate
of Authenticity that had been flown on a combat mission in Iraq
by the US Air Force at the request of Mike Krawczyk in memory
of the 3-506th KIA's and a genuine WW II D Day cricket donated
by Tom McLaughlin. The Flag was purchased by our good friend
David Rattee and the cricket by Bud Blazer and both of these
fine men donated their purchases to the Currahee Museum in Toccoa,
The total amount raised by the silent auction and live auction
will be reported separately but it is noteworthy to mention that
many thousands of dollars were generously given by all the successful
bidders. The group decided that half of these funds will go to
the Flower Fund and half will go into the fund for the group's
Mention must be made there were a few complaints about some
of the language and humor used at the dinner. This will be addressed
and improved on for the next gathering in order to ensure that
we maintain a family friendly atmosphere throughout. Future consideration
will also be given to our non-Christian members in any invocations
Saturday was the Day of Day with the group photo call on the
steps of the Lincoln Memorial, followed by our evening Memorial
Service at The WALL. This took place under welcome cover of an
open sided tent on the knoll next to the Wall and with plenty
of seating and cool water for refreshment. Thanks must go to
John Colone for an excellent job of planning and executing the
service! Families of our fallen Comrades Furman Johnson, Marshall
Nelson, John Viktoryn Jr., Gerald Wrazen and Lawrence Keister
attended. Each of the first year KIA families was introduced
by Ed Bassista and after a ceremony involving a number of very
moving readings each family was made the traditional gift of
a folded US Flag.
Thanks must go to Sterling Chapman and Roosevelt Mitchell who
stood guard with the colors in the heat of the day throughout
The final event of the reunion was the traditional singing
of Blood on the Risers. There were a good number present and
a good effort was made by all.
On Saturday the third and final meeting was held with only
Currahee's or Task Force members allowed the vote. With 70 Currahee
members present and proxies considered the vote was unanimous
to do the following;
1: Establish a Charter and By-Laws steering committee
to have these items ready to be presented for a vote in 45 days.
A brief over view of a draft for these proposed Charter and
By-Laws was given, indicating the following major positions to
be in the document.
1. Accountability of funds
2. A Board of Governors, consisting of;
A 45 day time frame was given for the draft to be completed
Members of the Charter and By-Laws Steering Committee are
David Bentley, Mike Krawcayk, Dee Dallas, Bud Blazer, Andrew
Joe Alexander, David Rattee, Sterling Chapman & Joe Jerviss.
2: Appoint a Finance Committee to assure accountability
of funds for the group.
Until a formal governing body is formed the meeting agreed
that in the interim full authority to expend funds is granted
to Carolyn Mitchell, Kaye Gomes, and Joe Jerviss.
Financial report from the monies generated & expended
by the 2005 Reunion to be ready to post to members no later than
August 15, 2005
3: Create a Reunion Committee for the purpose of planning
the next reunion.
The following people have volunteered and have been appointed
as the Committee for the next reunion; David Goddard, Lynn Dallas,
Bucky Cox, Paul Clement, Carolyn Mitchell, Mike Stewart, Bill
Brightman, Ed Bassista, Patti Clement, Marshall Hill and Al Thomas.
It was also agreed to look at the pros & cons of combining
our even year reunions with either the 506th Association or the
101st Association to save funds, gain the advantage of greater
numbers, hence, lower room rates etc but always with a separate
hospitality room for our 3-506th people to socialize in and have
our silent auction.
The same 45 day time frame was given for the committee to
give an initial report to the group.
4: All major issues to be voted on must be by signature
ballot either by US mail or email.
The ballots will be sent to the existing mailing list of 600
+/- known Currahee's & Task Force Members.
5: Immediately obtain liability insurance.