The 2019 San Antonio Reunion of the USS Lloyd Thomas crews is now over. Only the memories and photos remain of another good time spent together. Telling stories of past days at sea, voyages, time in port of those days long ago. Sharing family pictures, aches and pains of present day.
Even though the snow storms did not cooperate for departing from the northern states, all but one couple made it to San Antonio. The weather was warmer than up north, but still cool most of the time. But a light jacket was not a problem. Spring flowers were just starting to bloom.
We had a total of 47 different attendees throughout the entire reunion. We had 24 shipmates with no 1st timers. We had nine special guests with us for our activities.
Sunday night we started the festivities with a Texan Style buffet of Enchiladas, Fajitas, Spanish Rice and Borracho Beans served in the Hospitality room.
Monday began our tour with the trip to flight line at Joint Base Lackland Air Force base. This article appeared in the Airlift Wing’s web page.
We then had lunch at Mi Terra Restaurant and Bakery in the heart of San Antonio. After eating and a short time for shopping we again loaded the bus to see the Texas Toyota truck plant. Everyone was in awe of the synchronization of all the moving lines of work. Evening was spent in the hospitality room and the Riverwalk.
Tuesday was a bus ride through the hill country to Fredericksburg. The morning and early afternoon was spent shopping, eating, and touring the National Museum of the Pacific War. We all gathered in the Courtyard of the Memorial Garden for our memorial service. The museum provided us with a chaplain, a speaker, and a bugler. Prior to the service our reunion group purchased paver bricks to be placed in the Veterans Walk of Honor:
Family members of Alan, Dennis, and Doug were invited to attend our reunion. Their parents had attended our reunion in 1985 at Philadelphia. We had lost touch with them over the years, but with gallant effort, Mike Balog got in touch with all of them. Shipmates and representatives of the families placed the pavers in the walkway. A video of the program is available on Facebook (USS Lloyd Thomas Reunion Family) and on our Memorial Service 2019 page. Pavers were also bought to honor LTJG Lloyd Thomas and the Ship’s Company.
Wednesday was free time to check out the Riverwalk. Sailors took advantage of boat rides on the Riverwalk, hopping on and off the double decker buses, checking out the Alamo, eating and shopping. The evening banquet was an elegant meal with a fine company of friends. The traveling door prizes were loaned for a year to:
- Jim Cross – the shell casing
- Bob Sherer – the American Flag,
- Mike Balog – the valve wheel.
- The Lone Sailor was awarded to Dave Knight.
At the business meeting discussion focused on where to have the next reunion. No invitations were presented from the group. So Gettysburg, Buffalo/Niagara Falls, and Dayton Ohio were offered. Options were considered and the group decided to meet again in the spring of 2020 at the Air Force Museum in Dayton. Probably May.
We will also have a photo album book available on Picaboo with the activities of this San Antonio reunion to view or buy later on. Follow us on Facebook- USS Lloyd Thomas Family. And please sign up for our newsletter if you have not done so yet.
Many of our regular attendees had medical issues during the time of this reunion. But we still had enough attendees to fill one bus. Hopefully, everyone is back on the mend and will be ready to go till next spring. So talk to a shipmate that has not attended and bring them to Dayton. We are not getting any younger – even if at the reunions our mind tells us we are 19 and 20 year old able-bodied sailors.