Shipmate Column
April 2003

Pres:  Stephen M. Duncan
Sec'y: Michael H. Shelley
25 Sweetwater Lane, Pisgah Forest, NC 28768
h: 828-862-4245  e:
Web site:

Remember that you can click on any underlined Classmate's name to view his Current Biography.

        By the time you read this, there will be less than six months until we assemble in Annapolis for our

40th Reunion on 18-21 September

The hard-working members of the reunion planning committee have done some impressive work to ensure that you will have a wonderful time that weekend. Reunion coordinator Bill Earner asked me to share the following information with you.
    You should be receiving your 40th reunion registration package in the mail in early March with detailed instructions for registering for the Reunion and obtaining football tickets.

When it becomes available, the information will also be available on this site and the USNA Alumni Association website at ""

We are working with the Alumni Association to get on line reunion registration up and running by mid March.

Of particular interest this month are football tickets, which are available from the NAAA beginning 5 May. The NAAA must receive your order by 6 June 2003 if you want to be seated with the class. Please note that our class block is divided into six sections corresponding to your graduation year battalion.

        As this issue went to press I learned of the deaths of two of our classmates. Ray Vaughan passed away on 11 February in Richland, WA. Bob Hecht died suddenly on 17 February in Upper St. Clair, PA. Additional details will appear here next month. After publication Jerry Jordan passed on the following information and photo of Ray:
    Ray and I served together in the Submarine Force and were in Command during the same timeframe. He had Command of USS GUARDFISH (SSN 612) and had been XO of USS SEADRAGON (SSN 584) before I took Command of SEADRAGON.
Ray Vaughan as Midshipman and Commander

Bob Hecht

        It's almost time for an annual event that demonstrates the commitment of the Class of 1963 to its members and to charitable causes. Please read and respond generously to the following letter from Brev Moore.
    Classmates: I think that most of you know that our classmate Terry Abell is afflicted with a severe case of multiple sclerosis.

To render some support, for some years now classmates in the DC area meet with Terry for what has become an annual "BEAT ARMY" pizza party the night before the game. (We're not sure what we did this last year to effect such a lambasting of Army, but we will try to repeat it!) Also, Jim Ring encourages classmates to join him and Terry for lunch on a regular basis.

For the past several years, some of us have assembled as "Terry's Team" and ridden our bicycles in an annual 100-mile ride in the Northern Virginia area to raise money to support the fight against that awful disease. The ride has been from Manassas to Fredericksburg and back, a fairly hilly course. This year the route will be changed, however; whether it will be more difficult or easier remains to be seen. Each of us who ride must raise a minimum of $250. Several years ago we had about a dozen or so riders; during the last couple of years the weather has been a downpour, and since most of us are not Marines, the numbers dwindled.

This year's ride, to be conducted on 17 and 18 May, provides an opportunity for broad involvement by our classmates. First of all, let's get more riders to participate on Terry's Team this year and, secondly, let's show our support by making the largest donation of any team that participates! This is an appeal for donations for our 2003 ride and, despite how many of us actually perform the ride, it is a request for at least $10 from every classmate (That's 10 cents per mile.). It's not just about money, it is about showing support for a classmate who has been suffering with this dreaded disease for many years now and is confined in a nursing home and wheelchair as a result. I know that our support means a lot to him. It's the least we can do.

If you are thinking about participation in the ride, you do not have to ride the entire 100 miles. You can ride just on Saturday, about half way, if you can have someone pick you up, or you can ride an even shorter distance and return to the start point or have someone pick you up along the way. There is really great support along the route consisting of volunteers who hand out snacks and drinks, including a good lunch and, if you desire, a supper at the mid-point camping area and a breakfast Sunday morning. There is a bike mechanic set up along the route too in case any of the riders have mechanical problems.

Bob Harper has been our team captain and has volunteered to continue this year. Please send your contribution in care of: Brev Moore, 4 Tolson St., Annapolis, MD 21401. Make checks out to: National MS Society. Alternately, go to , click on "Donate Online" on the top-left corner; then, there will be a form to fill out. Down toward the bottom where it asks for gift information, select "Bike Contribution," and then type in our team name, "USNA '63" (Use Internet Explorer or Netscape 4) Thanks in advance, classmates, for your support. Quality '63!

        I know you're enjoying the springtime weather but let's flash back to the winter for a moment. Larry Marsh sent this report about an annual holiday event:
    We in the 20th Company did it again! We had our annual Washington, DC, area Christmas dinner, shown in these photos. Around the table (left to right) are Barb Marsh, Dan and Karen Koczur, Pat Smith (Charlie Robbins' fiancee), Charlie , and me. As usual, a good time was had by all, with Dan again the big Christmas present winner. He picked the fabulous Navy windsock from a vast array of high-priced, invaluable gifts. Charlie told the most outrageous jokes and sea stories (as usual), and I of course behaved myself (as usual!). Our ladies were again beautiful, charming, and very special. They are prettier as time goes by.

        A press release from the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board brought news about Roger Mehle. Here are some excerpts:
    Roger W. Mehle, Executive Director of the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, has announced his resignation after nearly nine years as the Board's chief executive and managing fiduciary. Mr. Mehle also served as the Board's first presidentially appointed private-sector chairman from the agency's inception in 1986 until 1994.

The Board is the independent Federal agency that administers the Thrift Savings Plan, or TSP, a 401(k)-type retirement plan for nearly three million current and former Federal civilian employees and uniformed services members. With over $100 billion in assets, the TSP is the largest defined contribution plan in the world, both in terms of participants and balances.

Mr. Mehle, an attorney and an investment banker, is also a former Assistant Secretary for Domestic Finance of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. He is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy, New York University School of Business, and Fordham University School of Law.

        The press release also noted that Roger was the key person to whom President Reagan turned in 1986 to create the TSP. (Some full disclosure: As a retired federal civilian, I am among the many folks who have benefited from the Board's performance under Roger's leadership.) He told me that he was expecting to reestablish his law practice -- The Mehle Law Firm, PLLC -- in Washington, DC, this February. His wife Colette, who has been practicing for several years as an energy lawyer, will be joining the firm.

        Steve Coester passed along the news that Dick Kell ended his work at the Kennedy Space Center in January and will have time to travel in his RV and get his wood shop organized. Gloria and Dick will be on the road most of the time this year. Their planned trips include Virginia and New Jersey in the spring with family; May and June in Texas, Arizona and Colorado; and August through October in Maryland, New England, New York, and the Midwest. The Kells hope to have their RV at USNA for the 40th Reunion. Sounds like a plan to me. I know that Sylvia and John Detweiler have been active RV'ers and Bill Bradford was planning to hit the road also. Who else among our classmates is an active RV touring person? (Is there an official title for those folks? Somebody tell me, please!) Steve also shared his reaction to the latest novel by our classmate Pete Deutermann.
    I'm currently reading Deutermann's new thriller, Darkside. This one takes place in and under USNA (think steam tunnels) so it will be familiar and bring back lots of memories to all of us. Pete does a wonderful job of describing the transition from civilian kid to midshipman and the trials and tribulations of the four years at the Academy. Anyone who ever "went over the wall" will associate with this book. The book is filled with snippets that will bring back your own memories of the good and bad times at USNA. I'm sure all Academy grads will love it and it will mean even more to the Class of 1963 since Pete is one of us.

        Now, thanks again to Steve, we'll continue this month's news exchange with a story about a journey that is sure to impress you with its length and variety of locales. The following originated with Pete Carrothers, whose boat "Sugar" was the star performer in the voyage.
    We left Houston in March and cruised over to Florida and saw Kathleen and Flack Logan in Pensacola. As we cruised up the east coast we had dinner with Denver Key and Tony Isger and wives in St. Augustine and later in North Carolina with Sandy and Ron Klemick .

These pictures were taken last June when we berthed at Annapolis and had as many classmates and their ladies as we could gather on short notice for a cocktail party onboard Sugar. With fear that I'll leave someone out, I'll try and reconstruct from memory: Spence Johnson, Jeff Miles, David Robinson, Bruce Webb, Roger Mehle, Jim Ring, Sonny Glassner, and Kent Maxfield. Jeff and Carla did a great job handling the "admin ashore."

Pete Carrothers (3rd from left) hosts cocktails afloat in Annapolis

Socializing in Annapolis Harbor

After the Chesapeake Bay we cruised up the Hudson (visiting WooPoo Land) and through the Erie Canal and into Lake Ontario, through the Welland Canal and into Lake Erie, up the St. Clair River and into Lake Huron, around Michigan and over to Chicago where we went down the Illinois River to the Mississippi, up the Ohio River to the Cumberland River, to the Tennessee River up to Chattanooga for a two-week stop and then back down the Tenn Tom to Mobile and finally back to Galveston and home in late October -- almost eight months. In all we cruised over 8,000 miles, went through what seemed like a thousand locks, saw some of the most wonderful scenery along the way, and met hundreds of the most interesting people. So now you know the true story: I was a closet Black Shoe all that time!

        I noticed a newspaper article profiling the members of the Space Shuttle Columbia Accident Investigation Board. One of our own is among them.
    Roger Tetrault, retired chairman of McDermott International, Inc. and former executive at General Dynamics. Graduated from the Naval Academy in 1963, served as naval aviator. At McDermott subsidiary Babcock and Wilcox, was involved with missile components and advanced solid rocket motor bodies for the space shuttle.

        Dave Moore wrote to me in mid-January with news of an upcoming expedition.
    Just so you can enjoy the experience vicariously, I am sending you this note to report the launch of 63Ski03 at Lake Tahoe. It will be the same group of six as last year but we are staying at Bob Tieslau 's home that he bought and refurbished last year in South Lake Tahoe. Sandy Stoddard and I start Thursday at Sugar Bowl and then the rest join on Friday for skiing at several other locations. Somebody will send an after action report for Shipmate when the wine level in our blood dissipates to .01

        His blood chemistry reportedly back to normal, Ed Hutcheson promptly supplied this report and photo:
    I am happy to report that the second annual California Ski63 outing was concluded with spirits high and no casualties other than Bob's wine reserve and a few "dead soldiers". The group photo from the top of Homewood with Lake Tahoe in the background shows, from left to right, Sandy Stoddard , Gary Hosey, Bob Tieslau , Dave Moore, Gary Thomas, and me. We also skied the slopes of Northstar, Kirkwood, and Heavenly, which was, as they say, "heavenly." Would you believe January skiing with the temperature in the forties and fifties? To quote Sandy Stoddard, "a great time was had by all, the weather conditions were ideal, the slopes very skiable and lots of fun. The evenings were particularly enjoyable with lots of laughs, beaucoup stories from USNA/USN, great home-cooked food and a liberal amount of wine (most from the cellars of R. Tieslau.)."
Second annual Ski '63 at Lake Tahoe

        Jim Metcalfe's latest contribution to this news exchange brings information about yet another of our classmates with Culver Military Academy roots:
    I am class agent (secretary) for the Culver Military Academy class of 1959. I recently received a nice e-mail from Fred Wielandt updating me on his situation. Tom Reemelin, Fred, and I graduated together from Culver. Fred left the Academy in August of 1960. He ultimately graduated from Indiana University and went on to earn a Navy commission at OCS in Newport and his NFO wings in Pensacola. He flew in Willy Fudds off North Vietnam. He then had a tour teaching Naval Science at USNA. In 1971 he did a tour in-country as an advisor. Fred transitioned to the S-3 in the early 70's and spent many years in that community, mostly stationed at North Island. After retiring in 1990, Fred worked for defense industry contractors until recently when he and his wife Patricia decided to move back to Indianapolis. Their daughter Kristen who is a pediatrician lives there. Their son Fred lives in San Franciso where he is a set and productions designer for the San Franciso Opera.

        The annual Valentine's Day dinner-dance for the USNA/USMA/USAFA/USCGA Classes of 1963 was scheduled for 8 February at the Army/Navy Country Club in Arlington, VA. I hope to have an after-action report and photos for your enjoyment in the next issue of Shipmate.

Thanks to all the good folks whose contributions made this such a full report. Please resolve to follow their example by sending me some news, and perhaps some photos. Do it now, while you're thinking about it. Good for you!

  QUALITY - '63

This page is 
   April 2003 
posted on:
 2 February 2003
Shipmate columns:

< Last Month

Navigate to:   
Shipmate Index
Shipmate Index


Plan of the Day
Plan of the Day
Site Map

Site Map

USNA Class of 1963 Home Page