are items of interest to military reunions including reunions
that have already happened so others can find their own reunion
groups. If you have military reunion news, e-mail
us. If you are listing your reunion, send the reunion name, date
and place and the name, address, phone and contact person's e-mail
Military reunions arent just for veterans
anymore. Families join sailors of USS Foote to keep the
memories of their experiences alive.
Tuttle feels closer to the father she never knew by sleeping in
a small bunk like the one her father occupied on the USS Foote
and doing chores aboard a World War II destroyer. She spent a
weekend aboard the USS Kidd, a refurbished destroyer on
public display in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
father, a career Navy man, was near retirement when he died in
1960, leaving his 6-year-old daughter only vague memories of him.
However, Tuttle has learned more about her father at the USS Foote
latest reunion drew 109 people, only 40 were shipmates, the rest
were families. Most crew members are in their 70s and their
ranks dwindle with each passing year.
Those who attend reunions dont believe the association will
fade away anytime soon. The group encourages attendance by children,
grandchildren and great-grandchildren to keep memories alive.
Younger generations are committed to building a legacy so future
generations can participate in this marvelous event.
Bill Hiebert asked us to help get the attention of LCVP (landing
craft vehicle and personnel) and LCMs (Landing Craft Medium)
of WWII. The five units helped the Army push through Germany to
the Rhine River in WWII. Hiebert wants to organize a reunion of
members who assembled in 1944 to take the Army across the Rhine.
Contact Bill Hiebert, 7901 Candlewood Dr, Alexandria VA 22306;
The Navy has been a recurring subject in Hollywood over the years
and with the recent release of Men of Honor, we found a
listing of Navy films for you to consider showing in your reunion
A few films
include On the Town, Francis in the Navy, PT 109, McHales
Navy (64 and 97), Navy Seals, The Navy Comes
Through, Don Winslow of the Navy, The Private Navy of Sgt. OFarrell,
The Final Countdown, They Were Expendable, Torpedoed, Hell Boats
and Hellcats of the Navy. Or you could take a trip
to see Men of Honor.
Explore battleships in Norfolk, Virginia. Visit Nauticus and the
Battleship Wisconsin to experience life on a battleship. The Wisconsin
is the last and largest battleship built by the US Navy and is
docked next to Nauticus, the National Maritime Center.
has three interactive exhibits dedicated to nautical science and
life aboard a battleship. Kids can zero in on the Wisconsin through
a viewfinder equipped with multimedia clips of sailors in action.
Check the web site for special events and additional information.
Admission to the Wisconsin is free, Nauticus is $9.50 for adults
and $7 for kids ages 4 to 12. Contact Nauticus, 1 Waterside Drive,
Norfolk VA 23510; 212-883-1986; www.nauticus.org.
triumph on trans-Atlantic journey on LST-325
World War II and Korean War veterans sailed into Mobile, Alabama,
on a LST-325 warship from WWII. The Coast Guard warned the 29
member crew, whose average age was 72, against crossing the Atlantic
during the stormy winter months. They cited the ship's lack of
safety equipment, questionable steering and uncertainty about
the crew's ability to respond to emergencies.
rejected the Coast Guard's advice and left Greece November 17th
and crossed the Mediterranean in 11 days despite storm and equipment
problems. Capt. Robert Jornlin, Earlville, Illinois, described
the journey as fairly smooth, with a few problems. Sadly, crewmember
William Hart's health problems forced him to leave the ship early.
He died shortly after.
that disappointment, the trip was a success and a wonderful experience
for all of those on board. Crewman Jim Edwards said, "This
is the greatest thing I've ever done in my life, but I wouldn't
do it again for all the world." Joe Milkovich, another crewman
said that outside of greeting his wife and daughter, the next
best thing upon his return was a hot shower.
was built in 1942 and decommissioned in 1946. In 1964 it was lent
to the Greek government and was taken out of service last summer.
Congress passed a bill authorizing Greece to turn it over for
use as a memorial. Crewmembers paid their own way to Greece and
donated $2,000 to help cover expenses, the boat needed rehabilitation.
The 328-foot vessel delivered troops to Normandy during the D-Day
invasion and will become a museum.
Military reunion planner Bud Galow faces a sad problem each time
he prepares for his World War II battleship USS Tennessee reunion.
Instead of having a "problem" of accommodating more
people, he loses people each reunion. His mailing list has dwindled
over the past 10 years, in fact, the late June reunion drew only
160 of the 200 people expected. Dwindling numbers doesn't prevent
remaining members from having a good time reminiscing when they
formed a lifelong bond almost six decades ago. The USS Tennessee
was the only ship of four to escape sinking at Pearl Harbor December
7, 1941. Less than four years later the crew survived another
disaster when they were struck squarely by a kamikaze plane and
caught fire in waters off Okinawa. In both instances lives were
lost and others affected for life. One member is still scarred
by burns received 55 years ago. They are all grateful to have
survived their struggles.
At this year's
reunion the group took a bus tour of war memorials around Washington
DC, including the US Navy Memorial to honor fallen friends. Brooks
Breece, a former marine, led the tour and kept the mood light
with jokes and quiz games. He realizes these men and women can't
cover as much ground or stand heat as they once did, so his tour
has minimum-exertion, but maximum sightseeing.
Frank Romanick, Captain USN (Ret), reports that the reunion of
the USS Ingersoll, held at the Lodge of the Ozarks, Brandon, Missouri,
drew 152 including 77 shipmates. Writes Romanick, "All attendees
rode in four Ducks, converted WWII amphibious craft holding about
35 people. After a ride through the mountains, we took to the
water. We entered Table Rock Lake at a pretty fair clip with a
big splash. The Ducks circled, and a brief memorial service was
held, names of deceased members were read while a bell tolled.
A large wreath was thrown into the lake as taps was played.
The secret is out. The US Navy is lifting the cloak hanging over
its fleet of submarines as part of its "Submarine Centennial,"
which features a year-long series of ceremonies, open houses and
exhibitions. The centerpiece is an exhibition at the National
Museum of American History in Washington DC. Called "Fast
Attacks and Boomers: Submarines in the Cold War," the exhibition
examines the history and lore of the submarine fleet from 1945
to 1991. The Navy is also sponsoring smaller exhibitions across
the county. A full list of events is posted at www.navy.mil.
New York Times
meets in Naples, Florida
About 30 crew members of the infamous aircraft carrier, the USS
Intrepid, met at The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club in Naples,
Florida for their annual reunion.
now a museum at Pier 86 in New York, was launched in 1943, and
is referred to by many naval historians as "a hard luck ship."
It holds the distinction of being the only US naval vessel hit
more times by enemy fire than any other during World War II. It
withstood at least eight Japanese kamikaze hits and several air
a retired Naples High School history teacher, organized the reunion,
bringing crew members and their families from as close as Lee
County, Florida, and as far away as Washington State.
and to serve
For over 150 years, the mission of the US Naval Academy, Annapolis,
Maryland, has been to develop midshipmen morally, mentally and
physically to become professional naval officers. The Academy's
Armel-Leftwich Visitor Center makes the events, history and traditions
of this unique institution available to the public. Special focus
includes a historical walking tour, educational tours, an architectural
tour, an African American heritage tour and a military reunion
tour, for those who participated in military operations while
serving their country. Contact Nancy Horne, 410-263-6933.
Dorie Miller, the first African American recipient of the Navy
Cross, was ordered to save himself from the blazing USS West Virginia
December 7, 1941. The mess attendant disobeyed orders, ignoring
bullets, bombers and torpedoes to carry his wounded commander
to safety. Then in violation of orders prohibiting blacks from
firing weapons, Miller used an anti-aircraft battery to fire at
the planes. After the attack, Miller of Waco, Texas, was awarded
the Navy's highest honor personally by Admiral Chester Nimitz.
later he was lost at sea when his ship was torpedoed. In his honor,
a new Navy housing area at Pearl Harbor bears his name.
was one of several stories told during a service at the USS Arizona
Memorial commemorating the 55th anniversary of the infamous Japanese
attack. The keynote speaker, Commander of the Pacific Fleet, Adm.
Archie Clemins noted "Through his name, we are reminded that
heroism and valor transcend racial and ethnic bounds and that,
as Americans, our strength lies in our ability to help one another
in time of need."
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
In our summer issue, we included a plea for service ID numbers
for escort carrier sailors and airmen from Luther Royds, USS Tripoli
CVE64/CVU-64. Thanks readers! Luther reports he's received complete
services lists and has been able to help others with their searches.
Luther's still looking! Contact him at 1019 Govrman St, Philadelphia
PA 19116; 215-673-7742. Send $2 in postage with requests.
white glove inspection
Lieut. Commander Frank Romanick, while executive officer of Navy
Destroyer USS Ingersoll (Korea 1952-54) conducted 50 shipboard
inspections. 43 years later, 70 former shipmates and their spouses
arrived in Canon City, Colorado, on three busses for a "pay-back"
white glove inspection of the retired Romanick's home.
for nine months Romanick used 75 gallons of white paint to cover
16 rooms and the exterior of his home. Romanick was, however,
taken by surprise when the inspection party of 140 persons wore
white gloves for a top-to-bottom and fore-and-aft inspection.
As executive officer he'd always maintained high standards of
Ingersoll reunion's gala banquet, Romanick was presented all the
white gloves as a testimonial of passing the inspection with flying
colors. The gloves are now on display in Romanick's trophy room.
Recently we were watching a Today Show where crowds of people
line up each morning to wave and shout greetings to the world
(or at least to their mothers)! Three women in the front row got
the attention of the host and had a chance to talk about the USS
LST 1027 reunion, which they were celebrating in New York City.