Our Reunion for 2017 MAY BE held in Chattanooga, TN (Sept . 17th, 18th and 19th).
If you find yourself out of the loop for upcoming reunion information, please send Harris Cotter (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Ken Robinson (email@example.com) your updated mailing address, current email address, cell phone and home phone numbers.
Harris Cotter (920-872-2676)
620 W. Rolling Meadows Dr. Apt.111
Fond du Lac, WI 54937
Hey, would you like to tour a active duty Navy ship? Consider attending the spring Fleet Week held in New York every year.
For more information visit their Web site: FleetWeekNewYork.com
The 2014 reunion was held in the Baltimore and Washington DC area on September 10th thru the 14th. It was be based at the Sheraton Hotel located at the Baltimore-Washington Airport.
We visited the US Naval Academy, Washington, DC and Baltimore's Inner Harbor. Our tour of the LSD was great, and as you can understand pictures were not allowed during our tour.
Speakers for our banquet was Richard & Mary Bentz, co authors with Peter F Stevens of the book "Fatal Dive , solving the the World War II Mystery of the USS Grunion" and the companion book " We Remember Them, A Biographical Supplement for Fatal Dive", also during the 2014 reunion we watched the Blue Angels performing over Baltimore and our reunion. Here's a link to the Blue Angels web site.
Again, a chinese auction was held after our banquet. We were hoping to recieve some images of the 2014 reunion, but as everyone knows most people use their cell phones to take pictures, and we crew members might be too old to know how to get the pictures from our phones sending them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Crew member Joe Campagna writes:
When I first heard that we were going to a dinner theater, my first thought was that this was going to be a boring show with subpar food. We have been to shows like this in the past. Boy was I wrong. What a show we saw. The actors were the wait staff at the venue, and they were also the actors and actresses in the show. They were amazing both in their attention to our needs during dinner and in their performances in the show “Memphis”. The dancing, singing and acting was unbelievable. What voices and what a wonderful treat this show was for us. The singing was Broadway quality. The show was funny and wonderfully entertaining. The food was fabulous and plentiful.
There was something for every taste. If anyone went away hungry, it was their own fault. The theater was set up with seating around the perimeter and the actors performed on the floor below where we sat. There wasn’t a bad seat in the house. The drinks were great, especially the Gator, and when ordering this particular drink, we were able to keep the glass as a souvenir, (an added bonus). Desserts were served to us after the buffet style dinner, and were also wonderful. Who would have thought that after such a sumptuous meal, we could have any room for more, but we managed and it was worth it. Both my wife and I along with the other couples who went to this show thoroughly enjoyed it and couldn’t stop talking about it during our time together at the reunion.
Any good images we get of this years reunion, will be posted here, but so far, NOTHING! Send yours to email@example.com
Our 2013 Reunion was held in Branson, Missouri on October 6th thru October 10th. This group picture was taken in the lobby of the Grand Plaza Hotel on the last day.
1st Row: Sung Breezee - Cindy Robinson - Mrs Kinman - Patricia Minton - Joyce Marders - Tena Casper - Joyce Leister - Carol Harlan - Ms. Mouse - Dar Croxton 2nd Row: Iris Nickelson - Larry Dick - Ken Robinson - Howard Kinman - Pat Minton - Jim Marders - Carl Casper - Minzie Leister - Steve Harlan - Fred Card - Mike Croxton 3rd Row: Ralph Nickelson - Tom McDowell - Harold Breezee - Doris Ferguson - Mrs Doyle - Cindy Fisher - Betty Johnston - Ellen Nickelson - Judy Jennings - Judy Cotter - Paulette Cook - Joyce Rinke - Gene Katzman 4th Row: Verlyn Schalow - Ben Ferguson - Taylor Doyle - Larry Fisher - Mr. Harvey Johnston - Earl Nickelson - Aubrey Jennings - Harris Cotter - Tim Cook - Carl Rinke - Dennis Hopkins - Alvin Pope
On Sunday afternoon we met in our hospitality room to renew friendships, view some auction items and the latest changes made to Minzie's ship model. We all enjoyed a deli buffet and also picked up our information packets put together by "Gatherings Plus" containing our name tags and meeting our tour guides.
Because our reunion was held in Branson, we were given lots of free time all week to explore on our own. On Monday afternoon, we had a guided tour of the Branson area including the College of the Ozarks, also called Hard Work U. ®, where the students work for their education, tuition free. More information can be seen here on you tube.
We ended the tour day with dinner aboard the Showboat Branson Belle. The Showboat had some of the best entertainment my wife Paulette and I saw during the reunion. Prior to boarding, we had a memorial service with prayer by Earl Nickelson and Pledge of Allegiance with a recording of taps. That evening, my wife and I went to see the magic of Kirby Vanburch rumored to be the world's best magician.
On Tuesday morning, we attended the Buck Trent Show. Buck Trent even stopped by our bus to say thanks for attending. He's seen here with our tour guide Norma from Gathering's Plus. Here's a You Tube link of the show, now in the RFD-TV Theatre. During the show, I really enjoyed the singing of Kenny Parrott.
After the Buck Trent show, we were loaded back on our bus and driven to McFarlain's Family Restaurant located in the Imax complex. McFarlain's is famous for serving dessert first, and offering traffic jam pie which consists of strawberries, cherries, cranberries with rhubarb. After eating the dessert, we were served lunch.
With the afternoon free, Paulette and I went into town to visit the famous Dick's Five and Dime Store with dinner on our own. Later that night, the reunion group saw the performance called "IT" staring The Hughes Brothers the world's largest performing family with five brothers, the wives and all of their current 33 children. Here's an example of what we saw that night shown on you tube during their Christmas show.
Wednesday morning after breakfast at 1000, the crew held a business meeting while the wives also had a tea, a baby shower, lunch and discussed some of the topics the crew were discussing.
During the crew's meeting, Harris Cotter gave a financial report, Ken Robinson talked about a trip he made with Earl Nickleson the day before and that a guest speaker would speak that evening about Lives Under Construction Boys Ranch. Ken also relayed a story from crew member Tom McKenney finding a shoe box with stories from his dad who could never talk about his experiences during WW2. Tom has given us permission to put the link to his dads story here.
Also discussed during the business meeting, was ideas for the location for next years reunion.
In the afternoon, before the group photo shoot and auction, Mr. Ken Ortman discussed his school for troubled boys and how the school has helped guide bad behaved boys into a normal life. The Chinese auction was started, but stopped for the photo in the lobby. By the time the auction ended, the Flash Photo photographer returned with our photo orders.
That evening we held our banquet with a missing man table set up, after dinner Pam Brown the owner of Gatherings Plus thanked everyone for coming to Branson and using her services which BTW was the best I've seen. Ken thanked Pam and introduced Harris Cotter who spoke about the crews data base he maintains, then Ken introduced Tim Cook (me) and I talked about our web page asking for their best images taken during the reunion to be emailed to me for the reunion update and this page.
To cap off the banquet, singer Brenda Meadows entertained us. She first disucssed her time in the Army and then began to sing while making her way around the room entertaining the crew. Later, Ken said a few words and thanked everyone for coming.
The next day after breakfast, the crew began their trip back home.
A personal note: When Paulette and I arrived at the hotel, we found our bed was decorated, and there was a gift table that was filled with gifts from our children. They had arranged it ahead of time with the hotel in celebration of our 50th Wedding Anniversary.
For 2013 reunion questions, contact Ken Robinson (firstname.lastname@example.org) 804.794.8550 or
Harris Cotter (email@example.com) 920.872.2676
Our 2012 reunion was held in Norfolk, VA
"Remembering the past, Creating new memories"
Here's an image of the crew members attending and of their wives and family members.
Carl Casper sent us three images to post, Thanks Carl. The first one is of Minzie's ship model that was on display, then one of Carl and Earl Nickelson and one of a Bill Gaynor with his daughter Jenny.
For some reason the tours scheduled for Saturday were cancelled. So on Saturday, the wives (girls) had a tea party and did some shopping, and the guys went to the National Air and Space Museum. Four cars were used to transport crew members. The Saturday evening banquet at the hotel started on time.
Below are the images sent to me to be posted here from the Norfolk Reunion which shows the bus tour around Little Creek and the USS Wisconsin near downtown.
pic13 pic17 pic18 pic23 pic30 pic53 pic54
Additional 2012 Norfolk reunion images are from Earl Nickelson:
For reunion questions, contact
Ken Robinson (firstname.lastname@example.org) 804.794.8550
Harris Cotter (email@example.com) 920.872.2676
The 2011 Reunion was held in Jacksonville, Florida
On Thursday, 9-8-11, the reunion began in Jacksonville FL. We registered crew members and gathered in the hospitality room at the Omni hotel. Later that evening, we boarded the Annabelle Lee riverboat for a dinner cruise. After a dinner of steak, chicken, red potato's, and salad, which was topped off by cake, a D.J. played music for dancing for the crew and their wives.
On Friday, 9-9-11, we boarded a bus and were taken to the Jacksonville Wall of Honor. The wall is dedicated to those military that died in all of America's wars. We again boarded the bus for the ride to Mayport Naval Base. We had hoped to go aboard one of the ships on the base but due to a heightened state of alert, we were not able to board a ship, although one of the highlights of the tour was a 2nd class petty officer who talked at length and answered questions. We than were treated to a great meal. This ceiling tile will be displayed in the visitors cafeteria on the Mayport Naval Base in our honor.
We then boarded our bus for a short drive to the Budwiser Brewery for a tour an some samples.
On Saturday, 9-10-11, we had a short meeting to decide when and where the location would be for our next reunion. The largest number of votes were for the 325-LST at one of its 2012 tour locations.
While the men were at a meeting, the wives were having their annual High Tea and wishing they could have joined the Navy back in the day. Following the meeting and tea, we enjoyed our banquet at the hotel.
The Colors were advanced by the Jacksonville Coast Guard Aux. The F.A.V.S. (Filipino American Veterans Society) conducted an American flag folding ceremony. The F.A.V.S. then conducted a 6 place Missing Man POW ceremony. They were one of the highlights of the banquet. The speaker of the evening was Capt. Michael Jacobsen. Capt Jacobsen is the Chief of Staff of the 4th Fleet of Mayport Naval Base. We then had a very nice meal. An auction of donated items was conducted by Cindy Fisher, Cindy Robinson, and Joyce Leister. We ended the evening with music and dancing.
Mr. Bontilao writes:
I want to extend my personal appreciation for the wonderful gift you have donated to FAVS. It will surely go to our Scholarship Fund which we boost annually. If you or your colleagues have any good pictures of our group's performance, kindly send me a copy so I can feature them in our upcoming newsletter.
Again, thank you and your organization for the generous donation.
Bob Bontilao firstname.lastname@example.org
Chairman, FAVS Honor Guard Committee
2008 York County, Pennsylvania Reunion Details can be seen here.
2010 Muskegon, MI Reunion Details
During the final night of the 2010 reunion, I'd like to thank everyone for the recognition I was given as the Web PO, and for the donations from passing the hat to help pay for the York County page. I'm very glad that this web page has helped so many shipmates find their buddies and friends who they served with during their years on our ship. I'd also like to thank those who bought a NAVY hat from me to recoup the costs for this web site. Thanks to Joe Sharland for his support to pass a hat during our final night for the financial support.
It was great meeting old friends again. One was Russ Veccia who often acted as a DJ with me on the York County ships entertainment system by introducing music. He had an open and close for his programs and I asked him this year to relive those times so he recorded cuts for old times sake. Here's the two audio cuts made during the reunion of his Open and the Close he used during his broadcasts. He also brought his old ID card and I snapped a picture of him and his wife BJ during our dinner boat ride.
During our reunion, Roy Conley EN2 from LST-1174 provided everyone attending with a certificate for their LST-1175 service. Thanks Roy!
Below in the first group are random images from our reunion. If you would like me to correct or add a name to the images and or the people in them, make note of the image number and email me the names or descriptions you'd like to see when you move your mouse over the small pictures (email@example.com).
I believe Muskegon was selected for the 2010 reunion location because of the LST-393 museum ship along with the Great Lakes Naval Memorial and Museum where both the USS Silversides SS-236 and the USCGC McLANE – a 1927 Coast Guard Cutter. I personally also enjoyed Muskegon for Muskegon, and will share a few images from around town following the reunion information.
Most of the attendees stayed at the downtown Holiday Inn which gave everyone a special rate. Many of us stayed on the 8th floor where our suite was located and where we hung out between the tours and other activities. On Thursday morning some of the group toured Hot Rod Harley, one of the largest Harley dealers in the midwest. While there, we were allowed to visit the basement meeting room displaying a school bus that was cut in half and used as a food counter. The meeting area was like a mini museum, with even a coin operated motorcycle ride. The main showroom had the normal displays, but with a large collection of Harley Hummers over the counter area.
Later that day, many of us took a dinner cruise aboard the Port City Princess where everyone had a meal :( and dessert :). During the cruise, we were also able to observe a beauitful sunset before returning to Muskegon for the night.
Below are a few images during our dinner cruise on the Port City Princess.
On Friday morning we took a bus to see the Great Lakes Naval Memorial and Museum where the USS Silversides SS-236 and the USCGC McLane are tied up and open for self guided tours.
During the time when the crew members toured the Museum, Submarine SS-236 and the Coast Guard Cutter McLane, wives, girlfriends and partners stayed at the hotel and held a tea, had a small gift exchange and got to know each other.
For more information about the museum ships in Muskegon, I wanted to list the links for both the LST-393 and the Great Lakes Naval Memorial and Museum.
The Pizza Party
On Friday night we gathered in the tank deck on LST-393 for a pizza party. It was planned to have music and dancing, but most of the group began to leave, so when the pizza was gone, most of the people were too! Cindy Fisher and Debbie McKenney helped organize and sell tickets for the Chinese Auction held after the dinner on Saturday night. Below are a few pictures taken during the pizza party.
The Saturday Muskegan Tour
I was glad Muskegan was chosen for our 2010 reunion. On Saturday, we toured the downtown area including the Hackley and Hume historic homes that must be seen to be believed. The homes are located on W. Webster Ave and as we walked back to the hotel, a few decided to stop and visit the Hackey Public Library that was built and given to Muskegan by Mr. Hackley in 1888. The pictures displayed below are a few random pictures of the historic homes and his library.
As we walked back to the hotel, I stopped at an art store called Jilly's and talked with the artist Jill Barnes who showed me several pieces that she was selling. I was really impressed with her driftwood plaque and her glass jewelry that was really amazing. She told me she also sold her items on the web and I have linked her site here. I also visited the Lakeshore Museum Center and saw a fluroscope machine that as a kid, I often visited the local department store to view the bones in my feet, of course I was always being chased away by the sales people. Seeing that fluroscope machine really brought back the memories.
Saturday Night Dinner and Program
At around 1730 we started assembling in the lower level of the restaurant where we planned to have dinner and the after dinner program. As we found our seating, we viewed some of the Chinese auction items that were to be awarded and up for bid later. Some of us bought more tickets as we viewed the gifts which would give us more of a chance winning what we liked.
We'd like to thank John Schlagel (site) for the items he shipped to the hotel for our auction. Also, to Roy Conley EN2 from LST-1174 for the clock. The Harley shirts were donated by Carl Miskotten from Hot Rod Harley, and ofcourse to Ron Robrahn who brought some of the most popular items up from Florida.
Ken Robinson acted as the MC, and introduced Carl Miskotten who spoke about sponsoring a car for a military man who was wounded in Afghanistan that was a double amputee, then he introduced his special guest Joe Walker, who writes songs for Toby Keith & Lee Greenwood. Joe then sang two patriotic songs.
The color (honor) guard was from the VFW Post 9, Steve Allen Commander of the Veterans of Foreign War, Muskegon County Council spoke about and provided the missing man table settings (link). Mr. Allen urged everyone to return to their home towns and consider joining organizations such as the VFW, American Legion or AMVETS, and mentioned they need your participation for their support so they can keep honoring our fallen comrades. Earl Nickleson also led the group in prayer followed by the pledge of allegiance. Later, Cindy Fisher and Cindy Robinson organized the auction by pulling the tickets, then passing out the winning auction items.
Here are a few 2007 reunion pictures provided by Ron Robrahn, Verlyn Schalow and Minzie Leister Jr.
Ron Robrahn tried to keep track of everyone attending the reunion in Evansville. Below is his list and a 2007 reunion York County partial group picture that fills the screen, but here's a even larger size for those with larger monitors or for a closer look, just click on the picture.
In the picture, from left to right first row kneeling is Bill Evans , Earl Nickelson, Fred Card, Gene Alan, Leo Kinville, Ken Robinson, Ron Robrahn, and Pat Minton, the next row standing is Alan Schultz, Jim Marders, Verlyn Schalow, Minzie Liester, DonMcLaughlin, Phil Stevens, John Schlagel, and Sam Peters, in the last row is Ben Ferguson, Larry Fisher, Jim Talent, Tom McKenny (red hat), George Pantzer, Tim Cook and Jim Kellogg.
Not pictured in the group picture are Harvey Johnson, Harris Cotter, Willis Holiday, Joe Sharland, Julius Atchley, Charles Brown, Mike Croxton and Robert Leininger. With 21 wives and other guests by Ken Robinson's count, making a grand total of 52 attendees.
The feedback we're getting from those who attended the reunion has been very good. Tom Mckenny writes "Hi Ken. I still have a smile on my face from the wonderful time we had in Evansville. Great to hear from you.
On Wednesday some of us boarded a bus which drove us to the ship where we had breakfast in the tank deck because of the rain. As we approached the ship, we took a few pictures of the 325 next to the pier and a few inside the ship after eating. I thought I'd also post this picture of Jim Kellogg and Fred Card talking together in the lobby of the hotel, and a picture of a image from Willis Holladay EM3 who brought his photo album with him to the reunion. Most of the images that we tried to take from his album didn't turn out.
We have received some 07 reunion pictures from Ron Robrahn, Verlyn Schalow and Minzie Leister Jr., and some are posted below.
On Thursday, we took a short cruise aboard the 325 along the Evansville shoreline. Most everyone had a good time including these four (Phil Stevens, Ken Robinson, Ron Robrahn, and Earl Nickelson). Here's also some movie footage of the LST-325 leaving port, cruising down the Ohio river, returning and one of a LCVP riding along with us. These are large files and best viewed using a high speed internet connection.
FYI... Evansville, IN was a major ship building town during world war two, and while the men were overseas fighting the war, the women went to work and built LSTs. Also, between 1942 and 1945, the Missouri Valley Bridge and Iron Company, Shipbuilding Division, constructed 167 LST's at the Evansville shipyards using mainly women welders.