In August of 1952, some 1,143 Aviation cadets, student officers, student pilots, and pilot officers from virtually every state in the union and numerous foreign countries began gathering at ten pilot training bases to form USAF Pilot Training Class 53-F. This group of young men came seeking the coveted silver wings of a USAF pilot and the opportunity to join the great fraternity of the few --- the aviator...+

The class consisted of 858 American and 285 Military Defense Assistance Pact students. Of these, approximately 900 succeeded in gaining their silver wings. The careers that followed varied from the routine to the spectacular. Many served the mandatory tour and resigned. Others served for many years, retired and pursued second careers of varied types. Tragically, many have died... in combat, accidents, and from health problems. Probably our most notable classmate, Edward W. White, who became an astronaut, died in a capsule fire. Many of our Iranian classmates were assassinated in the coup of 1979.

The bond formed during the pilot training remains a strong one. A casual meeting between Jake Watson and Donald Condra in 1990 resulted in a sentimental journey back across the years to 1952-53 that generated desire to gather the class together once again. Their initial thoughts were to have a reunion of their training bases - Greenville AB, Hondo AB, and Webb AFB. But the idea caught on and they were encouraged to include all 20 bases and all classmates that could be located. So the search began for 53-Foxers. The first class reunion was held at Panama City Beach in October 1995 in spite of major adversity presented by hurricane Opal. Tragically, Jake Watson passed on during preparations for the reunion in 1998. His dedication to the reunion efforts never wavered and he continued working even on his final trip to the hospital. He was posthumously selected as permanent Wing Commander in 1998.

Unfortunately, the whole class reunion has not met the expectations of many Greenville, Hondo and Webb classmates. As a result, and in view of polling, it has been decided to continue with Jake and Don's original ideas and efforts and hold periodic reunions in addition to the whole class reunions. Since some in the whole class setup objected to information presented on the original Fox web, it has been removed and this site replaces it. Only Greenville, Hondo, and Webb will be included. Others, of course, are welcome to join this group and post to the web with proper permissions. 

The search is not complete. The included roster contains 262 names of entering students and may not include all. Of these, 75 are deceased, 58 have never been located, 8 have not been responsive to contact attempts. Address lists at this time is for 121 members. Remember, other Foxes are welcome....

NEWS BULLETINS, ETC.   <click here.     Updated 12-25-2016  Because some information may be personal or sensitive, this page is now password protected...

*****Click on News Bulletin link above for important news. If you need user and password, email

12-25-2016  This web site is still active. I haven't received much news in the past few months. Don't like bad news but would
like to keep the deceased list current. If you know of any deceased in the past 3 or 4 years, please let me know. Don Condra

Major William A. Van Dine
( August 09, 1932 - May 02, 2016 )

William Albert Van Dine, age 83, of San Antonio, passed away May 2, 2016 in San Antonio. William was born August 9, 1932 in New Haven, CT. He was born to Harold
and Marguerite Eichstaedt Van Dine. He graduated from Hamden HS in Hamden, CT in 1950. William served in the US Air Force Reserves for over 20 years.
During that time, he flew over 150 missions over Vietnam Reconnaissance RF101 and RF4C. In 1971, he retired as a Major. He was preceded in death by his parents.
Survivors include his wife of 60 years, Dorothy “Dottie” Van Dine of San Antonio; sons and daughters-in-law, William A. Van Dine, Jr of Woodbridge, VA, Charles
and Janet Van Dine of New Braunfels, Gregory and Karen Van Dine of Spring, TX; 4 grandchildren; sister and brother-in-law, Priscilla and Melvin Redman; brother
and sister-in-law, Harold F. Van Dine Jr. and Maureen. The family will have a graveside service with Military Honors at the Community Cemetery in Valley View,
TX at a later date. Memorials may be made in William’s name to Blue Skies of Texas Hospice or charity of your choice. Arrangements by Tondre-Guinn Funeral Home.

  jw   Questions, corrections, suggestions to  AND CC 
                                                                    Don Condra                           Jim Mayton                 

Password  Req                   jw
 Classmates - Roster

Greenville with pictures
      FOX PHOTOS        jw

  2003 Reunion   Scoreboard  Who attended

2001 Reunion News
      53-F Memorial             jw    GHW Wing Email -
   Password required
Allclass.Email                              jw
          Class Books         jw Struye account of reunion    '01 Reunion
Attendees by Primary Base
Assoc Email - Password Req      Group Picture at Dedication Ceremony     '01 Reunion
Attendees by Basic Base
Deceased since 2001  Reunion                              jw ****2013 Anniversary Reunion Bulletin*****

2008 Reunion Report

T-6G that flew at 2003 Reunion and those flying 1998 Newsletter  
Fox  Count Feb 2008 
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 your information
     2008 Reunion Pictures           2005 Reunion
         Who Came