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June  2005

Reunion III A Huge Success!

We completed our third USS ENGLAND DLG/CG-22 Reunion this time in Charleston, South Carolina from June 23 to June 26, 2005. It was a huge success with more attendees than 2003 and more hotel rooms and tours utilized than at any event prior. We also had more attendees who’d never attended a previous reunion than we did in 2003. This was our first reunion outside of our population base in San Diego and with it being a success we’ve proven that we can take this show on the road. This bodes well for future reunions and events! Bravo Zulu ENGLAND!!

Assisting us in the planning and performing much of the work to set up the reunion this year was Military Locator and Reunion Services, Inc. They’ve provided the same services for all three reunions and have proven once again that they were the right pick. The reunion events went off without a hitch, were all well planned and entertaining, and most of all everyone had fun!

Most participants chose to arrive on Thursday to the Town and Country Inn, where they registered and gathered in the Hospitality Room for drinks, appetizers and socializing. The room was a good sized conference room and would be used throughout the reunion for socializing and our business meeting.

Friday we had a full bus for the historic tour of Charleston which included the Citadel, Shopping and lunch in old Charleston and a tour of the Civil War Confederate submarine CSS Hunley. As you may know CSS Hunley made history on February 17, 1864 by scoring the first sinking of a ship by a submarine when she used a 135 pound torpedo to sink USS Housatonic. The day was capped off with a trip by powered catamaran to Morris Island, passing Fort Sumter on the way, to see marine life and shells. That evening we had drinks and dinner in a very nice banquet room followed by a music contest and karaoke! Yes, it is true and we do have some excellent singers in our group. Everyone enjoyed themselves!


Riding the bus  on the Charleston tour.


USS YORKTOWN

Saturday we had a full bus and a van load to go on the tour to Patriots Point where USS YORKTOWN (CV-10) is open as a museum along with World War II veteran destroyer USS LAFFEY (DD-724), the submarine USS CLAMAGORE (SS-343), and the Coast Guard Cutter INGHAM (WHEC-35). The tour included lunch on board YORKTOWN in the CPO Mess. Though a rainy day, there were no complaints and everyone enjoyed the tours returning to the hotel in time to attend the business meeting and select the time and location for the next reunion. That evening was our banquet with RADM Hugh Webster USN (Ret) and CWO4 “Gunner” Evans USN (Ret) giving speeches after a delicious meal.


Some of the Officers and Crew of USS England in Charleston, South Carolina

Sunday there was a memorial service and breakfast before everyone headed home, happy to have seen their old friends, grateful to have made new ones and saddened to say good-bye.

Thank you to Rear Admiral Webster and Gunner Evans for speaking at the banquet, to Steve Joyce for help all around and to Mark Prevoznik whom I am told was a huge help to Steve on Sunday morning. Thank you to you folks for stepping up to the plate when asked. In all respects the reunion was a success. The most important thing is that everyone present seemed to have a really good time and defiantly wanted to do it again!

Many have promised pictures from the event and they will be added as they come in. Some are already in place. Click here for pictures.

How Can You Help Deployed Service Members?

Do you want to help a deployed member of our military today? It is not hard to do and would mean so much to them. Any Soldier offers a service to connect you to deployed personnel so you can send them items that will make their day! They provide all the details of "what to send," "where to send" it and more on their web site. It is very easy and a worthy effort in which each of you can become involved.

http://www.anysoldier.com

Lets show the ENGLAND sprit and step up to help the men and women who are out defending freedom around the globe. Be sure and mention USS England and how proud we are of all they are doing!

Reunion IV, When and Where?

On Saturday, June 25, 2005 all those present at Business Meeting of the third USS ENGLAND DLG/CG-22 Reunion in Charleston, South Carolina took on the task of selecting the next location and time for our next reunion. Most of the reunion attendees and their wives and guests attended the meeting showing a great commitment to have more reunions! A large number of cities were nominated and discussed. We were fortunate to have Larry Eckard of Military Locator and Reunion Services, Inc who could provide information on the attractions and costs associated with each city. There was much discussion and voting but all done in a very cooperative way that speaks well for USS England!

A decision was reached by popular vote and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in mid to late June, 2007 was selected with the option to stay in less expensive but quality hotels in New Jersey, such as those in Cherry Hill. The area offers an extremely rich history going back many centuries, excellent venues and tour possibilities. In the months to come this newsletter will provide some articles on the area's history so that when we arrive there, we’ll need some exceptional tour guides to know more than we do!

Reunions are wonderful events. Shipmates connecting with others, with their friends from the past, sharing stories and laughs is a very emotional and uplifting experience. It is something you simply do not want to miss. The part of your life that is USS ENGLAND lives today at these events. Please, plan starting right now to attend. Start to budget and plan vacation time to be in Philadelphia in 2007!

What To Do For Two Years?

We have approximately two years between now and our next reunion. What can we do to use this time effectively so as to create an even better reunion in 2007, keep the history of ENGLAND alive and have some fun?

To ensure we have a successful reunion in 2007 there is a lot you can do. First plan on being there by budgeting and scheduling for it now. Second, find your shipmates, get in touch with them and encourage all of them to go. The more that attend the better time you will have because your shipmates and friends will be there!

History is best preserved by having large numbers of people knowledgeable of it. In 1944 when USS ENGLAND DE-635 sank a record six Japanese submarines in twelve days, back home little was known of her exploits. There was a need for secrecy during the war. Over the years this has changed some and hopefully the web site has helped spread this information. However in March of 2005 a very important book was published, Antisubmarine Warrior in the Pacific : Six Subs Sunk in Twelve Days by John A. Williamson [University Alabama Press (March 6, 2005) ISBN: 0817314156]. As you know the late CAPT John A. Williamson was the Executive Officer of DE-635 during the submarine runs and Commanding Officer of the ship at Okinawa. Many of you have read this book. All of you should. When you have the chance to give a gift for a birthday or holiday this year, consider giving a copy of this excellent history of DE-635! By ensuring this book is in as many homes as we can, we ensure the history lives on!

Of course we will continue Operation King. We will get a new ship to carry the ENGLAND name to sea flying the United States Flag. It will happen! Continue to write letters. There are a few issues that stand in the way better left out of this publication but we will win! Be ready for a major push on this when the situation is ripe for it. We’ll let you know when that is. When we do return ENGLAND to the seas, remember, we’ll have a responsibility to this ship and her crew and that will become an ongoing project in which we can all become involved.

What about fun? To be honest, finding your shipmates and reading CAPT Williamson’s book should be more than enough fun for you! However, we can have more fun! Mini-Reunions are a low cost high fun way to enjoy sea stories and more. To have them requires you! You have to attend them but you also have to step up to host one! What does hosting entail? You select a place, a bar or anything really and we announce that a month of so in advance. Then see who shows up! We’ll work on a Mini Reunion in Southern California and would very much like to hear from those who are interested. Other areas of the country, write to dennis@ussengland.net to get some help setting things up in your hometown!