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:
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.
MERRY CHRISTMAS, and
HAPPY NEW YEAR to all!!!
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:
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.
PLAN ON BEING THERE!!!
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."
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
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. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/USS_JPJ/:
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: http://groups.yahoo.com/groups/USS_JPJ/
2. Don Wall - firstname.lastname@example.org
Once you’ve become a member, simply send e-mail to: USS_JPJ@yahoogroups.com
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:http://photos.groups.yahoo.com/groups/USS_JPJ/lst
Yahoo requires a Yahoo ID to view the pictures, which comes with membership; if you have any problems: just let Don Wall know.
DUES, DUES DUES ………..
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!!
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.
MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
USS John Paul Jones Association
Roster Database Update