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April 2001

Operation Reunion - July 26-29, 2001 San Diego

Registration Packets Have Been Sent!
July 26,27,28 and 29, 2001 we will be in San Diego, California!  Reservation packets went out this month that detail the packages that you can customize to fit your budget and your interests. Please return yours as soon as possible so we can start to get a feel for how many people will be attending. If you previously signed up as On Line Crew but have not been sent a packet, please call Dina at 828-256-6008.

One More Speaker Added:
We have added one more speaker for the reunion, Captain (ret) Peter J. Gaskin rounds out our list of speakers for the 2001 reunion. Other speakers are Adm (Ret) Henry H. Mauz, RADM (Ret) Hugh Webster, CAPT (Ret) Coenraad van der Schroeff, Former USS England Chaplin Mark Allison and CWO4 George "Gunner" Evans (USN, Ret.).

 A native of New York City, Captain Gaskin attended the University of Pennsylvania through the NROTC program, In 1974, he received an MBA from Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

His at sea experience includes tours in Destroyers: USS STICKELL (DD 888) as ASW, NAV, GUNS, and DASH; USS LYMAN K. SWENSON (DD 729) as OPS; Battleship USS NEW JERSEY (BB 62) as OPS; Anti-Submarine Fast Frigate USS MEYERKORD (FF 1058) as CO; Guided Missile Cruiser USS ENGLAND (CG 22) where he served three tours as OPS, XO, and CO.  In Vietnam, Captain Gaskin was Senior Advisor to the  Vietnamese River Patrol (PBR) Division 62 and the Advance Tactical Support Base at Phouc Xuyen. At sea, staff tours included ACOS OPS/Plans and Surface OPS in Cruiser Destroyer Group TWO with two deployments on USS AMERICA (CV 66) - - the last being Operation Desert Storm and Chief of Staff, Carrier Group THREE on USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN (CVN 72). Ashore, Captain Gaskin served in Washington as a Financial Manager in BUPERS Officer Distribution Branch (PERS 4) and in the office of Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Manpower and Reserve Affairs). He was the ACOS for OPS/Plans at COMNAVSURFPAC prior to assuming command of USS ENGLAND (CG 22). In July 1996, he assumed  duties as Commander, Military Sealift Command Far East, Yokohama, Japan. Captain Gaskin retired in July 1999 and he and his wife returned to San Diego.

Personal decorations include three Legions of Merit, Bronze Star with Combat "V", five Meritorious Service Medals, and three Navy Commendation Medals.

Captain Gaskin is married to the former Marilyn Monia Davis of Beverly Hills, California.

Sign Up For More information:
To receive reunion information, you must have signed up as On Line Crew. This will ensure that the Military Locator & Reunion Service and the people here have your address and other data so you can receive all the information about the reunion and other events. If you or other shipmates cannot fill in the form, send me the information at: Dennis O'Brien, 254 Allegheny Way, Placentia, CA 92870 or e-mail dennis@ussengland.net.

The most important thing for you to know is that this is going to be a great fun event! We expect a great turn out for a fun time in San Diego. You do not want to miss the first USS England DLG/CG-22 reunion. We very much need every one of you there to enjoy the event and plan for the future! This is the USS England, lets show San Diego how it is done!


Mini-Reunion - Success!
On April 21, 2001 a Mini-Reunion was held at Seau's Restaurant in San Diego, CA. Approximately 30 to 40 shipmates attended the impromptu event including RADM (ret) Webster, who will also be speaking at our reunion in July. With all the socializing and fun not enough pictures were taken! This will be remedied at the reunion in July.

Lots of attendees brought cruise books and other memorabilia. They shared all sorts of sea stories and old friends were reunited. Seeing RADM (ret) Webster and Lt (ret) William J. Cornwell reunite after many years was wonderful!  The smiles on their faces and the excitement was contagious. Moments like that made the event worth while and serves as a precursor for what we can expect in July!

A very special thank you to Ed Vanguild who made all the arrangements with Seau's and communicated everything back to me so I could send out the fliers. Without Ed this event would not have been pulled off!

RADM (ret)Webster reports that he has run into Captain Hogg from time to time and will get him the information about our group. Claude Darden and Richard Coleman want to hear from Plank Owners, friends and their families! Please write to them at richard1124@webtv.net so that they know you are "alive." Carlos Luna came the farthest, all the way from Burbank, CA.

You can see the pictures by clicking here!

Looking ahead we might try to have an LA area Mini Reunion in May or June. Those who are interested, please e-mail me at dennis@ussengland.net. Let me know when you'd like this to occur and where.

Book Report
Forgotten Fleet, The Mothball Navy by Daniel Madsen, 1999, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, Maryland is an extremely interesting book that describes the history of the mothball fleet, the more famous ships that have occupied it, including USS England, and the changes that have taken place in the management of these ships.

The book is written with a nostalgic flair, mournfully discussing the ships in their final years as forgotten warriors. Details are provided on how ships were preserved, especially after World War II and how some where reactivated for the Korean War, Vietnam and other conflicts. It also tells the stories of many of the ships and the reserve fleet program.

The book does jump from place to place and time to time, sometimes seemingly at random. It also misses some details and though is has a large number of pictures, most reveal nothing new. Regardless, I could not put it down and therefore it is acceptable reading entertainment. Having a picture of USS England in it helped!

The book is recommended and can be purchased on Amazon.com.


Where are they now?

David True sent these pictures of his beautiful new truck! Check out the license plate! That little touch really completes the look!

Web Updates!

Many new items have been added along with this newsletter. Look at these new additions: