Do you know about this great organization entitled the USS Ranger (CVA/CV-61) Reunion Association, Inc.? Yes, we are incorporated, as a non-profit group.
For several years, since 1988, a great group of Rangermen, started by plankowner, John Muzio (V-1 Division) had been meeting once a year to renew former friendships. It became clear to them that the ship deserved better recognition than just a few people who swapped sea stories once a year. In August 1990, those who attended the Reunion in Charleston, SC, decided to expend the time and the effort to organize and accomplish some positive "good" in the name of our ship.
There are all types of former sailors from Ranger, plankowners, seamen, chiefs, officers and former Commanding officers, including TAD's, Squadron members, and Marine Detachment, all Rangermen, who cherish the memories and superb performance of RANGER!
Some of us have forgotten the important pieces of history that Ranger participated in the development of a Navy for the United States. The current USS Ranger (CVA/CV-61) is the 7th ship to bear the name Ranger. The 1st Ranger was the first man-o-war, an 18-gun sloop of war, of the fledgling United States to defeat a British ship – HMS Blake. We have a superb historian, Frank Thoma, who will keep you spellbound with stories of Ranger's achievements, with his assortment of cruise books, and memorabilia, through Desert Storm, donated by our former shipmates.
Once a year we will have a reunion where we will gather to share our common camaraderie as Rangermen. Swap sea stories?, Yes!, Conduct business?, Yes!. All towards achieving our goals in the name of our ship, the USS Ranger (CVA/CV61).
The only membership rule is that you formerly served on CVA/CV-61 as a crewmember, member of an attached Air Group, or support staff. The annual dues are $10.00, for three years $25 and for Life Membership only $75.00.
It is estimated that over 50,000 men served on USS Ranger (CVA/CV-61) from her commissioning in 1957 to her decommissioning in 1993. We must preserve her high standards of performance and accomplishments by joining and contributing to the historical significance of our great ship, and perpetuate our motto, "Top Gun – Bar None!"
RADM H.P. Glindeman, Jr.
Membership in the Association is open to anyone who has ever served on USS Ranger (CVA/CV-61) in any capacity including Air Groups and Squadrons, Flag Units, Marine Detachments, etc.
Dues are on an annual, calendar year basis and are $10 per member, save money $25 for three years or become a life member at $75. NOTE: The application has George Meoli's name and address. Please ignore and send to Tom Ballinger, as shown below.
Please complete the application and address your check to:
USS Ranger Reunion Association, Inc.
USS Ranger Reunion Assoc.
2003 Lotus Blossom St.
San Antonio, TX 78247
Phone: (210) 403-3302
Cell: (210) 722-0417
Your canceled check is your receipt. Membership fees and donations are not tax deductible
The 2018 Reunion will be held 3-6 Oct. 2018 at the Hilton Phoenix/Mesa, in Mesa, AZ.. For applications, send an e-mail to Tom Ballinger.
Or, click here to immediately open a copy of the registration that you can print, fill out and send in.
Registrations must be in ASAP.
The 2015 Reunion, held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Foster City, CA (San Francisco Bay area), was held 4-6 September. A great time was had by all.
I believe there were about 120 Rangermen registered for the reunion. Along with all the other attendees, the turnout was great. I was told that this was one of the largest turnouts of both Vietnam Veterans and 1st timers.
I haven't any real information on the Wine Tour and will wait to report on it.
The San Francisco tour covered a great deal of items to see in the bay area from the Golden Gate to Treasure Island, down to the Fisherman Pier and through out the entire areas in between. The stops were all short, but this was the Labor Day weekend in San Francisco and the crowds at all the stops were overwhelming. I believe everyone enjoyed the tour and our driver/guide was outstanding to say the least, he furnished us with a lot of local color on all the areas we visited.
I went on the Hornet (CVS-12). It brought back great memories but also gave us a better appreciation of how our predecessors lived and worked. More over, it helped those with us that have never been aboard ship to better appreciate what we did aboard Ranger.
On a personal note, my Division Officer from 1st Division, LT(jg) Robert "Bob" Bergeron, came to Hornet with his son. We hadn't seen each other since 1969. The emotions were running high. We got up to the bridge which had special meaning to us as he had been an OOD and I was a qualified helmsman. I caught my arm on some projection going up a ladder from the 02 level to the flight deck. (Hornet has only 2 decks between hangar and flight deck. You almost feel it in the hangar bay.) I also bumped my head going up another ladder. The hatches are smaller than Ranger's.
The Silent Auction and raffle made over $2,700.
A resolution was passed to request the Navy to name CVN-81 USS Ranger. My extremely rough estimate of this would be in about 15 years when USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) will be due for retirement.. It is requested that everyone contact your Senators, Representatives, SecNav, etc. to request CVN-81 be named Ranger.
Next year's reunion will be held in Charleston, SC. A featured tour will be aboard USS Yorktown (CVS-10). Yorktown, an Essex class carrier, is a sister ship of the Hornet. Both had been given names that were later changed to commemorate ships lost in WWII, USS Yorktown (CV-2) and USS Hornet (CV-8).
A resolution was passed to hold the 2017 reunion in Connecticut. This is to honor the Association's long time treasurer, George Meoli, and his wife, Ruthie, who have done so very much for Ranger over the years. George and Ruthie will be the hosts.
Ken Estes, PH2, VAH-6/OP Div., took a lot of pictures. He'll be sending them to me and I'll put them up. I'll also see if I can get more from other photographers at the reunion.
Fair winds and following seas.
John Slaughter, DP2, 1st & S-7 Divisions, Webmaster