Ron Zimmerman Sr.
474 SW Prater Ave.
Port St. Lucie, FL 34953
272 Stone Hedge Row
Johnstown, OH 43031
2386 SE Patio Circle
Port St. Lucie, FL 34952
311 W. Oak Lane
Glenolden, PA 19036
From Our President:
To all of our shipmates, I have an announcement to make….
I am going to retire
as President at the Annual Business Meeting this year.
With that said, I want to make one thing very clear, I
am not mad at anyone nor has anything caused me to walk away
from the Association. This is something I have given much
thought to this past year. After 10 years as President and
almost 6 months of helping Glenn before that by keeping the
web site running, it is time I step down. It is time for
some new blood at the helm.
My mind is made up on this, so please no attempts at
trying to change it, the rest of the Executive Board has
For the somewhat selfish part, I would also like to start
enjoying the reunions a little more myself. I always have a
of that there is no doubt,
but I am also
working at everyone one of these in some manner or another.
Sally and I will continue to attend the reunions and hope to
have more time to relax and talk with everyone.
Five new finds to
report this time: Jesse Kellum, MM3, ‘67; Charles Kinney,
CS2, ‘68; Richard Wild, BT3, ‘64; George Roy Jr. MMFN, ’59
and Donald Dietrich, RM2, ‘57. Welcome back aboard
No updates to report this
A word from the Vice-President:
Time is flying by fast and
it’s getting closer to another reunion, not that I’m in a
hurry to go to another reunion I just want to enjoy the
summer first. This past winter saw snow higher than the top
of the snow blower which is 24”. I know you guys on the
coast think that’s nothing, well when your 5’ 5” tall it
makes it hard to get around in. Joy is 5’1” and I lost her
in the last snow! Had to shovel for hours to find her! Not
really but its fun to think so.
Well as most of you know there was a mailing to remind
those of you who were behind in your dues. The most comments
I received were that ”I paid them at the reunion” . Yes you
did pay them at the reunion but as I say every time “Look at
the date on your card” when most of you paid at the reunion
you were paying for a year that was 3 months from being
over. Therefore if you sent me another $20 that paid you up
for 2010 and when you get to the reunion you can pay for
2011 and be ahead of the game. I’d like to thank all of you
who have responded to the letter. As of this time I have 162
paid members which is GREAT!
On the down side of this mailing so far I have had 3
letters returned with no forwarding addresses, so if your
planning to move don’t forget to let us know so you don’t
have to go to the web site to read the newsletter. The other
sad point is that we have added 8 or 9 more names to the
Ok that wraps it up for me, don’t forget Doug has the bank
open and you can register at the hotel. And yes I’m still
working on Chattanooga.
Vice-President & Membership Chairman
Hello shipmates! In reading the President's article you
know that he is retiring this year. The executive officers
tried to convince him to stay on, but he has made his
decision. With all that he does for the Association, his
shoes will be hard to fill. He has stated that he would
help the new President in all aspects for the next year and
he has told me that he will continue to help in putting
together our newsletter. This means a lot to me and I
appreciate his friendship and his dedication to the USS
Great Sitkin (AE-17) Association .
We have not received any nominations for the executive
office positions. As a result there are no names to be
published with this newsletter. However, as in the past,
nominations will still be opened until we have our business
meeting at the reunion in September. The rules that pertain
to nominations will still be adhered to.
The last weekend of April my family all met in Asheville,
NC (President Obama followed us there). We had contacted
one of my best friends aboard the Great Sitkin, Bob Leonard
who lives in SC, to ask if he could get together with us.
Until the Association 's reunion 5 years ago in Charleston
SC, Bob and I had not seen each other for 45 years.
Bob told me he was having dialysis Friday morning and after
that he and his wife, Marie, would drive to Asheville.
Shipmates, I've got to tell you, as fantastic as it is to
have quality time with my grown children, it was a huge
bonus to have a couple of days with a great friend from my
I do not know how else to explain how much I appreciate
being part of this Association, but to encourage you to
attend the reunions and then you will also realize how great
all the other members and their wives are to be with.
If you are changing your address, please let us know. We
received 7 newsletters back with no forwarding address, so
we have to pay the post office for the returned mail and
even worse these shipmates become lost members.
Here it is, May 1st
already. This issue, I’m taking a little break out of the
repair locker, I’m sitting up here on the fantail, looking
out over New York Harbor. Got a great view, because I start
this story on May 1st,
1970. The Great Sitkin is at Todd Naval Shipyards, Brooklyn,
NY, in a floating drydock. I’m feeling pretty good, because
today, I sewed on my third class “crow.” DC3, 40 years ago
today. Maybe you’re wondering, how can I remember that?
Besides the fact a good Sailor should always remember the
day he makes 3rd,
I have it written down. But I do still remember a lot about
my days on the Great Sitkin, and the past few months have
brought to light, yet again, how much that time helped
shaped who I am today. I guess this sounds like a rehash of
past newsletter stories, deal with it. As your association
treasurer, every dues check, and every ships store check
passes through my hands on the way to the bank. And I
continue to be impressed at the dedication of our active
membership in supporting the association. Guys who haven’t
sailed the ship in over 50 years still maintaining a
dedication to the good of the ship.
I had the occasion today to talk to a friend who served
on the USS Mt Katmai (AE-16) in the 1950’s. If you remember
your ships history, the Katmai was also a Wrangell class
ammo ship like us. As we talked about the joys of serving
in this type of ship, I mentioned that it was what we do
every year at our reunions, knowing full well his response.
“The Great Sh_ _tcan has a reunion association? Never heard
of a service force ship with a reunion group.” Has anyone
ever heard that? Most people think major combatants, ships
that have been to war, they are the ones who get together to
swap memories. We do it every year. This year, when I made
my tri-annual dues payment, I got my membership card, and a
“Thank You” card, from VP Jim Dunno. Little picture of the
ship, hand written “Thanks George” in it. Shipmates, fellow
Sailors, we have a good thing going here. Know that.
And, like it had happened 3 times during my time on the
Great Sitkin, our association is about to have a change of
command. By now, you’ve read that our President, Ron
Zimmerman, is retiring after 10 years at the helm. Many of
you are probably thinking, like I did when he first told me,
“Oh no, what now? Who will run this thing?” Or maybe you’re
thinking, “Finally!” Well, whatever your feelings, know
this. The change of command will be seamless, like a good US
Navy change of command should be. We will elect a new
president at the reunion this year, the gavel will be
passed, and the Great Sitkin Association will continue on.
Some year, hopefully in the distant future, those of us who
last sailed the ship will close the association down,
hopefully by then our memorabilia will have found a suitable
home, and the memory of the Great Sitkin will be preserved
in some fashion. But for now, let’s keep on with business as
usual. Let’s be “Always Ready.” See you in Illinois!
The Chaplain’s Corner:
to all of you. Well it certainly has been a long winter and
I am glad it is over. Spring is here and everything is
getting green and flowers are starting to bloom.
It makes me think of Easter and what that really means to
us. Christ dying on the cross and the great sacrifice he
made for us. The Easter Sunday morning they found the empty
tomb. That not only meant Christ was alive but that we have
eternal life because “He Lives”.
As some of you may know Patsy lost her mother on Feb 7th and then her
brother on March 28th. He was only 53 years old. It has been
hard on our family. Patsy and I would like to thank you for
your prayers and cards. They have meant a lot.
Time is moving on and it won’t be long we will be meeting in Chicago
where many of us started our journey in the Navy “many a
year ago”. Hope to see you there.
Well it’s time to say “See ya latter”. 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:
Carl Gill Jr, F1c, ‘45; Edward Maguire, SN, ‘57; Gary
Cowfer, MR2, ‘71; Donald Riggenbach, DK2, ‘70; Richard
Wimer, BM2, ‘61; James Andorka, SN, ‘56; Edmund Jaskolski,
F1c, ‘45; Norman Pichler, Cox, ‘45; Thomas Smokovich, SN,
’71; Sanford Gross, LT, ’51 and Sterling Jants, S1c, ‘45.
USS Great Sitkin AE-17 Reunion 2010: Time
is drawing near for our September 15-19 reunion and for you
to think about making your hotel reservations and send me
your registration and money. Everything has been put into
place for us to have a great reunion and now I just need you
to let me know your attending. Some of our members have
sent in their reunion registration and payment, so they are
ready to have a great time with old friends and shipmates.
Don’t put off making hotel reservation since you will have
24 hours to cancel.
We are really looking forward to seeing y’all in Chicago
Doug and Kathy Hauser
Pet Peeve Department:
Ever hear the phrase, “Once a Marine, always a Marine!”
Whenever a Marine is mentioned in a news story, it’s always
a capital “M”
Did you know that over 20 years ago, the Navy designated
that Sailor should be written with a capital “S” to give
proper credit to the profession? Sailor, small “s”, is just
someone who goes to sea. So, from this point on, be a
“Once a Sailor, always a Sailor.”