Ron Zimmerman Sr.
(In Transient, new address
will be in next newsletter)
2137 Young Farm Pl.
Montgomery, AL 36106
2613 Dalgreen Court
Plano, TX 75075
311 W. Oak Lane
Glenolden, PA 19036
From our President:
It’s June and this year’s reunion is now 10 weeks or less
away. This year is SPECIAL as we are celebrating the 60th
Anniversary of the ship’s commissioning. With time growing short it’s
time to get busy with making the commitment to attend. So, put down the
newsletter, pull out the registration form and fill it out, put it in an
envelope along with your check and mail it to our Host. Then pick up the
phone and call the hotel for room reservations.
If you have never attended one of our reunions before then
make this your 1st. We have a lot of fun at these annual get-togethers
and I have yet to attend one where I didn’t make a new friend. See
you in Charleston shipmates!
New Finds: Michael Tobiasson, HM3, ’64; Donald Shoemaker, MM2,
’60; William Diamond, BT3, ’58; Larry McGuigan, SN, ’59; Robert Leonard,
Honor Roll: John Squires, S1c, ’46; Peter Kubaryk, HM3, ‘51, and
Gale Kratzer, HM1, ‘54
Web site update: Not a whole lot of new pictures, etc for this
update. The deck logs for “45 & ’46 are finished though and the History
pages has been updated. Copies of the Deck Log will be available at the
reunion for you to view. There are a few new pictures in the Ship’s
Scrap Book from the christening and also in the Ship’s Cruise book for
the ‘40’s from when the ship was at NAD Earle when the DE blew up. More
on both of these later.
New Address: If you noticed, I no longer have a postal address,
phone number or e-mail address listed on the front page of the
newsletter. We will be moving to Florida shortly after this newsletter
goes out . I would hate to have any pictures, letters, etc. that you
want to share with the group get lost in the mail so please do not use
my Washington mailing address after June 1st.. If you need to get
something to me, contact our Secretary, Don McClane. His address is on
the left of this page. I will be staying in touch with him on a regular
History: Over the past 5 years a lot of additional ship’s history
has been uncovered. Most of this has come from our shipmates – like the
2 separate incidents of the screw having to be replaced while in the Med
and that the ship made a WESPAC deployment in 1969 providing support to
the ship’s performing combat operations just to name a couple. Other
historical information has come through web surfing and dumb luck in
finding someone who either provided verifiable information or gave us
reliable sources and their contact information. In the last couple of
months we have uncovered some history from the 1945 – 46 period that
definitely falls into the later 2 categories..
The first mystery solved was “Who was Miss Anne Lillian
Dimond?”, the lady who was the ship’s sponsor and christened the ship at
launching. Besides finding out we had the name wrong all this time, that
her last name was Dimond not Diamond; we also learned that we were
looking for information about her on the wrong side of the continent! We
had assumed that since the ship was built in North Carolina that she was
probably a local lady. Nothing could have been further from the facts.
Miss Dimond was born and raised in Alaska, the daughter of the
Territorial Representative to Congress (remember Alaska wasn’t yet a
state) and was living in Washington, DC while she attended Trinity
College there during the time her father was serving as the Alaska
Representative. The Navy’s has had a long tradition of choosing a person
connected to the ship in some meaningful way to be the ship’s sponsor.
Since the ship was named after an Alaskan volcano and her father was an
Alaskan dignitary, her selection as the person to perform this time
honored tradition makes sense. (A copy of the newspaper article along
with a picture of the Christening Party will be available at the
The second discovery was astounding! Those of us who served
aboard well after the Plank Owners probably remember the “twisted hunk
of metal” at the main gate of NAD Earl that had came from a destroyer
that blew up while tied up at the piers there and the story that that
was the reason behind one of the piers being a little “shorter” than the
others. Both were a constant reminder of how dangerous our cargo could
be. What we DIDN’T know was that the Great Sitkin was tied up to one of
the other piers to take on cargo when this happened. This information
came to light while I was going through the Ship’s Deck Logs for April
1946. This prompted an immediate web surfing expedition for more
details. The search was very successful. The ship was the USS Solar,
DE-221 and according to the information I found, she was berthed at
Leonardo Pier 1 of the Naval Ammunition Depot, Earle, NJ, when shortly
after 1130 on April 30, 1946, three explosions blasted the ship near her
number 2 upper handling room. Her number 2 gun was demolished and the
bridge, main battery director and mast were all blown aft and to
starboard. Both sides of the ship was torn open and her deck was a mass
of flames. The tragedy claimed the lives of 7 sailors and injured 30
others. Not only did I find this specific information about the
incident, but also garnered some fantastic aftermath photos as well. Our
Deck Log shows that we immediately got underway and headed for the
anchorage until it was safe for us to return to the pier. Although this
is not actually part of our history it is an important incident that
took place while we were present. Because of this, the pictures of the
damage to the Solar and details about the incident is posted on our web
site in the Ship’s Library, Ship’s Cruises 1945 to 1949 book.
From The Desk of the Membership Chairman: Here it is, June
already, so I thought you might need a reminder that it's 2005 and time
In the four years I have been doing the membership I have had over 325
paid at one time or another.
For 2004 we had 234 paid but would have liked more. As we are into the
2005 dues year we have only 157 paid. I am hoping that those of you who
have not paid will sit down and write a check now.
I would like to thank Don McClane, George Kaiser and of course Ron
Zimmerman for the excellent work and dedication they have shown to the
association and I would be remiss if I didn’t thank all of the loyal
members for your loyalty and support.
Reunion 2005: Important information for those planning on
the reunion: The cut off day for reserving your room is July 27, 2005.
Please Shipmates, don't wait until the last minute to make the call. The
Hotel’s phone number is 1-800-334-6660.
Shipmates, the cut off time for making sure you have your 2005 Reunion
registration is 2 weeks before the reunion. That time is approaching
rapidly. In order to reserve the events and transportation I must have a
firm number of attendees by that time frame. Fill out the form attached
to this newsletter and get it to me as soon as you can. If you have any
questions please call me at 334-277-2151.
Doug & Cathy Hauser
2005 Reunion Host & Hostess
Nominations for Office:
Shipmates, take notice. Remember, we will hold elections for all
Association Executive Board offices during the Annual Business Meeting
in Charleston. To date only two proposed changes seem to be in order;
Yours truly, Don McClane has been nominated for the office of Vice
President and Shipmate, Jack Norton has accepted the nomination for
Secretary. No other nominations have been received so far. Additional
nominations will be called for during the business meeting.
From your loving Secretary: I consider myself most
fortunate to have been your Secretary for the last three years. Thanks
to each of you for your kind words and support..
The shipmates that came to the last reunion in Corpus Christi made that
reunion very special for Patti and me. I know we had a fun time, we have
pictures to prove it. Those of you that saw that area for the first time
now know why we love it so.
Patti and I attended another reunion last year in Charleston. I hadn't
seen the place since 1962. To say the least, it has changed. Charleston
is an ideal spot for our reunion. I’m pretty sure there will be
something for everyone’s interest. The area is so full of history that
we will have a hard time choosing things to do and see other than the
wonderful plans that Doug and Kathy have made for us. Patti and I highly
recommend doing the whole reunion package.
While you are on your own, check out the Friday Parade at the Citadel. We
enjoyed that as much as anything else we did. Get there a little early
if you can and pick a shady spot. I will guarantee a few proud tears and
great feelings about the whole experience.
The Historic Area is also a must-see. There are lots of great restaurants
and the prices are fare. Take a carriage ride, enjoy the facts and
history with any one of the experienced guides. Once again, this is well
worth your time and something you will always remember.
When we get to Freedom Park, be sure to walk through the Submarine. When
we went, I was reluctant but ended up really enjoying the walk through.
Those of you that might be hesitant to come to Charleston for what ever
reason may be making a mistake. The location is pretty close to most of
our members and if you drive, you will find the countryside beautiful.
If you fly, you will have the extra time to spend with a lot of folks
that in my view are pretty cool.
While we are there, please let me or Patti know if we can help in
This is my last newsletter shipmates. I know that you will give the new
Secretary as much support and encouragement as you have given me. Patti
and I will see you in Charleston.
Your Friend and Shipmate,