Vice-President/Recording Secretary-Dick Reidenbach
Time Is Getting Short
The 702nd Tank Battalion reunion will be held September 4-7, 2004 at the Best Western Genetti Lodge in Hazelton, Pa. Room reservation form is enclosed (in snail-mail version of newsletter) Map and directions to Genetti's is also enclosed. Webmaster's Note: Best Western Genetti Lodge, Route 309N, RR2, Box 37, Hazleton, Pa. 18202-9681, or phone 570-454-2494. Early arrivals for the Atlantic City Casino bus trip for Thursday morning must make their own reservations with Chairman Duffy Facini. The cost of the bus trip is $20.00($10.00 Rebate in coins). Wednesday rooms are reduced to $48.00. For reservations, call 570-929-2414 and ask for Josephine. Deadline for trip is August 15, 2004. Package rates for two and three nights are also included in mailed enclosure.
Following are deceased from tentative reports. Please advise if inaccurate.
Also, Captain Robert Smith of "A" Company was a P.O.W. and died after the war in 1967. He was taken prisoner in September 1944 at the Moselle River and contact was lost until his daughter contacted Terry Janes recently.
I published Terry Janes' company and address in our winter publication, and received the enclosed letter from the former fiancé of one of our deceased comrades. Lela Eitel's fiancé Joe De Laurentis was killed in action February 18, 1945, and she could not find the information on the 702nd she needed, until she contacted Terry Janes. We are very fortunate in having him as our professional historian and member. Following is his company, address and website:
Opinicus Publishing Company
7628 East 52nd Street
Kansas City, Missouri 64129
Joe Abraham (B Company) had a stroke December 1, 2000 and is in a nursing home. Good luck and good health, Joe! Jim D'Aurora also had some serious health problems, but he is rebounding and plans to attend the reunion if possible. Good luck, Jim!
Dues are $10.00 yearly, and hospitality room charge is $10.00. There will be an open bar prior to Saturday's banquet and hors d'oeuvres. Don't forget to bring the usual gifts and sweets as in prior years. Our annual business meeting will be held Saturday at 2:00 PM; Registration Thursday and Friday 11:00-1:00 in hotel lobby; Memorial Services Saturday 2:00 PM; Hospitality Room open as necessary by Host Committee; Group pictures at 6:00PM Saturday. Due to the added enclosures, I will cut this letter short to save postage. Please study the reservation form and submit to Genetti's as soon as possible.
See You At The Reunion!
Good Luck! Good Health!
Yours In Comradeship,
Pete P. Porreca, President
February 20, 2004
PO Box 85
Lindsborg, Ks. 67456-0085
I understand from Terry Janes that you are Pete Porreca, President of the Red Devils and author of the newsletter. I want to tell you that the information in your newsletter led me to so much unknown information and knowledge that it has boggled my mind. Thank you so much. I have been corresponding with Terry, read his website, or still am reading it I should say, and will order the CD's and anything else available. For years I've searched books about WWII. I've even bought some, but find no reference to the 702nd.
And best of all--All of this came about when I received your newsletter, which arrived on the 58th Anniversary of my dear Joe's death. He died on February 18th, and every year since that time I've wondered how to keep his memory alive so that he will not ever be forgotten. This year was no different. I sat there thinking, "Today Joe died. How can I keep him alive?" Then, lo and behold, the mail comes and there is the newsletter. I think the Lord works in mysterious ways, don't you?
I'd tried asking the priest of his parish in Philadelphia to say a mass for him on the 18th. That didn't work. The parish is so large they are booked up three years in advance, I was told. I asked about a memorial for all the soldiers of the parish, but they said they had one. For several years, (after I found his grave), I had the florist send flowers on the 18th. But that became very expensive and I hated to ask them to deliver in such bad weather. Joe is buried in Langhorne, Pa.-North of Philadelphia.
Along the way, I found friends; a woman named Doris Portley, whose father was killed in WWII. She never knew him, but when she read my memorial to Joe in the Philadelphia paper, she wrote to me. Since then, we've corresponded fairly regularly. She and her husband take flowers to Joe's grave on Memorial Day-she writes to me on his birthday-she sends pictures of his grave.
And another good friend, Bill Beck, who served with Joe and who knew his mother and family, writes and tries to answer all my questions. Bill and Cass drive up there to the cemetery on Memorial Day. There are so many good people in the world and now I've met another, Terry Janes, who has helped me so much.
I thank you again for the great newsletter.
By the way, please send the membership card to my name, or both my and my husband's name-the correspondence is really for me. I don't think he minds having his name on it, but I mind not being on it. Joe was my friend.
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