Fall/Winter  2002                                                                                                 November 15, 2002

Association Officers

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

Vice President
Doug Hauser
609 Hillsboro Rd.
Montgomery, AL 36109

Don McClane
2613 Dalgreen Court
Plano, TX 75075

George Kaiser
311 W. Oak Lane
Glenolden, PA 19036

USS Great Sitkin Association
Web Site

Virginia Beach, VA
11th - 14th Sept.



From our President: First let me thank everyone who attended this year’s Reunion. Doug and Kathy Hauser once again, did an excellent job of putting it together. I’d also like to thank Mark Rucker for being the Association Chaplin and performing the Honor Ceremony, the Invocation at the Annual Business Meeting as well as the Banquet.
  Also I would like to thank Joe Theisen for being the Boatswain Mate of the Watch and ringing the Ship’s Bell during the Honor Ceremony; and Ben Jarish for leading the group in the Pledge of Allegiance at the opening of the Annual Business Meeting.
  During the Annual Business meeting several items were voted on. These included a dues increase (see Doug’s article later in the newsletter) and the separation of the Secretary and Treasurer’s jobs. With that, I would like to welcome Don McClane to the Executive Board as your new Secretary for the year; 1 September 2002 to 31 August 2003.
  Don will also take over from me, the job of Editor of the Association Newsletter.
  Elections were also held and your present board members were all reelected for another term. Their names are listed in the first column and are also listed on the web site. Feel free to contact anyone of us at anytime with your comments, concerns, or suggestions.
      Ron Zimmerman,

Membership Dues :  I want to thank all who have paid their 2003 dues. There are still a little over 80 that are paid up through 2002 but have not renewed for 2003. I would appreciate it if you could get it in by the end of the year. 
  At the Annual Business Meeting it was voted by the men present to raise the dues to $20.00 per year starting in the 2003 - 2004 cycle. The reason for the increase is due to rising cost of printing and postage as well as maintenance of the web site. For those of you who had already paid for the years 2004 and beyond, there will be no extra charge. This is covered under our Grandfather Law so you are all good to go. 
  In the past year the membership has risen by over 200% but there are still over 600 shipmates that are still not paying members. Who knows, maybe we will increase the membership by a hundred more next year. We did have a couple of crew members become active for the first time just since the reunion, so the word is out.
  Some of our new members found us on the internet. Ron Zimmerman has helped a lot by getting links to our site added to many other related sites.
  Thank you all for your participation. I hope to see you in Virginia Beach, VA. in 2003.
           Doug Hauser,
           Vice President and Membership Chairman

Reunion 2003 : Those present at the reunion in Omaha, NE know that the reunion site for 2003 will be held in Virginia Beach. VA.
  Plans are well under way for signing with the Hotel. My wife and I will have been there and back by the time you receive this newsletter. I will work with the hotel and make arrangements for the Dinner Banquet, and I might also try to set up a Farewell Breakfast for all on Sunday, even though there will be those who do not leave until Monday. Just a little something different to say our good-byes to old and new friends alike.
  I am also meeting with a tour director while I am there. We will look over tours that might be appealing to all so we can set up a reunion package that will be fun and affordable. We will also look into some optional tours. There is much to do there as a group.  We will always have the Hospitality Room where we can meet and review our old tales.
  Have a great winter, until we meet again in the March newsletter with more information and Reunion 2003 Registration forms.
      Doug Hauser,
      Vice President

New Finds: Nine more shipmates have been located. They are:
Herbert Friese, LT, ‘52,   William Winder, BT3, ‘64,  William Carroll, SN, ‘57
John Stevens, Phm1c, ‘45,  Richard Berge, MGSN, ‘71,  R. Allen Smith, ETN3, ‘61,  Richard Brown, MMFA, ‘61,  Ronald Eberhart, SA, ‘61  and Fred Malone, BT2, ‘70

Found - Now Lost: We have a few more names to add to the list of guys with whom we have recently lost contact. If anyone knows where they moved or what happened to them, please let us know. They are: Romulo Quintos, George Drummond and Elbert English.

Sorta Lost: The following is the list of shipmates who have had e-mail messages returned as bad addresses: Henry Homicz,  Howard Townsend,  Gerald Wolff,  David Terwilliger,  Charles King,   Gary Lipinski,  John Neely, Jesse Kellum,  Tyrone Patrick,   Gary Westbrook,  James Palmer,   Ron Verborg,  John Gheesling,   Larry Merwarth,  Robert Rosia, Larry Dulin

Please e-mail your correct address to; Don McClane no1intex@attbi.com
or  Ron Zimmerman ae17assn@aol.com

Honor Roll: We have been notified that five more of our shipmates have passed on. All have been added to the Honor Roll. They are:
Carlton Huff, BTC, ‘62        Richard Waddell, BT3, ‘45
Raymond Smith, YN3, ‘54      Walter Regan, EM3, ‘45
Andrew Chartier, S2c, ’47
   We wish to express our deepest sympathy and most sincere condolences to their family and friends.

Reunion 2002: With the 2002 Reunion behind us let’s take a few minutes to reflect. All of the people who signed up for the reunion were in attendance, and we had no cancellations. Thirty eight shipmates came with their wives providing a total of sixty nine. From the compliments we received it was a great success.
  The Double Tree Hotel really did spoil us with their prompt and courteous service. They went above and beyond.
  We all want to thank Garcie Roberts for bringing Norma Frankenbach to the reunion. She brought many items that were important to the association. We would like to thank her very much. Also in attendance was one of the skippers who was on board in the 70’s, Paul W. Rohrer, and it was my pleasure to greet him.
  On Thursday morning we were invited to a Service that included a large US flag that was found by a retired Policeman in the rubble of WTC. We were recognized and given a standing ovation. The flag had flown on the USS John D. Stennis, one of the first to go to Afghanistan.
  Thanks to Mark & Patsy Rucker for helping us arrange the Hospitality Room.
  On Friday morning Kathy lead a tour to The Durham Western Heritage Museum, in an old Train Station.  Friday evening we boarded buses for a trip to Fremont, NE for a 3 hour tour on the Fremont Dinner Train. We had 2 cars reserved for us and an outstanding dinner, with Big Band Era music. We returned to the hotel around 11PM after having a grand time.
  Saturday morning we again boarded buses and headed to Ashland, NE and toured the SAC Museum. Their tour guides were quite knowledgeable and shared some of their war stories about the aircraft on display. I was impressed by the size of the refueling tanker planes. Then we proceeded to Mahoney State Park Lodge for a buffet lunch in a private dining room, then returning to the hotel for our Business Meeting. I want personally to thank Mark Rucker for his moving Memorial Service.
  Of the 5 possible reunion sites for 2003, Virginia Beach, VA, was selected by ballot, and again will be hosted by Doug & Kathy Hauser.
  The banquet started with a Cocktail hour and then a sit-down dinner at 7PM, and enjoyed by all. We were entertained by Walter Graham, a Magician. We really liked his act. Then we did a little dancing. There was a photographer present taking individual pictures and some candid photos which will be in the 2002 Reunion Book. (If there is anyone who still wishes to purchase a copy please contact me and I will see that you get one, they are $20.00 each and pictures are in black/white).
Sunday was a free day for all who stayed over. There was a good tour of The Henry Doorly Zoo led by Ron Zimmerman.
  Hi from Kathy Hauser - I just want to put my 2 cents in for a minute. I really enjoyed seeing many of the old faces and also meeting a few new ones. We attended our first reunion in Las Vegas and we got the bug. Even if we are not hosting, hope to attend all. I am looking forward to hosting the Virginia Beach reunion. Thank you all for making Omaha a success. We hope to make Virginia Beach as great an experience. We hope to see many more shipmates so set your vacation time now and join us next September. Thank y’all.
      Doug Hauser,
      Vice President

Web Site Update: Just a few changes to the web pages this time. Besides the updates to the crew lists, some more Sea Stories have been added, a few pictures to the Cruise Books, and a revamp has been started on the Reunion Pictures with a different layout and a lot more pictures added to the earlier Reunions.
  If anyone has pictures of cruises, themselves, or of shipmates that they would like to submit. Please let me know. We would like to get as many different pictures as possible. Contact me at ae17assn@aol.com
      Ron Zimmerman,

From The Fantail: How lucky can ya get? We belong to a great organization, made up of some of the finest people I know. Doug and Kathy Hauser deserve all of the appreciation we can muster. Their work in putting together the reunion package in Omaha was 4.0.  Doug and Kathy are also planning the Virginia Beach 2003 Reunion. They deserve our gratitude and appreciation.
  All of us should do our best to help with the “Membership Drive”. Not all of our shipmates know of the association. Every member I know wishes they had known and joined earlier. Do your part and contact an old buddy. You will get the warm-fuzzes.
  Ron (fearless leader) Zimmerman has put up an outstanding website for us. If you don’t have access to the internet, use a friend’s computer or go to your public library. Ron has gone to a great deal of effort to master this thing for us. Check it out. www.greatsitkin.org There are pictures of the ship, crew, cruses, retiree profiles and too much more to mention here. My favorite (and what keeps me going back), is the “Guest Log”. You can check out the shipmates that sign it and leave messages for all to read. You will enjoy some of the comments and its fun to look for old shipmates names in the Log. 
  At the next reunion in Virginia Beach, we will have a “Reunion Photo Album Contest”. Our President, Ron Zimmerman has decreed this event and will preside as sole Judge. He is thinking up some items for prizes. I’m sure they will be something grand, like a bumper sticker or something. So collect your pictures of the Omaha event, put them in an album and bring it to Virginia Beach in 2003.
  I think that everyone that attended the Reunion in Omaha was able to pay their respects and hopefully chat with Norma Frankenbach. What a delightful lady. Thanks for coming Norma. I’d like to give a personal Bravo Zulu to Admiral Paul Rohrer for showing up in Omaha. All of us, and especially those of us that served with him, got a very special feeling just seeing him there. Thanks, “Skipper”. See ya next year.
    Don McClane,

Mail Call: Okay Shipmates, how about those “Letters to the Editor”? Since I’m pretty new I guess patience is in order. If you have any comments or words you would like to share. You can e-mail them to me; no1intex@attbi.com or write me a regulation ole letter.
    Don McClane
    2613 Dalgreen Ct.
    Plano, TX 75075

Patriotic graphic courtesy of: