USNA Class of 1963
photos courtesy: USS WASP (LHD 1)
George Emery and I both came up with the idea that some forward looking person at Johnson's Clothing had the first class midshipmen who made purchases from them sign the poster for their year. I hope someone from the store is getting as big a kick from this as we are.
This picture was on Facebook USNA Alumni Assoc section today.
"Throwback Thursday: This week's throwback is a bit of a mystery. Recently found in the basement of Johnson's on the Avenue, this poster size sign. Also found were ones from the Classes of 1950, 1952, 1961, and 1962. Anyone have any information?"
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
The next Class Luncheon is scheduled for Tuesday, March 4th at 11:30am in the Arlington Room of Army Navy Country Club.
Steve Hoy reports that Pete passed away on Saturday, February 15. Pete's services will be held the Saturday February 22 at 10:00 AM at the St. Jude church in Westlake located at 32032 West Lindero Canyon Road Westlake Village.
Pete passed after a prolonged struggle against Alzheimer's Disease.
Pete's wife, Henrietta Nomura, home address is:
1291 La Brea Drive
Thousand Oaks CA 91362
I'm sure all of you have received numerous email hackings and some may have been victims. Dick Kuntz received one supposedly from a classmate in financial distress overseas and asked me to remind all of you to not respond to these emails.
Click Here for The Western Region Fall 2013 Trustee Report which covers several items of interest from USNA
It is with regret that I have to announce that Vern Browne passed away late Friday afternoon January 17, 2014 at Yale University hospital with his family close by. He had been quietly fighting cancer for the last two years and succumbed to multiple organ failure. Vern was able to attend the 50th Reunion and enjoyed a final meeting with all of his classmates. It's been a very bad week for the 18th Company losing Merle Clark on January 12 and now Vern.
Visitation for Vern will be held at Leo P. Gallagher & Son Funeral Home, 31 Arch St., Greenwich, CT between 4 and 8 pm on Wednesday January 22, 2014. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Thursday, January 23 at 11 am at St. Michael the Archangel Parish, 469 North Street, Greenwich, CT.
Those wishing to donate in Vern's name should contribute to the Naval Academy Foundation Class of 1963 Center For Academic Excellence.
Elise Browne can be contacted at
2801 Hawthorne Road
Tampa, FL 33611-2827
It is with regret that I have to announce that Art Clarks's wife, Merle, passed away on January 12, 2014 after a prolonged battle with diabetes. She died sleeping at Hospice.
Bob died July 31, 2013. Julianne Cronin informed us that Bob's funeral will be on February 13th at 11:00 AM at Arlington National Cemetery, followed by a reception at the Ft. Meyer O Club.
I recommend that if you plan to attend you send her a courtesy email or note. Her email address is email@example.com. Her mailing address is 9121 Volunteer Dr. Alexandria VA 22309-2922
Dear Classmates, Family and Friends,
Christmas is here. Exams are over, the Messiah sung, and the Brigade dispersed on Christmas leave giving the yard an abandoned air even if the Christmas decorations in Bancroft and the chapel proclaim the warmth of the season.
Midshipmen are now safely home, lazing abed warmed by a tremendous win over Army despite the snow and freezing rain, with visions of a win over Middle Tennessee dancing in their heads.
To the Class of 2013, wherever you are serving this Christmas, at sea, in the field, in the training command or, if lucky at home on leave, our warmest wishes for a happy and memorable holiday season. We are grateful for and salute your service to our nation. Know that you are in our thoughts and prayers wherever this Christmas finds you and as the New Year unfolds.
Andrea joins me in extending our best wishes to all for the happiest of holiday seasons and a joyous, prosperous, and healthy New Year.
Navy will play in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl against Middle Tennessee State at 1145 (our time) on Dec. 30 in Fort Worth, Texas.
It's always more fun to watch a game at home with some classmates so you are all invited to our house in McLean, Virginia, almost in Arlington, inside the beltway. The address is 6025 Chesterbrook Road, McLean VA 22101, at the corner of N. Albemarle about 1/2 mile from N. Glebe Rd. near Marymount University. It's easy to reach from I-66 (via Glebe Rd.), or GW Parkway (via Rt 123 exit to Kirby Rd).
We'll have plenty to eat and drink.
Widows are very welcome.
Please let me know if you plan to come so we'll have plenty of everything. firstname.lastname@example.org
We hope you'll make it!
Cici and John Kelly (1st Co.)
Silver Dollar That Was To Be Flipped By Kennedy At The ’63 Army-Navy Game Will Be Used 50 Years Later
ANNAPOLIS, Md.—The silver dollar that was to be flipped by President John F. Kennedy at the 1963 Army-Navy game in Philadelphia will be used for the coin toss 50 years later at the 2013 Army-Navy game on Saturday in Philadelphia.
Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas on Nov. 22, 1963, eight days before he was scheduled to participate in the ceremonial coin toss on Nov. 30 in Philadelphia at the Army-Navy game.
Though fans had been anticipating the Army-Navy game for months, it would have been cancelled had it not been for the late president's family insisting that President Kennedy would have wanted it played and on Nov. 26 the Pentagon announced that following a one-week postponement, Army-Navy would take place on Dec. 7.
The game was a classic with Navy (9-1) edging Army (7-3), 21-15, thanks to three touchdowns by Navy fullback Pat Donnelly. Army had the ball at the Navy two-yard line when time ran out.
A week after the win, an envelope showed up in the mailbox of Navy captain Tom Lynch. When he opened it, he found a silver dollar. Accompanying the coin was a letter from Secretary of the Army Cyrus Vance.< Attached is the letter and coin sent by Secretary of the Army Cyrus Vance to 1963 Navy football team captain Tom Lynch.
On November 14, I was interviewed in connection with my new book Only the Most Able: Moving Beyond Politics in the Selection of National Security Leaders. The Podcast interview was conducted by Dr. Mark Stout, Director of the Global Security Studies graduate program at Johns Hopkins University, where I teach. The interview is available on the web site of the program and may also be accessed via the following link: http://advanced.jhu.edu/blog/podcast-moving-beyond-politics-in-the-selection-of-national-security-leaders/
I welcome the critical comments of those of you who listen to the Podcast and/or read the book. email@example.com
Classmates, it is an honor for me to pass on the news that Vern VonSydow has been honored by the AARP Educator Community for his continued service in the San Diego community to help at-risk youths. He was one of only 3 individuals so recognized this year. You can find the citation below.
Vern's self-less efforts on behalf of these youths have gone on for many years and truly represents a sterling example of the highest ideals of public service. I am proud to be his classmate and consider him to be one of our Class's "Distinguished Graduates".
NRTA: AARP's Educator Community is committed to learning, voluntary service and civic participation. More than a decade ago, the organization formed the With Our Youth! program to provide volunteer opportunities for community service projects with youth. For the first three years of the program, NRTA made a pledge to serve 1.5 million youth in 2,000 communities with a total of 45 million service hours through its affiliated state retired educators associations (REAs). The goal was exceeded.
The recipients of NRTA's 14th Annual With Our Youth! awards were chosen for outstanding service to youth in the state, local, individual and impact categories by an independent selection panel. Award recipients include:
California - Vernon Von Sydow Vern Von Sydow has touched the lives of literally thousands of at-risk high school students. His math tutoring has helped turn dropouts into college students, and teachers credit working one on one with him as one of the key interventions to move students ahead. Years ago, he reached out to his Naval Academy class alumni network and asked for donations to start the Palomar Scholarship Foundation, which awards more than 20 scholarships per year to deserving young people. That seed money along with fundraising and donations has supported young people going to college for over 20 years. He is a role model to all teachers for his selflessness in retiring to save the jobs of younger teachers and in his work ethic. Despite being retired, he still comes to school every day to tutor at-risk kids in math. In particular he works with teen mothers to help them achieve their graduation goals. He comes in early and stays late yet always has time to devote to a student who needs him whether it be to teach them how to tie a tie for a job interview or just to listen to them when they are feeling down. He never fails to remind that mistakes are just another step in the direction of perfection. The scholarship fund is a fully functioning 501(c)(3) charity registered with the state of California, and he serves as the foundation's president. He is also on the Sweetwater Union School District's Superintendent's Advisory Committee helping to shape new education policy. During his teaching years, he established an internship program where at-risk teens work in jobs on the local naval base learning career skills and building relationships with naval mentors. The Navy Internship Training Program has served thousands of young men and women and has been recognized with a Golden Bell award from the governor of California.
Certain events in history burn themselves into our memories. All Americans of a certain age, and certainly all members of the Class of 1963, can recall exactly where they were when first they heard the news that President Kennedy had been assassinated - 22 Nov 1963. Michael Blackledge suggested we create a new page with classmates' memories of where they were that fateful day. If interested in contributing send to Mike Blackledge your name, USNA company and a short description like:"Ron Walters (6th Co): I remember that day. I was on the USS Cromwell (DE-1014) off the coast of Brazil when President Kennedy was assassinated." If you have a poignant story to tell include that also. Send to Mike@Blackledge.com.
Please get your email input to Mike ASAP and no later than 12/1/2013. do it today.
As many of you know, the sequester mandated we take a very restrictive community outreach posture throughout FY13. Only those events or activities that could be executed locally and at no cost to the government were authorized. As a result, our major outreach programs -- those programs that help us communicate the Navy's mission outside of fleet concentration areas -- were shelved.
That will not be the case this year. Working closely with OSD and the other services, a comprehensive FY14 Community Outreach Plan has been created that supports the requirement to continue connecting Americans to their military, while at the same time acknowledging today's fiscal constraints.
For us, this means that, while we won't return to our pre-sequester level of outreach activity, we will be able to execute our key programs in a manner that ensures Americans outside of fleet concentration areas have the opportunity to see and connect with their Navy.
Specifically, this new plan authorizes the following:As Secretary Mabus has said, we're not back to "business as usual." And this plan clearly reflects that. It's tailored and scaled down. Our local command outreach programs will be as well. But the good news is Americans around the country will once again have an opportunity to see their Navy and gain a better understanding of the dedication and excellence of our people. If you have questions about any of this year's outreach events, please feel free to contact my outreach director, Mr. Rob Newell. He can be reached at (703) 614-1879 or Robert.firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Fleet Weeks in New York City; Port Everglades, FL; San Francisco, CA; Seattle, WA; and Portland, OR
- Navy Weeks in Baltimore, MD; Mobile, AL; Pittsburg, PA; St. Louis, MO; Omaha, NE and Dallas, TX
- CONUS Port Visits in Baltimore, MD; Mobile, AL; New Orleans, LA; Tampa, FL; Savannah, GA; New York, NY; Boston, MA; Camden, ME; Philadelphia, PA and Los Angeles, CA.
- Full Schedules for the Navy's Flight (Blue Angels) and Parachute (Leap Frogs) Teams
- Navy and Regional Band Tours and Performances
In closing, I thought you might enjoy this short clip we posted to help us announce the return of the Blue Angels in the coming year.
Yesterday while doing some research I came upon a most interesting book. It contains the complete Class of 1963 statistical data including class make up, attrition and class standing. Click Here to read it online.
At the 50th Reunion, the Memorial Service to honor our deceased classmates will be a big part of the reunion. While none of us likes to consider the inevitable, planning is important, including ensuring wills and trusts are up to date. One option for burial or inurnment is the USNA Cemetery and Columbarium.So far we have four classmates or dependents buried and 21 whose cremains are inurned there. In general all graduates and their spouses are eligible for inurnment but only admirals,general officers or similar high offices can be buried. No advanced reservations may be made. I suggest you take a look at www.usna.edu/Cemetery/ if this option interests you.
Jim reports that we now have NO cummerbunds or four-in-hand ties.
We do have bow ties and ladies scarves. $63 each or 2 of anything for $100.
Way down this page are pictures of each item and ordering information. Scroll down.
As you know Don Freese died on September 3. I (Ollie) got a call from Sherry Freese last night. She said that Don was a big believer in the Class of 63 CAE and requested that donations be made to the CAE in lieu of flowers.
Here is a link to the form to make a donation:
Here is a link to Don's obituary and memorial page:
Deceased Data Page
I found this link today to a 1965 film about USNA called "Ring of Valor" narrated by Robert Taylor. I remember an earlier version, but this one includes scenes from our four years at USNA including a spectacular three seconds of me playing tennis with (I think) Dick Danhoff. So if you have thirty minutes to spare see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mBbZn8epT-Y. A good prelude to our 50th Reunion!
Michael Blackledge suggest I post this story about my recent heart problem in hope that you will listen to your body better than I did. This all just happened last week and hopefully all is well, except I'm coping with some drug reactions at the moment. It was originally posted on Facebook where Blackie saw it.
Steve C. '63I had a bit of a health scare but all is well. For the past four weeks I had several instances of severe middle back pain while playing tennis or other strenuous activity. A few times it almost buckled my knees. Finally on Friday 8/2/13 afer three or four "attacks", I quit tennis mid-match and went to my doctor who took an EKG which was normal, but he insisted that I have a nuclear stress test, which I had this past Tuesday 8/13. It showed blockage in my heart and the next morning I was directed to go straight to Wuesthoff Hospital for an angiogram. That procedure confirmed almost total blockage of the main artery to the left ventricle.
Two stents were installed.
After an overnight stay I was discharged on Thursday. I am feeling fine, have already walked several miles and ridden my bike several more without pain over the five days since the procedure.
The scary part is that other than the severe pain while exercising which I initially thought was muscular, I had almost no discomfort or difficulty breathing. The doctors were flabbergasted that I could play tennis with that blockage. They indicated that total blockage was imminent which would have caused heart failure and damage or much worse. They said that I was very lucky to be alive.
So the lesson for all of you is to do what I say, not what I did.....If you have unusual pain anywhere see your doctor. It may save your life.
In "Recently Changed Pages" you'll note there are several new Deceased Data pages for our classmates. They have minimal data and in some cases photos of the tombstones.
If you have any further information on any of our deceased send to email@example.com and he'll include it on their page(s).
Several months ago, in anticipation of our 50th Reunion, we put out a request for new or updated current biographies to be published on this website. Response has been good and we're now up to 393 bios (and obituaries). That means over half of our graduating class has still not provided a biography. See /Current Bios/ for the list of those who have submitted bios and for examples of how to write one. No special format is required and you can include a current photo or two if you desire.
Send your new or updated bio to firstname.lastname@example.org and he'll take care of the formatting and publishing.
I (your webmaster) received the following in an email. I checked out Lisa Lark and she's for real. Our class has so many that served with great valor and distinction in the Vietnam War including our thirteen killed, our two POW, four Navy or Army Crosses, fifteen Silver Stars and innumerable other awards for valor. Hundreds served in theater and have stories to tell. If you want to share your experiences, contact Lisa Lark at email@example.com. She is primarily looking for photos as described below but also personal stories. Here's her letter to me:
For those of you who don't know me, I have been working to honor and remember Vietnam veterans for the last 3 years. I have volunteered with the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund on their Call for Photos project, and have located more than 1,500 photographs of men and women who lost their lives in Vietnam. I am also the author of All They Left Behind: Legacies of the Men and Women on The Wall.
I am honored to be able to say that I have begun work on my 2nd book project. This project, scheduled for release in late 2014, will be a photographic history of the Vietnam War as told through the words and photographs of the men and women who served there. I want to make sure that all branches of service, all service responsibilities, and all moments of a tour are covered, from training to the flight home. This project will require nearly 500 photographs and thousands of words. That's where you come in.
I would like this project to be veteran driven, and to do that I will need volunteers. If you have photographs from your time in the military, whether in training, on leave, or in Vietnam and would be willing to donate them for use in this project, please let me know and I will send you specifications for photos. If you would be willing to fill out a survey about your time in the military let me know and I will send the survey to you.
I will consider every photograph sent in, and will use as many as I can in this project. There are certain visual specifications that must be met, and certain guidelines that we have to follow. Sending in a photo does not guarantee that it will be used in the project.
Please contact me if you have any questions, or if you would like information on how to participate in the project. Please feel free to forward this information along to others who may be interested in contributing.
Additionally, I am available for in-person interviews and photo scanning on evenings and weekends. Currently, I will be attending several Vietnam veteran association reunions. If your group would be interested in having me attend to work with your members please contact me.
Thank you for your time.
Lisa A. Lark
Steve wrote: I am happy to report that my new book, Only the Most Able: Moving Beyond Politics in the Selection of National Security Leaders, has received favorable Customer Reviews on Amazon.com. But, on this Memorial Day, I am particularly pleased with the Review which is attached. I have just learned that it will appear in the June issue of CHOICE, the American Library Association's monthly book review for academic libraries. The publisher believes that the Review will generate wide interest.
I've just created a new page called Weddings. It will have our classmates' wedding photo and a current photo of the happy couple. Seems fitting as many of us near our 50th anniversary. See /classmates/Weddings/ for the new page that just has Yvonne and me on it right now.
Send your then and now photos along with bride's maiden name, place of wedding and date to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you got married in the USNA Chapel and remember the time include that because I'll try to put the photos in chronologically. And if you want to include more than one marriage, feel free.
"In Their Own Words: A New Look at the Naval War of 1812"
The emotions captured by the War of 1812: patriotic fervor, anxiety, the immediacy of the moment, the joy of peace… all and more abound in In Their Own Words. Whether encouraging peers, issuing orders to subordinates, lamenting a hero’s death or reporting a glorious frigate action, these emotions spring from the stirring contemporary letters, newspapers and broadsides of the War of 1812 assiduously assembled and presented by Vice Admiral George W. Emery, USN (Retired).
I was a member of the class of 63. Never quite graduated and went back into the Navy and served aboard the USS Tusk (SS-426). After I served my remaining enlistment (I came in through NAPS), I attended and graduated from Johns Hopkins in Engineering. I am now retired and am a member of the SubVets in Severn Maryland.
I am the Vice-Commander. We are looking to have speakers at our monthly meetings. We meet the third Saturday of each month. We don't meet in the summer months.
If someone from our class or other years that live in the Annapolis/Baltimore area would be interested in speaking please contact me. Of course having a sub background would be very interesting. We are all submarine veterans having served on subs from WW2 to the Nautilus and other more modern nuclear subs. But other areas of Naval service with a good story would be great also.
Please let me know what ideas you may have or who you could recommend. Many thanks. Richard Brooke Lynch
3102 Evergreen Way
Ellicott City, Md 21042
Items of Ongoing Interest
A Great Opportunity for Classmates
Click Here for the letter to the Class from Mario regarding Bill's situation and the status of his clemency effort. MS Word required.
The basic colors are blue and gold for the colors of the Naval Academy. We also added red for the Marine Corps, pale blue (sock-bag blue) for the Air Force and a small black stripe between the red and pale blue for the Army. This was done to recognize members of the Class of 1963 who upon commissioning served in the sister branches of the armed services. The main blue and gold stripes are six units wide and each of the three smaller stripes is one unit wide. That way you get a combination of 6 and 3, for the Class of 1963. There is then a 12-unit drop in Navy blue and the pattern repeats itself.
Class ties, both four-in-hand and bow, are available as well as scarves and cummerbunds. The price of each item is $63 or if you order any three items the discounted price is $163 and if you order all four the price is $200.
Orders can be placed with Ms. Jessi Crawford, % Lowe Enterprises, PO Box 12393, Aspen, CO 81812.
Here are photos of Cynthia DeFrancia and June and Chuck
modeling the items.
I added a brief note concerning the death of classmate Dick Bryant who died in an accident prior to graduation. Click here.
If you look at Last Call you'll note that we have no obituary or other remembrance for over half of our deceased classmates.
If you have any formal information for any of these classmates or just want to express your memories of them drop me a line at Steve C. and I'll publish a page for them.
- Put on a catered meal on weekday or weekend.. They will provide a room and tables. The rest is provided by the party putting on the catered meal including silverware. They would invite family members. Could be for 30 wounded and family members.
- Provide funds
Semper Fi Fund. Provides every family with money to help them while here. Designated for Marines and NavyCorpsman. http://www.SemperFiFund.org
Yellow Ribbon Fund - Provides family members free taxis, rental cars. http://www.yellowribbonfund.com/yellowribbonfund/
- USO - USO hires caterers to provide catered meals. http://www.uso.org/
- Armed Forces Foundation - Meets the family members when they arrive in town. http://www.armedforcesfoundation.org/
- Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society - Pay bills of family members while here. http://www.nmcrs.org/index.html
I have had two types of cancer presumed to have been caused by Agent Orange from my in-country service in Vietnam. It would appear that the VA is now honoring claims for compensation from veterans who also served at sea in the areas near Vietnam. For example, the claim is successfully being made that water sprayed with the poison made its way into the ship's purification systems and into the drinking water.
Based on clinical research, the following diseases are on VA's Agent Orange list of presumptive disabilities: chloracne, Hodgkin's disease, multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, porphyria cutanea tarda, respiratory cancers (lung, bronchus, larynx and trachea), soft-tissue sarcoma, acute and subacute peripheral neuropathy, and prostate cancer. A regulation is being developed to add diabetes mellitus.
In addition, monetary benefits, health care, and vocational rehabilitation services are provided to Vietnam veterans' offspring with spina bifida, a congenital birth defect of the spine. A new law authorizes health care and monetary benefits to children of female veterans who served in Vietnam for certain additional birth defects.
My advice, if you contract one of these diseases, is to work with an outside service organization, such as the American Legion. They will help with the paperwork and get you your compensation. Be patient - it takes forever. . The VA needs proof of service in Vietnam (DD214, etc) and proof that you have one of these diseases from your doctor or medical facility. My claim for the prostate cancer took six months. My claim for lung cancer was submitted in December and as of the end of March was just approved. I still have another hearing in June before it is considered permanent.
Be sure to also take advantage of the VA health care system. Although I have used my civilian doctors for the major procedures (more for convenience only), the VA doctors are real pro's and the benefit of zero co-pay for prescriptions is worth a lot. For example, after my latest surgery I was still losing weight. My doctor was concerned and told me to drink two cans of Ensure daily, costing about $2 per day. I called the VA and I now receive Ensure at no cost.
From Mike Cronin:
Until recently it was true that VA compensation was used as an offset to military retired pay. A retired vet who later received VA disability compensation had his military retired pay reduced by the amount of the VA compensation. Since VA compensation is not taxed, the veteran did receive a tax benefit, but the dollar amount of monthly income before taxes did not change.
That has now changed. Several years ago Congress agreed to phase out that offset provision over ten years. Bottom line: if you have any disability that might be service connected you should apply to the VA and let them decide if you are entitled to compensation. If they decide you are at least partially disabled you will come out dollars ahead even before taxes are considered. Apply now. Compensation is dated from the day you apply even though the VA decision process can take years.
One final note. Military retirees can use VA medical facilities without risking their military retired health care (Tricare) benefits.
From Ken Sanger:
Some who receive disability compensation can double dip.
The following is from the VA website at http://www.dod.mil/prhome/mppcrsc.html
"The Department of Defense has two programs designed to reduce the reduction in retired pay due to receipt of Veteran Administration compensation, for certain disabled retirees.
Concurrent Retirement and Disability Payments (CRDP) provides a 10-year phase-out of the offset to military retired pay due to receipt of VA disability compensation for members whose combined disability rating is 50% or greater . Members retired under disability provisions must have 20 years of service.
Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC) pays added benefits to retirees who receive VA disability compensation for combat-related disabilities and have 20 years of service ."
And this from a 2006 document found on the above site:
"The Department of Defense is currently receiving and processing applications for the Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC) program. The CRSC program became effective May 31, 2003, for qualified retirees with combat-related disabilities. Payments are retroactive to June 1, 2003, for otherwise qualified members. The criteria of eligibility to receive CRSC payments have been expanded effective January 1, 2004, to include members with any percentage combat-related disability compensated by the VA.C"
Irish Pennants are loose threads that invite attention, or may need to be tied up or cut off. For the purpose of this web site, they represent miscellaneous thoughts, threads of discussion and points of view by classmates and colleagues. To submit [or respond] to Irish Pennants, just send an e-mail to email@example.com without objection from the Class Secretary, they will be published on this site, invite rebuttal or response, and eventually [perhaps] fade away.
Class of 1963 facts and lore, Cannonball recipe, satire, humor
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