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.