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The Suburbanite
  • MAPS museum honors an Akron “Band of Brothers”

  • The Military Aviation Preservation Society (MAPS) Museum recently honored a family that served in World War II and Korea. Akron’s "Band of Brothers" are the Reymanns – five brothers who served in the military in World War II and a sixth who served during the Korean War. Unlike many families who lost loved ones during both conflicts, all the brothers returned home safely.

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  • The Military Aviation Preservation Society (MAPS) Museum recently honored a family that served in World War II and Korea. Akron’s "Band of Brothers" are the Reymanns – five brothers who served in the military in World War II and a sixth who served during the Korean War. Unlike many families who lost loved ones during both conflicts, all the brothers returned home safely.
    The six brothers served in all the branches of the military. Vincent was in the Army, Richard, Cletus, and James in the Army Air Corp, Clement in the Navy and Tommy in the Marines. 
    The ceremony began with the posting of the colors by Boy Scout Troop 63. An invocation was then given by the lone living brother, the Rev. James Reymann, now of Cleveland. He thanked all the veterans and members of MAPS who have worked to preserve the history of aviation and the sacrifice made by veterans to this country.
    MAPS Executive Director Kim Kovesci, son-in-law of Clement Reymann, talked about the role of MAPS in the preservation of aviation history, and how the museum hopes to make up for studies that show current high school students are not well educated about history. Kovesci talked about how his father-in-law won the Navy cross for his part in the sinking of the Japanese Light Cruiser Yahagi in the closing days of World War II when it was part of the Battleship Yamato strike force attacking toward Okinawa.
    Anna Marie Reymann, Clem's daughter, talked about her father and uncles and their service. She related how Vince, the oldest, landed at Omaha beach, fought throughout France, participated in the Battle of the Bulge and took part in the Rhine crossing. Richard, nicknamed “Itch" was the only brother not to serve overseas. He remained stateside as an instructor. Cletus and Clem. who were twins, both earned their wings as pilots. Clete flew the Lockheed P-38 “Lightning” while Clem flew the Grumman TBF “Avenger” torpedo bomber. James flew the Boeing B-29 "Superfortress." He flew several missions over Japan, then was involved in flights that showed newsmen the damage done to various cities, including Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He also was involved in the flight over the USS Missouri when the peace treaty was signed in Toyko Bay. 
    Tommy, the youngest, served with the marines in Korea in the regimental motor pool.
    Anna Marie Reymann related how the twins met several times during the war. Clete went to visit Clem at Pensacola, but the base was locked down. Military police thought he was Clem and tried to arrest him until Clem was summoned and they saw that they were twins.
    Many letters written by family members to the brothers were kept and are part of the display.
    Clem's grandson, Ben Kovesci, a Naval Flight officer who has flown combat tours over Iraq and Afghanistan, talked about growing up with his grandfather. He talked about how much aviation has changed since World War II. As a naval aviator, Kovesci he has followed in the steps of his grandfather and father, Kim, who served in Vietnam. "I am proud to carry on our tradition of service to our country," he said.
    Page 2 of 2 - Jack Kosko, who flew as a radioman with Clem on the Yahagi mission, described Clem’s heroics and his chance to fly with both brothers. "Clem was a damn good pilot," he said. "But when Clem took Clete up for a ride, they couldn't stop talking over the radio to each other. Clete kept telling him ‘You are too close’ to the other planes.”
    After the dedication Rev. Reymann held mass in the MAPS hanger with a huge American flag in the background. During his sermon he talked about his brothers and their experiences.
    A dinner was held for the nearly 200 family and friends following the mass. As people sat and ate, they reflected on the six brothers who served their country. Many went to the  museum’s Gallery of Heroes to view the display and recall the events again.
    For more information on the exhibit, call 330-896-6332 or visit mapsairmuseum.org.