Always Ready
Summer, 2003                                                                                                                      15 June, 2003

Association Officers

Ron Zimmerman Sr.
1000 SE Everett Mall Way
Suite 402
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

Call Now for Reservations
11 - 14 Sept.
Virginia Beach, VA.



From our President: Several times over the past 2 years I have received E-mails about the amount of the ship’s history that is missing and why, and why do we have only the few narratives extracted from the 1970’s Annual Command History reports? These are good questions that deserve to be addressed.
    We do know most all of the information can be obtained from The Deck Log Branch of the Naval Historical Center. They have the copies of the Quarter Deck Logs and the Annual Command History reports submitted by the CO’s. While they probably have most all of the Quarter Deck Logs, they have very few of the Annual Command History reports. According to the representative I spoke with, that report was not required to be submitted until sometime in the late 1960’s. Also, they have a small staff and a very limited budget that does not lend itself to provide a lot of copies of old Deck Logs and Command History Reports. They provide information to active ship’s, DOD personnel and Congressional leaders and their staff, and others on a priority basis. So, as you can see, we are pretty much at the bottom of the pecking order. Requests for information are limited to specific time periods or reports and can take several months to obtain.
    That is not to say that we can not achieve our goal, but it will take a lot of time and VOLUNTEERS who either live in the area, are willing to travel to the area at their own expense, or are going to be in the area and are willing to add a couple of days to their trip to do some research and copying. And I do mean some serious time is involved here. Figuring that the ship averaged 3 to 4 Deck Logs per day, and if they have all of the deck logs available, there would be well over 30,000 to review and decide which were important enough to copy and which to just jot down information from those that had only 1 event or so that is significant - i.e. rearming so-and-so, dropped anchor at such-and-such, etc. etc. There will be a ton of them that will have “steaming as before”, and the typical daily routine of being in port that we won’t necessarily need.
    The Naval Historical Center has specific guidelines for obtaining access to the records they hold. Anyone wishing to VOLUNTEER to help with this project, please give me a call and I’ll help you with the details. Without VOLUNTEERS this project will not be able to go forward.

“Tax Exempt” Status:
I have some great news to share with you. On March 28, 2003, the IRS issued the USS Great Sitkin (AE-17) Association a letter of exemption as a Veteran’s Organization under Section 501(c)(19) of the code. The next step is the revision of the Bylaws. See you all at the Annual Business Meeting in Virginia Beach.

Ron Zimmerman

Nominations for Office:
Mike La Fauci has nominated the existing Executive Board for reelection. Any additional nominations and seconds will be accepted during the General Business meeting.

Don McClane

2003 Reunion Information:
 The reunion dates are as follows. September 11th through the 14th you may come 3 days early or stay over 3 days for the same rate, $62+ tax .
    This will be the last newsletter before the reunion so make your reservation now. Don’t be a straggler. We have 40 rooms blocked as these fill up we can get more. We expect a big turnout for this reunion.
    The Itinerary:
        Friday Morning: The optional Williamsburg tour. This will be a step back in time and a favorite so don’t miss it. Cost is $32.00. 
        The cost of the Reunion Package is $138.00 per person and includes the following.
        Friday Night: The Murder Mystery Dinner Theater
        Saturday Morning: Naval Base Tour, our Memorial Service will be held in the base Chapel. Then we tour the base and a ships tour if possible. Lunch in the CPO mess and then finish the tour of the base. Then back to the hotel for our Annual Business Meeting.
        Saturday Evening:  We will start with a cocktail hour, a cash bar starting at 6:00 PM. Followed by a sit down dinner with a combination dinner of Stuffed Shrimp & a Filet Mignon, salad, vegetable and desert.
    After dinner The Sister Act will perform for us and include us as part of their act. This will be a fun experience. These folks have great reviews.
    We will cap the evening with a live band The group is called the Katz & Jammer's featuring a lead singer for our listening and dancing pleasure.
        Sunday Morning:  One of the great parts of the reunion package is our Sunday Tent Breakfast . This is a farewell till next year breakfast a time to exchange good-bys one more time before many depart.

    This is a great reunion package for all and I hope you can manage to make it. This is being written early in April and already 12 rooms and reunion packages are paid for.
    For all who will be flying in the Holiday Inn Executive Center has a phone by the luggage area so find it and let them know you’re in town and waiting to be picked up. There is no need to take a cab. The hotel will pick you up at no charge. In case you need the phone number it is (757) 499-4400
    For those of us who drive, let me know and I will have a map enclosed in your return receipt.
    Great news! We will have a handicapped bus available.
    Now, all you have to do is make your reservations and fill out your application or enclose a note with your check and I will take care of the rest.  You will receive a confirmation by return mail. Thank you!

Your reunion hosts, 
Kathy & Doug Hauser

 Make your hotel reservation's soon by calling the Holiday Inn Executive Center, 757-499-4400, make sure to mention The USS Great Sitkin Reunion for the special rate. These special rates are good for 3 days prior and 3 days after the reunion, so why not plan your vacation in the area and take advantage of them? 

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. Send your Reunion Registration form to:

USS Great Sitkin Association
% Douglas Hauser
609 Hillsboro Rd 
Montgomery, AL 36109

Found Shipmates
: Recent New Finds are:
William West, BM3, '51,    Roger Swartz, YN2, '57,    Kenneth Shimer, SN, '69
David Hall, QM2, '67,    Paul Chidester, SN, '67,    Steven Carpenter, SN, '71 and
Donald Roberts, SK3, '55

Found now Lost:  These are shipmates we have recently lost contact with from mail being returned:  Herman Bratcher,  Michael Graham,  Kenneth Zuidema, 
Normand Gaulin,  Richard McGregor,  Robin Grieves, John Marryott

Sorta Lost: These are the shipmates who have had e-mail messages returned as bad addresses:  John Maniscalco,  David Michaels,  Jerome Contey,  Robert Pritchard,  Richard Boot,  Ansis Bergo,  Paul Goyette,  Eldon Geiger and Andrew McRorie.
    Please e-mail your correct address to; Don McClane:

Honor Roll: We have been notified that seven more of our shipmates have passed on. They have been added to the Honor Roll. They are:
Kenneth Kimble, DK2, '54,   Luther Brady, GM3, '61,  George Gatto, S1c, '45,
Frankilyn Coleman, GMSN, '55,   Edward Harrison, GM1, '47,  
Robert Piepmeyer, SK3, '49,    Orville Sensel, SN, '51
    We wish to express our deepest sympathy and most sincere condolences to their family and friends.

From The Fantail: “Special”, that’s a term that is often tossed around loosely. Not this time. The Reunion in Virginia Beach this fall is very special. This year we will celebrate (among other things) the thirtieth anniversary of our ships decommissioning. For those of us that were there for that event, it means looking back at some pretty “Special” times.
    The USS Great Sitkin had a long and meaningful career. She is a part of each of us. For most of us, a very “Special” part of our lives. Each one of us can reflect on our Great Sitkin experience and know that we are better for it. The experiences we shared. The friends we made and kept. The service to our country, in which we take so much pride. 
    The ship is “Special” for a lot of great reasons. Reasons that mean different things to each of us and some things that are the same to all of us. All wonderful memories that we share with each other and bond us together as shipmates. 
    It has been thirty years since the ole gal’s boilers huffed and puffed. Thirty years since that storied screw pushed her through the waves, and thirty long years since she fostered men into shipmates.

Let’s make this reunion “Special” in her honor.

One of our best Assets:  Shipmates, have you taken the time to look at our website? The address is It is full of information about our ship, its crew and history. Our President, Ron Zimmerman has done a fabulous job of putting the site together. There are pictures and Sea Stories. Right now there is information about the up-coming reunion in Virginia beach. If you have any questions, you can probably get the answers there.
    Of course you know it is one of our greatest assets. An asset paid for with your membership dollars. Make sure you join our organization and pay your dues. Don’t be a freeloader. If you are getting this newsletter and you aren’t a member, you know you need to take care of that. It feels pretty good to be a paid up member. It sure beats sneaking up on the mail box with that sheepish grin to get your newsletter.
    Doug Hauser
is our Vice President in Charge of Membership. His name and address is on the application form. Do your part.
    If you want, you can e-mail your comments to me; or write me a regulation ole letter.

Don McClane
2613 Dalgreen Ct.
Plano, TX 75075