USS Great Sitkin (AE-17)
4th Issue, 17th Year                                                                                                                                                   1 August, 2009

Association Officers

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

Vice President
Jim Dunno
272 Stone Hedge Row
Johnstown,  OH  43031

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

George Kaiser
311 W. Oak Lane
Glenolden, PA 19036




From Our President:   By the time this reaches most of you, the cut-off date for hotel registration and reunion registration will have passed.  Those of you who had not been able to attend prior to the “cut-off” date due to work or family commitments but are now able to, there is still time IF you act as soon as you get this.  The reunion registration form is still available on our web site but you will need to print it out, complete the form and mail it to Jack along with your payment.  I would highly recommend that you use 2 Day mail to make sure we get it in time.
    As for the hotel, once the “cut-off” date is reached, they will provide rooms only on a “space available” basis and it is up to them if they want to honor the contract room price.

New Finds:   One new find to report this time, Albert Flaton, BM2, ‘63

Found now LOST! : Mailings of our last newsletter were returned as “Bad Address” for the following shipmates:  Paul Dumais, Garcie Roberts and O. Albert Henzl.  If anyone out there has contact with these shipmates, please let them know we need updated addresses.

Web Site:  No updates to report this time.

      Ron Zimmerman

A word from the Vice-President:   I can’t believe it’s time to send you guy’s another article; it seems like just yesterday Ron sent me an e-mail saying to get my article in! Now that I think about it---it was yesterday!
    Anyway the last time I was doing flowers and going to ball games, that’s all over with now so I can concentrate on doing other fun things like cutting the grass, pulling weeds, and watching my 3 tomato plants grow! Exciting isn’t it!
    Well the exciting part of the summer so far is the birth of my 5th grandchild, Camryn Elizabeth, born June 4 th , 6 lbs 14ozs, 19 ½ “.She has lots of black hair and being spoiled rotten as this is being typed.
    Ok enough of the fun stuff it’s time for a little quiz! Don’t worry you won’t be graded and the answers will be at the end of the article.
                       How many dues paying members are currently on the roster?_________

                       How many members have paid their dues this year?              __________

                       How many new members have we picked up this year?         __________

Don’t feel bad if you don’t know the answers, I had to look them up also!  The answers are:  281,  136  and 5
    Ok I’m going to keep this short and hope to see you all in Boston.
    Jim Dunno
    Vice-President &  Membership Chairman

Secretary’s Report:   Hello Shipmates!  As I stated in the last newsletter we did not receive any new nominations for the Executive office positions, but nominations are still  open and will be accepted from the floor during the Annual Business Meeting in Boston.  Also, if you know that you are going to have a mailing address change, please notify us.
    This letter is being published a couple of weeks in advance so that any of the shipmates that intended to go to the reunion and forgot to register will have a chance to still take care of it.  Our Boston turnout is not as good as we expected and we are not sure whether it is the times (financial) or our northeast location   So please shipmates your support in attendance is needed.  To our shipmates who have registered we thank you.
    So many of our shipmates are also in ill health, but I think this is true for us who are now reaching the Golden Years.  This includes myself, as I am still trying to regain my strength after four major cancer surgeries (the last two within the span of seven months).  Please stay healthy and see you in Boston.
      Jack Norton

The Chaplain’s Corner:   “Good Day to all of you”. Summer has arrived and I can’t believe by the time you read this that July will be gone. The summer is passing so fast and it’s almost time for our reunion. I have found out that the older I get the slower I move but the faster the days go by.
I was reminded of a scripture in Psalms 90:9-10
9 For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told.
10 The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
    We are just passing through this old life down here but it is a wonderful thought to think that when we must leave that God has a place for us that that there will be no clocks or calendars to look at because there will be no end to eternity.
    Well I hope you are planning to be in Boston in September. I’m sure we will have another great reunion this year.
    Let’s keep those families in our prayers that have lost a loved one who sailed aboard the Great Sitkin.     May the Lord Bless and Keep You...
     Honor Roll Update: Paul Corazza, ENS, ‘50’s;  Charles Hart, BM1, ‘54

    Mark Rucker

Repair 3:   an·ni·ver·sa·ry   Function: noun   1: the annual recurrence of a date marking a notable event ; broadly : a date that follows such an event by a specified period of time measured in units other than years <the 6-month anniversary of the accident>2: the celebration of an anniversary
    Ever consider the word “anniversary?”  This week, our collective memory has been reminded of the fact that 40 years ago, Apollo 11 made it’s successful landing on the surface of the moon. There has been lots of talk to the effect of “Where were you when this happened?”  I was a 19 year old kid, sitting in my living room, watching it on a black & white Admiral TV set. But, as excited as I was about that, I think I was even more excited about my own adventure soon to begin. In less than 2 months, I was to report to the Philadelphia Naval Base to start my USN active duty. That big date was 13 September 1969. 40 years ago this September. So, I started thinking of other, notable, 40th anniversaries:
    August 15 to 18, 1969… WOODSTOCK!!  Ok, I wasn’t there, but I did listen to the music played by many of the bands of the day that performed there.
    The Boeing 747 first entered service in 1969;  Richard Nixon became President; Brett Favre, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Rene Zellweger, and Jennifer Anniston were born; our annual income was $8,550 a year and a gallon of gas was 35 cents!
    Closer to home, this date, 21 July 1969, the Great Sitkin was in the Med, in Augusta Bay, Sicily to be exact. She would get home to Bayonne on 11 November. 
    23 November  1969 is another big 40th anniversary for me. That was the day newly minted DCFN Kaiser started his Great Sitkin service, asking EMCS Jim  Kerfien if he could come aboard his ship.
    And as 2009 fades into 2010, many more Great Sitkin 40th anniversaries will come up. Sewing DC3 on, the yards in Brooklyn and Hoboken, GITMO…twice. But, I’ll save some of those memories for next year. Back to this year. The E Board has been granted the, uh, luxury of sending out a 4th newsletter. That means one more shot at the crew to plead the reunion in Boston. Now…I know for a fact that a whole lot of my R Division buddies live right there, or close enough to hear us having a good time. And I can promise anyone reading this that a Great Sitkin reunion is a good time. Try it once, you’ll see.
    And, finally, lots of good things are still available for sale from my boxes of stash back here in Repair 3, so stop by and have a look. Starboard side, aft of the gun tub, 1 deck down. If the WTD is closed, knock once, then enter.
        George Kaiser

2009 Reunion update:   Well here it is almost time for our September 9 - 13 Reunion.  We had hoped for more of the Boston and Northeast shipmates to attend this reunion.  This is it guys, we will not have another reunion in this location for a long time.  This newsletter is being sent out a couple of weeks early in hopes that if you did forget to mail your registration or reserve your hotel room, that you would still have time to do so.  August 9th is the cutoff date for rooms at the Sheraton for the low group rate.  Our starting date is just two days after the Labor day weekend and the hotel is honoring our rate for 3 days before and after, that is Sunday 9/6 to Tuesday 9/15.  So, make your reservation now at 781-848-0600, Sales #3 and if necessary it can be cancelled 72 hours before your reservation date.
    All the plans for all of the functions are complete and the only thing not finalized is the number of people attending.  If you have not attended one of our reunions let me tell you that it starts with a welcome reception in our large hospitality room with a wine and cheese party on Wednesday evening.  On Thursday we will go to Boston on trolley busses, our plan is to have our memorial service aboard the USS Constitution and then visit many historic sites.  Friday we travel to Battleship Cove in Fall River, which is located in southeastern Mass. on scenic Mt. Hope Bay.  It has the largest collection of historic naval ships.  After our trip we head back to the Sheraton for a picnic.  An optional trip is set for Saturday morning to the  Kennedy Library with a drive by the Quincy shipyard, USS Salem and going to the John Adams Estate.  At 3 PM we will have our annual business meeting and that evening our fantastic dinner banquet, with a band for your listening and dancing pleasure until midnight.  Sunday morning is our farewell breakfast.  All of this is with old friends and shipmates you may not have seen for years or ones that you have just met.  No matter what our age we all have one thing in common - we served aboard the USS Great Sitkin!
    Remember shipmates if you were planning to attend a reunion now is the time.  None of us are getting any younger and as I said in my Secretary's report so many of the shipmates are now having health problems.  For  many of our shipmates this reunion is just a short drive away, so consider joining us in Boston.  We are looking forward to welcoming you to our fantastic group.
    Jack & Pat Norton
    Reunion Hosts


last updated on 08/01/09