Shipmate Column
January-February 2022

Pres:  CAPT W. Spencer Johnson IV, USN (Ret.)
Sec'y: Michael H. Shelley
27 Cambridge DR, Brevard, NC 28712
h: 828-506-2201  e:
Web site:

For any classmate you can go to the Classmates Page and enter his name to read his current biography if available.

        We begin by recognizing the passing of four of our classmates this autumn. They are briefly noted below. Be sure to visit the Last Call section of our web site to see their obituaries and other information about their lives.

Eric W. Kreiger passed away on 17 September. His widow, Lynda, can be contacted at 7624 Vista Cerro Court NE, Albuquerque, NM 87109.

William J. Pawlyk died on 6 October. We do not have contact information for his next of kin.

David G. Johnston died on 29 October. Dave's widow, Nancy, can be contacted at 150 Forest Road - Unit #31 Fernwood Estates, Milford, CT 06461.

Michael G. Colston passed away on 1 November. His widow, Eleanor, can be contacted at 103 Arment Drive, Glen Hills, PA 19342.

        Thanks go to Daryl Rabert for contacting me with this news of a major event at the Academy this fall
     Bonnie and I had the pleasure of being invited to the dedication of the Ron Terwilliger Center for Student Athletes (TCSA for short). The dedication took place the weekend of September 10-11. Located at Ricketts Hall, the TCSA is a beautiful space for visiting potential Midshipmen, visitors to the yard, and alumni. It houses Navy sports trophies/awards, photos of Navy student varsity athletes and many interactive stations to view Navy sports history. It also has an auditorium for showing movies and conducting lectures. I would urge all classmates to visit the TCSA when in the yard.
     The dedication weekend started with the first viewing of the TCSA which included USNA Foundation members, the Terwilliger family, and '63 classmates - Jim DeFrancia, Forest Siburt, myself, and Ron's brother Bruce '65. Saturday morning was the official dedication ceremony. Attending were Foundation supporters, the Terwilliger family (Fran, Ron, and children) and '63 classmates. Remarks by Chet Gladchuk, Byron Marchant, and Tom Lynch '64 preceded Ron's remarks.
Before the ceremony -- Jim DeFrancia, Forest Siburt, Daryl Rabert, Ron Terwilliger and his brother Bruce '65

        Extensive information about the TCSA and the dedication ceremonies was posted on the internet by the Naval Academy Athletic Association. To see it, click HERE
        Be sure to check out the links at the end of the text to see videos and other information about the impressive new facility. Daryl made a cell phone video of Ron's remarks to the attendees. We have posted it at the end of the Pride and Tradition section of our web site. Below are several images of the TCSA. It will be my first stop the next time I return to the Academy.

        As the donor of the lead gift for the Terwilliger Center for Student Athletes, Ron continued his unparalleled support of the Naval Academy and the Brigade of Midshipmen. As his classmates, we applaud and admire his generosity and dedication to the Academy and its mission.

        A timely note and photos came from Hilton Head, SC, resident Rich Weidman.
     This Veterans Day, as part of our USNA Low Country Chapter's annual observance, I had the honor of placing a Naval Academy flag next to the gravesite of three of our classmates who are buried in the Beaufort National Cemetery in Beaufort, SC. Herbert Swinburne, Wiley "Stoney" Grantham, and Russell Berry are among the almost 27,000 veterans buried here over the last 158 years.
Rich Weidman at Beaufort National Cemetery

        Derek Simmons tells us of a presentation honoring one of his Second Company classmates.
     On Veterans Day, Dana and I went to an appreciation ceremony at the Tryon Estates community in Columbus, NC, where one of the honorees was Austin Chapman. He was thanked for his years of service to the nation with the presentation of a "Quilt of Valor." The quilts were designed, made, and presented by women of the Western North Carolina branch of the Quilts Of Valor Foundation.
Austin Chapman

        Thanks to Watt Miles for alerting me to a profile of Dave Driskell published this November in the monthly magazine for residents of Fair Oaks Ranch, TX. Dave gave his OK for me to tell you about it. The article described Dave's early years, highlighted his Navy service and civilian career, and noted Fran Driskell's support for Dave and their family. Dave and Fran were credited for their community service through Rotary and other activities. Especially noteworthy is Dave's work since 2003 as a Blue and Gold Officer helping to guide USNA applicants through the admissions process. He was appointed BGO area coordinator in 2019, overseeing most of central and south-central Texas while supervising 47 BGO's. Appearing below are two of the several pictures that accompanied the article.
Dave and Fran Driskell on 6 June 1963

        The sword bearers at the Academy chapel were (left side, front to back) Hoot Gibson, Pete Vermaire, and Joe Frazar '65; (right side, front to back) Dave Maples, Austin Lett, and Fred Beckham.
Dave and Fran at the 50th Reunion

        Mario Fiori reported that members of the 12th Company held a reunion in Annapolis the weekend of 7-10 October, including attendance at the Navy-SMU football game. He sent and described two photos from the event.
     In the companymates image are Fred Kaiser, Bill Witcraft, and Ron Wills in the front row. Shown in the second row are Grant Telfer, Bob Bennett, Randy Orlowski, Jim Czerwonky, Mario Fiori, and Roy Warren.
12th Company classmates

     The other photo includes wives and some children and grandchildren. What was particularly nice was the attendance by Lori Kate Smith (now Pyle) and her son, who have attended every company reunion since Casey was born 17 years ago. Gary passed away in September 2015. Lori Kate's new (May 2021) husband Cody attended and also one of Gary's daughters from first marriage, Kim Tagle, and her daughter, Rachel Tagle, also attended. Cody Pyle fit right in! In the front is Gary's granddaughter Rachel Tagle. Shown seated are Dee Wills, Vicki Warren, Sandy Orlowski, and Susan Fiori. Standing in the first row are Bill Witcraft, Linda Bennett, Klara Kaiser, Randy Orlowski, Pat Czerwonky, and Grant Telfer. Roy Warren is behind Grant. Standing in the second row are Fred Kaiser and his grandson Logan, Ron Wills, Lori Kate Smith and her son Casey Smith, Kim Tagle, Jim Czerwonky, and Mario Fiori. Cody Pyle and Bob Bennett are in the rear.
12th Company couples and family members

        Here is a nice photo of Kathleen and Jack Colyer in New York City on Veterans Day 2021. Jack supplied the caption.
On the March for God & Country with the Union League Club

        Ben Redd checked in with a note about his recent travels and a nice photo of two '63 couples.
     We just got back home from a very successful 5th Company October reunion in Charleston. On the way back to Pennsylvania from Charleston, Joanne and I stopped to see Bob and Janice Van Buren in Aiken, SC. Bob and I had stayed in Annapolis following graduation being assigned to the Summer Plebe Detail. For the next year and a half, we went through (together) Nuclear Power School in Bainbridge, MD; Nuclear Prototype at Windsor Locks, CT; and finally Submarine School in Groton, CT. Following graduation from Sub School, we were assigned to different boats ... I to USS Thomas Jefferson and Bobby to USS Piper. From time to time we visit when we get a chance.
Bob and Janice Van Buren with Joanne and Ben Redd

        Bob Van Buren makes a second appearance in Shipmate this month. His email bringing the text and photo below arrived a few days after Ben contacted me.
     This photo was in the Veterans Day edition of the Aiken (SC) Standard. A ceremony was held in our community, Cedar Creek. Those pictured in this photo were selected representatives of each of the major services (L-R): USMC, USA, (Cedar Creek Marketing Committee rep.), USAF, USN. I was selected as the Navy rep. primarily because Jan and I are good friends of the Marketing rep. and also because I am the oldest USNA graduate in our development. We are each holding an envelope from the Marketing Committee containing a letter of appreciation for our service as well as a gift card from Chick-Fil-A. Note that I was wearing my USNA '63 class crest ball cap!
Veterans Day recognition

        My final item involving Bob is a correction to our Shipmate column this September in which three 11th Company roommates were misidentified. Here's the correct gouge. Left to right in this 2006 photo are Skip Wilkinson, John "Fitz" Fitzgerald, and Bob Van Buren.
11th Company roommates

        Two of our classmate authors have recently completed noteworthy books, both of which have received very positive reviews.
        Dave Oliver alerted me about the publication of his latest book, A Navy Admiral's Bronze Rules; Managing Risk and Leadership, published by the Naval Institute press. Dave uses real-world case studies from his career to explore the inherent risks of leadership and the tools available to those who wish to shoulder those responsibilities.

        Harlan Ullman has authored a provocative book about the most immediate and greatest dangers to the nation. The Fifth Horseman and the New MAD: How Massive Attacks of Disruption Became the Looming Existential Danger to a Divided Nation and the World at Large is scheduled for publication on 14 December. Harlan issues a warning about so far unrecognized existential dangers to the nation and offers a plan of action to tame or break the Fifth Horseman and the new MAD.

Veterans History interviewer Bob Abate

        For many years, our classmate Bob Abate has been dedicated to preserving the stories of World War II veterans by interviewing them and recording their stories on audiotape. He has talked with hundreds of veterans, capturing and preserving important personal and historical information. This is a personal project for Bob which he pursues using his own resources and many hours of his time. I just learned that he was interviewed in the spring of 2021 by Fordham University radio station WFUV. In that talk Bob described the genesis of his veterans history efforts and the impact that the preserved information has had on the veterans, their families, and others. You can hear the interview at by clicking Here To see a video interview conducted two months earlier, go to click HERE What a remarkable service Bob continues to perform.

        Jim Metcalfe tells us about the return of his son from Afghanistan.
     Lisa and I had lunch at Bubba's in Virginia Beach on 29 September, courtesy of our son Cdr. James M. Metcalfe, SC, USNR. We welcomed him back home from his 30 days active duty in which his duties involved logistics planning for a major worldwide exercise and then real world logistics planning for our departure from Afghanistan. Jimbo had earlier served as a Reservist called to active duty. He deployed to Afghanistan in 2006 where he was liaison to an Afghan Army Corps Headquarters.
Jim, Lisa, and "Jimbo" Metcalfe

        As we look ahead to the Army game on 11 December, here's a photo of one of Dave Puckett's great-grandchildren in appropriate Navy attire getting ready to cheer for a Navy football victory. Every fan counts!

        That's all for now. Have a happy and healthy New Year 2022!

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