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: It
is time to quit procrastinating and start making plans for
this year's Reunion. Doug & Kathy have put together a good
package with plenty of time for swapping stories and
catching up with old friends. The insert in this edition
has all the information and the Reunion Registration form.
See Doug's reunion update report for more information.
Charles Fridinger, F1c, '47; John Stephens, SN, '61 and
Thomas Hill, SA, '61; Robert Goddard Jr, SR, ‘72
James Quist, SN, '51; Clifton LeBlanc, CS1, '60, Franklin
Coleman, GMSN ’55 and Donald Herschell, QM3, '53
We wish to express our deepest sympathy and most sincere
condolences to their family and friends.
Support the Troops:
Another of our shipmates has reported that they have family
serving overseas in support of the operations taking place
there. They are:
SGT David A. Collins,
US Army, C Battery, 2nd 138 FA, Kentucky. Stationed near
Baghdad. Nephew of shipmate Wayne Agee, SH3, '59 - '62
In addition, the Executive Board voted to donate some
money in support of the troops. After careful review of
several organizations it was voted on to donate $250 to the
Fisher House at Walter Reed Hospital. The funds are used to
help support the families visiting those who were seriously
wounded and receiving care at that facility. Another $250
was donated to an American Legion Post’s “Support
program. The funds are used to purchase AAFES debit cards
and Military Phone Cards which are mailed to personnel
currently stationed in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Not too many changes this time. A couple of '40's shipmate
pictures and a few from a '47 cruise and one from a '60's
cruise. While I would like to get some more pictures in for
the web site, I must admit it does feel good not to be
swamped and scrambling to get them done in time for the
you find a web page that is not working, please let one of
the officers know. We can’t fix what we don’t know is
Ron Zimmerman Sr.,
From the desk of the Vice President:
Some news to report -- I am retiring at the end of this
term. For the last 6 years, I have had the pleasure of
being the Vice President and Membership Chairman, but it is
time for a younger man to take over. At age 75, I plan to
use my extra time to have even more fun. I will be
attending future reunions, God willing, so this is not the
last time you will be seeing me.
I want to thank all of you who joined the Active Roll
to help keep the USS Great Sitkin AE-17 Association alive
I hope to see many of you in Baton Rouge, LA, on
September 26 – 30. Take care and God bless all the men of
the Great Sitkin and their wives.
Doug has tendered his resignation to me in
writing and after a lengthy discussion it has been
accepted. Anyone interested in the position and would like
to know more about what the duties are, please contact me as
soon as possible.
Ron Zimmerman Sr.
this is my last newsletter as Membership Chairman I will do
as I have done in the past and remind you to pay your dues
for 2007. Without dues it would be hard to maintain the USS
Great Sitkin AE-17 Association and we would no longer exist.
There would be no newsletter, web site, and no more meeting
old shipmates and making new friends at the reunions.
Our membership count for 2006 was 197 which was ok, but
we have been as high as 235, so we have slipped somewhat
over the years. This year I am sad to say that as of this
month we are only at 118 paid, so for those who might not
have paid for 2007 sit down and write a check now.
It would also be very much appreciated for those of you
who enjoy the newsletters and web site to join the
membership roll. If we can’t get you to join all of this
could go away. So please do your part and join us today.
Let’s make this the best year ever. Thank
Vice-President & Membership Chairman
Secretary Report: Well,
we did not receive any nominations for replacement of the
current officers, which would have been published in this
summer newsletter. Nominations for all offices will be
accepted at the Annual Business Meeting.
Hope you are planning to attend the reunion in Baton
Rouge, LA, since we are looking forward to meeting new
shipmates and friends from past reunions. If you keep
saying that you are going to attend one of our reunions, now
is the time. Life is short, as we all know.
Shipmates, here it is Spring. Wasn't it just Spring? I guess
I'm experiencing that "time flys when you're having fun"
thing...again. As usual, it falls on me to come up with some
stuff I think would be of interest to fill my space in the
newsletter, so, here goes.
One of the
biggest items filling our thoughts these days is the
continuing conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. Regardless of
your feelings toward the war, we all should be supporting
the men and women who all have volunteered to go into harms
way to serve our countries interests in both countries. One
of he really cool things I had the opportunity to do as your
association treasurer was to cut 2 checks to send to
organizations that are providing support services for our
troops. This is just another way your dues dollars help to
keep the name of the USS Great Sitkin alive, 34 years since
it went away.
Another war item that relates to today’s Navy is
something called Individual Augmentee. That is a process
where the Navy is sending active duty and mobilized reserve
Sailors to fill critical positions on the ground in
Afghanistan and Iraq. When I first heard of the IA thing, my
thought was "Sailors belong on ships, and ships belong at
sea!" But these are different times than they were back when
we sailed in the 50's, and 60's. This being an all volunteer
military, the government needs to use all the resources
available to do the job at hand. From what I read, Sailors
that are part of the Individual Augmentee program are in
support of it and accept it as part of the job that needs to
as I think of Sailors in combat fatigues and my Great Sitkin
memories, my thoughts are drawn to our Explosive Ordinance
Disposal Shipmates that sailed with us when we deployed. I
am sure their names won't show up on any ships company
roles, but they sure played a part in keeping us safe. I
remember the EOD guys on our 1971 Med Cruise. We had a LT, a
1st class, and a 2nd class. They had all their dive gear and
rubber boats and stuff stored on the 1st deck on 5 hold. (In
case you're slow here, this is my 'ships tour' moment) My
memory is a little fuzzy after 36 years, but I think they
had their sleeping quarters back there too. It would have
made sense, because the head for after berthing was in 4
hold, along with the ships laundry on the port side. Anyone
remember what was located in the compartments on the
starboard side of 4 hold? Trvia question someone can answer
at the reunion this year, right?
Ok, don't forget the ships store stuff we still have.
Shirts, hats, mugs, patches, decals. The stuff isn't doing
me any good guys, so lets get some dollars flowing and order
some cool Great Sitkin gear for your summer pleasure!
Everyone have a good, safe summer and see you in Baton
2007 Reunion Update:
get-together is only a couple of months away and I would
like to remind you that to get the special rate you need to
make your reservations before our cut off date of September
. At that time, all room blocks are lifted and you may or
may not be able to get a room there. So pick up the phone
and call while you have this newsletter in your hand. If
something comes up and you won’t be able to attend you can
cancel your reservations 24 hours in advance without a
We got a pretty good package together for those attending
starting with a “Welcome Reception” by the hotel on
Wednesday at 6:00PM.
Thursday will be a full day with the bus trip to New Orleans
and the tour of the National World War II Museum. There are
lots of things to see there with a good portion centered
around the D-Day Invasion. The Higgins boats used to ferry
the troops from the ships to the beaches were built in New
Friday is pretty much a “free” day with nothing planned until
the meeting at 3:30 PM. This will give you all lots of time
to swap stories in the hospitality room and do some side
trips to the local shops and malls.
Saturday is our tour of the USS Kidd (DD-661). While aboard
the Kidd, Chaplain Rucker will conduct the Honor Ceremony.
At noon we will have a wreath laying at the Memorial Park
and then board bus for lunch at the Hollywood Casino. After
lunch there is a bus tour of the downtown area, or those who
wish may stay at the casino and try their luck. For those
staying the bus will return to pick you up @ 3:00PM and
return to Hotel. Please be on time or you will have to make
other arrangements to get back.
Saturday night is our Annual Banquet. Cocktails will be @
6:00PM with a cash bar. At 7:00PM Banquet Dinner & Dancing
with and 8 piece band.
Sunday will be the Farewell Breakfast which will be available
from 6:00AM-10:00. This gives up ample time to say our
good-byes until next year.
That’s all for this report. There is a Reunion Registration
form in the newsletter that gives more details. Be sure to
take it out and stick it to the refrig with a magnet if you
are not sending it in today so it will be handy when you are
ready! Hope to see you in Baton Rouge!
Doug & Kathy Hauser
Almost all e-mails that ask you to add your
name and forward on to others are similar to that mass
letter years ago that asked people to send business cards to
the little kid in Florida who wanted to break the Guinness
Book of Records for the most cards. All it was, and all this
type of e-mail does, is to get names and "cookie" tracking
info for telemarketers and spammers to validate active
e-mail accounts for their own purposes.
Just a word to the wise:
E-mail petitions are NOT acceptable to
Congress, the President or any other elected officials.
To be acceptable, petitions must have a signed signature and
full address. Same with "prayer chains"--be wary. Check it
Any time you see an e-mail that says forward this on to
10 of your friends, sign this petition, you'll get good luck
or bad luck, or whatever, it has either an e-mail tracker
program attached that tracks the cookies and e-mails of
those folks you forward to or the host sender is getting a
copy each time it gets forwarded and then is able to get
lists of "active" e-mails to use in spam e-mails or sell to
others that do. (If you have been sending out the above
kinds of email, now you know why you get so much spam.)
Share this notice with others and you will be providing a
good service to your friends and will be rewarded by not
getting a lot of spam e-mails in the future.
We were the Crew of the Sitkin
by: James “Jaybird” Bryant
We were the crews of the Sitkin in the days long
We were the crews of the Sitkin, our memories
forever will last.
She was not a mighty man-of-war with guns a
blazing day and night,
But her cargo to be delivered would give our
enemy a terrible fright.
We sailed the mighty seas alone both days and
With dreams of duty, pride and freedom forever
in our sights.
From Bayonne to the Artic circle, and European
From Gitmo, Viet Nam, they were just daily
Esprite décor as the Marines would say,
Is what we on the Sitkin practiced everyday.
Always ready, and ready to serve anywhere,
We were prepared to do the job,
No burden was too great to bare.
From drills at sunup and even late at night,
Her crew and guns were made ready
To defend, to give a hell-of a fight.
We gave our all to the ole girl,
And she in turn gave us a mighty whirl.
And, there were liberties on many a distant
That were anything but a bore.
From the BT’s who made the steam,
The EN’s who furnished the power,
The MMS’s who always wanted more
To the deck hands, the Quartermasters,
The gunners, the cooks, the signalmen, the boat
The Yeoman, and yes, her Officers; chief, petty
Line, who directed our
We washed her decks, chipped her paint, blew her
Shined her brass so bright,
And when she anchored at a port,
She was a grand ole sight.
Her mess decks with the folding tables and
In heavy seas were akin to fighting in trenches.
It was a wish come true when they were welded
To the deck,
No more trays on the bulkhead by heck.
From her bent screw,
To banging a pier or two,
And Drifting in the Med without power,
She still got us to homeport
At the Appointed hour.
The same ole movies we watched, and watched, and
Why, It seems like John Wayne was part of the
But alas, there was not much else to do.
There were those times when we stood watch
Four and four,
There were those times when we felt
We just couldn’t take anymore,
And there were times we just
Wanted to go ashore.
But we stood our ground man to man for we were
Sailors of the Sitkin, each and every man.
Men of strength, with an oath to God, duty
That few will ever understand.
There were those times when angry seas seemed to
Threaten her very bulwarks
as she pitched too and fro and strained to stay
But she was built by men and women of
Of Impeccable courage with a strong sense
Of duty and pride.
This ole girl could take it, so we sat
Back and went along for the ride.
We were the sailors of the Sitkin who
Watched our fellow shipmates
given duties on other ships and shores,
that would forever remove them from out sight,
But not from our hearts and minds. . .,
Not from those days and nights in which
We all served together in troubled times.
We ARE the sailors of the Sitkin.
Proud to a man!
Proud to be brothers who served and served well.
We are the ones who have the stories to tell.
We did our share to keep our country free,
We did our share so America would always be.
We will all be gone and forgotten someday,
and all That will be left is the memory we
have entrusted to our loved ones.
It is up to them to say. . .,
These were the men of the
USS Great Sitkin AE-17,
The United States of America!