CLASS OF 1963
Pres: CAPT W. Spencer Johnson IV, USN (Ret.)
Sec'y: Michael H. Shelley
27 Cambridge DR, Brevard, NC 28712
h: 828-506-2201 e: email@example.com
Web site: http://www.usna63.org.
Joel Ruland Gardner died on 6 August. Condolences to his family can be sent to Joel's daughter, Eve Gardner, at 32 Nottingham Rd., Short Hills, NJ 07078.
James Randall Barnum passed away on 11 August in Alice, TX. We do not have contact information for his widow, Sandra.
Eloise Danhof, wife of our classmate Dick Danhof, passed away on 5 September. Dick can be contacted at 121 Eagle Ridge Drive, Guntersville, AL 35976.
In this communication to the Class of 1963 in September, class president Spencer Johnson announced the designation of an honorary classmate.
|CAPT Wendell "Ray" Alcorn, USN|
At the suggestion of our classmate Jim Metcalfe, and with the unanimous approval of our class officers, I am delighted to announce the addition, sadly posthumously, of Captain Wendell "Ray" Alcorn, USN, as an honorary classmate. Many of you knew Ray from our time in service together and from his frequent attendance at many class gatherings over the years in company with his sister Lou Shelley and her husband, our classmate, Mike Shelley.  To see more about Ray Alcorn and his distinguished career, click HERE . Our other honorary classmates are VADM Charles Kirkpatrick (our USNA Superintendent) and VADM Charles Minter (our USNA Commandant).
Ray graduated from Penn State University and received his wings in June 1963. He then flew A-4s in Vietnam, was shot down in 1965 while on a low-level mission over hostile territory. He spent the next seven years as a prisoner-of-war in 11 of Hanoi's 14 prison camps. On release and repatriation, Ray continued his Navy career. His last assignment was as Commanding Officer of Naval Air Station Fallon, Nevada. There he is credited with the expansion of Fallon and its becoming the home of advanced tactical training for naval air squadrons and air crews. Ray was awarded two Silver Stars, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Navy Air Medal, three Bronze Stars all with Combat 'V's" , two Purple Hearts, and four Legions of Merit. On retirement, Ray served as the Nevada Director of Veterans Affairs. Ray is one we can all be proud of as an honorary classmate. He passed away in March and will be interred at Arlington cemetery. Welcome aboard to Ray's widow, Karen.
Lynn and Lew Blackwell and I met for dinner in San Francisco. They were on their way from San Diego via Pismo Beach to Bend, OR, for a week. Several of their La Quinta friends summer there. We lamented about the current situation but managed to have a good time dwelling on happier times in the past.
Jim Oakes flanked by Lew and Lynn Blackwell
|Austin Seay accepting his appointment|
|1962 Army-Navy football program|
|Watching the televised Army game in 1967|
Here's my shot at carrying out a super-procrastination! The attached photo was taken (using a Polaroid camera) from behind the TV set at a gathering (mostly of classmates) in December 1967. The party was at the "Snake Ranch" occupied by Tom Miller and me, along with a couple of non-USNA friends. We were all going through pre-Vietnam training in language, "Counter Insurgency," weapons, and survival (SERE) in San Diego. Tom and I were headed for the Naval Advisory Group, as were attendees at the party Tony Womble, Charlie Minter, Bob Harper, Don Palen, and others. The lighting was pretty bad, but other eyes may identify other folks.  Recalling our four trips to Beat Army in Philadelphia, I realized that I was not sure of the name of the stadium where the games were played. I did a little research and found that it had opened in 1926 as the Philadelphia Municipal stadium. It was the site of 41 Army-Navy games. The stadium was renamed the John F. Kennedy Stadium in 1964. It was demolished in 1992.
Why did it take me 53 years to send the photo in? God only knows! By the way, December 1967 was also the last month before my wedding, to then and current wife Virginia (Blake). Our class of Vietnam participants departed for one year of tropical fun and sun in March 1968.
Philadelphia Municipal Stadium
|The mystery B-robe|