World War II veterans from the 307th Bombardment Group reunite in Dayton

Credit: Long Rangers patch/ Dayton CVB

Credit: Long Rangers patch/ Dayton CVB

Six World War II veterans from the 307th Bombardment Group as well as their family and friends will reunite in Dayton this weekend.

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The reunion, which began yesterday and continues through Sunday, includes the veterans and more than 70 of their loved ones.

Among them will be local Daytonian, Dee Sarles Smith, whose father, 1st Lt. John E. Sarles, was killed in action on August 28, 1944 with the 307th BG's Dixon Crew.

The 307th Bombardment Group, Heavy, was activated in 1942 by the Army Air Corps Combat Command after an attack on Pearl Harbor thrust the United States into war with Japan. In succeeding years, the 307th's participation in World War II, the Korean Conflict, Vietnam Conflict, Cold War and recent Middle East conflicts has proved it to be one of the most renowned bombing units in military annals.

The 307th Bomb Wing at Barksdale AFB has adopted their nickname, "The Long Rangers," attributed to their long-distance missions over open stretches of the Pacific Ocean.

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"It is so fitting to hold our reunion in Dayton, the Birthplace of Aviation," said Jim Walsh, President 307th Bombardment Group. "We look forward to several days of sharing stories and memorabilia and creating new memories for our members and their families."

The group will have a full-day tour of the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, including special access to a B-24 Aircraft.

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