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We are the Real Sailormen, the Destroyer Men of the Fleet!





SEPTEMBER 7-10, 2015





 It’s that time again, the USS PICKING SHIPMATE REUNION 2015 and we wanted to share some of the great plans we have been putting together for your reunion in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

 Since our Philadelphia reunion, we have hit the ground running doing a lot of visiting, telephone calling and researching; and we have arrived at what we think will be the activities you will enjoy the most.  We took into consideration many things, the most important of which are location, price, restaurants/food service availability, history/tours and last, but not least, transportation.

 Now, we would like to give you the scoop on what the itinerary for our 2015 USS Picking Reunion will look like.  We have also provided a few internet links for you to investigate further.  


The dates for our reunion are Monday, September 7, 2015 through Thursday, September 10, 2015 (checkout Friday, September 11, 2015 - four days).


 Cheyenne Mountain Resort ………………………………………………………………... Daily rate: $129.00 (plus taxes)

3225 Broadmoor Valley Road

Colorado Springs, Colorado

 Our reunion will be held at the Cheyenne Mountain Resort - a Triple A, Four-Star resort, set in the foothills of Colorado Springs.  Cheyenne Mountain Resort is a popular place for many military service functions and reunions and we are very pleased with this terrific rate.  For those wishing to extend their stay, this rate applies three days prior to, and three days following our reunion dates, depending upon availability, so make your reservations early!

Cheyenne Mountain offers a 20% discount for military personnel and their guests on their purchases at the restaurant and lounge only.  They also have a coffee shop - many different beverages, food, newspapers, t-shirt, etc.

Cheyenne Mountain offers many different amenities - golf, tennis courts, fitness center, swimming pools and much, much more (resort fee is waived for our event).  Golf is $135.00 per person per round.  They also have numerous patios/verandas with fire pits (yes, you can even make s’mores), so you can relax and take-in the beautiful view and enjoy the outside while you visit with your shipmates. You can go online (www.cheyennemountain.com) to view this fantastic resort.


Cheyenne Mountain is a very popular resort.  You are advised to make your reservations as soon as possible.  By making your room reservations well in advance, we will have a better opportunity to add rooms to our block, if needed.  However, if there are no longer rooms available - a distinct possibility - there is nothing we can do.  The deadline to make room reservations is August 7, 2015, but please make your resort reservations well before then.  After that date, any remaining rooms in the block will return to general reservations and the reunion rates will no longer be available.  Cheyenne Mountain has eight (8) lodges and we have reserved the Dove Creek Lodge, which has approximately 40 rooms (so we can be in the same building).

To make reservations, you may call or make them online, as follows:

*   Call Cheyenne Mountain reservations at (800) 588-0250.  Be sure to refer to USS PICKING NAVY REUNION 2015.

*   To make reservations online, access the following link:   www.cheyennemountain.com.

If you encounter any difficulties making reservations, please notify us imimmediately, so we can correct any problems.  It is not unusual for glitches to occur in events like ours, but they are usually easily corrected, if we know about them.


Cheyenne Mountain Resort offers FREE parking, so if you decide to drive you will have plenty of space for parking.  They also have on-site car rental services - Hertz (for those who wish to rent a car).  NOTE:  Ken is working on a special discounted rate from Avis/Budget at the Colorado Springs Airport (only).

Following are the options available to get to the hotel from Colorado Springs airport:

   *   Taxi:   $35.00 plus

   *   Shuttle Vans:   $18.00 per person ($30.00 round trip), available outside the Baggage Claim area (Colo. Springs Airport only)

   *   Airports:  Colorado Springs Airport - 8 miles from resort, Denver Airport (DIA) approximately 85 miles from resort.


 Tuesday, September 8, 2015, 9:00 am - Air Force Academy/Garden of the Gods

 Estimated cost:   $69.00 per person

We will begin our tour of the Air Force Academy set in the foothills of Colorado Springs, with a lunch to follow at the Air Force Academy Falcon Club or the Garden of the Gods Trading Post, which will offer a wonderful opportunity for shopping for souvenirs native to the Colorado Springs area.  “If you can’t find it there, it’s not been thought of …”  After lunch, we will take a bus tour of the Garden of the Gods and then return to the resort.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015, 9:00 am - Pueblo Riverwalk, Memorial and Pueblo Center for American Values

Estimated cost:   $68.00 per person

We will begin our tour at the Pueblo Riverwalk, where we will unveil a memorial stone which will be dedicated to the USS Picking.  After the dedication we will venture over to the Pueblo Center for American Values where they have a gallery of over 140 Congressional Medal of Honor recipients.  After our tour of the gallery we will go upstairs (elevator access) for lunch.  After lunch we will hold a wreath-toss service on the Riverwalk.   We will then return to the bus(s) for our trip back to the resort with a small tour of the city.

Walk of Valor:   www.walkofvalor.com

Medal of Honor Memorial:   www.cmohs.org or www.pueblohomeofheroes.org

Thursday, September 10, 2015, 8:30 am - Pikes Peak Cog Railway (14,114’)

Estimated cost:   $60.00 per person

You will take a bus to the train station and then a train up to Pikes Peak.  Train will return at approximately 12:30, then a bus back to the resort.  This is an optional trip for those who would like to “see the world from the top of Pikes Peak”!  This is a wonderful experience on the cog train enjoying the beautiful scenery as well as having the opportunity to view wildlife.  Bring your cameras and don’t forget a jacket…it can be chilly up there (there is a facility at the top to warm your toes, as well as an outside photo-op).


The last day of the reunion is basically a free day, with the exception of the Shipmate Meeting, reunion photographs and the evening banquet.  Typically, most Shipmates and their guests spend the day in the Hospitality Room, while some others might take the opportunity to do some additional sightseeing. 

The purpose of the Shipmate Meeting is to schedule future reunions, receive updates on future reunions already scheduled (if any) and discuss any business issues that need to be handled.  Note:  Shipmate meeting will follow the banquet.  This will allow you more time to enjoy the resort facilities or other sightseeing during the day.

PHOTOS:  We will start taking pictures at approximately 4:30 pm.  There will be a cash bar at the photo taking.

BANQUET:  The banquet will start at 6:00 pm.

Estimated cost:   $75.00 per person

Menu Selections:                     1)   Free Range Chicken Breast

                                                2)   Pacific Salmon


The Hospitality Room is really the heart and soul of any reunion.  Shipmates, their spouses and guests certainly enjoy the sightseeing, but the purpose of the reunion is for Shipmates to reconnect, and that is done in the Hospitality Room, daily.

When you check-in to the Hospitality Room, you will be given a complete itinerary for the reunion and any other pertinent information to make your stay more enjoyable.

Beverages, snacks and good company are available in the Hospitality Room.  Some guests choose not to go on the tours.  If volunteers are available to man the Hospitality Room while the group is on the tours, the Hospitality Room can remain open during those hours.

The Hospitality Room Fee covers: food, beverages, snacks, gifts, supplies, equipment and miscellaneous expenses for the entire reunion.

So, are you ready to reserve your room and make all of the necessary travel arrangements?  If so, we need your help on two very important items:

1)      Please fill out and return the enclosed, postage-paid post card.  This will help give us an idea of how many plan to attend and which activities they plan to participate in.  Even if you do not plan to attend, or are undecided, please complete and return this card, as soon as possible, as it will assist us greatly in our planning.  Thank you, in advance, for your prompt return.  

2)      Also, enclosed is a Reservation Confirmation Summary.  At this point, the tour costs are still estimated, although we believe our estimates are pretty accurate.  If the estimates change, you will be notified and either refunded or asked to make up the difference.  You may confirm your reunion reservation, by filling out the reservation form and returning it with your check.  We are required to place a substantial deposit for the banquet in January 2015.  Because of this requirement, we would like to make a special request that you return your Reservation Confirmation Summary and payment, as soon as possible, to ensure we have sufficient funds for the deposit.

SPECIAL REQUEST:  Please send us a wallet size photo of you (or something comparable) with your name on the back with your Reservation form.  The original photo will be returned to you in the Reunion Registration packet.

We will be providing periodic updates via mail, USS Picking website (Phil Finkle) and/or The USS Picking Pulse - quarterly newsletter (for those who subscribe).  It is very important that you notify us of any changes to your contact information, so we do not lose touch.  

If you have any questions or input, do not hesitate to contact us.  Our contact information is shown below.  We are very excited and looking forward tto sharing a great time with you all!!!


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: karinb@qualitytitleagency.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 tomh@affiliatedmovers.com

George Brunson is looking for info on his 1967-8 shipmates Peter Neurtz, William Kish, and Robert Egge. Please contact George at gbrunson32@gmail.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.

USS Liberty link