2012 Columbus, Georgia Reunion

Thurs. Oct.11th through Sunday Oct. 14th

Come and Celebrate the 70th Birthday of the 317th


This is going to be a gala event that no 317th veteran will want to miss. The 317th Troop Carrier Group was formed  in Texas in 1942. They gained fame in the jungles of New Guinea during WWII after they flew the first troop drop of the Pacific war at Nadzab, NG.  There they became known as the "Jungle Skippers" .  Among their many accomplishments was the troop drop that took back Corregidor from the Japanese, and the final troop drop of WWII at Luzon in the Philippines.  During 1942, they trained with the Army paratroopers at Lawson Army Air Field, Ft. Benning.  This was prior to their deployment to the Pacific. Now, seventy years later , the WWII Jungle Skippers will join with all our veterans to celebrate this memorable occasion in Columbus, Georgia, the home of Ft. Benning.  We have secured a block of rooms for our group at the Holiday Inn-North, 2800 Manchester Expressway, Columbus, GA.  The discounted rate is $69.00 plus tax per night. This rate includes breakfast and is also good for 3 days before and after the reunion.  The hotel has handicap rooms and complimentary shuttle service available. To make your reservations call  706-324-0231  be sure to tell them you are attending the 317th Veterans Group Reunion to get the $69. rate. Make those reservations early, we are expecting a large turnout for  this reunion.  If you need to cancel your hotel reservation, you may do so without penalty, if you notify the hotel the day before the date of your reservation.  If you are traveling by air, Delta and American airlines service the Columbus airport . Our hotel's  shuttle is available to take you to and from this airport.   Another, perhaps cheaper option, would be to fly to Atlanta which is serviced by most major airlines, rent a car and drive to Columbus. The city is a little less than 100 miles south of Atlanta. The drive is mostly interstate highway and should take less than 2 hours.
 Here is what is being planned.  We will start our reunion off with a Thursday evening get together and orientation meeting in our hotel hospitality room.  If you use Thursday as a travel day, please be sure to arrive before our 7 PM meeting.  The next day, Friday morning, (8:00 AM) buses will pick us up at the hotel  and take us to Ft. Benning to attend an Army Infantry graduation ceremony.  Afterward; we will visit a restored WWII barracks, mess hall, chapel and Gen. Patton's quarters. Each building is furnished just as it was during  WWII. We will have lunch at the National Infantry Museum located nearby.  If you order in advance on your reunion registration sheet, you may purchase an inexpensive box lunch.  This lunch consists of a hotdog, chips and a soda. Or if you wish a more substantial fare, there is a nice restaurant located in the museum.  After lunch, you will have time to tour the museum where there are over 200 years of military history on display. There is also a  IMAX 3D theater and a large gift shop to visit.  If you need to take break, seating is available throughout the museum.  On Saturday morning we have two separate tours planned, you can choose one or the other.  Tour A will go to Lawson Field at Ft. Benning.  Thanks to Don Brooks and the Liberty Foundation , we will tour their WWII C-47 and perhaps another transport aircraft.  During this tour there is another very special event in the works, which can't be announced until we receive clearance for it. I will let you know, in our next newsletter and on our web site when we get the OK.
Tour B, our other Saturday morning  tour will be to "The Front Porch of the South" .  I'm sure the ladies will love this trip to one of the most unique antique malls in the south. This huge indoor market is filled with antiques, collectables and vintage items at bargain prices.  Saturday evening we will have our banquet, with a guest speaker, and we are also planning a special Bob Hope style entertainment show. Sunday morning we will say our farewells at breakfast.
The $25. tour fee on the registration form covers the cost of buses for both Friday and Saturday and entrance to the restored WWII post at the Infantry museum.
Our Hospitality room will be open for the entire reunion, with exhibits and memorabilia on display. Jim Gregory, our hat and shirt sales man will be on hand, with squadron and veterans group items. Phil Brinson , author of "Among Heros: Tales of the Jungle Skippers" will have autographed copies of his book for sale, with very deep discounts for our WWII veterans.   Phil is also serving as our reunion chairman and will have many of his WWII artifacts on display at this reunion. 

We have had a lot of great reunions together, but this one is special and promises to be one of our most memorable. The city of Columbus has rolled out the red carpet for our veterans, so come and enjoy all the great southern hospitality this city has to offer.  There is lots to see and do in Columbus, you may want to stay an extra day or two. Check below for links to area attractions.   To see a video on all that is avalable to see and do in Columbus, Georgia and the surrounding area: Click Here.


Be Sure to fill out our reunion registration form below



Click Here for the Columbus, Georgia Reunion Registration Form


Columbus, Georgia Area Links


Columbus Visitor Center

Fort Benning 

US Army Infantry Museum