Ron Zimmerman Sr.
474 SW Prater Ave.
Port St. Lucie, FL 34953
272 Stone Hedge Row
Johnstown, OH 43031
PO Box 675
Barnegat Light, NJ
311 W. Oak Lane
Glenolden, PA 19036
241 Larchmont Ave.
Springfield, OH 45503
25850 Lake Shore Blvd.
Euclid, OH 44132-1107
From Our President: Shipmates!
Those of you who have known me for several years know that
when it comes to my personal life, I am a very private man.
With that said, there also comes a time when I need to share
something very personal with you.
Just before Thanksgiving, I was diagnosed with Stage 3 malignant
Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. This was probably caused by
exposure to Agent Orange 42 years ago. I have a great team
of doctors, oncologists, and cardiologists. They are the
best, and I have the utmost confidence in them. The
prognosis is favorable to put this disease into remission.
The success rate is better with the newer medicines and
remission of 10 to 15 years is not uncommon. The protocol
they have me on is “aggressive.” I have begun chemo
treatments, and my doctor is already seeing signs of
shrinkage of the largest tumor. Lymphoma is not treated by
surgery or radiation; only chemo. I have four days of
treatment and two weeks off to recover and become stronger.
As of now, they are guessing it will be between 4 and 10
treatment sessions. In between, I will be having periodic
CT and PET scans to determine the progress of these
My plans are to be at the Mobile Reunion and to continue my
position on the Executive Board as long as my health allows
A word from the Vice-President: Wow!
Here it is 2013 and January is already shot! Time flies
when you’re having fun! Don’t know about you, but this cold
weather, then warm weather stuff is crazy. It was almost 70
degrees yesterday, and I was looking for my summer shorts!
Membership is hanging in there with 90 paid members. Once
again, I would like to remind you that if anything changes
regarding your E-mail address, cell/telephone numbers,
and/or your home address, please send it to me so I can keep
Hauser has everything set up and ready to go for the 2013
Reunion in Mobile, Alabama. I am looking forward to seeing
all of you there in September!
That will do it for now. I am going online to book a cruise
to the Southern Caribbean for Joy and I. We need to get out
of the cold for a few days!
Vice-President & Membership
As I begin to write my second message to all of you, I
couldn’t help thinking of all our shipmates who live in the
New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut areas. I hope all of
you were safe during Hurricane Sandy and your homes did not
have much damage.
Vice President, Jim Dunno, is doing a great job as always,
but he could use your help. Let’s keep in mind the words,
“Each One Reach One”
as we invite those shipmates who have never attended a
reunion and those who haven’t attended recently, to join us
Doug and Kathy Hauser are planning many activities and
adventures for all those who attend the reunion in Mobile,
Alabama, during September 18th through September 22nd. Fill
out the paperwork! Make your reservations! We look forward
to seeing you there!
For those shipmates who have ever wondered about our ship’s
name, I researched Sitkin facts in the Wikipedia Online
Encyclopedia about the origin of the our ship’s name. Great
Sitkin Island is a volcanic island in the Andreanof Islands
of the Aleutian Islands in Alaska. The island covers a
total area of 60 square miles and lies slightly north of a
group of islands located between the Adak and Atka Islands.
The northern portion of the island is dominated by the
complex Great Sitkin Volcano which rises 5,710 feet. The
island is 11 miles long and 10.53 miles wide.
resident Pennsylvania groundhog didn’t see his shadow
yesterday. That’s supposed to mean spring is right around
the corner. Cross your fingers! Here’s hoping!
On this morning’s news came the shocking story of the murder
of Navy Seal, Chris Kyle, in Texas. In addition to Chris’
duties with Navy Seal Team 6, he was also credited with
being the deadliest sniper in U.S. history. It’s sad he had
to meet his demise the way he did. Some of the news media
is referring to him as “former Sailor” and “ex-Navy Seal.”
In one of the stories, the reporter mentioned that “former”
and “ex” should not be used. The big push in the armed
services these days is that once an individual has served,
then retired or honorably discharged, the Sailor, Soldier,
Airman, or Marine designation goes with you for life and the
title is capitalized.
I checked the Google Website which said: “Sailor” can refer
to anyone who goes to sea in ships for a living or as a
hobby. While many of us made the Navy a living; and for many
of us it was as much fun AS a hobby, calling ourselves
“Sailors” with a capital “S” does indeed designate us as
members of the greatest Navy in the world.
In keeping with the ship’s theme in this article, does anyone
ever think about the old ship? For all of us, the Great
Sitkin was home. This is where we worked, ate, played,
slept and served. The Navy often refers to the fact that a
Sailor who has served on any particular ship, whether it was
a submarine, battleship, ammo ship or a tug boat, we all
went on that ship to do our thing. We became part of the
Navy crew of that particular ship.
Along with my musings about the USS Great Sitkin, we need to
consider that on July 2, 2013, it will have been 40 years
since the ship was decommissioned. In my continuing effort
to get all of you to promote the fact that we are proud
members of the Navy; we are equally proud Sailors of the
best ammunition supply ship of the Cold War era.
Let this be the official announcement of the rebirth of the
USS Great Sitkin Association’s Ship’s Store. As a starter,
look to the Website for a newly designed T-shirt, the old
standby golf shirts, patches, decals and ball caps. Mugs
will hopefully come to the reunion, but most sales will be
What better way to commemorate the 40th
anniversary of decommission than to come to Mobile, Alabama
this year? Our last trip to Mobile in 2001 was tragically
interrupted by the attacks on September 11th.
Doug and Kathy Hauser are working hard to make this year
really special. There are plenty of “Navy” type things to
do. Start arranging your schedule now.
It’s gonna be great!
That’s it from the Repair locker for this issue. Keep our
troops in your thoughts and prayers.
The Chaplain’s Corner:
Day” to all of you! Spring is near and there will be
changes. Spring flowers will start to emerge from the
ground, the robins will return from down south, and the
grass will begin to grow again.
The biggest change for me: I will be retiring May 1 from
Ohio Edison Electric Company after almost 39 years. I was
thinking of my last days aboard the USS Great Sitkin in June
1973. I was both glad and sad about moving on to my new
assignment aboard the USS Vulcan in Norfolk. I was glad
because Patsy was moving with me, but also sad because I
would not see the friends I made aboard the Sitkin during
the past three years. I was going to a military base. What
a change that was! I didn’t know you could have that much
Navy in one place. All those regulations! I had new
officers to train and a new engine room to learn all over
again. I never felt at home onboard the Vulcan. I found
out how much I really missed my old friends and that old
“rust bucket.” I certainly hope my transition to retirement
life is better than that was.
I was really happy when I found the USS Great Sitkin
Association. I reconnected with some of my old friends
again, and I made many new friends. Well, it’s time to move
on. I need to count (again) the number of days I have left
Let’s keep all 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:
Ralph Pennacchino, SK2, '51
Comments from the Editor:
In the November Newsletter, I asked for
from all of you regarding your accomplishments, what you do
in your spare time, memories, etc. How nice to hear
from you! In t6he hardcopy of the newsletter I included
photos with a little summary from Sitkin people. Look for
the pictures and information. Not getting the hardcopy
of the Newsletter?? Then you need to contact Jim Dunno
and find out what you need to do to get your dues caught up!
George Kaiser gave me an excellent idea. He suggested using
the Newsletter to “blog” about your Great Sitkin
experiences. I’m sure many of you have a sea story or
two you can give us. Why not send me your “blog” and we’ll
publish it in the Newsletter? We’d love to hear those
In closing, I would like to encourage all of you to attend
this year’s reunion. Doug & Kathy did an amazing job in
2001 showing us a “Mardi Gras time” in Mobile. I can hardly
wait to see what they have in store for us this year. It
will be the best! You can bring family too! Thank you for