Report of Class of 1949’s 65th Reunion

    For those 49ers unable to attend our 65th reunion because of distance to travel in the days of TSA, medical condition of self or family, and mobility problems, or whatever, I and those attending deeply regret your absence. To allow you to share in activities I have written of happenings each day in the EVENT section. Unfortunately, I was not present in many smaller get-togethers amongst classmates, but hope they are giving many of you their personal reports.
    Many pictures will appear in GALLERY.​

Deaths and Services Scheduled

CAPT Donald A. Smith died 26 April 2017 in Torrance, CA. His obituary is in MEMORIAL.

Frank O. Roland died 27 April 2017 in Rockport, TX. His obituary is in MEMORIAL.

LCDR William Albert Vogele died 18 February​ 2017 in Silver Spring. MD. Committal services will be at 1:00 pm Monday 5 June 2017 at the USNA Columbarium.

Joan Aljoe, wife of CAPT Robert Aljoe, passed away Monday April 24, 2017 in Charleston, SC. information on services will be provided when known.

Halma Wilson, widow of Russell,  died in Surfside Beach, SC March 16, 2017. Services are being planned and will be announced when received.

CDR Robert L. Smith, USN (Ret) died Monday March 13, 2017 at his home in Alexandria, Va. Services are being planned and will be announced when known.

CAPT William E. Wynne, CEC, USN (Ret) died in Short Hills, NJ Sunday February 12, 2017.
Burial with full military honors will be at Arlington National Cemetery at 9:00 am August 17, 2017. For additional information contact daughter-in-law, Louise Wynne, 201-412-8397 or email 

Services for CAPT John E. Draim are scheduled at Fort Myers Old Post Chapel in Arlington, VA at 1:00 pm Thursday May 18, 2017. A reception at Fort Myers Officers Club will follow burial. Have ID info available for entry to Fort Myers at Hatfield Gate.
Betty Sprague, wife of David H. Sprague, died on December 16, 2016 in Maplewood, NJ. Services will be at 11:00 am Saturday, May 20th at The Woodland (formerly the Woman's Club) in Maplewood, New Jersey. There will be reception lunch following the service. 


    I have to extend kudos to John Camp, Liz Dixon, Milt Gussow, the McDonalds, McCulloughs, Joel Rabinowitz, Angelo Semeraro, Peggy Wood, and a number of others that have provided inputs for our SHIPMATE column and keeping your editors and me informed of things of interest to the class and the Navy. 
    Paul Laric and Ursula Vosseler continue to put out a quality product in SHIPMATE, but I have a binding contact with them so "to hell with the mule - - load the wagon!"
    Those who have stories to tell, get them told. It's later than you think.

Red                                                                        Posted: September 6, 2016

Stuff Happens

The phone rang. Dodo answered. A voice said "Hi, how are you?"

"Who's calling?" she asks.

"Don't you recognize me? It's Jake (our grandson Jake lives in Philadelphia). I have a cold and may sound different," he proclaims. "I'm in trouble. I was with my friend in his car when the police stopped us. They inspected the trunk and found marijuana. They hauled us to the police station and unless I can pay $2,000 at court tomorrow, I'll be in jail for 30 days. But if I pay, the money will be returned the next day." 

Dodo tells him to hang on and passes the receiver to me saying, "Sounds like trouble."

Jake repeats the story to me. I ask, "Do your parents know about this?"

"No, I don't want them to know. That's why I'm calling you. But here's my court appointed lawyer, Mr. Weinstein, and he can tell you what has to be done."

Mr. Weinstein comes on and described the event as Jake did to Dodo. But adds that payment must be made as soon as possible and in time for the hearing in court. I asked for his phone number and told him that I must discuss this with my wife and will get back to him. Dodo and I decide that we must inform our daughter Katya, Jake's mum in Concord, NH, and husband Jim. Dodo calls Katya’s cell number and I call Jim’s office, who is out for a full-day meeting.

Dodo tells Katya what happened and that she didn't recognize Jake's voice with his cold. 

"What cold?" asks Katya. "I spoke with him last night and he sounded perfectly ok," she said. Dodo hands me the phone. This could be a hoax, we all agreed. 

Katya tried calling Jake, then remembered he had a job interview at that time. 

Dodo and I discussed the situation and agreed that we needed to know more. I called Mr. Weinstein's number, who again emphasized the urgency of the situation.

"If it's so urgent for Jake to pay his $2,000 in court tomorrow," I asked, "how can a check get there in time?"

His answer convinced me of the hoax. He said, "Go to Target, pay the $2,000, and they will notify the Target store here." I hung up the receiver.

About an hour later, Katya called saying she reached Jake, who knew absolutely nothing about all this. Questions remain, how did the crooks know about Jake, our name and phone number, and that we were his grandparents? The Internet, of course, but be forewarned as it, or something like it, could happen to anyone anytime. 

Paul Laric                                                                            Posted: 26 January 2017

An Invitation

I am the only '49er who ever attended a USS NORTH CAROLINA annual crew reunion. My wife, Joy, and I have been to several. Last year, I was elected president of the Association of Former Crew and would like to invite other '49ers and their families to attend the upcoming 2017 reunion which will take place in Wilmington, NC from May 17 to May 20. I'll promise you a very good time, from climbing the ladders and promenading on YOUR holystoned teak decks to manning your battle stations of yore. Beyond sea stories galore and great camaraderie, I promises you a hidden tour of spaces not open to the public, from steering aft in the bowels of the lower decks, to the height of sky control in the lofty rigging.
How nice if we midshipmen who first put to sea on this mighty ship came back for one last look at where our seafaring careers began on our transition from landlubber to seafarer.
Interested? Call me at 239-574-8665 or post your phone number at and I will call you.

Nothing can be finer ......

John Camp
Now Hear This

Ursula Vosseler latched on to a story about an unauthorized vintage Buick by a batch of '49-ers 1st Class Year. They called it the Blue Goose. It served its expulsion-prone purpose for trips to DC and Baltimore and to squire drags to and from Saturday hops at the Academy and other events involving the fair sex. For lack of a photo, Ursula Googled the blue Buick and got a gem of a picture. She then extracted photos of the co-operators of the Blue Goose from the Lucky Bag and elsewhere and produced a montage of faces and names around the Blue Goose replica - a thing of beauty, as we'll all see in the May Shipmate column. But, alas - through some oversight on Shipmate's part, the names of the co-operators of the Blue Goose were omitted. I noticed this when I Googled the May issue of Shipmate, before receiving my copy, and relayed the distressing omissions to Ursula to prepare her for the inevitable disappointment upon receiving her May Shipmate. 
That's all she needed to know, for her next move was a phone call to Shipmate to express her and my indignation and exasperation at another (there had been a few, like omitted captions) Shipmate oversight. Apologies were not enough. Ursula succeeded in eliciting a promise from Shipmate that the photo with car, faces and names will appear with apologies in the June-July Shipmate column for all 49-ers to see, including the names of "who were these guys," who dared play chicken with Class A's or even expulsion, if caught.

Paul Laric                                                                    Posted: 3 May 2017

Kudos Again

I love being in the position of passing out kudos to my helpers in accomplishing efforts to keep everyone informed and amused while "communicating." Unfortunately, I must add that Bill Trueblood '53, brother of Don, died March 6th and won't see Ursula's product from his original input. God bless him for this story that Don would never tell. However, you old first and second company classmates and widows should be able to confirm information on the Blue Goose. 
Thanks again, Ursula!