Hershey, Pa

    Hershey, Pa.  How sweet it is!
    Hosted by Robert & Mary Kline

    The 2003 Reunion by Ed Capraun

    Arrived in Hershey at 12:30 September 17th and one, or should I say two, trickled in at a time. The Hilton Garden Inn was first class all the way.  Due to circumstances beyond our control there was to be no alcohol served by our host. So off to the store I went and put in supplies (haha). 

    Our host and hostess reside in
    Lancaster, Pa.  We were just 9 miles from Harrisburg, the capital of Pa.

    Those who graced our reunion, old faithfuls (not old old) were John & Barbara Bye, the lone ranger Ed Capraun, the amazing Pat & Harriette Curtis and their son Melvin.   The always dapper Hank & our Liz Davis, the very distinguished Mr. James Freeman and his lovely lady Avis with their daughter Betty. Late on Friday his other daughter, son-in-law & granddaughter got to meet the men their dad had the pleasure of serving with.  Another biggie, Norm & Jean Hatt and our host & hostess Robert and Mary Kline.
    Thanks for a job well done!

    We are not done yet, our ever so friendly Ernie Winders and his lovely Nadine (lucky guy!).  They call their home the Show-Me-State of Missouri.  Friday evening Ed Bander, with his son, stopped by but had to leave early Saturday but not before he put on a two person show all by himself and it was funny! Thanks Ed.

    I've not forgotten our buddy and shipmate Larry Kovacik and his wife Marion, and then a newcomer but old buddy, Richard Shimer and his wife Lois.  Welcome Aboard! They live up the road a piece!

    We took time to remember Carl Francis, Robert Zurcher, Robert Brandt who passed in 2002, Robert Burgess, Joseph McWhorter who passed in 2003.

    Fair Winds and Following Seas

    We missed the one & only John & Barbara Roulet, he was recouping from an operation. You can bet he will be back next year, God speed!

    We sat and reminisced about our great Navy Life on Wednesday evening. Thursday we went on the trolley and saw the beautiful town of
    Hershey and it's history.  They had a 3-D show with creatures flying off the stage.  Wherever you go, at the end is chocolate, chocolate, chocolate!  We saw the operation of the chocolate making Milton Hershey did with this town for his workers and families.

    Friday was an off day, what you want to do day!  Being bad weather there was no golf so we watched the tape of our 1984 reunion.  Harold Lapham was the host at his farm in
    California and such a large group then, compared to being so small now.

    Saturday, we ventured to the
    Hershey Park. WOW!
    9 roller coasters and one more being built.  We did not ride but Betty did.  Oh well, some are braver than others. We older ones walked and took low flying rides. We were young once-upon-a-time!
    The age guesser missed my age by 15 years! Wow, made me feel good.  We were there five hours, that's a record. 

    Rushed home to dress for our farewell banquet, a few went to church.

    The Banquet Room was lovely and we had the pleasure of Betty playing the violin and Nadine, Avis & Mary sang a Navy Prayer. Very beautiful, thanks gals.   Our business meeting was held and one great guy Ernie Winders took the challenge. We will have it one more time in
    Branson, Missouri. That is a fabulous place for our reunion again!

    Bob Kline had the local TV channel ABC arrived at
    9:30 PM and we were on the 11 PM news.  Really great and another first for us!

    Sunday we were off to the hospitality room for sad but necessary goodbyes for some who leave early. 

    My personal thanks to a great bunch for letting me be part of the Might Bangust.   I had the turnpike to myself all the way home!

    God Bless You One and All.
    Edward Capraun   aka  Cappy


    The invatation to the reunion...............

    All ye USS BANGUST shipmates. It is once again that time of the year to give serious thought to attending the USS Bangust, Destroyer Escort 739 reunion for 2003, which could very well be our last one, because of the diminishing number of Bangust shipmates. "Published statistics indicates that World War II Veterans are passing on at a rate of 1,400 per day and these statistics will continue to increase." Just this past year we lost shipmates Carl Francis and Robert Zuercher. So while you are still able why don't you consider attending our 2003 Bangust Reunion?

    We have made arrangements to hold our Reunion this year, at the Hilton Garden Inn, Hershey area, Wednesday, September 17, through Sunday, September 21, 2003. Please look over the Card Insert supplied by the Hilton Garden Inn and note that each room is supplied with a micro-wave, refrigerator and coffe maker. The Hotel was just built in 1999, so it is still fairly new.The Hotel has shuttle service to and from the Harrisburg International Airport as well. We are planning a three-in-one deal, more on that later, so as to allow as much free time as possible, to either relax with shipmates in the hospitality room and reminence, or to visit other interesting attractions, of which there are a ton in the area. Of course, there is golf , also. Please let me know what you plan to do and send renumerations to me where applicable, and make your-reservations with the Hotel, as soon as you can as final plans must be focmulatcd as early as possible.

    We are endeavoring to keep costs as low as possible so as to allow as many shipmates (widows or widowers) to attend this reunion as possible.

    Robert and Mary Kline
    237 Maple Avenue
    Manheim PA 17545-8916

    717-273-8464 Voice
    717-273-6678 Answering Machine

    Email Robert and Mary

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