Late Autumn 2006
the holidays and a brand new year just around the corner, I’m sure you’re
more-than busy. So, if you don’t have time to read the newsletter until things
become a bit less hectic, just scan this first page to get a quick idea of
what’s been going on.
Bon Homme Richard
search update -
Researchers identify 5 sites off East coast of
England this summer that may be ship.
Paul Jones “himself” sails again –
JPJ Assn. sponsors period costume, worn by ship’s
personnel during at-sea exercises and ship’s tours – great for morale.
Website leads former JPJ DD-932 and DDG-53, uncle and
nephew from family of Navy veterans, to Association.
Bay - DD-932 Shipmates
Jim Steely and George Grove have recently suffered illnesses or injuries.
call …… We’re very sorry to learn that DD-932 shipmates Jim
King and Art Neild have passed away.
are a number of items of interest, including a very large donation to the
association; Al Olsen honored; new
email-address for our Treasurer; DD-214s available online; building an Arleigh
Burke DDG available on VHS/DVD.
& Humorous Thoughts …..
· Pearl Harbor Photos – Dec. 7, 1941
RI reunion Announcement
New Shipmates -
Del Foster, Jr.,
DD-932 plankowner, and his nephew Edwin
Foster IC1, stationed on DDG-53 till mid-2003 are now members. A “family
thing”, Del and his three brothers, all served in the Navy, and all during
Vietnam. WELCOME ABOARD!!!
Sick Bay - We
received a note recently from James
Steely’s wife, Barbara, telling us Jim (DD-932) had a stroke, has cancer
of the neck and head, and as a result is unable to speak or write; however, he
appreciates receiving the newsletter (“lots
of good info, interesting facts and a few laughs.”).
Grove is recovering from a very serious auto accident last August driving
near Lewiston, Maine (the other guy hit him), suffering leg and head injuries.
Fortunately, George was in his Volvo; otherwise, the injuries could have been
much worse. After 2 months in hospital and a rehabilitation center, George is
once again fit for duty, and has been working with the Newport reunion
Call ……. We’re
very sad to report that two DD-932 shipmates have left us. A recent note from James
King’s wife, Gail, informed us that Jim (radarman) passed away in 2001.
Then, Art Neild’s wife, Jean, called to say that Art, plankowner and first Chief Engineer on DD-932, died May 9, 2006 from asbestiosis and related complications. Art was in the Merchant Marine on convoy duty in the North Atlantic before changing “hats” to join the Navy during WWII. With a very inquiring mind about all things maritime and technical, Art was a master of his trade, as well as a task master and a heck of a lot of fun. He’ll be very much missed by all who knew him.
MERRY CHRISTMAS, and the most happy, rewarding and healthy NEW YEARS to ALL shipmates!!!
Search for “Bon Homme Richard” continues
227 years after John Paul Jones uttered
one of the most famous lines in U.S. history during the sea-battle against
HMS Serapis -- “I have not yet begun to fight!” -- researchers at the
nonprofit Ocean Technology Foundation based at Avery point in Connecticut
believe they may have found the wreck of the Bon Homme Richard during an
expedition to the North Sea this past summer.
Using magnetometers to detect metal,
and side-scan sonar to gather images of possible wrecks, the group identified
five previously undiscovered sites that may be that of the 151-foot-long ship.
They are located in 50 to 60 meters of water about 16 to 20 miles off
Flamborough Head on the east coast of England. Work is now being done to analyze
data from the sites.
Next summer, the group plans to return
to the North Sea and use sonar that can penetrate the sandy bottom, along with
remotely-operated vehicles to get better images of the wrecks. They hope to then
use divers to recover artifacts such as cannon and engraved tankards that could
be traced back to the ship.
Peter Reaveley, who now lives in Miami
but played on the cliffs of Flamborough Head as a boy, has been researching the
Bon Homme Richard for the past 35 years. “This is the best methodology we've
ever applied to this,” he said. The development of the methodology began three
years ago when retired U.S. Navy Capt. Jack Ringelberg, president of the Ocean
Technology Foundation, was introduced to Reaveley. Ringelberg's group first
created an hour-by-hour timeline, taking 30 eyewitness accounts of the battle,
which people could see from shore; information from ship's logs, such as wind
direction, weather and battle damage assessments; the tides at the time, and
sightings of the ship's position during the 36 hours it drifted after the
Based on the Bon Homme Richard's plans, a three-dimensional model was then built to help determine how the damaged hull would have drifted. Computer-models were then worked up to determine the direction of the drift … the same method the Coast Guard uses to track oil spills and lost ships. Charts of wrecks that have been identified further reduced the search area where the five targets were located this summer. One of those targets revealed a large concentration of iron ballast; it is known that the Bon Homme Richard carried 250 tons of iron ballast.
John Paul Jones Sails Again !!!
my name is ENS Jeff White and I am the Bull Ensign on our mighty warship.
I am writing to you to ask the JPJ association’s
involvement in my latest project, a John Paul Jones costume! I found a
local vendor who had a near exact replica of the traditional JPJ garb, complete
from the cravat down to the boot straps. In the few short weeks we have
had the costume I have dressed up several JO’s
(everyone gets a turn!) for a show of colors. During the San Diego Sea and
Air Parade we manned the rails in dress whites and had JPJ roaming the decks on
the aft stack in full view of the delighted crowd! I even convinced the
Senior Watch Officer to designate a place on the underway replenishment
watchbill for JPJ. Crewmembers have been asking for photos with the
Commodore; and, with the upcoming Fleet Week, Tiger Cruise and Family Day
Cruise, I expect he will be a busy man.
the wardroom paid for the costume out of our dues and I am asking if you, the
association, would like to sponsor the costume. It will be something that
will be passed down to future generations of Junior Officers for years to come.
Please contact me if you have any questions.
We look forward to seeing some members of the JPJ Association on the Family Day Cruise, and who knows; maybe they will get a tour from the father of the Navy himself!
Following a very brief consideration of ENS White’s request, the officers of the JPJ Assn. agreed to not only sponsor the costume ($400), but also gave the ship’s MWR fund a $200 donation received from the Ontario, Calif. ELKS Lodge #1419. Below, John Paul Jones “himself" in full regalia, and with Assn. Vice President Bob Hildebrand presenting the check from the ELKS.
ENS Jeff White and JPJ Assn. VP Bob Hildebrand on the 06 FAMILY CRUISE - $400 donation check
● “John Paul Jones: America’s First Sea Warrior” – a new biography about our namesake, written by RADM Joseph Callo, USNR, examining several lesser-known aspects of his naval career, including his relationships with Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and as an admiral in the Russian Navy of Catherine the Great. Published by the Naval Institute Press ($29.00), ISBN: I-59114-102-8.
JPJ Assn. Email Account –
John McKechnie has had to change the association’s email address because the old one was attracting too much spam. The new address: JPJSHIPS@SAN.RR.COM
● Mail/Email-address, telephone changes – John McKechnie requests you let him know when mail/email address, or phone number changes. Send to John at:
540 Alameda Boulevard
Coronado, CA 92118-1617
Tel: (619) 435-3978
now online – a repeat, but noteworthy. The National Personnel
Records Center has provided the following website for veterans and next-of-kin
of deceased former military members to gain access to their DD214s online: http://vetrecs.archives.gov
an Arleigh Burke Class Aegis DDG –
Bath Iron Works is highlighted in the process of building an Arleigh Burke class DDG. Available in VHS or DVD format for $21.95 by calling 1-800-916-0011.
– Dave to Norm - http://www.ussjohnpauljones.org/
Dave Grinnell is retiring and Norm Knupp is taking over the conn. Thanks Dave for starting up and running the site for 7 years. Thank you Norm for taking it on.
● Awarded Honor – shipmate Al Olsen was honored by the Saint James School in Ventnor, NJ, during the 75th Anniversary gala held at the House of Blues in Atlantic City, NJ, on October 14th when he was one of 6 graduates to be inducted into the school’s “Wall of Fame”. His citation reads:
“Mr. Olsen was the first, perhaps the only graduate of St. James to attend the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, the 17th youngest in a class of 914 midshipmen, elected president of his class. Mr. Olsen served in the Navy for 30 years, commanding 5 of the 8 ships on which he served. Now residing in Falls Church, VA, he has served on his parish council and is a member of the Legion of Mary. He graduated from St. James School in 1937.”
Good & Humorous Thoughts –
SEA STORY -
The Navy used to require officers to foot their total moving expenses out-of-pocket and file for reimbursement at their new duty station, possibly not being reimbursed until several months later.
August of 1870, LCDR J. P. Fyffe received orders as PCO of a frigate out of San
Francisco. His current duty station was in New London, Connecticut.
Contrary to existing policy, he didn’t think it right that his moving expenses
should be out-of-pocket. So, LCDR Fyffe sent a message to the Secretary of the
Navy requesting that the Navy either lay out the money or supply him with
railroad tickets or transportation via naval vessel. The reply came from the
Chief of Bureau of Navigation:
To: Lieutenant Commander J. P. Fyffe
In reply to your letter of the 18th: Your request is contrary to Navy regulations. Carry out your orders. The orders also stated: “While carrying out these orders, you will keep the Bureau informed of your whereabouts.”
was nothing which stated when he was supposed to arrive in San Francisco or by
what means. Accordingly, LCDR Fyffe donned his best uniform and strapped his
sword to his small travel kit. At sunrise on the 25th of August
1870, he walked out of New London and headed westward for San Francisco. By
sundown he’d reached East Haddam, Conn., where he sent the following telegram
to the Chief of BuNav:
25 August - Compliance orders number 1998. LCDR Fyffe en route New London to San Francisco on foot. This telegram to keep Bureau informed my whereabouts. Made good 22 miles this date. Spending evening in hayloft in Mount Parnassus. Very respectfully, Fyffe.
Every evening for the next few days he sent a telegram.
- En route on foot. Made good 31 miles this date. By gracious
consent, Mayor of Bristol, am spending night Mayor's stables. Have noticed
he has hybrid mules specially bred for tropics. Suggest Navy investigate.
27 August - En route on foot. Made good only 1½ miles this date. Rained all day. Staying overnight at Litchfield with my father's friend, General Holmes. I find standard boot worn by naval officer inadequate for prolonged walking. Suggest Surgeon General investigate.
28 August - Spending night Lakeville, Conn. Lovely country. Expect to buy home here as soon as I get reimbursed for travel voucher submitted by me to Navy three years ago. Tomorrow I enter New York State.
29 August - En route on foot. Made 28 miles this date despite badly worn boots. People not familiar Navy uniforms this area. Great crowd walked part way with me. I sang them sea chanties. Populace thinks it a great sign of democracy for commanding officer of his ship to walk 3000 miles to new station. Police Chief, Hudson, New York has given me best cell in jail for overnight.
30 August - Enroute on foot. Arrived Albany. Request Recruiting Officer be authorized issue me new shoes. Boots fell apart noon today. Entered Albany barefooted. Will remain Seward Hotel two days awaiting answer. Earning my keep as bartender. Local rum far superior that served in Navy. Am sending sample. Very respectfully, Fyffe.
31 August - Fyffe received the following message:
I strike my colors. Secretary of the Navy authorized Recruiting Officer, Albany issue you boots and provide quickest transportation from Albany to San Francisco. Even Chief of Bureau Navigation can laugh when outsmarted!
Pearl Harbor – December 7, 1941 – Lest We Forget
A Day that Will Live In Infamy
On Sunday, December 7, 1941 the
Japanese launched a surprise attack against the U.S. Forces stationed at Pearl
Harbor, Hawaii. By planning his attack on a Sunday, the Japanese commander,
Admiral Nagumo, hoped to catch the entire fleet in port. As luck would have it,
the Aircraft Carriers and one of the Battleships were not in port. The USS
Enterprise was returning from Wake Island, where it had just delivered some
aircraft; the USS Lexington was ferrying aircraft to Midway, and the USS
Saratoga and USS Colorado were undergoing repairs in the United States. In spite
of the latest intelligence reports about the missing aircraft carriers (his most
important targets), Admiral Nagumo decided to continue the attack with his force
of six carriers and 423 aircraft. At a range of 230 miles north of Oahu, he
launched the first wave of a two-wave attack.
Beginning at 0600 hours, the
first wave consisted of 183 fighters and torpedo bombers which struck the fleet
in Pearl Harbor and the airfields in Hickam, Kaneohe and Ewa. The second strike,
launched at 0715 hours, consisted of 167 aircraft, again striking the same
At 0753 hours, the first wave
consisting of 40 Nakajima B5N2 "Kate" torpedo bombers,51 Aichi D3A1
"Val" dive bombers, 50 high altitude bombers 43 Zeros struck airfields
and Pearl Harbor. Within the next hour, the second wave arrived and continued
When it was over, the U.S.
losses and casualties were:
|Army:||218 KIA||364 WIA|
|Navy:||2,006 KIA||710 WIA|
|USMC:||109 KIA||69 WIA|
|Civilians:||68 KIA||35 WIA|
|TOTAL:||2,403 KIA||1,178 WIA|
|USS Arizona (BB-39)||Total loss when a bomb hit her magazine.|
|USS Oklahoma (BB-37)||Total loss when she capsized and sunk in the harbor.|
|USS California (BB-44)||Sunk at her berth. Later raised and repaired.|
|USS West Virginia (BB-48)||Sunk at her berth. Later raised and repaired.|
|USS Nevada (BB-36)||Beached to prevent sinking. Later repaired.|
|USS Pennsylvania (BB-38)||Light damage.|
|USS Maryland (BB-46)||Light damage.|
|USS Tennessee (BB-43)||Light damage.|
|USS Utah (AG-16)||Sunk (former battleship used as target).|
|USS New Orleans (CA-32)||Light damage.|
|USS San Francisco (CA-38)||Light damage.|
|USS Detroit (CL-8)||Light damage.|
|USS Raleigh (CL-7)||Heavy damage, later repaired|
|USS Helena (CL-50)||Light damage.|
|USS Honolulu (CL-48)||Light damage. (Note: CO was Robt. W. Hayler, father of our late shipmate R. W. Hayler, Jr.)|
|USS Downes (DD-375)||Destroyed. Parts salvaged.|
|USS Cassin (DD-372)||Destroyed. Parts salvaged.|
|USS Shaw (DD-373)||Very heavy damage.|
|USS Helm (DD-388)||Light damage.|
|USS Ogala (CM-4)||Sunk. Later raised and repaired.|
|USS Curtiss (AV-4)||Severely damaged. Later repaired.|
|USS Vestal (AR-4)||Severely damaged. Later repaired.|
|USS Sotoyomo (YT-9)||Sunk. Later raised and repaired.|
|188 aircraft destroyed:||92 USN; 92 U.S. Army Air Corps|
For All Sailors, past, present, and future
I like the Navy. I like standing on the bridge wing at sunrise, with salt spray in my face, and clean ocean winds whipping in from the four quarters of the globe - the ship beneath me feeling like a living thing as her engines drive her through the sea.
I like the sounds of the Navy - the piercing trill of the bosn's pipe, the syncopated clangor of the ship's bell on the quarterdeck, the harsh squawk of the 1MC and the strong language and laughter of sailors at work.
I like the vessels of the Navy - nervous darting destroyers, plodding fleet auxiliaries, sleek submarines and steady solid carriers. I like the proud sonorous names of Navy capital ships: Midway, Lexington, Saratoga, Coral Sea - memorials of great battles won. I like the lean angular names of Navy "tin-cans": Barney, Dahlgren, Mullinix, McCloy - mementos of heroes who went before us.
I like the tempo of a the latest rock song blaring through the topside speakers, as we pull away from the oiler after refueling at sea.
I like liberty call and the spicy scent of a foreign port. I even like all-hands working parties as my ship fills herself with the multitude of supplies, both mundane and exotic, which she needs to cut her ties to the land and carry out her mission anywhere on the globe, where there is water to float her.
I like sailors, men and women from all parts of the land, farms of the mid-west, small towns of New England, from the cities, the mountains and the prairies, from all walks of life. I trust and depend on them as they trust and depend on me - for professional competence, for comradeship, for courage. In a word, they are "Shipmates."
I like the surge of adventure in my heart when the word is passed, "Now station the special sea and anchor detail - all hands to quarters for leaving port." I like the infectious thrill of sighting home again, with the waving hands of welcome from family and friends waiting pierside. The work is hard and dangerous, the going rough at times, the parting from loved ones painful, but the companionship of robust Navy laughter, the "all for one and one for all" philosophy of the sea is ever present.
I like the serenity of the sea after a day of hard ship's work, as flying fish flit across the wave tops, and sunset gives way to night. I like the feel of the Navy in darkness, the mast head lights, the red and green navigation lights and stern light, the pulsating phosphorescence of radar repeaters as they cut through the dusk and join with the mirror of stars overhead. I like the drifting off to sleep lulled by the myriad noises large and small that tell me that my ship is alive and well, and that my shipmates on watch will keep me safe. I like quiet mid-watches with the aroma of strong coffee - the lifeblood of the Navy - permeating everywhere. And I like hectic watches when the exacting minuet of haze-gray shapes racing at flank speed, keeps all hands on a razor edge of alertness.
I like the sudden electricity of, "General quarters, general quarters, all hands man your battle stations" followed by the hurried clamor of running feet on ladders and decks, and the resounding "thump" of watertight doors as the ship transforms herself in a few brief seconds, from a peaceful work place to a weapon of war - ready for anything. And I like the sight of space age equipment manned by youngsters clad in dungarees and sound-powered phones that their grandfathers would still recognize.
I like the traditions of the Navy, and the men and women who made them. I like the proud names of Navy heroes, Halsey, Nimitz, Perry, Farragut, John Paul Jones.
A sailor can find much in the Navy: comrades-in-arms, pride in self and country, mastery of the seaman's trade. An adolescent can find adulthood. In years to come, when sailors are home from the sea, they will still remember with fondness and respect, the ocean in all it's moods, the impossible shimmering mirror calm and the storm-tossed green water surging over the bow. And then there will come again, a faint whiff of stack gas, a faint echo of engine and rudder orders, a vision of the bright bunting of signal flags snapping at the yardarm, a refrain of hearty laughter in the wardroom, and chief's quarters and the mess-decks. Gone ashore for good, they will grow wistful about their Navy days, when the seas belonged to them and a new port-of-call was ever over the horizon. Remembering this, they will stand taller and say:
"I WAS A SAILOR. I WAS PART OF THE
NAVY AND THE NAVY WILL ALWAYS BE PART OF ME !!"
IN NOVEMBER ‘07
(AND WE DON’T MEAN NEWPORT BEACH)
YEAR FROM NOW, YOU WILL BE PIPED TO QUARTERS IN NEWPORT, RHODE ISLAND, ONE OF
THE PORTS OF CALL OF OUR SHIP’S NAMESAKE, HOMEPORT OF THE DD-932 AND ONE OF
THE TOP INTERNATIONAL TOURIST DESTINATIONS.
ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT, DOUG WEISER, HAS PROMISED GOOD WEATHER BUT DON’T LEAVE
BEHIND YOUR COATS AND SWEATERS.
THE OUTLINE OF THE REUNION IS AS FOLLOWS:
|DATES:||NOVEMBER 9-12, 2007|
151 ADMIRAL KALBFUS RD. NEWPORT, RI 02840
(401) 849-9880 www.bestwestern.com/themainstayinn
|KEY EVENTS:||FRI 9th||CHECK IN * HOSPITALITY SUITE OPENS AT 1600|
BREAKFAST MAINSTAY INN * HOSPITALITY SUITE *
1700 LOBSTER/CLAM BAKE
HOSPITALITY SUITE * 1700 DEPART FOR MEMORIAL
SERVICE AND BANQUET AT THE NAVY BASE 0’CLUB
|MON 12th||0800 BREAKFAST & BUSINESS MEETING * CHECKOUT|
THE COST OF THE REUNION HAS BEEN FIXED AT $135 PER PERSON WITH BANQUET, LOBSTER/CLAM BAKE, TWO BREAKFASTS AND OPEN-BAR HOSPITALITY ROOM INCLUDED!
GROUP TOURS WILL BE “a la carte.” TOURS OF NEWPORT’S GRAND HOMES www.newportmansions.org AND/OR THE DESTROYER MUSEUM IN FALL RIVER www.battleshipcove.org CAN BE ARRANGED IF THERE IS ENOUGH INTEREST. A BUS TOUR TO BATTLESHIP COVE (SATURDAY ONLY) WILL COST ABOUT $28-$30 P/P AND NEWPORT/MANSION TOURS (SATURDAY AND SUNDAY) RANGE FROM $10 TO $31 P/P DEPENDING ON SELECTION AND OUR GROUP’S SIZE.
MOST CONVENIENT AIRPORT IS GREEN IN PROVIDENCE www.pvdairport.com SERVING AA, CONTINENTAL, SOUTHWEST, DELTA, UNITED, US AIRWAYS, ETC. SHUTTLE FROM GREEN TO NEWPORT www.cozytrans.com. ONE-WAY COST PER PERSON IS CURRENTLY $20.
IT IS NOT TOO EARLY TO BOOK YOUR ROOM.
WE URGE YOU TO LET US KNOW IF YOU PLAN TO COME AND TO MAIL THE REUNION FEE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. OUR LOBSTER/CLAM BAKE VENUE CAPACITY HAS LIMITS. AND TO HELP US PLAN, PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT NOW TO LET ME KNOW BY RETURN MAIL, FAX OR EMAIL WHETHER OR NOT YOU PLAN TO ATTEND.
|DEFINITELY WILL ATTEND||NO. IN PARTY:|
|PROBABLY WILL ATTEND|
|SORRY, I WILL NOT BE ABLE TO ATTEND|
|YES, I’M INTERESTED IN TOURS||BATTLESHIP COVE||MANSIONS|
|I PLAN TO HAVE A CAR WHILE IN NEWPORT|
SEND YOUR REPLY TO: TELEPHONE (860) 572-0899, FAX (860) 536-2865, E-MAIL firstname.lastname@example.org & ADDRESS 174 CEDAR RD. MYSTIC, CT. 06355.
LOOKING FORWARD TO HEARING FROM YOU.
ED ETTINGER - FOR THE REUNION COMMITTEE: BILL GALLAGHER, GEORGE GROVE & ANDY LONGO
Click here for the 2007 Reunion Registration and Name Badge Info form.