SEC’Y: CAPT Dave Carruth, USN (Ret.)
                                                  7206 Danford Lane; Springfield, VA 22152
                                                   P: 703-569-1354        E: slipstk@aol.com
                                       WEBMASTER: John Tsiknas
                                                    15644 Caldas De Reyes, San Diego, CA 92128
                                                    E: johntsiknas@att.net 
                                        WEB SITE: 1948.usnaclasses.com

CLASS OF 1948 SHIPMATE COLUMN
MAY-JUNE - 2016

When I sent out my request for continuing inputs for this column I stirred up some responses via email, some saying, “I don’t do anything of interest.”  However, let’s take a look at some of them, which will perhaps give each of you an incentive to, through the column, at least let your Classmates know that you are still around.  This first one sets the tone:

Bob Milholland 21st Co. responded:  Please define “activity”.  I will look around to see if I have any but am rather doubtful.  I could of course regale you with 90 plus years of “past” activity but that might be just a little much.  Perhaps I could pull off some stunt that would get me on TV but might be even more likely to simply get me thrown in jail.  At any rate I will give it some thought.

Bob apparently did give it some thought because he next wrote:

How many are left out of 1948 and how many did we start with?  Besides me, Hayward 21st Co. and McDonald 7th Co. are the only ones I know of in the Seattle area.  Are Blakney and Key 9th Co. from Texas still alive?  They were my wives from Plebe year as I recall.  Looking at John Fry’s 21st Co. obit he did have quite a life, as did Hank Corley from the old 21st.  Interesting recollection from First Class year.  Of the 4 of us who shared quarters I had 2 daughters, Lee had 6 daughters, Hayward had 2 daughters and Hammann 21st Co. had 5 daughters and 1 boy.   My eldest daughter and her 3 closest sorority sisters at UW had zero children in total.  As you can see from the foregoing my mind tends to wander for which I make no apology or even draw many conclusions.

Scribe’s note:  We graduated 909 and my records show as of 4/20/16 there are 228 or ¼ of us still around.  Blakney is deceased but Key is still with us.

Jack LeDoux 11th Co. wrote on 3/4/16:

You remember that some time ago (10 years?) I published my autobiography (LeDoux Vie).  Somehow it got a seal “The Gold Seal of Literary Excellence”.  This year it will be shown at 3 book fairs (New York, Miami, Los Angeles).  I am not trying to sell it but that is what happened.  I still urge everyone to write their stories for their families.  It is amazing how little they know about our lives.  One grandson said to “Gee Pop I didn’t know you did all that”.  Last Christmas I gave a copy to all 22 of grands and great grands.  It is an opportunity to give them some fatherly advice.  For example the intro said, “You will find, I hope some of the principles that have guided my life.  Trust, honesty, and a sense of to your responsibilities.  Be content that you did your best in every situation”.  There are many other things like that in the book.  We all have had interesting stories to pass on.

Scribe’s note:  Other Classmates have also written their autobiographies and I have copies of some of them.  Jack is correct that we all have stories to tell.  I started mine many years ago but it has languished.  I will try to get back to it.

Nick Castruccio 4th Co. wrote on 3/4/16:

I want to report that I recently had two birthday parties celebrating my 90th year on the planet, one in Los Angeles and a second on St Croix.  Both were very festive and full of surprises.  Friends and relatives came to cheer this old salt, and send him many emails about some guy that couldn’t possibly be me!  I am awaiting the announcement by the FAA eliminating the requirement for a third class physical, so I can again go flying at the local airport.  My health continues good other than my spinal stenosis which slows me down to a walk, no running.

I refer frequently to the very early ’48 Shipmate columns and that they consisted mostly of moves, babies, weddings et al.  Now the things we write about are birthdays and anniversaries (see above).  Tom and Peggy Hayward celebrated their 68th anniversary on Feb. 29th..  They were married on the 29th because that was the only day Tom’s duty permitted.

Angus McDonald writes:

My daughter staged a marvelous birthday party for me on 27 February, in honor of my 90th birthday.  The entire family attended and made contributions.  There was an appropriate slide show and a DVD of my Sky Jumping Adventure.  It was held at the Overlake Golf and Country Club in Medina and some 60 attended including our classmate Tom Hayward.

OJ Bilderback 6th Co.  writes:

Dave, we are still hanging in there.  Glad to hear you are recovering from the blizzard.  No snow down here in Gulf Shores Alabama.

Sibyl Geiger says:

I just don’t have anything interesting to give you-but am grateful for my small family and their including me in all family get-together.  Happy Spring.

Nan Baughman recently returned from an extended visit to see all the West Coast Baughmans.  As soon as she returned she had an operation for a melanoma and is still recovering; however, she is making plans to return to the West Coast for a wedding in October.  In the meantime she is waiting for the arrival of her first great granddaughter sometime this month (April).

Looking back over this column two numbers jump out, I have 185 functional email addresses and we still have 228 graduates on this side of the grass.  I’m missing contact with at least 43 people.  Those 185 people, which of course includes widows, non-grads and families who asked to be kept in the loop, receive quite a bit of traffic from me about the Class.  If you are reading this, have an email address and want to be included please send your address to me at Slipstk@aol.com.

We recently lost both George and Carolyn Ball which prompted their daughter Louise (Weezie) to email me asking me to continue to send Class emails.

Phil Rogers 9th Co. has suggested that I ask the Classmates to think about and share some of their embarrassing experiences.  He says he doubts that at our age any of us would mind sharing a laugh at our expense.  He also suggests thinking back even to Bancroft Hall.

Harry Belflower 2nd Co. writes:

When I was deployed to Sangley Pt, PI I belonged to the Sunset Club among other activities.  A bunch of us used to meet at the patio of the O’Club and watch the sun set over Corregidor.  After a hard day at the “office” it was always nice to relax over a beer of two before hitting the sack.

 That reminded me of an incident in the same area in 1950 or ‘51.  I was deployed to Sangley flying PBMs and one night while I was airborne the Base got word that the Huks (Communist Peoples Liberation Army) were going to attack the base.  The Marines set up several machine gun emplacements then the powers that be decided to issue M1s plus ammo to all the men at the Club.  The patio Harry refers to had a small stone wall about 3 feet high around it, plus it had flood lights which were turned on at night so the patio could be used.  The people at the Club got down behind that wall with their M1s but no one turned the lights off.  Fortunately the Huks decided against an attack but sickbay the following morning was very busy tending to mashed thumbs.  Apparently very few of the people involved had ever been instructed on how to load an M1.

Since the last column I have learned of the loss of six Classmates and 4 wives.
        Classmates:
        1st Co.      Ayers, J.F.       11/7/08
        22nd Co.  Chadima, R.S.   3/5/16
        11th Co.  Conroy, B.J.       2/28/16 #
        21st Co.  Fry,J.C.              3/14/16# *
        18th Co.  Morgan, C.L.      3/13/16
        17th Co.  Skord, C.R.         1/26/16
                 # 50 Year book     * 30 Year book
        Wives:
Conroy, Toni  4/11/15 Wife of Ben Conroy (deceased) 11th Co. Toni was educated at St. Saviour Catholic High School and continued her education at Mary immaculate Hospital in Jamaica, New York , where she received her RN.  She and Ben raised six girls and a boy.  They had nineteen grandchildren.  Toni and Ben were founding parishioners of St. Theresa’s Catholic Church in Austin, TX

Goldman, Greta 3/26/16 Wife of Pete Goldman (deceased) 8th Co.  Pete and Greta together were mainstays of the Class.  She also worked many years for Navy Relief, National Council of Jewish Women and the Hebrew Home.  They had a daughter, several grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Kelty, Marian 3/11/16 Wife of Ken Kelty 18th Co.  Marian and Ken raised two girls.

Skord, Virginia 4/?/13 Wife of Bob Skord (deceased) 17th Co.  Ginny and Bob raised a boy and a girl and have four grandchildren.  They spent a lot of time sailing and Ginny learned to navigate and sail.  They made annual trips down the Inland Waterway to cruise the waters off the Florida coast in their boat GRAND BANKS.

We shall miss each of our departed friends.

As you well know, Rhona and Chuck Gorder 12th Co. love to cruise.  Here is their latest update:

In January we cruised to the Caribbean again on Celebrity Equinox.  My son Ash McNally accompanied us.  We had a great time.  When we got home we found that El Nino had gone through our neighborhood the night before downing several trees, cutting off power, and wrecking our deck furniture with numerous tree limbs on the ground around our house.  Another big storm (for San Diego!) is coming this weekend. (Scribe’s note:  I believe this was in Mar.)

We are planning another cruise at the end of July and this time we will be cruising to Alaska.  Chuck stays busy on the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center Board; we are both members of the San Diego Downtown Lions Club and attend regularly and participate in as many activities around town as we can, but not as many as we used to.  The annual UCSD Bruce Gorder 5K Walk for Melanoma is scheduled for October 8 and over the past 22 years we have raised over $1.8 million for melanoma issues at UCSD.  Currently the money raised is being used to further immunotherapy treatment that is showing great promise in treating and hopefully curing some kinds of cancer.  Continued thanks to everyone from the Class of ’48 who support this effort each year.

On April 8th there was a Class luncheon in Annapolis.  The write up plus pictures is posted on our Home Page.

Ref. the Gorder’s comment on immunotherapy,  I have recently finished a book titled “Body by Darwin.  How Evolution Shapes our Health and Transforms Medicine. The author is Jeremy Taylor.  It is a fascinating book and the chapter on cancer addresses the developments in immunotherapy.