The Association’s 101th Anniversary Reunion & Convention
2019 Annual Convention & Reunion
October 10-13, 2019
Wyndham Virginia Beach Oceanfront
5700 Atlantic Avenue
Virginia Beach, VA 23451
As usual, our attendees will start arriving on Thursday. The cost of the rooms is $99 a night. Breakfast is not included.
On Friday, we have two locations that we will visit. The first being the Military Aviation Museum just south of Virginia Beach, in the Pungo area.
Military Aviation Museum
The Military Aviation Museum in Virginia Beach, Virginia, is home to one of the world’s largest collections of warbirds in flying condition. It includes examples from Germany, France, Italy, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, from both World War I and World War II, although the complete collection ranges from the 1910s to the early 1950s.
Its mission is to “preserve, restore and fly these historic aircraft and to allow a new generation to experience and learn from what [their forebears] might have endured … in the skies so very far from home.”
Unlike most other collections, which are displayed in a static museum environment, almost all of the historic aircraft at the Museum have been restored to flying condition. In twice-yearly major airshows (one in the spring for World War II planes, and one in the fall for WWI), as well as other special events, the aircraft fly again for the public to view and experience.
The collection also includes a large reference library, along with artifacts and materials to illustrate the historic context of the aircraft in the collection.
The Museum was founded by Gerald “Jerry” Yagen in 2005, and the museum’s hangars were opened to the public in 2008. He had been collecting and restoring warbirds since the mid-1990s, starting with the Curtiss P-40E Kittyhawk, so the creation of a museum to share the collection with the public was the logical next step.
The complex includes two display hangars (one on each side of the main museum building) in one group of buildings, and in another group, a replica World War I-era wooden hangar, a maintenance hangar (entirely new, but an exact replica of a 1937 Works Progress Administration design), a restored authentic pre-WW II Luftwaffe metal hangar, and a set of three identical storage hangars painted to resemble British World War II hangars.
The Luftwaffe hangar was built in 1934 at Cottbus Air Base; after the base was closed during the re-unification of Germany, the Museum obtained the hangar in 2004. It was dismantled and shipped to Virginia Beach and construction started in 2010 and finished in fall of 2012 at the Museum where it now houses the Museum’s Luftwaffe aircraft.
Also underway is a control tower, a re-erection of a genuine ex-8th AAF World War II tower from RAF Goxhill. A two-story brick and concrete structure, built to Air Ministry drawing 518/40, it was completely disassembled, labeled and shipped to Virginia. It is currently being assembled at the Museum’s airfield where it will be used as an operational tower. In the UK, some similar towers are now historically protected; when rebuilt, this will be the only such original control tower in the US.
The complex also includes a large orange and white checked water tower, which is visible from a considerable distance and provides a useful landmark for both ground and air travelers. After our tour, we will have lunch at the museum before departing for the next location.
State Military Reservation (SMR) Camp Pendleton, Virginia Beach, VA.
Some of our attendees who served in the Maryland or Virginia Army National Guard may have spent some time here during their time as National Guard soldiers. Editor of the Twenty-Niner and National Executive Director Will Mund spent 8 annual training periods at Camp Pendleton during the years 1986-94. He admits that he felt extremely lucky and guilty when he knew that other soldiers were spending their 2-week annual training periods at Fort A.P. Hill or Fort Pickett or some other God-forsaken place.
We are indebted to our host, MG Tim Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia for allowing us to visit and tour Camp Pendleton. MG Williams is scheduled to welcome and speak to us upon our arrival at Camp Pendleton.
Camp Pendleton is a 325-acre (1.32 km) state military reservation in Virginia Beach, Virginia, named after Brigadier General William N. Pendleton, who served as Robert E. Lee‘s chief of artillery during the Civil War. It lies on the Atlantic coast slightly east of Naval Air Station Oceana.
The facility was laid out in 1911, with construction beginning in 1912, as the State Rifle Range for the use of the state militia. Between 1922 and 1942, it was named after the then serving Governor of Virginia, being firstly named Camp Trinkle (1922–1926), then Camp Byrd (1926–1930), Camp Pollard (1930–1934), Camp Peery (1934–1938), and Camp Price (1938–1942). During both World Wars, the base was federalized. In World War I it was used by the U.S. Navy for coastal artillery training and during World War II it was controlled by U.S. Army, who first applied the name Camp Pendleton.
The Camp Pendleton-State Military Reservation Historic District was designated a historic district and listed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 26, 2005. The camp initially was about 400 acres (160 ha) in size. The original 1912 construction mostly related to the rifle range, but most of those buildings were demolished prior to World War II. A second major construction phase began in 1919, during which the U.S. Navy focused on improvements to the rifle range. Those buildings have also been demolished, but the layout of both the first and second phase remains. The third and final phase of construction was the responsibility of the U.S. Army during World War II; most of the camp’s remaining buildings date from that phase. At the time it was listed on the National Register, Camp Pendleton had 108 buildings in a condition good enough to qualify them as contributing properties.
The operation and maintenance of Camp Pendleton is funded primarily by the federal government through the National Guard Bureau, and its primary purpose is the training of personnel and organizations of the Virginia National Guard, as well as other states’ National Guard units and components of the U.S. Armed Forces. When the facilities are not used by military organizations, state and local civilian agencies also conduct training at the site. Its facilities include a small arms range, helicopter landing strip, classrooms, barracks, dining halls, maintenance garages, training fields, and a chapel. Other tenants include the Military Sealift Command, whose facilities are leased to the federal government by the State of Virginia, and the 203rd RED HORSE of the Virginia Air National Guard.
Upon returning to the hotel, attendees will have some time to themselves before the buffet dinner is served. After our meal, historian Joe Balkoski will speak to us. Again this year, the hospitality suite will be staffed by the members and ladies of Post 64 of Roanoke who always provide great hospitality.
On Saturday morning, members will attend the Business meeting whereby the officers for next year will be elected. The ladies will be using the bus to visit the Shops at Hilltop and the Virginia Beach Surf and Rescue Museum.
Major General John M. Epperly, Commanding General of the 29th Division is scheduled to be our speaker at our formal assigned seating banquet in the evening. MG Epperly assumed command of the division on 5 May 2018.
Our annual event culminates on Sunday morning with the Memorial Service where we honor all of our members who have passed away during the past year. We hope that you and your family/friends will make an effort to attend this year’s event.
Registration forms and other information will be published in the Summer 2019 edition of the Twenty-Niner.
The 29th Division Association Inc., publishes a Souvenir Program Book for our National Convention and Reunion every year. This publication is distributed to all convention attendees and to those who have participated in our effort to raise funds by placing an advertisement or remembrance in this publication.
If you would like to place an advertisement or remembrance in our publication, please contact:
441 Chalfonte Drive
Baltimore, MD 21228-4017