Chase Field Reunion prepares for takeoff Friday
Apr 23, 2009 | 945 views | 1 1 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Anyone who has ever served at Chase Field Naval Air Station or worked there as a civilian employee is invited to attend the first ever “All Hands” Reunion this weekend.

The reunion is not open to the general public. Cost to attend the three-day event is $87.

The reunion will be the perfect opportunity for many community members to reconnect with old friends from the Navy days at Chase Field, said organizer Mark Webb, who served at Chase Field in the mid-60s.

At least 90 former Chase Field “hands” and civilian employees have registered to attend the reunion, Webb said.

One of the luminaries who will be in town for the event will be Richard “Dick” Stratton, who was once a cellmate of Sen. John McCain at the infamous Hanoi Hilton prisoner of war camp.

Another special guest will be Don “Bull” Walker, the last executive officer at Chase Field.

Webb said he launched his effort months ago by placing an ad in a number of military retiree publications asking who would be interested in the “All Hands” reunion. He was surprised at the response.

The schedule of events calls for those attending the reunion to check in to their motel rooms on Friday, April 24. From 1-10 p.m., returning sailors, aviators and civilians will meet for a “Welcome Back” party at the Best Western Texan Inn so they can renew old friendships, strike up new ones and share sea stories of their life and times at Chase Field.

The mayor is scheduled to appear at that event sometime during the evening. Beer, wine, soft drinks and snacks are to be provided.

On Saturday, April 25, a free breakfast buffet will be served to guests of the Texan Inn and from 1-3:30 p.m. those attending will meet at the Bee County Courthouse for a bus trip to Chase Field and a tour of the base.

Bee Development Authority Executive Director Joe B. Montez will lead the windshield tour. Organizers of the event are working on a special surprise for those on the tour.

Between 5-6 p.m., a cocktail reception is scheduled under the blue Texas skies at Chase Field for everyone attending the event. Dress for that event will be casual.

At around 6:30 p.m., a number of the luminaries, including Bull Walker and Commodore Tom Wimberley, are scheduled to share some anecdotes of their “tour of duty” at Chase Field.

Following the cocktails, those at the reunion will be treated to an old-fashioned outdoor Texas barbecue with all the fixin’s and a special dessert. The group will be serenaded by a local mariachi group with culturally classic sounds of South Texas.

On Sunday, April 26, those at the Texan Inn will be treated to another breakfast and the event will end with an invitation to travel to Corpus Christi for a tour of the USS Lexington aircraft carrier museum.

Webb said the cost of registration is $87 per person and that included all of the events mentioned. The cost of room is not included in that fee.

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April 26, 2009
I am very happy to see that reunions are held for former Chase Field personnel. My dad was stationed there from 1963 - 1967. We moved there from hawaii. What a shock. Although I moved away in 1967 I still stay in touch through email with some of my old friends. Living in Beeville and working after school at the base gas station are some of the fondest memories of my early years. Hope to make one of the reunions. Joe Maultsby