2014 marked the twenty-first reunion of shipmates of the USS Ernest G. Small. We visited Pensacola, Florida, a city with a long history dating from early Spanish exploration & conquest to its current history as being the first home of U.S. Naval Aviation.
2014 was the 100-year history of Pensacola Naval Air Station. The Aviation Training Station was established on 20 January, 1914. LCDR Henry C. Mustin and Lt. John H. Towers arrived in Pensacola on the battleship USS Mississippi with the men and aircraft from the Naval Aviation Camp at Annapolis, Maryland. The aviation unit consisted of nine officers, twenty-three enlisted man, and seven aircraft. The historic first flight took place on 2 February, 1914, with Lt. Towers and Ens. Godfrey deChevalier at the controls. Since 1914, thousands of Naval Aviators have received their training there, including John H. Glenn, USMC who became the first American to orbit the earth in 1962 and Neil Armstrong who became the first man to set foot on the moon in 1969.
We were hosted by the staff of the Crowne Plaza Grand Hotel, located at 200 East Gregory Street, Pensacola, Florida 32502. The rooms, food and services were excellent, making the Crowne Plaza an great base of operations while enjoying our time together in Pensacola.
Early arrivals were treated to a two hour trip to NAS Pensacola for a free show of the Blue Angels precision flight team. This group of the Navy’s best pilots performed an amazing array of close flight patterns while flying at near-supersonic speeds.
You can review our list of 2014 Reunion Attendees at the button below.