You are heartily invited to attend the 57th annual Ashtabula Reunion to be held June 22,23,24,and 25th 2011. This year we’re meeting in Evansville , Indiana on the north bank of the Ohio River at the southwestern tip of the state. Our hotel will be the Clarion Inn (formerly Holiday Inn) which has offered us a good rate of $70 per night which includes a Hot Buffet Breakfast for which they normally charge $10 per person It’s good. Also a large Hospitality room which will have no curfew. The hotel is close to the airport and other restaurants and is on USHwy 41 N. For room reservations call 812-424-6400. Be sure to tell them you are with the USS Ashtabula Reunion.
There are several reasons Evansville is good for us. It is centrally located in the USA . The prices are reasonable and there is a bit of Naval History here. During World War II the P47 fighter plane was manufactured in the plant now occupied by Whirlpool, Sherman Tanks were built and tested here by Chrysler, Crane Naval Ammunition Depot is just a skip and a jump up the road and last but not least hundreds of LST’s were built in a shipyard just west of downtown Evansville. Several years ago one of these LST’s #325, was discovered languishing in terrible condition in a Greek seaport and available. Several old timers formed a crew and brought her back home in an adventurous crossing of the Atlantic . After some much needed repairs at Mobile , Alabama , she cruised up the Mississippi and Ohio rivers and after several ports of call she was home ported at Evansville where she has and is being restored. We are going to tour the ship but logistics prevent us from taking a cruise up or down river. She gets under way in April and in September to visit other ports of call. In 2010 in September she went as far as Pittsburgh and hosted several thousand paying visitors which helps pay for her restoration. We will tour the LST on Friday, June 24th. During WW II we knew there were one or more Nazi spies in the shipyard but as far as the citizens knew the spies were never caught. There is a good book about it which follows fact with some fiction thrown in. It’s title is “Return to Valhalla“ by Mike Whicker. Indiana is also the home state of Ernie Pyle,Herb Shriner, Red Skeleton, James Dean, Michael Jackson, Darrel Hooten, Orville Redenbacher, Jimmy Hoffa, Dan Patch and John Dillinger. Abe Lincoln spent his formative years from age 7 to 21 about 30 miles east of Evansville and north of Rockport which was Florence Henderson’s home town.