Here are three items you may want to look at:
2016 Reunion Reservation
2016 Reunion Information
Web Page update information
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
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
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 PRIZES 2012 & WINNERS
52” scale model of USS FORREST SHERMAN DD-931.
“South Pacific Destroyer” autographed by Capt. Crenshaw.
“South Pacific Destroyer” autographed by Capt. Crenshaw.
Handcrafted Sherman Pen & Pencil Set by Steve Lawless.
Sherman Xmas ornament.
Sherman Xmas ornament.
Sherman Xmas ornament.
Sherman Xmas ornament.
TCS Gift subscription.
License Plate holder. Kenneth
License Plate holder. Al
$10 gift coupon. Pete Lennon
$5 gift coupon. Roy Anderson
$5 gift coupon. Stan Beach
HNSA Guide gift. Mary McGurk
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)
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
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!
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.
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.
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
To read the references:
USS Forrest Sherman
of US Naval Vessel
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
In a few months we'll send out an announcement of the activities
as things become a little clearer.
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
email@example.com. 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.
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:
firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
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
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,
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
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
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
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
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!!!
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
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.
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
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.
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.
Sample FAX Click Here
Suggested Letter Click Here
List of Armed Forces Committees Members
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.
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.
Response to Pietras
Response to Glen Clark
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
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
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.
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
We have face serious threats before, and we will win this one.
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
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.
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
His obituary is printed below.
McGuinness Funeral Home
34 Hunter St.
Woodbury, NJ 08096
McCabe, Leonard M.,
80, of Oak
Valley, NJ on July 23, 2009
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.
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.
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.
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
A great time was had by all at the reunion. The weather was
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
email@example.com. I know that she'll really
appreciate hearing from any of you who may remember Frank.
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.
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
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.
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!
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
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!
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,
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.
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
4th-10 Prizes. Ship patches. Jesse Hunt, Peter Buiak, Harold
Taylor, Russell Crenshaw, Mike Allfrey, Bill Montgomery, and
Thanks you all for participating. The winning prizes will be
shipped this week.
Happy New Year!
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:
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.
& 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.
PRIZES. Genuine Sherman patches. Each patch has a value of
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,
720 Reedy Circle
Bel Air, MD 21014
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
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
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
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
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!
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
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,
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
firstname.lastname@example.org with your address. The newsletter
does not appear on our home page.
Best personal regards,
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
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.
Heard about Bermuda?
Click here to find out more.
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"
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
email@example.com. 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,
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.
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
From: The USS FORREST SHERMAN Store
Sent: Tuesday, January 03, 2006 4:56 PM
Subject: USS FORREST SHERMAN (DD-931) STORE
For the upcoming cold weather and next year's reunion the store
added many kids items:
Kids Baseball Jersey, Kids Hoodie, and Kids T-Shirt. Also, Jr.
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
Hoodie, and Women's Tracksuit.
These items are in addition to T-shirts, mugs, baseball jerseys,
caps, and other items.
It also has items for infants. All have the unit's name and/or a
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
Nor is it associated with any group of former or existing
members of USN
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Enterprises, 1610 S. 31st. Suite 102-120, Temple, Tx 76504.
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
SEC. 1015. TRANSFER OF EX-U.S.S. FORREST SHERMAN.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
email@example.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
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.
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.
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
If you wish to be included in this great event please send your
home mailing address to George Lussier at:
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
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:
National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2006
(Reported in House)
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
(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
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
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
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
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
firstname.lastname@example.org 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
email@example.com 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
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
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
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.
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
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
firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone him at 251-478-6608 for further
DON'T FORGET TO CONTACT YOUR
CONGRESSMAN AND ASK HIM TO SUPPORT H.R. 990!!!!
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
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:
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
email@example.com 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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!
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.
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!
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
HASC Conferees for H.R.
the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004
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 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
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
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
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.
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
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.
Hunter, California, Chairman
Skelton, Missouri, Ranking Member
Curt Weldon, Pennsylvania
Spratt, South Carolina
P. Ortiz, Texas
Saxton, New Jersey
M. McHugh, New York
Gene Taylor, Mississippi
Neil Abercrombie, Hawaii
Roscoe G. Bartlett, Maryland
P. "Buck" McKeon, California
Silvestre Reyes, Texas
Mac Thornberry, Texas
Vic Snyder, Arkansas
John N. Hostettler, Indiana
B. Jones, North Carolina
Adam Smith, Washington
Loretta Sanchez, California
McIntyre, North Carolina
Hayes, North Carolina
Ciro D. Rodriguez, Texas
Heather Wilson, New Mexico
Ellen O. Tauscher, California
Robert A. Brady, Pennsylvania
Rob Simmons, Connecticut
Jo Ann Davis, Virginia
B. Larson, Connecticut
Susan A. Davis, California
James R. Langevin, Rhode Island
Randy Forbes, Virginia
Steve Israel, New
Jeff Miller, Florida
Joe Wilson, South Carolina
Jim Cooper, Tennessee
Frank A. LoBiondo, New Jersey
Tom Cole, Oklahoma
Kendrick B. Meek,
Jeb Bradley, New
Rob Bishop, Utah
Tim Ryan, Ohio
John Kline, Minnesota
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.
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.
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
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:
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
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.
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!
This is the best news in over a year! We've just started!!
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
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
CAPT L.M. JONES, JR., USN
Inactive Ship Program Office