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Author Topic: P40 China (AVG and 23rd) Pilots and Crew Reunion - Lexington Missouri  (Read 6327 times)
Steve Smith
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« on: June 26, 2008, 07:24:32 AM »

Gentlemen,

My name is Steve Smith and I'm a member of the alumni council of Wentworth Military Academy in Lexington Missouri.   The purpose of this post is to begin a dialog on order to organize a reunion of those of you who served in China (and anyone interested).  Amongst Wentworth's many notable alumni is Robert Mooney.  Many of you may know that Mooney died in China in 1942 as a result of injuries he received after a delayed bailout so that his fatally damaged Warhawk would clear the town he was over before crashing.

After the war Mooney's father, Clarence organized the construction of the Wentworth Memorial Chapel in front on which stand the "Mooney Memorial". It is a replica of the memorial erected in Mooney's honor in China.  The Chapel contains beautiful stained glass windows honoring the armed forces and the lobby ists the names of alumni who served and died in WWII.  2008 marks the 66th year since his passing and the 53rd year since the memorial was erecetd at Wentworth.

Wentworth Military Academy would be an excellent location for the reunion.  It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and contains many evocative memorials and buildings honoring alumni and veterans from WWI to Vietnam.  Lexington lies in close proximity to Kansas City Missouri and is in itself a lovely small town containing many antebellum homes and buildings.  Wentworth has many suitable venues that could accomodate banquets and meetings.  The use of the academy and grounds would be gratis.

The corps of cadets and marching band would be able to arrange a fitting ceremony to honor your service and the sacrifice of veterans who cannot attend.  I have a copy of Roy Grinell's painting called "Mooney's Sacrifice" and any reunion/ceremony we arrange will include the the unveiling of the painting on campus.   I think a symposium and display of memorabilia would also be a terrific part of any event and would serve to instruct current cadets about your remarkable experiences.  Finally, the event would serve to rededicate that Chapel and Memorial so that its story is not lost.

Please feel free to contact me about this idea and lets work to make it a reality.

Best Regards to you all,

Steve Smith
steveinsv@yahoo.com
(831) 588-7838

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