398th Annual Reunion History

The 398th Bomb Group Memorial Association (BGMA) has had a long and productive series of annual reunions. The successes of our annual reunions, held since 1976, have been a major factor in keeping the Association alive and well, and with a solid base of 398th veteran attendance.

The annual reunion format includes Official Board and General Membership meetings that determine and approve all business of the Association. In addition, each gathering includes ample opportunities for our own banquets, scheduled sight seeing tours, crew reunions, 398th memorabilia purchases from our own PX, reviewing 398th history tapes and CD's, and maybe the most important, taking time for old and perhaps new friendships. The time, place and other planning information for 398th annual reunions are always known a year or two in advance.

In the past thirty-two years, 398th reunion sites have crossed and re-crossed the forty-eight States a number of times. It is not necessary to have a membership connection with a 398ther to attend a reunion. All those interested in having a reunion experience with the 398th are most welcome. The details of planned reunions, including an application for attendance, are always available in appropriate issues of the 398th's Flak News newsletter.

The 398th annual meeting format has remained essentially the same throughout the life of the BGMA. That means four full days of remembering 398th history, enjoying friendships and perhaps touring the host city. The reunion program begins on a Wednesday with reunion registration, the opening of the 398th memory room and the 398th PX store. These activity areas always remain the focus of the reunion activities of the attendees. Thursday is a business day with the Official Board meeting in the AM and the General Membership meeting in the PM, but with a ladies program during the day and the Welcome Back Banquet in the evening. Friday and Saturday are used in many different ways, depending on the reunion city's location. Activities include prearranged sightseeing tours of the city, tours to nearby military posts, and visiting points of special interest in that part of the country. All tours are optional and many attendees use their time to have individual crew reunions or just to sit around and listen to the stories fly. Saturday evening is always reserved for a Farewell Banquet with a variety of entertainment for the old folks. Sunday mornings are remembered for the farewells, but it is also a "See you next year?" time.

398th Reunions began in 1976 when a few dozen 398th veterans attending the annual 8th Air Force Historical Society meeting in Dayton, OH decided to organize a 398th BGMA. 398th BGMA reunions were then conducted as part of the 8th AF Society's annual meetings until 1983. The 398th held its first separate annual reunion at Rapid City, SD in 1984 while entertaining a rather large group of enthusiastic 398th English Friends. The 398th BGMA really began its major growth as the result of the very successful 398th reunion held in Seattle, WA in 1985 that was part of Boeing Aircraft's spectacular 50th year celebration of the B-17. There can be no doubt that our well planned and attended annual reunions since 1986 have been a prime reason for the growth and continuing success of the 398th BGMA. At this time there are no plans to call an end the Association's annual reunion operation, although we recognize its time will come.

Below are listed some details of our past 398th Annual Reunions.

Reunions with the 8th Air Force Historical Society
Year Locaton
1976 Dayton, OH
1977 St. Louis, Mo
1978 Washington, DC
1979 Phoenix, AZ
1980 Orlando, FL
1981 Minneapolis, MN
1982 Cincinnati, OH
1983 Houston, TX

Separate 398th Reunions
Year Location Attended Coordinator
1984 Rapid City, SD 300 Tamarac Travel
1985 Seattle, WA 300 Tamarac Travel
1986 Colorado Springs, CO 391 Dale Brown
1987 San Antonio, TX 373 Dallas Ebest
1988 Richmond, VA 465 Bob Wiggins
1989 Dayton, OH 522 Bob Hart
1990 Oshkosh, WI 531 Morris Swed
1991 San Diego, CA 476 Bob Hopkins
1992 Nashville, TN 582 Dewey Cook
1993 Buffalo, NY 497 Larry Paul
1994 Tucson, AZ 548 Clyde Sebastian
1995 Charleston, SC 494 Harold Stallcup
1996 Springfield, MO 437 Gerald Monagin
1997 Spokane, WA 236 Lou Stoffer
1998 Harrisburg, PA 425 Thomas Bewley
1999 Oklahoma City, OK 276 Dick Frazier
2000 Savannah, GA 480 Marilyn Gibb
2001 St. Paul, MN 271 Sharon Krause
2002 Portland, OR 240 Sharon Krause
2003 Covington, KY 268 Sharon Krause
2004 Falls Church, VA 368 Sharon Krause
2005 Overland Park, KS 201 Sharon Krause
2006 Livonia, MI 164 Sharon Krause
2007 Phoenix, AZ 181 Sharon Krause
2008 Cocoa Beach, FL 124 Sharon Krause
2009 Austin, TX 187 Sharon Krause
2010 Denver, CO 125 Sharon Krause
2011 Branson, MO 112 Sharon Krause
2012 Philadelphia, PA 106 Sharon Krause
2013 Sacramento, CA 99 Ken Howard
2014 Rapid City, SD 95 Ken Howard
2015 New Orleans, LA 102 Ken Howard
2016 Norfolk, VA 96 Ken Howard