Tuesday, December 20, 2005

2006 Reunion Association Details

Dear Shipmates, Families and Friends of the USS O’Callahan;
Details in COMMENTS BELOW- (old news)


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Friday, December 16, 2005

Monday, October 24, 2005

Historic VHS Format Videotapes For Sale

The following items are available from Ray Bailey (USS Franklin, CV-13 Veteran) at  raycbailey3.2.1@juno.com . Ray quoted a price is $19.99 each (plus shipping and handling) and he would probably transfer them to CDs if requested to do so.

 

  • Title: USS O’Callahan (FF-1051) Last Port of Call, San Diego, CA. Commanding Officer: CDR Gary W. Schnurrpusch; Date of event: August 24, 1988.

Run Time: 60 minutes

 

  • Title: USS O’Callahan (FF-1051) Decommissioning Ceremony, San Diego, CA. Commanding Officer: CDR Gary W. Schnurrpusch;

Date of event: December 20, 1988.

Run Time: 56 minutes

 

  • Title: USS O’Callahan (DE/FF-1051) “Faithful and Brave” First Reunion, Ramada Plaza Hotel, Culver City, CA. Host/Chairman: Tom Morrison (Plank owner)

Date of event: July 14-16, 2000.

Run Time: 120 minutes

 

  • Title: USS O’Callahan (DE/FF-1051) “Faithful and Brave” Second Reunion, Holiday Inn on the Bay, San Diego, CA.

Hosts/Chairman: Michael and Letrell Cuff

Date of event: August 9-10, 2002.

Run Time: 94 minutes

 

Posted by Tom Morrison

 

 

 

 

Friday, October 14, 2005

Ship Crest Patches

ACCURATE REPRODUCTION OF THE ORIGINAL EMBROIDERED PATCH,  MADE IN THE USA AND USING THE ORIGINAL ARTWORK WITH AN APPROX. SIZE OF 4" X 4". THIS PATCH WAS COMMISSIONED FOR AND APPROVED BY THE PLANKOWNERS OF THE REUNION COMMITTEE AND JUDGED TO BE BETTER IN COLOR AND APPEARANCE THAN THE ORIGINAL PATCH ISSUED IN 1968. (Note: each patch costs $7.50 plus  $0.50 shipping; contact Tom Morrison).

 

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

EXPLANATION OF THE SYMBOLS ON THE SHIP'S INSIGNIA

THE CENTRAL CROSS IS DERIVED FROM THAT OF THE US NAVY CHAPLAIN CORPS, IN WHICH THE SHIP’S NAMESAKE, FATHER JOSEPH T. O’CALLAHAN, CAPT, SO FAITHFULLY AND BRAVELY SERVED. THE SERPENT WRAPPED AROUND THE SWORD AND CROSSED WITH THE TRIDENT, SYMBOLIZES WISDOM AND STRENGTH AND THEIR EFFECTIVE APPLICATION TO SEAPOWER THROUGHOUT THE WORLD. THE SHAMROCK WHICH FORMS A FIELD FOR THE OTHER DEVICES DENOTES FATHER O’CALLAHAN’S IRISH ANCESTRY AND IS TRADITIONALLY ASSOCIATED WITH GOOD FORTUNE OR LUCK. THE GREEN BAND WHICH ENCIRCLES THE INSIGNIA SYMBOLIZES THE UNITY OF YOUTH, STRENGTH AND HOPE. "FAITHFUL AND BRAVE" MOTTO OF THE USS O’CALLAHAN IS AN ANGLICIZED VARIATION OF "FIDES ET AUDAX" FOUND ON THE O’CALLAHAN FAMILY COAT OF ARMS.

Posted by: Tom Morrison

 

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Former Commanding Officers

CDR R.L. Brown, USN………….13 Jul 68 – 12 Dec 69

CDR J.A. Coiner, USN…………..12 Dec 69 – 13 May 71

CDR M.G. Smith, USN………….13 May 71 – 21 Jul 72

CDR W.C. Dunham, USN……….21 Jul 72 - 18 Jan 74

CDR F.W. Bailey, USN………….18 Jan 74 - 06 Oct 75

CDR C. McRight, USN…………..06 Oct 75 - 11 Oct 77

CDR J.C. Strasser, USN…………11 Oct 77 - 19 Oct 79

CDR R.T. Brunnell, USN…………19 Oct 79 - 10 Oct 81

CDR F.M. Frick, USN…………...10 Oct 81 - 15 Jul 83

CDR M.C. Skoog, USN…………15 Jul 83 - 16 Aug 85

CDR L.W. Hewett, USN…………16 Aug 85 – 15 Aug 87

CDR G.W. Schnurrpusch, USN…..15 Aug 87 - 20 Dec 88

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Faithful and Brave / Ship’s Crest

A RadiomanSN just out of “A” school, reported for six weeks of USS O’Callahan DE1051 Pre Commissioning Detail in Newport, RI, May 1968. Just before the 4th of July, the PreCom nucleus crew shipped out by bus to Boston for the commissioning of the O’Callahan, (July 13, 1968), sea trials, shakedown exercises, and then sailed to our homeport in San Diego.

Before the commissioning of the O’Callahan, our first Commanding Officer, Cdr. Robert L. Brown, had the original carving of the ship’s crest in his stateroom. Day after day he applied layer upon layer of rubber latex to make a rubber mold. After the initial use, the rubber mold was passed to me for additional use. HM1 “Doc” Bradley in sickbay supplied some plaster of paris. Enough for five or six castings, a couple coats of paint, mounted on a wooden shield and the end product, a ship’s crest/plaque. A couple of our 1st Class POs, plankowners, promoted to Chief Petty Officer received a ship’s crest. There was an extra crest which proudly hangs in my hallway.

While deployed on our first WestPac cruise in 1970, a tour of duty as gunfire support off the coast of south Viet Nam and Cambodia provided a number of spent brass shell casings. The only spent shell casings to disappear from storage were the brass casings. They must have fallen overboard while we were taking 33 degree rolls on rough seas in the Sea of Japan. All was not lost, somehow solid brass ship’s crests surfaced in the Weapons’ Officer’s stateroom. The scuttlebutt from a reliable source; said there was an exchange of spent brass shell casings along with a few cases of frozen steaks and in short order appeared two dozen brass ship’s crests.
A few weeks before departing Japan for our return to San Diego, an All Hands personnel inspection and promotion ceremony was held on the fantail. Along with the various shipboard promotions, the first brass plaque was presented by our CO, Cdr J.A.Coiner, to Lt M.J., US Naval Hospital, nurse stationed in Japan. The Lt. was acknowledged as a “WestPac-Super Steamer” and a honorary crewmember.

The rubber mold was nolonger needed and once again ended up in my possession. The mold is in a suitcase in a storage locker under the Hollywood Freeway. After 37 years, it’s probably no longer flexible enough for additional use. Guess that's what happens when we get older. - Peace!
Submitted by:
Richard E. Settle, RM2
USS O:Callahan Plankowner

Ship's Cigarette Lighters






















The only lighters we have remaining are in the configuration shown here. Tom Morrison designed this lighter for thefirst reunion in 2000 and only 7 remain from the original buy of 50 pieces. The red wording on the front of the lighter says Y2K Reunion (at the top) and July 13, 2000 (at the bottom); the red wording on the rear of the lighter says Vietnam. Cost per unit is $30.00 plus ($1.21 for one lighter and $1.75 for two lighters). (USA ... exUS please email first). Note: these lighters have never been used. As far as Tom knows, there are no other lighters available except for the ones found periodically on ebay. Send Check or Money Order to Tom Morrison after email to him for address. (86buggy@comcast.net).

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

HIGH - LINE NEWS

“Dear Shipmates and Friends of the USS O’Callahan (DE/FF-1051):

Our last issue of “High-Line News” was published in October of 2004 with a summary of the activities of our last reunion in Tennessee along with the status of our association as we looked forward to the next reunion. Many milestones have been completed since then in spite of hurricanes, personal physical infirmities, and website disabilities/restructuring activities. Nevertheless, we have persevered and thanks to God’s assistance, we are underway again under shifted colors!

As we approach our upcoming 2006 Reunion there are a number of items we’d like to share with you and your family members. We’re requesting your comments on any areas that may be of interest to you.

Our Vice-President and Treasurer Joe Allen reports that we are maintaining a paid up membership list of twenty-one (21) members. Although the number may appear to be small (as usual) we’ve received at least 10 times that number of “promises” to join from shipmates who agreed to send in the $10.00 per year but haven’t followed through on their promise.

Note: The current crew roster consists of 398 names of which we have 94 home addresses and 81 email addresses. Unfortunately, it is extremely difficult to keep this data accurate if shipmates don’t enroll or renew their memberships to help keep us up to date.

Plans for our fourth reunion to be held in Las Vegas, NV (in 2006 or 2007) are ongoing but lack a confirmed location or set of dates at the present time. Once again, your inputs would be appreciated and can be conveyed in the comments section of this blog or by any other methods you chose. Also, keep checking the website for new details as they become available.

On the subject of memorabilia, Tom Morrison reports that he still has 9 each of the Y2K commemorative Zippo lighters, 7 each of the ship’s crest pins and 20 each of the DE-1051 patches (that have been selling often on ebay) still for sale. Also, a good number of old photographs, original “Familygrams” and other unique memorabilia will hopefully be published on our website over time for all to view and copy into their own files. Please note that there aren’t any plans to make the photos available for sale but we’re open to any suggestions.

This concludes our newsletter update for this moment in time. Our intention is to publish new information in the blog or news section of the website and look for your views/comments. Our next issue will be published in December, 2005, God willing and the creek don’t rise!

Best wishes to all.

Your association officers

Monday, August 22, 2005

The Summer of 72 - America

Here is a short story from "Junction: County Road 197 (mild adventure for the armchair ruralist). The book is available to read online at from a link at Chumuckla.Net Here is a little of how it felt to come back to the ship after a brief shore leave:

Soldiers and sailors throughout the land struggled to reach their units.

Crowds pressed them and jostled them in large cities and small towns. Sometimes people spit on them. Sometimes people threw rocks. It was common to receive an unkind, vulgar gesture from the natives. In some areas, they were simply shunned. People pretended they did not exist.

The uniforms were a dead giveaway. These soldiers were tools of U.S. military imperialism. They were not welcome. The times were troublesome. It was a dangerous country for American servicemen.

In peril, the young soldiers and sailors pressed on to join up with their comrades.

Some anticipated the hostilities. They camouflaged their appearance with civilian attire. They hoped to blend in with the nation's populace. Often as not, civilian clothes were merely a temporary ruse; the short hair, the innocent youth, and the green sea-bags were telltale identification. They were marked military targets.

Small battles took place. One-on-one encounters between an intellectual pacifist and the kid in uniform. The intellectual, who was probably a student of defunct world cultures returning to school after a weekend of revelry, sincerely tried to spark the ideal of pacifism in the young gladiator's heart.

Self-anointed moralists chastised the evil sailor, who was armed only with a comb, a cigarette lighter, dog tags, and his heavy (very heavy) sea-bag. " Warmonger!"

In crowded transportation terminals, the boy soldier was accosted by young religious devotees clothed in saffron robes. The youthful saffron inductees lectured the innocent military inductee about the evils of war. They asked for a donation to help the cause of peace. The soldier donated a dime. Later, another tribe espoused world peace. He donated a nickel. By the third time the poor soldier was asked for a donation to promote universal peace, his vote came down decidedly in favor of war.
Were it not for a generally silent but sympathetic underground network of people who cared, many American soldiers and sailors might have been lost before they could rejoin their units.

This was America in 1972.

I recall the summer of 1972. The USS O'Callahan crew returned to their ship. Sailors rebounded from their final shore leave. One pink seaman apprentice, with a smattering of adolescent whiskers standing defiantly at attention between the mountainous pimples on his cheeks, marched aboard with a Bible under his arm. It was newly purchased from a street vendor hawking the imitation leather-bound Book. The sailor had paid an extra twenty dollars to have his mother's name embossed on the cover in imitation gold. Others struggled aboard with the odor of a distillery clinging to the air about them.

The captain ordered the bow line cast off. He ordered the engine back one third. The ship's horn sounded one long blast, followed by three short blasts. We backed into the San Diego Harbor.

The O'Callahan steamed past Point Loma and made for open sea. Most were apprehensive, but the apprehension was tempered with a sense of adventure. We steamed west to join the 7th Fleet and do battle with an enemy. It felt good to be among our own kind, having passed through a nation of hostile strangers.

It was an odd time to be in uniform.

Years have healed the animosity among fellow Americans in those times. Today, there is a healthy respect for people in uniform.
That is as it should be.
(From Vic Campbell - at the time, a very green ensign and far from the familiar herds of cattle and crops of soybeans and peanuts in the Florida Panhandle).

Sunday, August 21, 2005

A Sailor's Story (a gunner)

FAITHFUL AND BRAVE

MY TOUR IN THE U.S. NAVY AND ABOARD
U.S.S O’CALLAHAN (DE-1051)

Gunner’s Mate 3rd Class William E. Scroggins

U.S.S. O”CALLAHAN (DE-1051)
Commissioned 13 July 1968
Decommissioned 20 November 1988
____________

1968

In 1968 I reached my 18th birthday on January the 8th. At about 11 or 12 years of age I had acquired an intense interest in the sea and ships of all types. By my 18th birthday I had read everything I could get my hands on about the sea and seafaring. I had read all the classic sea novels, Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick”, Rudyard Kipling’s “Captains Courageous”, Jack London’s “The Sea Wolf”, Richard Henry Dana’s “Two Years Before the Mast”, Robert Louis Stephenson’s “Treasure Island” and “Kidnapped”, and all of C.S. Forrester’s Horatio Hornblower saga. I did not like high school and wasn’t doing well in my studies, my interest lying primarily with things nautical. I decided to quit high school and on January 24, I enlisted in the U.S. Navy at the recruiting station in downtown Fort Worth, Texas. I was sent to the old AAFES building (Army & Air Force Examination Station) in Dallas, Texas. There I was tested, given a medical examination and sworn in to the United States Navy as a Seaman Recruit (E-1). About 10 or 12 of us flew that night to San Diego, California. This was my first time to be away from home, so I was scared to death!

We were met at Lindbergh Field in San Diego by a Marine corporal. At first he was very cordial and politely asked us to follow him outside to the front entrance of the airport terminal. There we found another group of newly arrived recruits. On arriving outside the Marine had a sudden personality change and began screaming at us and made us stand in the formation with the other group at parade rest. He told us to keep our mouths shut and eyes straight ahead. Some of the group didn’t know what parade rest was and had to be shown. I had taken ROTC (Reserve Officer’s Training Corps) in high school and was familiar with military drill. The Marine corporal caught the guy standing next to me chewing gum. He made this guy spit the gum into his hand and stuck it on the end of his nose! We stood in front of the airport in formation for about two hours, our group growing larger as planes arrived from all over the country. A Navy bus finally arrived and we were loaded aboard and transported to the Recruit Training Center, U.S. Naval Station, San Diego, California. We arrived there at about 2230 (11:30 P.M.). We got off the bus and were led into an asphalt covered courtyard in the middle of a barracks quadrangle. The entrance to this courtyard had a sign on an archway which said, “WELCOME ABOARD! YOU ARE NOW MEN OF THE UNITED STATES NAVY.” Inside the courtyard on the asphalt were painted yellow footprints which had black numbers in the middle. We were told to pick out a set of footprints and stand on them. The number that was painted on the footprints was used as a muster number for us for the next couple of days....... (Bill continues his story in a later post and includes his life aboard USS O'Callahan ... Come back later for more installments!)


Saturday, June 25, 2005

Vietnam 72 - 73 Radio Archive

RE: GUNFIRE SUPPORT MISSIONS ON RADIO - RECORDED
I just went back and looked and listened again myself. Been a few years since I listened.
Had one of those "flashback" episodes from the severe deprivation we had onboard USS O'Callahan in the Tonkin Gulf. www.ussocallahan.org .

I recall a Marine telling me about his time in the 'nam and how he had such bad food and how bad the heat was. It just reinforced my severe bad experience with the Navy and the 'nam. War is, as General Sherman said, "heck".

Once, for SEV-er-al hours we lost our air conditioning (can a Marine imagine this kind of heat?) and there was a time when the crew's mess ran out of lobster for week, the crew having to subsist on only steak (no lobster and steak). As an officer who weighed about 130 pounds, I often made it my duty to sample the crew's mess to "be sure" the food prepared for the crew was up to "Navy standards". (The wardroom usually had something like tuna on toast because we officers were too cheap to allot all our food allowance to the officer's mess). For crying out loud! Some of the JO's had expensive car payments on sports cars that sat in a garage back home!

I recall that week when the crew did not have it's usual surf and turf to be a terrible disappointment to me - the psychological effects staying with me to this day. And the cooling system gong down like that! A Marine just would not understand! I know the Marines had it bad, but they just don't realize what it is like to have such great food and then lose it for a several very long days!
(above is reply to Rob Gagnon - below)
Vic Campbell http://www.eggzono.tv http://www.buzzcreek.com
From: Robert J. Gagnon (Marine) To: Vic Campbell Subject: Emailing:
yes, puts you right there!

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

2004 Reunion Report

From Tom Morrison:
U.S.S. O'CALLAHAN DE / FF 1051

" Faithful and Brave "

" HIGH-LINE NEWS"


Date: October 10, 2004
Subject: Reunion Association UpDate
Dear Shipmate's and Friend's;
For those who attended our ship's third reunion in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee a grand time seemed to be had by all - renewing old friendships, swapping sea stories and sharing personal memorabilia items. Activities over the weekend included: a tour of the Great Smokie Mountains National Park and the 1800's settlement known as Cade's Cove along with jaunts to local amusement parks and unlimited opportunities for shopping.

On Friday night, we all met in the hotel's hospitality room for a few hours and then adjourned to the hotel's restaurant for a delicious buffet of shrimps, teriyaki chicken and other great dishes.

On Saturday morning, most of the crew and their families met for a breakfast and a very entertaining Gospel music show at the Black Bear that featured the Blackwood Bros. Quartet and Gospel Singers. After breakfast, the tours and shopping events took place after we had all agreed to meet for a banquet at the Rocky River Grill and Brewery.
We had another great dinner that night with good conversations and we raffled off some caps, shirts and an author signed book - won by (who else?) the Commissioning Commanding Officer Cdr. Robert L. Brown. Following the banquet we returned down the road to the hotel to convene a ship's meeting and discuss our future plans and arrangements for our next reunion in 2006. It was agreed, after some discussion, that new officers should be elected to guide our association through the term of 2004 through 2006 and that additional subjects should be voted on. The results of the meeting are as follows:
  1. Richard E. "Andy" Anderson was nominated, seconded and voted in as President and Chairman for the 2004 through 2006 reunion activities. Home Phone # (619) 276-4250 Email: None at this time.
  2. Joseph H. "Joe" Allen was nominated, seconded and voted in as Vice-President and Treasurer for the 2004 through 2006 reunion . Home Phone # (608) 868-3235 Cell # 608-346-3235 Email: jha218@charter.net
  3. Andy Anderson and Joe Allen appointed Thomas L. "Tom" Morrison as Ship's Historian and Storekeeper responsible for memorabilia and items to be available for purchase such as ship's patches, caps, shirts, etc.
    (Home Phone# (310) 575-0061 Email :
    86buggy@comcast.net
  4. General discussions about where to hold the next reunion in 2006 resulted in a vote being taken and the crew unanimously agreeing that Las Vegas, Nevada would be the place. It was decided to determine the specific dates for the reunion at a later time. And a Updated news Letter will be sent to paid up members.
  5. Following a lively discussion on the subject of the www.ussocallahan.org website status, Chairman Anderson and Vice-President Allen agreed to contact the previous reunion committee members about taking over the operation of the
    website. Details of the transfer and person/persons who will be responsible will be published when negotiations are completed.
  6. It was also unanimously agreed that yearly dues would be set at $10.00 per person per year ($20.00 for 2004 through 2006) and that a PAID receipt would be issued by the Treasurer.

    Please make your check payable to:
    IRISH SONG Reunion Association
    and mail it to: c/o: Joseph H. Allen
    6007 N. Greenvale Dr.
    Milton, WI 53563-9489
Treasurer’s Note:
"Shipmates, REMEMBER that dues keep this association afloat and if we don’t receive dues we'll have to "Abandon ship!". But also, if you are having a financial problem and you can't afford to pay your dues, please contact me and let me know. Our Association will carry you on the books until you can get back on your feet. One last point; please provide your phone number and current email address so we can keep our records up to date. Thank you; Joe".

7. The following shipmates and guests attended the reunion banquet and ship’s meeting:
  • Andy Anderson
  • Aubry Sharp
  • Cdr. Robert L. Brown
  • Joe Allen and Wife: Bernie
  • Dwight Ledbetter and Wife: Linda
  • Tom Morrison
  • David "Yogi" Reynolds and Daughter: Kim
  • Mike Ponsack
  • Ron Kobeluch and Wife: Mary
  • Cdr. Paul Viscovich and Wife: Christine
  • Ed Boruff and Wife: Jerrie

Please take a few moments to keep our Crew's Roster up to date by printing out, completing the attached flyer and mailing/returning it to our Treasurer.

CREW'S ROSTER UPDATE :
" PLEASE PRINT INFORMATION "
Your First Name
Your Last Name
Spouse’s Name
Your Former Rank or Rate
Years you served on The O'Callahan:
Active Duty Dates : 19_____ through 19_____
Current Mailing Address:

StreetAddress
City , State Zip Code:
Home Phone Number : Area Code __Phone #__
Cell/Mobile Phone Number : Area Code___Phone #__

Current Email Address:
PLANKOWNER ? Yes / No ______________
Retired Military ? Yes / No ______________
Can we share your information with our other shipmates? Yes / NO_____
May You Have Fair Winds and Following Seas till we meet again;
YOUR TREASURE & VICE PRESIDENT : JOSEPH H. ALLEN
This is the first post for our blog. Anyone can respond to a post, but only selected members of the association will be able to make initial entries, add photos or video. All crew members are encouraged to offer material for posting through one of the blog team members. The intial set of posts on this blog contain material from association email in the past year. It is a good way to catch up on news of the association. Current news will be added after that! Our main website at www.ussocallahan.org remains the "go to" point for all other material or links to useful resources.