SEC’Y: CAPT Dave Carruth, USN (Ret.)
CLASS OF 1948 SHIPMATE COLUMN
MEMBERSHIP AND SERVICES, SPRING 2010
Written in Apr. for the Member Services/Spring 2010 edition.
Guy Buck 18 th Co. has asked me an interesting question. He has been diagnosed with mesothelioma and needs to put together a list of every ship he served in during his career. For most of us, and for him, we have the orders which sent us to each ship; however, the ships we were aboard while we were midshipmen are another story, no written orders. Guy can remember most of the ships he was on during mid’n cruises but asked me if I could give him additional data or aim him toward a good source. First up of course we would all go to the Lucky Bag or Bags, but many have only the “A” or the “B” bag. I had ’47, ‘48A and 48B and used all three extensively when putting together the 50 Year Book. Now I only have our two bags. “A” coverage of our cruises is minimal at best. “B” coverage of cruises, including “CAMID” is quite good but still short on details. Regardless I pointed Guy toward the Bags but he only has one. I then turned to Jim Cheevers at the Academy Museum and he cited the bags and suggested that I visit the Naval Academy Archives on the third deck of Nimitz Library. That is something I will do the next time I get over to the Yard.
Next I went to one of our Classmates, Hal Deeley 9th Co. who has a phenomenal memory and loves history. He served in MULIPHEN (AKA61); CONE (DD-866); COLUMBUS (CA-74); then Op 29 Naval History Division and finally GUARDIAN (YAGR1). In ’59 he resigned and went to law school. He eventually ended up in DOT. Our Class had quite a contingent in DOT at that time. In addition to Deeley who was Patent Counsel in the Office of the Secretary of Transportation, there was Jim Beggs 10th Co. - Under Secretary of Transportation; Carlos Villarreal 19th Co.–Administrator of Urban Mass Transportation Administration; Don Hall 22nd Co.-an engineer with FAA; JackZimmerman 1 st Co.-Counsel on the Board for Correction of Military Records in the Coast Guard; Floyd Young 16 th Co.-in the office of Secretary of Transportation for R&D; and Bob Hemmes 6th Co.– Assistant Administrator for R&D in Urban Mass Transportation.
Hal remembered the ’45 cruise had four light cruisers and two destroyers SAVANNAH (CL-42), RALEIGH (CL-7), MARBLEHEAD (CL-12) and CINCINNATI (CL-6). The destroyers were SAMPSON (DD394) and MCCALL (DD400). We made port calls Gtmo; Ponce,P.R.; San Juan, P.R.; Gonaives Bay, Haiti (No liberty); New York and Norfolk. ‘48B did CAMID on NOBLE and OKALOOSA with West Point Second Classmen. In ’46 “A” was in NORTH CAROLINA (BB-55) and WASHINGTON (BB-56) visiting Gtmo; Panama Canal Zone (Balboa) and New York. “B” cruised in Randolph (CV-15). In ’47 “B” cruised in WISCONSIN (BB-62) and NEW JERSEY (BB-64) along with DesDiv 61- CONE (DD866); STRIBLING (DD-857); O’HARE (DD-899); and
Meredith (DD890). They went ashore in several European ports as set forth in the “B” bag.
Scribe note: I would like to expand this cruise information with your memories of same. If you feel so inclined drop me a note for a future Shipmate.
I have previously commented that several of our wives were teachers. Hal’s wife, Sally, taught until their first son was born. She then taught part time in a Private School and at North Virginia Community College. During this time she was working on a Masters Degree in Special Education but decided to change direction and at age 62 went back to school to become a Registered Nurse. As you can imagine she was the oldest in her class but she graduated in the top (first or second) of her class, summa cum laude. She then served as a pediatric nurse for 11 years until she was 76 and the physical challenge became too large.
As I have said before, we men bow to no one with regard to our contribution to society but our wives stand with us as educators, nurses, writers, librarians, volunteers, mothers, care givers and on and on. I firmly believe this is a characteristic of our generation. No wonder we are tabbed as the “Greatest”.
Some news from my email correspondents—I was recently commenting on something and referred to Henry Hoffman 9 th Co. when I meant Dick Hoffman 10thCo. When I corrected myself I received an email from Dick as follows:
Just to add to the confusion, like to point out ’48 had 4 Hoffmann/Hofmann/Hoffmans with three spellings:
Bradley Dean “Brad” Hoffmann 6 th Co.
Plus we had Executive Department Commanders “Cementhead Ed” Hoffman ’36 and George Dewey Hoffman ’34 (Seem to recall Admiral Dewey was his godfather). None of us were related.
Scribe note: Actually only two spellings. Hank was in the 9 th Co. with me and I thought he spelled his name with two “f”s so I checked the Register and the Lucky Bag. Both show two “ff”s. Fortunately none of the mid’s were in the same company. Dick’s email gave me a very large grin. Thanks Dick.
An email from Gene Mulligan 1 st Co. commenting on one I sent out-“Your mention of Grace reminded me that we’d not seen the Harkins for a couple years, and so we called on them yesterday in their McLean, VA home. I can report that Bill in his wheelchair looks good but has very limited muscle strength after years of Parkinson’s. Grace is holding up well, too, thanks in part to a 3-day a week home health aide and assistance from their son Bill living nearby. Still, life is quite constrained for them, and I’m sure they welcome calls from past friends and associates. They were interested in your news of Guy Buck. (Grace checks e-mail infrequently, is best reached by phone.)
We had a very enjoyable visit as we updated each other family news. No politics, however.
Bill and I were roommates in our first class year—others in our 4-man room (suite?) were Sims Ross (Seymour Rosenblum) 1 st Co., now deceased, and Dick Harris 1 st Co. I participated in Bill and Grace’s wedding shortly after graduation, and we’ve exchanged Christmas messages for many years. Except for your e-mails, Dave, he and Grace are my only links to our class.
A relative youngster in our class, I observed my 84 th birthday yesterday. (Bill is even younger; he’ll be 84 July 26!) Dorothy and I enjoy good health and are fairly active with our UU church and community affairs. Travels are pretty much limited to childrens’ and grandchildrens’ homes (no complaint), ranging from Charlottesville, VA, Reisterstown, MD, Cambridge, MA, to Hawaii. We also enjoy an extended family reunion on Labor Day at a vacation home in northeastern Pennsylvania.
Any recent news of my second year roommate, Jay Berggren 1 st Co.?”
Scribe note: I had to tell Gene I had absolutely no information on Jay. Is anyone in contact with him? Jay, if you are reading this you might give Gene a call.
I regret to report that we lost Courtenay Bass on the 4 th of April. Her memorial service was very well attended by Classmates and wives. Our condolences to Bill.
When I took over as Secretary from Sumner one of the first things I did was go to Shipmate’s offices and look through the files to see how previous writers had handled things. In 1962 Ray Lochner 6 th Co. was writing this column and in one issue reported as follows:
Homecoming 1962 was a huge success. We had the Severn Room at Carvel Hall where we packed in 130 persons for cocktails and dinner. Approximately 150 persons attended the cocktail hour and class meeting, but some had other places to be later on and couldn’t remain for the savory buffet dinner.
To my knowledge Rev. and Mrs. A.L. LOEFFLER 13 th Co. came from the greatest distance—Ganeda, Tex. Many “first-timers” came this year and from the comments, this year marked a new era of ’48 Homecoming. Those of us in Annapolis who put the pieces together and the excellent assistance from the Washington contingent really made the gathering all that it was. Many thanks to all concerned. Next year DON HALL will be in charge of the events, so start making your plans now to attend and meet those long-lost classmates.
In a recent exchange of emails with Jean Lochner she answered a question as follows—Ray took over the homecomings and Shipmates from Pete Goldman 8 th Co. when his tour at the Academy ended—1960 was the year I think. All through the years we had different people and committees depending on who was in Annapolis to help out. Ray kept the finances and paid all the bills. Lots of tales about that! One year that stands out was held at Carvel Hall—at that one the hat had to be passed around three times to have enough to pay the bill. It was after that he started the policy that you paid up front by a certain date or you had an extra charge. When he turned over the bank account to Dudley Holstein 20 th Co there was enough to pay for a homecoming before any money was collected—the account was getting good interest at that time. I couldn’t begin to name all the guys that chaired the many homecomings. Phil Rogers 9 th Co. helped on many, but his big thing has been the ’48 gate and even today he keeps his eye on it. Since Dudley left us Phil and others in the area have taken over.
Scribe Note: Two observations about Jean’s note, I wonder if Ray’s report of the ’62 homecoming at Carvel Hall was the one where the hat had to be passed? That’s a hoot and I have a vivid mental image of that process. Second observation, I’ve previously told you that the Academy is more than happy to accept donations such as the ’48 gate but they do not accept responsibility for upkeep thereof. That responsibility remains with the donor class. Phil has established a fund, which he can tap when the Gate needs attention but he has also accepted the responsibility of watching over said Gate. Let’s not forget that Phil also chaired the reunion committees for the ‘50 th, 55 th, and ‘60 th reunions. Thanks Phil.
At our age almost all of us have some form of a health problem of varying degrees of severity. A letter from Charlie Butler 8 th Co. introduces me to a problem I have never before heard of. Here is Charlie’s letter—
I have spent the past three years fighting a rare disease called Pyoderma Gangrenosum. It is believed to be caused by a malfunction of the immune system and it is so rare that there is no standard diagnosis and no standard treatment. It destroyed all the skin on both my lower legs and much of the muscle, too, before my doctors were able to control it.
It took six graft operations and most of the skin on my thighs to patch me up. Learning to walk again has been a long, slow process, but I am now walking with just a walker, so things are looking up!
Meantime, Rosemary took advantage of my long stays in the hospital to write a book about our “adventures” in three favorite countries in Europe: Ireland, which we have visited twelve times since living in Coral Gables; England, which we have visited six times and Spain, where we lived for two years in the 1950s when I was in charge of building one of our bases there. After my retirement, we returned to Spain, bought a car, and logged 25,000 miles crisscrossing Spain and Portugal.
Scribe’s comment--Rosemary’s book is titled Ghostly Encounters-Ireland, England, and Spain. I like ghost stories and it sounds to me as though Rosemary has done a good job on this so I plan to get a copy for the beach next month. Those of you who have a Kindle can get it from Amazon. I’ll have to go to Barnes & Noble.
For Charlie, glad you are making progress. Drop me a line occasionally to report where you are in getting rid of the walker.
Let’s close with further proof that our children are following in their father’s footsteps. Nan Baughman tells me that Bob has been early selected to O-6.