SEC’Y: CAPT Dave Carruth, USN (Ret.)
CLASS OF 1948 SHIPMATE COLUMN
| I’m writing this in August but by the time you read it November 4 th will be upon us and the citizens of this great nation will soon know who will be their chosen leader for the next four years. I feel very certain that each of you made or will make your wishes known. I pray that our collective choice is the correct one for our future.
Some of the responses I’ve received to my request for Class historical inputs have been snippets of memories. This is one from Jack LeDoux 11 th Co.—
“I can only think of one significant thing I did. I was the first CEC officer to have PG schooling in nuclear stuff. I was chairman of two international conferences on the use of radioisotope generators, both in Europe. Also was invited by Australia in ’64 to teach their engineers about nuclear resistant structures. “
My comment; Jack’s note highlights the fact that the Class has been up to it’s ears in the implementation of the Nuclear age, not just in the subsurface and surface Navy.
A note from Jean Lochner, “Please forgive me for the long delay in thanking all for the memorial chair in the stadium in Ray’s honor. I was in hopes of seeing and sitting in the chair and maybe even a picture before expressing my thanks. I’m sure Ray would be very pleased to know that the Class appreciated his work through the years. I do hope that Ray and Sumner’s chairs are side by side so they can cheer ‘Navy Go’ together. They both loved the Navy and the game of football. ‘48 if GREAT’
Jean’s wish was granted because the chairs for Sumner and Ray are indeed next to each other. In remembering Ray we acknowledge his honchoing our homecomings, tail gating and reunions through the 45 th. He also wrote the Shipmate column before Sumner was involved. In all this effort he was ably assisted by Jean.
The Class now has 30 Memorial Chairs in the Stadium and 41 in Alumni Hall.
Paul Riley 13 th Co. brought up a subject which interests me as well—“I got to thinking about how many classmates used their middle names and why not at some future roster revision, list them the way we knew the people. I notice J. Phil Rogers 9 th Co. is listed this way but other such as W. Dixon (Dick) Robertson 19 Co., C. Danny Summitt 3 rd Co., J. Elwood Weatherly, Jr. 13 th Co. are not. There are probably others. Just for laughs, Elwood’s case is interesting; He was named after his father who was Joe Elwood Weatherly, Sr. (whom I once met down in Elizabeth City during a tour of his candy factory). On entry at USNA they refused to believe Elwood’s name was Joe, and so enrolled him as Joseph and he’s even in the Lucky Bag that way.” Like Paul I would like to identify people by the names we are familiar with so I would appreciate inputs related to this.
That reminds me of the very old story about the gent whose name was R.B. Jones, no names to go with the initials. When he came into the service they made him specify that and he wrote R(only) B (only) Jones. His official papers came out Ronly Bonly Jones.
OK, let’s do a little history again. This time we are indebted to Tom O’Connor 19 th Co. He titles it, A REMEMBRANCE
We are Naval Academy Class of 1948 officers who received Supply Corps, USN commissions upon graduation in June 1947 and 1948. We are members of that staff corps community which dates its naval origin back to February 23, 1795 when the nation’s first Purveyor of Public Supplies, Tench Francis, Jr., was appointed by President George Washington. The Supply Corps is one of the oldest staff corps in the U.S. Navy. Supply Corps officers are concerned with supply, logistics, combat support, readiness, contracting and fiscal issues. The official motto of the Supply Corps is “Ready for Sea”—reflecting the Supple Corps’ longstanding role in sustaining war fighting.
Commissioned officers in the Supply Corps are schooled and experienced in a variety of disciplines such as supply management and world-wide logistics, finance, budgeting, accounting, disbursing, inventory control, contracting, information systems, operations analysis, material and operational logistics, fuels management, food service, transportation and physical distribution. Supply Corps officers serve as members of a ship or shore activity’s supply department. They are assigned duties in all combat ships afloat as well as all service force/fleet support commands. While Supply Corps officers are not eligible for command at sea, which is the province of certain unrestricted line officers, they can command supply units.
We, Class of 1948 Supply Corps officers, started our Navy careers as World War II had just recently ended. The massive build-up of the entire Navy for that gigantic conflict called for the highest order of professional management in meeting all the material and logistics requirements of the Navy. The World War II increase in the number of supply Corps officers was accomplished primarily through the Navy’s supply Corps school at Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts. During U.S. involvement in World Was II, 13,000 officers graduated from NSCS at Harvard. In 1944, the Naval Supply Operational Training Center was established at the Naval Supply Depot in Bayonne, New Jersey. It was redesignated the Navy Supply Corps School in 1946.
It was at NSCS, Bayonne that our Class of 1948 Supply Corps Ensigns received their 9-months of specialized instruction in supply, disbursing, personnel management, technical and financial reports, etc. required in order to fill accountable duties aboard ship in the fleet and at supply activities ashore. We joined with other ROTC program Supply officers graduating from civilian universities around the country to form a total class size approximating 90 in number.
NSCS, Bayonne was not only a time for learning all the technical requirement of our new specialty but also a time for bonding and getting to know your Naval Academy classmates from the various Midshipman companies of Bancroft Hall as well as our Reserve officer counterparts from other universities. In addition to the daily schedule of classes, there was time for intramural athletics (softball, basketball, tennis, volleyball, etc.”, school dances, NSCS company parties, Friday happy-hours at the Base Officers Club, easy bus/subway trips into NYC for Broadway shows and other entertainment options. A most memorable activity was the Commanding Officer’s wardroom lunch requirement for individual student officers to deliver a 5-minute speech on any subject of his choosing before the entire room of faculty and students. When it became your turn for this public speaking indoctrination hurdle, you invariably skipped dessert that day because of a slightly nervous stomach.
The next stage of our young Navy Supply Corps careers arrived with our orders to report to ships and stations for our initial duties. NSCS classes prepared us well to assume supply, disbursing, commissary, ship store, logistics duties for both afloat and ashore activities. Our bible in those days was the voluminous BuSandA Manual (Bureau of supplies and Accounts). But taking over department head duties as Supply Officer of a Destroyer in the Pacific Fleet, for example, represented something of a “baptism of fire,” as one quickly learned that a “can do” supply officer was called upon for myriad duties and actions above and beyond the BuSandA Manual. “Pay” was a most popular fellow around pay days and those extra-ordinary “special pay” moments. We did our West Pac and Med cruises and then others to more distant and exotic places. We served aboard aircraft carriers, battleships, cruisers, destroyers, escort and service force ships, stations ashore from Alaska to Puerto Rico and beyond. The seven seas and European, Asian, North and South American continent became our destinations. We moved with our families every couple of years traveling to next duty assignments, learning in spades the meaning of the phrase “join the Navy to see the world.”
In each of the following career moves we managed to grow in experience with our increased responsibilities. Our Supply Corps assignments included ships afloat, fleet and shore staff, supply depots, inventory control points, aviation squadrons, air station, submarines, contracting offices, accounting budgeting, and comptrollership jobs, fuel, ordnance, electronics, and clothing supply offices; ship stores, exchanges, commissaries, O&R activities, system commands, and later on OSD activities, including the Defense Logistics Agency and the Defense Supply Centers.
All the while, our professional development and career paths were monitored by the Bureau of Nava Personnel and our own Chief of the Supply Corps. We were afforded opportunities to pursue advance degree programs at the Navy Postgraduate School and various university business schools (e.g. Harvard, Stanford, Michigan). We earned our MBA’s and PhD’s to maintain our knowledge growth and learn the necessary new skills and advances in the world of business, economics, and computers. Indeed, we were in the mega-bucks business of defense logistics and modern weapon systems.
| Tom & Alice O'Connor
As we now look back at this time of 60 th USNA Class of 1948 reunion, we feel that our Navy active duty time has flown by at an alarming rate, and yet, in retirement, we have continued the challenge of “working and achieving.” There are too many of our ’48 Supply Corps officers to mention individual who have gone on to greater heights and accolades as retired officers. But the final thought in the “Remembrance” is simply that the pride and recognition of our Supply Corps community in service to our country will always be our eternal reward.
Well done, Tom. Thank you. I must comment that I’m certain that supply school was a grind but you certainly had some good perquisites, partly due to school location.
We have been fortunate during the period since the last column for we have only lost three classmates—
Norm Green !6 th Co. 7/1/24-8/19/08
Reuben P. Prichard Jr 20 th Co. 6/13/25-8/7/08
C. R. (Bob) Wick 2 nd Co. 10/16/25-8/16/08
Green and Prichard have bios in the 50 yr. book.
Our deepest condolences to their families.
Finally, a note from Jeanne McKinley saying that since Mac’s passing she has inherited several files of genealogical material from a cousin. “Wanting a new hobby to occupy my time, I have turned to genealogy. I find it totally interesting and am immersed in research and thoroughly enjoying it. I am probably the only person on the planet who does not have a computer, but with the lure of internet research, I am motivated to drive to the city and visit a computer store. “
We hope to welcome you to the Class of ’48 email family soon Jeanne.