Highlights of the 2010 Reunion in Lubbock, Texas


u_2010-1The 53rd annual Reunion (29 July-1 August 2010) of the 818th Tank Destroyer Battalion in Lubbock, Texas is history. By all accounts it was a great success. We hope to see everyone again next summer (2011) in Houston, Texas. A total of 42 persons attended all or parts of the activities. Three of these were the men we gather to honor-the Veterans of the 818th. We were also pleased to have one wife, three widows, and ten sons and daughters present. Eight states were represented: Texas, Arizona, Tennessee, Iowa, California, Indiana, South Dakota, and Michigan.


Some of the folks who were there this year


  • Robert and Sharon Bowles and grandson Alex Parrish. Robert is the son of Wayne Bowles (deceased).



  • Veteran Oscar Gingrich and daughter Theresa Mahoney and her husband Jim and their daughters Ashley Essmann and Sydnie Mahoney. Also, Oscar's son Allen Benson.


  • Jo Webb and daughter Arlene Anderson. Jo is the widow of Granvel Webb.
  • Veteran Wally Wilken and wife Beverly. Also, their daughters and their husbands Eileen and Steve Egloff and Wendy and Mark Vandruff.
  • Irene Ritter and daughter Lynette Langland and husband Dennis and their daughter Amie. Irene is the widow of Harold Ritter.
  • Veteran James Wilson Miller and son Gary.


  • Ethel Goeden and son Ray and his wife Barb and Ethel's granddaughters Tori and Sawyer. Ethel is the widow of Joe Goeden.


  • Chuck Alexander and wife Donna, their son Cliff and his friend Pamela Peck. Their daughter and granddaughter Robin and Madeline Sisco and Jan Bentley and husband Phil. Chuck and Jan are the children of Richard Gail Alexander (deceased). Also, Karen Smith, Travis Cox, and Alex and Aerin and Jolee and Brandon Bentley.


Wednesday 28 July

Although the Reunion did not officially start until Thursday, several of us arrived a day early to get a head start on meeting up with old friends and sightseeing the Lubbock area


Thursday 29 July

Today the rest of our friends started arriving and checking in at the very nice Homewood Suites Hilton. We all got reacquainted with old friends and met several new ones. Our hosts had done an excellent job of preparing a very nice Hospitality Room. It was well stocked with snacks and drinks and was a much used gathering area in the evenings for socializing and reminiscing.

Everyone was pleased to learn that our room rates included complimentary breakfast and supper buffets.


Friday 30 July

This morning we boarded our bus and traveled to the Silent Wings WWII Glider Museum. There we held our annual Memorial Service to remember those 818th Veterans and friends who have passed on. There was then ample time provided to enjoy the many interesting exhibits at the museum dedicated to telling the story of the military glider program and its many contributions to the WWII effort.

Afterwards we traveled to the Lake Ransom Chapel where we enjoyed delicious box lunches. The Chapel is located in Lake Ransom Canyon which is an upscale community located in the canyon around Lake Ransom. The tour through the canyon to and from the Chapel provided some interesting window "gawking" for us poor folks.

Our next stop was the American Wind Power Center windmill museum. Wind power was and is an important source of energy in the (old) west. The museum features over 100 exhibits showing the varied and innovative uses of wind power right up to today's wind turbine generators. Our final stop for the day was Prairie Dog Town. We had previously seen a few prairie dogs in the wild. Here we got to see a whole prairie dog community in a protected preserve. For those who have never seen prairie dogs, they are fascinating little animals. The visit was a treat for all.

We then returned to our hotel. There was an optional trip to Furr's cafeteria for a buy-your-own supper.


Saturday 31 July

Today we toured the National Ranching Heritage Center Museum and the next door Museum of Texas Tech University. The National Ranching Heritage Center is a unique museum and historical park comprised of 48 authentic dwellings and ranch structures.

After returning to the hotel we had a great catered Texas fried chicken steak lunch.

In the afternoon we held our annual Business Meeting.

Our farewell dinner was held at Cagle's Steakhouse Restaurant, followed by a photo session.


Sunday 1 August

Once again it was time to say goodbye to all our buddies, their families, and our friends for another year. The well planned and immensely enjoyable Lubbock Reunion was over. Our time together had gone by all too quickly.



We have many more photos of the 2010 Reunion.
(Click here to view the photos)

Thanks to everyone who helped make the 2010 Reunion in Lubbock a great success!