Ranger Class that Graduated Fifty Years Ago Gathers at Fort Benning April 26-29 Thirty Member
Apr 16, 2018
For Immediate Release
Ranger Class that Graduated Fifty Years Ago Gathers at Fort Benning April 26-29
Thirty members of Ranger Class 14-68 will be holding their reunion at the Columbus DoubleTree Hotel in April. Many of them will be accompanied by spouses and friends, and see classmates for the first time in fifty years. The group will visit the Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade Headquarters early Friday morning of April 27th, followed by the Rangers in Action Demonstration and Ranger Class 5-18 Graduation. They will have lunch back at the headquarters dining facility and move to the Ranger Memorial, where they will conduct a memorial service for six members of their class that were killed in the line of duty, one of whom, Lieutenant Dennis Hunsley, was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. Another, Captain Arthur Bonifas, was killed in August 1976 on the Korean DMZ when the North Koreans attacked a tree trimming detail, in the ax murder incident. All have bricks placed in their memory at the Memorial.
On Saturday, they will tour the National Infantry Museum and have lunch there, followed by a bus tour of points of interest on Fort Benning, McGinnis-Wickam Hall, the Jump Towers, Fryer Drop Zone, and the area where the Ranger Training Brigade was located in 1968. During the reunion, there will be many stories told at the gatherings at the hotel and during the day culminating in a banquet Saturday evening. The organizers have been soliciting photos from the period we were in Ranger School as well as current ones. These, and as many war stories shared and captured at the reunion will be placed in a reunion book to share with all the members of the class, the Airborne & Ranger Training Brigade, and the Post Historian.
Members of the graduating class of more than one-hundred fifty were highly decorated and professionally accomplished. Five Distinguished Service Crosses were awarded, fifteen Silver Stars, and many more Bronze Stars for valor were awarded. Many graduates went on to rewarding military service careers rising to general officer, senior officer, and non-commissioned officer ranks. Two members have been inducted into the Ranger Hall of Fame. Retired Colonel Carl Savory, a local Columbus resident and retired Orthopedic Surgeon, and DSC recipient Mike Ranger from our class have been so honored. The Honor Graduate of the class was a British officer, Charles Hepworth, who became a career officer in the British Army, and will be joining us at the reunion.