ALL49 15 May 2017
Funny that the month of May is here and I haven’t seen anything in the news about dancing around the maypole as during our youth. However, rather than television covering the parading of Russian military forces on May 1st, we have seen North Korean’s parade of their missile capabilities. (I wonder if those tubes had anything in them.) Obviously, the ritual of sword-wielding in March, and following months, is still used for posturing by many countries for recognition on the world stage.
As I reported last month, this month started with attendance at the Council of Class Presidents’ (COCP) meeting in the N Room at Memorial Stadium. There was an ominous starting of the agenda with the announcement of the deaths of the presidents of Classes ‘31, ‘32, and ’37 since our last meeting. With the break-out of presidents by decade, who arrives at the “dinosaur table” (‘40s and prior) but the ’52 president, a plebe in my company first class year. George Ellis, ’44, brother of our deceased classmate, and I gladly welcomed the ‘50s decade guys allowing their decade leader to assume the chair with his decade recorder taking all the notes.
With the first issue being drafting a guide for reunion/homecomings, I advised them that there was one written in 2011 that had everything in it that the new draft has, but also included names and telephone numbers of Alumni Assoc. contacts responsible for certain actions. The new draft just needs to be updated. The second issue was the withdrawal of Jim Webb, former Marine valor medals and Purple Heart winner in Vietnam, as well as former SECNAV, Senator of Virginia, and author, as a recipient of a DGA in March. My position was stated along the same terms I responded to Bob McElroy’s question regarding political correctness a couple of months ago. The recorder didn’t ask me any questions so I assume I was pretty clear.
The Alumni Assoc. panel of speakers provided updates of activities and objectives. Most interesting to me were:
> The ring bank not only has a display in the museum in the Yard, but also in Ogle Hall. Also, a new effort has been started by Class of ‘70 to donate their rings for meltdown and being recast into rings for their “link in the chain” Class of ‘20. A lot of widows have supported this.
> Class secretaries are vital to class news. This was stated by Kristen Pironis, Shipmate Editor-in-Chief. Yes, she knows Class of ’49 quite well.
> AA gives $1M/year to superintendent for variable event needs. The Foundation gives $23.2M to superintendent for specific programs.
> Jamie Wolff, ’03, Information and Technologies Services Director, is working on a change in Internet Services Provider. I didn’t have time to corner him, but will try to schedule during another visit to Annapolis. His current email service does not provide access to needed capabilities.
> ADM Natter, Chairman of AA Board of Trustees, noted the division of efforts between the Foundation and Alumni Assoc. Both seek funding of their efforts. The Foundation has the big money; trusts, endowments, scholarship awards, etc. It has its own BOT.
>Chet Gladchuk gave another great pitch as Athletic Director. He noted the need for good coaches and training facilities for Navy to be competitive in all sports, not just football, against other larger schools. Our graduation rates far exceed other schools and USNA athletes normally stand above their peers in GPA. They not only improve their physical skills but also in teamwork and leadership roles.
>Superintendent VADM Ted Larson reported that his priorities were in International Study Programs, Experimental Leadership Development, and Cyber Warfare. He noted international study had a side benefit in learning a foreign language with better results than in class rooms at USNA, while studying in another curricula elsewhere. He was scheduled to testify the following day, but didn’t say for what purpose. Most of the questions asked concerned “midshippersons” conduct within the Yard.
Board of Trustees Meeting
The night before driving to Annapolis for the BOT meeting, southwest Virginia was spawning tornado warning areas. I checked the forecast for my travel day finding a 90 percent chance of thunderstorms, and the BOT meeting day forecast at 95 percent rain. I figured they didn’t need a representative of the “dinosaur” decade present. You should have received ADM Natter’s report to alumni.
Since nominee, Bilden, withdrew becoming the new SECNAV, leaving Malbus still looking for a relief, Jannine Davidson has been approved by the Senate to be Under Secretary of the Navy and was sworn in March 22, 2017. She was nominated in September 2015, but was held up by concern of a member of the Armed Services Committee.
Jean Eaton, widow of William T. Eaton, died March 10, 2017 in Lake Oswego, OR.
Charles R. Johnson died March 1, 2017 in Silver Spring, MD.
Gerald A. Mc Neely died March 12, 2017 in Louisville, KY.
Frank O. Roland died April 27, 2017 in Floresville, TX.
CAPT Donald A. Smith died April 26, 2017 in Manhattan beach, CA.
Obituaries for all are on the website.
Nothing could be finer . . .
ALL49 4 JULY 2017
Happy Fourth of July to all!
The day of celebration for this great nation has arrived and many of you will be sharing it with your families. Grills will be busy at some homes and some will not. Nevertheless, what started in Philadelphia in 1776 has been observed ever since. The change that has occurred is our generation has turned over the responsibilities of planning and accomplishment of the celebration to mostly our grandchildren and taken a comfortable seat on the sidelines. Watching those “little people” - - our great-grandkids - -romp around is a wonderful pastime. The day will probably end with a variety of fireworks displays which most of our generation will be watching on the National Mall on television from our favorite easy chair. Wherever you are and whatever you do, I wish you a happy day.
Last month I wrote of my early June attendance with Liz Dixon at her Randolph Macon Women’s College (now Randolph College) reunion. She sent me pictures of the dinner I’ll put on the website.
I was in Annapolis during the middle of June attending Catherine Train’s and Bob Brady’s services. Catherine’s service, as with other services I’ve attended, the number of ‘49ers was sparse. Besides Harry, his roommate, John Donlon, and I were the only ones there. However, there was a sizable number of attendees attending with many having worked for Harry and his daughter, Elizabeth RADM (Ret). It was interesting talking with those that had worked in the intelligence field with Elizabeth. They were quite awed by my answers given regarding how things were 50 years ago.
Bob Brady’s service was a Celebration of Life at Ginger Cove followed by a private committal at the USNA Columbarium. Bob was one of our stalwarts in Annapolis, especially in luncheons at Carrols Creek over the years.
My big accomplishment in June was winning a battle with the IRS regarding 2015 taxes. I use TurboTax and when filing I got the message it couldn’t be e-filed. It was sent by mail. A letter from the IRS reported a problem in one of a listing of possibilities. A year of silence followed. Filing my 2016 taxes TurboTax couldn’t e-file because of a form I used. Concomitantly, the IRS rejected the form because of a 65-day deadline for its receipt – according to the Code. Never having read the Code, my submission was two days late. I wrote the Cincinnati office, who referred me to a number that was in the Ogden office. The agent agreed with my position and that was the same problem that wasn’t identified by the IRS for 2015 taxes - - their office! A check arrived June 30th. I have now written another letter to the Ogden IRS to resolve the 2016 situation in the same manner.
Those of you receiving Shipmate should also be reading the June – July issue. There are a few things I would like to bring to your attention. Mickey Gussow has been a frequent provider of items for the website and Shipmate. Paul Laric normally decides whether it is short enough to publish in our column or whether I put it on the website. The one in this issue about Arleigh Burke is lengthy but quite historic. I thank the editors for their consideration.
I also thank them for the reprint of the picture of the Blue Goose with captions. Unfortunately, a double whammy has occurred. The tale of the Blue Goose was relayed by Bill Trueblood, Don’s younger brother. Bill died before the item was published. The captions on the reprint of the Blue Goose have Jerry Thomas as one of the principle participants. Jerry died June 7th.
Erling Barsness died in Bay City, TX May 23, 2013
Bob Brady died in Annapolis, MD June 1, 2017.
Kelly Davis died in Nashville, TN October 13, 2004.
Jim Matheney died in Austin, TX April 13, 2017.
Calvin Norman died in Largo, FL February 2016.
Jerry Thomas died in Sacramento, CA June 7, 2017.
Catherine Train died in Norfolk, VA June 3, 2017
Nothing could be finer . . . .
ALL49 4 June 2017
June is “busting out” all over! Yesterday we celebrated “busting out” out of the Naval Academy 68 years ago. Many left their “wives” of Mother Bancroft behind to “hitch-up” with young beauties that had been counting the years, months, days, and then hours to walk down the aisle with a young Navy ensign or 2nd lieutenant Marine or Air Force officer. The marriage parade began in the chapel, or later in June in churches and homes across the country. Happy anniversary to you that are still celebrating.
Having been told of the graduation tradition that the one catching your hat would bake you a cake and mail it to you, I made sure my name and address of my first duty station were in my hat. There being no one waiting for me to head for an altar, I busied myself during the graduation ceremony in looking for a lady in the audience who looked like a good cook. I spotted a pretty young lady and decided I’d throw my hat in her direction, and hope she could cook. Unfortunately, being in the middle of the graduates on the front row, the toss was going to need help. On the third cheer I tossed my hat into the air, it fell to earth I know not where. No hat, no cake, - - the tradition is dead! Luckily, I had another hat waiting and found my pretty lady who was a good cook 2 years later.
I reported on the COCP meeting in my May ALL49.
May 4th, I attended the burial services for CAPT William H. (Bone) Hamilton USN (Ret) in Arlington National Cemetery, with honors. His widow, Barbara was concerned about procedures to be followed, which I’m happy to report went well. One of the Arlington Ladies, an organization of widows started by Dornell Kilcline in the 90s, was on hand with family members. Bone’s requests to be buried near his father’s grave was fulfilled. Being a considerable distance from the Administration building, attendees followed the hearse to near the grave site, where rendering of honors began. Although renown for being “father of the Seals,” none were present. Peggy Wood and I were the only 49ers attending.
With tornado warning areas in southwest Virginia May at the time I was planning to attend the Board of Trustees meeting, I opted to cancel since my attendance was to listen, not to provide any input.
May 18th, I attended services at Old Post Chapel at Fort Myer for CAPT John E. Draim, USN (Ret) before his committal in the columbarium in Arlington National cemetery with full military honors. Don and Rhoda Bosley came up from Florida for his services. Many friends living with at the Cardinal Pond retirement home in Ashburn with the Draims and Peggy Wood were there.
Liz Dixon contacted me a few months ago to tell me she was going to be in Lynchburg June 1-3 for her 70th Reunion at Randolph College (in her day it was Randolph Macon Women’s College). The name change several years ago was the result of a financial crisis and the need for more students. Men and more women solved the enrollment problem, but the need for money began a controversy when a painting, “Men on the Docks,” which was purchased by the Class of 1923 for $2,300 and given to the college to hang in Maier Museum, was proposed to be sold. The opposition surrendered when the painting sold for $41M to British museum. Randolph College was saved and they still have another now appraised at $29M.
Liz had me as her guest at the June 3rd dinner during which we toasted the Class of 1949’s 68th and Randolph’s Class of 1947’s 70th. With one of the reunion Committee ladies learning of my USNA background, she brought a Marine wife with a son a second classman at the academy to meet Liz and me. One of the first questions she asked was did we know a COL T. Paul Riegert. Needless to say, she learned he was not only T. Paul, but also Theophil which many broke into Theo and Phil. She was aware that both Paul and Mimi are deceased.
Early on June 3rd I got a message from Pete Williams reporting that he had talked with Calvin Norman’s wife, Peggy, who reported he died in February 2016 in Largo, Fl. Cal has been one of my missing surviving graduates for some time. Later that day Robert (Bob) Brady’s son, Mike, sent me a message Bob had died in Annapolis on June 1st with services scheduled at Ginger Cove Friday June 16th at 11:00 am.
Nothing could be finer . . . .