Shipmate Column
May 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.

        Time is rushing by and there are now less than five months until the Class of 1963 reconvenes in Annapolis for our 40th Reunion. Have you made arrangements for your travel and accommodations yet? If not, get to it! The events begin on Thursday, 18 September, and will conclude on Sunday the 21st. We're going to have a grand time being together again and you should be part of the assembly. For details and information about the latest developments, check the Class of 1963 web site now and from time to time in the weeks ahead. The address appears above. We'll see you in Annapolis !

        Earlier this year I published Tony Nargi's account of his MIG kill -- the last downing of an enemy aircraft by an F-8 Crusader. In response to my question about classmates who might have been involved in air-to-air combat between MIG's and A-1 Skyraiders (aka Spads), Mike Cronin supplied this narrative:
    There was such an incident. It happened on June 20, 1965. The A-1s were from VA-25, then operating from the MIDWAY. A pair of MIG-17's jumped a flight of A-1's. The A-1's kept their cool and maintained formation and mutual cover while turning tightly and descending. Pretty soon they were down fairly low and one of the MIG's overshot badly while attempting to line up for a shot. Two of the Spads eased their turn and hosed him down and he crashed into a ridge. The other MIG took off. Credit for the kill was shared by Charlie Hartman and Clint Johnson (class of '60, I think). I was on the MIDWAY at the time, flying A-4's in VA-23. Our classmate Carl Doughtie had been in VA-25, but had been killed in action a few days before on June 10, 1965. I flew many missions over North Vietnam before I was shot down -- 125 or so, I think. Because our Navy fighter cover was so good, I only saw MIG's in the distance a few times during all those missions. A-4's flew many thousands of missions all over North Vietnam but none was ever lost to a MIG. That speaks very well for Navy fighter tactics and Navy fighter pilots. Those guys kept the MIG's out of the picture very effectively. One A-4 did shoot down a MIG. A guy by the name of Ted Swartz got up close and personal behind a MIG-17 and blasted him with a zuni rocket.

        Thanks, Mike! That's a good story, even though it appears that none of our classmates were involved.

So far, 2003 has not been good to us. Last month I reported the deaths of Ray Vaughan and Bob Hecht, whose obituaries are set to appear in the Last Call section of this month's Shipmate. As I was wrapping up this column I received word that Roger Rahl had died from cancer on 22 February in Birmingham, AL. I hope to have additional details to share with you next month.

Thanks to Bob Forster for sending this news from THE social event of the winter for our DC-area classmates and their ladies.
    On February 7th, the Classes of '63 gathered at the Army Navy Country Club in Arlington, VA, for the fourth annual Classes of '63 Valentines Dinner Dance. USNA again led the way with 37 alumni attendees; USAFA followed with 24, and USMA with 6 folks. Several of our classmates traveled from out of town to join us this year. All who were there agreed that it was a wonderful event with good food, nice music, and great company. Attending from USNA '63 were George and Judie Fister, Bob and Sharon Forster, Spence and Andrea Johnson, Larry and Barbara Marsh, Dan and Karen Koczur, Roger and Colette Mehle, Fred and Margaret Meyett, Jeff and Carla Miles, Jerry and Betty Mulholland, Roger and Sami Glaes, Tom and Ann O'Brien, Tom and Fran Reemelin, Jim and Kate Ring, Dave and Gene Robinson, Phil and Jan Rooney, Ian and Fern Sargent, Matt and Betty Small, Mike and Ellen Bracy, Mike and Jackie Cronin, Sami and Roger Glae, and Elaine Steiger -- widow of Bob Steiger. A great big THANK YOU goes to Spence and Andrea Johnson and Phil and Jan Rooney for coordinating the event this year and "Making it Happen." We look forward to even more of our classmates joining us next year.

        Late last year, Carla and Jeff Miles managed an extended trip from their home in Annapolis which included quality time with children and grandchildren, reunions with '63 classmates, and lots of "down time" in always wonderful Hawaii. Here's Jeff's report:
    Carla and I went to Hawaii on the 29th of November 2002 and returned home on 10 January 2003. We had a great trip! During the first week we took care of the grandchildren while our daughter Erica (USNA '87) and her husband David Smith '87 went to one phase of his PXO/PCO school in San Diego. Erica had just gotten off her active duty callup. David, Erica, Jacob, and Julia left for Australia and New Zealand in mid-December for almost three weeks. We stayed at their beach house on Marine Corps Base Hawaii and took care of the dog. We played golf, enjoyed the view of the beach, and just in general relaxed. Hawaii is worth the visit but I am not sure we would want to live there.

We did get in touch with Ros and Tom Miller, who have decided to stay in Hawaii permanently. We had a delightful lunch with them in Honolulu and caught up on what they have been doing for the last 10 or so years. (Those good football season tickets we have at Navy- Marine Corps stadium were passed on to us by Tom.) Tom continues to teach at Iolani High School and enjoys it to the hilt. Ros keeps very busy with community activities. Their children, Rossie and Ward, have grown up and are prospering as we would hope all our children would. We took up where we left off the last time we were together. I think that is a common feature of Naval Academy friendships.

We spent Christmas Day and New Years Day with Judy and Jerry Jordan. Additionally, we went with them to the Mongolian Barbecue at the Marine Corps Base Officer's Club. Without their coaxing we might have missed out on this great opportunity. Judy is the consummate hostess and Jerry is a very congenial host who keeps the wine flowing. We are rooting for their daughter Julie to make it into the Academy this summer. She is a charming young lady who would be a positive asset to the Brigade. She runs fast too. Judy and Jerry have also hosted Erica, David, and the kids on occasions when we could not because of distance. Jerry represents Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory at COMSUBPAC.

        I have been notified by Tony Hastoglis '55, president of the Central Virginia chapter of our Alumni Association, that a Class of 1963 ladies miniature class ring was found in an athletic club in Charlottesville in June 2002. It was in the Lost and Found there until seen and retrieved by a member of that chapter recently. The ring has a green/blue stone. It is engraved "Paoger with love." Several folks have examined the inscription and agree that the name is "Paoger," not "Roger." If the ring belongs in your family, or if you can supply info about who it may belong to, contact Timothy Elizabeth Woodbury (; 410- 263-4448) at the Alumni Association.

        Jim Ring has supplied this information about one of our most distinguished and colorful classmates:
    When in Cincinnati recently I caught up with Joel Warshaw, a 16th Companymate. Joel was a Marine A-6 pilot after graduation and won the Silver Star for some of his heroics. It was downgraded from a Navy Cross recommendation. He had earlier sent me the last picture of my USNA roommate Jim Patterson alive. It was taken when Jim visited his Marine brother in Vietnam.

After the Marines, Joel went to work for the Northwest Airlines, but a short time later they fired most of the pilots in a labor dispute. He barely knew what happened. He went to work for Proctor and Gamble and retired from there a couple of years ago. In his spare time, Joel started working with the Warren County, OH, Sheriff's Department as a volunteer. They were so impressed with his work that they asked him to go through training to become a Deputy Sheriff. Joel was always in great shape and today looks like he did 40 years ago. I remember he used to ace the fitness test each year, especially in the pull-up area. Anyway, he did better in the training than most of the 20 and 30 year-old candidates, especially on the physical fitness side. I have enclosed his official Deputy Sheriff picture. He will be at the 40th!

Deputy Sheriff Joel Warshaw

        The citation for Joel's Silver Star is on the Class of 1963 web site. For our readers who may not have ready access to the internet, here is the citation in full. It's quite impressive.
    CITATION: award of the Silver Star. For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with Marine All Weather Attack Squadron 242, in connection with operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam on 31 October 1967. Captain Warshaw launched as Flight Leader of two A-6 attack aircraft assigned a night interdiction mission against a vital highway and railroad bridge in the midst of a heavily defended area in North Vietnam. Despite the lack of radar significant checkpoints, he effectively utilized his aircraft's complex navigational system to fly by instruments through the darkness to arrive at the initial point of approach to the target area. Aware that his aircraft had come under hostile radar surveillance, he skillfully flew his aircraft in a high speed low altitude approach, often descending to seventy-five feet, in order to break the North Vietnamese radar lock on his plane and to avoid the antiaircraft fire as he approached the target. Undaunted by the enemy's surface-to-air missile defense, radar-controlled antiaircraft weapons, large barrage balloons trailing cables to the ground throughout the target area and the threat of hostile aircraft, Captain Warshaw courageously maintained his low level approach to the target. Less than a minute from the target release point, he observed a surface-to-air missile launched against his aircraft. Instantly, he maneuvered his aircraft in evasive action that succeeded in eluding the missile. At tree top level, he rapidly made precise heading corrections and climbed to 500 feet to deliver his ordnance with pinpoint accuracy on the target. Returning to a low level flight pattern, often at only fifty feet altitude he maneuvered his aircraft through extremely intense fire as he departed the area. By his bold initiative, dauntless courage and superb airmanship, Captain Warshaw was instrumental in the destruction of a vital target, reflecting great credit upon himself and the Marine Corps and upholding the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

        Thanks to Mike Blackledge for passing on this info he received recently from Gene Dehnert:
    The past year here as been busy. In March my stepdaughter, Stephanie, delivered my fourth grandson a cute little guy named Blake. He's walking now, ricocheting off of everything. Summer just evaporated. Time seems to do that. In November my mother died. She was 89 and had been quite healthy through the summer. Unfortunately, at 89 it doesn't take much. We did get all the kids and grandchildren to Pinehurst for the funeral. It was on the day of that monster ice storm. Mom would have appreciated the spectacular sendoff. It feels odd, and sad, to be the oldest one in the clan. As long as no one thinks that makes me the wisest I guess we're OK. At Christmas Angie, my other stepdaughter, got engaged. She and her fiancee are pharmacists so I think I have my own prescription drug benefit. They want to get married next October.

I continue to drive the rich and occasionally famous around in a Citation X. We are in contract negotiations now, and hopeful of a substantial raise. As usual, negotiations drag on forever. I feel for the young and anxious types who have already spent their anticipated raise. It could be an expensive financial management lesson. Fortunately, I get a large effective raise in May when Angie finishes school at Purdue. Sue and I have a ton of house stuff we want to do, plus grandsons to play with. All in all, I think we're doing pretty well. We should see you at the 40th Reunion if things work out.

        To wrap things up, here's a short item contributed by Phil Marsden:
    (Alas, the online editor doesn't have the e- photo) from the 2002 Army-Navy game gathering at June and Chuck Stone's home in Escondito, CA. At the event were Jay Robertson, Donna Kaup, Charlie Helsper, Reed Farrington, and Grant Telfer. They are inspecting Reed's Lucky Bag picture and confirming that his home town is listed as Kiwi Valley, Georgia. Reed, a native of New York, somehow convinced the Lucky Bag editors that Kiwi Valley and Farrington sounded good together. What a character! Reed always enjoys pushing the envelope.

       Don't bother to look in your road atlas: Kiwi Valley, Georgia, doesn't exist. Or maybe it does, but under another name such as Shangri- La.

        And that's it for now. Keep those e-mails, cards, and letters coming to me. We need YOUR participation.

        See you at the Fortieth!

  QUALITY - '63

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   May 2003 
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