Fall 2000                                                                                                       November 10, 2000

 Association Officers

Ron Zimmerman Sr.
1000 SE Everett Mall Way
Suite 206
Everett, WA 98208

Vice President
Nick Huzinec
1303 Doolittle Dr.
Bridgewater, NJ

George Kaiser
311 W. Oak Lane
Glenolden, PA 19036

USS Great Sitkin Association
Web Site

13 – 16 Sept.
Mobile, AL

2000 Reunion: The USS Great Sitkin Association Annual Reunion for 2000 was held in Cleveland, Ohio, on the 8th through the 10th of September at the Radison Hotel. Thirty-three of our Crew members were in attendance along with their spouses, children and friends. Several were attending a reunion for the first time and we want to extend to them a hearty "Welcome Aboard" and hope to see each of them again.
  Events this year included a Dinner Cruise aboard the Nautica Queen on Friday evening; and a very interesting Trolley tour of the City of Cleveland along with tours of the USS Cod (SS-224), the Steamship William G. Mather, the Cleveland Brown’s Football Stadium and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum on Saturday.
  The Annual Business Meeting and Banquet was held on Saturday evening at the Radison Hotel. The crew voted on the location of next year’s reunion and the election of Officers took place. Glenn Frankenbach, President and Adelmo Costantini, Secretary/Treasurer, announced that they were not going to seek reelection. Nominations for those positions were made from the floor with Ron Zimmerman, as President, and George Kaiser, as Secretary/Treasurer, being unanimously elected. Nick Huzinec was re-elected as Vice President, but he made it clear that this would be his last year.
  Glenn was also presented with a Letter of Commendation from the Association for his tireless efforts in getting and keeping the Association going, encouraging others to get involved and starting the web site. His son, David, was also presented, in absentia, with a Letter of Appreciation for all the work he has done in creating and updating the first web sites.
  Our hosts for this year’s event were Mike & Dorothy Hodnichak. They did an outstanding job getting everything lined up and making sure it went off smoothly. Congratulations Mike and Dorothy and Thank You for all your hard work.
The USS Great Sitkin Association now has it’s own domain name and web site host. It can be found at www.greatsitkin.org
  The move to our own "Homeport" was necessary after the previous host was having reliability problems and the site was out growing the amount of space allowed under a personal site.  Check it out and let us know what you think.
2001 Reunion – Mobile, Al:
  USS Great Sitkin Association’s Annual Reunion for 2001 will be held September 13th through 16th in Mobile, Alabama. Our host and hostess for next years event is Shipmate Doug Hauser and his wife Kathy. Doug has been "Bustin Butt" getting things lined up for us all to have a good time. Final arrangements are in the works with costs and details nearly complete
  The Lafayette Plaza Hotel in the downtown historic district will be our Homeport for the four day event. Rooms will be available, at the Reunion Price, for 2 days prior to and 2 days after the scheduled dates for those who are planning on taking a little longer vacation . All rooms have coffee makers for those of us who can’t function in the morning until we get the first cup-of-mud in our system. They also have ironing board, irons and hair dryers (as requested by several of the ladies). There is also a coin operated laundry for those who may need one. Check-in time at the hotel is 3:00 PM. The Hotel said they can arrange earlier occupancy upon request.
  There will also be a Hospitality Room which is conveniently located on the main floor off the lobby. Room rates will include Buffet Breakfast for 2 each morning.
  The events included in the Reunion Package will be a dinner cruise on Friday evening aboard the Cotton Blossom Stern Wheeler; a tour on Saturday of the USS Alabama Memorial Park which includes the Memorial Bell Ceremony on the fantail of the USS Alabama and afterward a luncheon. Also included is the Saturday evening Annual Dinner Banquet, which will be held in the hotel.
  Doug has also lined up a couple of optional tours if enough interested parties sign up. One will be to the Pensacola Air and Space Museum, about a 7 hour tour, and the other is a tour of the Bellingrath Gardens and historic Mobile.
  More specific information along with registration forms will be forth coming in the next newsletter and also posted on the website.
Obtaining Personal Awards and Replacement Medals:
Several of the crew members have inquired about obtaining awards they never were issued or replacements for the ones they were. The following information was provided by the Naval Personnel Center and is reprinted here for your convenience:
  To obtain copies of awards earned, write to the National Personnel Records Center at the below address. This office will identify any awards you’ve earned and provide replacement awards as necessary. It is helpful to include a copy of your Discharge Certificate (DD 214). If a Discharge Certificate is not available, include your full name, service number, social security number, date of birth and as much additional pertinent information as possible.
                Navy Liaison Office
                National Personnel
Records Center
                9700 Page Avenue
                St. Louis, MO
Veterans are entitled to one replacement set of their medals. To request medals, send a Standard Form 180, which can be obtained from the National Personnel Record Center to the above address. Please write on the envelope "Do Not Open in the Mailroom"

Be patient. These request sometimes takes a while to verify and process.
Cold War Recognition Certificate:
In 1998 the Secretary of Defense approved awarding the Cold War Recognition Certificate to all members of the armed forces and qualified federal government civilian employees who faithfully and honorably served the United States anytime during the Cold War era which is defined as Sept 2, 1945 to Dec 26, 1991.
  The US Army has been tasked with the issuance of the certificates. For those of you who have internet access they have a dedicated web site. You can find it at:  http://coldwar.army.mil  A telephone help line has also been set up. The number is (703)275-6279.
  Again, be patient. Due to the success of the program turn-around time for mailing the certificates is approx. 12 months.
Republic of Korea War Service Medal:
This medal was initially proposed by the South Korean government in 1951 to honor all United Nations troops who battled the communist aggressors during the Korean War. After 48 years, the medal was finally approved by the Department of Defense. The medal may be awarded to all military personnel who served 30 consecutive days or 60 non-consecutive days in Korea or in its territorial waters. The medal may also be awarded to aircrew personnel who flew combat support missions over or to Korea. Additional information on how to apply for or request the medal can be obtained by contacting the Air Force Personnel Center, Monday thru Friday, 7:30AM – 4:30PM (CST) at (800)558-1404, or by writing to:
           HQ AFPC/DPPPRA
           550 C Street West
, Suite 12
           Randolph Air Force Base,
  TX. 78150-4717

or by visiting their web site at:  
From the President‘s Desk:
  I have heard it said many times in the past few months that a lot of crew members think that this association is for the 1950's group. This is a misconception! I believe this fallacy is mainly due to the age group of the Reunion attendees. True, the majority of them are from the 1950's crews. Most of them are retired or semi-retired and have more spare time on their hands than those of us who are still working on a daily basis or have not quite reached the retirement age. But this association is for ALL CREW MEMBERS, regardless of when or how long you served aboard.
  Since the Cleveland Reunion, I have been going through the list of names and addresses of crew members we have located. It surprised me when I tallied up the year groups and found that the largest number of shipmates we have addresses for are from the '60's & '70's year group.
  At the Reunion, nearly everyone of the guys asked me why more of the shipmates from "our" group weren’t attending. I didn't have an answer then and I don't now. All I can tell you is what I saw and heard while in Cleveland. No one shunned me, in fact they went out of their way to make me feel a part of the group. True, I was razzed a little about being the "youngster", but it was done in a good natured way and not demeaning. I had a very enjoyable time and look forward to our next one.
  I hope those of you who have been staying away or not interested because you thought it was "just for the '50's crew" take another look at it. Both the association President and Secretary/Treasurer are from the '70's crew. We hope that you'll get "on board" and join us and attend the next Reunion in Mobile, AL, Sept 2001.

Ron Zimmerman Sr, '72 - '73
Association President
News articles & Sea Stories:
Attempting to publish a newsletter on a frequent basis can be a tough job, especially if you’re not a journalist!
  We want to try something different starting with this newsletter and also hopefully continue it in future newsletters if there is any interest. We would like to include articles of interest or sea stories submitted by our crew members. All will be considered for publishing provided they are in good taste and are not a forum for personal opinion (regardless of the nature).  Articles for consideration may be sent by e-mail to George Kaiser at dcckaiser@juno.com or mailed to him at:
          311 W. Oak Lane
          Glenolden, PA 19036

Tribute to US sailors: This was sent to us by Shipmate Doug Hauser.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 
  I am the American Sailor. Hear my voice, America! Though I speak through the mist of 200 years, my shout for freedom will echo through liberty's halls for many centuries to come.
  Hear me speak, for my words are of truth and justice, and the rights of man. For those ideals I have spilled my blood upon the world's troubled waters. Listen well, for my time is eternal -yours is but a moment. I am the spirit of heroes past and future.
  I am the American Sailor. I was born upon the icy shores at Plymouth, rocked upon the waves of the Atlantic, and nursed in the wilderness of Virginia. I cut my teeth on New England codfish, and I was clothed in southern cotton. I built muscle at the halyards of New Bedford whalers, and I gained my sea legs high atop mizzen of Yankee Clipper Ships.
  I am the American Sailor, one of the greatest seamen the world has ever known. The sea is my home and my words are tempered by the sound of paddle wheels on the Mississippi and the song of whales off Greenland's barren shore. My eyes have grown dim from the glare of sunshine on blue water, and my heart is full of star-strewn nights under the Southern Cross. My hands are raw from winter storms while sailing down round the Horn, and they are blistered from the heat of cannon broadside while defending our nation.
  I am the American Sailor, and I have seen the sunset of a thousand distant, lonely lands. It was I who stood tall beside John Paul Jones as he shouted, "I have not yet begun to fight!" I fought upon Lake Erie with Perry, and I rode with Stephen Decatur into Tripoli harbor to burn Philadelphia. I met Guerriere aboard Constitution, and I was lashed to the mast with Admiral Farragut at Mobile Bay. I have heard the clang of Confederate shot against the sides of Monitor. I have suffered the cold with Peary at the North Pole, and I responded when Dewy said, "You may fire when ready Gridley," at Manila Bay. It was I who transported supplies through submarine infested waters when our soldier's were called "over there."  I was there as Admiral Byrd crossed the South Pole. It was I who went down with the Arizona at Pearl Harbor, who supported our troops at Inchon, and patrolled dark deadly waters of the Mekong Delta.
  I am the American Sailor and I wear many faces. I am a pilot soaring across God's blue canopy and I am a Seabee atop a dusty bulldozer in the South Pacific. I am a corpsman nursing the wounded in the jungle, and I am a torpedoman in the Nautilus deep beneath the North Pole. I am hard and I am strong. But it was my eyes that filled with tears when my brothers went down with the Thresher, and it was my heart that rejoiced when Commander Shepherd rocketed into orbit above the earth. It was I who languished in a Viet Cong prison camp, and it was I who walked upon the moon. It was I who saved the Stark and the Samuel B. Roberts in the mine infested waters of the Persian Gulf. It was I who pulled my brothers from the smoke filled compartments of the Bonefish and wept when my shipmates died on the Iowa and White Plains. When called again, I was there, on the tip of the spear for Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
  I am the American Sailor. I am woman, I am man, I am white and black, yellow, red and brown. I am Jew, Muslim, Christian, and Buddhist. I am Irish, Filipino, African, French, Chinese, and Indian. And my standard is the outstretched hand of Liberty.
  Today, I serve around the world; on land, in air, on and under the sea. I serve proudly, at peace once again, but with the fervent prayer that I need not be called again.
  Tell your children of me. Tell them of my sacrifice, and how my spirit soars above their country. I have spread the mantle of my nation over the ocean, and I will guard her forever. I am her heritage and yours. I am the American Sailor.

-Author Unknown
Found & Lost:
Shipmates we need you help. Some of the crew members we had previously found are now again in out "Lost" files as mailings are being returned. If any of you know the location of these crew members please let us know so we can update our files. Your assistance is appreciated.

Name, Rate, Last Known Address
Baker, Perry L., EM3, Gurnee, IL
Byrd, Larry H., SA, Savannah, GA
Connor, Wendell, SD3, Waco, TX
Gerhard, H. E., Capt., Pittsburg, PA
Kirby, Paul L., S1c, Greenville, NC
Langton, W., YN3, Oklahoma City, OK
Lewis, Eugene, QM1, Lewis, ME
Marquis, Gary, SN, Van Nuys, CA
Ogert, Joseph, BMC, Hertforn, NC
Sellers, Joseph, BMSN, Merritt Is, FL
Smith, Leo, SN, Saginaw, MI
Strouse, William, SA, Tamarac, FL
Teall, John, DK2, St.Charles, MO
Wisler, John, PN2, E. Stroudsberg, PA

In addition, we also need updates on the following E-mail addresses:
Joe Galey, Domenick Indelicato, Bernard Kellogg, Albert Haywood,
Wilbur Mennecke, William C. Reed, Contee White, Walt Tvedt and
Gene Wigington.
Ship’s Store: Anyone who has recently ordered items from the Ship’s Store page of the web site, please be patient. Our vendor has been out of town for the past 4 weeks due to a death in the family. They have assured me that they are back in full swing now and will be getting all orders processed as quickly as possible.
From the Secretary/Treasurer's Desk:  Greetings Shipmates!  My name is George Kaiser, and I am the new Secretary/Treasurer for the USS Great Sitkin Association.  I want to use this edition of the newsletter to address some of the items that should be important to anyone who served on the ship during it's 25+ years of service.
  First, what is this association all about?  Maybe some of you belong to other military groups like the FRA, NERA, VFW, etc.  Or maybe you are part of a group that cares for, or meets on one of the many museum ships around the country.  Obviously, our ship is gone.  For those of you who don't have access to the Internet, the Great Sitkin was sold for scrape in 1974, and dismantled in Camden, NJ the same year. So we have no ship of our own anymore, just some artifacts in storage at the Naval Historical Center in Washington, DC.  So what this Association is all about is the preservation of her history and the crews who served aboard.
  So, why join?  Right now, our efforts go in several directions.  One is the website, www.greatsitkin.org, and in case you've never been there, it is pretty neat.  Lots of pictures and facts abouth the ship, along with a complete roster of all crew members and a Ship's Store page where you can get hats, shirts, mugs, etc.  Check it out!
  Another direction is this newsletter.  In the past the writing and publication of the semi-annual letter was in the hands of Glenn Frankenbach, a shipmate from the '50's.  With the election of new officers at the Reunion in Cleveland this year, the torch has been passed to us to handle some of these duties.  As I guess you can see, we are trying to "jazz up" the letter and add articles we hope you find interesting and useful.  Part of the new look is going to be up to you, the crew.  Got any stories about your time on board?  With over 800 guys on the mailing list, that could be a lot of material.  Now is your chance to get your name in print. For example; I was on the ship from Nov 69 to July 71, serving as a DC3 in R Division.  I saw, and did, a lot of stuff during that time.  Like in February 70.  We had a large water leak in 5 Hold while we were in the yards in Hoboken, NJ.  It was on the 2nd deck. SFP2 Rich Johnson took a couple of us non-rates down to get rid of the water.  How? Johnson took a portable cutting outfit out of Repair 3, made a little cofferdam out of 2 1/2" hose gaskets and burned a hole in the deck.  Down went the water to the 3rd deck.  We went down there and did the same thing, all the way to the bilges.  Or, how about while we were in the Atlantic, enroute to the Med, February 71.  It was night, we were in a bad storm, heavy seas, the whole bit.  The Chief Engineer needed A1W sounded.  If you remember, A1W was the forward fresh water tank, and the sounding tube access was on the bow, just forward of the gun tubs.  SFM3 Dennis MacCracken and me were tasked with the job.  We put on life jackets, tied ourselves together, and proceeded to rappel up the starboard side weather deck.  When we got to the bow, waves were crashing over the bow.  We got the sounding, then we went all the way forward and looked over the peak down into the water.  The ship was pitching to the point where the very bottom of the bow would breach, then plunge into the sea to where the wave would break over us.  That was awesome!  And that, shipmates, is the kind of stories we are looking for.  Got anything?
  Another thing we do is the annual reunion.  Now they have been meeting like that for about 7 years, but I never went to one before.  This year it was in Cleveland, Ohio, and everything worked right for my wife and I to go.  We had a blast!  Not only with the precious few from my era, but with all the guys.  See, we all had a common bond, time served on the old ship, and the memories of that old ship transcend time.  The 2001 Reunion will be in Mobile, Alabama, and should be a good time.  Lots of prep work has gone into it already.  As more details become available, we will publish them in future newsletters.
  I guess the other thing I would like to say is "How about getting on board with us?".  It would be great if you could send in your Dues, $15 a year.  But, even if you chose not to be a card carrying member, at least stay in touch.  I know my time on board was a turning point in my life.  While I never stayed in touch with any shipmates, the contacts I have made in 30 years down the line have been memorable.  I only did 2 years in the active duty Navy, but I stayed in the Reserves and just retired last January as a Chief Damage Controlman.  It really all started on the Great Sitkin.
  Think about what your years on the ship did for you.  I have talked to a lot of you since I took this job on.  One shipmate the other night told me how he was a career sailor and was on a bunch of ships besides the Sitkin.  But of them all, he enjoyed his time on it the best.  How about you?
  To contact me with dues, stories, or whatever:
George Kaiser
311 Oak Lane
Glenolden, PA 19036
Phone: 610-237-1652
e-mail: dcckaiser@juno.com
Dues checks are payable to:
USS Great Sitkin Association