Ron Zimmerman Sr.
474 SW Prater Ave.
Port St. Lucie, FL 34953
2137 Young Farm Pl.
Montgomery, AL 36106
2386 SE Patio Circle
Port St. Lucie, FL 34952
311 W. Oak Lane
Glenolden, PA 19036
our President: Here it is March already and just
a few short months away until we will be getting together
again. It hardly seems possible that this will be our 15th
Annual Reunion. Being our association is for an auxiliary
service ship and not a combatant type I never would have
imagined that not only would our organization still be
going, but that it is growing! Each year the number of
crewmembers making the reunions a part of their yearly plans
is increasing. These newcomers to the annual reunions are
not only returning regularly but are finding their old
steaming buddies and are getting them to attend. This is
terrific and is what we need to both continue our growth as
an organization and to strengthen our chances for continued
longevity. If just a few of you who have in the past couple
of years started attending reunions picked up the phone and
called or e-mailed an old shipmate and convinced them how
much fun our annual get-togethers are, our ranks could swell
greatly. Doug and Kathy Hauser have once again put together
a great package for the reunion this September. Now would
be a good time to pick up the phone and call that old
Robert Waldrop, FN, '52 and Floyd Vollinger, DK3, '53
Honor Roll: Russell Meer, WT3c, '45;
Dewey Seagraves, SK1, '53; Herman Bratcher, RMC, '62;
Edward Carpenter Sr., MM3, '48; William Cadow, LT, '62 and
Harry Hahn, CAPT, '57
We wish to express out deepest sympathy and most sincere
condolences to their family and friends.
Support the Troops: Two more of our shipmates
have reported that they have family serving overseas in
support of the operations taking place there. They are:
SPC Leal Gray, US Army, 1744th
Transportation Group, Streator, IL. Stationed near Baghdad,
granddaughter of shipmate William Simane, FTSN, '54 - '57
PFC Brian Buith, US Army, Co.
A, TF1 - 14 CAV, Iraq, grandson of shipmate George Mitchell,
GMM3, '51 - '53. In George's note he said that his grandson
had been wounded when a car bomb hit his Striker vehicle but
that he is OK and back on duty now. ( Thank God he is
On behalf of the membership of the USS Great Sitkin (AE-17)
Association, to these fine young soldiers who are carrying
on their family tradition, Thank You For Your Service To
Web Site Update: Not
much change this time around. Received a couple of more
pictures from the Reunion picnic; one for a GITMO trip in
1970 and 8 or so pictures from the MED Cruise in June '58.
I have sent of the request for the 1968 Deck Logs and am
awaiting a reply.
Ron Zimmerman Sr.
From the desk of the Vice President:
Happy New Year to you all. I hope your holidays were filled
with happiness. It seems the older I get the years go by
faster. Here it is March already and it wonít be long till
We are aware of a few shipmates who have had surgeries this
year, Mike Hodnichak and Jerry Neeland and our Secretary,
Jack Norton. They are all doing well from the last time I
called them. If you know of anyone else please let us know
so we can send out cards. I believe it helps them to know
that we care and are thinking of them.
I would like to recognize our President Ron Zimmerman for
the great job he does for the Association. In the past 6
years, he has made our web site to be the best and I know
that many of you have also let him know you appreciate his
talents. Thanks Ron.
I hope to see many of you at the reunion this September
in Baton Rouge, LA. We will be voting on the 2009 location
at the business meeting. We would like to know if anyone
wishes to host a reunion in his area. If so, you need to
bring the information to the meeting. If you have any
questions or need assistance please contact Doug Hauser at
Donít forget to pray for our troops, men and woman,
serving our country. God Bless them and our country.
Membership: It is that time of the year when I pester
you again, but thatís what I do. We finished 2005 with 211
paid members, which I think was pretty good. Sorry to say
that even with new membership increasing, our active
membership dropped to 196 for 2006. This means that we have
a few who paid in the past and maybe forgot, so while you
have the newsletter in your hand, please sit down and write
a check to the Association and send it to me. If you want
to keep your consecutive years going send in 2006 and 2007
dues. So far, we have several members who have paid out to
the year 2012, so as you can see we plan to be around for a
while and hope you will be with us.
Vice-President & Membership Chairman
Hello Shipmates! Well, here we are again
preparing for the next reunion and the nomination of
officers. If you wish to be nominated for one of the
offices, please let me know by mail or e-mail before the
June newsletter is printed. My mailing and e-mail address
is on the cover page.
If you have not joined as a dues paying member, please do so
and also plan on joining us at the next reunion. You will
probably be very surprised to meet up with some of your
shipmates who are already attending. You can also give your
old shipmates a call and plan on joining us. On the sad
side, one of the shipmates who had been with us for the last
two reunions (and was planning to attend this year), William
Cadow (62), passed away. We enjoyed getting to know him,
and he will be missed. Also, Captain Harry B. Hahn (57) who
was one of the Captains while I was aboard, a real
gentleman, also passed away. Life is short guys, so plan on
coming to the next reunions.
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 Associationís Secretary no later
than May 21, 2007. Nominations must be in writing and may
be sent either by postal service or electronic mail.
Nominees will be contacted by the Secretary to insure their
acceptance of the nomination and willingness to serve.
Nominations will also be accepted from the floor during the
Annual Business Meeting. Nominees must be present at the
meeting to accept the nomination.
Update: The reunion this year will be in Baton
Rouge, La., and has been in the works for 2 years. Kathy and
I have made a couple of trips there and feel it is a safe
and beautiful place. I have left free time for you to enjoy
The Holiday Inn South is under contractÖyou may now call and
make your reservations. It is best to make them early to
assure you wonít be left out at the good rate. Remember you
can always cancel if something arises and you canít make it.
You only need 24 hours prior to cancel. So call Holiday Inn
South now and make your reservations - 1-225-924-7021 direct
or 1-888-814-9602 (Mon. through Fri. 8AM - 4PM)and ask for
reservations. Courtyard Rooms @ $82.00/day or if you would
rather a Tower Room the rate is $92.00/day. I am suggesting
courtyard. Reunion dates are September 26-30th, with
checkout on the 30th. These rates are good for 3 days before
and 3 days after the reunion.
Wednesday, Sept. 26- Main Registration - the hotel
will be giving us a welcome reception with wine and cheese.
Thursday, Sept. 27 - WWII Museum - Day trip to New
Orleans by bus leaving at 9:00AM and returning at 4:30PM.
Thursday evening is left free to enjoy with friends.
Friday, Sept. 28- Morning free to shop or take in some
of the sights in Baton Rouge. Business Meeting starts at
3:30 PM. Pool Party - 6:00 till 10:00PM- there will be
Hamburgers, Hot Dogs & Salads, coffee & iced tea. There is
also a cash bar nearby.
Saturday, Sept. 29 - Tour the USS Kidd DD661. Bus
boarding at 9:00AM returning to the hotel at 3:30, we will
have lunch at the Hollywood Casino. After lunch you may
either enjoy the Casino or take a free bus tour of the
downtown area and tour of the Capitol Building.
Saturday Evening Ė Starting at 5:30 there will be a
photographer taking pictures of couples and singles. I
would like you all to partake in having your pictures taken.
Pictures will be ready at the Banquet. The Memory Book will
be completed in 4-6 weeks and will cost $20-25.00 depending
upon the number sold. Cocktail hour from 6:00 Ė 7:00 PM and
then onto our Buffet Banquet Dinner. We will also have an
eight piece band for your dancing and listening pleasure.
Sunday, Sept. 30- Farewell Breakfast starting at
6:00AM until10:00AM. This will give us time to say good-bye
until next year.
Reunion package cost will include: World War II Museum,
Pool Party Buffet, USS Kidd tour with Lunch, Banquet Dinner
with a live band and Sunday Morning Farewell Breakfast.
Total Cost: $155.00/per person.
There is a registration page on the web site for those of you
who have internet access. A paper registration form will be
included in the June newsletter. Those of you who don't
have internet access can pay now by giving me a call, so I
can write down your information and then send me a check.
I'll take care of getting your registration completed and
mail you back a confirmation receipt.
Doug & Kathy Hauser
2007 Reunion Hosts
Quick update on 2008
Reunion: Well here it is 5 months after our Florida
reunion and 8 months before Baton Rouge and the president
wants me to give you an update on a reunion thatís 18 months
2008 will be held at the Drawbridge Inn in Ft. Mitchell Ky
which is just across the river from Cincinnati so you will
be very close to the airport. It is a quaint inn decorated
in the medieval style. The rooms are nice, food is served 24
hours a day in Chaucers Coffee Shop (breakfast). Joshís
Tavern & Grill serves lunch and dinner, and The Crossbow
Tavern (night club) is open Friday and Saturday.
Some extras are indoor and outdoor pools, a small gift shop,
barber and beauty shop, exercise room?, arcade room, sauna,
hot tub, pool table, and a hanging fireplace to just relax.
Room rate will be $72.00 for a single, double triple or quad.
Rates are good for 3 days before and 3 days after. There is
shuttle service to and from the airport and a shuttle to
take you to the cheap transit for downtown Cincy. But
seeing how this note is really, really, really early and we
have some more work to do - - - - this will have to do for
Jim & Joy Dunno
2008 Reunion Hosts
Repair 3: Hi Everyone. I seem to have missed the
last newsletter, so Iíve got a lot catching up to do. Iíve
been asked by the editor of the newsletter to continue my
tour of the ship, and Iím going to do that, but in addition,
Iím going to use this forum to do a little fire safety
education as well.
Iíll start off with the 2 months prior to my reporting aboard
Great Sitkin in December 1969. In the fall of 69, I attended
Damage Controlman ďAĒ School in Philadelphia. You readers
who are familiar with the fire service will understand when
I say that DC ďAĒ school was my Probie school. Laymenís
terms, that is what I consider my start in the fire
When I reported aboard, I was assigned to Repair 3, one of my
duties was the care and maintenance of the damage control
and fire fighting gear. I quickly learned to enjoy this
aspect of the ďfire service.Ē One of my fellow Damage
Controlmen was Fred Applegate, in fact, he is one of the
people I attribute to my desire to continue in the fire
service after my discharge from active duty. Fred had, and
still has, a love for being a fireman, and we ran things
that way on the ship.
Now, letís take a stroll down to the ďreefer flatsĒ around
the corner from R Divisionís shop. During the 1970 yard
period, we built a repair locker there, Repair 5, to service
the needs of the Engine Room. Remembering your ships DC
plan, Repair 2 was on the mess decks and handled the DC
needs of the forward part of the ship, 1,2 &3 holds, plus
the superstructure. Repair 3, or After Repair, was at the
stern and handled 4 & 5 hold. Repair 5 is, as mentioned
earlier, was there for the main engine room. We also had a
Rescue & Assistance locker on the 01 level port side.
So, lets fast forward to the 71 Med Cruise. By this time, I
was a Repair Party leader for a duty section in-port fire
party. We were having a port visit to Corfu, and the Damage
Control Assistant, Mr. Burbank, made plans to stage a fire
drill after the liberty party went ashore. Remember, because
of our rather volatile payload, we were required to anchor
in the harbor almost everywhere we went.
(Mr. Burbank, I see youíre on our ďfound list,Ē so if I
get a little of the details here wrong, please feel free to
respond to correct me or add your views.)
The DCAsí plans were to put a large trash can on the
welding flats adjacent to the reefers, light a paper fire in
it, and have the fire party put it out using CO2
extinguishers. Nice plan, but my DC3 mind told me that idea
was just a little bit goofy, I mean, we were an
ammunition ship! So, once I learned of the plan, I
made up my mind I was going to use more appropriate force to
put the fire out.
Mr. Burbank lit the fire, I saw the smoke, and had a shipmate
go to the Quarterdeck to sound the alarm. We mustered the
fire party out of Repair 2. I proceeded to have my guys
dress out for fighting the fire, and we made our way up to
the port passageway, where we laid out the fire hoses, lit
off our OBAís, charged the hoses, and made our way down the
ladder to the welding flats. As soon as we got outside the R
Div shop door, I had the hose teams open their nozzles, and
we rounded the corner and put the fire out, drenched Mr.
Burbank, and just made a really big mess. Well, it wasnít
long after we got all the gear restowed and cleaned up, that
I was called into the office of the Chief Engineer. He was
just a little bit angry, but I stood my ground, and as I
recall, I was vindicated for my actions.
Now, letís tie this little sea story together with an event
that happened to me last week One of the big things we took
pride in as Damage Controlmen on the Great Sitkin was being
ready for any emergency that might come up. Last Tuesday, my
brother and I were on Interstate 95 just outside of
Philadelphia when we witnessed a fiery truck accident . We
attempted a rescue, but were driven back by the flames. We
didnít have a fire extinguisher with us, and couldnít even
find anyone else who did either. Not a very good plan for a
Damage Controlman, and Iíve since added 2 big extinguishers
to my truck. That brings me to my challenge to you, my Great
Sitkin Shipmates. I have vowed to never again by caught
short if encountered with an emergency on the highway, and
Iíd like you all to do the same. Go out and buy a portable
fire extinguisher for your vehicle. And hereís a hint; if
you pay less than $50 for it, itís probably too small. You
say you donít know how to use one? Go to your local fire
station, I bet theyíd be happy to give you some lessons. And
donít just put one in your car or truck, have one in your
home too. Remember, first call 911, no matter how big or
small the situation. And donít put yourself in harms way,
but do remember youíre Navy fire training. Once a Sailor,
always a Sailor, right? And that Shipmates, is
your Damage Control lesson for this time.
In other Association business, be sure to take note of the
awesome shirts we now have available in the ships store.
Other Great Sitkin items remain available too. Remember that
your dues and contributions will keep the memory of the ship
afloat for along time in the form of the website. And you
need to know that between the 4 members of your Executive
Board, we probably generate more phone calls and paperwork
then the ship ever did while she was in commission. And
trust, me are having a ball doing it!