It’s Time to Sign UP for Dayton 2021 Reunion
The rescheduled 2021 USS Lloyd Thomas Reunion will be held in Dayton, Ohio from Tuesday, September 28th through Saturday, October 2nd. Carl and Donna Roberts (1969-70) of Washington, Indiana, have graciously volunteered to continue as our local hosts.
When we voted to go to Dayton, we were aware of the Wright Brothers connection, and that the Air Force Museum was located there. But after visiting Dayton to check out the city, we were surprised by the amount of technological innovation the Dayton area has contributed to our lives. Many advances in aviation, automotive and electronic engineering originated here. The Dayton Project was an important part of the World War II Manhattan Project. Wright Patterson Air Force Base, located near our hotel, has a long history of research and development, and is home to the Naval Medical Research Unit – Dayton. The Air Force has also recently established a Cyber Defense Research Facility there.
The reunion hotel remains the Holiday Inn, Fairborn at 2800 Presidential Drive, Fairborn, Ohio 45324. The hotel is located in a Northern suburb of Dayton. We encourage you to make your hotel reservations as soon as possible, as the more desirable rooms and any special requests will be filled on a first come, first served basis. The hotel will furnish a complimentary breakfast for those staying at the hotel under the reunion rates. They are also offering complimentary Wi-Fi, Business Center Services, and Parking.
The Holiday Inn will honor our rate of $114 per night, plus taxes, for three days before and after the reunion. However, if you will be arriving before Sept. 28th, or staying after Oct. 2nd, the USS Lloyd Thomas Reunion online reservation link will not accept those dates at our negotiated rate. In that case, you will need to make reservations directly through the hotel at (937) 426-7800. When you make reservations with the hotel, please be sure to mention that you are with the USS Lloyd Thomas Reunion, so you will receive our contracted rate, and also be counted toward our room/night minimums, even if you are staying on points or have another arrangement.
If you have not attended our reunion before, and would like to check us out, we would really love to see you. There are no registration fees, and all of the tours and events are optional. You can attend as many events as you wish, or you can just drop by and visit us at our hospitality room each evening, just to say hello. If you are a regular reunion attendee, please talk to a shipmate you correspond with who has not attended, and ask them to come to Dayton. We are not getting any younger – even if our mind tells us that we are still 19 and 20 year old able-bodied sailors.
The hospitality room is our base of operations at the hotel, and it will be open from when we return from the day’s tours until the last group decides it is bedtime. Our reunion is family friendly, so your relatives and friends are definitely welcome.
We would like to have your hotel reservation made as soon as you can, and your sign-up sheet returned to us by August 18th. We can always handle a late sign-up or two, but the earlier you can submit the sheet, the better it will be for all, considering the need to reserve busing and hospitality and banquet room capacities. You can always cancel, if your schedule does not work out.
There is a space on our sign-up sheet to indicate if you are interested in sharing a room with a fellow shipmate. If you mark that box, we will put you in touch with others willing to share the cost of a room. If you are experiencing mobility issues, we have contacted a company that will deliver rental wheelchairs or other mobility equipment to the hotel. Please check the block on the sign-up sheet if this is of interest to you.
Dayton International Airport (DAY) is located 19 miles, or about 30 minutes West of the Holiday Inn. For ground transportation, Uber/Lyft and taxi services are available. The hotel does not have an airport shuttle, and there is no AMTRAK service to Dayton. If you need transportation help, please give us a call.
The Event Schedule for the 2021 Reunion is:
Day 1, Tuesday, September 28th
Arrive, check in (Hotel check-in time is 3:00 PM), get reacquainted and swap sea stories. There will also be a Welcome Buffet served at the hospitality room from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM. You are welcome to sign up for this event if your arrival time allows.
The Steak and Potato Bar Welcome Buffet choices will include: Market Garden Salad, Pasta Salad, Freshly Baked Rolls, Grilled Strip Steak, Grilled Chicken Strips, Beef and Vegetarian Chili, Idaho Baked Potatoes with assorted toppings, and dessert, featuring a selection of Cookies, Lemon bars, and Brownies.
Day 2, Wednesday, September 29th
We will start the Dayton tours off with an introduction to the Wright Brothers at the Wright Brothers National Park Museum in downtown Dayton. which includes a visit to the actual Bicycle Shop where it all began. We will watch a short video on Orville and Wilbur, then divide into smaller groups to tour the Museum and Shop. The bus will then take us to the Carillon Brewing Company. Lunch will be on your own. After lunch, it will be a short walk to the Carillon Historical Park , a 65 acre campus containing buildings and displays documenting the Dayton area’s contribution to our history. We recommend that right after you enter the museum, you should view the anima-tronics presentation to get an overview of the history of Dayton’s innovations. The National Cash Register display, the Carousel of Dayton Innovations, and the original Wright Flyer are also items of interest you will want to see.
An optional 90-minute (12:30 to 2:00 PM) guided tour of Hawthorn Hill, the Wright family mansion, will be offered on a space available basis. This is an extra cost option, and involves taking a short ride in a 15 passenger van from Carillon Park, since the area where the home is located is not accessible by tour bus. Please note that Hawthorne Hill is not handicapped accessible (there are stairs), and there are no restrooms available there.
We plan to be back at the hotel by 5:30 PM. Dinner is on your own. (A list of local eating places will be provided in your welcome packet.)
Day 3, Thursday, September 30th
We will spend the day at the National Museum of the United States Air Force . The museum is located on a public part of Wright Patterson Air Force Base, with more than 360 aircraft and 6,100 artifacts on display. There are four major buildings and a missile gallery. There are also several IMAX films shown throughout the day for you to purchase tickets to see, if you are interested. The museum is open from 9 am to 5 pm, and lunch will be on your own at either of the two cafes within the buildings. Wheel chairs and scooters are available at no charge. Although the museum is large, there are plenty of places to take a break. There is a Virtual Tour that you can use to plan your visit so that you can see what most interests you. It would be good to do some research before getting to the museum to plan to see what is most important to you. Most folks who have been there tell us there is not enough time in a day to see all the airplanes and displays. The museum itself is free, but there are charges for the IMAX films and other activities there.
The Memorial Service will be held at the Legacy Data Plate Wall of Honor outside of the Air Force Museum entrance at about 4:30 in the afternoon. We have purchased Legacy Data Plates to be placed on this wall to honor the memory of Ltjg Lloyd Thomas, and our three Vietnam casualties. The online versions of these plates are now available, and can be viewed at View a Plate. If you search for “Lloyd Thomas”, our plates will be the first four found. Due to the generous amount of donations received for the memorial bricks at the San Antonio Reunion, we did not have to solicit additional funds to accomplish this memorial.
After the Memorial Service we will take a short bus ride to the Huffman Prairie Flying Field to see where the Wrights practiced their flying, before we return to the hotel. Evening dinner and visiting will be on your own.
Day 4, Friday, October 1st
Friday begins with a morning bus tour of the city of Dayton, followed by lunch on your own at the New York Style Deli “Flyboys.”
We then plan to visit America’s Packard Museum, a restored 1917 Art Deco former Packard Dealership featuring displays of famous Packard automobiles.
Returning to the Holiday Inn, we will hold our reunion business meeting in the Hospitality Room at approximately 3:00 PM. This is when we will choose the location for our next reunion.
In the evening, we will enjoy our Farewell Banquet in the Hospitality Room. Happy Hour will start at 6 PM, dinner at 7 PM.
Banquet menu choices are:
Fish – Seared Atlantic Salmon, with Lemon and Brown butter, Rice Pilaf and French Green Beans.
Vegetarian – Portobello Stack, with Spinach, Mozzarella Cheese, and Tomato Basil, and Garlic Mashed Potatoes and French Green Beans.
Beef – 8 oz Slow Roasted Prime Rib, served with creamed horseradish, Garlic Mashed Potatoes and French Green Beans
Chicken – Baked Chicken Breast with Tuscan Cream Sauce, Garlic Mashed Potatoes and French Green Beans.
Dessert Choices will be New York Cheesecake with Fresh Strawberries, or Carrot Cake.
Day 5, Saturday, October 2nd
Departure – Hotel check out time is 12:00 PM. Farewell until next year!
We fund our Hospitality Room with money raised by a raffle drawing held at the Friday evening banquet.
We will provide items from the Ship’s Store, and some Dayton area items for the raffle. If you have any items you would like to donate to our raffle, please bring them with you to the reunion.
Would you consider hosting a future reunion in your hometown, or in an area you know well? All it takes is a familiarity with the local geography, and an idea of some interesting events and attractions that you feel your shipmates might enjoy. We can provide advice on hotel selection and negotiations, and do all of the paperwork to make it happen. We just need ideas, and a little groundwork on your end.
This schedule and the events themselves are subject to adjustment, but we will do our best to keep to the plan. We hope to see you in Dayton!
|Scott and Nadine Sheffer,||Carl and Donna Roberts,|
|Reunion Coordinators||Local Hosts|
|PO Box 37, Lamartine, PA 16375||330-931-7088 cell|
|Contact Scott by email|