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

Services for Jackie Bartholomew, widow of Bart, will be Thursday 2:00 pm March 23rd at Arlington National Cemetery. Guests should arrive 30 minutes or earlier at the Administration building.

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.
There is a viewing at Bradley, Brough and Dangler Funeral Home 299 Morris Avenue Summit New Jersey this Friday afternoon from 2-4 and 7-9. A service will be held on Saturday morning at the Central Presbyterian Church in Summit at 11 a.m. Burial will be at Arlington National Cemetery at a future date.

Services for CAPT William H. Hamilton are scheduled at Arlington Cemetery Wednesday May 4th at 3:00 pm. Other details will be provided when received.

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.
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

New Secretary of the Navy

                                                    Philip Bilden, who is an Army Reserve veteran but has worked as an                                                     investor in Hong Kong for most of his career, was nominated on                                                     January 25, 2017, to be Secretary of the Navy.
                                                    Bilden did grow up in a Navy family; his father was a naval officer,                                                     as were many of his relatives over four generations. Bilden ended up                                                     in Zionsville, Indiana, for his last years in high school, graduating in                                                     1982. He went on to Georgetown University, where he earned a                                                     bachelor’s degree in foreign service in 1986. He was a member of                                                     Reserve Officers’ Training Corps at Georgetown, so was                                                     commissioned a second lieutenant upon graduation. He served ten                                                     years as an intelligence officer, including a stint at the Defense Intelligence Agency, in the Army Reserve.
Bilden returned to school, this time to Harvard, and earned an MBA in 1991. He went to work in Boston for the equity firm HarbourVest Partners, then known as Hancock Venture Partners, and in 1996 became a co-founder of the company in a management buyout. Bilden then left for Hong Kong to manage the company’s Asian business. The move also forced him to leave the Army Reserve, where he had reached the rank of captain.
Bilden remained in Hong Kong for 20 years, becoming a major player in bringing private equity investment to Asia. He opened HarboutVest offices in Tokyo in 2010 and Beijing in 2012. In 2011, he changed from being managing director to senior advisor.
From 2011 to 2012, he was the inaugural chairman of the Asia Advisory Council for the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association. He retired from HarbourVest in 2016 and returned to the United States, settling in Newport, Rhode Island. There, he sat on the board of the Naval Academy Foundation and the Naval War College Foundation, where he was the inaugural chairman of the Center for Cyber Conflict Studies Task Force. He is also on the Board of Visitors of Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service, the Asia Pacific Advisory Board of Harvard Business School, the Cyber & Tech Council of Business Executives for National Security and the Contrast Capital Global Advisory Board.
Bilden met his wife, Patricia, a dermatologist, while they were both students at Georgetown. They have a daughter and two sons, one of whom is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, while the other is a midshipman there.
Bilden’s nomination came as somewhat of a surprise. Former Virginia Congressman Randy Forbes (R), who was an adviser to Donald Trump during the presidential campaign and was an advocate for the larger Navy that Trump had promised, was seen as the likely candidate for the job.