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Reunion scheduled for Navy base’s personnel

Navy Air and Cajun Fare event is planned for Oct. 10 in New Iberia.

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Posted: Monday, August 19, 2013 2:00 pm

The boys will be back in town in October when the long planned Navy Air and Cajun Fare reunion comes to fruition. 

Local pilot Richard Spears said he and three others started working on the event fall 2011 to bring together as many people as possible who worked, learned and served at the airport when it was a Navy base in the 1960s.

Spears said the base was in service from 1960 to 1964. About 1,400 Navy pilots in training went through the base for antisubmarine warfare training. There were another 3,000 to 4,000 people who worked on the base either as instructors or support staff. 

“That’s the group we tapped into,” Spears said. 

The event, nicknamed the Last Chance Reunion, will begin Oct. 10 with a social at Ramada and ends Oct. 12 after the group has a chance to visit the Gumbo Cookoff, scheduled for the same weekend. 

Spears said they’re expecting between 250 and 300 people for the reunion. 

“It’s been really well received,” Spears said. “There are a lot of people who would like to be here who won’t be able to make it.”

Iberia Parish Airport Commission chairman Bill Miller said it’s good to see anyone come back to the airport to remember the activities at the base. 

“Just from that standpoint I think it’s going to be excellent,” Miller said. “I’m excited about it.”

On top of a chance to wax nostalgic, Miller said having so many coming into the community to stay will inject money into the local economy. 

Spears said he thinks they were able to reach everyone involved with the base locally, but would encourage anyone they may have missed to get in touch by calling (337) 288-2326.

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