We received these photos from Kay Ritter Grasso, Col. Ritter’s daughter, on June 24, 2022. They seem to have come from different times and places. We sent them to all of the old timers from that era and have received several responses. The entire email sequence is posted below the pictures in the order received.
Kay’s original email
From: Kay Grasso
Date: 6/24/2022 2:45:01 PM
Subject: Col. Lee Ritter – more pictures
To: HMM/VMM-265 Webmaster
I found these pictures from what I think is an HMM 265 reunion. I’m not sure what year this is and who the people are (except my parents)…. so thought I would run them by you to see if they should be posted or not.
Dad is 100 yrs and 6 months and going strong!
Webmaster’s forwarding email
To all of you old-timers:
Just got this email and pics from Kay Grasso, Col. Ritter’s daughter. Kay is wrong about it being a reunion because the squadron hadn’t gone anywhere yet. It must be a squadron party or maybe a Birthday Ball at New River. It has to be pre-1964 because Col. Ritter was CO 1962-64. Can anyone supply names, year, occasion or location? Someone may even remember that strikingly ugly carpet in the group photo.
I think #4 is Mike Tivnan and Col. Ritter and #6 is Bob Mills for sure and maybe Jerry Dooley.
I’d like to get some more info before posting them on the website at hmm-265.org with the other pics from that era.
John Winter, Saturday, June 25, 2022 5:59 PM
Photos numbers 3 and 5 are definitely from the 1994 San Diego reunion.
Arnold Reiner Saturday, June 25, 2022 6:31 PM
I joined HMM-265 in September ’65 after it returned from a Caribbean cruise. At that time Herb Mendenhall was the skipper. I didn’t attend the pictured reunion but I think the very haired mustached and bearded man in the first shot was Maxwell and Sturkey is the fellow wearing the red tie in the second shot. It looked like quite a formal affair aside from the Thunder Mug.
Robert A. Basye, June 25, 2022 6:46 PM
Wish I could help you with these, but I hadn’t even gone to boot camp yet. BTW, #14 to me looks like a different event, or maybe the same event on a different day.
Gerard R. Lear, Saturday, June 25, 2022 7:14 PM
I believe I also see John Alber and Fred Allega. I do recognize some faces from time I reported in Sept 64 and that party in Hangar could have been connected to delivery of first 46 which occurred in July or Aug of 64. I flew with Dooley to Boeing shortly after I arrived to pick up the 5th 46. There was also a big turnover of pilots during Fall/Winter of 64 as the older 34 pilots left and new (younger) came aboard for transition to the 46’s. Further your deponent sayeth not.
George Cumpston, Saturday, June 25, 2022 8:21 PM
Good to see some awesome squadron mates. Wonderful memories.
John Long, Saturday, June 25, 2022 9:50 PM
I was not at this Reunion. I have seen the pictures, # 3 & 5 as shown, unknown date #s 0001 jpg & 0002 jpg before. I was told they were of the first San Diego Reunion. Gary Kerr is in the front row, three to the right of the Thunder Mug. Just above him in the picture is Col Mendenhall. I think you are right about Dooley in #6. In #3 or #5, that is Maj. Ray Smith just next to Col Ritter. Almost above him tallest Marine on back row is Larry MacDonald, and I think Elmer Durbin is on left, 2nd in on second row. In second picture 0005 jpg I believe the center Marine is Marion Sturkey. Good luck on the rest.
Lawrence J. MacDonald, Sunday, June 26, 2022 8:57 A
Enjoyed the pictures Brings back good memories. Thanks for sharing them.
Bunni Allega, Sunday, June 26, 2022 4:47 PM
I do think that was a reunion. John Alber has white hair! It may have been one of the hotels in Pensacola. Not sure. Anyway, the people I think I can identify:
#1 -on the right…John Alber; not sure if the guy with the beard is Jim Griffin?
#2 – that’s my Fred in the print shirt.
#4 – Mike Tivnan
#10 – John Alber in the blue jacket/gray pants
#13 -Mike Tivnan in white jacket and Barbara(?) Tivnan in flower print dress
Duane Jensen, Monday, June 27, 2022 12:44 PM
The group photo was taken here in San Diego at the squadron reunion in June 1994. Jerry Dooley was reunion coordinator and I was his assistant. The location of the reunion was a downtown San Diego hotel right on the waterfront, the name of which I don’t remember, but it has undergone change of ownership and name change a couple of times in any case. Hopefully they salvaged that carpet. Here is my best shot at ID for some of those pictured:
Front row: #2 Soupy #3 George Cumpston (?) #7 Jack Exum #8 Jon Robson #9 Ritter #11 Jerry Dooley
Second row: #6 Marion Sturkey #11 Bruce Jensen #16 Mendenhall
Third row: #1 Harry Bob Mills #3 Moose Rolfe (?) #6 Larry McDonald 5th from the right in the twp row is me
The white-bearded gent in the separate picture with Lee may be John “Red Max” Maxwell
The photo with tables set up in a hangar is not the 1994 reunion and I don’t recognize anyone in that photo.
Hope that helps and you may get some added IDs from others.