We are the Real Sailormen, the Destroyer Men of the Fleet!
The reunion is history! It was a great gathering hosted by two great couples, in a great resort in a great city, Colorado Springs. Bravo Zulu to Mike and Nina Carmichael and Ken and Lindy McDonald! The weather could not have been better EVERY DAY! Temperatures in the mid-80s made it extremely pleasant. We had 95 attendees, 50 of them shipmates, and with 4 newbies.
The guest speaker was a real treasure, ex-Lt. John Downing USN (1932-1956). John enlisted and rose to Chief Gunner's Mate then was promoted to commissioned officer. He is 102 years old and as sharp as a tack. He served on the USS West Virginia (BB-48) and was a crew member on 7 December 1941 when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and sank the West Virginia. He spoke on the events that day and took all questions from our shipmates. He had a message that America must remain strong and not let our military and civilian leadership weaken us. He is a devout Christian and is very active in The Navigators, a Christian organization. He lives in Colorado Springs.
Our next Reunion will be in St. Louis., MO in the fall of 2017 hosted by the the Overschmidt brothers. More information to follow so keep tuned!
Tom Murry, another old Fox Division shipmate, attended our last reunion in Colorado Springs. He had made a DVD of movies that he took during 1960-62 on the Picking. One clip would be of particular interest to all Picking, and in fact any destroyer, sailors. It is a record of some really rough seas! Shipmate Ken Kile remarked that he got seasick from watching it. Anyway, I posted Tom's clip on YouTube to share it with the world. Thanks Tom for this real reminder why our motto was "We are the real sailormen, the Destroyermen of the Fleet." You can view it here:
I posted the 10 minute video clip of the Picking refueling from the Oriskany in 1964 on YouTube. You can view the clip at:
This was sent to me by an Oriskany sailor who wanted us to see an airdale's perspective on smaller surface ships!
INFORMATION REQUESTED ON JOHN A. BENNINGHOFF MM3. He served on the Picking sometime from 1956 to 1960 (I see him on the ship's roster in 1957 at least through the end of 1958) and he passed away 12 years ago. His daughter Karin is looking for a photo of him in uniform. Hopefully one of you all will remember him and better yet have a photo of him. Please contact Karin at: email@example.com
INFORMATION REQUESTED ON Robert Melvin "Andy" Anderson who was on the Picking 1967 to 1970. He was from Florida. Help was requested by Tom Howell. Please contact Tom at firstname.lastname@example.org
George Brunson is looking for info on his 1967-8 shipmates Peter Neurtz, William Kish, and Robert Egge. Please contact George at email@example.com
Tin Can Sailors is a national organization of veterans who served on DDs, DEs, DDEs, DDRs, DLs, DLGs, other destroyer class warships, and even ADs. They sponsor many events around the country and provide monetary support to the DDs that are moored as historical ships around the country. I would recommend that you consider joining. Their website is http://www.tincansailors.com/
Remember the USS Liberty, the electronic intelligence ship that was attacked and almost sunk in 1967? Visit their website.