After the wettest spring on record here in Virginia, summer has arrived with a vengeance with high heat and humidity. Oh for a day at sea to cool off!
As always, lots of things going on within the JPJ association. In this issue:
Of Special Interest …..
Donation to CHS NJROTC
Last Call ……
Farewell to a DD-230 shipmate
JPJ Family Day Cruise
USS HAYLER Cruise
Sea Stories & Reminiscences:
Boston to Bath ….
CO’s Column, DDG-53:
Ship’s ops update by CDR Roy Kitchener
Good & Humorous thoughts
Reunion 2004 Update –
Dates and hotel finalised
Wishing you all a great 4th of July, and a very enjoyable summer. "See you" next issue of the JPJ in the fall!
Of Special Interest ……
In June, the JPJ Assn. made a special donation to the JNROTC unit at the Coronado, Calif. High School. An exchange of emails about this follows:
Thank you very much for taking the time to meet with me this morning, and for your support for and interest in the CHS NJROTC. I am very much looking forward to the coming school year and the opportunity to build a new program here at Coronado High School. With support from great organizations as the John Paul Jones Association, I can’t help but believe we will become a highly successful unit. Your initial $200 donation, first-ever private donation received, is greatly appreciated. I look forward to reporting to you on our future progress.
CAPT Lee Pontes
Senior Naval Science Instructor
Coronado High School NJROTC
Thank you for your kind note. It is our pleasure to be part of the Plankowners Team. The 400 members of the USS JOHN PAUL JONES ASSOCIATION, spanning 66 years of U.S. Navy Destroyer service, wish you and your new NJROTC Unit at CORONADO HIGH SCHOOL fair winds and following seas.
John J. McKechnie
CAPT, SC, USN (Ret)
Last Call ……
♠ We recently received a letter from his widow that shipmate Harding M. (Warren) Howard of Anderson, Indiana, who served aboard DD-230 in 1940 and ’41, died Jan. 12, 2003 at the age of 83.
JPJ Family Day Cruise –An excellent Family Day Cruise took place at sea off San Diego aboard DDG-53 May 9, 2003. Shipmate John McKechnie reports 10 JPJ Assn. shipmates were aboard, along with more than 400 dependents, guests and Navy Leaguers. Great photos can be seen on the following website:
JPJ "Mini-Reunion", WashDC - On May 27, shipmates Bob Hayler, Al Olsen, and Pete Maytham hosted former DDG-53 CO’s, CAPT Tom Carney, USN, and CDR Dave Steindl, USN at an informal luncheon in the Newport Room of Clyde's restaurant in Washington.
Both Tom and Dave are currently stationed at the Pentagon. Tom works for SecNav, and Dave is in J-3 Ops of the Joint Staff.
As a token of appreciation for the ongoing support the JPJ Assn. has given, on behalf of the ship, Dave Steindl presented USS John Paul Jones bronze medallions to CAPT’s Hayler and Olsen.
USS HAYLER CRUISE – On 13 June, shipmates Bob Hayler, Pete Maytham and Dick Moore enjoyed a day at sea aboard the Atlantic Fleet Spruance-class destroyer, USS Hayler DD-997, named for CAPT Hayler’s father, VADM R.W. Hayler, USN.
It was the ship’s last time at sea before being decommissioned in August.
Sea-Stories & Reminiscences –
At our reunions, we hear shipmates swapping sea-stories and relating reminiscing about experiences, adventures and the like, but we get only a few to publish in the JPJ newsletter.
One such reminiscence was received from shipmate Jerry Neeland who, with his wife Connie, made a journey "down memory lane" to Boston and Bath. Jerry writes:
"I want to tell you a little about a trip Connie and I took a couple of weeks ago. We drove to Boston, where we met some shipmates from the Jones (Nick Colella and his wife, Pat), who did an excellent job of "baby-sitting" us and were most gracious! We spent a good deal of time at Charlestown visiting the museum ship, Cassin Young (editor’s note: the USS Cassin Young was in DESRON 30 along with the JPJ ), and Connie had never seen the USS Constitution. Nick has been a volunteer on the Cassin Young for around 18 years. It would e difficult to see how they could get along without him – he even painted the DESRON 30 emblem on the stack.
I’ve not had a really great opinion of the National Park Service, but we have never been treated better! I think they did everything but feed us. The security was very tight, as we expected, but it created no problems.
From Boston, we drove up to Bath. The shipyard had changed a good deal from the way I remembered it, but they were very busy, and it appeared they had two ships being put together, and a third had been dumped in the water, painted but not numbered.
I’d not been to either place since I was assigned to the 932. I really enjoyed myself, and the memories will last the balance of my time."
That’s great, Jerry. How about more of you shipmates sending in your sea-stories and reminiscences aboard the PJ, or any of the JPJ’s you served on. Let’s make "Sea-Stories & Reminiscences" a regular part of every JPJ newsletter.
Send them by mail, fax, or email to our Secretary, Pete Maytham at:
105 Joshua Road
Smithfield, VA 23430
Fax: (757) 357-0846
USS John Paul Jones DDG-53
This year the spring and summer weather in San Diego has been downright gloomy but that has not deterred the performance of JPJ and her fine crew. It has not taken me long to be inspired by the crews work ethic and humbled by their commitment to excellence in service. These traits were most evident in the success of our INSURV inspection, which is probably the Navy’s toughest inspection. The ship was ready to get u/way early and successfully performed all required operational demonstrations. Without a doubt a big win for the ship!
JPJ’s next big event, which some of you were able to attend, was the Family Day Cruise. The crew got to show off their skills and proficiency at sea, as the ship played host to over four hundred guests. From first-hand experience, I can tell you that seven hundred people on the ship makes for a very long but satisfying day! I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the JPJ Association for their gracious gift to the ship’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation Fund.
Speaking of Morale, Welfare, and Recreation, JPJ just got back from Vancouver, Canada. The first visit by a US Navy ship since September 11 2001. I guess you could say we were the experiment since the Third Fleet Command ship was visiting a couple of weeks after our trip. As expected, the crew never missed a beat and set a new standard not only for conduct ashore but for establishing Force Protection requirements, subsequently opening up this port for other US Navy ships to visit. Our next big event is to represent the Navy at the Seattle Sea Fair. JPJ will be the only combatant at the fair and we are eager for the opportunity to show the city of Seattle how the namesake of the Father of the Navy does business!
Operationally, things have been non-stop for the ship. In preparation for our upcoming deployment we have been conducting extensive training and re-certifying our skills in a number of warfare areas. The ship’s Naval Surface Fire Support Team led the charge by re-certifying our Gun Fire Support Qualifications with a score of 98.3! More importantly, the team provided sustained ordnance on time, on target…it was a true pleasure to be part of it. The ship has also been involved in bi-lateral operations with the French ship FS PRAIRAl, where our Visit, Board, Search, and Seizure Teams and Gunnery Teams received a lot of training; and a couple of select sailors got to enjoy some Tahitian beer! Most recently, JPJ completed five days of operations as the Opposing Force (OPFOR) for a Battle Group preparing to deploy. In the true fashion of our namesake and so many JPJ sailors before us, we deceived, harassed and intimidated the Blue Forces until the umpire told us to back off! The opportunity also afforded our ASW Team the opportunity to track a live submarine and conduct a torpedo firing exercise. Finally, I am pleased to announce that due to JPJ’s long history of operational excellence and high state of combat readiness she was nominated by COMPACFLT for the USS ARIZONA MEMORIAL TROPHY AWARD.
The remainder of the summer will be preparing for our deployment and shift to the USS HIGGINS as part of the DDG SEA SWAP initiative. It will be tough to leave JPJ but she will be in good hands with CDR Randy Hill and his fine crew and we intend on bringing a lot of that JPJ legacy with us to the HIGGINS.
CDR Roy I. Kitchener, USN
Good and Humorous Thoughts …..
The following was submitted by shipmate Dick Moore.
How To Simulate Being A Sailor
Buy a steel dumpster, paint it gray inside and out, and live in it for six months.
Run all the pipes and wires in your house exposed on the walls.
Repaint your entire house every month.
Renovate your bathroom. Build a wall across the middle of the bathtub and move the shower head to chest level. When you take showers, make sure you turn off the water while you soap down.
Once a week, blow compressed air up your chimney, making sure the wind carries the soot onto your neighbor's house. Ignore his complaints.
Once a month, take all major appliances apart and then reassemble them.
Raise the thresholds and lower the headers of your front and back doors, so that you either trip or bang your head every time you pass through them.
Disassemble and inspect your lawnmower every week.
On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, turn your water-heater temperature up to 200 degrees. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, turn the water-heater off. On Saturdays and Sundays tell your family they use too much water during the week, so no bathing will be allowed.
Raise your bed to within 6 inches of the ceiling, so you can't turn over without getting out and then getting back in.
Sleep on the shelf in your closet. Replace the closet door with a curtain. Have your spouse whip open the curtain about 3 hours after you go to sleep, shine a flashlight in your eyes, and say "Sorry, wrong rack."
Make each family member qualify to operate every appliance in your house - dishwasher operator, blender technician, etc.
Have your neighbor come over each day at 5:00 AM, blow a whistle so loud Helen Keller could hear it, and shout "Reveille, reveille, all hands heave out and trice up."
Have your mother-in-law write down everything she's going to do the following day, then have her make you stand in your back yard at 8:00 AM while she reads it to you.
Submit a request chit to your father-in-law requesting permission to leave your house before 3 PM.
Empty all the garbage bins in your house and sweep the driveway three times a day, whether they need it or not.
Have your neighbor collect all your mail for a month, read your magazines, and randomly lose every 5th item before delivering it to you.
Watch no TV except for movies played in the middle of the night. Have your family vote on which movie to watch, then show a different one.
When your children are in bed, run into their room with a megaphone shouting that your home is under attack and ordering them to their battle stations.
Make your family meal-menu a week ahead of time without consulting the pantry or refrigerator.
Post a menu on the kitchen door informing your family that they are having steak for dinner. Then make them wait in line for an hour. When they finally get to the kitchen, tell them you’re out of steak, but they can have dried ham or hot dogs. Repeat daily until they ignore the menu and just ask for hot dogs.
Bake a cake. Prop up one side of the pan so the cake bakes unevenly. Spread icing real thick to level.
Get up every night around midnight and have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on stale bread.
Set your alarm clock to go off at random during the night. At the alarm, jump up and dress as fast as you can, making sure to button your top shirt-button and tuck your pants into your socks. Run out into the back yard and uncoil the garden hose.
Every week or so, throw your cat or dog in the pool and shout "Man overboard, port side!" Rate your family members on how fast they respond.
Put the headphones from your stereo on your head, but don't plug them in. Hang a paper cup around your neck on a string. Stand in front of the stove, and speak into the paper cup "Stove manned and ready." After an hour or so, speak into the cup again "Stove secured." Roll up the headphones and paper cup and stow them in a shoebox.
Place a podium at the end of your driveway. Have your family stand watches at the podium, rotating at 4-hr. intervals. This is best done when the weather is worst. January is a good time.
When there’s a thunderstorm in your area, get a wobbly rocking-chair, sit in it and rock as hard as you can until you become nauseous. Make sure to have a supply of stale crackers in your shirt pocket.
For former engineers: bring your lawn mower into the living room, and run it all day long.
Make coffee using eighteen scoops of budget-priced coffee grounds per pot, and allow the pot to simmer for 5 hours before drinking.
Have someone under the age of ten give you a haircut with sheep shears.
Sew the back pockets of your jeans on the front.
Lock yourself and your family in the house for six weeks. Tell them that at the end of the 6th week you are going to take them to Disney World for "liberty." At the end of the 6th week, inform them the trip to Disney World has been canceled because they need to get ready for an inspection, and it will be another week before they can leave the house.
HEY, WE REMEMBER THIS, DON’T WE?Those were the good old days..... Who's ready to go back to sea?
Which Service is Best?
Old but still true. Final clarification of a long disputed issue:
A soldier, a sailor, an airman, and a marine got into an argument about which service was the best. The arguing became so heated the four servicemen failed to see an oncoming truck. They were run over by the truck and killed instantly.
Soon the four servicemen found themselves at the Pearly Gates of Heaven. There they met Saint Peter and decided that only he could be the ultimate source of truth and honesty. So, the four servicemen asked him, "Saint Peter, which branch of the United States Armed Forces is the best?"
Saint Peter replied, "I can't answer that. However, I will ask God what He thinks the next time I see Him. Meanwhile, thank you for your service on earth and welcome to Heaven."
Some time later, the four servicemen see Saint Peter, and remind him of the question they had asked when first entering heaven. The four servicemen asked Saint Peter if he was able to find the answer. Suddenly, a sparkling white dove lands on Saint Peter's shoulder. In the dove's beak is a note glistening with gold dust. Saint Peter says to the four servicemen, "Your answer from the Boss. Let's see what he says.
Saint Peter opens the note, trumpets blare, gold dust drifts into the air, harps play crescendos, and Saint Peter begins to read the note aloud to the four servicemen.
MEMORANDUM FROM THE DESK OF THE ALMIGHTY ONE
TO: All Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines
Gentlemen, all branches of the United States Armed Forces are honorable and noble. Each serves America well and with distinction. Being a serviceman in the United States Military represents a special calling warranting special respect, tribute, and dedication. Be proud of that!
GOD, United States Navy (Ret)
*************************************************************************Reunion 2004 Update –
Reunion committee chairman, Dick Wagar, and his team have just firmed up dates and hotel for our reunionin Philadelphia next year. More details in the next newsletter.
Dates: Thursday, April 29 through Sunday, May 2, 2004
Hotel: Holiday Inn, Historic District, in downtown Philadelphia, PA