Density Reunion 2007
San Antonio, Texas – September 2007
All pictures are © Chris & Mary Payne
The Radisson hotel in San Antonio was popular for reunions!
The Density group visited The Alamo and were given a talk on the history and significance of the famous site
John, our historian had done his own research concerning the USS Density and Radio London. After his talk, he met members of our group
John was interested to hear the story of the link with Radio London
The famous USS Density bell awaits its part in the ceremony at the National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg
Chris Payne records the ceremony for posterity
The ceremony commences with the Pledge of Allegiance, and welcome by Larry Wirtz. Larry is one of over 300 volunteers who work at the museum
Tanya Baugus, who organised the reunion and the ceremony, explained that crewmembers would read the names of the deceased shipmates whose families were present. The bell would be tolled for each name
Peggy Hasten's partner Randy and Tanya's husband R.V. held the bell
Frank Gazafy does his part
Bill Brandstetter reads his names
Tanya's father, Laverne Bailey
The Reverend Richard Elwood
Curator Mike Levens accepts the bell on behalf of the museum
Gibson Cushman, grandson of the USS Density captain Walter Smith, unveils a memorial plaque presented by the crew's families
The men remember their shipmates as the bugler plays The Last Post (TAPS). (L to r) Frank Gazafy, Verne Bailey, Charlie Stock, Stacey Rankin, Bill Brandstetter, Gene Barbo, Calvin Bryant
Gibson with his mother, Eliza Cushman
The plaque. There are hundreds, commemorating both ships and individuals, set in the walls of the museum gardens
Everyone clamours to photograph the plaque
Tanya with husband R.V. and her mother, Marie
Tanya and her father, Verne
The official signing of the documents to hand over the bell to Mike Levens. Visitors will be able to ring it!
The final dinner, held at our hotel. We were on the Brandstetter table - Bill's two brothers Joe and John also attended the reunion. To the right are John and his partner Susan, while Joe's wife seems horrified that there's a moose on the table
Bill's wife Jane, Joe and his wife, with that minuscule moose trying to get in the picture again
Chris, Bill and Moosie
Verne introduces 'Sentimental Journey' a DVD presentation put together by Tanya
Chris introduces the Big L film from 1967
Charlie has just had his 91st birthday, so he gets a special present
It's a pharmacutical cornucopia for the elderly!
Charlie's daughter Mary lights the candles on a belated birthday cake
Frank Gazafy Jnr and sister Debi draw raffle prizes...
...and manage to pick their dad's ticket!
Jane Brandstetter investigates her prize
The shipmates: Frank Gazafy, Verne Bailey, Charlie Stock, Calvin Bryant, Bill Brandstetter, Stacy Rankin (Gene had to leave before the dinner)
Frank and Verne
Charlie and Calvin
Bill and Stacey
Those fully visible: Back row, (l to r) Calvin Bryant, Jane Brandstetter, Stacey's wife Lorraine, Charlie's daughter Jeannie Sorril (blue top), Ima Bailey - Tanya's cousin. Middle row: Calvin's wife Bernice, Anita Puff's son David. Front row: Anita Puff, Marie Bailey, Alberta Smalldon, Debi
Those not named in previous photos: back row, (r to l) Victor Bryant and partner Patricia
Back row, (l to r) Joe Brandstetter, Joe's wife, Russ Anglebrandt and wife Char (Alberta's daughter), Frank Gazafy Jnr's partner Susan, Vera Gazel, R.V. Baugus
Front row, John Brandstetter, Lanny Simmons (husband of Charlie's daughter Mary) behind John, his partner Susan
Those not previously identified: next to Chris Payne, Peggy Hasten, front row, center, Frank Gazafy's wife Ann
Mary and Chris with Cousin Moosie, resplendent in his San Antonio sombrero
Tanya and Mary
Coors donated several cases of beer and other brands were purchased. This is all that was left!