Saturday, September 24, 2016

REUNION News Release - OCT 2016

News Release
USS O’Callahan DE-1051 Reunion
September 2013

Contact: Vic Campbell  850 994 6120 --

Veterans of USS O’Callahan will enjoy Pensacola for a reunion October 5-10 in Pensacola.  

USS O”Callahan was named for a recipient of the Medal of Honor in WWII, Fr. Joseph O’Callahan who was one of the chaplains aboard USS Franklin, which was bombed near the end of the war with a loss of over 800 dead. Fr. O’Callahan’s actions among the crew to organize and dispose of exploding ordnance on deck saved the lives of many sailors.  A film clip of him, and still photos of his giving last rites to a sailor on the deck of the Franklin is one of the most recognizable scenes of the Pacific War.  That sailor was interviewed by a USS O’Callahan shipmate and it exists on youtube. (Search me3tv, franklin). Yes, Bob Blanchard survived !

One of the key events for the reunion is to be a memorial service at Pensacola's Veteran’s Park at 10AM on October 7 (Friday).  The veterans will honor their namesake, Fr. O’Callahan and all the dead of the USS Franklin and the  more recent passing of fellow shipmates. The chaplain from NAS Pensacola and an honor guard will participate.  The O’Callahan veterans invite those who wish to honor the Chaplain Corps, the USS Franklin, the USS O’Callahan and the US Navy, our veterans and our Nation are welcome to join us at the ceremony. Following the ceremony everyone is welcome to celebrate with them at McGuire’s.

The vessel served in the the US Navy fleet from 1968 - 1988 and was decommissioned.  The hull was then leased to the Pakistan Navy for about five years after which it was scrapped.

In its history the ship made three Vietnam deployments where it served primarily as gunfire support for troops ashore.  In later years it was involved in many West Pac (and Rim Pac)  deployments and maritime activities in the service of American interests.  The veterans will be enjoying the Pensacola Naval Air Museum and other area attractions while staying at the Ashton, Inn on Navy Boulevard.  The group will be using Beach Bum Trolleys for transportation and tours and the crew welcomes any who wish pay tour and meal fees to join them. The ship’s website with more information is

ocallahan seal-card2.jpg   Vietnam024.jpg

Sunday, September 18, 2016

The reunion is coming up in OCTOBER !  Please get your registrations in for the tours and be sure to call the hotel and get your rooms booked (no up front payment required). All the instructions are on the main page at   Several have confirmed with checks the last week. We hope there will be more.  A couple of shipmates had to bow out due to health or work schedules. IF you pay up front for tours and have to bow out there will be a full refund. Also if you have paid already and a given day of trolley tours is cancelled out for low participation - or if your own plan changes - that will be refunded as well.

Just now - five or six shipmates will be going to MOBILE, AL to see the USS ALABAMA battleship on THURSDAY. They will go in private cars and people can carpool. I see no need to rent a car for that.  A shipmate in Mobile, DAVID JERNIGAN and his wife, Sally, will meet the group with a limo to tour you around to key sites and the ship before you all car pool back to Pensacola for the Banquet that night.  Actually some who are driving in from the West are going to stay in Mobile on Wed. Night and tour Mobile Thursday with this group. Sunday and the Dolphin Tour and beach worship service and picnic are a Trolley item also and we hope to have enough willing to do that. IF not that might get cancelled and pre paids will be refunded. That is of course yet to be seen.

Here is Sally Jernigan's tour ticket from USS ALABAMA the FIRST YEAR the museum opened. She was a student then and it was a school field trip.   
On FRIDAY  (after a brief city trolley tour) we will hold a 10 AM memorial and remembrance service at the Pensacola Veterans Memorial. Here is a DRONE view of that area.  At this service we hope to have several distinguished shipmates say some words followed by an address from Fr. McLaughlin of the US Naval Air Chapel. An honor guard of sailors will be present. After this, we will retire to McGuire's Irish Pub for lunch and bagpipes and green beer and a USS O'Callahan presentation to the pub to perpetuate the "legend of the USS O'Callahan".  

Monday, September 05, 2016

Collection of O'Callahan Archives

The FOLLOWING LINK will provide you with hours of entertainment to go back over some of the Archives pulled from the files of Vic Campbell.  Many of the documents are informative about the 1971-73 period (Including a ship brochure with a roster of officers)  but included are notes and rosters from past reunions. Shipmates MAY be able to locate each other this way.  There is no indication on these rosters whether shipmates are deceased or if they have moved. They are simply historical record. It may help jog your memory as you try to reconnect with some history.  Most of the files are PDF files - a standard document format for the web.


I am posting this in advance of the Pensacola Reunion in October 2016.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

SHIP PRINTS - graphic by Bill Scroggins

Our shipmate, Bill Scroggins made up graphics of USS O'Callahan in both lamps and pre-lamps configuration and provided the files for you.  For a donation to the ship's fund - you can get a zip file downloaded to your computer. take those files to any good printer and you'll have a quality print to frame and put on your wall. Impress the Army guys.  The files were formerly on a "store" site called payloadz. It is no longer available to us because of costs.  I am now using GO Spaces. The zip file has both JPG and BMP file types. I think the BMP files are what you want the professional printer to use but they will all fit in about 12 megabytes. We will make the files easily available at the reunion as well.     I had the side view and the cutaway view mounted in a single frame - the outer hull version on the top. They are about 20 inches long but framed in kelley Green. AweSOME!


Thursday, July 28, 2016


We will have an extra day of tours available but this is a sample of  timelines for some of the tours. This one was set up for USS Gregory which is one week after our reunion in Pensacola.  You can see a little more detail in this. I will work with Beachbum Trolleys to get our page on their site up and visible for everyone.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016


Print and Fill out and Mail In
July 31 modified OCT 6 to PENSACOLA tours - NOT MOBILE

Here is what you are downloading to print

USS O’Callahan Reunion Schedule and Sign Up
Arrive October 5 - Tours Oct 6-9 -  Close and depart October 10
Be ready for All Tour Days to start at 8am Highlighted Items on Daily list are Included in Fee
Some days - evening meals are on your own. Fast Food and Fine Dining and tourist areas are plentiful. Some attending will have private cars for these nearby venues.

Saturday, July 09, 2016

Download: USS OCallahan PRINT

Download: USS OCallahan PRINT


Here is the link to buy ($20) and download our ship's graphic files that you can have printed up for framing. They are amazing work by our shipmate - Bill Scroggins.

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Tentative Tour Plans for Pensacola

This plan is not yet FINAL. It does give an idea of the activities for the week in OCT.  When ironed out - there will be a registration form with payment instructions. Some big pluses - - the Hotel does NOT require advance payment but registration is encouraged. Our hotel provides a FREE large Host suite with bar - tables - etc. The tour costs estimated here include the transportation, meals and venue tickets. Our breakfasts are included at the Hotel.

OCT 5-10 - Ashton Hotel Navy Blvd --- Beachbum Trollys - Wheelchair and scooter access. Items in BOLD are cost items in the daily estimate. We chose an inexpensive but  nice hotel which we felt allowed more felxibility for everyone to take advantage of the tours. The tours require no driving. One day we will use a bus and the other days are using the Beach Bum Trolly. You can see past tour photos and descriptions at the Beach Bum Trolly site. These folks are veterans and know veterans and KNOW THIS TOWN. SO - experience is bringing us a very cost effective and fun package for every day.  

A Registration form will provide an opportunity to select for the tours but I would encourage all of them. Two days will be long ones (but not driving) and two will be "half days" to allow plenty of rest time or extra activity. IF ALL TOURS are signed on a COUPLE can expect a $500 budget plus or minus $50. BUT - you don't have to sign on for every day's tours. 
OCT 5 WED -- Arrival  
Hospitality Suite at Ashton -- Town tours at will - dinner on your own
Suggestions will be made available -- Beach - Town -etc.

OCT6  THURS --  This is the longest and biggest day - est $80 each  (Not Trolly  but tour bus this day)
Austell new ship construction - Belengrath Gardens plus lunch and then river cruise - return to Mobile and dinner at Wentzells famous seafood downtown. Return to Pensacola - Ashton Hotel - Hosp Suite.

OCT 7 FRI --  Pensacola FOCUS day Est. $50 each - Trolly and City Tour with history - 10:45 Veterans Park Honors for Fr. O'Callahan, USS Franklin and our own shipmates. NAS Naval Chapel's Fr. Pete McLaughlin will participate with about six Navy Colorguard which we will comp as they join us for lunch. LUNCH at Maguires. (we may use this time for some normal banquet presentations)   Return to Ashton - Host Suite.  Afternoon Free - other Tours and restaurants will be suggested for individuals. Possicle board meeting in our Host Suite.

OCT 8--SAT -- AIR MUSEUM DAY Est $75 each for the day --  Trolly to Air Museum - Cubi Club Lunch in the Museum - BIg Screen Films - Back to Hotel probably about 4pm.  Fish Fry with best seafood in area (including chicken for non fish eaters).  The Fish fry and meal at our very large Hosting Suite will possibly serve as our banquet with all appropriate remarks and honors.

.... OCT 9 SUN - BEACHES and SUNDAY SAND Est $50 each for the day -  Trolly to possible beach service and then --  A 10 AM Dolphin Cruise with PICNIC at the Marina. at Noon we will have flex time for more beach access or walks and Trolly return to Ashton Inn. Host Suite. End of Reunion. Use afternoon to pack, independent town exploration- Restaurants.

MORE DETAIL ABOUT TOURS at this website ... 

Saturday, April 02, 2016

Membership Dues Request

Joe likes to remind me to inform everyone to please "join" the association or pay your dues if they are up. If you simply can't for financial reason we understand. Nobody will shake you down. This and the Scroggins print files help bring in a little stash to help out with mailings ( a few prefer that to the web) and to cover some of the minor reunion expenses outside of normal personal costs. Just download this and print it and mail it to Joe with a check. Or- print it and bring it to the reunion and turn it in there.
Membership and Dues Form .... Print and Mail

Monday, March 28, 2016

Reunion Transportation

Reunion Transportation

We will be using BEACH BUM TROLLIES for our group tours in Pensacola in October. You can see their tours here -- some of which we will choose. Also notice they are OLD HANDS at military reunions and a LOT of other Navy and sister military organizations are represented in their reunion schedules. Tours usually include the transportation, meals, and any fees for entry to venues. I hope to SHANGHAI one or two of my history professors who liven up the area knowledge to join us.