Date: October 11-14th
|Hall, Donald Bruce||06-01-01|
USS STODDARD DD566
November 28, 2001
WWII - Korea - Vietnam
The 2001 Reunion is now history, but what a great time Phyllis and I had as your hosts! Thanks to all of you who attended and made it a great success. We had a total of 125 in attendance, including 65 shipmates, 13 of whom were first-time attendees. Congratulations to Jewell Trotter and Tom Davis for keeping their consecutive reunion attendance in tact. Thanks to all who supplied memorabilia, with a special "thank you" to Bob Henry who not only donated his painting of the Stoddard for our raffle, but who also supplied many other paintings he has done of Navy ships. I also would like to thank George Quinn who was not able to attend but who sent a check for $50 to cover "a round of drinks" for his Shipmates. Thanks is also extended to Leroy and Grace Bill for the four copies of "Sacrificial Lambs" which were offered as gifts and raffle items. And thanks to Dean Qually who provided two color copies of the 1953 cruise book for raffle. Finally, a big thank you to the Romacks and Harpsters for all of their help prior to and during the Reunion.
Now for the highlights . . . after the initial group of attendees arrived on Wednesday afternoon and evening, we kicked-off the event with a "welcoming" BBQ dinner on Thursday evening with rather unique entertainment provided by the Boom Bastic Boom Ba Band (not to be confused with the Pittsburgh Symphony).
Friday morning we set out with "Molly's Trolleys" on a guided tour of Pittsburgh, including a ride on one of Pittsburgh's historic Inclines. Lunch followed at the Grand Concourse Restaurant at Station Square, after which we took a tour of Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh - here we viewed exhibits from the Civil War to Desert Storm. The only inclement weather we experienced during the reunion happened this day in the form of rain showers; but as we were under cover most of the time, it didn't really affect our day.
Upon our return, we held our annual business meeting, during which a number of items were discussed. Among the most important, Bob Hoag reported on his efforts in getting a new surface ship named "Stoddard," and he urged us all to write to SECNAV and our Representatives on this matter. He also headed the discussion on a new Stoddard "Patch" and it was decided at the banquet the next night to go with the original Stoddard design using the word "alumni" along the bottom. There were several requests from various Naval organizations for donations, and it was decided to have a "set-aside" fund of $200 for these types of requests which would be used at the discretion of the President and Treasurer. It was also determined not to participate in future "Squadron" or "Division" reunions. Finally, San Diego was chosen as the site for next year's Reunion with Dan Withers and Glen Balzer agreeing to act as hosts and as co-presidents for 2002. Paul Hanna graciously offered to organize the 2003 Reunion in the Philadelphia area.
That evening we were treated to a Dinner-Theater which was hosted by an improvisational group called "Dry Bones." Many thanks to our members who participated in the various satirical skits.
Saturday dawned sunny and warm, and we set out on a six-hour trip on the Gateway Clipper Ship, "Majestic," traveling up the Allegheny River for about ten miles and passing through the Highland Park lock. During the trip, Joe Harpster held a Memorial Service for our Shipmates who had passed away during the previous year. As part of the service, each shipmate threw a flower off the bow of the ship in their remembrance. The food and entertainment were great; and just being out on deck in the sunshine enjoying the colorful view, made for a great day.
That evening we held our traditional Saturday evening banquet. Following dinner, awards were given to our officers (who agreed to serve another term in 2002) and to Dan Withers for his continued good work on our website. Photographs for the Memory Book were taken prior to dinner, and a raffle was held after the awards (thanks to all who brought items from their home areas to use in the raffle!) Phyllis and I were especially grateful for the gifts presented to us; the USS Stoddard plaque for me, and roses and a gold bracelet for Phyllis.
Sunday morning we held our "getaway" breakfast; and during breakfast, a number of slides, provided by Shipmates, were shown which captured life aboard ship and various ports of call.
Once again, thanks to all for coming to the "Burgh" for the Reunion. You made our job as hosts that much more enjoyable and memorable. See you in San Diego!
The following attended the 2001 Reunion; names in boldface are those who attended for the first time:
Altherr, Clemens (53-55, MM2) &
(58-60, Ltjg) & Helen
Bailey, Frank (58-60) & Mary Lou
Balzer, Glen (64-66, Lt)
Bennage, Henry (51-54, YNSN) & Sheila
Boesenberg, Paul (44-46, S1) &
Boland, Mick & Kathy
Brooks, Ken (57-59, MMC) & Dora
Buck, Frank (58-62, SKCS)
Butler, Robert (67-69, BT3) & Pat
Thomas Davis (44-46, MM3) & Joyce
Derrington, John (WWII son) & Gloria
Derrington, Les (43-45, EM1) & Millie
Elkins, Royce (58-61)
Frank, Adair (43-46, BTG3) & Ginnie
& friend Bob
Frye, Ralph (52-53) & Shirley
Goodwin, Byron (58-62, RM2) & Linda
(59-62, Ltjg) & Diana
Grindell, Clyde (52-54, ET2) &
John & Pat (WW II
daughter) & Kelley
Hamby, Knox (58-60) & Pat
Harpster, Joseph (50-54, MM1) &
(68-70, EMFN) & Barbara
Haupt, Doug & son
Henry, Allen (51-54, MM2)
Hoag, Bob (61-63, Ltjg/Capt) &
Hummel, Donald (52-53, EMFN) &
Hurst, William (45-46, LCdr/Capt) & Christina
Jones, C. Casey (58-61, SM3) & Ann Carolyn
(67-68, E3) & Arvilla
Liske, Paul (64-68, MM2) & Diane
Magill, Bob (51-54, DC2) & Doris
Maholm, Joseph (66-69, BT2) & Karen
Moore, Ralph (59-61, GMG3) & Sharon
Mosley, Frank (60-62, storekeeper) &
Owen, Jack (WW II, S1 GM) & Joyce
Patterson, Dale (WW II, Ltjg)
(60-63, BMCM) & Fran
(51-54, RM3) & Catherine
Puckett, Troy (52-54, DK2) & Barbara
Rauh, John (67-68, SK3) & Carlene
Reynolds, George (Bill) (51, Cdr)
Rick (64-68. FTG2) & Susan
Rizzolo, Dan (44-45, Y1)
Robinson, Joseph (51-54, SN) &
Roemke, Walter (51-52, GM1) & Dee
Romack, Jay (51-52, YNSN) & Mary Lou
(60-63, Lt) & Alice & Velma Coleman
Shea, Irving (52-56, BT1/BRCM)
Stoyle, John (60-62, Ltjg) & Phyllis
Swan, Robert (66-69, BTC) & Eileen
Jewel (WW II widow) & family: David, Danny, Brenda and Heather
Vonderheid, George (WW II, SKD2)
(54-57, CM) & Ester Ermlick
Watz, Anthony (51-54 MM2) & Pat
(58-61, RD3) & Barbara
Wilder, James (44-46, FC2) & Betty
Withers, Dan (65-66, ET3) & Roxane
Wooden, Robert (51-54, BM3) & Ruperta
Lost Sheep Found! Welcome Aboard! - Our roster keeps growing rapidly through the efforts of many. The October 2001 directory already needs an addendum!
MM1 - Talman, NY
Eddie L. 58-62
BT2 - Seattle, WA
- La Jolla, CA
Behling, Arthur 46
Bennett, Charles 67-68 - Westerville, OH
GM - Witchita Falls, TX
William E. 60-63 SN - Mills, WY
Brosenne, Michael 65-66 GMG3
Burrough, David P. 56-58
- Parker Dam, CA.
Timothy J. 61-65 LT - Oakland, CA
Ralph (Flip) 56-57 Mission Viejo, CA
EM2 - Escondido, CA
PO2 Newbury Park, CA
Fairfield, Leonard G. 65-67 MM
Galloway, Chester L. Stout, OH
Ghrames, William 56-59 BT3 - Allegan, MI
Gillogley, Jr., John 60-66
Gonzalez, D. 60-63 E3
Guhde, Jerry (Mose) D. 68 RM2
Hagood, James L. 58-61 GMSN - Orick, CA
Heath, Victor 61-62 RD3 - Sandy, UT
L. G. 56-57 CDR - Hurrican, UT
SF2 - Portland, OR
House, Harry 58-60
BTCS - Alexander City, AL
55-59 FN - Alexander City, AL
GMS - Metropolis, IL
Knodle, Rex C. 61 STG2
BT - Stockton, CA.
Walter J. 55-57 SN - Fridley, MN
Howard 54-57 SK2 - Minneap. MN
Jack D. 56-59 FT1 - Lady Lake, FL
Ronald M. 55-57 EM2 - Avondale, AZ
Moore, Durwood J. 69 Chief - NC
Mutter, Jimmy 58-61 SN - Huntsville, TX
Seaman - LaFarge, WI
BT3 - Christmas Valley, OR
BT3 - Dexter, OR
Ohlemacher, Richard (Dick) C.
Oliver, Richard (Dick) D. 52-55
Petren, Stephen 57-59 Lt.jg - Holliston, MA
EM3 - Englewood, FL
68-70 IC3 - Beaverton, OR.
SO2/CAPT - Athens, GA.
60-62 GM3 - Greenwood, NE
Claude L. 57-58 Capt - Chapel Hill, NC
Shattuck, Allen A. 65-69 Cook E4 - South Paris, ME
YN2 - Alliance, NE
56-57 YN3 - Hinckley, MN
Earl W. 55-58 MS2 - Wadesboro, NC
Thompson, JamesEdward 55-58
Paul(Thor) 60-61 MM2 - Torrance, CA
54-57 CM - Roscoe, PA
Wallace, Dan (Wally)
Wiedergott, Wm (Fritz) 52-54 BO3 - Northboro, MA
Wolter, Loren 69
TAPS - Chaplain ProTem Joe Harpster conducted our Memorial Service aboard the Gateway Clipper Ship Majestic . . .
We prayed for all the departed Stoddard shipmates, especially those whose passing was learned by the Alumni organization since the last reunion. Among these were:
(Popi) Bohen, 51-54 GM2, 11/24/2000.
51-54 BT3, 10/8/2001.
55-58 ETC, 10/13/1996.
WWII Plank Owner S1, 1/21/2001.
M.G. Mere WWII, 8/2001.
59-64 HM1, September 2001.
Charles Presgrove Captain, 65-66, January 6, 2001.
Dean Ruck WWII PlankOwner BKR3, April 28, 2001.
66-67 PNC, August 21, 2001.
WWII, January 7, 2000.
Rudy Sheptock 51-54 BKR, September 2000.
We also prayed for the health and speedy recovery of our ill members and spouses, among whom are:
Don & Lou Whitworth
Since the reunion, we learned from Bob Hoag that shipmate Iliff David "Rich" Richardson, WWII, died on October 10 at his home in Houston, TX; he was 83. May he rest in peace. His heroism battling the Japanese in the Philippine Islands after his PT boat was shot out from under him during World War II was memorialized in two books and two motion pictures (Tyrone Powers portrayed Rich in the film They were Expendable). The following published excerpts tell part of his heroic story.
As a Navy lieutenant in the South Pacific before the United States entered the war, Mr. Richardson volunteered for John D. Bulkeley's "expendable" motor torpedo boat (or PT) Squadron 3 that in 1942 brought Gen. Douglas MacArthur out of the Philippines as the Japanese overtook the islands. The group's efforts were chronicled in the 1942 book by W.L. White, "They Were Expendable," and the 1945 motion picture of the same title directed by John Ford and starring John Wayne and Robert Montgomery as composites of the officers.
After his plywood speedboat was destroyed by the Japanese when the enemy took control of the Philippines, Mr. Richardson and a dozen Americans set out in a native outrigger to sail the 1,300 miles to Australia. The boat sank in a storm. Richardson swam for 24 hours to the town of Cantilan on the Philippine island of Mindanao. For three years, he worked in the guerrilla movement based on Leyte, becoming chief of staff to its leader, Col. Ruperto Kangleon. It was the resourceful Mr. Richardson who set up the radio network that linked about 50 guerrilla bands operating in the islands and served as "the light that led MacArthur back to the Philippines." He also mapped minefields laid by the Japanese in Leyte Gulf to ease MacArthur's return & recapture of the strategic islands. Warring on the sea and in the jungle, Mr. Richardson earned the odd distinction of becoming both a Naval and Army officer. He was a Navy lieutenant, graduated from Officer Candidate School at Northwestern University, and, because of his guerrilla efforts, was designated by MacArthur as an Army major in intelligence. Mr. Richardson received many decorations. Mr. Richardson recorded his own version of his story, typewriting a 152- page diary -- in duplicate -- of his guerrilla years as he lived them. One copy went to the Navy and was returned to him after the war. The second was buried by priests in a Mindanao churchyard and given after the war to another PT boat sailor, Robert D. Hostetter. In 1986, Hostetter returned the diary to Mr. Richardson during a PT boaters' reunion in Portland, Ore.
T.L. Morgan writes: I knew him (Rich) as I was on the PT-31 in the group that went to Asia shortly before the war started. If you ever saw the movie They Were Expendable, I was the port gunner that was blown overboard on the 31 boat! We cross trained, and even though I was a Machinist Mate, I manned the port guns. We were sunk in Subic Bay and swam ashore. That area was behind Japanese front lines, but we "confiscated" two boats from the Japs and managed to get back to friendly territory. I guess there are not many of this group left now. Some time back I was told there were about seven out of the whole squadron!
More news and letters from your Shipmates . . .
We are pleased to report that Ltjg. Freeman Neish, shipmate (Stoddard 59-62) who worked at the World Trade Center Tower One, is well in Korea! He wrote: "My old organization United Seamen's Service headquarters was on the 21st floor of the WTC Tower One. They all dutifully turned off their computers and exited out of the door of Tower Two just as the second aircraft hit the building. It was only then that they realized that this had not been just a tragic aircraft accident. Fortunately, all the USS staff exited safely, of course, all organization records were lost. It will be a daunting task to get reorganized and back in action. Security measures here in Korea since 11 Sep. have been strict but not oppressive. We are probably safer here in Korea than in downtown Podunk in the US. It does look like we are taking the right course of action, my only concern is that the media headlines keep blasting away about our strikes at Afghanistan instead of the terrorists IN Afghanistan. This only fuels the fires for other Muslims around the world. The poor old Afghans have taken it in the shorts for so many years that it is almost impossible for the average American to even imagine the life they lead. One of the best solutions I have read said that if we kill bin Laden he becomes a martyr. If we put him in prison it will spawn a series of kidnappings and hostage taking around the world. The key is to capture him, give him a complete sex change operation and make him live as a woman under the Taliban. After 24 years in the Navy, the old Stoddard wardroom is the only one that I can still vividly remember; I truly enjoyed that tour of duty and all my shipmates. I also recall with fond memories our whaleboat race against the HMS Carrysfort in Hong Kong harbor. It will probably be another one or two years before we finally drop the hook back in the States for our final retirement. Lots of America I haven't seen and my Harley is anxious to hit the roads in the good old USA!"
Dan Aron (Lt. 61-62) says: I went to Harvard on an NROTC Scholarship, and was commissioned as a Supply Officer. After Athens, I got my kicks on Route 66, left my car in Long Beach, and joined the Stoddard in Subic Bay in February 61. During the last phase of its 1961-62 deployment which included the Laos Crisis, we had a brief US stay (dry dock in Long Beach, than San Diego) and went back to Westpac in January 62 for 7(?)months. Was transferred to New York (against my will) and was released in October 63. My career has been in the radio business ever since. A DJ until 1966, an Account Exec at ABC until 1970, and President of a commercial, music and sound design company every since. I have 3 kids, 30, 16, and 14 and a wonderful wife. We have been together for almost 20 years. I'd love to hear from any shipmates, and would appreciate seeing the 1962 cruise book.
Michael Brosenne (65-66) says: I was a GMG3 under GMG1 Edmonds; assigned to mounts 31 & 32. I looked up the WEB site and saw quite a few familiar faces but I have to go home and get the cruise book out and put some names to them. I used to run with Jack Boyd all the time. We were the ones who went to good "ol' Tijuana" and "sort of" forgot to return for 11 days. We got busted by Capt. Cosgrove to E-1. This was just before the '65 cruise. It was fun scrubbing deck plates in the boiler room "with a toothbrush" :-). I re-uped in late '66 under the SCORE program and went to Vallejo for school. I spent other tours also in Viet Nam before getting out in '72. Looking at the '65 cruise book on the web site I was originally in first division then second. If you look at the pictures of first division-bottom picture-top row- Jack Boyd is third from left and I am fourth. I spent a total of 8 years in the Navy. I worked as an electrician in Newport News, VA, R&D firm in MD, a consultant firm in Washington DC then went to work for the Feds. I retired from the Defense Dept- Naval Sea Systems Command in Crystal City, VA in 1997 as a Combat Systems Engineer (GS13). We moved from Maryland to West Virginia where I went back to school and got a degree in finance. We are now in Johnson City, Tennessee where I "sort of" grew up before joining. I am too young to be retired and too old to be hired (only 54).
Thomas Clawson says: I went aboard April 1960 and departed in May 1962. I visited the Stoddard internet site you sent and was amazed at the list of those who I served with aboard the Stoddard. I would jump at the chance to attend the 2002 reunion in San Diego. Because of the Cuban missile crisis, quite a few of us did some fast growing up back in those days.
Ralph (Flip) Darr (56-57) states: You "ET's" had it made. I was a Scope Dope and didn't do too much. Enjoyed the trip to Australia, Philippines, Formosa and Japan. Missed Hong Kong, I was TADed to Japan for a swim meet.
James Douglas (54-57) writes: After leaving the Navy and kicking around for a while, I had the good sense to marry my wife of (so far) 43 years. She and the GI Bill got me through college where I earned a BS degree in Electronic Engineering. There were two highlights of my engineering career: the first was working on the development of the second stage of the Saturn V moon rocket at the Rocketdyne test facility in California; the second was working for NASA at the Manned Spacecraft Center (now Johnson Space Center) in Houston when Neil and Buzz first walked on the moon. My area of responsibility was on a backup system for the Rendezvous Radar equipment on the LEM. If the weather was less hot and humid in Houston, we might still be there. However, my family missed the good old Southern Cal weather, so we came home and I continued working in the aerospace industry until my retirement in June of 1998. One thing that I owe to the Navy is an introduction to electronics. Prior to enlisting, I was a pre-med student.
Rex Knodle says: I was on the Stoddard for such a short time, I really feel a little remiss in not knowing or remembering any names. I believe my tour was from about 15 Aug. -15 Dec. 1961. I remember that it was the best chow in the Navy. As a STg2 I was the leading Sonarman, and had left the Richard S. Edwards, where the leading SO was a Senior Chief.
Capt. Hank Raichle writes: I was on the Stoddard 52-55 as SO2. After leaving the USS Stoddard, I attended the State University of New York at Oneonta and Florida State University. I taught general science in St. Petersburg, Florida at St. Petersburg Junior College and was a District Administrator in Pinellas County Florida Schools. I joined the Naval Reserve as a Lt. Jg. In 1962 and retired as Captain in 1986.
Capt. Claude Reeves (CO February 1957 to July 1958) sent this note: The ship had just come out of a shipyard overhaul when I relieved Commander Jacob Heimark. After 2 weeks underway training we conducted various exercises in San Diego operating area until April, when the division sailed to Hawaii, American Samoa, Sydney and Perth Australia, and the Darwin before proceeding to Subic Bay Philippines for voyage operations with ASW 6th Fleet (2 mos) Group, and then Carrier Escort (2 mos) before returning to Midway, Hawaii and San Diego after a 43,000 mile cruise. We had full speed trials in the Sea of Japan, and Stoddard did 34 knots and ran off leaving the rest of the division behind. We were back in San Diego area until June 1958 when we sailed again to Westpac, were I was relieved and proceeded to duty in the weapons Department at the Naval Academy; a 2½ year stint in the Research Division of the Bureau of Naval Weapons until May 1962 when I voluntarily retired and then had a 16 year span as a math and physics teacher. Ended up with 10 years Head of the Math Department at Tri County Technical College in Pandleton, S.C. My wife and I (both 83 now) will enter Duke Forest (a Continuing Care Retirement Center) in a month or so. Good luck and best wishes to all Stoddard sailors everywhere.
Merle Weedlun, WWII officer says: I would love to see my old World War II shipmates, and now we're that (old). That was amazing that George Vonderheid (age 94) made it to the reunion! He was the patriarch on the ship. I imagine he was older than Capt. Myers and Lt. Mounger (chief engineer). I bet Paul Boesenberg, Jack Owen, Les Derrington and Danny Rizzolo have not missed many reunions. (Merle: you are right, they were all in Pittsburgh too!) On the day I got your letter (Editor's note: your Alumni Secretary sent a note and card signed by those at the Reunion to Merle) I found out I had a blood clot in my right leg, so now I'm working on that project. I'm really going to try and make the next reunion.
From Past President Bob Hoag . .
I need each and everyone of you to write to the Secretary of the Navy, and influential people you know to lobby the SECNAV about our request to name another ship "Stoddard." Suggested letters were shared at the Reunion; please ask Marilyn Harpster for a copy if you desire it. If enough of you write the Secretary, and request your politicians do the same, we will have the best impact. Get out your pens and do it today
Your Treasurer Jay Romack Reports . . .!
Alumni dues are still only $10 per year. Advance payments are welcome! Your dues paid status is indicated on your address label, after your name. Dues defray the cost of our newsletters and correspondence. For those who paid year 2002 dues but did not attend the reunion, a copy of the directory is enclosed. If you do not wish to receive Alumni news by mail, simply mark "return to sender" on this mailing so we can save trees, save postage, and keep junk mail from your mailboxes. A summary status of funds in the Alumni's account. will be reported in the next newsletter when all of the expenditures for the 2001 Reunion are accounted for.
There are lots of Stoddard items in the store; these make great gifts for your holiday shopping. Clothing and ball caps have embroidered ship's silhouette and USS Stoddard DD-566 emblem. Our navy blue jacket, with windproof & water resistant urethane coated nylon shell, super soft 6 oz. light weight fleece lining, elastic cuff and waistband, two front and one inner chest pockets with zippers are $50 each (L & XL). Golf shirts (navy blue or white) are high quality cotton, with pocket on left breast. Long sleeve sweatshirts (navy blue or white) are super soft. Shirts and sweatshirts are $25.00 each (M, L & XL). The hats (mesh back or fabric back) are $12.00 each. There are license plate frames, yellow with USS STODDARD (DD566) LAST FLETCHER CLASS DESTROYER in blue letters - really handsome; $4.00 each but only $2.50 each for 2 or more, or if ordered with any other ship's store item. All prices include shipping charges. Send orders to Marilyn Harpster 751 Intek Way, Westerville, OH 43082; make checks payable to USS Stoddard Alumni Association.
From your Alumni Secretary . . .
A very special "THANK YOU" to John and Phyllis Stoyle for a fabulous reunion in Pittsburgh! They went out of their way to make the occasion special. There are too many special memories to adequately give credit to their hard work. John and Phyllis, we send you a very sincere and heartfelt "thank you!"
Please send news and memories you wish to share in the newsletter to 751 Intek Way Westerville, OH 43082, fax 614-895-0319 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
LOST SHEEP - Perhaps you remember other shipmates and do not know if they are on our roster and mailing list. Send in your dues (only $10 per year) and our Alumni Secretary will send you the 2001 Directory which was published and distributed at the Reunion. If you would like to see some of those "lost sheep" included in a future directory, or perhaps meet with them at a future reunion, send Glen Balzer (email@example.com) or (Dan Withers) a note or email with as much information as you might have (e.g.: city, state, middle name or initial, estimate of year of birth, high school, college, other ships served on, area code, etc.). They'll use their detective skills to hunt them down in the months ahead.
UPDATE YOUR ALUMNI RECORD - we have coded your address label with your dues paid information, as well as your service years and rating on the Stoddard, if we have the data. Otherwise, it is noted with a "?" Please make appropriate corrections and send it back to: Marilyn Harpster, Intek, Inc. 751 Intek Way Westerville, OH 43082, or fax to 614-895-0319. Thank you!
[ Home ] [ Reunions Page ] [ Top ]