SEC’Y: CAPT Dave Carruth, USN (Ret.)
CLASS OF 1948 SHIPMATE COLUMN
The 60 th Reunion has come and gone. From my own experience, talking to attendees and from the emails I have received since, the reunion was a resounding success. The writers of several of the emails said it was the best reunion we have had so far. A round of applause please for Phil Rogers 9 th Co., Roger Carlquist 19th Co., Don Buhrer 5 th Co, Charlie Heid 17 th Co., Bill Bass 20 th Co. and Warren Graham 2 nd Co. Please remember their wives too because they were, for a long period, “reunion widows” but bore up under it and provided the required support as they had done through long Navy separations. As has been written many times, service wives are very special. I must also recognize that George Ball 21 st Co. was initially part of the committee but at the last minute had to cancel attending. He was having spells of dizziness which put him in the hospital for a week. I just talked to him and he says all is well.
Warren Graham 2 nd Co., R.C. Smith 18 th Co. and some other volunteers got everyone signed in, about 210 of us, handed out welcome packages containing reunion information, some Academy PR, maps, a new class roster and name tags. People got settled into their rooms and at 1800 the reception gave everyone a chance to circulate and renew friendships. The food, heavy hors d’oevures, was very good and plentiful. I don’t believe anyone had to search for a snack before bed. The hotel was very responsive to all our needs including one nice perk; it was very hot so the hotel set out a continual supply of iced lemonade. The staff went out of its way to insure we had a good stay.
We had the pleasure of hearing Jim Cheevers, Senior Curator at the USNA Museum, talk to us at the last reunion so his talk on “The Navy in Annapolis before USNA” was very well attended and everyone thoroughly enjoyed it. He is really an excellent speaker and his subjects hold everyone’s attention.
Our speaker at the Class meeting was Academic Dean Miller and he made it very obvious that he is appreciative of the funding efforts of our Class. Unfortunately we learned soon after the reunion that he plans to retire next year and the Superintendent has formed a search committee to find his replacement.
The picnic was excellent even though Charlie had to find a new caterer. They did extremely well, for example the raw bar was plentiful and there were more than enough crab cakes. Everything else was good and the only drawback was that the weather was well into the nineties so it was HOT under the tent. R.C. (Bob) Smith 18 th Co. succumbed to the heat and had to be evacuated to the ER for rehydration. Bob says one of the young women working for the caterer was concerned about him and asked if he would like some ice on his neck which he happily accepted; said it really felt good. All went well at the ER and he was released about 1700 with a strong recommendation that he not go on the YP cruise the next day. He took that advice. He and Helga were at the dinner/dance the following night.
On Wed. the people who took the Discover Annapolis Bus Tour said it was quite good and the folks who took the YP cruises were also pleased. The dedication of the refurbished gate had a tent but the weather had cooled and it was comfortable. Phil Rogers 9 th Co.and Tom Hayward 21 st Co. did the honors and everyone to whom I spoke thought the new version was very good. It is certainly a huge improvement over what the Academy had done. Close by this column is a report, with pictures, on the gate dedication.
| Phil Rogers and Tom Hayward at gate dedication
Virtually all of us had a new experience at the dinner dance with the reception being held in the Carrington Room at the Stadium (2 nd Deck) and then had dinner and danced in the Stadium Banquet Room. The dinner was good and of course the company was superb.
Sorry more of you couldn’t have made the Reunion because there may not be another one. An email from Chick Rauch 6 th Co. says they just returned from a 3,000 mile driving trip planned around the Reunion. He says “of the 5 or 6 reunions that I have attended, I thought this was the classiest.” He and Esther enjoyed being there.
Some corrections and additions have been made to the Class Roster mentioned above. It will be printed and mailed to all of you so you should have it before you read this.
There are many of you out there I’m certain who volunteer at various things. Patsy and Phil Rogers 9 th Co. volunteer on Mon. and Fri. at a hospital. Dolly and John Rasmussen 14 th Co. also volunteer at a hospital. You’ve read of the volunteerism of Bettye and Ty Dedman 13 th Co. My Betty and I have volunteered for over 20 years at ECHO (Ecumenical Community Helping Others), twenty five churches of every denomination which help people in need. Here is what Randy Patterson 13 th Co. volunteers his time with—
| Cab & Libby Davis
You may recall that I said I was trying to get inputs on the changes seen by our classmates in the various communities. The following is the response from Cab Davis 17 th Co.
Engineering Duty Officers (EDOs) trace their origin back to the beginning of the Navy in 1794 when naval constructors designed the first ships. In 1866 the Construction Corps was established and, with the advent of steam propulsion in the 1830s, the Corps of Engineers was authorized in 1842. In 1940 Admiral Nimitz recommended to congress that the two corps be combined into a restricted line community, Engineering Duty Only Officers (EDO). That became law in 1940. In 1947 the “Engineering Duty Only” was changed to “Engineering Duty Officer.” The original EDOs in 1940 consisted of 82 Engineers and 212 Naval Constructors. When our Class joined in 1950, EDOs numbered about 1,000.
The criteria for selection to EDO are: (1) Sea experience (2) motivation and performance indicative of a competent career officer and (3) postgraduate education in a ship engineering discipline. About 40 of our Class were selected during the 1950s. Many were surface warfare qualified and many were submarine qualified. 16 were promoted to captain and 4 of those were selected and promoted to rear admiral; Cab Davis 17 th Co., Frank Manganaro 12 th Co. (deceased), Ken Wilson 9 th Co. and Hank Hoffmann 9 th Co. (deceased).Many of the others retired as commanders and a few as lieutenant commanders. Three of the four Flag EDOs were submarine qualified and one was surface warfare qualified. Some of the retirees subsequently served in both the private sector and/or as civil service engineer managers in various fields.
During our active duty time as EDOs navy shipbuilding experienced tremendous changes, for example to cite the most obvious: Nuclear propulsion, controllable pitch propellers, guided missiles, ballistic missile submarines, digital computers, electronics warfare systems, hydrofoils, air cushioned landing craft, deep submergence vessels, and many others. The management, funding and contract supervision required knowledgeable, intuitive, and personable leaders in the EDO community. Rear Admiral Randy King (ret.) ’44 edited a book written by 15 EDOs entitled “Naval Engineering and American Sea Power.” It contains detailed information of the above and much more.
In conclusion our classmates were prominent leaders in many of the areas of change. For example, the surface warfare Flag officer served as Project Manager for the General Purpose Amphibious Ship, LHA-1 class and subsequently Supervisor Shipbuilding, Pascagoula MS. This involved a new concept in ship procurement instituted by Secy. McNamara called “total package procurement.” The Navy defined the requirements: move X number of Marines and their support, Y number of miles in Z number of days. The bidders decided the size of the ships required and the design and shipbuilding method. The Navy required a fixed price contract. Litton Industries won the bid even though their expertise had been mostly in the aircraft industry. They also hired hundreds of naval ship designers and built a new shipyard for constructing ships in sections. Needless to say contractual problems were enormous. The Navy review of plans resulted in many, many changes, etc. But in the end 5 very capable LHAs were delivered and 4 are still in active service 30 years later and are the key ships of our amphibious strike capability.
Of our four flag officers two became Vice Commander Naval Sea Systems Command and two deputy commander Naval Sea Systems Command for management of our naval shipyards and Supervisors of Shipbuilding. Many of our captains and indeed every EDO in our Class contributed significantly in their field of expertise. The Class of ’48 was well represented in this outstanding community.
Thank you Cab for excellent coverage. While I will be printing some other inputs I already have I hope some of the rest of you will feel motivated to highlight your community.
For those of you who enjoy a good book as much as I do here are three true stories which I guarantee you will find gripping.
Shadow Divers by Robert Kurson
Crashing Through also by Robert Kurson
Blind Man’s Bluff by Sherry Sontag and Christopher Drew
Since the last column two more of our classmates have “crossed the bar”
Armstrong, E.S. 13 th Co. 5/26/25-6/13/08
Wadsworth, Dwight 7 th Co. 5/20/23-6/2/08
Our condolences to their families. They will be missed.