Christmas 2002
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Christmas 2002

Secretary’s Corner

Where has the autumn gone? Here we are only a few days before Christmas as I write this, with the beginning of a new year just ahead! And what a year it’s been for the JPJ "family", highlighted by a most successful Reunion in Norfolk – see Reunion Wrap-up.

Also in this issue:

Next Reunion – where and when.

Last Call ……….. –

Farewell to a DD-230 shipmate.

Seabag –

JPJ "Slide-Show" –

"Man Overboard" – April, 1969

Grady Pearson honored

DDG-53 "CO’s Column" – JPJ’s CO, Dave Steindl reports on the ship’s operations.

Good and Humorous Thoughts –

Email Communications Expanded

Yahoo comes to the rescue!

Dues – they’re needed, too!

Roster Database – send your input.

Until "next year", best wishes for the holidays, and for health, peace, and happiness throughout the coming year.


HAPPY NEW YEAR to all!!!

Peter Maytham
105 Joshua Road
Smithfield, VA 23430

Norfolk Reunion Wrap-up

The 2002 Norfolk Reunion began Thursday, 10 October, with 110 shipmates, wives and guests gathering at the Norfolk Radisson Hotel. That evening, the hotel hosted a wine and cheese reception "get-together", where old friendships were renewed, new ones made, and plans laid for enjoying the sights and activities of Norfolk. Up in the Hospitality Room, the conversation, sea stories, and spirits flowed!

Friday dawned cloudy and threatening, which soon developed into a downpour. But that couldn’t dampen the spirit of the 46 persons who braved the elements to visit historic Colonial Williamsburg, and an excellent tour of the world-class Mariners’ Museum in Newport News, including a quick view of the gun-turret of the USS Monitor, recovered in Aug. from the seabed off Cape Hatteras, and now undergoing decontamination in a special conservation tank at the museum.

Unfortunately, the Fleet Week Concert, scheduled for the Friday evening at Town Point Park on the Norfolk waterfront, was rained out.

Saturday, the weather began a bit "iffy", gradually clearing up as the morning progressed, allowing a moving Memorial Service to be conducted by our own Dick Moore on the fantail of the USS Wisconsin (BB-64), moored alongside the Nauticus Center in downtown Norfolk.

Following the memorial service and touring the Wisconsin, everyone thoroughly enjoyed the harbor luncheon-cruise aboard the M/S Spirit of Norfolk. To the accompaniment of music and singing, the ship passed through the waters of the Elizabeth River, with close-up views of SurfLant ships of all types moored at NOB, including the USS Cole, now back in service following the terrorist attack in Aden.

The rest of the day was spent in visiting the MacArthur Memorial, the Navy Museum at Nauticus, and the MacArthur Center shopping mall.

Sunday started off with a great brunch, followed by the annual Business Meeting (see report below). With the sun shining finally shining in the afternoon, a large group of shipmates, wives and guests enjoyed a fabulous guided tour of the USS Hayler DD-997 at NOB, one of the last Spruance-class destroyers on active-duty, named for the late VADM Robert W. Hayler, father of our own Bob Hayler.

The climax of the reunion came Sunday evening at the Farewell Banquet. Guest speaker was ADM Harry D. Train, USN (Ret.), past CincLantFlt and SacLant, who reminisced about his career in the navy, relating several "sea-stories" about his time on destroyers. In a note sent after the reunion, he wrote:

"I was well taken care of by Al Olsen,

Tom McNamara, and Grady Pearson of DD-230. He’s quite a guy, having served on DD-218, the Parrot, 12 years after my father commanded it.

The collective personality of the John Paul Jones Association is quite impressive. I was pleased to be included."

Representing the ‘old guard’ from the Paul Jones DD-230, Grady Pearson (‘37-’39) and Harvey Diamond (‘44-’45) were heartily welcomed aboard!

Business Meeting Report –

Association President Al Olsen chaired the Business Meeting Sunday morning. Matters raised, discussed, and voted on, as applicable, were:

Norfolk Reunion Committee

Shipmates Joe Good, Walt Malone, Pete Maytham, and Dick Moore received a "Well Done" and a big round of applause from all hands for the excellent work they did in planning, organizing, and carrying out the 8th Reunion of the JPJ Association.

Treasurer’s Report

John McKechnie reported that the association Treasury is solvent, with approximately $5000 in the bank. He said all 61 members attending the reunion had paid their Dues. We are in a new dues period –Reunion to Reunion – so check your mailing envelope for a DUES DUE notice.

Website Report

John McKechnie advised the site has been enhanced with new links, and said he and others are in the process of updating the list of members’ E-mail addresses. He also reported that shipmate Don Wall has set up a free, group e-mail service .

JPJ DDG-53 Welfare & Rec. Fund

A motion was made, seconded, and unanimously approved for the JPJ Treasury to donate $200 to the DDG-53 Welfare & Recreation Fund, continuing the practice of previous reunions.

USS Forrest Sherman DD-931

A discussion was held about the possibility of the JPJ Assoc. contributing money to support the volunteer group of former DD-931 shipmates, who have received permission from the Navy Dept. to make the Forrest Sherman into an historic ship, with Baltimore as the homeport.

Since the volunteer group estimated it would conservatively cost $3-$5 million to restore the SHERMAN, and had only one more year in which to raise the money, the consensus was not to do anything for the time being, to see what develops.

Election of Association Officers

The exiting slate of officers was re-nominated and unanimously re-elected:

President: Al Olsen
Treasurer: John McKechnie
Secretary: Pete Maytham

Next Reunion

After considerable discussion and proposals for different locations for holding the next reunion, ranging from the west coast to the east coast and places in-between, Dick Wagar volunteered to head up the committee for the next reunion, to be held in Philadelphia during the first half of 2004. More information will be forthcoming in the near future.


We commit thee to the sea ……..

♠ Through his daughter, we learned that shipmate Eugene HOFF,TM1, who served aboard DD-230 before and during the war (1940-’44), recently passed away. His daughter, Roxann, wrote us: "Although my father never attended the reunions, the JPJ Association meant a great deal to him."

Seabag Items

JPJ "Slide-Show -

Recently "found" shipmate George Knudsen (DD-932 plankowner) "unofficially" became the "official" photographer during the reunion, putting together a "slide-show" from the pictures he took, which he’s put onto a CD.

To expand the "slide-show", George would like to get the "best of other peoples’ pictures", preferring to get them in JPEG format on a CD; although he can use negatives and also scan prints or slides, returning the originals to the owner.

Shipmate Bob Hayler suggested trying to further develop the "slide-show" concept, making it into an "historical album" of all four ships, starting with DD-230, moving through DD-932, DDG-32 and DDG-53, with 4-5 pictures for each year the different ships were/have been in commission. Cruise Books are an ideal source of the ships and people who served on them.

Send your pictures, slides, CD’s, etc., to:

George Knudsen
108 Tarragon Place
Flat Rock, NC 28731-8513

Grady Pearson (DD-230) honored

The Navy of the Republic of China (ROCN), through the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States honored shipmate Grady Pearson and those who served in the Pacific theater during the war. The following letter from Rear Admiral Chen, Yeong-kang, ROCN gives testimony to this wartime service.

CO’s Column USS John Paul Jones DDG-53

Greetings John Paul Jones’ Association Members,

While I had promised the crew a slow Fall with lots of inport time after our summer at sea doing Basic Phase training, a number of schedule changes have since made a liar out of me. In October, JPJ was tasked with participating in an historic Ballistic Missile Defense exercise where the Navy’s Aegis radar data was used to track an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM). That real-time radar data was then passed ashore through data-links where it was processed at Command and Control facilities throughout the country. The ICBM was then destroyed in space by a Ground Based Interceptor launched from Kwajelein. The exercise was a tremendous success for the Navy’s Aegis program and JPJ has received numerous kudos from Flag Officers for our role. This was the first time that the Anti Ballistic Missile Treaty was broken and hence the event was given significant press coverage. The exercise and JPJ were highlighted in the Wall Street Journal, NY Times, and Washington Post.

During the past month, JPJ has begun Intermediate Phase training with the Carl Vinson Battle Group. We are currently underway with the Vinson Battle Group for a very extensive Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX). We are now two weeks into the exercise and JPJ has distinguished herself as the top ship out here. From logging the most contact time on submarines with our towed-array sonar to having the best Stream Raid missile exercise, JPJ continues to set the standard. It is great to be working with the Battle Group again.

All of our major inspections are now in the rear-view mirror with the exception of INSURV which will be conducted some time next year. JPJ is still scheduled to deploy as part of the Sea Swap experiment where the crew will fly overseas next Fall and conduct a 6-month deployment on USS Higgins (DDG 76).

I want to thank all of you again for the tremendous support you have given to my crew. As you all know, it is indeed an honor to serve on a warship with such an historic name and past.


CDR David F. Steindl, USN


"Man Overboard" –

On April 5, 1969, 13 years to the day that JPJ DD-932 was commissioned in Boston, the ship, converted to DDG-32 in 1967, picked up a sailor washed overboard from the destroyer, USS Porterfield. That sailor was Jim Devin of Vacaville, Calif. Here’s his story:

"After 33 years, the events have been distorted depending upon who you talk to. All I know is, it wasn’t my time to go. And since I’m still here, alive and kicking, and enjoying my grandchildren (all 5 of them so far), I assume I haven’t done all that’s in store for me. I’ve had a lot of people ask/tell me how lucky I am. As if I have to be told!

I was quite scared at first, and I began to talk to God as if I were talking to someone in front of me. I said, ‘Lord, I don’t want to die! I’m too young. I haven’t lived my life yet, and there’s so much I want to do. I don’t want my wife to be a widow at her age. I won’t make any promises, Lord, because I don’t know if I could keep them. I put my life in your hands – Thy will be done!’

I remember every word as if I’d just said it 5 minutes ago. Immediately after saying those words -- literally within seconds – I felt calm and at ease, and I knew I would be found and picked up.

I’m still married to the same beautiful woman I married back then, and we just had our 34th wedding anniversary on Sept. 21. She’s blessed me with 5 children, ranging in age from 18-31. That’s the part where I’m lucky! What happened April 5, 1969 was a prelude to the beginning of my "luck".

Jim Devin, Vacaville, Calif.

E-mail Communications Expanded

Thanks to shipmate Don Wall, those who have Online capabilities can now readily and easily communicate with every other Online shipmate.

Travel the seas again – Catch up on shipmate’s lives – Renew old friendships – Find lost shipmates – Make new friends from the group and learn of their sea-stories from long ago – Learn about upcoming reunions – Share pictures – Read the latest JPJ newsletter. Your choice – as you relive the memories of the sea by joining the USS John Paul Jones e-group.

It’s quick and easy, with 2 ways in which to become a member.

1. Use the following link to go to the Home Page of the YAHOO e-group to sign up for membership:

2. Don Wall -

Once you’ve become a member, simply send e-mail to:

The JPJ E-group also has a place for photos. John McKechnie and Don Wall posted pictures from the Norfolk reunion there, which can be viewed at:

Yahoo requires a Yahoo ID to view the pictures, which comes with membership; if you have any problems: just let Don Wall know.


If you haven’t paid yet, you’ll see a reminder next to your name on the envelope this newsletter came in (DUES DUE). If you see this, please make out a check for $20.00, made payable to the USS John Paul Jones Association, and send to:

CAPT John J. McKechnie, SC, USN (Ret.)
USS John Paul Jones Association
540 Alameda Boulevard
Coronado, CA 92118-1617

Dues are valid from one reunion to the next; e.g., from the Norfolk reunion in Oct. 2002 to the Philadelphia reunion in 2004.

USS John Paul Jones DDG-53 Video

CDR Dave Steindl, CO of the JPJ, made a video of the JPJ during its last deployment to the Gulf and Middle East, which he made especially for the Norfolk reunion. It can only be described as AWESOME. After an introduction by CDR Steindl outlining the ship’s mission and area of operations, the video goes on to show the JPJ and its crew carrying out Maritime Interdiction ops in the Gulf, as well as normal underway ops (refueling-at-sea; underway replenishment; helo ops; etc.). As the first, and principal, launching platform for Tomahawk cruise-missiles during Operation Enduring Freedom, the video dramatically shows missiles being launched at night into Afghanistan in October 2001. You can have your own copy of the 25-min. VHS video by sending $10.00 to Pete Maytham: 105 Joshua Rd.; Smithfield, VA 23430. DON’T MISS IT!!

Roster Database

Your input is urgently needed to bring the JPJ Membership Roster up-to-date. Please complete and return the enclosed form as soon as possible. Many thanks.


USS John Paul Jones Association

Roster Database Update

Name: ______________________________ _________________ Mr. __ Mrs. __ Other ____________

(Last) (First) (Specify)

Wife’s Name: _________________

Address: ____________________________ Apt. _______

(Street; P.O. Box; Rural Rte.#)

____________________________ _____ ___________

(City) (State) (Zip Code)

Home Phone: ( )_______________ E-mail: _____________________


Dates Served Aboard USS PJ/JPJ: From: ____________ To: ____________

(Mo./Yr.) (Mo./Yr.)

Highest Rank/Rate Served Aboard USS PJ/JPJ: __________


Please complete and send this form by mail, or E-mail, to:

CAPT. John J. McKechnie, SC USN (Ret.)
540 Alameda Boulevard
Coronado, CA 92118-1617