Fall 2008
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Message from the Prez

NASHVILLE – APRIL 2009 – Mark it on your calendars. 

Welcome aboard CDR Sam R. Hancock, Jr. USN, our new DDG-53 CO. In addition to the fine crew, you have also inherited a 400-member USS JOHN PAUL JONES Association and a long history of Naval tradition. We wish you a great tour of duty.

Our 13th reunion in Newport had the largest turnout ever with 123 attendees, and the Ettinger, Gallagher, Longo & Grove team set a new standard with that reunion. 

After my recent visit to MUSIC CITY, USA – Nashville, I have great expectations for a new attendance record.  Don and Margaret Wall have set up a great set of tours for you in this wonderful destination city as part of your 14th reunion. In this newsletter you will find details about the tours and the schedule of events for the April 16- 20, 2009 (Thursday – Monday) USS John Paul Jones Association reunion.  Make your reservations early – the $99.00 Holiday Inn Select deal includes a breakfast buffet, parking and free Internet.

My preview of Nashville last week showed me a gem of a city that is vibrant, friendly and full of wonderful sights. In addition to sharing these with your shipmates, what could be better? I plan to take advantage of our visit to Nashville and stay a few days after and tour Shiloh and Franklin – sites of major Civil War battles in 1862 and ’65, respectively.

Looking forward to seeing you in Nashville.

John McKechnie


Welcome Aboard -

We’re most pleased and happy to welcome aboard three new members to the JPJ Assn.:

·   Dan Conklin -  who served on DD-932 from June 1958 – June 1960. He says: I still have all my uniforms … that don’t fit, some pics, and lots of good memories!”

·   Bill Jepson, SK2 -  DDG-32 plankowner, who served from May ’67 to Sep. 1970.

·   Richard E. Hill -  unfortunately, he didn’t indicate his dates of service or which JPJ he served aboard.

Last call

We’re very sorry and sad to report that we’ve lost several DD-932 shipmates since the last newsletter:

·   07/19/08Lester Curral, DK3, (’62-’63), retired as Master Chief with 26 yrs. service. Our heartfelt sympathies go out to his wife, Linda, in Myrtle Beach, SC, their 3 children, and family.

·   Jul. 2008 - Donald Kluth, SH3, (’60-’61) We send our condolences to Don’s wife, Vi, in Lake Villa, IL, and their family.

·   Aug. 2008 - Jack Tedder. FP1, (’56-’58). Jack was a plankowner, serving in Secretary Pete Maytham’s R Division. Our sincere sympathies go to Jack’s wife, Lorraine, in Dade City, FL, and their family.

·   08/27/08 – Robert Tavaglione, BT2 (’61-’64). Bob’s wife, Maureen, sent us a lovely note: “Even though Robert has passed on to a new life, he has touched so many of us in a very special way. Thank you for your prayers and support over the last year. It was a difficult time, but we couldn't have done it without you. I wish to thank each and every one of you for being part of our lives.”

May God bless and keep our departed shipmates and their families.


The most important asset of the JPJ Association is our list of shipmates.  Therefore, it is very important that the roster be correct and up to date.  If you received this Newsletter, we have your correct address.  But other information, such as email address, dates of service aboard JPJ, etc may be missing or incorrect.

Most of our communication to members is now going by email, so it is important that we have yours.  If you “don’t do email,” let us know and we’ll make a special notation that you require “snail-mail.”

If you are a dues-paying member with access to the MEMBERS ONLY section of the website, please check your listing and send me any corrections you have.  If you are not, please consider becoming a dues-paying member and you will be sent the access info.

Even if you do not pay dues, we still want to keep track of you.  So send your personal data to me by email or snail-mail and I’ll be sure the records are correct.   We keep track of:

Name – Address – Spouse’s name – Home Telephone – email address – which JPJ you served on – Years - and Rank/Rate when you were on board.

After our last Newsletter mailing, we received many dues payments from shipmates for whom we have no email address.  If you did not receive an email acknowledgement with the MEMBERS ONLY access codes, let me know and I will send you the info.



Association dues are $20 and cover the period from one reunion to the next  - usually about 18 months.  We collect them at each reunion and for those who don’t attend a reminder notice is included in the first newsletter sent out after the reunion.

Dues are voluntary and are used to:

Andy Longo, Treasurer
andy.longo1@verizon.net (formerly andy.longo@comcast.net)
16 American Elm Ave.
Hanover, MA 02339


Special Extra Earnings for Military Service – sent in by shipmate Ed Ettinger

“Please share this with anyone who's had active duty service prior to January 2002 and planning for retirement. It boils down to this: You qualify for a higher social security payment because of your military service, for active duty any time from 1940 through 2001 (the program was done away with in January 2002). Up to $1200 per year of earnings-credit can be credited at time of application - which can make a substantial difference in social security monthly payments upon your retirement. You must bring your DD-214 to the Social Security Office - and you must ask for this benefit to receive it! Soc. Sec. website:


It is NOT just for retirees, but ANYONE who has served on active duty prior to January 2002.”

CO’s Column – DDG-53

            USS John Paul Jones (DDG-53) is out of the yards and back to being operational once again.  After a three-month EDSRA and a follow-on Maintenance Availability, the crew was excited about “shaking the cobwebs” out of the ship and getting her back to being a top-notch war-fighting machine.  The EDSRA was a very constructive time for the ship and the crew, as we were able to make some very important and critical repairs to long-standing material deficiencies, while enjoying some semblance of normalcy in being back in San Diego for the longest stretch of time in over 18 months. 

            One of the more enjoyable events was the First Annual Captain’s Cup Competition that pitted each Department and the Khaki against each other in a winner- takes-all series of events.  Of course the Khaki (CPO and Officers) pulled out the victory with Weapons Department and Combat Systems Department coming in second.  Good, spirited competition was experienced by all and the ship looks forward to making this an annual event.

            At this juncture in the ship’s life, we find ourselves yet again in the Unit Level Training, or Inter-Deployment Training Cycle phase, where we have to re-certify the ship in all warfare areas.  This re-certification is done by Afloat Training Group Pacific.  The big assessments will occur in late November and early December.  Of course, while all this is going on, we continue to get tasking from Commander Third Fleet in a variety of different arenas.  A very busy time for the ship.

            Lastly, I would like to introduce my relief, CDR Sam Hancock.  The Change of Command is scheduled for 07 November, 1000, pier 3 Naval Base San Diego. I have had a wonderful and fulfilling tour on John Paul Jones and will continue to be a proud member of the John Paul Jones Association.  As I tell my sailors as they check out: “Once a JPJ sailor, always a JPJ sailor”.  I appreciate all that the association has done for the ship, and we will continue to be active participants whenever possible.  Fair Winds and Following Seas.

                                                                                    Sincerely and Very Respectfully,

                                                                                    Christopher K. Barnes
                                    Commander, U.S. Navy
                                    Commanding Officer

                                                                                    November 4, 2008

JFK quote on Veterans’ Day

"Any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction: ‘I served in the United States Navy.’"

                                         -John F. Kennedy-

Click the thumbnail picture at left to open the 2009 Nashville Reunion Registration Form.