Autumn 2003
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Autumn 2003

Secretary’s Corner

Summer is now behind us, as is Hurricane Isabel, which came through southeastern Virginia with a vengeance on Sep. 18th, leaving literally millions without power for days and, in some cases, weeks!

Lots of things have been happening within the JPJ Association – mostly good, but some sad. In this issue:

Until the next newsletter, due out Christmastime (hard to believe only 2 mos. away), have a great autumn!


Pete Maytham

Last Call …..

CDR Jesse Laseter, USN (Ret)


We are saddened to report the death of CDR Jesse Laseter, USN (Ret), the founder and past Secretary (1992-2000) of the USS JOHN PAUL JONES Association. He died peacefully on June 9th at Ocean Springs, MS. He had not been in good health for some time.

Jesse served 29 years in the Navy and had a distinguished career, rising from FN to CDR. He was a plankowner of DD-932, to which he reported as a BT1 and from which he was detached as an ENS. His love for the DD-932 inspired him to start our Association. He organized and hosted the first JPJ reunion in 1992 in Biloxi, MS, and arranged the second reunion at San Diego, CA, in Dec. 1993, coinciding with the commissioning of DDG-53. He was known for his "down-home" newsletters and diligence with which he kept track of members and dues. He was an avid golfer. Although his health prevented him from attending recent reunions, he remained a JPJer to the end.

CDR Jesse Laseter, USN (Ret) was buried with full military honors on June 12, 2003 at the National Cemetery, Biloxi, MS.

He is survived by his beloved wife, Mrs. Bette Laseter, 101 St. Andrews Drive, Ocean Springs, MS 39564-8426, Tel 228-875-9134.

Scattering of Ashes …..

On July 3, 2003, the JPJ DDG-53 performed a burial at sea, scattering the ashes of Herman Fischer, Sr., who served at sea during WWII. His son wrote the following "Thank you" to CDR Roy Kitchener, CO of the JPJ:

REUNION 2004 Update

Here’s the news you’ve been waiting for:

Remember the Dates:



CO’s Column

18 September 2003


Unfortunately, our time on the JPJ is quickly coming to an end. This time next month we will be at the "tip of the spear" bringing the legacy of the father of the Navy to another ship named after a true American patriot, Colonel HIGGINS.

Implementing the Navy’s cost-saving concept of "Sea Swap", the entire crew of the JOHN PAUL JONES will be flown out to the Gulf to relieve the crew of the HIGGINS, who have been deployed to the Middle East for the past six months.

For several months now, everyone on board the JPJ has busily turned-to, preparing the ship operationally and physically to be turned over in excellent condition in all respects, prior to our being airlifted to the Middle East to man the HIGGINS.

Rest assured that the JPJ will be in good hands with CDR Randy Hill. I have known him for many years and, like so many of you, he also is a true patriot. His biography follows on the next page. Randy has been informed about the JPJ’s excellent relationship with the JOHN PAUL JONES ASSOCIATION, and will continue the custom of providing input for the CO’s COLUMN of the JPJ newsletter. Randy will assume command of the JPJ on 20 October; and, in turn, will be relieved sometime in December by CDR Andy Cully, as "Sea Swap" continues its rotation of crews in our division.

Thanks for all your support and keep us in your thoughts.


CDR Roy Kitchener
Commanding Officer, USS JOHN PAUL JONES (DDG-53)

cc: Commander Charles HILL

Biography – CDR Charles Hill, USN


Commander Charles "Randy" Hill graduated from the University of Southern California in 1983 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering, and received his commission through the NROTC program.

Following commissioning, Commander Hill was assigned as communications and Anti-Submarine Officer in USS HEPBURN (FF-1055). Subsequent sea tours included assignments to USS HALSEY (CG 23) as Combat Information Center Officer, USS ARTHUR W. RADFORD (DD 968) and USS YORKTOWN (CG 48) as Operations officer, USS PRINCETON (CG 59) as Executive officer, and as Theatre Air Defense/Tomahawk Officer and Flag Secretary for the Commander Third Fleet.

Duties ashore have included assignments as a test officer on the staff of the Operational Test and Evaluation Force Pacific and as the Surface Warfare Plans and Policy action officer on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations (N86).

Commander Hill has been awarded the Meritorious Service Medal with one Gold Star, the Navy Commendation Medal with three Gold Stars, the Navy Achievement Medal with two Gold Stars, and various unit and expeditionary awards.

Commander Hill and his wife Marianne have two children, Amanda and Michael.