USS Great Sitkin (AE-17)
1st Issue, 19th Year                                                                                                                                                   1 November 2010

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

Secretary (Interim)
Joe Savadge
84 May Dr
Dillsburg,  PA  17019
George Kaiser
311 W. Oak Lane
Glenolden, PA 19036


From Our President:  Where to start…… It’s been one heck of a year!  With the passing of our Secretary, Jack Norton, we needed to have a shipmate step up-to-the-plate to fill this position.  Joe Savadge volunteered and we WELCOME him aboard the Executive Board team!  Joe is a retired Senior Chief and has a lot of experience in administration.  I am very confident that he will do an outstanding job for the Association. 
    It was also voted on to discontinue mailing newsletters by Bulk Mail due to the increasing cost in the Initial Application fee, the Annual Fee, Per piece Rate and the requirement of HAVING to mail a min. of 4 times a year.  It was decided that we would only mail to shipmates whose dues are CURRENT!  If you are use to receiving a newsletter in the mail and don’t, then it is probably because your dues have lapsed.  Our Dues Year is 1 Jan to 31 Dec.  Your expiration date is noted on the card you receive from our VP and Membership Chairman.
    You will notice that there are no “Ship’s Store” items advertised in this edition — that is because, just a couple of weeks prior to the Reunion, a neighboring business to where we have our merchandise and ALL of our archive items stored had a fire that also destroyed our storage area. 

New Finds:  David Toothaker, EOD Team, ’72;  Charles Peterson, EN3, ’56;  Harold Adams, MM3, ’56;  Bruce Kiefer, MM2, ’67 and Kyle (Curry) Deppe, SN, ’66.  Welcome back aboard shipmates!

Web Site:  No up-dates except to the “Found Crew” and “Honor Roll” pages.  I have a lot of reunion pictures to get ready.  Hopefully they will be posted by Thanksgiving time, but no promises.

     Ron Zimmerman

A word from the Vice-President: Well another reunion has come and gone! And my congratulations to Doug and Kathy for another fine job! Kinda makes me wonder how I’m supposed to follow that, but then all of us that plan these things probably say that also.
    It’s nice not having Ron send me an E-Mail reminding me to get my article ready for the newsletter, so I thought. Now Joe is reminding me! Ron has taught him well! Anyway it gives me something to do until Joy gets home from work.
     Now the subject of membership. With 2 months to go in 2010, we have 178 paid members. On a high point, it seems that the majority of you are caught up and are starting to pay your dues for 2011; currently we have 79 paid for 2011. The next item is — if you find a mistake in your dues, please let me know and I will get it corrected.
    Joy and I just got back from Chattanooga 2 weeks ago. We spent 3 more days there doing all the things we didn’t get to do the last time we were there and can tell you if you can’t find anything to do in your free time something is wrong. We have heard from past reunions that you would like to have more time to visit with everybody, so this year I have freed up more time to visit. 
    Friday morning will be open as well as Saturday morning. A list of thing to do and how to get to them will be prepared. The majority of things to do can be reached by the free shuttle which is located next to the Hotel and, for those that want to shop, the hotel shuttle will take you to the mall. Well that ought to be enough until the next newsletter.

     Jim Dunno
     Vice-President &  Membership Chairman

The Chaplain’s Corner:  “Good Day” to all of you. I can’t believe its Nov.1 already. Where did our summer go?
    What a great reunion we had in Chicago this year. Seeing friends we have not seen in a couple of years. “Dougy”, you and your honey got it right again. Well Done Sailor!!
    The trip to the training center was great. It brought back some old memories from long ago when I looked that young. My mother bought me a can of shaving cream when I left for Boot Camp and I was still using it a year later. I will say that we marched a lot better than the Boots graduating today. They don’t spend much time learning to march, not like we did. I was still very impressed. I know I left that building feeling very proud that I was once down there marching with all eyes on us as we marched by in review.
    It was difficult hearing at the last minute the passing of John Witford and George Mitchell’s wife Anna. We will miss them so very much.
   We sang a song yesterday in our worship service, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” and the second verse goes like this:

Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged;
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful
who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
Take it to the Lord in prayer.

What a great consolation to have someone we can share our problems with.  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:
John Whitford, SK2, '70;  Melvin Karnitz, CS2, '59; Ralph Sagliocco, S1c, Plank Owner

Spouse Honor Roll:  Anna Mitchell, spouse of shipmate George Mitchell

Mark Rucker

Secretary’s Report:  Warm Greetings Shipmates! First, I do apologize for the lateness of my first newsletter. I am not that inclined to computer technology and trying to balance out full time work and assistance from my Nephew with his full time job I am finally getting to drop this in the mail to you. I promise to do better with future newsletters.
    I am able to keep our mailing list up to date with those changes I receive. Also, since only paid up members will be receiving the newsletter, I update our list with information received from Jim.
    I volunteered for this position of Secretary of our Association because I believe in our mission and purpose – to keep the memories of our Ship USS Great Sitkin (AE-17) alive. I believe we have an excellent association and, being retired after 26 years, this is the only association I am a part of after serving in many Ships and duty stations.
    A job well done to Doug & Kathy as this past year’s reunion sponsors – what a fantastic time together! The highlight for me was to return to RTC, Great Lakes for a graduation ceremony and tour – so many memories thinking back to my own graduation there 40 years ago! USS Great Sitkin was my first assignment after boot camp. Another very special time was the memorial service at the base chapel led by our chaplain, Mark Rucker.
    Looking forward to our reunion in Chattanooga, TN in 2011— hope you can be there! As I’ve commented before, if you haven’t been to one of our reunions, you really should attend (spouses too!). We are a family whether you served in the early days of the ship all the way to those who were part of the decommissioning crew.
    I appreciate the wonderful example of those serving before me and, with your help and understanding, I look forward to serving as your Secretary of the USS Great Sitkin (AE-17) Association.

Joe Savadge


last updated on 12/01/10