Always Ready
   Summer, 2006                                                                                                                         1 June, 2006

Association Officers

Ron Zimmerman Sr.
474 SW Prater Ave.
Port St. Lucie, FL  34953
(772) 621-4016

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

Jack Norton
2386 SE Patio Circle
Port St. Lucie, FL 34952

George Kaiser
311 W. Oak Lane
Glenolden, PA 19036

Reunion 2006
Sept. 20th - 24th
Kissimmee, FL


From our President:  Plans for the 2006 Reunion are complete and the Bank is OPEN for Business! To make it convenient we have included a Reunion Registration form with this newsletter.  There is also one available on our web site in case the dog eats this one.  Please note that there is a registration cut-off date. Also, this year we will be having an Early Bird Registration door prize drawing for 1 Free Night at the   hotel.  To be eligible your envelope containing the Reunion Registration forms and money must be post marked prior to July 7, 2006

New Finds: 
Ronald Grams, GMG3, Ď65;  Charles Starks, GM3, Ď54;  Jesse Coston, GM3, Ď55  and David Padgett, MM2, Ď59. 

Honor Roll: 
George A. Farrands, ET3, í52;  Paul Brosie, EN3, í56;  William P. Gray, HMC, í67;  George R. Hudacik, BM1, í62;  James R. Madarena, EM2, í49 and Richard J. Zawodniak, S1c, í46.
    We wish to express our deepest sympathy and most sincere condolences to their family and friends.

Web Site Update: 
 Besides the usual updates to the crew lists and Honor Roll pages, nothing new has been added to the web pages.  I am still working on the 1962 Deck Logs and now hope to have them ready for the Reunion and November web page update.  Originally my plan was to have them ready for this update but I got behind on my Association work because of a hard drive crash - due to, from what I can tell, a Virus that was imbedded in an e-mail.  The suspected culprit was one of those that had several FWD. FWD, FWD. in the subject line. Normally I donít open those e-mails at all, but the subject line looked important so I did. Fortunately I had recently done a back-up of the files so nothing major was lost.  Still, it cost me a lot of time and frustration to reformat the hard drive, install the operating system plus all the programs and get my computer back up and running.  For this reason I will no longer accept e-mails that have been FWD several times!  No funny story or joke is worth exposure to a virus that is imbedded in an e-mail that the sender might not even be aware of.  So, if you are one of the above mass e-mail FWD folks,  PLEASE do not include me in your ďSend ToĒ.  The proper etiquette for sending things on to others is to copy the text, or whatever it is you want to send on, into a NEW e-mail that you create.  This ONLY works if you have an up-to-date Anti-virus program installed and have it set-up to scan ALL incoming and out-going e-mails.  Those who still insist on sending me e-mails that have been forwarded several times will have their e-mail addresses blocked - a course of action that I would rather not have to take.  Sorry about the hard line stance on this but the next time I might not be as lucky and lose ALL the files I have regarding the web site plus other information, correspondence and files.  Thank you for your understanding.

Ron Zimmerman Sr.

From the desk of the Vice President: Hello again to all! This year is going by fast, here it is June already, and reunion time is fast approaching. Jack and Pat Norton, along with co-host Ron and Sally Zimmerman have worked very hard on putting this together for us all, so please plan to attend.
    As many of you might know I had some concerns about Baton Rouge, LA, as the site for the 2007 reunion due to the influx of people from the Gulf region who lost their homes during the hurricane last year. As my wife and I will be hosting it, we took a trip to the area to check it out. I am happy to report that my worries were for nothing. We traveled all over the city and found there were no problems. Now, I can begin to plan activities for the 2007 reunion. I already know what one of the tours will be, the D-Day Museum in New Orleans. We will be holding the Memorial Service at the USS Kidd museum, hopefully with lunch included in Baton Rouge. All the rest to be determined at a later date. For those who like a casino, there are a couple there. But this is for 2007.
    On our trip we traveled the coast line of Mississippi, Louisiana and New Orleans. The disaster is still visible along the coast and the devastation that we saw is unreal. I know we have some of our shipmates in the area, so please keep them in your prayers.
    On reunions, I would like to see a few more get involved. I hope some of you will bring information to present at this yearís business meeting for the 2008 reunion location. It seems that for the last few years the only ones that host reunions are the board. Letís see if we can get more shipmates involved and hold a reunion in your area. The goal was to try to have one in each state. I am sure some of you would like to see one close to you. If you donít volunteer to host one it might not happen. As I said before I am willing to help, but you would have to do the leg work as I might be to far away from your location to help in person. So, bring some information to the reunion and present it. We do go out two years now so you have time to plan, but keep in mind an airport close to the hotel is important.
    Back to this years reunion. It is a great opportunity to meet some of your shipmates and a great bunch of people. So, make your plans to be part of this years crew. Hope to see you all there.

Membership: Again, thanks to all who have supported the Association and help keep the old boat afloat. 
     Anyway, as membership chairman, it is my job to hassle those who have not yet paid for 2006 and get more to join the active membership. It is a great Association and I believe it is one of the best. Our President does a great job on the web site, and he should be complimented whenever possible. Not to much though, as all those hats he bought will not fit his big head. 
    Iím very happy that we have many shipmates who send in their dues on a regular basis. Some send it as soon they receive the newsletter, so they wont forget, which is great. So, if you can, please send it in now. Also, when you come to a reunion, in order to vote at the business meeting, you have to be an active member. 
    As of this newsletter we have 158 paid for 2006 which is up from the 131 before the spring newsletter. So, that says we only picked up 27 more which means we have a lot more to do to reach a goal of 250-300. When I started out we had 76 paid members. Over the years, we have received paid membership from 354 shipmates. Iím not sure if they think they only have to pay dues once and that makes them an active member. The dues, as most know, are yearly and that is how we can send out three newsletters a year and maintain our web site. I hope we can bring many of these shipmates back. So, if you have not paid your 2006 dues please do so now and your ability to pay for future years is always welcome. Thank you for your support. 

Doug Hauser 
Vice-President & Membership Chairman

First off, we want to say thank you to our ďEarly BirdĒ shipmates who have already sent us their registration forms & checks for the 2006 Reunion. One of our shipmates is coming all the way from New Zealand! Mike LaFauci and his wife Donna will be making a mega-mile flight to join us all in Kissimmee, Florida. Now, how about the rest of you --- ITíS TIME TO MAKE YOUR PLANS.
    Our computer whiz, President Ron Z., has posted a page on our web site dedicated to the 2006 Reunion. Go to and click on the rotating sign at the top of the Welcome page. The reunion information page will show you all the great tours and events we will be enjoying; pictures and info. on our host hotel, the Ramada Plaza Hotel & Gateway Inn; and there is even a link to the bandís web site that lists music selections from their repertoire. One knowledgeable visitor sent me an e-mail stating it was the most fantastic and comprehensive web site and reunion presentation he had ever seen. So, check it out ---I know youíll be impressed with all that is being offered to you. So, fill out the form and send it to us today and then get ready for another super reunion.
    You know one of the things we all have in common is our memory of our shipboard experience. Come to the hospitality suite at the reunion and keep the USS GREAT SITKIN memory alive. It will be your attending that will make the 2006 reunion the success we want it to be.

Jack and Pat Norton,
Ron and Sally Zimmerman
Reunion Hosts

Secretaryís Report:
Along with working on this yearís reunion and the newsletters, I have been busy acquiring necessary updated paperwork. With the changing of the secretary position from Don McClane who lives in Texas to my living in Florida, we had to apply for a new non-profit postage permit and a sales tax exemption for Florida. It took a few months, but all is in place now.
    Also, one of the items in the list of secretaryís duties (along with being part of a great association) is sending greeting cards to our members. So, if you know of a shipmate who is not feeling well, let me know and a card will be sent to let him know the Association is thinking of him. 

Jack Norton

Repair 3:
Here it is, 2 weeks before Memorial Day, official start of summer. Or, so they say. Iím sure, as a lot of us get a little grayer each passing day, all of the seasons start to just blend in together. Ahh, so it goes. One thing for sure, the 2006 reunion will be here all too quickly, and this year, the coming of the reunion will mean the 1st week of Autumn. And that Shipmates, is my little lead in to my quarterly reunion push.
    Again, I direct my attention to the guys from the little shop on the 2nd deck outside the reefer flats, R DIVISION! No big speech, just want to say Iím getting a little weary of Fred Applegate and me being the only Damage Controlman at the party! These Sounding and Security watches are getting a little tedious guys, how about coming to Orlando this year and taking a watch or 2?
    Hmm. Speaking of Sounding and Security, do any of my R Div brothers remember us getting sent to the engine room to stand evaporator watches during the 71 Med Cruise? I sure do. Didnít like it much then, but in retrospect, the main space was an interesting place to be. And thatís where Iíll take up my ship tour for this edition.
    The evaps were used to distill sea (salt) water into fresh water for use in the boilers and for crew use. They ( it was only one evaporator, but as I recall, we always called it ďthe evap set.Ē) were located on the upper level of the engine room, port side. Aft of the evaps were the emergency generators. I still can picture the MMís hand cranking the generators to get them going when steam got low, which seemed to be a regular occurrence during my tour on the old Girl. Try as I might, I canít picture what was forward of the evaps, but if I walked past the evap controls toward the center of the main space, there were the turbines.
    OK, now here is where my lack of MM knowledge comes to the fore. I know there were 2 turbines, but which was which? The big one in the center had a large, plastic, Champion spark plug stuck on the top. Do you know, those plastic plugs are selling for over $100 these days?
    In front of the turbines were the throttles and a large control board with gauges and stuff. And aft of the turbine were the boilers. Now, I KNOW I butchered a lot of the terms for these main space fixtures, but I sort of did it on purpose. In past newsletters, the staff has begged and pleaded for some of you guys to get in front of a keyboard and write stuff for the letter. Ok M and B Division, hereís your chance! Correct my errors or omissions, tell the rest of the crew just what you did in the main space, where and how you did it, and some good stories Iím sure you all have. 
    As usual, we still have lots of good items in the ships store. This year in Orlando, we will have a new shirt to sell, and a new design coffee mug too.

But for now, Iím off watch, and Iím hitting the rack!  Stay Safe!

George Kaiser

Support the Troops:
In the last 2 newsletters I talked about my son and his unitís deployment to Iraq. His being deployed has me wondering if any other crewmember has a son or daughter, grandson or granddaughter that is currently deployed to, or has served in, the middle east in support of the operations in either Iraq or Afghanistan. If so, please call, write or e-mail me and let me know. I am planning on putting together a list of those, who like their father / grandfather have served in the armed forces. 
    The information that I need is their name, rank, branch of service, dates and place deployed to and their fatherís / grandfatherís name and date he served aboard Great Sitkin. This list will be posted in the hospitality room in honor of their service to this country. The list will also be in the November Ď06 newsletter. Thank you in advance for your support in this effort.

Ron Zimmerman Sr.

Visitor Log Messages:
Thanks so much for the well maintained web page. I just had a visit from Bill Padgett and his wife. I served with Bill on the old ship in "M" Division. I had not seen or heard from Bill in 46 years. The visit was great but way too short, but we plan on improving on that!  Robert E. Pratt MM2

Great Web Site.....Have "Plan of the Day" logs for most of two years.
Bill Schultz 63/65

Ran the post office on the Sitkin from 1968 to 1969 with fond memories of the time,.....interested to hear from shipmates I knew. 
William R. Morrison 68-69

Worked in 1st Div, became postal clerk. Would like to hear from anyone from those days. Good luck. Dennis Leary 66-68

My father was on the Great Sitkin 8/45-5/46. Thank you for this web site.
Bruce Zaretsky

Would like to have S. Gibson; G. Deneault, ETN3; R. Dietrich, RM2; G. Foras, RM3 and Ed Kuzma, RM3 contact me if possible. Believe Kuzma and I were stationed together in Londonderry in 63-64. Frank Hausen Ď57-í58

I searched, out of curiosity, for "BARBERICH" on, Images. What I found was unexpected. Pictures of my Dad when he served on The Great Sitkin!!! What a great memory to have. Thank you for maintaining this site. Willy Barberich

This is a great site. It brings back fond memories of my four years sailing her around the world, and especially of my shipmates and the great friends I was blessed to have made on board. I have thought of many of you over the years and wondered how you are doing. I now look forward to hearing from you. To those who put this site together, THANK YOU and WELL DONE! MAY GOD BLESS EACH OF YOU WHO SERVED OUR GREAT COUNTRY WHILE SAILING "THE GREAT SITKIN".  John Hopper Ď67-í71


last updated on 6/1/06