2015 Reunion Packet

CONTENTS:

·      2015 REUNION OVERVIEW

·      HOTEL REGISTRATION INFORMATION

·      TRAVEL TO MARRIOTT COURTYARD AT LIBERTY STATION, SAN DIEGO

·      2015 REUNION SCHEDULE, ACTIVITIES AND PRICING

·      REUNION REFUNDS

·      TRAVEL INSURANCE

·      REGISTRATION FORM

This packet includes registration, travel and airport information, transportation to the hotel, tour/event descriptions and everything else you need to know to ensure a positive experience.  

The REGISTRATION FORM is included at the end of this packet.  Complete it and mail it in as soon as possible with your remittance to secure your place for all activities and events planned especially for you, as a member of the 376th Bomb Group Association, and your families. 

PLEASE NOTE:  It is critical to make your hotel reservation TODAY (even if your plans change and you must modify or cancel them later).  Hotel room rates cannot be guaranteed at Group Rates if rooms are not available.  This is a popular destination, so don’t delay!  It is imperative that you reserve your room as soon as possible, preferably before August 1, 2015!  

REUNION OVERVIEW

Get ready for a fabulous reunion in sunny San Diego this Fall.  The 2015 reunion is posed to be especially significant in view of the city’s intimate involvement in the creation of the B-24 “Liberators”.   We are pleased to offer interesting, informative and meaningful tours, presentations and entertainment for this reunion.

The Marriott Courtyard at Liberty Station, the selected reunion hotel, is located along the beautiful waterfront and park within the former historic Naval Training Center (NTC), which was redeveloped as part of the Base Realignment and Closure process.  The former NTC has been transformed into a new urban village where San Diegans and visitors come together in an active, productive, and stimulating environment.  Following several years of planning, including extensive public involvement, the San Diego City Council adopted a final Reuse Plan in October 1998, charting a new course for NTC.  New homes, parks, and businesses, as well as cultural and educational facilities, have transformed the 360-acre Navy base into a vital waterfront community.     

The hotel is offering three (3) additional days on both sides of the reunion dates at the group rate for your extended visit to San Diego.  There is much to see and do here, so take advantage of this offer, if possible.  We, 376th Association members, who reside in San Diego would love to show you around or assist you in making your stay memorable. 

The hotel is only 1.5 miles from the San Diego International Airport, Lindberg Field and approximately 2.5 miles from downtown San Diego and the Amtrak Train Station.  The hotel offers free transportation between the airport and the hotel.  Second-generation volunteers are available to meet you at the train station if you need assistance.  If you are travelling by car, driving instructions are included in this packet.

A large Hospitality Room, easily accessible to the hotel lobby, bar, and banquet room, will be open daily at specified hours for the entire length of the reunion.  A complimentary buffet breakfast will be provided daily in this room between the hours of 7:00 am and 9:00 am for two guests per hotel room.  As in past reunions, the Hospitality Room will offer a respite from daily activities, a chance to view memorabilia, play group games or puzzles, or just relax and visit with your fellow veterans and families.  Please bring any photos, albums, diaries, or paraphernalia that you would like to share with others.  You may also sell books, souvenirs, or other items related to the 376th Bomb Group Association, or the former 376th Heavy Bombardment Group Association.  Complimentary refreshments will be available in the Hospitality Room for your enjoyment, including a craft beer specially-made by award-winning brew meister, David Heist (514 Squadron Member Harold Heist’s son), and sponsored by San Diego-based Stone Brewing Company to commemorate and honor the 376th “Liberandos”.  

A schedule, description and pricing for all tours, meals and meetings is included in this packet.  Unless otherwise specified, all tour/event prices include transportation, admission fees and some meals.  You will notice that there are two tour options offered on Friday, October 2.  We are fortunate that the annual Miramar Air Show is occurring coincidentally at the same time as this reunion.  It is a world-famous extravaganza that’s not-to-be-missed.  We are please to offer an all-inclusive experience with preferred viewing!  (See details to follow.)  Please note: Tours require a minimum of 30 people in order to operate. 

HOTEL REGISTRATION INFORMATION

If you have not yet done so, please make your hotel reservation NOW.  You can call the Marriott’s toll-free number at (888) 236-2427 and reference the “376th Bomb Group Association” group rate, Group Code “BGA”.  You can also make your reservation on-line at www.marriott.com/sanal.  For a king bedroom use the group code: BGABGAA, for a 2-queen bedroom use the group code: BGABGAB.  If you encounter any problems making your reservations, please call the hotel directly and speak to Stephanie Valenzuela, Marriott Sales Coordinator at (619) 358-1351.)  The cut-off date for reservations guaranteed at the group rate of $145.00/night plus taxes is September 10, 2015, ONLY IF rooms are available!  The hotel is not as large as some we have used for previous reunions, so DON’T WAIT TO MAKE YOUR RESERVATION.


Marriott Courtyard at Liberty Station

2592 Laning Road, San Diego, CA 92106

(619) 221-1900

·       Check in time – 4:00 pm/Check out time – 12:00 pm

·       Parking – Complimentary Guest Self-Parking

·       Airport Transportation – Complimentary Shuttle to/from Airport

·       Breakfast – Complimentary Buffet for two people/room

·       Internet – Complimentary throughout Hotel

·       Group Room Rate – extended three days Pre- and Post-event dates

TRAVEL TO MARRIOTT COURTYARD AT LIBERTY STATION, SAN DIEGO

By Air from San Diego’s International Airport at Lindberg Field

If you plan to arrive by air, you will be pleasantly surprised at the beauty of the arrival adjacent to San Diego Bay, and how conveniently located the airport is to the reunion hotel and downtown San Diego.  The airport is fully accessible, open 24 hours a day and served by all major carriers and most minor carriers.  All airport services are easily found on the official airport website at www.san.org.

Highly trained volunteer Airport Ambassadors, visible in their green polo shirts with “Airport Information” emblazoned on the back, provide free airport information and terminal building way-finding assistance.  Additionally, the airport offers a variety of services for passengers with disabilities or those requiring extra assistance. Find out what services are available before arriving at the airport by visiting their website at www.san.org/Service-Facilities.

1.    Complimentary Shuttle to Marriott Courtyard – Between the hours of 4:30 am – 11:00 pm call hotel directly at (619) 221-1900 after you have your luggage in hand.  Shuttle will arrive 15-20 minutes later for pick up.  You will be told where to wait for pick up.  If you arrive at the airport outside of the time window for shuttle operation, the hotel will reimburse you for the taxi fare IF you present a receipt for the ride.

2.    Taxi – Many companies provide taxicab service at San Diego International Airport.  If you need a taxi, simply follow the signs leading to the Transportation Plazas.  A Transportation Coordinator will place you with the first available taxi, unless you specify a particular taxicab company. Average per person one-way to reunion hotel is typically $13. 

3.    Rental Car – Car rental reservation boards are located near the baggage claim areas of Terminals 1 and 2.  Use the courtesy phones provided to request free shuttle transport to the car rental company of your choice. Please note that using a reservation board is not always necessary.  Car rental shuttles regularly operate at the Terminal 1 center traffic aisle and at the traffic island at the far west end of Terminal 2. If you follow the signage to any of these areas, it is likely that a shuttle will be waiting.

By AMTRAK Train from San Diego’s Santa Fe Station

There are two stations that conveniently serve AMTRAK travelers in the area where the hotel is located: The San Diego Old Town Transportation Center on Taylor Street and The Santa Fe Depot located on Kettner Blvd. in downtown San Diego.  Both stations are approximately 3.0-4.0 miles from the reunion hotel.  Taxis are available for the short ride.  Visit the AMTRAK website at www.amtrak.com or call 1 (800) 872-7245 for schedules and reservation information.

By Car – Driving Directions

From I-5 Northbound:

▪  Take San Diego Airport / Hawthorn Street exit (signs will direct you onto westbound Hawthorn Street).

▪  Proceed to N. Harbor Drive and turn right.

▪  Commuter Terminal is one mile ahead on right hand side; Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 are 1/4 and 1/2 mile beyond Commuter Terminal.

From I-5 Southbound:

▪  Take San Diego Airport / Sassafras Street exit. This puts you onto Kettner Blvd.

▪  Take Kettner to the traffic light at Sassafras Street and turn right.

▪  Proceed down the hill to the traffic light at Pacific Highway and turn left.

▪  Take Pacific Highway about 1/2 mile to Laurel Street and turn right.

▪  Take Laurel Street to the next light, N. Harbor Drive, and turn right.

▪  Commuter Terminal is one mile ahead on right hand side; Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 are 1/4 and 1/2 mile beyond the Commuter Terminal.

From State Route 163:

▪  Take State Route 163 Southbound to I-5 North and follow directions above for I-5 Northbound. 

From I-8 Westbound:

▪  Take State Route 163 or I-5 Southbound and follow applicable directions above.

From I-15:

▪  If North of State Route 163, take State Route 163 Southbound and follow directions above for State Route 163 Southbound.

▪  If South of State Route 163, take I-8 West and follow applicable directions above for I-8 Westbound.

2015 REUNION SCHEDULE, ACTIVITIES AND PRICING

 

IMPORTANT:  Complete the Registration Form at the end of this packet to reserve your space for the reunion tour activities and meals described below.  Please do this as soon as possible to secure your space.


Wednesday, September 30, 2015 – Day 1

Welcome Reception and Registration:   

Registration                    4:00 pm - 9:00 pm     $40 per guest   

Reception                        6:00 pm - 8:00 pm     $40 per guest   

Kick off this year’s reunion by joining us on the Waterside Terrace at the hotel for heavy appetizers, drinks, music, and some fantastic views of downtown San Diego while we reconnect with old friends and make some new ones.  Registration will be located adjacent to the Welcome Reception area, and the Hospitality Room will be open from noon to 6:00pm on this day.

Thursday, October 1, 2015 – Day 2

City Orientation / Balboa Park Tour 9:00 am – 5:30 pm $60 / guest 

1st Board Meeting                            6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Get ready for a full day of sightseeing in beautiful San Diego.  We will board the Old Town Trolley for a 2-hour tour of the region.  This narrated tour takes you on an historical and scenic ride through San Diego neighborhoods, including Old Town, Downtown, the Embarcadero, Little Italy, the Gaslamp Quarter and more, as well as over the famous Coronado Bridge to Coronado Island, home to the iconic Hotel Del Coronado and the North Island Naval Base.  Ending with a visit to the Veterans Memorial in Balboa Park; “Keep the Spirit of '45 Day”, now a new National Day of Remembrance, will be celebrated at the Veterans Museum and Memorial Center in commemoration of 70th anniversary of the end of WWII.  The trolley will then drop us off at the Air & Space Museum nearby for a short visit.  You will learn about San Diego’s long history of aerospace and aircraft development.  (Did you know the B-24 Liberators were constructed here in San Diego?)

A boxed lunch will be provided for all (see Registration Form for selections), and you will have some time on your own to explore other museums and gardens within Balboa Park, such as the Old Globe Theater, Botanical Building, Japanese Friendship Garden, Natural History Museum, San Diego Art Museum, and Mingei International Museum just to name a few of the interesting things to see and do.  A tour through the historic Prado Area, which is the main core of the park, will be available.  This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Panama-California Exposition, a momentous tribute to the opening of the Panama Canal and San Diego’s emergence as an international port city.  Thus, there are many special exhibits and events happening at many of the institutions within the park.  If you feel inclined, you can even climb the 129 steps of the iconic California Tower for a fabulous 360° view of the Park, Downtown, Coronado Bridge, San Diego Bay, the Pacific Ocean and Mexico!  The tower was closed to the public in 1935 and recently renovated and reopened for the centennial celebration. For specific information on centennial events and visitor passes for multiple museums and zoo, log onto www.balboapark.org.  (Wheelchairs will be available upon request.) 

The trolley will pick us up and take us back to our hotel in time for our first Board Meeting.   This evening, you will be free to have dinner on your own at one of the many nice restaurants nearby or just rest in the beautiful environment of the hotel.

Friday, October 2, 2015 – Day 3

(select only one tour per guest)   

Miramar Air Show                            9:00 am – 5:30 pm     $106 per guest  

OR

Coastal San Diego Tour                  9:00 am – 5:30 pm     $  65 per guest 

2nd Board Meeting                          6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

General Membership Meeting        7:00 pm – 7:30 pm 

On this day, you may choose from two tour/event options.

Option #1 consists of a memorable experience at one of the world’s most famous Air Shows featuring aerial acrobatics by performers such as, the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, U.S. Army Golden Knights, U.S. Navy Leap Frogs, and demonstrations of the F-35B Lightning, Boeing AV-8B Harrier, Bell Boeing MV-22 Osprey, and Marine Air-Ground Task Force.  Civilian performers will also offer jaw-dropping aerobatic routines. You can view the full air show program details at http://www.miramarairshow.com.

Our tickets will provide access to the Semper Fi Chalet, a high energy, family friendly, yet exclusive chalet. This chalet includes accessible outdoor premium seating, a shaded dining area, and aviation décor.  The venue offers a light breakfast spread, tasty buffet lunch, an energizing afternoon snack, along with hosted beer, wine, soda, and water throughout the day, as well as preferred parking and an Air Show program.

Option #2 consists of a scenic coastal experience including a stop at the Cabrillo National Monument on Point Loma, and a visit to the world-renowned Birch Aquarium at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography in La Jolla, California.  Time permitting, we will make a brief stop at the National Veterans Memorial atop Mount Soledad enroute to the Birch Aquarium.

Climbing out of his boat and onto shore in 1542, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo stepped into history as the first European to set foot on what is now the West Coast of the United States.  In addition to telling the story of 16th century exploration, the Park is home to a wealth of cultural and natural resources.

Enter the world of sharks, seahorses, living coral reefs and more, and discover a stunning variety of Pacific marine life in more than 60 habitats at the Birch Aquarium.  Interact with exhibits that showcase the discoveries of Scripps Oceanography explorers through hands-on displays and multimedia.  You will have a choice from three boxed lunches provided by our hotel (see Registration Form for selections), and you will have some time on your own to explore the aquarium and tidepool.  Docent-led tours are also available, as are wheelchairs. 

For either option, you will be picked up by bus at the hotel and returned to the hotel in time to attend the second Board Meeting followed by the Association’s Annual General Membership MeetingIt is essential that general and board members attend the meetings to conduct critical Association business.  Dinner will be on your own on this evening, so you will be free to choose from the many dining options San Diego has to offer.

Saturday, October 3, 2015 – Day 4

Bay Tour and USS Midway Museum      9:00 am – 4:30 pm     $54 per guest

3rd Board Meeting                                   4:30 pm – 5:30 pm

Buffet Dinner                                            6:30 pm – 8:30 pm     $44 per guest

We will be picked up at our hotel this morning for another fun day.  First we will go to the Embarcadero to board The Hornblower for a 1-hour cruise around the San Diego Bay.  The views are great and you will see many examples of the military presence here in San Diego.

Following the bay cruise, we will take the very short walk from the boat dock to the entrance of the USS Midway Museum.  The aircraft carrier Midway offers a fantastic opportunity to see first hand what life is like on a naval vessel.  This museum is one of San Diego’s most popular attractions.  We will have a box lunch provided on-board (see Registration Form for selections), and you will be allowed to spend the rest of the afternoon exploring the museum.  Go to www.midway.org for visitor information on exhibits and activities.  Docent-led tours and self-guided audio tours are available, as are wheelchairs.

Our transportation will take us back to the hotel in time for our third Board Meeting.

This evening we will enjoy a buffet dinner at the hotel.  Plan on a Mexican Fiesta with food and music..…Southern California style!

Sunday, October 4, 2015 – Day 5

Church Service                           9:30 am – 10:30 am

4th Board Meeting                    11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Banquet with Guest Speaker    5:30 pm –   8:30 pm          $50 per guest     

This day will begin with an inspiring, non-denominational church service in the outdoor meeting room performed once again by our favorite chaplain, Reverend Robert Oliver.  Following the church service we will have a fourth Board Meeting, if needed.  Guests will have the afternoon free to relax at the hotel or to explore other San Diego attractions on their own.  But, be sure to be ready for the culmination of the reunion, our traditional banquet event starting with cocktail hour and photographs, followed by a plated dinner accompanied by wines from our local Fallbrook Winery.  We are honored to have a representative from Northrop Grumman as our guest speaker who promises to enlighten us on the future of national security, as well as state-of-the-art technologies for war and war prevention.  You will have a choice between three entrees (see Registration Form for selections.  Vegetarian entrees are available upon request at the same price as other entrée options.)

After our guest speaker, we will have the “fly by” memorial to our veterans who have passed away since the last reunion.  Those who wish to recognize and remember the passed veterans since last reunion and support their families are welcome and encouraged to attend the banquet.  Many attendees come to the reunion to honor their beloved veteran who has passed on and it would be a pleasure to have the veteran’s representatives present on their behalf.  Please consider coming.  You would not regret it! 

Monday, October 5, 2015 – Day 6

This is the day most guests will depart, but I highly encourage you to extend your visit before or after the reunion dates, if possible.  There is much to see and do here in San Diego and five days barely scratches the surface.  Let me know if you need suggestions on activities for an extended stay.

REUNION REFUNDS

The policy for refunds is as follows:

·      No refunds for tours after August 30, 2015

·      No refunds for meals after September 10, 2015

·    No refunds for reunion registration will be granted for any reason. 

Refunds will be granted only due to illness, death or emergencies with proof of claim after the cut-off dates cited above. 

TRAVEL INSURANCE

The Association is financially unable to offer travel insurance; however, attendees can, and are encouraged to, purchase travel insurance.  You may want to include coverage for tours and meals which must be paid by specific dates and cannot be refunded.  Agencies advertise on the Internet.  Just enter “Travel Insurance” in any search engine and numerous sites will be presented.  Or, contact a travel agent directly who may also be able to assist you. 

REGISTRATION FORM

Click here to download the 2 page registration form.

CLOSING STATEMENT

It’s been an honor and privilege to plan your reunion this year.  I hope you will encourage your spouse, children and grandchildren to accompany you to the reunion.  I promise you and they won’t be disappointed.  I am truly looking forward to seeing each and every one of you here in the hometown of the original B-24 “Liberators”.  Safe travels to everyone!

With Warm Regards, Deborah Sharpe

Reunion Chairperson and Acting-President

376th Bomb Group Association


Liberandos Patch

376 ARCHIVES

At the 2017 reunion, the board approved the donation of our archives to the Briscoe Center for American History, located on the University of Texas - Austin campus.

Click here to go to their main website.

Also, the board approved a $5,000 donation to add to Ed Clendenin's $20,000 donation in the memory of his father. Together, these funds begin an endowment for the preservation of the 376 archives.

2018 REUNION

DATES :  TBD

CITY : TBD

HOTEL: TBD

2018 reunion details


previous reunions

For Sale

The Other Doolittle Raid


The Liberandos


Three Crawford Brothers


Liberando: Reflections of a Reluctant Warrior


376th Bomb Group Mission History


The Last Liberator


Full Circle


Shadows of Wings


Ten Men, A "Flying Boxcar," and A War


I Survived Ploesti


A Measure of Life


Shot Down In Yugoslavia


Stories of My Life


Attack


Born in Battle