I had the opportunity to attend this year's Memorial Day observance at Albacore Park. As always, it was done in a professional manner. Master Chief Gary Hildreth, USN (Ret) was the Master of Ceremonies; the Portsmouth High School Woodwind and Brass Ensemble provided music; Captain Dave Hunt, CO, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard was the key speaker; PSMA Board member Jim Wakefield presided over the Jim Sergeant Memorial Dedication; Thresher Base of USSVI conducted the Tolling of the Bell ceremony recognizing the lost submarines; the Navy Hymn was sung by Ms. Lori Arsenault and Ms. Deb Henderson (daughters of ENCA(SS) Tilman Arsenault lost on the Thresher) and members of the Sea Cadets assisted in the laying of wreaths on the memorials. Despite a murky day, the ceremony was very uplifting. Thanks go to Executive Director Jim Craig for putting together another fine ceremony.
Below is a photo of the granite bench placed in the Memorial Garden honoring Jim Sergeant's twenty-one year stint as Executive Director. Adjacent to the bench is a text-panel that highlights Jim's service career (Navy and Coast Guard), his work with the Historic Naval Ships Association and his many accomplishments as the Executive Director of the Portsmouth Submarine Memorial Association.
I regret to report that shipmate Norm Pressler departed on Eternal Patrol on 9 March of this year. Norm was an IC3 when he served on Albacore from 1961 to 1963. Also, Garland Audilet departed on Eternal Patrol on 29 September 2015. "Audi" was a Lieutenant onboard 1965-1966.
Shipmate Dan Moss is offering packages of 10 custom designed 5" x 7" submarine drawings for sale as part of a fund raising effort on behalf of the Arizona Silent Service Memorial organization. For more information on the cards or to learn more about the memorial project, go to "www.arizonasilentservicememorial.org".
The swampy area forward of Albacore's bow (jokingly referred to as Lake Albacore) has been drained and will later be permanently eliminated with the addition of fill material and proper sloping.
Above is a photo of the new climate-controlled building that will house records and artifacts. Completion is on track for the end of August. September (cooler weather) will be the month to start moving items into this new space. Shipmate Ken Latchaw is managing this project.
2018 Reunion Chairman John Gandiello will shortly be sending out an information flyer that lays out on the costs and information on the various dining places for our August 9-12 2018 gathering. John is working with Park Executive Director Jim Craig and PSMA Chairman Ken Herrick on the nitty gritty reunion details. John wants everyone to know that the reunion committee will be compiling a notebook of memories from the crew that they will have on display during the reunion. Whether you plan to attend the reunion or not, if you have any memories you would like to share, please send them to John either by email or US Postal Mail. Email: "firstname.lastname@example.org" or John Gandiello, 5018 Lilium Drive, Plainfield IN 46168.
September 16th will see the celebration of Naval History Day at the Park. The central theme this year is the surrender of German U-boats at the shipyard at the end of WWII. A special feature will be the debut and book signing of our own USS Albacore An Oral History featuring the recollections of 23 individuals who served on Albacore or were involved in her life. More information to follow, so stay tuned.
If you are receiving this newsletter via Uncle Sam’s postal service, it is because we do not have an e-mail address for you. In addition to the 187 copies sent out electronically, there are 38 more that go out as a hard copy. We would prefer to be totally GREEN and deliver the newsletters electronically to save on paper and stamps. So, if you have recently gotten on-line, or had a change of address, telephone number, e-mail provider or if you just have something you would like to submit for posting on the website, please pass that information along to Jack Hunter by snail or e-mail or via phone.
Until next time, shipmate.
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Middletown, RI 02842-6254