Always Ready
   Spring, 2005                                                                                                                       15 March, 2005

Association Officers

Ron Zimmerman Sr.
6710  57th St NE
Marysville, WA 98270
(360) 653-8130

Vice President
Doug Hauser
2137 Young Farm Pl.
Montgomery, AL 36106

Don McClane
2613 Dalgreen Court
Plano, TX 75075
George Kaiser
311 W. Oak Lane
Glenolden, PA 19036


From our President: Shipmates, where does the time go? Here it is March already and before you know it will be time to start packing for the reunion trip.
Many of you have not been able to attend one before and we hope that you, along with those who have, are able to attend this year. August 11, 2005 marks the 60th Commissioning Anniversary and holding the reunion in the city where it was commissioned makes it special. Our Host and Hostess have cooked up a great itinerary for us. Check out Doug’s column for more details.

New Finds: Keith Wiese, BT3, '58; Stephen Grove, EM3, '67; Charles Martin, CS3, '66; Kenneth Carlson, LT, '63; Robert Donahue, LT, '64; Richard Hopkins, LT, '65; John Jacobs, LTjg, '64; Buddy Love, LTjg, '64; Joseph McCarton, LTjg, '62, Chad Underkoffler, EN2, ‘67; John Igoe, BM2, '67; Michael Chalpin, RM3, '66
  Since Nov of 2000, a total of 159 shipmates have been "found". Most of these Shipmates located themselves, by them finding the web site and responding The number one response from them was: "WOW, I never knew that the web site or the organization existed, please add me to the found list"…… Other sources have been the reunions ads in various veteran publications and shipmates telling us of others they have located. Many have also become Active Members and sent in their annual dues to help support the organization. The increase in found crew members and the increase in Active Membership participation only increases the strength of the organization and helps to support the reason we exist…. to perpetuate the memory of the ship and her crews.

Honor Roll: Frank Hanover, SK2, '68; Edward Herder, SC1c, '45; Michael Hoschek, SK3, '56; William Samios, CS3, '54; Irvan Piper, QM3, '58; George Benuska, TE3, '54; Alex Koblinski, FN, '48

Web site update: We have received copies of the Ship's Deck Logs for 1945 and 1946. I am working on getting the important stuff extracted and then the logs scanned for the web site. I hope to have this accomplished for the June update. Besides working on the logs, we have added additional pictures to the 2003 & 2004 Reunions along with Crew Pictures for all the groups and Cruise pictures to the 50's & 70's books - 68 new pictures in all.

Nominations for Office: Nominations for Executive Board positions are now open. All positions are up for election each year and officers may be reelected. Only ACTIVE Members, whose Annual Dues are current, are eligible to serve. All nominations for office must be received by the Association's Secretary no later than 15 May 2005. All nominations received by that date will be published in the June edition of the newsletter. Nominations must be in writing and may be sent either by postal service or by electronic mail. Nominees will be contacted by the Secretary to insure their acceptance of the nomination and willingness to serve.
If you have any questions regarding nominations or serving as an officer, please feel free to contact me by phone or e-mail.

MOTBY still a homeport: Doug Wales, one of our shipmates from the 1962 crew, sent us a December 2003 Miami Herald newspaper article about our old homeport becoming a seasonal home port for two of Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines’ ships, the Nordic Express and Voyager of the Seas.
  Surfing the net brought up more informa tion. On May 14, 2004 Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd officially opened the Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne, NJ. According to the article, Cape Liberty Cruise Port is located at the northeast corner of the former Bayonne Military Ocean Terminal now renamed The Peninsula at Bayonne Harbor. ( does that location sound familiar?)
It went on to say that Royal Caribbean will base two ships at the new port from May through October 2004. One is named the Voyager of the Sea as reported in the Miami Herald, the other is named Empress of the Seas which offers alternating six-night and eight-night Bermuda itineraries. If you are interested in reading more, try this web link.;jsessionid=0000ClDej1cySDszNb
Hmmmmm………. Wonder if we could get the city to build a new Tops Diner and Spa Bar close to the base, er….. cruise port ….. would make a great tourist attraction…… well, least it was popular with the sailors!
Ron Zimmerman

From The Desk of the Membership Chairman: 
Thanks to all of you paid-up members. For all the rest, if you possibly can, please get your dues in as soon as possible.  In the past four years we have had over 325 paid members at one time or another. For 2004 we had 234 paid members. To date in 2005 we have only 157 paid members. I am hoping that those of you who have not paid will sit down and write a check now. Special note: Those Shipmates that were paid members in the past, please catch up on your dues. We need your valued support and would like to hear from you again.
  I would like to thank all the members, without your support, our association couldn’t survive.
Doug Hauser
Membership Chairman

USS Great Sitkin (AE-17) Association
2005 Reunion
Charleston, South Carolina
August 17, 18, 19, & 20th

Package $156.00

Town and Country Inn
Call for reservations today: 843-571-1000 or 800-334-6660. Room rates are $82.00+ tax. Mention the Great Sitkin Reunion. The rates are good for 3 days before and after. Make reservations early.  The cut off date is July 17. As always, you may cancel your reservations if needed.

Reunion Schedule
Wednesday, August 17:  Registration Day. The hotel will furnish snacks for one hour from 5:00 - 6:00 pm which will include a fruit and cheese plate , Deviled Eggs, Assorted Egg Rolls, Mini Quiches & fried Chicken Drummettes & ice tea & water and a cookie tray.

Thursday, August 18: Thursday morning and afternoon is free time. Have fun, look around get reacquainted. 
     Thursday Evening: 
Three Hour Dinner and Dancing Cruise aboard the Spirit Of Carolina.  This is included in the reunion package. Choose from four entrees
Salad: She Crab Soup with Sherry Spirit Salad with Baby Creek Shrimp
Entrées (may vary, typical selections are):
    Beef Tenderloin with a Savory Wine Sauce;
    Fresh Filet of Salmon;
    Roasted Breast of Chicken with Wild Rice Mushrooms, Red Peppers;
    Penne Rigatoni with Garlic , Tomatoes, Herb & Parmesan Presto.
Entrees include:
   Chef’s Choice of Potatoes, Rice, or Pasta, Fresh Vegetable, Rolls & Butter,
    Pecan Pie with whipped cream topping.
Back to hotel around 10:15 pm

Friday, August 19: 
   Optional Tour Fort Moultrie & Boone Hall

Time 9:00 AM till 1:00PM  cost is $31.00.   Arrive Fort Moultrie at 9:30 and see Original Palmetto Log Fort . It was started in 1776 and was finished in 1809.
Leave Fort Moultrie at about 10:30AM for Boone Hall Plantation We will arrive around 11:00 am . The plantation was used in the filming of Gone With The Wind and later in the filming the TV mini-series North & South. We will get a tour of the mansion and grounds and return to the hotel around 1:00 PM.
    Business Meeting at 3:30
We will cover old business, business, election of officers and vote on the reunion site for 2007.
    Picnic By the Pool. Optional $13.00 each
Friday evening we will have an optional Picnic By the Pool.  
Menu:  Beef , Ham, & Turkey sliced with rolls and Potato Salad, Pasta Salad. Coleslaw , iced tea& water Plus cookies and Brownies. All food will be kept inside to keep it fresh.

Saturday, August 20:
    Tour of Patriots Point & Fort Sumter:  Board buses around 10:00 AM for Patriots Point and Memorial Service and a tour of the Carrier USS Yorktown. Tour the ship and have lunch in the CPO Mess .
Lunch Menu:  Soup of the day, Roasted Chicken, Choice of two Vegetable, Rolls and Butter, Iced Tea and Coffee.
    Please visit the Destroyer Laffey, Coast Guard Cutter Ingham & Submarine Clamgore. Board the Fort Sumter sightseeing boat and see Fort Sumter located on the entrance of Charleston Harbor. This is where the War between the States began. The Fort has an excellent museum with priceless exhibits. Historians with the National Park Districts who will conduct tours. 
    We will be back at the hotel around 4:00 pm in time to get ready for the Cocktail hour and the Banquet .
    Annual Dinner Banquet:  Cocktail hour 6:00 - 7:00 pm with a cash bar Mingle and get ready for a pleasant evening.
    Our annual seated Dinner Banquet will be served at 7:00 pm. Entrées will be Chicken Breast and London Broil with all the usual trimmings.
    Then around 8:00 pm the music starts for your listening and dancing pleasure with Sugar & Marty.  The band will wrap up at midnight.

Sunday, August 21:
Sunday farewell breakfast will be a little different this year. Breakfast Buffet in the hotel restaurant, farewells in the hospitality room.
    Tour of Charleston:  Optional $22.00 each.  Leave the hotel around 10:00 am and return around 1:30.  Late check out is allowed if you go on the tour. Advance notice to the hotel that you will be taking this tour  is mandatory.

Hope to see you all in Charleston! 

Doug & Cathy Hauser
2005 Reunion Host & Hostess

From the Fantail:  The next newsletter will be the last edition from your loving and loyal Secretary. I have had a lot of fun and I want to thank you all for your loyal support and kind words. I will resign the position of Secretary, as of the Annual Business Meeting, this year in Charleston. I hope I have served you well. You have surely given me more than I can ever repay.  Please accept these words as they are written. See Nominations for Office, on page one.
Of course, I pledge my absolute support to the association and my lucky successor. Patti and I will see you in beautiful Charleston.
Don McClane

Planning to drive your RV to the reunion? Read this great advice from Shipmate Jack Stoeffler.
We stayed at the Oak Plantation Campground which is about 4.5 miles south of the T&C. It is a better than average campground and quiet, even though it is just off the highway. It does not have phone or cable hook ups on site, but they are available in the office. If any one is interested, their phone number is 1-866-658-2500 (reservations) or 1-843-766-5936 (general info). Their web site is For that time of year they recommend making reservations at least three weeks in advance.