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2/14/2016

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Here are three items you may want to look at:  2016 Reunion Reservation Form

                                                                        2016 Reunion Information Pages

                                                                        Web Page update information

 

05/11/2013

Hello

It is with deep regret that we see our fellow shipmate Bob Wood moving on for a while -- our hope is that he will return after he has taken care of his personal issues.  Until that time I will do my best to keep up with the changes -- but please, be patient with me as I come up to speed with the necessary changes as we travel on this short cruise.  I believe we all owe Bob a great deal of gratitude for all the work he has done.  George

05/07/2013

FAREWELL

All.  This is Bob Wood.  It is with deep regret I must inform you that I am leaving the position of Webmaster for this fine ship.  Personal issues have developed that I can no longer provide the support this great site requires.  This site started many years ago as a hobby.  I never had any idea how big this would grow due to outstanding shipmates like Kurt Wageman and George Lussier and many others who had the vision to make this huge and try to save our ship.  As time goes on, memories will start to gray and we will always be able to come back here and relieve at least a small slice of our life.  George Lussier will fill in temporarily but if you have the skills and want to volunteer, please step up.  I want to thank all for the support and the memorabilia that has been forwarded to be placed on the site. Fair Winds and Following Seas to all.  It has been a JOY.  Bob Wood

05/29/2012

Below are the prizes, and winners, in the recent Sherman Raffle.  Those winners who were not at the reunion will have their prizes shipped to them sometime this week.  Thanks to all who participated in the raffle.
 

RAFFLE PRIZES 2012 & WINNERS

1.      52” scale model of USS FORREST SHERMAN DD-931.  Leslie Noss

2.     “South Pacific Destroyer” autographed by Capt. Crenshaw.  Stan Beach

3.     “South Pacific Destroyer” autographed by Capt. Crenshaw.  Rolf Idland

4.     Handcrafted Sherman Pen & Pencil Set by Steve Lawless.  Mike Allfrey

5.     Sherman Xmas ornament.  Nancy Ziehl

6.     Sherman Xmas ornament.  John Sluus

7.     Sherman Xmas ornament.  James Kreml

8.     Sherman Xmas ornament.  Richard Otter

9.     TCS Gift subscription.  Deirdre Fitzpatrick

10.    TCS License Plate holder.  Kenneth Meek

11.    TCS License Plate holder.  Al Slingerland

12.    TCS $10 gift coupon.  Pete Lennon

13.    TCS $5 gift coupon.  Roy Anderson

14.    TCS $5 gift coupon.  Stan Beach

15.    TCS HNSA Guide gift.  Mary McGurk

03/19/2012

$200,000.00

 

That’s the goal of our fund raising to establish the permanent memorial to the USS FORREST SHERMAND DD-931 at the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath, Maine.  This is a far cry from the $10 mil that it would have cost to restore the ship, but it will give us something few other ship’s in the Navy’s history has…a memorial with actual parts of the ship.

While a final design has not yet been chosen, the memorial will contain the stern sections of the ship that say ‘USS FORREST SHERMAN” and “931”.  In addition there will be a bronze plaque giving the details of the ship.  Named after Admiral Sherman, built at Bath, Maine which is right across the river from the museum, keel put down, launched, commissioned, and decommissioned.  It will be dedicated to the citizens of Bath that built the ship, and the over 6,000 crew members who served aboard during her long, and important, career.

In addition to that plaque there will be another close by that thanks the corporations and individuals who have donated the money to build this memorial.  For every corporation that donates $5,000 and each individual who donates $1,000 (of which we have three so far even before it was announced) the name will be in brass for all to see for all time.  This is a chance for a company, or an individual, to leave their name as an imprint on history.  On top of your name etched in brass this donation is also tax deductible since the Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. 

There will also be the Forrest Sherman Collection contained within the museum.  Bath Iron Works, which built the ship, has already donated 32 boxes of the original construction drawings to the collection.  As part of the Foundation’s agreement with NAVSEA we have already obtained many of the drawings, and records that they had on hand, and transferred them to the Museum.

The Foundation is in the process of requesting the Naval Historical Center to place on loan to Maine Maritime Museum all the items removed from the ship by the Curator of the Navy at the time the ship was stricken from the Navy’s register of ships.  These range from the ship’s bell to the wardroom log book signed by Mrs. Sherman and Admiral Arleigh Burke when the ship was commissioned.  In addition, the Foundation over the years has received many important artifacts from the members who removed them from the ship.  These include such items as the quarterdeck bell, the last steaming pennant, Suki’s dog tags, and many other items.  At this time they are being cataloged and will be sent to Maine at the proper time.

It takes money to maintain such collections.  Some must be restored.  All must be preserved.  And most displayed for the public to see.  The rest must be available for the public to see if they request to do so.

To add to the museum’s endowment for preservation the Foundation announces that for every $500 donation to this fund that person’s name will be placed on the museum’s roll of donors for all to see for all time.  Donations may also be made in the memory of a loved one and will be so identified.

Support your ship.  Support your museum.  Donate now!

12/01/2011

Dear Shipmates,

This is a letter that I had hoped I would never have to write.  The Navy has decided to scrap our ship.  Elsewhere in this newsletter you can see that the bureaucrats at NAVSEA turned down Indian River as a potential home for the ship.  The reasons given are completely bogus.  If there had to be a drydock near every ship in the historic fleet there wouldn’t be many of them.  It’s a 17 hour tow from Indian River to Philadelphia while the ships at Fall River face as much as a three day tow to reach drydock in Boston.  Other ships in the fleet are even further away from such a facility.

As much as we tried in federal court to stop the dismantling of the ship we are unable to prevail.  We have spent many thousands of dollars in legal fees for our effort, but those same bureaucrats are able to appeal, appeal, and appeal once again with attorneys using our tax dollars.  Some things in life simply aren’t fair.

Losing Indian River as a home for the ship has run us out of places to moor her.  In addition we also will have lost funds that were available through the stimulus program because of the Delaware connection of the Vice President.  Attempting to raise $10 million in today’s economy is simply out of the question.  On hind sight I guess the actions of former Mayor of Baltimore, Martin O’Malley, and present governor to renege on his written promise to moor the ship in Baltimore doomed us.  Especially since we had financing for the project at that time.  In spite of our efforts over the years to find a home for her we simply couldn’t do it.

Now what?  In spite of objections from some at NAVSEA we have been able to have a court ordered agreement between the Foundation, NAVSEA, and Maine Maritime Museum to establish a memorial to the ship at Bath, Maine with parts of the actual ship.  The agreement is printed elsewhere in this newsletter.  Not many ships have been able to do this.  It is fitting that it goes to Maine as the ship was built right across the river from the museum.

In addition to the memorial we are requesting the Curator of the Navy turn over to us for transfer to Maine Maritime all the items they removed from the ship when it was stricken from the Navy’s rolls.  This includes the ship’s bell, and many other items.  All the memorabilia that the members of the Foundation have donated over the years will also be transferred to the museum.  Maine Maritime has already received as a donation the complete construction drawings, and records, from the builder Bath Iron Works.  The complete record of the ship will be housed at the museum, and on display, for all time.  I don’t know of another ship that can claim that.

This is going to cost money.  We have agreed to stand the expense of obtaining all these objects and transporting them to Maine.  In addition we have agreed to fund the construction of the memorial as well as endowing it for future maintenance.  We have set a goal of $200,000 to accomplish all this as well as retire our legal debt.  A future newsletter will outline these plans as we obtain more details.  However, if you wish to contribute to this fund prior to the end of the tax year we are more than willing to accept such donations.

Lastly, our plans for the reunion next May are still on.  All the details are contained in this newsletter.  Over half the rooms we have on hold are already reserved by members so if you plan to come, or even think you may come, I urge you to make a reservation soon.

Best personal regards,

Kurt Wagemann

To read the references:  Donation Agreement                  Letter USS Forrest Sherman             Transfer of US Naval Vessel

09/06/2011

Greetings Shipmates

It is with a great deal of sadness, and quite frankly with even more anger, that I must report to you that the bureaucrats at NAVSEA have turned down Indian River as a possible home for the Sherman.  They did it in a press release to the Delaware newspapers, and not a letter to either us or our attorneys.  I quote "According to Chris Johnson, spokesman for Naval Sea Systems Command, the size of the destroyer and the absence of a dry-docking facility were main reasons the Navy would not recommend the vessel at the inlet. 'The ship is a little bit larger than might be useful in that position.  That's not to say it can't be done, but those are the issues that would lead us to believe it's not the best course of action' ".  Quiet frankly, that's simply BS.  If there had to be a dry-dock facility near every ship in the historic fleet there wouldn't be many of them in existence.  It's less than a day's tow from Indian River to a dry-dock in Philadelphia.  It's a three day tow for the ships in Fall River to reach dry-dock in Boston.  At least one of the ships in the historic fleet, USS YORKTOWN at Patriots Point, has sunk into the mud and can't be towed anywhere.  We have our attorney in Philadelphia trying to mediate a settlement with the Navy, but its too early to know the exact outcome.  I have held the next newsletter until we can put the full details in it.

In the meantime our reunion next May in Ocean City is still going full steam ahead.  I've attached all the details and a reservation form.  Over half the rooms we had on hold are already taken so I would suggest you make your reservations as soon as possible even if you're not sure you can attend.  You can always cancel up to 48 hours before your scheduled arrival at no cost.  You do not need to send in any money yet for the activities, but we would appreciate the reservation form so we can plan ahead.  We have moved the reunion into the latter part of May to take advantage of better weather and beach time.  It should be a great party, and I hope you can attend.

Best regards,
Kurt Wagemann
President

04/11/2011

Greetings Shipmates, 

I'm pleased to announce that we have surpassed the matching funds challenge by over a thousand dollars.  My thanks to each of you who helped make this successful.  I apologize for taking so long to get the thank you and tax letters out, but as of this morning the rest of them are now in the mail. 

The IRS says that we must acknowledge in writing all contributions in excess of $500.00.  However, we have always felt that if someone takes the time to write a check, or donate through the home page, they deserve a letter of recognition.  It slows us down at times, but we think its the right thing to do. 

The last report I received from The Dunes Manor Hotel showed that over one half of the rooms we reserved for our reunion are now taken.  Its just a little over a year away.  The reunion is scheduled from Sunday, May 20th 2012 to Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012.  The rates for those nights are $79 per night single/double.  If you come early the rates for Friday and Saturday are $139 per night single/double.  If you want to stay a few days longer the rates remain $79 per night through Thursday.  If you've never visited the Dunes Manor you should check out their home page at www.dunesmanor.com.  This is truly one of the best hotels in Ocean City with all rooms facing the ocean directly with a balcony.  To make a reservation call the hotel directly at 800-523-2888, ask for reservations, and tell them you're with the Forrest Sherman Group.  This is a wonderful time of the year down there.  The weather should be warm and the crowds haven't arrived as yet.  So, if you even think you may want to attend, call the hotel now and make a reservation.  You may always cancel at no charge up to 48 hours prior to your scheduled arrival if your plans change. 

Best regards,

Kurt

04/02/2011

Greetings Shipmates, 

Just to update you on the matching funds donation challenge.  As of this morning we're still several thousand dollars short of our goal.  That's the bad news as it was supposed to end by the end of March.  The good news is that our friend in New York has agreed to extend it until April 15th since I have been out of the office so much lately.  So, I want to thank all the folks who have already made a donation, and I hope to catch up on the tax letters this weekend.  To those of you who haven't donated as yet you now have several more weeks to do so.  Remember, all donations to the Foundation are tax deductible.  You may also donate on line at www.ussforrestsherman.org or send a check to the office:  USS Forrest Sherman DD-931 Foundation, Inc., 720 Reedy Circle, Bel Air, MD 21014.  We do need your support as we still have legal bills to pay. 

Best regards,

Kurt

03/07/2011

Greetings Shipmates, 

I wanted to update you as to our efforts to locate the USS Forrest Sherman DD-931 at Indian River Inlet in Delaware.  During the past month I've spoken to 15 various fraternal and civic organizations in the area with 5 more scheduled in the next two weeks.  These include VFW's, American Legion Post's, fishermen's organization, as well as other groups.  I'm happy to report that there is no organized opposition to the project such as we faced in Havre de Grace.  That doesn't mean everyone is in favor of it, but there is no group that I'm aware of that is fighting it.  We must demonstrate to the members of the legislature that this is a project that deserves to happen.  We only have 90 days to secure a berth or the bureaucrats at NAVSEA are once again threatening to scrap the ship.  They appear to never give up! 

All of this fight costs money.  Money that we don't have, but our attorneys have not let that stand in the way.  Now comes some good news.  The economy must be getting better as our friend in New York, who still wishes to remain anonymous, has issued a $10,000.00 matching funds challenge for all donations received by the Foundation until April 1st.  He will match dollar for dollar, up to $10,000.00, for each dollar you donate.  It couldn't come at a better time.  Please mark each check as "matching funds" and send to the Foundation office at 720 Reedy Circle, Bel Air, MD 21014.  Or, you may donate on line at our home page at www.ussforrestsherman.org.  Remember, all donations are tax deductible. 

I was amazed to receive a print out from the Dunes Manor Hotel in Ocean City, MD that over half the rooms we have on hold for next year's reunion are already taken.  The reunion is May 20th-23rd 2012 which is just a little over a year away.  The rooms are $79 per night single/double.  Those of you who have been there before know that this is a full service hotel with all rooms facing the ocean directly, and each room has a balcony.  We're still waiting to announce the activities, but I wouldn't wait to make a reservation.  You can always cancel at no cost if your plans change.  The hotel's toll free number is 800-523-2888.  Ask for reservations and tell them you're with the Forrest Sherman group to get this discounted rate. 

Best regards,

Kurt Wagemann
President

01/30/2011

Greetings Shipmates, 

Attached are two articles (Web article click here)  (PDF Article click here) about our efforts to locate the ship in Indian River, Delaware.  We are still fighting with the Navy, but so far our attorneys have kept them at bay.  Its expensive, but it also is the only way we can save the ship. 

Our membership renewal is only at about 60%.  If you have put off, or misplace your form, a new form is attached.  We need all our members to renew to keep this fight going.  Donations help also.  This has been a very expensive fight, but with your help we'll win it! 

We believe that the ship can arrive at Indian River in the early spring of 2012.  So we have scheduled our next reunion to coincide with the ship's arrival.  We're going back to the Dunes Manor Hotel, in Ocean City Maryland, which is just a few miles from where the ship will be berthed.  Its too early to announce any activities, but it isn't too early for you to make a hotel reservation.  The reunion will be May 20th - 23th, 2012.  You may come earlier, or stay later if you wish.  The rate for Friday & Saturday nights is $139 per room single/double.  The rate for Sunday-Wednesday for the actual reunion is $79 per room single/double.  We only have 75 rooms on hold.  I urge you to make a reservation as soon as possible if you even think you might attend.  You may always cancel at no charge if you find you can't attend.  The toll free phone number is 800-523-2888, ask for reservations, and tell them you're with the Forrest Sherman Group. 

In a few months we'll send out an announcement of the activities as things become a little clearer. 

Best regards,

Kurt Wagemann

11/27/2010

I hope that you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and this year we really have something to be thankful for.  Attached is a letter from Representative Gerald Hocker, of Delaware, to NAVSEA requesting the location of the Sherman be the Indian River Inlet and State Park.  We have found a home for the ship!  Only the construction of a new bridge on Route 1 will allow the ship to fit into that location albeit there will have to be some temporary modifications to the ship to fit under the bridge.  The masts and stacks will have to be lowered, or removed, as well as anything above the 03 (bridge) level.  This can be accomplished in the shipyard while the ship is undergoing restoration, either brought down to Indian River on a barge or flat bed trucks, and reinstalled once in place.  This equipment would be modified to be bolted in place so that it can be removed at a later date if the ship needs to go into dry-dock.  Indian River is located about half way between Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, and Ocean City, Maryland.  Its one of the most highly traveled roads in the state and the ship will be fully visible from the roadway.  Millions of tourists pass over this bridge every year.  The bridge is scheduled for completion in 2011.  This means the ship could possibility be in place in 2012.  We will now look to schedule our next reunion to coincide with the ship's arrival.  I am going down to Delaware on Monday through Friday next week to start the process with Representative Hocker and various local groups and officials. 

The meeting with the Navy and the various historic agencies went quite well for us on the 22nd.  All the federal, state, and local historic groups have insisted that we receive at least another year to put this project together.  Your emails certainly helped.  It is not too late to send more emails supporting locating the ship at Indian River.  The email address is: navsea_publicqueries@navy.mil.  Several of you had troubles with that link.  However, hundreds of your emails did go through.  If the link doesn't work please open your email program and type that address in the To: header.  It is really important that you help with this. 

We are processing the membership renewals in the office.  It is taking me a little longer than I would like since I've been swamped with all the recent events, but we do appreciate those of you who have renewed your membership.  However, we have only heard from less than 25% of the current members.  I know they are not due until the first of the year, but we need a full membership to keep up this fight.  Just to clear up one misunderstanding, dues money is not going to pay our attorneys.  That money is reserved to operate the Foundation over the year.  Its is the extra contributions that come in with membership dues that goes to pay our outstanding legal bills.  Without our attorney's efforts the ship would have been in a scrapyard in Brownsville, TX by now.  They are the ones who have kept the bureaucrats at NAVSEA at bay.  Remember, all contributions to the Foundation are tax deductible.  We still have a long way to go so please renew now, and if you can please consider something extra for the fight. 

Best regards,

Kurt Wagemann

11/19/2010

Several weeks ago the Navy had a consultation meeting in Harrisburg with numerous federal, state, and private organizations to determine what should be done with the Sherman.  Since the ship is in Philadelphia, and has now been determined to be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, it comes under the jurisdiction of the Pennsylvania Museum Commission.  All of the agencies in attendance at the meeting were of the opinion that the ship should be in a donation hold and made a museum in Delaware.  The Navy was represented by three civilian bureaucrats.  In fact, the only Navy personnel in attendance was one of our attorneys who is a JAG Cdr in the active reserves. 

They don't give up easily.  There is another meeting scheduled for this coming Monday, the 22nd, in Philadelphia.  They are now asking for public comment.  We need to flood them with emails.   The contact is: navsea_publicqueries@navy.mil.  Click on this link and send them a few polite words on the importance to the history of this country the Sherman is.  It would also help if you send me a copy Bcc: so that I have a record of them for the meeting. 

Please do this as soon as possible.  We need your help. 

Thanks,

Kurt

09/02/2010

We have just won a major, major victory!  As I may have told you the Foundation nominated the Sherman to the National Register of Historic Places.  This is governed by the Park Service in the Department of the Interior.  The nomination had to go through the Pennsylvania Commission on Historic Preservation, and then to the Keeper of the Record of the National Register for a final determination.  The Navy fought as hard as they could to prevent the listing.  Initially the State of Pennsylvania agreed with them.  We then were forced to have our attorneys appeal their decision directly to the Keeper of the Record.  He then inspected the ship in Philadelphia and his decision is attached.  This victory for us cannot be appealed by the Navy.  The Keeper has made the final decision.  The Sherman eventually will be listed on the National Register of Historic Places. (see document here)

We have won every single hearing to date whether it was before an impartial judge in Federal Court or the Keeper of the Record.  Our cause is just or we would not have won.  I don't expect the bureaucrats at NAVSEA to give up.  It is my feeling that what they cannot win in the courts of this country they will try to win by outspending us with the taxpayers money.  Each time they try something we must defend it with our attorneys.  They use the Department of Justice for which we, the taxpayers, must pay.  The last invoice we received from our attorneys was for $36,572.08.  We have paid $20,000.00 of that.  That means we still owe in excess of $16,000.00 plus whatever it will cost to fight the next thrust by them. 

Once again I am turning to you for help.  I know the economy isn't great in spite of what some politicians are telling us.  But, all our efforts so far to find a home for the ship will go to naught if we cannot defend our rights.  Someone asked me how long we would continue to fight.  My answer is that as long as the ship is still afloat we will fight to save her. 

As you know we take Visa/MasterCard as well as checks.  You may donate on line at www.ussforrestsherman.org or by mailing a check to the USS Forrest Sherman DD-931 Foundation, Inc. at 720 Reedy Circle, Bel Air, MD 21014. 

Best personal regards,

Kurt Wagemann
President

07/13/2010

Apparently there's been some confusion over the status of the Sherman, and most likely its been my fault.  The ship is back into a donation hold as a result of our lawsuit.  Please see attached memo from the Assistant Secretary of the Navy.  For how long I do not know.  At this point I have very little trust in them to do the right thing! 

On July 2nd we met with Governor Jack Markell, of Delaware, in his office in Wilmington.  He had a senior staff member of his administration with him.  I was very encouraged as he had done his homework on the project and was very familiar with it.  He asked his staff member to conduct a thorough review of the entire project, and all the options we have at our disposal including various berthing possibilities.

On July 21st we are meeting with his staff to look at several sites for the ship.  More to follow after that meeting.

The Navy has declined to nominate the ship to the National Register of Historic Places so we did it ourselves.  This is a 38 page form, and if you would like a copy I'll be glad to send it to you, but you should have a high speed ISP to download it.  It now goes to the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission for review as per attached letter from Carol Lee.  For those of you who live in Pennsylvania it would not be a bad idea to write to her endorsing this effort.  The mailing address is on the attachment.  I'm not attaching a suggested letter as we don't want anything that looks even remotely like a form letter.

I hope your summer is going well.  As soon as we have located a berth for the ship we'll plan the next reunion.  Most likely in 2012.

06/07/2010

Hopefully things are quieting down.  Our meeting with the Governor of Delaware, which had to be postponed while the Navy played its little games, is back on the schedule for July 2nd at 10:30 in the morning at his office in Wilmington.  Unfortunately the legislature is in session until June 30th so we have to wait.  At least his interest is still there!

Our attorneys, along with the government attorney, had a conference with Judge DuBois on Friday afternoon.  The judge ordered the government to settle all outstanding issues with us, and have a draft into his office by next Friday.  We are insisting that some kind of procedure be set up to guarantee that the Inactive Ships Office will not touch the ship, or make any change in its status, without notifying us in advance including our right to appeal any such action to the court before they do so.  From time to time they most move the ships around in the Philadelphia yard to accommodate new ships.  So, we can't stand in the way of that, but we want to know in advance before they touch it for any reason.  Then there's the little matter of legal fees!  The Navy is really fighting that.  So, we'll see what happens. 

As you know our legal fees for this successful fight were $20,000.00.  Between what we had on hand, and what the many members contributed, we raised those funds in a few short weeks.  My thanks to all of you who contributed.  All the tax letters have now been sent out over this weekend.  New contributions will get a tax letter as soon as I can get them out.  Right now we are trying to replenish the funds we had on hand and had to use.  As you know we added a link to the home page, www.ussforrestsherman.org, where folks could donate directly to the Foundation. 

Again, thanks to all who have supported the Foundation with donation and letter writing.  It all helped!  We won!!!

Best regards,

Kurt Wagemann

President

06/03/2010

After being confronted with the fact that officials from NAVSEA lied to the Federal Court (see attached) the Navy caved.  Attached is a letter from the Assistant Secretary of the Navy returning the USS FORREST SHERMAN DD-931 to a donation hold immediately. 

Its been a tough six weeks, but we prevailed.  We're broke, but we still have our ship.  A number of you asked if you could donate safely on line, and our webmaster, Bob Wood, has set that up.  Visit www.ussforrestsherman.org, click on donate, fill out the form, and hopefully we'll fill the coffers back up.  My thanks to all of you who rose to the occasion to help save the ship.

Best regards,

Kurt

05/28/2010
 
Greetings Shipmates,
 
Once again the government has requested a postponement in the hearing until June 9th.  I have no idea why this is happening, but our attorney will fight any further delays.  The order of the court is attached.
 
On the financial front we are very close to raising the additional funds we need to pay the lawyers.  Of course, that does not replenish the $10,000 we had to take out of our accounts to pay the retainer.  I know I've been stressing donations to you, and in this economy that's not very easy.  However, we have no choice but to fight these bureaucrats.  And, that takes money!
 
On the political front there is still time to contact your senators and congressman as well as faxing the SECNAV.  I've attached sample letters as well as the list of the House and Senate Armed Forces Committees.  If just one of these folks would call the SECNAV it may put an end to the entire law suit.
 
On behalf of the Board of Directors, and Officers, of the Foundation I want to thank each of you who have responded both financially and with your letters.  This may be the last chance we have to save the Sherman, and your help is appreciated.  Lastly I would like to wish each of you a happy Memorial Day.  Let us not forget those who made the supreme sacrifice so that we may live in peace.
 
Best regards,
Kurt
05/16/2010

Greetings Shipmates,

 The Court hearing on our law suit in Philadelphia has been rescheduled to June 3rd at 10 am.  This should work to our advantage allowing us more time to contact congress.  I have attached a list of all the members of the House and Senate Armed Forces Committees.  If any of these are your congressmen, or senator, please write them to ask for help in saving the Sherman.  I've attached a suggested letter, but feel free to put it in your own words.  The important thing is to do it quickly.  You'll need to go to their home page to get contact information.  A fax or email is the quickest, but each lawmaker has a different procedure.  If just one of these folks would call the Secretary of the Navy it may end our entire problem.  The Navy is beholden to these committees.  That's where they get their money.  All of these congressmen are up for election this year, and one third of the senate is.  They should help you.

On the financial front we are still short of our goal to pay for this suit by about $2,000.  If you've already made a donation I would like to thank you very much.  All the tax letters have now gone out.  Remember this donation is tax deductible.  If you haven't made a donation yet, please consider doing so now.  If you can't afford it I understand, but you can take the time to get a letter out.  This is the last effort to save the Sherman.  Please help!

 Best regards,

Kurt Wagemann

President

Sample FAX Click Here        Suggested Letter Click Here   List of Armed Forces Committees Members

05/14/2010

Greetings Shipmates,

 The saga continues!  On Tuesday NAVSEA reneged on its written letter not to move the Sherman from the jurisdiction of the Court in Philadelphia.  We were forced to go into Federal Court in Philadelphia, before the Hon. Jan E. DuBois, to ask for an emergency temporary injunction to force the Navy to live up to the terms of their letter.  In spite of strong protests from the Assistant U.S. Attorney, who now represents the Navy, Judge DuBois granted us relief and signed the restraining order.  He then set May 26th for a hearing in the case. 

We have to stop these idiots at NAVSEA.  This is all done in the name of the Secretary of the Navy, but it highly unlikely that he knows anything about it.  I have obtained the personal fax number of the Secretary.  It is important that we flood his office with faxes from our members.  I've attached a sample fax with his number.  It is important that you put this information in your own words as much as possible.  We don't want it to look like a form letter.  They get disposed of quickly.  Please take the time today to send SECNAV your feelings and concerns. 

On the financial front we are just $3000 short of the $10,000 goal to pay for this law suit.  Thank you to all who have responded so quickly.  You will get an acknowledgement letter shortly.  For those of you who have not made a donation yet please take a few minutes to do so.  The survival of our ship depends upon it. 

Best regards,

Kurt Wagemann

President

05/12/2010

Greeting Shipmates, 

This has been a hectic two weeks.  On May 3rd we were informed by an inside source at NAVSEA that the Navy had requested a proposal from a scrapper in Brownsville, TX to dismantle the Sherman.  The bid was due back at 2 pm on May 7th.  After that time they were free to tow the ship away from Philadelphia, and had actually made plans to do so.  Our attorney, Rear Admiral Steven Kantrowitz, JAG, USNR (Ret) who is in private practice in Philadelphia, prepared the attached law suit.  He then called Capt. Pietras, who is in charge of inactive ships, and confronted him with it.  He informed him that he would seek an emergency order from the court stopping the Navy from moving the ship.  Pietras went off the deep end.  Steve told him to get NAVSEA's lawyer to call him within 15 minutes or he was headed to court.  The lawyer called back, and after several calls agreed not to touch the ship until June 1st so that the case may be heard in court without an emergency hearing. 

We expect to prevail, but you never know what a judge will rule.  Since NAVSEA backed off quickly from towing the ship away there is always the possibility they may want a settlement instead of going into court and losing.  I've attached the law suit and the letter from NAVSEA's attorney.  The suit is filed in Federal Court, and a hearing will be scheduled.  I do not know the date yet.  In the meantime, please keep contacting your congressman and senators.  If they get to the Secretary of the Navy that may settle the entire thing. 

In the meantime this is costing us a lot of money which we do not have.  So far we have received about $4000 from our members in donations.  We really appreciate your help, but we need more.  We need another $6000 just to cover the court costs and legal fees.  We took $10,000 from our account as a deposit on the retainer.  We need to replace that.  There is no such thing as a donation too small, or too large.  We must win this law suit to save the ship.  We urgently need your help.  And, we need it now.  Remember that we do take Visa/MasterCard as well as a check.  All donations are fully tax deductible as allowed by law.  What better way to get a tax write off than by helping to save the ship. 

Best regards,

Kurt Wagemann

President

Complaint          Response to Pietras      Response to Glen Clark

05/04/2010

Greetings Shipmates, 

As you can see with the attached letter to Capt Pietras the Navy is intent on scrapping the Sherman in violation of the law.  In fact, they have requested bids to scrap the ship that must be returned by this Friday, the 7th, at 2 pm.  After that time they can haul the ship away. 

We have no other choice but to go into Federal Court in Philadelphia immediately to seek and injunction to stop them.  The Foundation has retained the services of Rear Admiral Steven B. Kantrowitz, JAG, USNR (Ret) to represent us.  The suit will be filed shortly.  We don't know when the hearing will be, but this will effectively stop the Navy's actions, and take it our of their hands.  The Navy will be represented by the Civil Division of the Justice Department, and the case will be heard in Philadelphia which we hope will less inclined to give the government deference. 

While this will take some time, we still can pursue the congressional side of the question.  We need your help.  I have attached a suggested letter that you can email, FAX, or send to your two Senators and your Representative.  If enough of these elected officials contact the Secretary of the Navy he may change his position which could save us a lot of money.  You can use the letter as written, or feel free to make personal changes to it as you see fit.  The important thing is to get it out quickly. 

This effort is going to cost us $20,000 that we do not have budgeted.  I have sent Steve a retainer of $10,000 and this pretty much wipes out our funds.  I will have to curtail all of the Foundation's activities to preserve what little funds we have left.  If you have donated to the Foundation in the past please consider doing it again.  If you have never donated to the Foundation now is a good time to do so.  Remember, we have to raise $20,000 immediately.  This is our last effort to save our ship.  We need your help. 

Best regards,

Kurt Wagemann

President

04/28/2010

Greetings Shipmates, 

The bureaucrats have struck again.  As you know they have no love for our project as we went over their heads to Congress to save the ship.  Looks like we're going to have to do it again, and quickly.  I was in Tennessee for a funeral the week before last when I received the first of these attached letters.  Unfortunately they now communicate with a secure code, and I wasn't able to open it with my iPhone.  When I got back to the motel I tried to open it with my laptop, but the code was on my desktop back in the office.  When I got back to the office I opened it and was shocked.  Just as we were closing in on a location for the ship in Wilmington they pulled this. 

I spoke with my personal attorney and he believes that they are doing something unlawful.  He advised me that since the ship is in Philadelphia, and NAVSEA Inactive Ships has an office there, we need to go into court there to obtain an injunction to prevent them from disposing of the ship.  The law calls for it to be held until early in January 2011.  The folks in Wilmington have been operating under the assumption that they have until the end of this year to submit an application for donation as the law calls for.  My attorney does not know an attorney in Philadelphia, and the only member of the Foundation who is an attorney in Philadelphia specializes in asbestos case.  He is going to try to find someone as quickly as he can, but we are really under the gun.  If any of you who live in the Philly area know an attorney who could handle this please let me know immediately. 

We have face serious threats before, and we will win this one. 

Best regards,

Kurt

01/13/2010

I just wanted to thank everyone for sending in their renewals of membership and donations.  I am way behind in getting the 2010 Membership Cards out, but I am working as fast as I can.  We are really swamped in the office with a number of things.  I hope you understand. 

Have you ever wanted to see the Sherman underway again?  The movie WINDJAMMER was filmed, in part, from the fantail of the Sherman.  Here is a 8 minute clip of the movie when a highline transfer was done between the ships at sea.  It features Capt. Crenshaw, the crew of the Sherman, and the crew of the Norwegian Sailing ship Christian Radich.  Turn your sound up and enjoy: 

YouTube - Windjammer & the United States Navy Taskforce Seaplane, Submarine and Destroyer

 Thanks to all the members who forwarded this to me. 

Best regards,

Kurt

Greeting Shipmates,

Its with a great deal of sadness that I must inform you of the passing of Leonard "Doc" McCabe after a long illness.  Doc went peacefully in his chair after watching TV.  He had been very active up until the end.  Just two weeks ago he went to a Boy Scout gathering, and had made many trips before that.  Doc knew what he faced and made the preparations that he wanted to. 

To his daughter Kathy, and the rest of the family, we send our heart felt condolences.  We will miss Doc very much.  He was a strong supporter of the effort to save his ship, and a good friend to all of us.  Doc, we wish you fair seas, and following winds!

His obituary is printed below.

Best regards,

Kurt

 

 

                                                                     McGuinness Funeral Home

34 Hunter St.

Woodbury, NJ 08096

856-845-0888

 

McCabe, Leonard M., 80, of Oak Valley, NJ on July 23, 2009

 

Legacy

Phoenixville, PA was the home of his birth.  He served 20 years in the Navy, retiring as a Hospital Corpsman Chief Petty Officer (HMC retired) aka “Doc”.  A WWII, Korean, Vietnam veteran.  His second career of 20+ years was with Keystone Automotive as a sales representative.  During this time, he met and enjoyed the company of the employees of many of the auto body shops.  Leonard was a member of the Boy Scout organization for 69+ years in the Chester Co. and So. Jersey Councils. He was an Eagle Scout, a Silver Beaver recipient, and member of the Order of the Arrow.  He was a member of the NRA, the Military Vehicle Preservation Assoc., the Greater PA. Assoc. of the MVPA; the Oak Valley Fire Co for 35+ years, member of the USS Forrest Sherman Foundation, a 2nd Armor WWII re-enactor and participant of the Circle Trigon. A member of the Fleet Reserve Assoc.; a life member of the American Legion; a volunteer at Camp Roosevelt on the Thursday crew and a volunteer educator at Kingsway HS for 15 years.

 

Family

Leonard was the beloved husband of the late Barbara (nee Rich), loving father of Karen (John) Murray, Kathleen (Arthur) Latshaw, Veronica McCabe, Linda (James) Bauers and Irene (Ted) Jagielski; dear brother of Eugene, Tom and Marty; adoring grandfather of Shawn, Jennifer, Caryn, Joelle, Jonathan, Justin, and Adam, and devoted great grandfather of Alexa. 

Service

Viewing Tuesday 6:30-9 PM in the McGuinness Funeral Home 34 Hunter St. Woodbury and Wednesday 8:30-9:45AM in St. Margaret R. C. Church, 334 Beech Ave., Woodbury Heights, NJ.  Funeral Mass will follow at 10 AM.

Interment Hillcrest Cemetery.

 

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Boy Scouts of America or the Oak Valley Fire Company.

 Tributes and memories may be shared at www.mcgfuneral.com

 

05/02/2009

Greetings Shipmates, 

A great time was had by all at the reunion.  The weather was perfect.   

The winners of the raffle are as follows: 

    54" scale model of the Sherman    Paul Nace

    Hand crafted desk set    Steve Hess

    Inscribed book by David Sears    Charlie Flannery

    Inscribed book by David Sears    Bill Montgomery

    Free Tin Can Sailors Membership    Frank Schweibenz

    $10 gift cards from TCS    John Sluus and Jim West

    $5 gift cards from TCS    Peter Buiak, Bruce Mackay, John Sluus, Charles Hilgendorf

    Free HNSA Guides from TCS    John Mattly, Mike Mallach, John Krizak, Herbert Katzenberg 

Those who won, and were not in attendance for the drawing, will have their prizes shipped to them.   

I would like to thank all who bought chances in the raffle, as well as those who bought items in the auction.  I would also like to thank all who donated books to the ship's store as well as other items for the auction.  A special thank you to Jonathan Mehlrose who took so many pictures of the event.
02/18/2009

All of these presentations cost money.  It cost $2,500 for the engineer's survey of the city alone to make sure the ship could fit there.  It will cost at least another $5,000 in related expenses.  All of this money comes from you the members of the Foundation.  How can you help right now?  If you're not a paid member of the Foundation you can join now.  The form is attached.  If you haven't purchased any of the raffle tickets for the Sherman model you can do so now, and the information is attached.  If you want to make an outright donation to the Foundation just remember that all such donations are tax deductible.  The current economic situation has made our donations decrease rapidly.  No amount is too small for your donation.  We appreciate every dollar that you contribute, and they all go into the effort to find a home for our proud ship.

01/31/2009

Greetings Shipmates,

Trust me.  Spring is coming!  Along with Spring will be our great reunion in Ocean City.  There are still about 12 rooms left.  So, don't be left out.  This will be our largest reunion so far.  Make your reservations immediately.  All the information is attached.  Also attached is the reservation form.  Payment for the activities can be made now.  We accept cash, check, or Visa/MasterCard.  Payment must be made by March 15th.

Once again we are going to have the big raffle.  Another 52" scale model of the USS FORREST SHERMAN DD-931 has been made by master model builder Bob Mehlrose as the grand prize.  This model has a value of $2000.  Second prize is the wonderful hand crafted Sherman pen and pencil set made by shipmate Steve Lawless.  This set has a value of $300.  Plus there will be 8 other prizes to be announced.  You don't have to be present at the reunion to win.  Each chance cost $5 and you may send in the money to the office and we'll send you your raffle tickets.  Prizes will be shipped directly to the winners home if you aren't in attendance. 

12/24/2008

Greetings Shipmates,

On behalf of the Officers and Board of Directors I would like to wish each of you a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and a Happy New Year!  May the blessings of the season reach all of you!

It may be too late for you to do some shopping on line for Christmas, but the Foundation is now affiliated with GoodSearch.com.  This organization exists on line to help non-profits raise money by shopping at almost every major retailer in the country.  Each of these merchants will contribute to the Foundation if you purchase anything from them through this web page.  Go to www.GoodSearch.com, where you see "Who Do You GoodSearch For?"  type in Forrest Sherman Foundation, when the next page comes up click on GoodShop.  You will see a tremendous list of merchants through out the country ranging from Macy's to Home Depot.  It will also list the percentage each merchant will donate to the Foundation if you make a purchase from them through this site.  Its that simple.  Bookmark www.GoodSearch.com on your computer and when you shop on line do it through them!

Many of you have already sent in your membership renewals.  This is just a reminder that they are due on January 1st.

Another reminder is that there are just a few rooms left at the Dunes Manor Hotel in Ocean City, Maryland, for next April's reunion.  Don't be left out!  This is going to be our largest reunion yet.

Finally, I received an email from Jeana Payne McKinley trying to find out some information about her grand father, Frank H. Payne, who served on the Sherman from 1959-1961.  Paula believes that he was a yeoman.  Frank passed away in 1967 when Jeana's mother was just 1 month old.  They only have 1 picture of Frank and are trying to find out more information, and pictures, about him.  If you served with Frank please email Jeana at sunnibeach4@hotmail.com.  I know that she'll really appreciate hearing from any of you who may remember Frank.

8/25/2008

Greetings Shipmates,

The Reunion 2009, next April, in Ocean City is filling the hotel very quickly.  There are still some rooms left, but not many.  If you think you may even want to attend, but still aren't sure, I urge you to make a hotel reservation soon.  You may always cancel at no cost if you decide you can't attend.  You also don't have to send in any money for the activities as yet, but I do want to make sure you get a room.
 

Many of you asked who was coming.  I've attached the list of reservations we have so far.  If your name isn't on the list its because we don't have a reservation for you.  Don't be left out!  I've attached all the information. 

If you didn't receive the recent newsletter its because we don't have a home mailing address for you.  Please send me your address and I'll see that you get the latest newsletter and also be on the mailing list for future ones.

6/30/2008

Greetings Shipmates,

The great news is that we have almost used up all the hotel rooms we had on hold for the reunion next April at the Dunes Manor Hotel in Ocean City, MD.  There are about 30 rooms left in the entire hotel.  They will give them to us on a first come first serve basis.  However, they won't hold the rest for us as they feel they have to make some available to the general public.  So, if you plan to go you should make a hotel reservation right away.  When the hotel fills up you will be on your own as we can't guarantee any hotel a block of rooms.  This has happened in the past and I can assure you that equal hotels cost a lot more than what we pay for ocean front rooms.  You may always cancel at no charge if your plans change.  Besides, you may be just a short drive from what may be the new home of the Sherman!

The $10,000 matching fund challenge ends July 4th.  As of today we have only raised $2655.  That is a major disappointment because $10,000 in donations will equal $20,000 in funds on hand.  Every thing we do to obtain the Sherman costs money.  We pay no salaries.  All your officers serve as volunteers.  It has cost over $2500 just to print a presentation packet for Delaware.  There are photos, engineering studies, and other information concerning the project in this packet.  By the time we are done there will be over 30 copies of this.  It is your donations that make this possible.  I know that gas is not cheap, and the economy isn't the best, but we still have a mission to complete.  It can't happen without your help.  If you haven't made a donation recently please take this opportunity to do so now.  Ask your friends to join our effort. 

I hope you have a wonderful 4th of July, and take a few minutes to reflect on just what that day represents.

 Best regards,

Kurt Wagemann
President

6/16/2008

Have you made a hotel reservation for the next reunion yet?  There are only 20 rooms left that we had held at the Dunes Manor Hotel in Ocean City.  This looks to be the largest reunion we have had yet.  Don't be left out.  Make your reservation now.  It doesn't cost anything and you may always cancel if you're unable to attend.  The information is attached.  And, you're just a few miles from the possible location of the Sherman.

As of today we have raised $1945.00 towards the $10,000 matching funds challenge.  Remember that it ends on the 4th of July.  We have a long way to go, and a short time to do it!  All donations are tax deductible, and your donation will be doubled.  The membership dues do not cover our efforts to save our ship completely.  It is the individual donation that makes our effort successful.  Your help is needed now more than ever.

As a result of our last mailing we have received 21 new paid members.  We thank you very much, and if you've forgotten to join please take a few minutes to do so.

I hope that you have a happy summer!

5/14/2008

The newest newsletter went out on Monday.  We've had some delivery problems with the post office for the last two newsletters.  We sent this one out in an envelope to see if it gets delivered promptly.  If you don't receive yours in about two weeks please let me know.
One exciting content in this newsletter is a matching funds challenge for all donations received by the 4th of July.  The same member, who wishes to remain anonymous, will match all donations made to the Foundation by the 4th up to $10,000.00.  Many of you wait until the end of the year to make a donation with your renewal.  However, right now your donation will be doubled.  If you've been thinking about making a donation to the Foundation, or if you have never made a donation, now is the time to do it.  Remember, all donations are tax deductible.  Why wait?
The attached information about next year's reunion is also in the newsletter.  We have 100 rooms on hold at the hotel, and because you are on our email list 63 of those rooms are gone.  The newsletter goes to almost four times as many members as this email list.  So, I would expect the rest of the rooms to go very quickly.  If you are even thinking of attending I would make a reservation now.  It doesn't cost anything to make a reservation and you can always cancel it if your plans change.  You don't even need to send in any money for the activities.  There is plenty of time to do that, but don't hesitate on getting a room!

3/17/2008

It is with a great deal of personal sorrow that I must report the passing of Henry L. Kingsburg, YNC (Ret) on February 27th.  Kings was my Chief on the Sherman from 1957-1959, and he taught me many lessons that have lasted my entire life.  I hadn't seen him from the time I left the ship until a recent reunion.  We kept in close contact after that until last week.  I guess that's one reason these reunions are so important.  It gives us a chance to see long lost shipmates and renew a very important bond of friendship.  Kings had felt the same way as he had already made a reservation for the Reunion 2009.  He will be missed.  Our condolences go to his daughters Judy and Sonja as well as his extended family. 

Best personal regards,

Kurt

2/19/2008

Greeting Shipmates,

Well, the time has come to pick a place for the reunion in 2009.  The vote as of today was 63-7 in favor of returning to Ocean City April 26th-29th, 2009.  Majority rules!

As you know, we usually sell out all our allotted rooms.  At some of the other reunions folks had to stay elsewhere because the hotel was full.  I would strongly suggest that you make your hotel reservation now.  You may always cancel up to 24 hours prior to your scheduled arrival at no cost if your plans must change.  But, make sure you have a room!

You don't need to send in any money now, but it is helpful to get the form returned as soon as possible.  Remember, you have to call the hotel directly for a room reservation.  The activities form comes to the address on the bottom of the form.

1/2/2008

Greetings Shipmates,

The following are the winners in the Sherman Raffle:

1st Prize.  The ship model.  Denis Tsukalas.

2nd & 3rd Prizes.  Custom Pen & Pencil sets.  Steve Hess & Eric Reitz.

4th-10 Prizes.  Ship patches.  Jesse Hunt, Peter Buiak, Harold Taylor, Russell Crenshaw, Mike Allfrey, Bill Montgomery, and John Mattly.

Thanks you all for participating.  The winning prizes will be shipped this week. 

Happy New Year!

11/13/2007

The newsletter is in the mail and should start being delivered tomorrow.  Two thirds of the raffle tickets are now sold, and the rest should go quickly once the members receive the newsletter.  If you want a ticket for these great prizes you should beat the last minute rush and send it in now.  As soon as they are gone we will have the drawing.  Just to remind you what the great prizes are: 

FIRST PRIZE.  A 52” handmade scale model of the Sherman by master model builder Bob Mehlrose.  This model has a value of $2000.00.  It will be shipped directly to the winner’s address by UPS and fully insured against damage.

2ND & 3RD PRIZES.  A hand crafted Sherman Pen and Pencil Desk Set in wooden case by shipmate Steve Lawless.  These sets have a value of $300.00 each.

4TH-10TH PRIZES.  Genuine Sherman patches.  Each patch has a value of $10.00.

For each $5 donation to the Foundation you will receive a chance in this raffle.  You may buy as many chances as you wish.  The number of chances are limited like the last time.  So, its first come first served.  We accept cash, checks, and Visa/MasterCard.  The drawing will be held as soon as all the chances are sold.  You may pay by a credit card by email.  If you wish to mail in a check, or cash, the address is: 

USS FORREST SHERMAN DD-931 Foundation, Inc.

720 Reedy Circle

Bel Air, MD 21014

11/7/2007

Greetings Shipmates, 

The Fall edition of the Sherman News will be in the mail this week.  It will contain a lot of news about our new proposed location for the ship.  Some of you won't receive it because we don't have your home mailing address.  If you haven't received it in 2 weeks please send in your address to the office.

Membership renewals will be sent out by the end of the month.  Membership is on a calendar year basis.  You'll receive your card for 2008, but to be a member you have to fill out the renewal form and mail it back to the office with your check or credit card info.

When the newsletter went to the printer we still had 15 staterooms left for the 2nd Sherman Cruise to Bermuda next October.  Now we only have 7 left.  I've attached the info and reservation form to this email.  If you want to go, or even think you may want to go, fill out the form and fax it back to the numbers listed at the bottom of the form.  If we use up all our held staterooms there is a slight possibility that our travel agent may be able to get some more, but this cruise sells out quickly and there is no guarantee he can do that.

What you won't be able to get when they are gone is a chance in the Sherman raffle.  As of today half the chances are gone.  The Sherman News goes out to 1000 more members than get this email.  So, if you want a chance you'd better get one before the newsletter hits.
10/29/2007

Greetings Shipmates, 

As part of process to locate the ship, we have to have a pier engineering design study done.  The cost of this will be in excess of $38,000.  We will have to pay for most of this study.  The most successful fund raising raffle for the Foundation was held at the last reunion, we are going to do it again to help raise the $19,000 we need for our part of the study.  This time on line, in the next newsletter, and with public solicitations.  Your help is really needed, and you have a great chance to win one of ten wonderful prizes. 

FIRST PRIZE  A 52" handmade scale model of the Sherman by master model builder Bob Mehlrose.  This model has a value of $2000.00.  It will be shipped directly to the winner's address by UPS and fully insured against damage.

2ND & 3RD PRIZES  A hand crafted Sherman Pen and Pencil set in wooden case by shipmate Steve Lawless.  These sets have a value of $300.00 each.

4TH-10TH PRIZES  Genuine Sherman patches.  Each patch has a value of $10.

For each $5 donation to the Foundation you will receive a chance in this raffle.  You may buy as many chances as you wish.  The number of chances are limited like the last time.  So, its first come first served.  We accept cash, checks, and MasterCard/Visa.  The drawing will be held as soon as all the chances are sold.  You may pay by credit card with an email.  If you wish to mail in a check, cash, or credit card number the address is:

USS FORREST SHERMAN DD-931 Foundation, Inc., 720 Reedy Circle, Bel Air, MD 21014

You'd better hurry.  The chances won't last very long!

10/17/2007

Greetings Shipmates, 

It is with a great deal of sadness that I must report to you the recent passing of CDR John Fitzpatrick, USN (Ret).  Jack was the husband of the late Ann Fitzpatrick, a life member of our Foundation and the daughter of Admiral Sherman, and one of our strongest supporters.  The memorial service and internment of his ashes will be held at Arlington's Fort Myers Chapel on October 30th at 12:45 pm.  This service is open to all Foundation members. 

Recently a number of you have forwarded emails from a web site claiming they are an official site of the USS FORREST SHERMAN DD-931, and selling merchandise with the Sherman's likeness on it.  It is called Navy Emporium.  This site is not affiliated with the Foundation, and we have sent them a cease-and-desist demand.  As of today they have not responded.  If you have received such an email we ask you not to purchase items from them.  All the Sherman merchandise that is sold in our ship's store goes to help restore the ship.  If you scroll down to the bottom of their phony newsletter web page there is a way to take you off their email list.  We ask that you please do that.  We also ask that if you receive any such solicitations in the future that you please forward them to our office. 

The Sherman Cruise to Bermuda was one of the best events we have ever held.  It was so successful that we are going to do it again next year.  We only have 30 staterooms held, and they should go very quickly.  If you're interested in going you should make a reservation shortly.  Last year my wife and I decided we would give the cruise to each other as a combination Christmas/Anniversary gift.  It was the best present we have ever received.  We have already made our reservation for next year.  I hope you can join us.  The full details are attached, and pictures of the most recent cruise will be in the newsletter with more details. 

Best personal regards,

Kurt Wagemann

President

 

6/24/2007
 
It is with a great deal of sadness that I must report to you the passing of Ralph Reitz yesterday after suffering a stroke several days ago.  Ralph was a plank owner of the Sherman, and a valuable member of the Foundation.  Ralph was a Machinist Mate on board and worked his way through the ranks to retire as a Commander.  Altogether he served almost 42 years either on active duty or in the Reserves.  At the time of his death he was the owner of a real estate holding company in New Jersey.  We have lost a true supporter, and I have lost a good friend.  Our sincere condolences go to his family and many friends.
 
We have received a number of emails asking why the Newsletter wasn't received.  In most cases it was because you moved and didn't let the office know your new mailing address.  The post office will only forward mail for six months.  After that it is returned as address unknown and we must strike you from the rolls.  We also have almost 100 people on the email list that have not given us their home mailing address.  The next edition of the Sherman News will be going out in about 2 weeks.  If you wish to receive a copy please email George Lussier at dd931rm@verizon.net with your address.  The newsletter does not appear on our home page.
 
Best personal regards,
Kurt Wagemann
President
6/18/2007
 
Greetings Shipmates,
 
Its with a great deal of sadness that I must report to you the passing of Captain Guy C. Leavitt, USN (Ret) on June 11th in Palm Coast, Florida.  Capt. Leavitt was the second Commanding Officer of the USS FORREST SHERMAN DD-931.  Full details will be in the next newsletter that will go to press shortly, but he had always considered the SHERMAN to be the best duty assignment he ever had.  While health precluded him from attending our reunions he was always interested in the progress we were attaining in saving his ship.  Our sincere condolences go to his family and friends.  I was lucky to serve under Capt. Leavitt, and have always considered him to be more than an officer, and a gentleman.  He was a great human being.  We were lucky to have had him on board.
 
The Board of Directors of the Foundation has voted to have the next reunion in 2009 instead of 2008.  The hope is to have the reunion in Solomons when the ship is there.  That cannot happen in 2008 based upon the progress we have made so far, but 2009 looks like it can be a real possibility.  We will keep you informed.
 
Lastly, we are over 100 members short of renewals from last year.  It is the paid up members who keep this fight going forward.  If you haven't renewed for 2007 as yet please do so now. 
12/16/2006

Heard about Bermuda?  Click here to find out more.

11/21/2006

Greetings Shipmates,

 
First of all I want to wish each of you, and your families, a very happy Thanksgiving!  We all have a lot to be thankful for, and especially those of us involved with the Sherman. 
 
Foundation member John Stathopoulos, who owns Round The World Travel Agency in Baltimore, has suggested that we could raise some funds by taking a 5-day cruise to Bermuda out of Baltimore next year.  Royal Caribbean operates the Grandeur of the Seas out of Baltimore for a series of cruises from June through September from the new Locust Point Terminal where there is parking for 500 cars right at the terminal.  The cost of the cruise depends upon the time of year that we would go with it being more expensive in June and less expensive in the Fall.  I am not asking any of you to commit to a cruise, but I would like to know how many people would be interested, and what time of year you would prefer.  I would then give that information to John so that he could come up with a firm date and price.  Maybe we could get our "sea legs" back!
 
Membership renewals are in the mail.  If you didn't receive your membership card for 2007 it is probably because you weren't a member for 2006.  You can correct that oversight by downloading the attached form and send it to the office.  It is the paid members of the Foundation that have made our efforts successful so far.  We have much more to do, and we value your membership in the Foundation.
7/16/2006
 
In the Summer issue of the Sherman News, which you have either received or will shortly, there contains another Matching Fund Challenge.  This firm, which asks to remain anonymous, has offered to match any donations made to the Foundation dollar for dollar up to $5,000.00 between now and September 1st..  This is the third time this company has come to our rescue.  Wherever she goes, and she will go somewhere, it is going to cost more money for another mooring plan.  This cost is approximately $12,000.00.  So, if all our many members contribute $5,000 this firm will match it with another $5,000.00.  If we are successful we will only be $2,000 short of that goal.
 
If you have been meaning to make a donation towards the ship now is the best time to do so.  Any amount will help.  Please write on your check "matching funds", or if you use Visa/MasterCard we will write it on your receipt.  The members have always come through in the past, and I hope you will do so once again!
 
For those of you who are planning to attend the reunion, and have not sent in your activities form and payment, please do so as soon as possible.  We have large deposits that must be made in two weeks, and your payment is needed.  I've attached the form to this email.  There are still a few ocean front rooms left for the reunion.  So, its not too late to make a reservation.  Call the Dunes Manor Hotel in Ocean City directly at 800-523-2888, ask for reservations, and tell them you are with the Forrest Sherman group to get the discounted room rate of $89 per night single/double.  Remember, the dates are September 17th through the 21st.  Its only two months away.
7/3/2006
 
Dear Shipmates,
 
It is with a great deal of sorrow that I must report to you the passing of Ann Sherman Fitzpatrick.  Ann, the daughter of Admiral Sherman, died last evening peacefully in her sleep.  She was a Life Member of the Foundation, sponsor of DDG-98 named after her father, and a true friend of our efforts to restore DD-931.
 
Our condolences are sent to her husband Jack, her daughters Amarie, Deirdre, and Diane, her son John, her grandchildren, and the entire Sherman family.  She will be truly missed.  Funeral arrangements have not been made at this point.
6/28/2006
 
Its hard to believe that it is almost July.  At the beginning of August we must send in large deposits for the reunion activities.  For those of you who have already sent in your money we thank you.  For those of you who haven't please do so as soon as possible.  All the forms and information are attached to this email.  Due to new security measures started by Visa/MasterCard we must have the full name that is on the card, expiration date, and complete address with zip code.
 
The hotel has informed me that we have used all our discounted rooms for the Friday and Saturday before the reunion.  They still have some rooms for that weekend, but the cost is now $179 per night single/double.  There are still a few ocean front rooms left for the reunion at $89 per night single/double.  However, I wouldn't wait too long before making your reservation.
5/7/2006
 
Greetings Shipmates,
 
This year's reunion will not be able to offer a trip to the Sherman.  Because of liability issues the Navy will not permit large groups to visit.  The Foundation offered to provide the liability insurance for the trip, but the Navy informed us that even if we did they would still be held responsible if someone got hurt.  Each time I have visited the ship with engineers we have had to sign a release of liability.  For a large group they will not allow everyone to sign.  We could go to the pier and look at the fantail since its moored stern to the pier, but that's a lot of expense for a short visit.  We'll just have to wait until we get the ship.
 
Speaking of getting the ship!  As you know, during the last session of congress legislation was passed requiring the Secretary of the Navy to donate the ship to the Foundation.  In each year's budget the Department of Defense has a budget line for Heritage/Legacy funding.  Most recently this has been in the neighborhood of $13 mil.  We had expected to be able to tap into these funds for the money to restore the ship.  The Navy has said no.  It turns out that if this budget line isn't spent the funds revert to the Navy to use for other projects.  This is a direct contradiction to what the funds were provided for, but the Navy still says no.  The only federal funding they will approve is for us to get an earmark in the appropriations bill.  As you may be aware, there is a tremendous fight in congress over earmarks, and we simply cannot get one.  We have written a long letter to President Bush asking him to assist us in making the Navy use the Heritage/Legacy funds for what it was intended.  You may help by contacting the White House and asking the President to support the request from the Forrest Sherman Foundation for $4 mil in funding for our project.  The mailing address of the White House is 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20500, but due to security issues mail takes a very long time to get there.  You may fax a request, which we did with our letter, to 202-456-2461.  You may call 202-456-1111.  However. perhaps the best way to contact them is by email at comments@whitehouse.gov.    If every one of the over 500 of you who receive this email clicked on this link and ask support for the funding for the Forrest Sherman Foundation it should get someone's attention.
 
Meanwhile, the good news is that we are going to have our largest reunion yet this September.  There are very few rooms left at the hotel.  So, if you plan to attend your should make a reservation now.  We are going to need your payment for the events by July 15th.  That's when we have to send deposits.  The announcement and the forms are attached to this email.
 
Best personal regards,
Kurt
1/21/2006

Greetings Shipmates,

I am pleased to announce that the principal speaker at our banquet during the Reunion 2006 will be Capt. Channing Zucker, USN (Ret). Chan is now President of Tin Can Sailors, but when I first met him he was Executive Director of the Historic Naval Ships Association. Perhaps no one was more helpful in guiding us in the Sherman project than Chan. He was always there with advice, and with contacts. Our project actually started with the late Tom Peltin, who at that time was President of TCS. He referred me to Chan and we were on our way. It will be great to have Chan join us.

My wife and I spent last weekend in Ocean City at the Dunes Manor Hotel. While there we made the final arrangements for our reunion. Almost all of our allotted rooms are gone. So, the hotel has closed of the rest of the rooms to make them available to us. I know that there are almost 8 months until the reunion, but if you wish to attend I urge you to make a reservation at the hotel now. All the information is attached. If something comes up to make you have to change your plans you may always cancel up to 48 hours prior to your scheduled arrival at no cost. So, don't wait and be out of luck...call today!

The latest edition of the Sherman News was put in the mail on Thursday. It contains the complete details of our most recent success with Congress, plus much more information. We don't have home mailing addresses for some of you, and you won't be receiving the newsletter. If you send your address to the office we will mail you a copy.

1/5/2006

Shipmates,

You may have received the below email. Please be advised that this company is not connected with the Foundation, and we urge you not to purchase anything from them. We have tried to ask them to stop this practice, but they continue. It is because of them that we have removed email addresses from our home page. I would suggest that you send this jerk a message and take advantage of his offer to remove your name from his mailing list.

Best,
Kurt



From: The USS FORREST SHERMAN Store
[mailto:uss_forrest_sherman@jj-ent.com]
Sent: Tuesday, January 03, 2006 4:56 PM
To: ussforrestsherman@lin-m.com
Subject: USS FORREST SHERMAN (DD-931) STORE

For the upcoming cold weather and next year's reunion the store now has
added many kids items:

Kids Baseball Jersey, Kids Hoodie, and Kids T-Shirt. Also, Jr. Baby Doll
T- Shirt, Jr. Spaghetti Tank, Mens Ringer Tee, Mens Sleeveless Tee, Ringer T-
Shirt, Women's Cap Sleeve T-Shirt, Women's Tank Top, Women's Raglan
Hoodie, and Women's Tracksuit.

These items are in addition to T-shirts, mugs, baseball jerseys, mousepads,
caps, and other items.

It also has items for infants. All have the unit's name and/or a USN
insignia printed on them..

The store offering these items for sale is a division of JJ-Enterprises.
JJ-Enterprises is not associated with the U.S. Government in any form.
Nor is it associated with any group of former or existing members of USN
units.

Advertisement. You may request not to receive future commercial
electronic mail messages at the electronic mail address where this message was
received. Send an electronic mail message to noe-mail@jj-ent.com. JJ-
Enterprises, 1610 S. 31st. Suite 102-120, Temple, Tx 76504.

12/24/2005

Greetings Shipmates, 

Congress just passed the following legislation as part of the Department of Defense Authorization Bill for Fiscal Year 2006.  I wish you Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and a wonderful New Year! 

Best,

Kurt 

SEC. 1015. TRANSFER OF EX-U.S.S. FORREST SHERMAN.

    (a) Transfer.--The Secretary of the Navy may transfer the decommissioned destroyer ex-U.S.S. Forrest Sherman (DD-931) to the USS Forrest Sherman DD-931 Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit organization under the laws of the State of Maryland, subject to the submission of a donation application for that vessel that is satisfactory to the Secretary.

    (b) Applicable Law.--The transfer under this section is subject to subsections (b) and (c) of section 7306 of title 10, United States Code. Subsection (d) of that section is hereby waived with respect to such transfer.

    (c) Additional Terms and Conditions.--The Secretary may require such additional terms and conditions in connection with the transfer under subsection (a) as the Secretary considers appropriate.

    (d) Expiration of Authority.--The authority granted by subsection (a) shall expire at the end of the five-year period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act.

12/6/2005

Greetings Shipmates,

As we approach the Holiday Season there are many Sherman gifts that are available that make great presents as well as help restore the ship. Go to our home page at www.ussforrestsherman.org, click on Site Map at the bottom of the page, and then click on Ship's Store.

We have available for immediate shipment from the Foundation office Sherman T-Shirts @ $15 + $2 shipping, the wonderful Sherman Christmas tree ornament @ $15, the Sherman patch @ $8, and the Sherman coin @ $10. You can either send in a check or if you want quick delivery email us your Visa/MasterCard number with expiration date.

Our shipmate, Ron Taylor of Taylor Made Jewelry who crafts the solid gold Sherman jewelry shown in the Ship's Store, informs me that the price of gold has skyrocketed in the past several weeks, and that the cost of his jewelry is now on a "as quoted" basis. However, we have a few of his items left in stock at the currently advertised price for immediate shipment. The gold Sherman Tie Tac is available @ $65 and we only have one in stock. The gold Sherman pendant is $120 and there are 3 in stock. The gold Sherman pin is $65 and we have only 2 in stock. If you are interested in any of Ron's other beautiful items please contact the office for price and delivery.

The many Sherman clothing items, including the new Sherman hat, can be purchased directly from KT Creations Visit their home page at www.KT-creations.com for information or click on the link in the Ship's Store.

There are many cool items from our shipmate Rick Blackwood at the Databank that are also shown in the Ship's Store that can be ordered directly from him by clicking on each item shown in the Ship's Store. Rick says these can be shipped in 2-3 days from placing the order. The Sherman coffee cup is a must for anyone who likes a truly big cup of coffee!

Lastly, but probably most important, our shipmate Frank Rudl has been diagnosed with Asbestosis, which most probably has come from his exposure to asbestos contained not only on the Sherman, but other ship's that he served on during his Navy career. Frank has applied for a VA disability pension, and the VA is requesting documentation from former shipmates that the ship contained asbestos. Frank served on board from 1959-1961. If you served on board during that time period, and are aware of the asbestos that was on the ship during that time period, it would help Frank if you could send him a letter about the exposure to asbestos that all of us faced. Frank's home mailing address is 834 Gator Lane, Deltona, Florida 32738. You may also email Frank at PHOSPHATE@aol.com.

12/2/2005

Greetings Shipmates,

There are a number of issues that I would like to update you. So, here goes:

CONGRESS. In the last newsletter we explained that the Department of Defense Authorization Bill for Fiscal Year 2006, which includes the language requiring the Secretary of the Navy to donate DD-931 to the Foundation, was bottled up in the Senate because of partisan bickering. I am happy to report that six months after the House passed the bill the Senate has now done the same. Now the bill goes to conference between members of the House and Senate to reconcile language differences between the two bills. While there are many contentious items in each bill, the Sherman language is not one of them. We fully expect to prevail in conference. Our language has gained the support of Senator Susan Collins of Maine who is on the Senate Armed Services Committee and is one of the conferees. DD-931 was built at the Bath Iron Works in Senator Collin's state. As of now the conference is tentatively scheduled for December 12th, but that could always change. We'll keep you posted.

MEMBERSHIP. Renewal membership forms were sent out with membership cards for 2006 at the beginning of November. We urge you to fill out the form and return to the office as soon as possible. All memberships expire at the end of December. If you did not receive your card for 2006 it is because you are not a paid member of the Foundation. We have just sent a separate letter to everyone who either failed to renew their membership in the past or have never joined the Foundation. Now. more than ever, we need you as a paid member of the Foundation. For your convenience I have attached a membership application form to this email.

REUNION 2006. I know that September 2006 seems like a long way off, but it will be here before you know it. There are only a few rooms left at the Dunes Manor Hotel for this great event. If you even think you may want to attend I urge you to call the hotel directly to make a reservation. Once the rooms are gone you will be on your own to make lodging arrangement. I have attached a reunion form that contains all the information for you convenience. Please fill it out and return to the office as soon as possible. You don't have to send any money now, but we would like to know that you are coming. Remember, you may always cancel up to 48 hours prior to your scheduled arrival at no cost if something comes up and you must change your plans.

DONATIONS. We just recently discovered that NAVSEA has changed their requirements for a mooring plan for any donated ship. This is now an extensive requirement that requires detailed engineering data as well as it must be submitted on a computer program established by the Navy. This is going to cost us $14,300.00 that we did not have budgeted. As we approach the end of the tax year this is a good time to help the Foundation with a donation as well as to get a deduction on your 2005 IRS return. The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation and all donations are tax deductible. We need your help, and no donation is too small.

10/3/2005

 Shipmates,

 It is with a great deal of regret that I must inform you that the Navy, and Northrop Grumman, have cancelled the December 10th commissioning of DDG-98.  The excuse given is that hurricane Katrina has made this event impossible to hold.  The two dates I've been given are January 21st or 28th, 2006.  However, nothing has been confirmed, and quite frankly after they changed the keel laying ceremony date on short notice I cannot in good faith trust them.  As you may know, for the keel laying ceremonies the Foundation had almost all the guests outside of the ship yard workers.  For the christening we easily had 2/3 rd's of those in attendance.

I must tell you that I have protested this to the highest levels of the Department of Defense all to no avail.  Pensacola, according to my contact with the Chamber of Commerce, received no damage from the storm, and at this point is unaware that the cancellation has happened.  They are still advertising the event on their home page.  According to the press releases the Navy sent out after the storm DDG-98 received only minor damage, and that has already been repaired.  I've attached that press release for your information.  The only excuse that I can think of is that the bureaucrats in the Navy, and Northrop Grumman, cannot get their act together in time for the event.

Last Tuesday I received an email from Sherry Boman, the bureaucrat responsible for the commissioning events, that they were back on line, the crew was moving on the ship, and asking us for the data base to send out the invitations.  The very next day I received another email from her stating that it was cancelled with no logical reasons given.  I started immediately to contact the Secretary of the Navy, and high officials with the Department of Defense.  In a phone conversation with that official today I was informed that there was nothing they could do.  I also sent emails to Ms Boman and the Prospective Commanding Officer of DDG-98.  To date I have not even had a reply.

I know many of you have made your reservations at the hotel, and paid for airline flights.  I also know that many of these flights were purchased with no refunds or transfers possible.  I further know that many of you are going to suffer a significant loss, as I am also.  I called Northwest Airlines to see if I could change my reservations, and they said no.  The almost $600 I spent is gone!  I pointed out to the Navy that these costs could easily exceed $60,000 if you all had already made, and paid for, your plane reservations.  The Navy offered to make a mailing to explain this, but I asked them to refund the money you have already paid.  I was told that the Navy has no funds to do this.

I have informed the hotel of the cancellation.  The manager is not a happy camper either.  You will need to call the hotel, 850-455-4561, and cancel your reservations that have been held by credit card.  If you do that promptly you will not be charged for the room.  Unfortunately I can do nothing about the airlines.

As you know, when the Foundation plans an event we do a good job.  Receptions, dinners, and hospitality rooms are always a highlight of any of our events including the December 10th scheduled commissioning.  We have been planning for this event since March.  As late as several weeks ago we sent out a mailing to over 1200 folks promoting this event.  At this late date, with no confirmed alternative date from the Navy, the Foundation must reluctantly withdraw its support of this project.  We will not be involved in something that is sloppy, and this very well may be.  For personal reasons I will not be attending the event if it is scheduled in January.  Our work load in the office is extremely high during October, November and December months.  We are in the midst of negotiating a long term lease for DD-931, there is our bill before the Senate, we have renewals coming up, a major fund raising drive is underway, and the fall newsletter must go out.  We simply do not have the time to deal with this.  Unlike the Navy we do not have a lot of yeomen sitting around the office looking for work.

If you have complaints, or want information, please contact Ms. Sherry Boman at BomanSM@peosnap.navy.mil.  Her phone number is 228-762-4419.  You should also copy Joseph Hanna at joseph.hanna@ngc.com who is also involved with the event on behalf of Northrop Grumman.  His phone number is 251-583-1242.  The phone number for the administrative office of DDG-98 is 228-769-4591.

I can't tell you how upset I am about this, and the financial losses you may incur.  But, as one of our Board members said "Tell them to go to hell.  DD-931 is our ship not DDG-98".  At this point I guess that sums it up best.

Best regards,

Kurt

9/14/2005

Greetings Shipmates,

Several of you have received emails from a JJ Enterprises in Temple, Texas, offering various Sherman merchandise for sale. This company is not affiliated with the Forrest Sherman Foundation, and we ask you not to purchase anything from them. They have stolen our shipmate's, Rick Blackwood, right to sell our merchandise. Rick's address is www.cafeshops.com/databank/271541. Rick donates a portion of each sale to the Foundation. Plus, we can vouch for the quality of his merchandise. We have no idea what the quality is of the other company.

This firm tried this some months ago, and I thought we had put a stop to it. Apparently we didn't. This is the reason we took the members email address off our home page. We have turned this matter over to our attorneys as we believe this violates our copyright of the Sherman merchandise.

8/17/2005

The Navy has requested our mailing list for invitations to the commissioning of the USS FORREST SHERMAN DDG-98. If you already receive the Foundation newsletter you are on the list. If you do not receive the newsletter you will not receive an invitation.

If you wish to be included in this great event please send your home mailing address to George Lussier at: dd931rm@verizon.net. THIS IS YOUR LAST CHANCE TO BE INCLUDED. Once we submit our mailing list to the Navy there is no way we can add folks. So, send your info to George right now.

If you even think you may attend you should make a reservation before all the rooms are gone. You may always cancel if something comes up and you have to change your plans.  For more information go HERE.

Best,
Kurt

5/31/2005
Greetings Shipmates,
 
I am happy to report to you that the U.S. House of Representatives has passed the following legislation that is part of the Defense Authorization Bill for Fiscal Year 2006:
 

H.R.1815 EH

National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2006 (Reported in House)


SEC. 1015. TRANSFER OF EX-U.S.S. FORREST SHERMAN.

(a) Transfer- The Secretary of the Navy shall transfer the decommissioned destroyer ex-U.S.S. Forrest Sherman (DD-931) to the USS Forrest Sherman DD-931 Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit organization under the laws of the State of Maryland, subject to the submission of a donation application for that vessel that is satisfactory to the Secretary.

(b) Applicable Law- The transfer under this section is subject to subsections (b) and (c) of section 7306 of title 10, United States Code. Subsection (d) of that section is hereby waived with respect to such transfer.

(c) Additional Terms and Conditions- The Secretary may require such additional terms and conditions in connection with the transfer under subsection (a) as the Secretary considers appropriate.

(d) Expiration of Authority- The authority granted by subsection (a) shall expire at the end of the five-year period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act.

 

The battle is now half won.  We must convince the Senate to follow the House's lead.  If any of the below listed Senators are from your state we urge you to contact them by letter, email, fax, or phone call to asked them to include Section 1015 of HR 1815 when this bill comes before them in conference.  If we are successful, the Sherman will be ours by the end of this year.  This is the Senate Armed Services Committee members, and they will make the decision.

 

FULL COMMITTEE MEMBERS

 

 
Nothing we have done to date is more important than contacting these Senators.  The bill could be up for consideration at any time.  Please don't delay in contacting them.  In the meantime, if you get a response from them please let me know so that we can follow up by sending them information.  For those of you who live in Virginia, John Warner is the single most important person on this list.  Please take the time to contact him as soon as possible.
 
Best regards,
Kurt Wagemann
4/25/2005
 
I received a phone call from LCDR Rob Brown, the new Executive Officer of DDG-98, informing me that they want the crew of DD-931 to play an important part in the commissioning of the new USS FORREST SHERMAN DDG-98 on December 10th.  He is aware that we played an important part in the naming of this ship, and wants us fully involved.  There are a number of events being planned for that week, and as soon as I get the info I will pass it on.
 
When I sent out the last hotel information for Pensacola I included an incorrect area code for the hotel.  It was a typo on my part, and I'm sorry if I caused you any problems.  (Where was Chief Kingsburg when I needed him? )  The correct info is attached to this email.  There aren't many rooms left in the hotel, so you should call now for a reservation.
 
The matching funds challenge is going full speed ahead.  At this point, with the cash already received and several pledges made, we have $4,170.00 towards the needed $5,000.00.  As they used to say on TV, keep those cards and letters coming!  We have one week left to raise that $5,000 which will turn into $10,000.
 
Mike Harrington emailed me with the following info:  "I wrote a letter to my Congressman, E. Cay Shaw, requesting his support for the Foundation's current legislation (HR 990).  To my great surprise, he replied with a warm personal letter......We all should be writing a letter in our own words to show our great interest and support for HR 990.  Words from the heart, however said, speak volumes."  Jim Deckert wrote to his Congressman, Mark Green who is the Assistant Majority Whip in the House, and received in part this reply: "Coming from northeast Wisconsin - an area steeped in maritime history - I understand the significance of preserving 'The First and Finest' (the Sherman's original motto) and will be proud to support this legislation."
 
It is extremely important for everyone to contact their Congressman on behalf of HR 990.  Tell them you are a veteran, a former crew member of the Sherman, or friend of the ship, that you vote, and that you are asking them for their support of HR 990.  We have no way of knowing when this legislation will be voted upon until the last few minutes before they bring it up.  So, it is important that you write your Congressman as soon as possible.
Best regards,
Kurt
4/17/2005
 
I spoke with Tom Pruter, the President of the Pensacola Council of the Navy League, on Friday.  They are going to be the official sponsor of DDG-98 for the commissioning ceremonies on December 10th.  He told me that they would like to honor the crew of DD-931 as part of the ceremonies.  I told him that we would have a large group there.  He also told me that we had a great hotel which will be right in the middle of everything.  So, if you haven't made your hotel reservations as yet time is running out.  We have used up all our rooms, but the hotel will honor the $67 per night rate, single/double, as long as rooms remain.  All the information is attached to this email.
 
If you want an invitation to the commissioning you must be on the Foundation's mailing list.  If you receive our newsletter by regular mail you will receive an invitation.  If you haven't, contact George Lussier at dd931rm@verizon.net and give him your mailing address.  If you're not on this mailing list you will not receive an invitation from the Navy, and there will be nothing we can do about it.  During the most recent mailing of the newsletter we had over 20 kick back for addresses that were no longer good.  If you didn't receive a newsletter please contact George now.
 
In my last update I informed you of a company that will match all contributions dollar for dollar up to $5,000.00 if received by May 1st.  So far we have received almost $2,000 in donations ranging from $20 to $250.  We still need to raise $3,000 between now and the end of the month.  If you have been planning to make a donation to help restore the ship now is a great time to do so.  Just make sure you write "matching funds" on your check and get it into the mail as soon as possible.  Donations of any size are gratefully accepted.
 
Don't forget the Snipe Reunion being put together by Louis Seymour in Nashville on April 29th through May 1st.  It promises to be a lot of fun, and I intend to be there even though I wasn't a snipe!  Contact Louis at doginwoods@comcast.net for further information.
 
On a personal note, I would like to thank all of you for the emails, cards, and well wishes during my recent operation.  I'm slowly getting back in the swing of things, and I really appreciate all your prayers and kind thoughts.  I still have some discomfort in my back where the incision was, but all the pain I had in my back, knees, and legs for many months is now gone.  The operation was a great success, and I'm one very grateful person!
 
Best regards,
Kurt Wagemann
4/5/2005

Greetings Shipmates,
 
Last year one of our corporate sponsors offered to match any donations made to the Foundation.  This year they have offered to do the same thing.  For all donations made to the Foundation between now and May 1st they will match that donation dollar for dollar up to $5,000.00 total.  That simply means that any donations made by you will be doubled!  However, all donations must be received in the Foundation's office by Monday, May 2nd, and you must write on the bottom left line of your check where it says For___ with the words "matching funds".  Any amount you can give will be greatly appreciated.  If you've been waiting for the right time to make a donation, this is it!
 
The hotel in Pensacola that we have reserved for the commissioning of DDG-98 has informed me that we have used all our quota of rooms.  However, they will continue to accept reservations at the same rate as long as they have rooms available.  But, you'd better hurry as they only had 20 rooms left in the hotel.  The information is attached to this email.
 
We had a large amount of newsletters returned to the office by the postal service.  That means that many of you moved, and didn't give us your new address.  If you didn't receive the Spring 2005 edition of the Sherman News please contact George Lussier at dd931rm@verizon.net and give him your current home mailing address so that you can get future editions.  Also, if you want to receive an invitation to the commissioning of DDG-98 you must be on our mailing list.
 
Lastly, don't forget to contact your congressman and ask him/her to support H.R. 990.  This is the bill introduced by Congressman Wayne Gilchrest, of Maryland, that will authorize the Secretary of the Navy to spend the funds necessary to restore DD-931.
 
Best regards,
Kurt Wagemann
2/19/2005
 
I have exciting news to report to you.  The President has included funds that we can tap to restore the Sherman in his budget for this year.  It will take one piece of enabling legislation to pass the Congress this session to make our dream possible.  This past Thursday Congressman Wayne Gilchrest, of Maryland's First District, introduced H.R. 990 in the House of Representatives that will accomplish our funding for the ship.  The Bill was referred to the House Armed Services Committee where it will be assigned to the Readiness Sub-Committee chaired by Congressman Roscoe Bartlett of Maryland's Sixth District.
 
HOW CAN YOU HELP?  CONTACT YOUR CONGRESSMAN IMMEDIATELY, BY FAX, EMAIL, PHONE CALL, OR REGULAR MAIL.  TELL THEM THAT YOU ARE A VETERAN, YOU VOTE, AND YOU WANT HIM/HER TO SUPPORT H.R. 990!  You do not need to contact your U.S. Senator at this point.  This bill will originate in the House and at some later point will come to the Senate.  The next issue of our newsletter will have the full bill published in it.  I would include it here, but it hasn't come off the government's presses yet.
 
Our shipmate Louis Seymour informs me that half of the rooms he held at the Ramada Inn for the Snipe's Reunion on April 29th through May 1st in Nashville are gone.  If you are planning on going call the Ramada Inn Airport Suites directly at 615-883-5201, tell them you are with the Forrest Sherman Foundation, and you will get an unbelievable rate of only $59 per night single/double.  You won't even need to rent a car as the hotel will provide shuttle service from the airport.  There are a ton of things to do in Nashville, and you really don't need to be a Snipe to go.  I plan on being there, and having a great time seeing shipmates.  You can email Louis at doginwoods@comcast.net, or phone him at 251-478-6608 for further information.
 
DON'T FORGET TO CONTACT YOUR CONGRESSMAN AND ASK HIM TO SUPPORT H.R. 990!!!!
 
Best regards,
Kurt
1/29/2005
 
I wanted to update you on the progress we are making with obtaining Federal Funding for the Sherman project.  We have been assured by Navy officials at the highest level that there will be a funding source in the President's Budget that can be tapped for the restoration of the Sherman.  This budget will be sent to Congress sometime in February.  Once it is received we will need a piece of enabling legislation to authorize the Secretary of the Navy to spend the money.  We have a senior member of Congress standing by to introduce this legislation as soon as the budget is received by Congress.  I will advise you of the HR number once it is introduced, and request that you contact your congressmen to support our efforts.
 
Speaking of the Secretary of the Navy.  Gordon England, our long time friend and supporter, is rumored to be leaving the Navy to take over as the Secretary of the Air Force.  At this point it is just a rumor, but high Navy officials that we have spoken with seem to confirm it.  Gordon will be missed, but we know the Air Force needs his help.  He will still be in the Pentagon, and hopefully still be in a position to assist us.
 
Our shipmate Louis Seymour is putting together a Snipes Reunion in Nashville from Friday, April 29th until Sunday, May 1st, of this year.  He has arranged for a block of rooms under the Forrest Sherman Foundation's name at the Ramada Inn Suites north of the airport for only $54 per night.  You must call the hotel directly at 1-615-883-5201, ask for reservations, and tell them you are with the Forrest Sherman Foundation to get that rate.  The hotel has shuttle service from the airport so you won't need to rent a car.  Opryland is close by, as well as other entertainment.  If you want more information Louis' email address is: doginwoods@comcast.net.  It should be a lot of fun and I'm going to try to make it depending upon our situation with Congress.
 
Speaking of reunions!  The Dunes Manor Hotel in Ocean City has informed me that over half of the rooms are gone for our reunion in September 2006.  The dates are Sunday, September 17th until Thursday, September 21st, 2006.  The hotel rate is $89 per night, single/double, and all the rooms are ocean front.  Call the hotel directly at 800-523-2888, ask for reservations, tell them you are with the Forrest Sherman group to get this rate.  If you are even thinking about attending I urge you to make a reservation soon.  Once the rooms are gone, they are gone.  Remember, you may always cancel up to 72 hours prior to your scheduled arrival at no cost.

Kurt
12/13/2004
 
Recently several of you forwarded emails to me that purportedly came from the Forrest Sherman Ship's Store advertising golf shirts, hats, and other merchandise that had the Sherman Logo on them.  This merchandise is a knock off, and did not come from the Foundation.  We receive nothing from the sale of this merchandise, and we cannot guarantee the quality of what they are selling.  The only merchandise that we endorse is what is contained in the Ship's Store on our home page at www.ussforrestsherman.org.  We have advised the company that sent out this email that they are infringing on a copyrighted name, and to cease using it.  We thoroughly investigate, and guarantee, all of the merchandise that we sell either through the Foundation office or from our approved vendors.  We urge you not to purchase anything except through our Ship's Store.
 
It appears that this company got the email addresses from our Crew list on our home page.  Mailing lists are a big business.  We have always declined to sell our mailing list, or to even loan it to other organizations.  While we don't put a home mailing address for you on the home page, we have listed email addresses so that you can contact your shipmates.  We are now considering removing these email addresses, and just to list the name, rank/rate, and dates served on the ship.  If someone wishes to contact a shipmate they can send the email to the Foundation office, and we will forward it to you.  In that way you will be free to contact that person, or not to contact them, as you wish.  Before we do that we would like your input into this procedure.
 
The latest issue of the Sherman News was mailed out last week.  There are a number of you for whom we have no home mailing address.  This newsletter is not available on line, but by regular mail only.  We have a limited number of extra copies left in the office.  If you have not received this newsletter please send me your home mailing address, and I will send you a copy while they last.  That will also insure that you get future copies of the Sherman News.

Kurt
11/20/2004

On March 29, 2004 we submitted our 500 page application for donation of the ex-Forrest Sherman DD-931 to the Secretary of the Navy in care of the Inactive Ship Program at NAVSEA.  They spent many weeks reviewing the application to see if we met, or exceeded, the minimum requirements for donation.  Having determined that we did so they then accepted our application.
 
As required by law they then posted the following notice in the Federal Register on June 17, 2004: "The Department of the Navy hereby gives notice of the deadline of November 18, 2004 for submission of a donation application for the Destroyer ex-FORREST SHERMAN (DD 931) under the authority of 10 U.S.C. section 7306...."  Any other qualified organizations had that time to submit a competing application for donation of the ship or the Navy would then work with the Foundation exclusively to restore, relocate, and donate the ship based upon the information provided in our application.  This time period expired at the close of business this past Thursday.
 
I spoke with Capt. Lawrence Jones, Program Manager Inactive Ships at NAVSEA, yesterday. 
 
This is another big step that we have completed in our efforts to bring the ship to her new home.  We have much more to do, but we are getting very close.

Kurt
10/5/2004
 
The christening of the new FORREST SHERMAN DDG-98 was a wonderful experience.  150 members and guests from the Foundation met in Pascagoula for the event.  They were joined by over 50 members of the Sherman family, many who are Foundation members, for the ceremonies.
 
Friday evening got the party started with 90 Foundation members gathering for dinner at the Tiki Club.  It was a great party that was enjoyed by all.
 
Saturday morning saw an invited breakfast for Foundation members and their guests at Northrop Grumman.  We were bussed to the ceremony site, and there we found the newest ship of the fleet.  And, a beauty she is.  The ceremony was delayed because Senator Cochran, the prinicipal speaker, had his flight from DC delayed due to the early morning fog.  But, while the Navy Band played on, we had a great opportunity to meet some of the new crew members of DDG-98.  The actual ceremony followed Navy tradition, and it was a pleasure to be there.  The Foundation members were recognized during the ceremony and asked to stand.  I know that I speak for all who attended in expressing our pride.  We were informed that the commissioning of the ship will not take place until December of 2005.  The ship will be based on the East Coast either in Mayport or Norfolk.
 

Kurt
8/2/2004
 
While the Appropriations Bill passed Congress without a specific mention of the Sherman project, sufficient discretionary funds were allotted to the Secretary of the Navy to restore the Sherman.  Our contacts in the Secretary's office have indicated that he will do so if Congress will authorize him  to act.  We are half way there!
 
The Department of Defense Authorization Bill for 2005 will go into Conference in September.  We can include our language if we put enough pressure on Congress.
 
I have listed below the members of the Senate and House committees (Click here for copy).  I have also attached the sample language we are requesting (Click here for a copy).  If one of these Congressmen and Senators listed below is yours, it would be of big help for you to contact them requesting inclusion of the attached language.  I have been told that faxing them works best.  Emails are often returned by form letter, and the person never sees them.  A fax is handled, and seen.
 
We don't want this to look like a form letter, so it would be appropriate for you to add something personal prior to the attached letter, as well as after.  This is probably the most important thing you can do right now to help restore the Sherman.  Although the Conference isn't until September, I have been advised by congressional staffers that now is time to act.  And, the more the better.
 
If your Senator or Congressman isn't on the list below, please look them up and fax them anyway.  Ask them to request inclusion of the language by the Committee Chairmen and Ranking Members.
 
This request is extremely urgent.  Your help is needed, and believe me that in an election year they will respond.  Tell them that you vote, and that your vote goes to those who help.
 
If you have any questions please give me a shout.
 
Best,
Kurt

 

7/13/2004
 
I received a call this morning from Bill Van Horne, of Congressman Ben Cardin's staff, that the House Appropriations Committee staff has been receiving calls from various congressmen requesting inclusion of the $3 mil for the Sherman project to be included in this year's Appropriations Bill in Conference which may happen next week.  He told me to have all of you to keep it up.  We've gotten their attention.
 
Below is the list of the full committee.  If any of these folks are your congressman, please take a moment to contact them to ask that the Committee include the Maryland Delegation's request to fund $3 mil to establish the ship as a memorial to the Veterans of the Cold War era.  Congressman Cardin initiated the request, but it has been signed on by every major elected official in Maryland.
 
Please don't write a letter.  Delays in the mail because of security reasons won't let it get there in time.  Either FAX a letter or email a letter.  There is nothing more important you can do to help save this ship right now than to contact your congressman.  Please help out and take a few minutes to do so right now.
 
Best,
Kurt
7/9/2004

The wheels of Congress are moving very slowly as far as our request for the $3 mil.  We are now waiting for two conferences between the House and Senate.  The first is for the Appropriations Bill and the second is for the Authorization Bill.  We have high hopes that our requests will be contained in these bills.  However, right now Congress only convenes Tuesday through Thursday.  They will shortly recess for the week of the Democratic Convention, return for a few days and recess again for the week of the Republican Convention.   After that it is hoped that they will return and schedule the conferences, but there is no guarantee.   If they continue to get bogged down in their political bickering we may be left out this year.  But, I grew up as a Brooklyn Dodger fan and we always had the saying "Wait'll Next Year"!  We will not give up until we are successful.
 
In the meantime the Navy is really cooperating with us.  If you remember the type of port holes that used to be on our ship the glass section would open to let in fresh air.  The newer ships don't have that.  They are solid glass with the black out covers.  Over the years a number of those glass port holes disappeared from the ship.  They are impossible to replace.  The last Sherman ship to be active, Decatur, was used as an experimental ship and just deactivated a few months ago.  It is being sunk on July 14th.  I emailed Capt. Larry Jones at NAVSEA to see is there was any possibility of retrieving some of those glass sections.  He gave an order to have them all removed, crated, and shipped to the Philly yard for storage on the Sherman at the Navy's expense.  That will save us a lot of money, and make the ship look more like she did originally.
 
Shipmate Ira Bernstein sent me a roster of the crew from October of 1959.  I've attached it to this email.  Some of those folks we already have on our list, but most are missing.  If you have some time please look through it and see if you can find any of them.
 
The christening ceremony for the USS FORREST SHERMAN DDG-98 is still scheduled for October 2nd.  If you haven't made a hotel reservation as yet you should do so immediately.  At last count there were just 5 rooms left at our special rate of $55 per night single/double.  It's the Hampton Inn in Moss Point.  228-475-2477.  Ask for reservations and tell them you are with the Forrest Sherman Foundation to get the special rate.  Shipmate Bob Bralliar informs me that the Keesler AFB has a BOQ for those of you who qualify, and that its within driving distance of Pascagoula.  Remember, if you are going to attend I MUST have the names of all who will attend.  The invitations have not yet been mailed but they will be addressed to Mr. & Mrs., and have a place to indicate how many will be coming in your party,
 
George Lussier informs me that the home page for his American Legion Post 28 has some new information about Veterans health care, and a lot of other information.  You may visit it at www.alpost28.org.
 
I was sent a book to read entitled THE RIGHT THING.  It was written by Cmdr. Scott Waddle, USN (Ret).  Cmdr. Waddle was CO of the sub USS GREENEVILLE which had the unfortunate accident with a Japanese training fishing ship off Hawaii several years ago.  Its a fascinating book, and a must read.  Incidentally, Scott Waddle graduated from Forrest Sherman High School in Naples, Italy.
 
Lastly, I want to thank all of you who joined the Foundation as a result of our appeal in the last newsletter.  If you didn't have time, or forgot to do it, a membership blank is attached.
 
Best,
Kurt
6/16/2004
 
You probably have not received the new newsletter as yet, but the info about the christening of DDG-98, USS FORREST SHERMAN, is not quite correct.
 
In the next several weeks Northrop Grumman will be sending out over 7,000 invitations to the ceremonies.  If you are on our mailing list you will be receiving an invitation with a RSVP card.  If you plan to attend you MUST return the card to Northrop Grumman.  You can always cancel later if your plans change.  This is a major Navy event, and many important dignitaries will be in attendance.
 
The ceremonies will be October 2nd in Pascagoula.  However, the deal for the hotel in Biloxi fell through.  I have arranged for a small block of rooms at The Hampton Inn in Moss Point, which is just outside Pascagoula.  This is the same hotel that we stayed at for the keel laying ceremony.  The rate will be $55 per night, single or double, plus tax.  Northrop Grumman and the Navy have held most of the hotel at $69 per night, so our rate is much cheaper.  This is a fine hotel.  All rooms now have wireless high speed internet connection, in-room coffee makers, iron and ironing boards, clock radio, and cable TV with HBO.  There is an out door pool, and free continental breakfast.  There is a full service restaurant and bar next to the hotel.
 
Individuals must call the hotel direct and guarantee their arrival by credit card.  The number is 228-475-2477.  They must identify that they are calling to guarantee arrival for the FORREST SHERMAN FOUNDATION room block.  The cut off date for this rate is September 10th.  However, we were only able to obtain 20 rooms, so if you even think you might attend you should call now.  If your plans change you may always cancel up to 72 hours prior to your scheduled arrival at no charge.  This block of rooms is being held for the nights of September 30th, October 1st and 2nd.
 
Northrop Grumman will be providing bus transportation to the ceremonies from the hotel and back.  I will need a list of all people who are planning to attend so that I can provide it to them.  You do not need to stay at this hotel to ride the bus, but I will need all the names of those planning to attend.
 
This is going to be a big event, with a lot of attention.  If you want to attend please make your reservations now.  If you are going to fly in you should make arrangements to use Gulfport/Biloxi.  The air fare is much cheaper there.  Its only about a 30 minute drive from the hotel.
 
I don't have the schedule of events as yet, but will forward them to you as I get them.  I have been informed that the dress code is "civilian informal", whatever that is.  Because I will be flying in I will not have Last of the Great Gunships t-shirts with me.  Order them direct from the Foundation at $15 each plus $2 shipping.
 
Best,
Kurt
6/15/2004
 
Senators Barbara Mikulski and Paul Sarbanes, of Maryland, have requested the Subcommittee on Defense to include in this years Defense Department Appropriations Bill $3 mil to restore the USS FORREST SHERMAN DD-931 as a memorial to the veterans of the cold war era.
 
If one of the below listed Senators is yours, would you please take a moment to contact them and request their support for this effort.  Please do not write a letter unless you are going to fax it because security issues greatly delay the mail.  Fax it, email it, or please call their office.
 
This is really important.  We are on our way in the House, and now we need the Senate. 

Kurt

6/8/2004
 
The U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee is about to mark up the Defense Department Appropriations Bill for 2005.  It is in this bill that Congressman Ben Cardin, supported by the entire Maryland Delegation, has requested $3 mil to establish the Sherman as a memorial museum to the Navy/Marine Corps veterans of the Cold War era.  We need your help.
I have the full list of the Committee members.  Please take a few minutes to email your congressman if he is on the committee asking for his/her support for inclusion of the Sherman project in this bill.  This is extremely important to the success of the Sherman project.
 
If you receive a reply please let me know.
 
Best regards,
Kurt
5/28/2004
 
Almost four years ago I was informed by staff at NAVSEA that they were going to sink the SHERMAN, and that there was nothing we could do to stop it.
 
Today I have been notified by NAVSEA that they have accepted our application for donation of the SHERMAN as having met, or exceeded, the minimum requirements for donation of the ship.  They will post it in the Federal Register, and the six month waiting period will begin.
 
There will be much more to do, but on this very special weekend let us pause to reflect on the sacrifices of our comrades in arms both in the past and present, and to celebrate our victory in saving the USS FORREST SHERMAN DD-931.
 
Best,
Kurt
5/17/2004
 
I had a long conversation with the folks at Northrop Grumman today concerning the christening ceremony for DDG-98, the new USS FORREST SHERMAN.  It now appears that the event will be held on Saturday, October 2, 2004 at the Pascagoula Shipyard.  This is not definite yet, so don't rush to make airline reservations.  They will let me know in a few days when this becomes firm.  The commissioning ceremonies will probably be in May of 2005, and we should get invitations to that also.
 
However, it is going to work differently than the keel laying ceremony.  Northrop Grumman, and the Navy, will send out a personal invitation to each member of the Foundation.  We will provide them with a mailing list in a few weeks.  If you have not been receiving our newsletter, then we don't have your address and you will not get an invitation.  So, if you haven't already done so, please send your home mailing address to George Lussier at dd931rm@verizon.net now.  If you do not have an invitation you will not be able to get into the yard.
 
The Yard is also going to be making hotel arrangements with a resort hotel in Biloxi at a group discount.  They will provide transportation from the hotel to the ceremonies and back.  Also, the hotel will provide transportation from the airport and back for those staying at the hotel.  They told me that the room rate will be approximately $20 more than where we stayed the last time, but you won't need a rental car.  All those hotel/casinos are right on the beach in Biloxi, and within walking distance of most everything.  I will give you the information as soon as I get it.
 
Since I will be flying to Gulfport I will be unable to bring t-shirts for purchase.  So, you may order them on line through the Ship's Store.  Speaking of Sherman Items, Rick Blackwood, a member of the Foundation, has a company that has developed an entire line of Sherman products as a fund raising venture for the Foundation.  They are inexpensive, and the Foundation gets a portion of all items sold.  I've attached the info, but if you can't download it you may go to www.cafeshops.com/databank/271541 to see the items and order them on line.
 
I hope to see many of you in Biloxi/Pascagoula in October.
 
Best,
Kurt
5/7/2004
 
Well, Reunion 2004 is now over, and what a reunion it was!  We had our largest crowd yet, 208 total and 128 shipmates.  If you have photos that you would like to post on our home page please email them to Bob Wood.  A great time was had by all, and the membership voted to go back to Ocean City in 2006.  Mark down these dates, September 18th-21st, 2006.  It's too early to make reservations, but this is one you will not want to miss.  This will be the Return To The Sherman Reunion, and most likely will feature a bus trip to the ship.  More details will follow in a few months, but start planning your vacations and saving your pennies!
 
It now appears that the christening for DDG-98, the new USS FORREST SHERMAN, will be held in October of this year in Pascagoula, MS.  As soon as I get a firm date from the Navy and Northrop Grumman I will make hotel arrangements and let you all know.  Hopefully I will have sufficient time to put it in the newsletter, but if not I will let you know by email.
 
Yesterday Captain Crenshaw, Ann Sherman Fitzpatrick, and I had an excellent meeting with the Secretary of the Navy, Gordon England, at his office in the Pentagon.  Also attending the meeting was Rear Admiral Joseph Sestak, who was representing the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Vern Clark.  We thanked both for the naming of DDG-98 after Admiral Sherman and made a brief presentation.  The photos and a full description will be in the next newsletter.  The Secretary is enthusiastically on board with all aspects of the project, and offered his help to cut through some of the red tape involved.  He ordered his Special Assistant, Capt. Kevin Wensing, to assist us with any request we may have.  Believe me, I have already started that ball rolling.  We've come a long way since a bureaucrat at NAVSEA told me in the Fall of 2000 that they were going to sink the ship no matter what we did.  Wrong!!
 
In the meantime, it is the membership $$ that keep this effort growing.  We now have over 200 paid up members, but this email goes out to over 500 folks.  If you haven't joined the Foundation as yet there is a membership application attached.  Help support us, and if you have a few extra bucks please make a contribution.  Remember, its  tax deductible.
3/22/2004
Greetings Shipmates,
 
On 26 July 2000 we contacted Tom Peltin, of Tin Can Sailors, and Chan Zucker, of Historic Naval Ships Association, asking for guidance in an effort to save the USS FORREST SHERMAN DD-931.  I was referred to Tom Demas, Program Manager of the Navy Ship Donation Program.
 
On 31 July 2000 I emailed Mr. Demas to express our interest in attempting to save this historic ship as a museum/display vessel and to have her placed into a donation hold.  Part of the response I received from him is as follows"...The Navy does not plan to retain the destroyer for donation hold.  The ship is currently scheduled for a fiscal year 2001 disposal by experimental use (sinking exercise), the Navy does not plan to retain the destroyer for donation hold."  In a follow up phone call to Mr. Demas I was informed that nothing we could do, or say, would affect this decision and that the ship would be sunk in January 2001.  We were just a few short months away from the sinking of the SHERMAN.  In a later email from Capt. Gary Hall, Program Manager Inactive Ships, he confirmed this decision as follows "Forrest Sherman's status was reconfirmed 'for experimental use-SINKEX'."  Attempts to contact both of these individuals by phone were to no avail.  They wouldn't return phone calls.
 
A long battle with the Navy then ensued.  Guess what, they were wrong.  The SHERMAN was eventually placed into a donation hold by the Navy with more than a little prodding by members of Congress.
 
Today is a historic day in our fight.  We have submitted to the Navy our application for donation of the SHERMAN to the Foundation for relocation.  This over 400 page document, which has cost the Foundation in excess of $85,000 for the various feasibility and engineering studies required by the Navy, was shipped by Priority Mail this morning.  In fact, 12 copies at a weight of over 60 lbs, were sent to NAVSEA.
 
This effort was made possible by you, the members of the Foundation, with your membership dues and generous contributions.  We are not done yet.  Some of you have not joined the Foundation.  We need your help.  I've attached a copy of the membership application to this email.  Please take a few minutes of your time to join with the rest of us who are supporting this effort.  We still have to raise $227,000 to insure that the local facilities are ready for the ship upon donation.
 
Best regards,
Kurt
3/7/2004
Greetings Shipmates,
 
The Reunion 2004 is only 7 weeks away!  54 of you who have made hotel reservations have not as yet returned the activities forms to the Foundation office.  I need these for several reasons.  I have to give the hotel and Hooper's counts for the meals in 2 weeks.  I also have to pay them in 3 weeks.  The activities form is attached to the Reunion 2004 document with this email.  Please fill it out and get it back to me as soon as you can. 
 
The hotel still has a couple of rooms left at the reduced price.  If you haven't made a reservation yet, time is running out.  When all the rooms are gone there is nothing more that I can do.  Call them today!
 
I have attached a great photo of an ashtray from the CPO Mess that Shipmate Peter Buiak has donated to the Foundation for a return to the ship.  It will be on display at the reunion.  So will a lot of other memorabilia from the ship be available to look at.  If you have items, or photos, that came from the ship please bring them to the reunion.  We will have tables set up for the display.  If you wish to donate them to the Foundation, great, but if you just want them to be displayed, that's great also.
 
The various engineering studies needed for our application of donation for the ship have been completed.  We are simply waiting for the paper work to include in the application.  By the end of the month our application will be in to the Secretary of the Navy.  It has been a long 3 years to get to this point.  However, it took 11 years for the USS Midway group to get their application in and the ship donated!  So, I guess we aren't doing too bad.
 
We had a great response to the request for $55,000 to pay for the surveys.  However, we are still about $10,000 short.  If you were planning on making a donation now is a good time to do so.  Someone sent in a cash donation without a name being attached.  It was postmarked in Frederick, MD on March 1st.  On the back is an American Legion sticker.  We like to respond to every donation, no matter the size, so if you could let me know who sent it I would appreciate it very much.
2/25/2004
Greetings Shipmates,
 
I hope that you all received your latest newsletter.  If you didn't, its because we don't have your home mailing address.  Send me your address, and I'll send you a newsletter.
 
In the newsletter I pointed out that the complete survey of the Sherman by a team of engineers was underway.  It has now been completed, and the ship was found to be in excellent shape.  There are some areas that need to be addressed, but nothing that we didn't expect  This survey alone cost $25,000, and we need to replenish these funds into our bank accounts.  If you can help, it would be appreciated.
 
The Reunion 2004 is coming up in less than 2 months, and things are moving right along.  Remember, this is an informal affair - no suits, no ties, no formal dresses!  This is a time for relaxation and fun with all of your shipmates.
 
When we set up the reunion we held 140 rooms at the reduced price.  They are gone.  I spoke with the sales manager at the hotel and asked her if she could add any more rooms.  The problem is that they only have a few rooms left for anybody.  She will extend the reduced rate until the middle of March, which is only 2 weeks away, for anyone from the group who calls, but can't guarantee that there will be any rooms left.  So, if you haven't made your reservation yet, do so now!  All the information is included in the attachment.
 
Also, don't forget to send in your activities form to the Foundation office with your payment.  The form is at the end of the attachment.  I've had to send in $5,000.00 to the hotel, and $4,000.00 to Hooper's as deposits.  So, prompt payment is appreciated.
 
Space in the newsletter didn't permit me to give you a little background on CDR Jeffrey S. Nilsson, USNR (Ret), the Executive Director of the Historic Naval Ships Association, and the speaker at our grand banquet.  Jeff started his Naval career as an enlisted man in 1957 at Great Lakes.  He then went to Personnelman "A" School at Bainbridge before serving on USS MERCURY (AKS-20) and USS GEIGER (TAP-197).  He served at various Reserve Commands until 1974 when he was commissioned as LTJG in the 1635/Intelligence.  While ashore Jeff entered the banking field, as well as obtaining a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management from Rutgers University.  He has also done graduate study at the University of Miami.
 
Jeff "retired" in 2002, and has now taken over from Chan Zucker as the Executive Director of HNSA.  This organization, of which the Foundation is a member, has played an important part in the efforts to save the Sherman.  Without their help, and guidance, it never would have happened.  We are extremely happy that he has agreed to speak at the banquet.
 
The Application for Donation of the Sherman has now reached almost 250 pages, with much more to come.  It should be ready to go to the printers by the middle of March, and will be delivered to the Secretary of the Navy by the end of March.  In the meantime Congress is moving on our funding request.  Hopefully by the end of the year everything will come together.
12/12/2003

We have now reached a critical point in our efforts to save the SHERMAN.  As you know, we were successful in having Congress include language in H.R.1588 requiring the Secretary of the Navy not to dispose of the ship except to a non-profit organization like the Foundation.  Part of this legislation requires us to submit our application for donation of the ship.  Once this is done, we have received assurances from members of Congress that they will provide the $3 mil we have requested to restore the ship and relocate her.  This could happen next year if we move quickly enough.   

The application for donation requires many engineering studies required by the Navy.  The cost of these studies are $55,000.00.  I receive emails from many of you quite frequently asking what you can do to help.  

Here is what you can do right now to assure we get the $3 mil from Congress.  This email goes to over 550 folks on our email list.  If each of you would raise $100 from your friends we would have the necessary funds.  That means find 10 friends to give $10 each, or 20 friends to give $5 each, and the money will be there.  This has to be a team effort, and we need your help now.

Renewal memberships in the Foundation were sent out recently.  To date, 138 of you have renewed your membership for 2004.  Many of you included a generous donation in addition to your membership dues.  We greatly appreciate your support, and I believe that I have written a personal letter to each of you who have made a contribution.  However, many of you have not renewed as yet.  If you received a membership card, and renewal form, for 2004 please take a minute to renew now.  If you did not receive a membership card it is because you are not a member of the Foundation.  Your membership is important to the success of this effort.  For those of you who haven't joined as yet, I have attached a membership application to this email.  Please take a moment to download this form and join with us to restore the SHERMAN.  Remember, we take Visa and MasterCard as well as checks.   

If we do not submit our application for donation of the ship by early Spring of next year we will have failed in our efforts to save the SHERMAN.  We need your help, and we need it now.  Raising money is not a pleasant job, and writing letters like this is also not pleasant, but we need to join together as shipmates to save this historic ship.  Take a few moments of your time this Holiday season to raise that $100, or more!  Please help us.  We can't afford to fail!    

Best regards, 

Kurt 

11/07/2003

Greeting Shipmates,

In the U.S. House of Representatives, early this afternoon of November 7, 2003, the following Act was passed.  It is expected to pass in the Senate shortly, and we have been assured that the President will sign it into law.

H.R. 1588

DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION CONFERENCE REPORT

House Report 108-354

LIMITATION ON DISPOSAL OF OBSOLETE NAVAL VESSEL

“The Secretary of the Navy may not dispose of the decommissioned destroyer ex-Forrest Sherman (DD-931).. to an entity that is not a nonprofit organization unless the Secretary first determines that there is no nonprofit organization that meets the criteria for donation of that vessel under Section 7306(a.)(3) of Title 10, United States Code.”

We have been successful in saving the USS FORREST SHERMAN DD-931!  However, much more still remains to be done.

The leaders of Congress have assured us that they will make every effort to fund our request to restore this proud ship, and relocate her, once we submit our application for donation.  In order to do that we must raise $50,000.00 immediately to pay for the engineering studies that are required by the Navy to complete the application process.

There will be a detailed plan in the next edition of our newsletter, but for tonight let’s celebrate!

Best regards,

Kurt Wagemann
President

7/28/2003

This is to advise you that Congress adjourned for their summer recess without completing action on our request for $3 mil in funding for the Sherman project.  They will continue work on the bill when they return after September 3rd.

 

Although I have not received formal notice from the Chief of Naval Operations, I have been advised that the Donation Hold status for the USS FORREST SHERMAN DD 931 has been extended for another year.

 

The Foundation office will be closed next week to allow us to travel to Mississippi for the keel laying ceremony of the USS FORREST SHERMAN DDG 98.  The below list of names, and the years they were on board, are those that I have confirmed for the trip.  If any one else is going to be attending please let me know as soon as possible so that I can make transportation arrangements from the hotel to the yard and return.

 

Kurt Wagemann, 1957-1959

Mike Harrington, 1967-1968

Michael Robertson, 1967-1968

Joseph Murphy, 1976-1979

Louis Seymour, 1977-1981

Don Short, 1972

Gary Beals, 1962-1965

Robert Burns, 1977-1980

Frank Rudl, 1959-1961

John Sluus,  1960-1961

Bob Harris, 1962-1963

Gary Horne, 1962-1965

7/22/2003
As you may know, we are attempting to secure $3 mil in federal funding to restore the USS FORREST SHERMAN DD-931, and to relocate her.  Our efforts are proceeding as fast as the Congress will let them, which is not as fast as we would like, but we are still in the ball park for this year.  Congressman Ben Cardin, of the Maryland district where the ship will be moored, has requested the funds to be included in the Department of Defense Authorization Bill for Fiscal Year 2004 under a budget line for Heritage/Legacy Funding.  The entire Maryland House Delegation has signed a letter supporting this effort.  Congressman Roscoe Bartlett, of Maryland, is a member of the House Armed Services Committee,  There will be a conference committee of members from the Senate and the House to resolve the differences between the two bills.  Congressman Bartlett is a member of that committee, and will be pushing very hard to include the Sherman project in the final bill.  Both the Senate and the House have named the conferees, and we are just waiting for the Speaker to schedule the conference.  It could come at any time, but most likely will be scheduled after Labor Day when Congress returns from it's summer recess.
 
As part of our effort to stop the Navy from sinking the SHERMAN several years ago we contacted the then Secretary of the Navy, Gordon England.  We were not only successful in having the ship placed into a donation hold, but Secretary England decided to name the newest destroyer of the fleet USS FORREST SHERMAN DDG-98 as his last official act in office before moving over to the Homeland Security Office as Deputy Director under Secretary Tom Ridge.  The keel laying ceremony for the new SHERMAN will be held on Thursday, August 7th, 10 AM, at the Northrop Grumman Ship Systems yard in Pascagoula, Mississippi.  This is very fitting since the old SHERMAN underwent her last overhaul in this same yard in 1980-1981.
 
The entire Foundation has been invited to participate in this ceremony.  We have made hotel arrangements at the Hampton Inn Pascagoula/Moss Point, 6800 Highway 63, Moss Point, Mississippi 39563, 228-475-2477, for a room rate of $55 per night, single/double, for the 6th and 7th.  The yard will be providing free bus transportation from the hotel to the yard, and return after the ceremony.  At this point we have about 20 shipmates that have confirmed to me that they will be attending.  I hope that more of you will be able to attend this once in a lifetime event.  If you can, I will need to have a head count to provide the yard for the busses.
 
If you are going to fly in I am told that it is definitely cheaper to fly into Gulfport/Biloxi.  Our shipmate Louis Seymour has scouted out a great restaurant in a marina nearby for an informal get together on the night of the 6th for drinks and dinner.  If its really great we might do it again on the 7th.
 
This whole mini reunion is very informal.  Informal clothes for hot weather are in order.  No cameras will be allowed in the yard, but we will be provided with photos that we can post on our home page that you will be able to download and print out.
 
I have spoken with the hotel in Ocean City, Maryland, concerning our Reunion 2004.  The rooms are going fast, and they are going to add more to our block of rooms.  However, we are getting close to selling out the entire hotel.  If you haven't made a reservation as yet, do so now.  We ran out of rooms at the last reunion, so don't be left out.  Remember, you may always cancel up to 72 hours prior to your scheduled arrival at no cost.  I have attached all the info to this email.
 
I have also attached a membership application for the Foundation.  It is the paid up members who have financed our efforts to save this historic ship.  If you haven't joined as yet, please consider doing so.  We need you now more than ever.
 
I look forward to seeing many of you in Pascagoula and as we get closer I will send out a list of names of those who have confirmed, and if not there then Ocean City next spring.
 
Best,
Kurt
7/17/2003

 
As you know we have requested Congress to include $3 million in Heritage/Legacy funding in the Defense Department Authorization Bill for Fiscal Year 2004.  A critical conference between the Senate and House to resolve this issue is upcoming shortly.  The below listed member of the House are on the committee to resolve the differences in the bills.  If you see your congressman listed below, please take a few moments of your time to email them asking for their support in backing Congressman Bartlett's, of Maryland, request to include this funding.
 
Thanks for your assistance.  If you receive an answer from your congressman please advise me as soon as possible.
  
HASC Conferees for H.R. 1588, 
the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004
Republicans Democrats
Duncan Hunter, California, Chairman Ike Skelton, Missouri, Ranking Member
Curt Weldon, Pennsylvania John M. Spratt, Jr., South Carolina
Joel Hefley, Colorado Solomon P. Ortiz, Texas
Jim Saxton, New Jersey Lane Evans, Illinois
John M. McHugh, New York Gene Taylor, Mississippi
Terry Everett, Alabama Neil Abercrombie, Hawaii
Roscoe G. Bartlett, Maryland Martin T. Meehan, Massachusetts
Howard "Buck" McKeon, California Silvestre Reyes, Texas
Mac Thornberry, Texas Victor F. Snyder, Arkansas
John N. Hostettler, Indiana Jim Turner, Texas
Walter B. Jones, Jr., North Carolina Loretta Sanchez, California
Jim Ryun, Kansas Jim Cooper, Tennessee
Jim Gibbons, Nevada  
Robin Hayes, North Carolina  
Heather Wilson, New Mexico  
Ken Calvert, California  
House Armed Services Committee
2120 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
(202) 225-4151
6/2003
 
A number of you had emailed me requesting information about the donation hold on the SHERMAN that is due to expire August 1st.  Some workmen in Philly actually started a rumor that the ship was going to become a reef off Florida in October of this year.  Let me bring you up to date on her situation.
 
In April of this year I received a letter from NAVSEA informing me of an upcoming Ship Disposition Review Conference that would determine the fate of many ships that are in the reserve fleet, including those in donation hold.  They asked me to outline the progress we had made towards requesting donation of the ship.
 
In May I responded with a lengthy letter outline everything we had done so far.  I further requested that the donation hold be extended for at least another year.  This letter was supported by letters from Senators John Kerry, Barbara Mikulski, and Paul Sarbanes.  Also endorsing the extension were Congressmen Ben Cardin. Albert Wynn, Wayne Gilchrest, Roscoe Bartlett, and Steny Hoyer - all from Maryland with the exception of John Kerry who is from Massachusetts.
 
The Conference was held on June 4th, and yesterday I received word from Capt. Larry Jones, USN, Program Manager, Inactive Ships that we were successful in obtaining the extension.  The SHERMAN is safe.
 
We are still pursuing federal dollars for the ship and should know more in the next several weeks as it wends its way through Congress.
 
Best regards,
Kurt
If you wish to help save the USS FORREST SHERMAN DD-931 I have an urgent request.  This will be the single most important thing that you can do to help at this point.
 
Gary Hodge and I have spent many weeks visiting Senators and House members, and their key staff members, on Capital Hill in Washington, DC.  We have been searching for federal funding help in restoring this historic ship.  We have located $8 mil in unused funds for Heritage/Legacy funding in the Department of Defense budget for operation and maintenance of the armed services.  This funding line has been used in the past to help restore the USS INTREPID, USS ALABAMA, USS WISCONSIN, and other projects.  We have been successful in having the entire Maryland Congressional Delegation request $3 mil in funds from both the Senate and House Armed Forces Committees for Fiscal Year 2004.
 
The request from the Maryland Delegation reads as follows:
 
PROPOSED PROVISION REQUESTED BY THE MARYLAND CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION, FOR INCLUSION IN THE DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION BILL FOR FISCAL YEAR 2004:
 
"Of the amount authorized to be appropriated, pursuant to section 301 for operation and maintenance, $3,000,000 shall be available for the purpose of repairing and relocating the U.S.S. FORREST SHERMAN DD-931, which is currently in donation hold status at the former Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, Pennsylvania, to a suitable location in order to increase available berthing space at the shipyard, and establish a museum and memorial honoring veterans of the United States Navy."
 
It is important to understand that this is existing funding for just such projects.  It is not a request for new funds.  It will not take money away from the Fleet or our servicemen.  It is unspent money that can only be used for Heritage/Legacy funding.
 
Here is my request.  This bill will be undergoing both Senate and House mark-up sometime next week.  The Senators and House Members listed below are the members of those respective committees that will deal with the Maryland Congressional Delegation request.  If your Congressman, or Senator, is listed below we need you to email them requesting them to support the Maryland Delegation request.  All members of congress respond to constituent request.  Identify yourself as a veteran/former crew member/businessman of their state that is asking for their assistance in saving this historic vessel.  It is important not to use a form letter, but is important to include the name of the ship and the Maryland request.
 
If you don't know your congressman's email address, you may click on their name listed below or use your search engine (Yahoo, Goggle, AOL, etc.) to type in their name.  Their home page will come up with instructions how to contact them.  The US Mail to all government offices is greatly delayed by security measures used to screen it.  Please use email, and please take a few minutes of your time to do so now.
 
Best,
Kurt
 
REPUBLICANS

John Warner (Virginia)
Chairman

James M. Inhofe (Oklahoma)
Pat Roberts (Kansas)
Wayne Allard (Colorado)
Jeff Sessions (Alabama)
Susan M. Collins (Maine)
John Ensign (Nevada)
James M. Talent (Missouri)
Saxby Chambliss (Georgia)
Lindsey O. Graham (South Carolina)
Elizabeth Dole (North Carolina)
John Cornyn (Texas)
 

DEMOCRATS

Carl Levin (Michigan)
Ranking Member

Edward M. Kennedy (Massachusetts)
Robert C. Byrd (West Virginia)
Joseph I. Lieberman (Connecticut)
Jack Reed (Rhode Island)
Daniel K. Akaka (Hawaii)
Bill Nelson (Florida)
E. Benjamin Nelson (Nebraska)
Mark Dayton (Minnesota)
Evan Bayh (Indiana)
Hillary Rodham Clinton (New York)
Mark Pryor (Arkansas)
 

 


 

|
Republicans Democrats
Duncan Hunter, California, Chairman Ike Skelton, Missouri, Ranking Member
Curt Weldon, Pennsylvania John Spratt, South Carolina
Joel Hefley, Colorado Solomon P. Ortiz, Texas
Jim Saxton, New Jersey Lane Evans, Illinois
John M. McHugh, New York Gene Taylor, Mississippi
Terry Everett, Alabama Neil Abercrombie, Hawaii
Roscoe G. Bartlett, Maryland Marty Meehan, Massachusetts
Howard P. "Buck" McKeon, California Silvestre Reyes, Texas
Mac Thornberry, Texas Vic Snyder, Arkansas
John N. Hostettler, Indiana Jim Turner, Texas
Walter B. Jones, North Carolina Adam Smith, Washington
Jim Ryun, Kansas Loretta Sanchez, California
Jim Gibbons, Nevada Mike McIntyre, North Carolina
Robin Hayes, North Carolina Ciro D. Rodriguez, Texas
Heather Wilson, New Mexico Ellen O. Tauscher, California
Ken Calvert, California Robert A. Brady, Pennsylvania
Rob Simmons, Connecticut  
Jo Ann Davis, Virginia John B. Larson, Connecticut
Ed Schrock, Virginia Susan A. Davis, California
W. Todd Akin, Missouri James R. Langevin, Rhode Island
J. Randy Forbes, Virginia Steve Israel, New York
Jeff Miller, Florida Rick Larsen, Washington
Joe Wilson, South Carolina Jim Cooper, Tennessee
Frank A. LoBiondo, New Jersey Jim Marshall, Georgia
Tom Cole, Oklahoma Kendrick B. Meek, Florida
Jeb Bradley, New Hampshire Madeleine Z. Bordallo, Guam
Rob Bishop, Utah Rodney Alexander, Louisiana
Michael Turner, Ohio Tim Ryan, Ohio
John Kline, Minnesota  
Candice S. Miller, Michigan  
Phil Gingrey, Georgia  
Mike Rogers, Alabama  
Trent Franks, Arizona  

 

House Armed Services Committee

 

Almost two years ago I sent out a general email requesting some assistance in identifying the manufacturers of equipment on the SHERMAN.  I need to update that with your help.  We are in the process of identifying the manufacturers of this equipment so that we may go after them for financial help, or assistance in restoring the equipment that is on board.  If you remember the manufacturers of any piece of equipment on board please let me know the names as you remember them.  They may have been replaced over the years, but that makes no difference.  I would love to know who made the 5" guns as well as anything else you can remember.  Thanks for your help. 
Greeting Shipmates,    

CHALLENGE GRANT.   Last year we had a $5,000 challenge grant from an anonymous shipmate who agreed to match any contributions to the Foundation up to the stated amount if they were made by the end of the year.  I have just received another challenge grant of $10,000 from a company in New York.  This company will match any donations made by members up to $10,000 if made by December 31st.  That means if you donate $100 it will become a $200 tax exempt donation to help restore the SHERMAN.  Simply send your check, made out to the Foundation, to the Foundation's office and notate on the bottom of the check "matching grant donation".  You receive the tax donation and the Foundation receives much needed funds.  If you've been thinking about making a donation, no matter the size, now is a great time to do it.
Greetings Shipmates,

I wanted to let you know that we have developed a three part budget for the restoration and display of the USS FORREST SHERMAN DD-931.  Phase I is outlined below.  Phase II will be largely determined by the surveys and studies contained in Phase I, but we expect it to be in the $3 mil range. Phase III will be the initial endowment for future maintenance of the ship.  We expect that Phase III will be initially budgeted in the $2 mil range.

PHASE I  BUDGET FOR  USS FORREST SHERMAN PROJECT

Phase I.  Planning and Feasibility

 
USS Forrest Sherman Planning Study
Host Community Feasibility Study
Intergovernmental Coordination and Marketing
Hull Survey
Mooring plan
Towing plan
Environmental plan
Curatorial Plan
Renovation/maintenance plan

Total
$25,000
$20,000
$30,000
$25,000
$20,000
$ 8,000
$15,000
$10,000
$20,000

$173,000

The initial item of $25,000 is a financial study/plan to be made by Ketchum, Inc of Pittsburgh and Dallas.  They are the largest firm in the country that advises non-profit Foundations in capital drives.  Gary Hodge and I met with them some weeks ago, and they have agreed to accept the Foundation as a client.  Their list of clients reads like a Who's Who of non-profit corporations.  Their president originally comes from Baltimore and has raised millions of dollars for Maryland groups such as the Baltimore Symphony, Maryland Public Broadcasting, Maryland Science Center, the Baltimore Zoo, and the National Aquarium.  You may visit their home page on the web at:  www.rsi-ketchum.com.

Several weeks ago Gary and I met with officials of the Maryland Historical Trust to see if we could get some financial assistance from them for this funding study.  I am pleased to report to you that today, at a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Trust we were awarded a $12,500 matching funds grant to finance this study by Ketchum.

This is a very important grant for us.  The Trust is the leading group in Maryland in funding historical projects.  The fact that they recognize the importance of the SHERMAN in Navy history, and our efforts to restore her, will go a long way in helping our capital drive for funds.

I hope to be able to give you a complete financial picture in the next edition of Sherman News which will come out in January.

 

Greetings Shipmates,

It is with the greatest pleasure that I am able to inform you that I have received word from Captain Lawrence Jones, USN, Program Manager, Inactive Ships Program, Naval Sea Systems Command, that the USS FORREST SHERMAN DD-931 is being removed from the disposal list and placed into a donation hold status.

I have been informed by Capt. Chan Zucker, USN (ret.), Executive Director, Historic Naval Ships Association, that this is the first time in the history of the Navy that a ship has voluntarily been reclassified into such a status.  Against what seemed like overwhelming odds we have accomplished the first step in saving this historic ship.  Now the real work begins.

There are many folks who deserve credit and thanks for this effort.  I can't begin to acknowledge everyone, but some names leap out.  Bob Mehlrose, who started this organization.  George Lussier, for doing the impossible task of keeping track of people as we grew so rapidly.  Bob Wood, for keeping the world informed through our great home page.  Tom Peltin, President of Tin Can Sailors, who gave us so much valuable advice.  Jim Stirling, for helping us make contact with so many of the Maryland elected officials.  Bob Ehrlich, my congressman from Maryland who was the first to jump on board this project.  Senators Mikulski & Sarbanes, Governor Glendening, Congressman Hoyer, Mayor O'Malley, and the other officials who joined our effort.  Alan Walden, President of the Baltimore Chapter of the Navy League, who really gave us a push.    

And, the rest of you for your kind words of encouragement and financial support.  We won't let you down!

Best,
Kurt

 
Greetings Shipmates,

This is the best news in over a year!  We've just started!!

Best,
Kurt


        Ser 333G/
       July 31, 2001


Mr. Kurt Wagemann
President, USS FORREST SHERMAN
DD-931, Foundation, Inc.
720 Reedy Circle
Bel Air, MD  21014


Dear Mr. Wagemann:

Thank you for your June 7, 2001 request on behalf of the USS FORREST SHERMAN, DD-931, Foundation, Inc. to place the destroyer ex-FORREST SHERMAN (DD 931) on donation hold status to preserve the ship as a museum and memorial.

First, let me say that the Navy greatly appreciates the Foundation's interest in preserving this vessel. The Navy donates ships to federal and local governments as well as qualified non-profit organizations to promote the public interest in the defense of the nation and to commemorate their historic accomplishments.

As you know, the Navy places ships on donation hold which it considers historic regarding its unique historic achievements and/or to preserve its engineering technology.  As such, the Navy currently has three Forrest Sherman class destroyers on display. Ex-EDSON (DD 946) was donated to the Intrepid, Sea, Air and Space Museum, of New York, New York, in June 1989. Ex-TURNER JOY (DD 951) was donated to the Bremerton Historic Ships Association, of Bremerton, Washington, in April 1991 and ex-BARRY (DD 933) is on display at the Washington Navy Yard.

Additionally the Navy has developed specific criteria under which qualified applicants may still request a ship be placed on donation hold pending development of an acceptable donation application. In order to place a vessel on donation hold, organizations must have the capability, within six months to meet the Navy's minimum requirements for a financial/business plan, technical plan, and curatorial plan; and have a suitable location, endorsed and supported by the local community, city, state and/or municipal government.

The Navy has been coordinating its efforts with the USS FORREST SHERMAN DD-931 Foundation since the fall of 2000 in addressing the requirements discussed. After a review of the Foundation's June 7th submission, I am pleased to inform you that the Navy has concluded that your organization meets the requirements to place ex-FORREST SHERMAN on donation hold. The Chief of Naval Operations has designated the ship as such effective August 1st for a period of two years.

As you know, we provided detailed information regarding the donation application process, during our meeting last November.    We will continue to work closely with your organization throughout the process in the months ahead, and will again provide you the latest information and feedback on your specific application via separate correspondence. This information is also available on the Navy's Ship Donation website at: www.navsea.navy.mil/ndp.  If you have any question about the donation process, please call Ms. Gloria Carvalho at (202) 781-0485, or if I may be of any further assistance, please let me know at (202)-781-0621.

 I wish you the best as you and your organization pursue this worthwhile endeavor.


       Sincerely,



       CAPT L.M. JONES, JR., USN
       Program Manager
       Inactive Ship Program Office