Ben Morley (H Kardys) son and
Joel Smoyer
Joel Smoyer, Edward Randolph (JEDC),
Waldo Romaro, James Jelsma (JEDC)
 We would like to thank Mr. Robert Buehn, chief of Military Affairs along with Mr. Edward Randolph and the Jacksonville Economic development Commission for allowing our squadron to explore and excavate a section of Cecil Field in order to recover our Squadrons memorabilia. Mr Randolph and Mr. James Jelsma were very accommodating and it was a pleasure working with them . They not only spent a considerable amount of time with us trying to identify the area where our memorabilia might be located but also updated us on the future plans for Cecil Field as well. They also provided us with sticks to "Beat off" the snakes....
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James Jelsma walking to the "Dig" Site
The CPO Club???
The "Dig" Site
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Joel Smoyer
Ben Morley (H.Kardys Son)
Waldo Romero
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Ben Morley (H. Kardys Son)
Hank Kardys & Joel Smoyer
Waldo Romero & Ben Morley
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Ben Morley (H. Kardys Son)
Hank Kardys, Waldo Romero & Joel Smoyer
On June 4, 2010, a group of Gladiators from Reunion Squadron VA-106/VF-62 Gathered at NAS Cecil Field in Jacksonville Florida in search of treasure. Unlike "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom", our treasure wasn't gold nor jewels but a Gladiator Helmet.

Rumor has it that in the late 1050's while on a Med Cruise, a group of Gladiators acquired a Greek helmet while on liberty in Greece. The origin of the helmet is not known but we believe it was either a Police or Military Helmet and was utilized by the gladiators to initiate new pilots into the squadron. Pilots had to drink a Helmet full of beer prior to making their first flight with the squadron. The helmet is believed to be buried in a copper box behind the old COP Club at Cecil Field.
When we embarked on this mission, we knew it was going to be like finding a "Needle in a Haystack"
due to the fact that our squadron helmet was buried back in the 50's and we had no positive documentation of where the helmet was located, other than "Behind the old CPO Club". We were hoping that the CPO Club (Building 202) was still intact. However, when we arrived, we were in for quite a shock....the building has been demolished and the area heavily overgrown with foliage. So with metal detectors, rakes and shovels, along with other implements of destruction in hand, we started scanning the area. We searched the bug-infested area under the hot sun for hours with the only relief coming from an occasional down pour.

Unfortunately, our efforts were futile. We did manage to dig up a few old beer cans and some rebar from the old building, but were unable to locate our Squadron Helmet. It was very disappointing but we gave it our best shot.