Monday, December 18, 2006

Merry Christmas and Memories

One of my O'Callahan Memories of Christmas was 1972 in the Gulf of Tonkin. There was a cease fire for us that day and logistics were on the schedule. We pulled back from the Gunline to unrep and refuel. As we steamed along with a tanker, taking on fuel, the ship's "band" (a collection of musically oriented (if modestly talented) sailors with drums and and electric guitars) set up amidships and started playing for the crew of the tanker ... and - I guess - us too. Although it was Christmas, I am not sure the guys knew a lot of Christmas songs, but they did seem to have a handle on Jimi Hendrix's version of 'The Star Spangled Banner". Well, what you gonna do? It's the thought that counts. I have photos of this somewhere. My "must do list" is to have all my old slides digitized. I'm going to buy a machine that scans a stack of 50 at at a time and when done - i'll sell it on Ebay. Some of those photos will be great memories from O'Callahan. (by Campbell)
Larry Westlock Replies:
Here are a couple pictures of the ships band from days gone by ( I resent that "no talent" remark!!) The pic in dress blues was taken pulling into Australia for the first time. I'm on the far left. The other one is from another version of the ships band playing at Fidlers Green in Sasabo. If you can find that picture of us playing while refueling could you email it to me?

know we had a lot of tough times on the ship (30+ days on the gunline!) but it seems that all I really remember are the good times and good people. I remember all of my shipmates fondly. Quite the crew. I went through the first three cruises on O'Callahan, and I would not trade the experience for anything. How many people get to see Hong Kong, Australia, Hawaii, Taiwan, Japan and many more all on Uncle Sam. A very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and yours

New Years Eve 1971

I remember doing a Security and fire watch for someone on New Year’s Eve night 1971 (got paid $50 to do it). I had just received a citation from the San Diego Police for having worn tires on my Volkswagen, so I needed the money to buy new tires. Anyhow, there I was at midnight sitting on the bridge, in the captain’s chair looking over San Diego Bay and watching some fireworks exploding in the sky and thinking “Where the heck is everyone and what the hell was I doing here?”. So I finished my watch and went back to my rack and started 1972 quietly.
... Orville Anderson, DM2

Monday, September 18, 2006

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Shipmate Story

Orville Anderson and Bill Scroggins ... A story for the blog. Note: a lot of great conversation is now taking place on our google forum for the USS O'Callahan. Enjoy!
For those of you who don't know, Orville and I know each other, although we did not serve together on the O'Callahan. We live very close to each other on the Texas Gulf Coast. We missed serving together by only a couple of weeks. We shoot together in a local .22 Rimfire Rifle Target Competition once a month. Sometime last year I was at the shooting range on a cold day and was wearing my Navy foul weather jacket (not the same one I had back then! It wouldn't fit anymore). I have an original O'Callahan Ship's Crest sewn on my jacket. I was standing behind the firing line during a cease fire and Orville noticed my O'Callahan patch on my jacket. He asked me if I served on the O'Callahan. I told him, yes, that I was a plankowner. It was then that we found out that we had missed serving together by a couple of weeks in November 1971. It really is a small world! Bill Scroggins

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Reunion Report - News

Date: May 22, 2006
Dear Shipmates and Friends;
With our 4th ship’s reunion behind us now, it’s time to bring you all up to date on our association’s activities. Since gambling, sightseeing and traveling occupied a great deal of everyone’s time we’ll report on the activities shared within our Plaza Hotel hospitality center of operations.
On Sunday evening, April 2, after checking into the hotel, we all met informally in the hospitality room to renew old friendships and distribute the schedule of events composed in the old “Plan of the Day” format. President Anderson had gone all out to decorate the room walls with an array of original U.S.Navy Recruitment posters from the late 1930’s to the early 1970’s along with our cache of memorabilia items and Ship’s Store merchandise for sale. We also brought with us and hung the banner made in 2000 and had each crew member sign their name on it. This banner will be used at each of our future reunions.
On Monday morning, April 3, we met again in our hospitality room and enjoyed our continental breakfast and shared activity plans for the day and evening hours. During the registration portion of our get together, we handed out nametags and Las Vegas cap pins to all the attendees. President Anderson provided each shipmate with a metal cap pin of their former Navy rate designator which he generously paid for out of his own pocket. One big surprise was noted when a shipmate brought in a 60 ounce football shaped container and a handy straw for drinking the beer. We were told that it came from a casino across the street and many of us went and got our own.
On Tuesday, April 4, the hospitality room was used as a base of Operations during the day and afternoon as many of the shipmates and their families had plans at other casinos and sightseeing venues. At 1800 hours we had previously agreed to meet back at the room for cocktails and to conduct the ship’s business meeting. Following the meeting we all adjourned to the banquet room for a delicious prime rib dinner and a lively game of “Steal the Gift”
The following shipmates and guests attended the ship’s meeting and reunion banquet:
• Andy Anderson, his wife Mary, niece Marla and her two children
Joe Allen, wife Bernie and son Jeff
• Cdr. Bob Brown and son Robert Brown
• Dwight Ledbetter and his wife Linda
Tom Morrison
Ed Boruff and his wife Jerrie
• Ron Kobuluck and his wife Mary
• Bob Bolton and guest Jan
Jay Vennebush and his wife Carmen
• Al Vildibill and his wife Stevie
The results of the business meeting are as follows:
1 Richard E. “Andy” Anderson was re-nominated, seconded and voted in again as President and Chairman for the 2006 through 2008 reunion activities. (Home phone: 619-276-4250) Email:
2 Joseph H. “Joe” Allen was re-nominated, seconded and voted in again as Vice-President and Treasurer for the 2006 through 2008 activities. (Home phone: 608-868-3235) Email:
3 Andy Anderson and Joe Allen again 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, etc. (Home phone: 310-575-0061) Email:
4 General discussions about where to hold the next reunion in 2008 resulted in a vote being taken and the crew unanimously agreeing that since 2008 would be the 40th anniversary of the commissioning of the O’Callahan, it was suggested that Massachusetts should be checked out for a suitable location. It was also decided to determine the specific city and dates for the reunion at a later time.
5 It was also unanimously agreed that yearly dues would continue at $10.00 per person per year ($20.00 for 2006 through 2008) and that a PAID receipt would be issued by the Treasurer to each paid member.
6 A motion was made to send the Tin Can Sailors Organization a $100.00 check of which Cdr. Brown donated $80.00 and the Association makes up the rest. The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.
Treasurer’s Report:
Vice-President and Treasurer Joe Allen reported that after paying expenses from the reunion we were still in the black by $ 296.20 to start our plans for the next reunion.
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”.
Please make your checks payable to:
IRISH SONG Reunion Association
And mail them to: IRISH SONG Reunion Association
C/O: Joseph Allen
6007 Greendale Drive
Milton, WI 53563-9489

Tuesday, January 03, 2006