Winter 2012
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Winter 2012

From the President/Secy’s Corner -

While it’s been some time since the last JPJ Newsletter, things have been cookin’ on the back-burner:

 ·     Most importantly, planning and preparations for the Charleston, SC reunion in Sept., under the able direction of shipmate Ed Ettinger.

 ·     The association has been growing, too. New members now on board.

 ·     At the same time, however, we’ve seen too many of our shipmates pass away, with others having been, or still, on the Binnacle List.

 ·     Catching up on past events of significance to the association, one in particular stands out …. The JPJ Assoc. presentations at the graduation ceremony of WNYMCS (Western New York Maritime Charter School) in Buffalo.

 ·     During these difficult and stressing times, economically and politically, humorous and good thoughts are always in vogue.

 ·     OpOrder for the next six months is to inform and encourage as many JPJ shipmates as possible to come to the Charleston reunion!!

  F:\ASMA - Letters to new members\Peter Maytham signature.jpg


New Members -

·     Steven Long - SK3, DDG-32, 1982, now home-ported in Tigard, OR. Joined the assoc. through Facebook where he found another JPJ shipmate, Bruce Konold.

·      William Lumley -  BMSN, DD-932, 1960-’62, has gone ashore in New Port Richey, FL. Was 1st Div. with Jesso, Helstrom, and “Smokey” Trujillo.

·     Jason Walston - Lt(jg), DDG-53, 1997-2000. Hails now from Virginia Beach, VA. Arrived aboard as FC3, making First-Class the last test taken aboard.

·     George Wissler - YN3, DD-932, 1958-’60. Retired to Los Gatos, CA. Joined the ship in Newport following a shipyard period in Boston, then refresher training in Gitmo, before deployment to the Med.

·     Kevin Yarberry -  OS2, DDG-53, 1992-’96.  Kevin now lives in Cabot, Arkansas.



 Since the Buffalo reunion, several dear shipmates and association supporters have passed away:

·     William “Billy” Stevens of Amityville, NY - GM3, DD-932, 1958-’60. Died Oct. 31, 2002. Shipmate Nick Colella learned of his passing only this past year from Billy’s widow.

·     Joy Pearson - died Nov. 28, 2010 at her home in Palm Bay, FL. Widow of DD-230 shipmate Grady Pearson, Grady and Joy were “fixtures” at many JPJ reunions, to the delight, education, and entertainment of all in attendance. Joy was born in Perth, Western Australia, meeting her future husband when he served aboard the PAUL JONES during the war. Following Grady’s death, Joy came to other reunions with daughter Carol. She will be sorely missed by all who were privileged to know her!

·     Robert J. Badolato BTFN, DD-932, 1960-’61, of Mohegan Lake, NY, died Feb. 5, 2011. A member of Tin Can Sailors, Bob was a volunteer-worker restoring the JPJ’s sister-ship, USS EDSON (DD-946), which was part of the USS INTREPID Museum Fleet in Manhattan from 1989 to 2004, when it was replaced by a supersonic Concorde airliner.

·      Barbara Merrick McKechnie, of Coronado, CA, wife of shipmate John J. McKechnie, passed away on Jul. 9, 2011. A Navy Junior and daughter of a Naval Aviator, she attended 18 schools until graduating from Coronado High School, becoming a Pediatric Nurse following college. John appreciated the number of JPJ members and spouses that attended her interment in Arlington National Cemetery at a site in view of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, near the graves of John’s parents. Barbara attended all but the last JPJ reunion since 1992.

·     Richard A. Christian - CO JPJ DDG-32 from 1971-’73, of Fairfax Station, VA, died Nov. 8, 2011. While on deployment to Vietnam, Captain Christian performed what became known as the John Paul Jones “Shuffle”. While the ship was serving on the Gun Line, she came under enemy fire; and, on one particular instance, encountered an attack of significant magnitude, dodging numerous shells intended for the ship, avoiding damage to the ship, suffering only minor crew injuries. [Reported by shipmate Sid Leslie].  Upon retirement, Dick transformed his life-long hobby of magic into a second career as Christian the Magician, giving hundreds of performances, including at the White House, embassies in Washington, taught at the Smithsonian, and even entertaining the Supreme Court (which most definitely needs to “lighten up”).

·      Eugene J. Artzer, Jr. - MM1, DDG-32. 1967-‘71.  Died Nov. 20, 2011 in Millington, TN.  EUGENE J. ARTZER, JR., 67, of Millington, TN, U.S. Navy - retired, Mr. Artzer was a member of Topeka Rose Society, Model A Ford Association, American Legion Post 400, VFW, Eagles, and Knights of Columbus.

We miss you, and wish you fair winds and following seas always!

Binnacle List -

·         Shipmate Jerry Neeland had a knee replaced last Fall, which was mending nicely after rehab, when someone accidentally hit it while he was seated at a table, sending him back to the hospital. While there, the leg became infected! Into a nursing home for recuperation, back into the hospital when a staph infection was discovered, and finally home the latter part of Feb.   We feel for you, Jerry, and look forward to seeing you and Connie in Charleston.

·        Shipmate John McKechnie is recovering from a broken rib suffered the end of Jan. while off his bike ….. Not sure whether a foot- or motor-operated bike. Get well, John. We need you to run the bar in Charleston!

Presentations to WNYMCS

Through the excellent planning and organization of shipmate Paul Shanks, several presentations and awards were made at the graduation ceremonies of the Western New York Maritime Charter School in Buffalo, NY on June 2, 2011. Many of you will re­member that it was the NJROTC Unit at WNYMCS that provided reunion attendees with a precision drill marching unit on the pier during Memorial Services aboard USS LITTLE ROCK, superb wooden models of JPJ DD-932 and DD-10 in hospitality room of the hotel, and our guest speaker at the banquet dinner, CWO4 Jim Clark., USN (Ret.).

Paul Shanks presented a check for $500 to Cadet CPO Brianna Craig, the top JNROTC cadet of the year, as se­lected by the head NJROTC Instructor, CWO4 Jim Clark, based on academics, leadership, and overall contribution to the NJROTC Unit. Half of the prize award was from the JPJ Association, and the other from Paul Shanks personally. 


RADML David Steindl, former CO JPJ DDG-53, and now Commander NSTC (Naval Service Training Command), responsible for all Navy training facilities and programs, including NROTC and JNROTC, prepared a letter of commendation which was presented to Cadet Craig on his behalf by CDR Aquilla "Q" Causey, CDR, CO Buffalo MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Station), who joined Admiral Steindl’s staff at Great Lakes later in the summer.

 Through the efforts of shipmate Ed Ettinger, an original Engine Order Telegraph repeater unit was also presented to the NJROTC Unit, together with a special plaque and framed picture of the JPJ DD-932 listing the ship’s specifications and armaments.

L to R: Paul Shanks, CDR "Q' Causey, Cadet CPO Brianna Craig,
LCOL Lawrence Aystk, USMC (Ret.), CO WNYMCS

L to R:  CWO4 Jim Clark, USN (Ret.), Paul Shanks,
LCOL Lawrence Aystk

Shipmate “Talk” -

From: Jerry Anderson

Hi Andy:  Got your post card.  My two email addresses are (office) or (home).

I live out here in "flyover country," and in early January had a nice telephone conversation with a young man, CDR Brian Fremming, who was recently a JPJ XO.  His mother lives down Interstate 35 in Ankeny, IA, about 40 miles away, and he was visiting while on Christmas break from Naval War College studies.  He was just notified that he had been selected for a Commander command at sea.  He was quite excited about that; and well he should be.  He was kind enough to send me a commemorative coin with the current JPJ logo on it.  I noted too in the last newsletter that a past CO was selected for Flag---just great news.

I am well into my seventies now and the waist line is swelling; hair is thinning.  I still hold down a job as president of the board of directors at our privately-run residential treatment facility for adjudicated juvenile delinquents.  I've been at Woodward Academy since the doors opened in 1995.  The place has grown exponentially from 25 Iowa boys to 245 boys today.  The 245 come from Iowa and 13 other states, plus D.C. and the US Virgin Islands.  At the end of 2010, we calculated that WA had served over 3,300 boys in the past 15 years.

Thanks for all you do, and the rest of the JPJers do too, to keep the spirit alive,  Jerry Anderson


From: Jim Devin  []                                                                                    

I just came across the listing for your E group on Facebook and wanted to post a few words of thanks, but could not find how to do it. I would like to direct them to you and ask that you post them for me if possible. 

My words of thanks are directed to the crew that was aboard DDG 32 on the way back from WestPac on the morning of April 5, 1969. I’m the one that was washed over the side off the Porterfield DD 682 that morning. I am still alive and kicking, thanks to all who were involved in my rescue which is the entire crew. If it were not for their efforts, I would not still be married to my wonderful wife, would not have my 5 great children or my 4 grand children. Everything happened so quickly that morning, but I know the greatest sight to that point in my life that I had ever seen (except for my new wife at the time) was the appearance of the Jones coming to get me. The skill levels of all involved in my rescue was all top-notch. Please convey my heartfelt thanks on your website to all the former crew members.       

Thank you.................Jim Devin  Vacaville, Calif.

From:                         Doug Dirks []


Subject:                      Fwd: John Paul Jones Reunion Info Message from Jim Devin


I was a member of the crew that day.  That was one big storm as I remember.  We circled around looking for you and finally stopped

moving.  We were downwind of you and you came to us.  We could not see you in the rough seas.  I seem to remember that you had

made water wings out of your pants.  What a lucky guy.  I can tell you that we searched for guys that went overboard in the Tonkin

Gulf when the water was calm like a lake and didn't find any of them.  I guess you were and are here for a purpose.  I'm glad to hear

from you.  I hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Doug Dirks

Thoughts - Reflective and Otherwise -

Interesting facts about the Vietnam Memorial Wall:

·         There are 58,267 names now listed on that polished black wall, including those added in 2011.

·         The names are arranged in the order in which they were taken from us by date; and, within each date, alphabetized. It is hard to believe it is almost 37 years since the last casualties.

·         The first known casualty was Richard B. Fitzgibbon, of North Weymouth, Mass., listed by the U.S. Department of Defense as having been killed on June 8, 1956. His name is listed on the Wall with that of his son, Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Richard B. Fitzgibbon III, who was killed on Sept. 7, 1965.

·         There are three sets of fathers and sons on the Wall.

·         39,996 on the Wall were just 22 or younger.

·         283 were just 19 years old.

·         The largest age group …33,103 … were 18 years old.

·         12 soldiers on the Wall were 17 years old.

·         5 soldiers on the Wall were 16 years old.

·         One soldier, PFC Dan Bullock, was 15 years old.

·         997 soldiers were killed on their first day in Vietnam.

·         1,448 soldiers were killed on their last day in Vietnam.

·         31 sets of brothers are on the Wall.

·         Thirty one sets of parents lost two of their sons.

·         54 soldiers on attended Thomas Edison High School in Philadelphia.

·         8 Women are on the Wall. Nursing the wounded.

·         244 soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War; 153 of them are on the Wall.

·         Beallsville, Ohio with a population of 475, lost 6 of her sons.

·         West Virginia had the highest casualty rate per capita in the nation. There are 711 West Virginians on the Wall.

(Provided by shipmate John McKechnie)
Thoughts - Reflective and Otherwise - cont’d.

An old Marine Gunny and an old Navy Chief were sitting at the VFW arguing about who'd had the tougher career.

‘I did 30 years in the Corps,’ the Marine declared proudly, ‘and fought in three of my country's wars. Fresh out of boot camp, I hit the beach at Okinawa, clawed my way up the blood-soaked sand, and eventually took out an entire enemy machine-gun nest with a single grenade.’

‘As a sergeant, I fought in Korea alongside Chesty Puller. We pushed the Enemy back, inch by bloody inch, all the way up to the Chinese border, always under a barrage of artillery and small arms fire. Finally, as a gunny sergeant, I did three consecutive combat tours in Vietnam. We humped through the mud and razor grass for 14 hours a day, plagued by rain and mosquitoes, ducking under sniper fire by day, and mortar fire all night. In a firefight, we'd fire until our arms ached and our guns were empty, then we charged the enemy with bayonets'.

'Ah', said the Old Chief, 'You lucky bastard, all shore duty, huh?

(Provided by shipmate Ed Ettinger)


A young Ensign approached the crusty old Chief and asked him about the origin of commissioned officers insignias.

     ‘Well, Mr. Louis, it’s history and tradition. First, we give you a gold bar representing that you’re valuable BUT malleable.

     ‘The silver bar of a Lt(jg) represents  value, but LESS malleable.    When you make LT, you’re twice as valuable; so, we give you two silver bars.

     ‘As a CAPT, you soar over military masses, hence the Eagle.  As an Admiral, you’re obviously a Star.

‘That answer your question?’, asks the Chief.

      The Ensign replies: ‘Yes, Sir. But what about Commanders and Lt. Commanders?’

To which the Chief responds:  ‘Now, that goes waaaaay back in history. Back even to the Garden of Eden. You see, we’ve always covered our pricks with leaves!’

(Provided by airdale shipmate Louis Wright, brother of the late BM2, Bruce Wright, DD-932 plankowner)


Come Sail With Me …

"Sign on, young man, and sail with me. The stature of our homeland is no more than the measure of ourselves. Our job is to keep her free. Our will is to keep the torch of freedom burning for all. To this solemn purpose we call on the young, the brave, the strong, and the free. Heed my call, Come to the sea. Come Sail with me." -- John Paul Jones

Reunion - Charleston, SC - Sept. 27-30 2012

Dear Crew & Mates,

Your reunion committee is excited to present to you our planning materials for our Charleston reunion this fall.

We have attempted to fit in as much as possible while maintaining our reunion fee at the same level as that of the four day reunions in Nashville and Buffalo.  Charleston has succeeded San Francisco as the nation's number one tourist destination and you will see why when you get here.  Our Holiday Inn headquarters was chosen because of its close proximity to most of Charleston's major attractions, restaurants and shopping.

Day One of our reunion will begin with an orientation bus tour of the downtown area and the Battery where many of the fine homes are located.  We will then cross over the Cooper River to Patriots Point, board the USS Yorktown CV-10 - the “Fighting Lady” - for a tour, lunch in the CPO mess and to memorialize those who have left us behind.  The Medal of Honor museum on board Yorktown is an inspiring insight to the heroism and sacrifice made by many of our young people in defense of our country.  Moored alongside the Yorktown are the recently overhauled USS Laffey (DD-724) and the USS Clamagore (SS-343) also beckoning you to visit.

Our banquet speaker will be Captain Jim Chandler who commanded the USS Wainwright CLG-28 during the 1988 naval action in the Persian Gulf against the Iranians.  One Naval Academy historian has included the firefight as one of the five naval battles that has shaped American history.  What a current topic that will be!

There are many sights to see and things to do.  We have included on the registration form four optional tours recommended to us by our local contacts,.  We are fortunate to have timed our reunion to coincide with the first days of the world renowned house and garden tour of historic, private homes and their manicured gardens.  Our reunion span is far too short to take in all that the low country of South Carolina has to offer so plan to come early and stay late.  See you in September!

Your reunion committee,
Ed Ettinger, Chairman
Andy Longo
Bill Gallagher
George Grove

It is important to book your room now to guarantee our special rate; and we also need an early head count to finalize our planning. Your hotel reservation can be cancelled with 24 hours notice - and we will refund your reunion fee if you unexpectedly have to change your plans and notify us by August 15, 2012.  So don’t procrastinate - head for the brow and come aboard!!

Contact - Ed Ettinger   860-572-0899; cell 860 961-4511;


The Citadel  - Friday Afternoon (after Charleston/Patriots Point Tour) $44 pp

The West Point of the South, educating men and women in a military environment and preparing future leaders not only in the Services but in professional and political careers.  One of the former commanding officers of the USS JOHN PAUL JONES DDG53 was a Citadel graduate.  Noted author Pat Conroy has written several books using his background as a student including Lords of Discipline, My Losing Season and The Boo.  Viewing the dress parades on Friday afternoon is a Charleston tradition.  Guided tour includes transportation to and from hotel and a tour of the Citadel campus.

Charleston Harbor and Fort Sumter Saturday     44 pp

Three and a half hour boat trip to where the Civil War began. Great harbor views of gorgeous homes lining the seawalls, dolphins playing in the wake and so on. National Park Service guides of the Fort.  Includes transportation from and to hotel.

- or -

Boone Hall Plantation – Saturday       $49 pp

Minutes from our Holiday Inn headquarters, a 2 1/2 hour tour of a colonial revival plantation house and grounds which was used in the filming of The North and South miniseries.  Included is transport there and back.

- or -

The Civil War in Charleston featuring the Confederate Submarine CSS HL Hunley-- Saturday      46 pp 

3 1/2 hour expert guided tour through the City’s civil war sites then on to the Hunley, recently restored and preserved; the first sub to sink a warship but then sunk in a storm with all hands soon thereafter, only to be raised in 2000.  Transport included.

Also –If you are interested in the Candlelight House & Garden Walking Tour on Friday evening, you can order tickets on the registration form.  We understand these tickets sell out quickly.   Price is $45 pp

Does NOT include transportation.

September 27-30, 2012


Please mail this form and your check for registration and tour selections no later than August 1, 2012.  MAIL TO:

C/O Andy Longo, Treasurer


This Registration Fee covers the cost of: v Friday Bus Tour of Charleston with stop for Lunch and Memorial Service aboard the USS Yorktown at Patriots Point  v Saturday Evening Banquet v Sunday Breakfast Meeting  v Hospitality Suite Refreshments  v Souvenir of Charleston

Your First Name: _____________________________ Last Name: ______________________________

Spouse/Other (if attending):

            First Name: ____________________________ Last Name: ______________________________


Want a different badge name?  If so, please specify: __________________________________________


Street Address:   _____________________________________________________________________


City, State, Zip:   _____________________________    Will you have a car?  [    ] YES    [   ]  NO


Best Phone Number to reach you: _____________________  e-mail:_________________________


Hull Number: ________ Years served on JPJ: From:  _____ to _____  Rank/Rate while on JPJ:  ______
(932 / 32 / 53)

Front Desk: 843-884-6000     250 JOHNNIE DODDS BLVD.   MOUNT PLEASANT, SC 29464

JPJ REUNION RATES - $124 PER NIGHT, plus 13.3% tax.  No cost for parking or internet service.
PRICES HOLD 3 DAYS BEFORE AND 3 DAYS AFTER REUNION.  BE SURE TO MENTION JPJ REUNION WHEN BOOKING. BOOK NOW – Hotel Reservation may be cancelled up until 6 PM of September 27th if you are unable to attend.







Reunion Fee   @


Optional Tours:        

      Friday Afternoon - Citadel Tour




      Friday -  Candlelight House & Garden Tickets




      Saturday – Boone Hall Plantation**




      Saturday – Harbor Cruise to Fort Sumter**




      Saturday – CSS H L Hunley**





Dues through next Reunion after Charleston







** These tours are concurrent.  Only one can be selected.

Please register NOW!  If you cannot attend for any reason, a full refund will be made if we are notified by August 15th, 2012.  A tour that is cancelled for lack of interest will be refunded at reunion registration desk.