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Association History

History of the Association, by Joe Waddell, past Association Secretary/Treasurer.

The association was formed in 1977 at an Eighth Air Force Association reunion when six 381st BG veterans decided to try to find other group veterans and hold collateral meetings at the 8th AF reunions. They found about twenty other 381st BG veterans and held their first independent meeting at Hershey, PA, in 1978 with John Wierman as host.

T. Paxton "Pax" Sherwood was an driving force behind the early years of the association. The association has held annual reunions each year since 1978.

The association is incorporated in the state of Wisconsin and has nonprofit status granted by the IRS.

The purpose of the association is to encourage fraternal activities, foster patriotism and loyalty, maintain historical records, assist members of the association and their families, maintain allegiance to the United States, and to preserve and defend it from all enemies. - from the association constitution adopted in 1989.

The association publishes a newsletter generally  twice a year, holds well attended yearly reunions, regularly produces a membership directory, has an active forum, answers research questions via this web site, offers association materials for sale via the PX, and much more.

Reunion History

The 381st has held annual reunions since 1978.  Here's a list of when, where, and who organized the reunion. In 2001 the association began using a commercial service to coordinate the reunions.

Year Location Committee Chairman
2013 San Antonio, TX Reunion Service
2012 Dayton, OH Reunion Service
2011 Colorado Springs, CO Reunion Service

2010

Nashville, TN

Reunion Service

2009

Charleston, SC

Reunion Service

2008

San Diego, CA

Reunion Service

2007

New Orleans, LA

Reunion Service

2006

Washington, DC

Reunion Service

2005

Saint Louis, MO*

Reunion Service

2004

Seattle, WA

Reunion Service

2003

Houston, TX

Reunion Service

2002

Dayton, OH

Reunion Service

2001

Hampton, VA

Reunion Service

2000

Las Vegas, NV

Joe Newell

1999

Houston, TX

Art Johnston

1998

Savanna, GA

George & David Shackley

1997

Baltimore, MD

Art Sherman

1996

Alburquerque, NM

Tom LaMore

1995

San Francisco, CA

Rich Bettencourt

1994

Omaha, NE

Herbert Kwart

1993

Orlando, FL

Paul Lear

1992

San Diego, CA

Frank Sexton

1991

Nashville, TN

Howard Kesley

1990

Madison, WI

Joe Waddell

1989

Salt Lake City, UT

Ford Thueson

1988

Phoenix, AZ

Don Rutan

1987

Boston, MA

Bob Gluck

1986

Ashville, NC

Reubin Russell

1985

Seattle, WA

Larry Smith

1984

Colorado Springs, CO

Cliff Decker

1983

San Antonio, TX

Bob Fricks

1982

Harvey, IL

Joe Doerfler

1982

Ridgewell, England

Paul Chryst

1981

Orlando, FL

Paul Lear

1980

Long Beach, CA

Ed Klein

1979

Dayton, OH

Darrell DeBolt

1978

Hershey, PA

John Wierman

*The 2005 reunion was originally scheduled for New Orleans; however, hurricane Katrina forced the reunion to be relocated to St. Louis.