Greetings from the Sterett Association
This newsletter contains a recap of the Branson reunion events and takes a sneak peek at what's ahead for the Sterett Association.
Branson Reunion 2013
Based on comments and remarks from all quarters, the 2013 Sterett Reunion in Branson was a huge success.
We had a great turnout from the DLG 31 and the CG 31 crews that spanned the service years.
We were also honored to have three shipmates from the DD 407 Sterett. Their tales about the Sterett's actions in WWII are living history and they garnered
an audience at every opportunity throughout the weekend.
Branson was a great location for the reunion. Many of our guests arrived early and took in some of the many shows available along the Branson strip.
There is no doubt Branson lays out the red carpet for veterans and the military.
The Radisson Hotel did an amazing job hosting our event and there were many positive comments about the quality of the rooms, the terrific service and
The hospitality room and the banquet room were nicely decorated and maintained throughout our event.
Even with all those positives, the main ingredient which made the 2013 Sterett Reunion such a success were the shipmates getting together after so many
years, sharing stories from years past and recounting where life has taken them since their Sterett tours.
There were many special moments at the reunion where shipmates saw each other for the first time in many years.
All were special but one in particular stood out:
Anyone who was part of Sterett's first forward deployment to Yokosuka is likely to remember Dave McAllister
Thesetwo Westpac veterans had a reputation for being hard steamers. The Branson reunion provided an
opportunity for them to get together for the first time in 43 years. I had the pleasure of witnessing their initial encounter. This was one of those rare
classic moments that only happen at an event like the Sterett reunion.
Three crewmembers of the WWII era Sterett DD 407 were with us in Branson:
, Henry McCullough
Chuck "Frenchy" LeFebvre
I received the following from Frenchy's son, Steve LeFebvre
, Colonel, USAF (Ret.) who escorted his Dad,
"I can't begin to tell you how much I appreciate what the Association has done for my father. You have honored him in many ways, but having him as the
association guest at the Branson reunion was a great gesture.
We had a wonderful time in Branson and your kind hospitality shown in hosting "Frenchy" is greatly appreciated. He enjoyed all the time telling sea stories
in the hospitality room, and was stunned by the outpouring of interest and congratulations given to him at the dinner. He just couldn't get over how many
people jumped up to take a picture of Henry, Art and him standing between the fine Junior ROTC Honor Guard. He was also honored to lead the Pledge of
Allegiance. All three of the DD 407 attendees are pretty humble guys, and they sometimes just can't get over all the fuss made for them. Having said that,
we all know that they genuinely are part of the greatest generation.
Thanks to the association for their kindness and generosity shown to my father.
I'm already working on a plan to get him to the next reunion in the Northwest.....I hope he will be able to attend.
All the best,
Steve "Baldy" LeFebvre"
I believe I speak for all the Association members when I say it is our DD 407 shipmates that honor all of us, just by their presence at the reunions.
Our DD 407 shipmates with the Branson HS AF JROTC Color Guard
There were several items on the agenda for the Association Business Meeting held on Saturday morning:
The following is your Sterett Association Board of Officers for 2013 - 2015:
President: Steve Hayes
Vice President: John King
Secretary/Treasurer: Don Hageman
Officer At Large: Larry Motz
Officer At Large: Lloyd J (JD) DeVinney
Officer At Large: Wayne McBrian
Ship's Store Custodian: Robert "Duffy" Groener
I want to thank the members for the confidence they have shown in myself, John and
Don by allowing us the privilege of administering the Association for another 2 years.
I also want to thank Larry, JD, Wayne and Duffy for stepping up to help.
By Laws Revision
There were a number of changes made to the Association by laws. The majority of the changes were clarity issues and many were simply word smithing.
Ø The right to vote on Association policy by Associate Members was removed.
Ø Added language requiring approval by a majority of board members for any expenditure of $250 or higher.
Copies of the revised By Laws are available on the Sterett web Site at:
Cruise Book Project
Interest has been shown in having Sterett cruise books available for viewing on the web site. Converting cruise books to a digital format which is
compatible with web posting is not an easy task and cannot be done properly using a home scanner without unbinding and essentially destroying the books.
After conducting some tests at home, Tom Jacobsmeyer
has developed a method that does not require unbinding and will capture the each page
in a clear image.
This project is just now getting started. Check future newsletters or Facebook for project status.
Shipmate Jim Bolton
has loaned the Association copies of 4 cruise books which cover the periods 1979, 75-76, 8/81-12/82, 1/83-5/84. We
also have a copy of Oriental Odyssey, which was the inaugural cruise book of DLG 31.
If you have a cruise book not listed above and would be willing to loan it to the Association for digital conversion, please let us know. All shipping
costs will be reimbursed.
Location and Date of the 2015 reunion
We will be returning to the birthplace of the DLG 31 in 2015, or close to it.
As voted, the 2015 Sterett Reunion will be in the Seattle, Washington area. The actual location and dates are yet to be determined.
Shipmate Bill Mallow
has graciously accepted the position of 2015 Reunion Coordinator and is already busy gathering information about the
best time and host hotel.
The most likely time frame will be dates between mid August and mid September.
We are looking forward to seeing many of our shipmates that reside on the west coast and Pacific Northwest areas.
Stay tuned to future newsletters and the Sterett Facebook groups for additional information.
DDG 104 News
New Command Master Chief.
CMDCM(SW) Mark Gilmore Reported aboard in June 2013.
We welcome Master Chief Gilmore to the Sterett family and wish him the best.
Sailors of the Year
The DDG 104 recently announced the Sailor of the Year selections.
Congratulations to these outstanding Sterett sailors:
Flanked by the Commanding Officer and Command Master Chief are:
Senior Sailor of the Year: BM1(SW) TJ Kendall; Sailor of the Year: OS2(SW) Anna Penrod;
Junior Sailor of the Year: LS3(SW) Daniel Mireles and Blue Jacket of the Year: GSMFA Tyler Borders
DD 27 Artifact
The following was recently found on the DDG 104 Facebook page:
"Looking for some help identifying what this is from. It's a close-up of a section of an approximately 4 1/2 X 6 1/2 drawing/engraving of STERETT with a
pencil signature. We recently came into possession of this but are trying to learn more about it.
It is not just the photo we have, but the actual drawing.
Would really like to know who did it/when/what for.
Basically find out the story behind the drawing. It's a really cool little piece."
We have all heard about the terrible destruction and loss of life caused by Typhoon Haiyan in the Central Philippines. Many of us, especially those who
served in CG 31 through the 80s have ties to the Philippines whether through family, friends or just memories.
We encourage all of you to consider making a contribution to provide assistance to help ease the burden of the people affected by this storm.
We also caution you to be wary of the many scams that surface following these disasters. Follow your heart but use your head. Our sympathies are extended
to all those affected by Typhoon Haiyan.
One of our DD 407 shipmates who couldn't make the Branson reunion was Captain C. Raymond Calhoun
, Gunnery Officer on the DD 407 during the
Third Battle of Savo Island and author of, "Tin Can Sailor: Life Aboard the USS Sterett, 1939-1945".
Captain Cal celebrated his 100th
birthday on October 9th
. We extend our best wishes to Capt. Cal and hopes for many
more birthday celebrations.
Captain Cal at 100 Years Young
Association Membership and Dues:
This newsletter is published using a email marketing program through 1&1 Web Hosting Company.
The email address database we use contains nearly 700
email addresses. Invalid addresses are marked by a number of times a message has
bounced. Addresses that have bounced 5 times after each newsletter distribution are purged. Occasionally, we receive a message requesting we delete an
address or unsubscribe them.
The remaining email addresses are valid which indicates almost 700
people continue to take an interest in the USS Sterett, whether it's
the DLG 31, CG 31, DD 407 or the DDG 104.
According to the Treasurer's report provided at the reunion business meeting, we have approximately 100
That's a very disappointing ratio, in my opinion.
If you have an interest in the Sterett then you should have an interest in keeping the Sterett Association strong.
Your dues of $20
annually will go long way in keeping the Association strong and allow us to not only add to the reunions but to reduce
the reunion fees as well.
Please continue to support YOUR
Association by bringing your dues up to date. Visit the web site for information on the multiple
forms of payment: http://www.sterett.net/join-association.html
I challenge each of you to not only bring your membership current but to grab that shipmate you chat with on email or Facebook and have him do the same.
In addition to the Cruisebook project discussed earlier, there are a number of changes we are considering for the website. We want to add a picture
repository and create a section which will highlight specific events in the service of all the Steretts. If you have other ideas, let us know.
2013 Reunion Pictures
Bob and Sandy Johnson chat with Van and Joan Hada and Roberta Sullivan
Reunion guests looking good for the camera
Pictured: Sexton/Ruiz party, Dave and Kathy McAllister, Don and Janet Cook
Van and Shinja Cowan showing some dance moves
Scott and Tina Sanbothe
Mike Smith, Dave McAllister and Yours Truly
Captain George Sullivan addresses the guests
DD 407 Shipmates with ROTC Color Guard
Ron Malcolm chats with Captain Sullivan and Lane Baumgartner
Larry and Mary Ellen Motz
Guests pass through the buffet line
Branson High School AFJROTC Color Guard
Captain and Mrs. Sullivan with Sterett's Honorary Crew and their families
We'll be establishing a 2013 Reunion picture section soon. If you have pictures from the Branson reunion, please send to me at email@example.com
As we sit at our Thanksgiving meal this year and give thanks for our blessings, be sure to include your Sterett shipmates; those old friends who have gone
on to different things in life but will always be part of our lives.
They helped make us who we are today.
On behalf of the Officers and members of the USS Sterett Association, we wish each of you a most enjoyable Thanksgiving and warmest thoughts and Best
Wishes for a Wonderful Holiday and a very
Happy New Year.
You have something to say?
The Sterett Association welcomes any and all input from its members and supporters.
Please don't hesitate to submit comments or other items of interest for
inclusion in our web site or our newsletters, including pictures. We want to hear from you.
For the Sterett Association: