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                                             DECEMBER 2008                                                


Annapolis, Maryland


31 October 1946



SUBJ: Christmas Leave for Midshipman.


    1. The Commandant of Midshipmen is authorized to grant Christmas leave to all midshipmen who are not in the hospital, on the sick list, or specifically restricted for scholastic deficiency or misconduct. In order to minimize congestion of transportation, leave will be scheduled as follows:

     First Class     1230, 21 December 1946, to 1800 1 January 1947

     Second, Third,    

     And Fourth Classes 1230, 21 December 1946, to 1600 1 January 1947

    2. Midshipmen unsatisfactory in any Department for first term to date on Friday, 20 December 1946 will remain at the Naval Academy in a duty status during this leave period, for the purpose of attending extra instruction.

    3. Extra instruction will be held daily except Sundays and Holidays throughout the holiday period. The schedule indicating the time of extra instruction periods will be posted in Bancroft Hall.

    4. In lieu of the monthly money for the months of December and January, midshipmen will be granted leave money as follows:

     First Class………………………$25.00

     Second, Third, Fourth Classes… $15.00

   5. Article 4436, Naval Academy Regulations, prescribes the routine for those midshipmen entitled to leave who voluntarily spend their leave at the Naval Academy.


   6. The gymnasium will be open to midshipmen throughout each day during the holiday period except Christmas Day. An instructor will be on duty in the gymnasium daily except Christmas Day.


   7. During Christmas leave period the “Fire Bill for Midshipman” will not be in effect and the Naval Academy Fire Bill will include Bancroft Hall. The Commandant of Midshipmen will issue special Security Instructions for Bancroft Hall for the leave period.


                                                                                         AUBREY W. FITCH,

                                                                                                           Vice Admiral, U.S. Navy,


N.A. Dist. “B” plus “G” plus 2750 for parents.



   This seemed to be an appropriate way to open the December column. I also have the menu for the Christmas Dinner we were served the night before leave started. It was a typical service dinner with Turkey, Ham and all the trimmings. One thing you won’t see today, at least at the Academy, the bottom line of the menu said “black coffee and cigarettes”. That raised a question in my mind, were we allowed to smoke in the mess hall? Which brings up another observation, Trident reports that a plaque honoring the stewards who served at the Academy has just been dedicated and posted in King Hall. The celebration included a goodly number of stewards and their families all of whom then attended dinner in King Hall with the Brigade. The write up says that some of the stewards were telling of their children who have now graduated from the Academy.


   I hope each of you was very careful with all that money we received for Christmas leave.

We’ve spent previous time on natural disasters so let’s take a quick look at Ike. Even though this is all after the fact because of our publishing schedule I think you will find it interesting. Paul Riley 13 th Co. called me from Houston on 9/24/08. I had asked if hurricane Ike had spared him. He says yes but they’ve been without power since the storm went by. The eye was 35 miles to their East and they had winds to 80 MPH. They lost trees but the house was spared. They still had water which was a blessing. They were cooking on a Coleman stove which Paul dug out of the garage and using candles and battery powered lights. Paul had a sinus operation several days before the call, made possible because the hospital and his doctor’s office had power. I haven’t heard anything from other Classmates in Houston- Zeb Alford 2 nd Co., Reid Hunter 21 Co., Francis Johnson 7 th Co., Bob Kenyon 23 rd Co., and Lee Thomas 16 th Co. We hope all of you have survived Ike. Which brings me to a request, when you live through something like Ike please check in so I can assure your Classmates that you are still around.


   I had two communications from Colene Hanson (Widow of W.D. Crawford 13 Co. whom we lost in Sept. ’84). She and Bob had just returned from Paris on 9/10 where they visited her youngest son, Phil Crawford, and his family. They were watching TV hoping they would be spared. On the 19 th she sent me the following-We were very lucky this time. Our home was spared. We lost two trees, some permanent awnings on one side of our home and all our food from one freezer, and two refrigerators with freezers. Dry ice was not available and the cubed ice was not doing the job so we called some of the women that had taken care of my mother until her death in January of ‘07 and asked them to take everything they wanted and they did—all of it. It was a relief since almost all our friends had evacuated which made a neighborhood cookout impossible. We were simply too tired to do all that was necessary to evacuate since we had returned from France Wed. evening and the evacuation was to start on Thursday!


   It was an experience to be at home during such a powerful hurricane. We kept hearing all the loud crashing and banging around us but could see nothing outside. The next day we understood all the noise. Fences and trees had collapsed all around us. We couldn't’t believe our good fortune. Ike was the biggest hurricane to hit Texas since the one in 1900 which destroyed Galveston. Unfortunately Galveston has had another devastating hit. It is mostly under water as is High Island and the Bolivar Peninsula which is our land route to the ferry that goes to Galveston. All of our friends who had homes on the island have lost them. Thousands of men are in from all over the country to help our utility company restore power and clear the streets that are too full of trees, foliage, and power lines to allow vehicle traffic. Some of our surrounding towns have been notified that it will be impossible to supply power for at least one month. We fortunately have power. Ours is one of approximately 10,000 homes out of 120,000 in Beaumont alone to say nothing of small areas around us that have no hope of power any time soon. Schools will not open for several weeks because of structural damage. Those of us that stayed have a martial law curfew, still in effect\, of nobody out of their homes after 8 p.m. until 6 a.m. This has been to discourage looting. People that left have been asked to stay away until the water can be safe to drink and the sewage system can be out of danger of backing up in private homes. We are not using our dishwashers and washing machines either to keep down the sewage problems. After Hurricane Rita we decided we should probably invest in a large gas fired generator that could accommodate our downstairs area but the cost seemed quite high so we put it off. It will now be installed as soon as all the work is done to restore our city. Live and learn.”


   My comment--Hopefully by the time you read this the power will be back on all over the devastated area.

   An email dated 18 Sept. from Helen Lansden in New Orleans says they evacuated for Gustav. They came back home on Friday morning. They had gotten power back about 8 PM on Thursday, Lots of branches et al down but no house damage. They did have to clean out the freezer and frig., but she says she can now see what is in the freezer. They did not evacuate for Ike and fortunately had no problems. The evacuation was hard on Baylor. Because of his Alzheimer’s he was not sure where he was or who he was with. Baylor’s son was granted emergency leave to come home from Basra and check on family. Baylor was very happy to see him which made up for the previous problems.


   On a post calamity note I talked to Jane Humphrey in San Diego this morning, 5 Oct. You will recall they lost their home in the Escondido fire. They are living in a rental across the street from their property watching their new home being built. She says it is moving along and they hope to be in it before Christmas. I pray they are “home” by the time you read this.


   Now, a complete change of pace—I have been commenting on literary efforts of Classmates and John Perkins 23 rd Co. sent me a copy of his self published pamphlet “REFLECTIONS OF A U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT DIPLOMATIC COURIER”. I found it to be fascinating reading. Here is a short excerpt—HELSINKI-MOSCOW


   After time in Moscow, it was a relief to experience the openness of Helsinki. In need of a refreshing experience, a trip to the sauna was just the thing. The attendants were females of Wagnerian proportions. After the heat, which included a beating with birch boughs, there was a ritual scrubbing with a stiff brush, followed by a hosing down by a Finnish Brunhilde and a plunge into the waters of the frigid pool


   At another time I was asked by our Naval Attaché, a Marine Major, to be an escort for the daughter, college age, of the new Naval Attaché in Moscow, a Navy Captain, who was en route to his new post. The party was to be held at the house of Field Marshall Baron Mannerheim, the Finnish Chief of Staff. The Major and I arrived and were introduced to the Attaché’s family. The daughter had good possibilities, but the parents were overweight and rather stiff. There was consternation when the Field Marshall suggested that we all sauna together, but I seized on the suggestion as having potential where the shapely daughter was concerned. However, the idea of a joint sauna was voted down by her parents. We practically had to carry the Captain out—the Finns like their saunas hot.


   John says that he has a few left and can be contacted at or at 820 Chicken Valley Road, Locust Valley, New York, 11560. He will take care of the postage.


   I am sad to report that we have said goodbye to three good friends since the last issue.

     John Fahey 12th Co. 11/10/24-9/16/08

     Hillman Brooks 15 th Co. 1/15/26-9/9/08

   And   Barbara Dempsey, wife of Dick Dempsey 18 th Co. on 10/2/08

Our very heartfelt condolences to the families.


   Cam Bosworth at the Alumni Assoc. has sent me an article about the National WWI Museum in Kansas City, MO. Dick Rubenstein 22 nd Co. is associated with the museum and when they were searching for a submarine display he suggested they contact the Naval Sea Systems Command. This resulted in the Navy making a long term loan to the museum of a very detailed model of the German U-104 which was made in 1916 by the same manufacturer that built the real thing in the same shipyard in Bremen. The submarine was launched July 3, 1917 and met its end April 25, 1918 sunk by the HMS Jessamine. There was one survivor of the 42 man crew. The story is posted in the News on


Jorge Montalvo 5 th Co. lives in Ecuador and I recently received an email from him asking what has happened to Shipmate. He has been a life member forever and had not received the Magazine since January. He was concerned that it was no longer being published. I contacted the Shipmate staff and they immediately put together a package for him; however, they told me that they had the same problem with an alumnus in Brazil and he finally had to go to his mail service and let them know he was expecting the magazine delivery. I told Jorge this and he received the package on 4 October. He says he and Maria Leticia are both in excellent health and attributes it to HERBALIFE. From checking Classmates at our luncheons I think we all have something which is helping us along.


Betty and I pray that this Holiday season is the best ever for you and yours. May we all recognize how blessed we are to have lived our lives in these United States of America. May we take great pride on our contribution to our society. May our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, when they reach our current age, feel that they have been as blessed as we.