Ron Zimmerman Sr.
1000 SE Everett Mall Way, # 402
Everett, WA 98208
609 Hillsboro Rd.
Montgomery, AL 36109
2613 Dalgreen Court
Plano, TX 75075
311 W. Oak Lane
Glenolden, PA 19036
8 - 11 Sept 2004
From our President:
Shipmates, there’s not a lot to report this time so I’ll keep this short
so our Secretary and 2004 Reunion Host, Don McClane, will have lots of
room to give you the latest on this year’s festivities. Both Patti and Don
have put a lot of time and thought into putting the tours and events
together and from what I’ve seen it sounds like it is gonna be one heck of
a lot of fun. Be sure to check out the 2004 Reunion Information link on
the web site “Welcome” page,
Web Site -
We have purchased the additional server space that the group approved at
the last annual business meeting so we have lots of room now for the web
site to grow. This update we added pictures from the ’62 & ’69 Med
Cruises, more pictures from the ’68 West Pac Cruise and some pictures of
shipmates. We also added some couples pictures from the 2003 Reunion. If
you have pictures of cruises and/or shipmates that you’d like to submit
for the web site, let me know and I’ll supply the info on how to best get
them to me.
Gerald Wolff, MM3, ’56;
Gordon Bedford, S1c, ’45;
Harld Schreck, S2c, ’46;
Paul DiPilato, RM3, ‘63
Donald Beagle, SA, ’51;
Martin Pietryak, SN, ‘51
Frederick Rohrer, EMC, ’71;
Robert Kapas, SN, ‘61
Eldon Geiger, SK2, ’51;
Terrence Quinn, RM3, ‘59
Ernest Gedenberg, SKSN, ’48;
Larry Staley, MM2, ‘55
Taylor Osborne Jr., RM1, ‘72,
Charles Overeem, ET2, '59
We wish to express our deepest sympathy and most sincere
condolences to their family and friends.
New Finds: Welcome Aboard:
Russell Tipping, SA, 63; Eric Simmons, SN, ’64; Anthony Fernandez, ETR2,
’61; Terry Taber, SA ’70; Ken Drummond, SKD2, ’45; Donald Bost, FN ‘69 and Ronald J. Barath, SA,
Sorta Lost: (AKA Bad E-mail Address List) Harry Upton, Claude Kline,
Curtis Cassady, James Baze, Russell Roll, John Daly, John Ogert, William
Winder, James Krouse, Tom Ollom, Robert Tilley, Gary Cowfer, Ernest Loser,
James Talley, Ralph Knoerr, David Terwilliger, Bobby Knoskie, Joe Foster,
James Johnston, Robert Veit, Francis Doyle, Jerald Edwards, Ron McIlhenny.
This list is generated by e-mails being returned to one of the Executive
Board members as undeliverable (“Mailer Demon”). If your e-mail address
hasn’t changed, but your name appears on the list, then it might be caused
by you blocking e-mails sent by one of us. If you do not want to receive
any e-mails from the Association, just let us know and we will remove your
address. PLEASE let us know when you change your e-mail address so we can
update our master data base. It takes a lot of time and effort to keep the
information on located shipmates updated, you can help by keeping us
informed of any changes to your information by e-mailing any of the
Executive Board members.
Preliminary 2004 Reunion Information:
Our Hotel will be The Holiday Inn Emerald Beach.
Room Rates are $79 per day. These rates are good for up to three days
before and three days after the reunion.
The Reunion Package: $135 per person. This includes
transportation for all tours with the exception of Wednesday’s tour of the
King Ranch and Friday night’s Texas Treasures Cruise.
September 8, Registration
Wednesday September 8th 9AM: The Famous King Ranch Tour.
This is an OPTIONAL tour. It is only for those that come at
least a day early. The tour will include a cowboy barbeque lunch, the
Historical Tour of the ranch and the Feed Lot as well as the Museum and a
chance to shop and explore Kingsville. $50 each.
Thursday, September 9th 9 AM: US Naval Base Ingleside. This tour is
included in the package and includes a guided bus ride across Mustang
Island and a Ferry Ride across the bay to Ingleside, a tour of a
Minesweeper, Lunch with the crew and a Firefighting Demonstration.
Friday Morning, September 10th 9AM: The USS Lexington for our Memorial
Ceremony in the Hanger Bay, Tour the ship and a catered lunch. After lunch
take a short walk next door to The Texas State Aquarium. As you
will see, this is a lot more than an Aquarium. Very classy and lot’s to
Friday Evening, Texas Treasures Cruise. This is the second OPTIONAL
tour and includes transportation, A must do for those of us that enjoy a
First Class Evening of Food, Cruising and Gaming. $45 each.
Saturday, September 11th, FREE DAY This is your time to enjoy some of
the other attractions in and around Corpus Christi. Our Best
Recommendation: Drive out to Padre Island National Park or take a Harbor
Saturday Afternoon, Annual Business Meeting. Old and new business,
election of Association Officers.
Saturday Evening, Cocktail Hour (Cash Bar), Our Annual Banquet Dinner
Make your reservation's soon by calling the Holiday Inn Emerald Beach
at 800–456-4329 or direct 361-883-5731. To assure our special rates
refer to group code: GSR. These special rates are good for 3
days prior and 3 days after the reunion, so why not plan a great vacation
in the area and take advantage of them?
I highly recommend reserving your reunion package early. The King Ranch
and Texas Treasurers Cruise must be paid in advance. You will receive a
confirmation by return mail. Mail your check to:
USS Great Sitkin AE-17 Association
% Don McClane
2613 Dalgreen Ct.
Plano, TX 75075
An “Early Bird Drawing” will be held among the first twenty people to
register for the reunion. The Prize is to be determined. (I’ll make sure
it’s a good one)
Please Note: The tours are paid for and booked two weeks in advance.
Those monies cannot be returned after that time. All other cancellation
refunds will be paid.
From The Desk of the Vice President: Please let me thank you all
again for a great reunion in 2003.
Shipmates, I am greatly disappointed that those of you who
bought pictures at the last reunion haven't received them. I apologize.
Ron Zimmerman is trying to find out what happened and hopefully we will
get some satisfaction. Anyone that purchased pictures at the reunion in
Virginia Beach and did not receive their order may contact either myself
or Ron Zimmerman by phone, e-mail or snail mail.
I hope to see all of you in Corpus Christi, Texas. Your hosts
this year are Don and Patti McClane.
Kathy and I have been working on our 2005 reunion in
Charleston, SC. This reunion will mark the 60th Anniversary of the ship's
Membership Chairman ‘s Report: I want to thank the many of you
who have paid their dues for 2004. We now have over 200 paid association
members. There are still many of you that haven't paid and I know with a
little effort we could reach the 250 mark or more. Please remember that
our annual dues are for the time period from Jan 1 to Dec 31. Those of you
who haven't paid for this current year 2004, please, mail your dues as
soon as possible.
We have over 900 shipmates on our mailing list. Remember, you
are all members, but I hope many more could become Active Members by
joining us. Dues are only $20.00 per year and it helps support the
newsletter and Web Site. The Web Site is growing by leaps and bounds and
this we owe to Ron Zimmerman our President and Web Master. So, please
become an active member and do your part to support our organization.
REPAIR 3 REPORT: Hi to everyone. Hope you are all weathering the
winter ok. To start things off, I’d like to tell you about a new item
available from my “stash” back here in the repair locker.
When I did my Med Cruise in 1971, I took movies with my state
of the art, Super 8 mm camera. A long time ago, I put all the little reels
together to make a 21 minute long “feature.” Now, I’ve had them put on DVD,
and they’re available from the ships store for $20. Now, you might ask,
“Why would I want to have a copy of George Kaisers Med Cruise movies?”
Well, maybe here’s why.
All the movies I took were of the ships activities. Underway
replenishment, the time we broke down and were visited by a Spanish shrimp
boat, various crew members mugging it up for the camera, plus lots of good
looks at some of the ships we sailed with. There is no sound, but the DVD
comes with a written narration of what’s going on. If you’d like a copy,
send your order to my address.
Other ships store items are listed on another page of the
newsletter. One more thing about the t shirts. We are down to the last few
shirts, and we won’t be reordering this design, so get your shirt orders
I’m sure Don will cover the 2004 Reunion in other parts of
the newsletter, but allow me a few lines with my thoughts.
Don is trying something new this year, in an effort to make the reunion
experience more of a total vacation package for those that wish to make it
that, plus allow some structured time for old Shipmates to interact with
each other. You’ll see that there are trips planned for Wednesday and
Thursday, and that Saturday morning is set aside for “free time.” Me and
CINCHOUSE, (Commander In Chief, House, aka: my wife) will be coming in on
Tuesday and making a week out of it. I’m really excited about the trip to
the Ingleside Navy Base and the fire fighting demonstration. Hey, think
they’ll let me man a hose?
Speaking of fire fighting, another new feature this month
from Repair 3 is a walk down memory lane. I’m going to reach into the bin
and pull out an Oxygen Breathing Apparatus, or OBA.
The Type A-3 Navy OBA started replacing the Type A-2 Navy OBA
in 1953. The Type A-3 was a self-contained, closed circuit device by which
oxygen, generated by chemicals in a canister, could be exhaled,
independent of the surrounding atmosphere for the effective time limit of
the oxygen supply (approximately 60 minutes). Once the canister was
inserted and activated, it created a closed, self-sustaining system with
the mouth, throat and lungs.
The Type A-3 Navy OBA had a rubber face piece, head straps, a
set of plastic eye pieces, a speaking diaphragm and a rubber mouth piece.
These improvements were multiplied by the quick starting canister, which
greatly reduced donning the apparatus and enhanced reduce response times
The Type A-3 OBA remained in service through the early 1970s,
when they were replaced by the Type A- 4 OBA. Now I’m kind of partial to
damage control gear, so most of my memories will involve repair locker
equipment. If any of you feel inclined to write about some of your jobs on
the Great Sitkin, get in touch with the Don, I’m sure he’d be happy with
Until next time, smooth sailing to you all.
DCC George Kaiser, USNR (Ret)
DC 3, 1969 - 1971.
From the Fantail: Let me put a few groups on you about Corpus
Christi. This years reunion will be a little different. Since it starts on
a Wednesday and lasts through Saturday, that means four days. The weekend
before is Labor Day weekend and a lot of us plan our vacations around that
time. The so-called “Season” in Corpus Christi is over after that Monday
and therefore our Hotel can give us the good rates. I think all of you
know that Patti and I really love the Corpus Christi area and have very
special hopes that you will too. I call the area a “Sleeper”. Even at the
height of the season it never seems crowded. Their “Rush Hour” seems to be
pretty tame and only lasts about twenty minutes in the afternoon. The city
is very clean and the people are what I call “Texas Friendly”. There are a
lot of nice restaurants and the prices are a pleasant surprise. Patti and
I have found great little local and neighborhood eateries by just taking a
walk around town. Southwest Airlines flies into Corpus Christi and their
fares are great. Be sure to check with them if you are planning to fly.
Corpus Christi is “Military Minded”. There are a lot of retired military
families in the area and plenty of Navy facilities. In planning for the
reunion, we found it difficult to decide what tours to schedule and when
to schedule a break to just relax and chat with our shipmates. We hope you
like the idea of having four days to have fun with each other including
most of Saturday as “Free Time”. The single suggestion mentioned most has
been, “We need more time, to do just what we want”.
Patti and I will answer any questions and give our
recommendations any time. Please feel free to call or e-mail me. I have
posted the Reunion Agenda and a printable registration form on the
Internet. You can access it by way of our official
Great Sitkin site where
Ron has posted a link. You can also get there by going to our family site;
http://www.numberoneintexas.com and clicking on the Reunion 2004 link.
Make your hotel reservations and send your registration as
soon as you can.
2613 Dalgreen Ct.
Plano, TX 75075
SH3 Wayne Agee, September 1959 - September 1962:
One of the funniest things I saw happen was during the "Med Cruise" of
1961. We were operating with the Greek Navy. The ship we were
operating with was an old LST we had given them back in the late fifties.
Anyway our skipper invited the Captain of the LST over and he brought his
XO with him and both had their wives with them.
As most of you know when we were over seas there was a small white
box with a red cross on it on the Quarterdeck of the Sitkin. This
box contained some "necessary equipment" (condoms) for visiting the ladies
of the night in whatever port we happened to be in (uhhhh.... if you went
for that sort of thing).
I was the Petty Officer of the Watch on the Quarterdeck (01 level)
when their boat came alongside. They all climbed the ladder and I
sent the Messenger of the Watch for the Captain. As it happened they
got to the Quarterdeck a minute or two before our Captain. About the
time our Captain got there one of the ladies casually flipped up the top
on the box and looked in. Her face turned bright red. They
were all speaking Greek and the two men were laughing. I have no
idea what they were saying, but I think it was as funny to them as it was
to me. I still had a grin from ear to ear when they left the ship
and the lady who peeked wouldn't even look at me. I do know that
shortly after we moved the box to the bottom of the ladder on the main
deck. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!
FOR THE PAST WEEK I HAVE BEN ATTEMPTING TO COMPOSE A LETTER
TO EXPRESS BY GRATITUDE TO EVERYONE OF YOU FOR THE E-MAILS, CARDS AND
PRAYERS. I HONESTLY CANNOT FIND THE WORDS TO COME CLOSE OF LETTING
YOU ALL KNOW WHAT IT HAS MEANT TO ME.
THE OFFICERS OF OUR ASSOCIATION, RON, DOUG, DON AND GEORGE
MUST HAVE REALIZED WHAT A SPECIAL GROUP OF PEOPLE SERVED AS CREW OF THE
"GREAT SITKIN" AND I WANT TO THANK THEM ON BEHALF OF ALL OF US.
AS MY MOBILITY INCREASES, I WILL GET BACK TO EVERY ONE WHO'S
E-MAIL ADDRESS I HAVE. PLEASE ALLOW ME A LITTLE TIME.
HOWEVER, AT THIS TIME, I WOULD LIKE TO SAY A SPECIAL THANK
YOU TO WAYNE AGEE AND HIS LOVELY WIFE LUCY FOR COMING BACK INTO MY LIFE A
COUPLE TO YEARS AGO. HE WAS THE FIRST ONE I HEARD FROM AFTER SIGNING
THE GUEST LOG. WAYNE IT HAS BEEN 40 YEARS SINCE OUR LAST FACE TO
FACE, AND NO MATTER HOW HARD YOU TRY TO SET ME STRAIGHT, I WILL ALWAYS
PICTURE YOU WITH "CURLY HAIR"!!
GOD BLESS YOU ALL.
Do you remember that ship? I was looking at some old/recent e -
mail and ran across one from Don McClane that mentioned you and your
current situation. I remembered your name from my days on board Mar
71 to Nov. 72.
I haven't been to any AE 17 Reunions but pay my dues and read all the
info they put out. My wife and I started attending the ZELLARS
DD-777 Reunions in about 84 to 96 and couldn't afford to add any others.
Don M. put out the word to send you an e-mail. Sorry I didn't pick
up on this sooner. My wife is currently in a local Nursing Home
since 7 Jan. 03. I took care of her for about two years before she
agreed to go there. She is 73 now and me 76. Old age isn't
always kind to everyone!!
I retired in June 80 with 36 years . Found a home in the Navy and
started out as a Snipe in the boiler room, made E-7 in 56 then lucked out
with an LDO commission as Ens. in 58. We used to say LDO meant Loud
, Dumb and Obnoxious. In some cases that description fit.
I enjoyed my time in the Navy, the last 5 years straight in Bremerhaven,
GE. We decided to come to Texas after retirement. Gloria
was born in Wisconsin and I was raised in the Catskill MT of NY, so
we decided to come here where the snow isn't up to your belt buckle in
winter. We attended Gloria's brothers funeral in Wisc. Jan. 96.
It was minus 15 deg. at 2 pm at the cemetery and minus 37 deg. at 6 in the
morning we left there to drive home. I was wondering if my warm
blooded Texas car would even turn over. It did.
I worked for the local Water / Waste water Dept. here 82 - 86 and enjoyed
the work. I was the second employee then and worked for a man who
was an E 6 Seabee in the Navy Reserve.!!! He enjoyed that . We
got along fine. When he moved on a year or so later I became Head
Honcho, by then I had 3 men assigned to the Water Dept and Waste Water was
a separate unit. The Population here in 80 was 745. Now it's
well over 22,000. We had one cop in 82 - now there is
When I quit the City I told the City Mgr. I didn't appreciate his
definition of Personnel Administration. He was the duty Chaplin.
My boys used to go tell him how bad I was, wanting them to come to
work on time and stay till 5 pm. That's the way it is is in CIVLANT.
Drop me an e - mail when you are resting. Best wishes to you and
B J & Gloria Reynolds