Ron Zimmerman Sr.
1000 SE Everett Mall Way
Everett, WA 98208
609 Hillsboro Rd.
Montgomery, AL 36109
2613 Dalgreen Court
Plano, TX 75075
311 W. Oak Lane
Glenolden, PA 19036
From our President: The Virginia Beach
Reunion marking the 30th anniversary if the ship’s
decommissioning, was a huge success.
I’d like to thank our host and hostess, Doug and Kathy Hauser, for the
wonderful job they did in putting the package together and doing their
best to make sure everything ran as smoothly as possible, so our shipmates
and guests could enjoy themselves. You will find a more detailed report
from our Vice President and Reunion Host later in this newsletter.
A heart felt Thank You goes out to: our Chaplain, Mark Rucker, and
shipmate Charlie Ross for the fine job they did with the Honor Ceremony;
our Treasurer, George Kaiser, for taking the time to stop by to pick up
the Ship’s Bell and Builder’s Plaque from the Naval Historical Center in
Washington, DC; Mike LaFauci for helping Doug and Kathy out in the
hospitality room; Mike & Dorothy Hodnichak for all the pictures they took
and sent to me; Bill Simane for setting up his lap top computer with the
web site on it so those who do not have a computer can see all the
pictures and info we have gathered; and to everyone who brought or sent me
pictures of shipmates and cruises for the web site. Again, thank you for
your support and for a job well done.
For those of you who were not able to make it this year, at the Annual
Business Meeting the Active Members present unanimously passed the changes
to the Association’s Constitution and Bylaws. Those Active Members who
where not able to make it to the Reunion and are interested in obtaining a
copy, one will be available either by requesting it when you pay your 2003
or 2004 dues; or if your dues are current, by sending a written, e-mail,
or phone request to the Vice President & Membership Chairman, Doug Hauser.
Elections were also held at the Annual Business Meeting and the current
Executive Board was unanimously re-elected for the fiscal year 1 October
2003 to 30 September 2004.
New Finds: Orville Pinkerton, SN ‘49 Robert McKuskie,
William Siegfried, IC2, ‘69; Hilbert Cowles, EM3, ‘52; Richard
Weiss, SN, ‘63
Woodrow Prouty, RM2, ‘63; James Holt, MM2, ‘64 Alexander
Kaminski, FA, ‘51
Reynaldo Mangual, BM3, ‘67; William Swiecicki, SN, ‘71; John Evers,
Found - now lost: John Brocken, LCDR, ‘67
Honor Roll: Joseph Festa, F1c, ‘45; George Belot, YN3,
‘63; Coy Layel, MM1, ‘54; Leroy Coraluzzo, EN3, ‘59;
Paul Etter, YNC, ‘59; Richard Kelly, ETSN, ‘71
We wish to express our deepest sympathy and most sincere
condolences to their family and friends.
Sorta Lost: James
Waslewicz, Richard Therrien, Larry Teeter, Joseph Sullivan, Ansis Bergs,
Larry Kozielski, Fred Rohrer, Cloyd Fullmer and Paul Chidester.
These are the shipmates who have had several e-mail messages returned as
bad addresses. Please e-mail your correct address to:
Web Site Update: During the Annual Business Meeting a question
was asked, “How large is the web site”?
Before this update we had used about 2/3 of our allotment. From the
November 2000 through June 2003 updates, roughly 1,060 pictures of
shipmates, cruises and reunions have been added (this does not include the
little thumbnails that you click on for the larger picture).
Soon, between 129 and 265 more pictures will be added to that total, with
even more from past reunions and the pictures for this year’s event.
With all the pictures, crew lists, ship’s history, etc... there are over
90 web pages, plus the 58 page Guest Book.
I hope this helps in explaining how large and how much information is
available on our web site. Thanks to all who have helped us in this
Reunion 2003 - Virginia Beach, Virginia: This marked the 30th
anniversary of the ships decommissioning.
First I would like to say thank you to all of you who attended this
reunion as it was the biggest ever. We had, I believe around 82 shipmates
and a total of 151 people attended this reunion.
Many who have attended all the reunions said this was by far the best
reunion of all. So pat yourselves on the back for making it the best.
The reunion went well but our optional tour was cut short due to heavy
rains. All 80 or so of us that went on the Williamsburg tour got
soaked but it did not dampen our spirits for the rest of the reunion.
At the business meeting the Reunion site was chosen for 2004 and it will
be held in Corpus Christi, TX with Don & Patti McClane as your host and
The 2005 Reunion was voted to be held in Charleston, South
Carolina. Doug & Kathy Hauser will host Charleston, South Carolina (God
willing). Charleston is where the Great Sitkin was commissioned in
1945 and it will be the 60th Anniversary of it ‘s commissioning. We will
try to make it special.
I want to thank Ron Zimmerman for all his help in doing the itinerary and
the name tags, a lot of work went into them and they were a big help to
us. An Honorable Mention goes to Mike LaFauci for helping at the reunion.
Kathy and I hope to see many of you at Corpus Christi in 2004 & I am sure
Don & Patti will host a good reunion. Thank you all again.
Doug & Kathy Hauser
From The Fantail: Friends and Shipmates, Did we have a great
reunion in Virginia Beach or what? Like Doug said, the only dampener was a
soggy day in Williamsburg. The whole thing was super and (as usual) we owe
it all to some great planning and hard work on the part of Doug and Kathy
I would like to personally thank Charlie Ross. He gave everyone copies of
his book “Friends Family and Fantasies”. Charlie is a great friend and
Shipmate. His poems are outstanding. I’ll put one of my favorites in this
Next year, our reunion will be in Corpus Christi, Texas. Patti and I will
host the event. We consider it an honor and hope to do as well as Doug and
Corpus Christi has so much to offer and we are busy sorting out the
things we think you will enjoy the most.
By the next edition of this newsletter, we should have some good ideas
and you will know what we have planned. In the meantime I have posted a
webpage for you to check out.
http://www.numberoneintexas.com/corpus_christi.htm. I have
e-mailed a lot of you with the address and asked for feed-back. Your
comments and suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thank you.
"In Harm's Way"
Is it right or wrong to go "In harm's way?"
Should we be strong? Or 'look the other way'?
Should we ignore the cries of other's pain?
And stay out of sight while tyrants reign.
Must we remain aloof from evil rulers?
And turn callow backs on evil-doers?
When did our lessons disappear?
Remember the Holocaust of yesteryear?
Generations of mankind went "In harm's way"
Some on foreign battlefields, where they stay.
Some bear physical and emotional scars,
That they conceal - in isolation, and lonely bars.
And some who went "In harm's way"
Lived and return, and are here to say:
Let's unite and be strong!
Don't confuse right with wrong!
Those who plot to destroy our dreams
Still conspire against us with evil schemes.
Their hope is that we'll divide and fall.
If we do as they wish, we'll lose it all.
We don't "Police the World", nor should we.
But look at the victims and see what they see!
Cherish and Salute those men and women who say:
"We answered the call to go 'In Harm's Way'!"
Charles W. Ross, RMC, USN (Ret)
REPAIR 3 REPORT: Greetings Shipmates! Hope this Fall newsletter
finds you all well and rested after an all too fast summer. I’m sure
you’ve read other items in this issue about our reunion in Virginia Beach,
so I won’t rehash it all again. I’d just like to say thanks and a big
Bravo Zulu to all the guys that came that sailed with me in the early
70's. It was good to see you all again, and I hope you will all look
forward to future reunions as much as I do.
I’d like to take time in this issue to talk about a 70's Shipmate some of
you may recall, especially those who worked in the Operations Division.
About 2 weeks before the reunion, I was doing a general search on the
Google.com search engine, using the keyword, “uss great sitkin” The search
led me to an obituary for Richard Kelly, FDNY. As I read the obit, I soon
realized that Richard Kelly served on Great Sitkin from February 1971 to
August 1972 as an Electronics Technician. After leaving the Navy, he
worked in the banking industry until his appointment to the New York City
Fire Department in 1977. He served with Ladder 11 in East Manhattan until
September 11, 2001. On that day, his truck company was dispatched to the
alarm at the World Trade Center. He was searching the Marriot Hotel for
victims when the north tower collapsed, killing him and his entire truck
company. Richard Kelly was a casualty of the terrorist attacks on America.
While many of our Great Sitkin Shipmates have died since their days of
service on the ship, and Great Sitkin had her share of casualties that
occurred during her years of service, I would imagine that Richard Kelly
is one of the few of our Shipmates killed as a direct result of hostile
action directed at Americans.
At the reunion this year, Mark Rucker led us in our memorial service for
our departed Shipmates. Charlie Ross read a very moving poem about those
who have gone on before us. And Mark made a special recognition for
Richard Kelly, and his sacrifice made trying to save the lives of his
If you are in the New York City area, consider stopping by his fire
house, Ladder 11, 222 East 2nd St. NY,NY 10009. Tell them you
served with Richard in the Navy. Also, the website for his obituary is:
The web site for his ladder company is:
Be sure to check them both out.
Ships Store: The holidays are fast approaching Shipmates.
Don’t forget the items in the Ships Store. Shipping dates are 11/ 31 and
12/15, so get your orders in early!
And that will about wrap it up for this edition. Don’t forget to send
your dues in to Doug, and be sure to get into the web site and see all the
new pictures Ron has posted for us. All good stuff.
George Kaiser DC3 1969/1971