Always Ready
Summer, 2004                                                                                                                     15 June, 2004

Association Officers

Ron Zimmerman Sr.
1000 SE Everett Mall Way, # 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

Annual Reunion

8 - 11 Sept 2004


From our President: Just a little over 90 days left until the 12th Annual Reunion in Corpus Christi, Texas. Quite a few of you have already sent your registration forms in. The rest of you thinking of attending, grab the dang form right now (conveniently located in this issue), get your pen and check book out, fill out the Reunion Registration form and get them sent off to our host and hostess in tomorrow’s mail. Then pick up the phone and call the number for the hotel to make your room reservations before they are all gone. Don has gotten quite a few rooms blocked for us, and we may be able to add some more—but there are no guarantees on that - so make sure you’ve got yours and call today! This is going to be a whole lot of fun so don’t miss out. See you all there!

Web site update: I have finally caught up on adding pictures from previous reunions. The latest, and last one in need of updating, being the 1998 Reunion in Gatlinburg, TN with 18 pictures being added there.
    We are still receiving pictures of shipmates and cruises on a pretty regular basis with about 30 added to the 70’s Cruises and crewmembers this time. I have also revamped the History page considerably and have added links to copies of actual Deck Logs from the ship. Man, talk about a wealth of ship’s history!
    Right now we have the Deck Logs for the 1965 Med. Cruise and the 1973 period when we were getting her ready for decommissioning posted on the web site. The Deck logs for the 1966 Med Cruise, the 1972 NATO purification run, 1972 GITMO trip and the last Med cruise she ever made have also been received and are being readied for the web site.
    Now for those of you who do not have access to the internet, we will have the Deck Logs available in the hospitality room for your viewing pleasure. While these may not cover the period of time you were aboard, they do represent what is available to us IF we choose to go after it.
    Plans for acquiring more years will be discussed during the Annual Business Meeting.

Honor Roll: Billy J. Emberton, BT3 ‘63, Jon H. Bensen, SH3 '60 and John P. Weinel, Capt. ‘61.
    We wish to express our deepest sympathy and most sincere condolences to their family and friends.

New Finds, Welcome Aboard: George Young, SN ‘60; Otto Henzel, SN ‘62; Albert Dunn, S1c ‘45; Phillip Tinnes, Ens ‘64; William Anderson, BM2 ‘46; Neil Pumphrey, HM3, ‘61.

Elections: The Association By-laws call for the election of officers each year with the election to coincide with the annual reunion. All positions are up for election each year and officers may be re-elected. Nomination made prior to the business meeting should be sent to the Association Secretary. All other nominations will be taken from the floor.

Excerpt from Ship’s Deck Log, Monday, 15 January 1973: 20-24 Watch:
Moored as before. 2300 Dispatched Ship’s vehicle to SPA Bar in Bayonne in response to telephone call by SN Harpin stating trouble was starting involving some of the ship’s men. 2335 ship’s vehicle returned with "a crewmember" in a drunk and disorderly condition. (name withheld to protect the guilty)
                               /s/ A.S. Hallberg, Ens, USNR

Ron Zimmerman

From the Desk of the Vice President. 
Not a lot to report at this time, but the year is half over. For those of you living in the North I know you were glad to see Winter leave. Spring all over the country has been hit with many storms and damages, if not tornado's with heavy rains, then forest fires.
    Well it is getting close to that time of the year that you need to make your decision for attending the reunion. Don and Patti McClane have worked very hard to bring you a good reunion in Corpus Christi, TX. They have a good reunion planned so break out the check book and send your application and Reunion package in early. It will make it easier for Don to finalize the plans and help everything run smoothly.
    Just a short reminder for you to bring your suntan lotion so we don't see a bunch of Red Necks at the Banquet. Don't forget we have time to renew old friendships and also make new friends, and the hospitality room is a gathering place for this purpose. Hope to see many of you there again to remember the good times we all have had at these reunions. See you in September.

Doug Hauser V.P.

Membership Report:
I would like to start off by thanking you all for the support you have given, without your help and continued support we would not be here.
    We are close to 230 who have paid their 2004 dues and I know with your help that we could hit the 250 mark or better without too much of a problem. So for those of you who have not joined the Active membership, now is your chance to do so. For the few of you who have paid in the past but haven't paid in a couple years, I hope you can come back. We have had many new Active Members which makes us happy and I know there are many more out there that want to join us.
    The Board has been working on a numbered lapel pin program to show appreciation for and recognize those shipmates who for a number of years have shown their continued support of the organization by paying their dues. How it works: 2004 membership must be current; Active Members who have paid dues 2 consecutive years will receive a 2 year pin, 5 consecutive years a 5 year pin and 10 consecutive years a 10 year pin. The pins are very attractive, are about 1 ¼” diameter and designate the number of years.
    We have formed a list of those eligible, when dues are paid you will receive your Membership Card and Lapel pin at the same time. We will save a little postage and also make it easier for me to track. If I make a mistake be sure to let me know, I do make an occasional error. Ron Zimmerman and I have been working on this and I believe these pins will be well received.
    The Pins are now on order and we should have them soon. In closing I want to thank you all once more .

Doug Hauser
Membership Chairman.

Repair 3 Report:  June 6th, 1944. Allied forces stormed ashore in France, marking the beginning of the end for Hitler's German war machine. This year marks the 60th anniversary of the “Endless Day.” I wasn’t born yet, but many of our Shipmates were. Some were already in uniform, some were working in industry. Some of them may have watched a father, brother, or friend, go off to fight in the war, perhaps even participate in the D Day invasion. As a “Baby Boomer,” I can only imagine what they felt.
    6 months after D Day, the keel of the Great Sitkin was laid in Wilmington, North Carolina. Again, I can only imagine the mood and tempo of work at the shipyard, as workers there labored together to construct yet another ship to join the battle. We know that Great Sitkin was placed in commission 3 days prior to Japans surrender, which ended World War 2. I would imagine that made her a war vet. There is so much history from that period yet to be told. Ron is leading the effort to get copies of the deck log from various years, but I’d challenge everyone of you to make sure your own Great Sitkin story is told. I would be more than happy to take your written tales of life and events on the ship, and put them in a notebook format for future generations to read. Give that some thought and write or email me with your ideas.

This month, our look at DC equipment takes us to the gas free shelf back here. Let’s look at the Flame Safety Lamp. It was used for years, from before WW II until the 1970s. It was intended solely to test an atmosphere for oxygen deficiency (to ensure that sufficient oxygen was present to support life). The lamp was constructed of brass (non-sparking) and had a glass globe and cotton wick. The lamp used Naphtha as its fuel. The lamp could have detected the presence of flammable gases, but it was not intended for that use. Explosions did occur because of defective parts, incorrect procedure, or improper assembly of the lamp. When making a test with the Flame Safety Lamp, it had to be moved carefully and slowly while holding it as close to vertical as possible. The following indications of flame behavior were a result of conditions in the atmosphere being tested and these indications had to be assessed by the test observer: 1.) Flame dies out-insufficient oxygen; less than 16% by volume. 2.) Flame dies out with a slight "pop"-explosive concentration of gases or vapors. 3.) Flame flares up brightly- less explosive concentration of gases or vapors. 4.) Flame flares up, then goes out- rich concentration of explosive gases or vapors.
The test observer had to ensure that the Flame Safety Lamp flame had burned for five minutes, while adjusting the flame to 3/8 inch for proper warm up before it was allowed to be taken into a space. It would have to remain under constant observation while making test and it also had to be kept still for several seconds in each location. When entering a tank, void or compartment, with the Flame Safety Lamp, the test observer had to wear an OBA or Hose Air-Line Mask.
    I hope this look at the Flame Safety Lamp jogs a few memory cells loose. Anyone who worked with me back here should remember that mine always lit! These days, the Navy uses state of the art, digital oxygen detectors. More efficient, but not as romantic.
    That’s all for this time. Hope I see a lot of you in Corpus Christi in September, especially more of you from the “70's.” We had a good representation last year, lets keep it going this year. And don’t forget the Great Sitkin gear items we have for sale. We still have several DVD’s of the 71 Med Cruise too. Stay safe everyone.
George Kaiser, DC3, 1969-1971


From The Fantail:
Shipmates, those of you, lucky enough to be in attendance for our reunion last year in Virginia Beach will remember Captain Bob Buchwald and his wife Cindy. You remember? He’s the guy that won the 50/50 drawing. As it turns out we owe him a debt of gratitude. Bob was instrumental in recovering the reunion photographs from the infamous Mr. White, the photographer. Per Doug Hauser the photos are in the mail and many of you will have received them by now. Thank you Skipper. Most of us had given up.
    The list of reunion attendees is getting longer every day. Have you made your reservations yet? Like Doug Hauser said, it does make it a lot easier if reservations are made earlier. Your registration allows for good firm planning for everything from transportation to meals and even coffee in the hospitality room. Thanks in advance for your thoughtfulness. Pull out the flyer and call the Holiday Inn Emerald Beach 361-883-5731 or toll free 800-465-4329. Be sure to tell the reservations clerk that you will be attending the USS Great Sitkin Reunion code “GSR”. If you experience any problems or have any questions, please call me 972-985-0763.
Don McClane, Editor,Secretary and 2004 Reunion Co-Host

"Thank you" graphic courtsey of: