|USS Sea Cat||SS-399|
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2007 - Virginia Beach Reunion Photos
(We would like to recognize and thank Betty Shafer and Mike Repko for sharing some of their photos)
|Don Bloomhuff and Henry Hayes||Banquet Night|
|Banquet Night||Banquet Night|
|Banquet Night||Banquet Speaker - Captain Michael E. McLaughlin, Chief of Staff, U.S. Submarine Force, Norfolk Naval Base and his wife|
|Richard and Linda Toole||Joe and Marie Collins|
|Jim and Pat Robinson||John and Peggy Mulcahy|
|Gus and Linda Hahn||Mike Repko and Betty Shafer|
|Lyle and Gail Holm||Irene Mariano and George Albert|
|Natalie and Yogi Gillett||Frank and Mille Zeigler|
|Ron and Rose Marr||Don Bloomhuff|
|Jack Stevenson||Jack Mitchell|
|Henry Hayes||Lyle and Betty Baird|
|Lynn and Carolyn Trump||Gene and Eva McLeod|
|Alice Staats and Son Ronnie||Ken and Sue McGurie|
|Archie Warnock||Slick and Ivy Griffity|
|Ken, Bennaz Hawkins, Gus||Mr and Mrs Frank Richards|
|John and Marie Watson||Ken and Judy Jordan|
|Neil Chandler and Special Guest||Robert and Marie Windburn|
|Bill and Kathy Noland||Brad and Peggy Brooks|
Surface, Surface, Surface – Liberty commences upon arrival!
Synopsis of Virginia Beach Reunion Activities
Our shipmates begin mustering in on Sunday and it felt good to renew old friendships. By my count we ended up with a total of 62 shipmates, their ladies and guest in attendance. Personally, I got to met four new shipmates, Thurston Powell, John Watson, Frank Richards and Robert Cochran. The accommodations at the Surfside Inn were just outstanding. Jan and all the ladies at the front desk were very friendly and helpful.
On Sunday, check in day, the weather was wonderful and we took a walk along the boardwalk. I don’t know the exact dimensions but it had to be more than two miles long with a bike path. We saw a lot of bikers and roller-bladders'. There were shops, open air restaurants and free entertainment all along the way. One of the best boardwalks I have ever seen.
The weather was nice but the wind didn’t cooperate with us – for the next three days the winds blow at 15 – 20 MPH. But it was just right for the surfers and kite-skiing young people – looks like they were having a ball.
I think it was Sunday that we play a round of golf on the Tom Cat Golf Course at NAS Oceana. The course was just beautiful and except for that girl (Meg Hymer) beating me again, I had a great time! But there is always next year. We got to play at all three Navy golf course – Eagle Haven at NAB Little Creek, Tom Cat at NAS Oceana and Sewell’s Point at Naval Station. We had five hackers and one pro to play. Ed and Meg Hymer, Bill Noland, Thurston Powell, Gene McLeod and Lynn Trump the Pro.
On Monday morning, our hospitality room wasn’t quite ready so we set up shop just outside the room and logged in our shipmates. The hospitality room was finally ready and we got the all the refreshments move in and started telling 100 percent certified true sea stories.
Jack Stevenson, 96, drove up from South Carolina in one of those small SUVs and had a little accident. He was backing in a parking space in the garage, it was dark and there was a cement overhang and he busted out the rear glass. He didn’t get hurt – just a lot of glass everywhere. He got it repaired and picked his vehicle on Friday and was good to go.
A huge thanks goes out to our “Chief of the Boat” Neil Chandler for picking up the shipmates arriving by airplane.
Virginia Beach has so many good restaurants. We had a great dining experience with all our shipmates and their ladies at Rockafellers, Rudee’s, The Black Angus, Fish Bones, Giardino’s and several other great restaurants all along the Atlantic Boulevard and boardwalk. The crab cakes at the Ravens’ restaurant across from the hotel were very tasty.
On Tuesday we mustered the troops and headed for the submarine piers at the Norfolk Naval Base. Our Base contact had the day off and after some confusion we finally got to tour the USS Boise SSN-764 and USS Montpelier SSN-765 Los Angeles Class nuclear powered fast-attack submarines. First we notice that the security was very prevalent, guards everywhere and even a lever operated four-inch thick steel barrier at the head of each pier. Things have really have changed since I walked down that same pier with a sea bag on my shoulder fifty year ago (1957). We really enjoyed the sub tour. A huge thanks to Robert Windburn for getting this tour together.
We did some tours at the Virginia Aquarium and Nauticus-National Maritime Center. The USS Wisconsin was docked at the Nauticus. The sightseeing boat cruise on the ocean fell through due to heavy seas. I notice the winds subsided and cruises started back up on Friday the day before we departed.
We were awaken from a deep sleep at 0500 on Wednesday by approximately 75 Navy Seals running down the board walk counting cadence. There were a few stragglers and they are not going to make it through training. I think NAB Little Creek is their training base which is about 12 miles up the road from our hotel. While dining at Rudee’s Inlet one evening we saw a couple of those funny looking Seal boat navigating in and out the inlet. They were probably just sight-seeing.
On Thursday evening and thanks to Lynn Trump, our auctioneer, we had one of the most entertaining and successful auctions that I have ever been to. Lot of shipmates commented how much they really enjoyed it. We want to give a huge thanks to Jack Stevenson, 96 years old, for all his bidding entertainment. He was a blast! Also, we want to thank all the shipmate who donated some great prizes. Especially, Frank Cinetti for donating two large models of the USS Sea Cat and a huge thanks to Jimmy Johnson for all the prizes he donated – it was a very large collection of personal memorabilia. Thanks Jimmy and Frank. The auction raised $1030 for the USS Sea Cat Association fund.
The banquet on Friday evening was very enjoyable and entertaining. Wine on all the tables and the food was delicious. One of the most moving segments of the banquet was when we recognized our shipmates for their WWII submarine service. Frank Zeigler (Plank Owner and four war patrols), Archie Warnock, Jack Stevenson (eleven war patrols), Neil Chandler (one war patrol) and Lyle Holm were presented with a beautiful glass plaque with engraving and a photo of the USS Sea Cat.
Our banquet speaker was great surprise to us. Captain Michael E. McLaughlin, Chief of Staff, U.S. Submarine Force, Norfolk Naval Base was our speaker. Of course, he did a great job – he gave up an update on the mission our subs are playing in today’s world and years to come.
We owe huge thanks to Lynn Trump for organizing the banquet and getting our speaker – a lot of hard work went into it and we really appreciation his unwavering dedication.
Also, we really appreciate our “Chief of the Boat” Neil Chandler for his leadership and guidance.
For me, it was sad to say good-bye – I really had a good time and hope to see everyone in Branson, MO next year and now… Dive, Dive!
Cherish the time you have, and the memories you share ... being friends with someone is not an opportunity but a sweet responsibility. (Author unknown)
2007 - USS Sea Cat Virginia Beach Reunion Sailing List