SEC’Y: CAPT Dave Carruth, USN (Ret.)
CLASS OF 1948 SHIPMATE COLUMN
In July I sent the following to all Classmates having email addresses:
If you haven’t yet written your own obit for Last Call and for the local media do it NOW. Don’t leave the job for family or a friend/classmate. If you can’t get it done, at least make known to your family the location of the Lucky Bag(s); the 30 Year book, and the 50 Year book. You might also consider putting any cruise books you have together with the previous books. If you can’t write it at least make it easier for the one who does.
For a guide see page 177 of the June/July Shipmate.
New subject: If you didn’t choose to write a bio for the 50 Year book would you consider doing so now and sending it to me? Up to two pages will be fine. If you need an example let me know and I will get something to you. My intention is to distribute whatever is sent to me for addition to the book. If you have a bio in the book and would like to update it I’ll take that too. Everything will go into the original copy of the book which I have in a three ring binder and I will eventually give it to the Alumni Assoc. I believe they place such things in the Academy library.
The above item generated some interesting responses such as the following from Bob Jortberg 7 th Co. “Thinking about a biography reminded me of the inauspicious start to my career after graduation. During my four years and a day as an ensign I was ordered into three naval hospitals for evaluation for motion sickness. I was not a very good sailor on ROBERT H. MCCARD DD822. As a result of the first evaluation I was placed on limited duty ashore-a form of official limbo- and assigned to the Naval Academy Prep School at Bainbridge. While at Bainbridge I was ordered to NH Philadelphia. As a result of this evaluation BUMED recommended that my commission be revoked. While this was pending I applied for Post Graduate program at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and transfer to the Civil Engineer Corps. One day, in the morning I was told that I had been selected for this program. The same afternoon I was told that the quota had been reduced and that I was no longer on the list. I then found future employment with the Sperry Gyroscope company and prepared for my release from the Navy. The BUPERS overruled BUMED and I was told to remain at NAPS which then moved to Newport. Then another evaluation NH Newport. By then I had learned of Dramamine and wrote to BUPERS asking for TAD orders to a Newport destroyer so I could try it. The response said that my request was approved but the orders would be delayed until November when the North Atlantic would be much rougher and the test would be more conclusive. I have always thought that someone really enjoyed writing that letter. I also wondered if it was more my imagination than a real letter, but I checked my file when I reported to BUPERS for duty in 1966 and there it was. I was selected for the PG program before November so never did take that test. While at RPI our class was promoted to LTJG. My name was not on the promotion list. I found that the Line would not promote me because of limited duty status and the CEC would not promote me until I had passed all of the PG work successfully-hence four years and one day. The rest is history. While it was a slow start I had a very rewarding career and enjoyed it all.
I know for a fact that BUPERS made other mistakes. Tyler Dedman 13 Co., Sam Smith 14 th Co. and I were all ordered to OAKLAND CLAA 95. The ship was returning from a WestPac deployment and the skipper asked that we be given orders; one to Damage Control School, one to Gunnery Officer’s school and one to CIC school. The orders arrived and we were all going to all three schools with no change in the date we were to report to the ship. We managed Damage Control and Gunnery but in the time remaining we could only attend the Prospective Commanding Officer’s school at Point Loma. The three of us sat at the back of a room filled with CDRs and CAPTs and became the ones who refilled the coffee cups passed back to us. At the first class each attendee was asked to stand, introduce himself and provide a quick personal sketch. We had little to say but got a good hand anyway…
Hank Corley 21 st Co. and I were exchanging emails regarding KIA and MIA, specifically with reference to Hugh Loheed 18 th Co. As an aside you can find that info by going to Google. Hank remembered that on the morning of the second day of the 1946 Bermuda Race when Hugh came on deck looking for his brand-new Topsiders (a specially designed sneaker for the yachting elite). They had gotten soaked during a storm the evening before that had Vamarie’s lee rail awash and Hugh had tied them to a grill on one of the cabin skylights to dry out. The long and short of it is that after the storm one was still there, the other gone. All day Hugh walked around wearing one shoe and just a sock on the other foot, thinking that someone was teasing him.
Publication of the Roster has brought me correspondence from far afield. In answer to a question Charles Bloom 5 th Co. reports “We have been living here (in Athens) for about three years and are enjoying it. My wife is Greek and it’s a return to roots for her. We also have a son and three grandchildren living here which is great for us. We get back to the US for a visit about once a year. The dollar-euro exchange rate is becoming increasingly painful. Hopefully it’ll turn around before too long.”
I mentioned Sam Smith and OAKLAND previously. Sam’s wife Carolyn has Alzheimer’s and was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Sam brought her to John Hopkins for treatment and they were staying with his son David. We managed to get together for lunch at the Flagship on July 15 th to swap sea stories which amused David and my wife Betty. Sam and Carolyn were married while OAKLAND was in the yard in Bremerton, WA and Sam couldn’t find housing. Betty and I asked them move in with us which they did. We have fond and funny memories of that period of our lives.
| Betty Carruth, Sam Smith, David Smith
In the last column I mentioned some books I though you would enjoy. I have been trying to read another one, Fall From Glory-The Men Who Sank The U.S. Navy by Gregory L. Vistica. I came late to awareness of this book since it is copyright 1995. Many of you may have read it. Hal Deeley 9 th Co. loaned it to me two years ago and I’m still trying to make my way through it. I say “trying” because the book makes me so mad I keep putting it down. Happily Hal hasn’t asked me to return it yet. Stewart McLean 6 th Co. says in a letter that he strongly recommends Aircraft Carriers at War by Admiral James L. Holloway 3 rd. He reports that the book is exciting and inspirational.
I will from time to time identify author Classmates and their books starting this time with Paul Corrigan 16 th Co. (deceased), his book is- Last of the Aerial Gunfights.
Dick Hoffman 10 th Co. has published three- The Fighting Flying Boat-The complete History of the Martin PBM Mariner (2004); The Martin )5M Patrol Seaplane (2007); Curtiss F9C Sparrowhawk Airship Fighters (2008); and is working on a fourth covering the PB2Y Coronado.
John Fry 21 st Co. has published The Helsinki Process: Negotiating Security and Cooperation in Europe.
Don Morris 3 rd Co. (deceased) published three novels; China Station (1951), Warm Bodies (1957) and All Hands on Deck (1961). He also wrote non-fiction, Washing of the Spears (1965)
I feel certain that others of you have written and published so educate me please
I’ve mentioned before that Charlie Heid 17 th Co. serves as our liaison to the 24 th Co. and monitors the use of the $2+M the Class gave the Academy. It is rewarding to see how the 24 th Co. acknowledges and thanks the Class for its support. Charlie has forwarded to me several letters from the various Co. commanders. Charlie also forwarded to me a thank you note from ENS. Vicki Moore the recipient of our award to the top graduate in the IT curriculum. It reads as follows, “I wanted to thank you for donating the $1000 for the Class of 1948 Information Technology Award. I was presented with the money at the USNA Prizes and Awards ceremony last week-I really appreciate the recognition for my hard work these past four years. I am not sure yet what I will do with the money, but it will help to ensure that I am financially secure as a Surface Warfare Officer stationed out of San Diego. Thank you again! Very respectfully, Vicki Moore, ENS., USN”.
The roster also prompted Dave Hurt 18 th Co. to write, “As you are aware, I lost my wife (Dee) to Lung Cancer after 53 years of marriage in 2003. However, on August 20 th 2005, I was extremely fortunate to remarry, this time to Vilma Loheed Mitchell. Fifty-seven years earlier I’d served as an usher in her wedding to my good friend, former one year roommate and 4 year Company mate, Hugh Loheed (deceased). Small world isn’t it? She has elected to keep her name as it is rather than having to change the last name to Hurt and thereby have to redo her bank records, driver’s license, property deeds, etc. I’ve come to learn that in today’s modern world that is not an uncommon procedure. However, it may make for some confusion at times”.
Since the last column two more of our friends have “crossed the bar”
William McKinley 5 th. Co. 7/3/25-4/26/08
W.J. McClain 7 th Co. 2/27/26-7/5/08Finally, Karl Thiele’s inurnment was a very nice service conducted by a Chaplain wearing Navy Wings. Three Classmates were on hand to say goodbye