Winter 2015
Home Up


From the editor Hello from South Carolina. Anybody have a boat for sale? I hope your holidays were a bit drier than mine. San Antonio, however, was perfect weather. The hotel was perfectly located on the river, so getting around to all the sights was very easy. Our Fredericksburg trip was more than I expected. The Nimitz addition to the Pacific War museum was as good as anything I have seen, even at the Smithsonian.

Downtown San Antonio was remarkable. There was so much to see within less than a mile of each other. The tower of the Americas had a view second to none.

Our banquet was excellent, with our guest speaker Rear Admiral Robert Kiser really finishing the night with a great perspective on his time in the medical corps.

At our business meeting we had election of new officers. Reggie Peterson and Frank Sholly were reelected to the positions of Vice President and Treasure respectively. Don Wall was elected as our new president and Doug Dirks is our new Treasure. A copy of the business meeting minutes is at the end of the newsletter. Our New Leaders are below.

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L-R: Doug Dirks, Don Wall, Reggie Peterson, Frank Sholly

We have lost one of our founding Members. Captain Olsen Was CO of the John Paul Jones DD 932. Some of our shipmates served with him. We will be giving a memorial gift to the family and Peter Maytham will attend the burial at Arlington. His Obituary is below.

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CAPT Alfred R. Olsen, Jr. USN (Ret)

Captain Alfred Richard Olsen, Jr. USN (Ret), 91, a long term resident of Arlington, VA, died peacefully surrounded by family members of acute respiratory failure on October 31, 2015 at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, Virginia. Born in Atlantic City, NJ on April 3, 1924, Alfred was the third of three children born to Alfred R. Sr. and Frances Keating Olsen of Ventnor, NJ. He entered the Naval Academy on July 11, 1941, graduating on June 7, 1944 in the Class of 1945. He graduated from the Armed Forces Staff College, Industrial College of the Armed Forces and earned an MBA from The George Washington University.

Capt. Olsen was a surface warfare officer, serving in eight ships, of which he commanded six. He took part in World War II in the Pacific, the Korean War, the 1958 Lebanon Landings, the 1962 blockade of Cuba, and the Viet Nam War. He commanded: USS ALLEN M. SUMNER (DD-962), USS QUACHITA COUNTY (LST-1071), USS LESTER (DE-1022); USS JOHN PAUL JONES (DD-932); USS SIERRA (AD-18); and USS BIDDLE (CG-34) .

In 1953, he was executive officer of the ALLEN M. SUMNER en-route to Korea. His commanding officer was critically injured in an automobile accident in Colombo, Ceylon. Then-Lieutenant Olsen remained in command until the ship arrived three weeks later in Yokosuka, Japan.

He also served as Chief of Staff to Commander Cruiser Destroyer Flotilla Four and on the staffs of the Commander Destroyer Force and Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet. Ashore he twice served in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and commanded the Naval Intelligence System Support Activity. In 1971, he was the principal surface warfare officer on the Cagle Board, which reorganized Navy training. He subsequently served as the first Director, Surface Warfare Training and Personnel Division.

His personal awards include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal and Vietnamese Distinguished Service Medal. He retired July 1, 1974. For the next 12 years, he worked for Raytheon Service Company, primarily in logistics planning.

Capt. Olsen is Past President of the Class of 1945 Association; Past Chairman and Past Treasurer of the Class of 1945 Foundation; Past President of the Circumnavigators Club and Founder and Past National Treasurer of the Surface Navy Association. Today SNA has 6100 members, 25 chapters and 89 corporate members.

He lived at Goodwin House for the last 11 years of his life, where he was Chairman of the Resident Council and sang in the Encore Chorale. He served as head usher at St. Ann's Roman Catholic Church for 40 years. He enjoyed genealogy, gardening, traveling with family and ministering to others.

Capt. Olsen was predeceased by his beloved wife of 57 years Dorothea McAnulty Olsen, his two sisters Ruth Coyle and Eleanor Weems and his daughter-in-law Deborah Sebastian Olsen.

Left to cherish his memory are his grateful and devoted children Fran (Bob Houston) Olsen of VA, Al Olsen of SC, John Olsen of VA, Beth Olsen of GA, Charlie (Susan Mitchell) Olsen of FL and Dotty (Ted) Olsen-DeHon of FL; ten grandchildren Michael (Hilary Dauffenbach Tabb) Houston of DC, Liz Houston of VA, Laura Olsen of VA, Kate (Shawn Stocking) Olsen of VA, Sarah Olsen of VA, Andrew Tracewell of GA, Emily DeHon of FL, Luke DeHon of VA, Matthew Olsen of CO, and Charles Olsen of FL and one great granddaughter.

Burial with Full Military Honors will be held at Arlington National Cemetery in the spring of 2016.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in Al Olsen's name to St. Ann's Roman Catholic Church, 5300 N. 10th St., Arlington, VA 22205 

Some pictures from San Antonio

Our attendees

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Out and about in San Antonio and Fredricksburg

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Some quotes from our namesake

"Sign on young man, and sail with me.  The stature of our homeland is no more than measure of ourselves.  Our will is to keep the torch of freedom burning for all.  To this solemn purpose we call the young, the brave, the strong and the free.  Heed my call.  Come to the sea.  Come sail with me"


Meeting called to order 09:30 by Peter Maytham. Current officers were introduced. Andy Longo gave the treasures report.

Pensacola reunion

Before Pensacola reunion we had $12,903 in revenue and spent $10,212 in expenditures for the reunion. Out of a remainder of $2,691, $1500 was used for a donation to the national flight 
school. An additional $1000 dollars out of our treasury was added to the donation for a total donation of $2500.

Cash on hand

Our bank account had a balance of $10,791 at the beginning of the year. We have received $871 in dues during the past year with $201 in expenses. After donations we now have an account balance of $8903. Andy recommended that this balance is high for our someone our size and we should consider other donations.

Andy also recommended we split off the treasures additional duty of maintain the membership roll. His latest audit of the roll showed over 500 people on the list but only about a 100 that we have had recent contact with.

Secretary's report

Frank Sholly introduced himself as a new member of the JPJ association who took over as secretary last reunion. He wanted to add member bios and stories of their time on the JPJ. In the newsletter, he is going to contact members and try to piece together as much information about the history of the JPJ, as remembered by the men who experienced them, in particular the crew of the 932.

Membership report

Reggie Peterson gave the numbers for our 16th reunion. For the 932 we had 16 officers and 9 enlisted. For the 32 we had one officer and 16 enlisted. No attendees from 53 this year.

Reunion Chairman

Don Wall congratulated the reunion members for a job well done. An excellent reunion all around.


First timer awards were given to Jerry Canfield, Bill Hansen, Harry Jackson, Steve Stoker, Vicki Wheeler for her husband, and Liston Young.

Andy Longo received a Meritorious Service award for his service to the organization.

Honor Flight Information

Peter handed out information on the Honor Flight rules that have changed to include Korean and Vietnam veterans.

New Business

Peter gave a brief history of our support for DDG 53 and the unique traditions the ship carries on in memory of John Paul Jones. Donation to Tin Can Sailors, with emphasis to our Forest Sherman class ships, of $500, split evenly, was recommended and approved.

New officers were elected with Don Wall as President, Reggie Peterson Vice President, Frank Sholly Secretary, Doug Dirks Treasure.

Our next reunion recommendations were Las Vegas, Nashville. It was agreed that the officers would consult after the reunion and make recommendations.

An auction was held for a Navy-logoed cup and saucer set donated by Paul Shanks. The winner was Doug Dirks for $240.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:38

Frank Sholly