A Day of Reflection
When the attack on Pearl Harbor occurred 76 years ago, we were teenagers still wondering what our future lives would be. Four years later we gathered at the U. S. Naval Academy with the war in Europe won and expecting costly battles to defeat Japan. Thankfully, they did not occur. Nevertheless, we served when needed.
Members of the Class of 1949 served in the Armed Forces during the period from May 6, 1941, the enlistment date of Stanley COOPER (D), to July 1, 1988, the retirement date of Glenwood CLARK (D). They served in World War II, the Korean and Vietnam conflicts, and the Lebanon crisis, the Cuban Missile crisis, the Dominican Republic crisis, the Haiti crisis, and in almost all other crises, actions, and emergency deployments of forces by this country that occurred during the 47 years of active service by classmates. We are now represented by all ranks from Ensign retired, John Benoit (D) to Admiral, Retired, Harry Train and Jim Watkins (D). Thirty-nine ‘49ers achieved rank as flag and general officers. They accomplished this in the Navy (37), Air Force (1), and Marine Corps (1).
Most important are those classmates That have been killed in action (KIA) or in accidents in the service of our country. Many of their bodies - - never recovered - - lie in the waters of the Atlantic, Pacific, Caribbean, and Mediterranean, as well as in foreign lands. They are listed below with BNR (body not recovered) and KIA is indicated.
James Beeler, KIA Korea Robert Manseau, A/C US
Frederick Blodgett, A/C TX John McCoy, A/C BNR At Sea
Thomas Butler, A/C John Mergl, A/C BNR off FL
Richard Clinite, KIA BNR Korea George Moffatt, A/C BNR
Robert Conklin, A/C Aleutians Edward Rawsthorne, BNR SE Asia
Edward Cruise, A/C CA Richard Seth, BNR off Greece
John Friend, A/C AL Stephan Skomsky, BNR Sargasso Sea
Channing Gardner, KIA BNR Korea Homer Smith, KIA Vietnam
Joseph Gollner, KIA BNR Korea Wayne Smith. Okinawa
William Harris, A/C AL Leland Stegemerten, A/C WA
Irven Hissom, BNR CA Gordon Stewart, A/C North Africa
James Hughes, KIA BNR Korea William Stoddard, KIA BNR Vietnam
Joseph Kanevfsky, A/C CA Fred Troescher, A/C BNR Marianas
Gilbert Kirk, A/C BNR S. China Sea Michael Vogt, KIA BNR Vietnam
Frank Goulburn, A/C WA Henry White, A/C FL
Posted: 7 December 2017
Rick Claytor married his good friend Mary Louise Mahood of Annapolis, MD April 3rd in a civil ceremony. Following the ceremony, his first stop on their honeymoon was to visit Rickover Hall at the Naval Academy where they posed with the bronze sculpture of his long-time mentor, the Father of the Nuclear Navy.
Mary Louie will be joining Rick this month in an apartment at his continuing care retirement community, Ingleside at King Farm in Rockville, MD. The address is 701 King Farm Blvd. Apt 203, Rockville, MD 20850.
Congratulations Rick, and welcome Louise to the Class of 1949 family!!
Trip to Annapolis
Wednesday November 7th, having seen a Comfort Inn in Bowie, MD with a Convention Center on a previous trip, I decided to stay there. Checking in and dropping my gear, I learned the full parking lot was the result of four different groups meeting there that day. My king room was a nice size, well-furnished, and reasonably priced. It is a good candidate for our 70th Reunion, provided our event scheduling can be met.
Meeting at ’49 House
I found the drive over to ’49 House via US50, exiting at Rowe Avenue, took 20 minutes, but that can vary significantly during morning and evening rush hours. During football season, traffic to Navy home games backs up two lanes of US50 from Rowe Avenue almost to Parole.
Reaching ’49 House, I found the “open door” policy has changed. There is a sign on the door stating that entry must be via Ogle Hall for security purposes. However, Cathy Wagner saw me from her office and let me in.
As I informed you in my September ALL49, Bill Dawson ’82, Alumni Assoc. VP for Engagement (and our overseer of ’49 House), died August 29. Cathy has been holding things together until Bill’s replacement arrives.
We had a mutually informative meeting. I voiced my concerns about the new format of the usna.com website and my problems getting messages out to the class while on cruise. I told her my intent to make this an issue at the COCP (Council of Class Presidents) meeting the next morning. The new format is focused on getting donations. What is there for alumni is a mass of “drop-downs” and upside-down listings to read through. My solution is to have two websites: (1) to tell the world about the Naval Academy, the training program, and access to entry. (2) a usna.alumniassoc.com for class and general usage of communication of issues and events.
Cathy showed me the artist’s drawings of the proposed Trustee/Foundation and Aluni Assoc. Office building. It will be across King George Street from the baseball stadium on College Creek. My first thought was there are five properties used by the Foundation and Alumni Assoc. for office spaces. Ogle Hall and ’49 House are two historic properties sharing a backyard on the corner of King George Street and College Ave. Does anyone want to submit ideas?
When departing, Cathy gave me one of her new cards - - no USNA - - just “CALLED TO SERVE” over “DARING TO LEAD.” That seems to be the theme of a massive program of solicitation of donations.
I toured the yard finding the two-level parking garage by the club and across from Alumni Hall completed and in use. A lot of work being done on Rickover Hall, probably from the flooding. I then returned to Bowie.
The “dinosaur” table had a retired ’47 marine filling in for George Ellis, “A. R.” brother from our class and me representing the forties and three guys from the fifties. I expressed my complaint about the new website. Others at the table were unaware it had been changed. Tom Ross ’50 asked how to terminate activities of his class. I referred him to ours on our website and recommended a big party (inviting ’49) and donating to rest of their money to projects, such and Hopper Hall and Foundation and Alumni Assoc. building.
During the open session, the COCP President passed out a proposal recommending Hank Sanford, former treasurer of the Foundation and Alumni Assoc, who died this year, have a room or other space named in his honor in the new building. Our table felt that a precedence was being set for other honorees and provided more formal wording to the proposal.
The COPC also made a comment about the class presidents being leaders in the “CALLED TO SERVE – DARING TO LEAD” campaign. I objected stating I am president of my class. Not a paid solicitor.
Interesting in the reports from other decade tables was the head of the ‘90s table reported of 18 deaths since entering the USNA, his class has had 7 suicides. Subtracting 4 service related, the 7 are 50 percent of the remaining 14. (A survey came out this week of statistics of class losses. I reported 1115 entering the academy, 995 have died, 6 of 160 living are status unknown, and only one committed suicide. He suffered with increasing disability from Parkinson’s over 30 years. Our service related deaths were in training, Korea, Vietnam, and special missions, but we knew our enemies.)
CALLED TO SERVE – DARING TO LEAD
The meeting started at 1:00 pm in Mahan Hall with VADM Tim G. Szymanski ’85 giving the keynote address instead of the CNO as originally planned. VADM Szymanski graduated from the Naval Academy in 1985, opting to become a SEAL with four classmates. He bragged of graduating in the “top 10 percent of the lower half his class and liking some subjects so much, he took them twice.”
Szymanski's Naval Special Warfare and operational assignments continued as he rose in rank. He served as operations officer and deputy commanding officer at Naval Special Warfare Development Group, commanded Special Boat Unit 26, SEAL Team 2, and, at the O6-level, was in Afghanistan Joint Task Force and Naval Special Warfare Group 2. He served as deputy commanding general sustainment to Special Operations Joint Task Force-Afghanistan/NATO Special Operations Component Command-Afghanistan.
Szymanski completed a Master of Joint Campaign Planning and Strategy at Joint Advanced Warfighting School and served as assistant commanding general to Joint Special Operations Command prior to assuming command of Naval Special Warfare Command.
Talking with him after his presentation, I told him of Bill Hamilton decision to go into the UDT, frogman, BJU world after having his airplane shot up doing a bomb damage assessment flight in Korea. He appeared to be unaware of Bill’s SEAL experience and has not read his book, “Night Fighter.” However, it interested him that Bill was still on active duty in the Pentagon 1n 1984 working in “Unconventional Warfare.”
Meeting with Ursula Vosseler
We met for dinner and to discuss items pertaining to the ’70 Reunion. I informed her Peggy Wood would be visiting family on the West Coast over the Christmas Holiday, not returning until March. My intention is to choose the date of the reunion after the 2019 football schedule is announced in January, and selecting a weekend when Navy plays away from Annapolis. Another survey letter will be mailed to determine how many attendees to expect, and reserve hotel rooms to accommodate everyone. As I announced before, this will be a ’49 family affair with needed helpers and significate others invited.
Two more are being inducted into “Club 94” this month. Chuck Hickey lights another candle on his birthday cake November 24 and Dave Larish adds one on his cake November 28.