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April 2003


In 2001 Operation King was announced as an effort to have a new US Navy ship carry the name ENGLAND. Since then letters have flooded the Navy and our efforts are well known. When we started this effort the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) was Gordon England and it seemed unlikely that he'd be able to find a way to put the name ENGLAND on a ship since there is an obvious name issue.  However, the Navy welcomed an new CNO, Hansford T. Johnson, when Gordon England moved to Homeland Security.

With the Navy's role in Iraq and other areas scaling down after successful missions defending our freedoms and with the new CNO we have a new opportunity to return John Charles England's ship to the seas defending freedom and our way of life around the world.  As you know in 1944 Admiral Halsey himself expressed his desire that there always be an England when he sent a message in which he described the exploits of DE-635 as "a matter of great pride to the whole South Pacific Team." He continued to say, "May there all ways be an England. Well done and congratulations to all hands." Soon after the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral E. J. King promised "There'll always be an ENGLAND in the United States Navy."

Please help return the name England to the seas. If you wrote a letter in the past, write a new on to our new CNO. Details of the steps you can take to help make this happen can be found on the Operation King <http://www.ussengland.net/cg22/operation_king.htm> page. Please send a letter today and then ask your friends and neighbors to do the same!

Our second reunion will be held June 12-15, 2003 in San Diego.  We are using Military Locator and Reunion Services again to book reservations and assist in planning the event.  They've done a great job setting up a fantastic event for this year and you simply do not want to miss it! So far we've got RAM (Ret) Hugh Webster , CAPT (Ret) Peter Gaskin and CMDR Mike Fierro as speakers for Saturday evening. We have trips and events to make for many full days of fun and renewed comradely. Registrations have already come in and we should have a great event. However, what makes a reunion work is the attendees so that shipmates from all eras of our ship have friends with which to reunite. That means each of you is the most important part of the reunion. Your attendance is key to our success. Please go to the reunion page, download, fill our and mail your registration and make your travel arrangements now.

We still do not have a chaplain  for our reunion. We very much need a chaplain and need a volunteer for this role. The chaplain will be a speaker at the Saturday evening banquet and the memorial on Sunday morning.

Attendees are also encouraged to bring their USS England and Navy memorabilia. In 2001 we has shipmates bring flags and other items that very much provided the finishing touches for our reunion. Please step up and help again.  If you have any special items that would enhance the event, please contact dennis@obriens.net.

There will be a business meeting at this reunion where we will decide the future of our efforts, just as we did in 2001. To be a part of those decisions you must be present at that meeting. So, make plans to be with us in 2003! More information about that meeting will be available in May.

Please get your registration in ASAP. We need to ensure everyone gets the chance to attend.

The registration is in Portable Document Format (PDF). To view, download a copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Please know that the registration packet will only be mailed to On Line Crew members who've either requested that it be mailed to them, or do not have working e-mail addresses in the On line Crew database. If you are reading this and do not have a hardcopy packet, use the downloadable packet!  If you cannot use the on-line registration packet, then e-mail DinaMLRS@aol.com and request the USS England 2003 Reunion Registration Packet. Alternatively you can call 828-256-6008. You can also use that number to make any special requests.

On April 26, 2003 a few former USS England shipmates got together at B.J.'s Brewery and Grill in Brea, California. Dan Hoolihan (80-85) brought many pictures and reviled that "Philly Bear" gave him his nickname, Sparky. Bob Briggs (63-66) brought his wonderful wife Dorothy and Edward Van Guilder (68-72) brought his son Marty. Otto Berg (66-67), Gordon Grahame and Larry Finkinger (68-70) exchanged stories. Pete Hubbard (76-78) wonders what has become of shipmates from the mid 1970s and would like to hear from people. His e-mail address was sent out with the announcement for this newsletter. All in all we had a great time with plenty of food and drink. We definitely need to have more regular Southern California events were we have such a large concentration of former ENGLAND sailors. Dorothy offered to have party at her house in Chino! Lets all go! Check out the pictures from the Brea Mini Reunion!

Repeated Call For Articles
One of the hardest parts of keeping the communication going is generating articles and information for the newsletters. From time to time shipmates have offered up short bios and such but in general this has been a one man show.  You can help!!! Write about yourself, our ship or the Navy. Send it to dennis@obriens.net (plain text and MS Word).  So long as it is a positive, proper addition to the site and the USS England effort, it will appear here. Many of you have a lot to say so blast it here. Opinion pieces, biographies, sea stories, ideas and more are wanted.