2012 Annual Reunion
The Hilton Double Tree Hotel located in South Portland ME was the assigned location for our 14th Newport Dealeys annual reunion. On September 6-9,
with an excellent fall weather forecast, 90 shipmates and guests arrived and engaged with friendly greetings for the four
day event. The welcome reception included the Pledge of Allegiance, general announcements, the naming of the host ship, the
USS Van Voorhis and a short list of historical facts of the Portland ME area.
Following the evening dinner,
Chairman Richard Legg hosted a performance of the Oldie, Newly Wed game in the hospitality room. Joe and Evelyn Csizmadia,
USS Cromwell achieved the high score.
tour began shortly after breakfast and took the group to Bath ME for a visit to the Maritime Museum and a tour of the Bath Iron Works which was the birth place of three of our ships, the USS Dealey, USS Cromwell, and
USS Hammerberg. A box lunch and a cruise on the Kennebec River, completed the tour of the area. For
those that didn’t take the tour, the hospitality room was the general gathering location. Jim Hunt, USS Courtney displayed
a model he built of the USS Courtney for all of us to enjoy. At our business meeting, the attendees voted for New London CT as the location for our 2014 reunion. Our post dinner evening saw more Newport Dealeys generated
entertainment, which included Jerry Skorch and Bill McColl comparing notes between the “Old Navy” and the “New
Navy”, then followed by Richard Legg’s presentation of Newport Dealey Sailors “Then and Now”. This
photo presentation included projecting old shipmate Navy photos to a screen where we tried to guess who they were today, followed
by the now photos for comparison which provided us with many chuckles and laughs. Saturday’s tour took us to the city of Portland, the areas along the Maine
Coast to Portland Head Light House, Kennebunkport and the Trolley Museum.
The Saturday evening events began with the attendee’s photo taking, Posting of our Flag by a
USS Van Voorhis Color Guard, the Pledge of Allegiance and the remembrance table ceremony by Jerry Skorch. As an added touch Andrew Antonucci BMSN, USS Dealey was solicited to piped dinner. Following
dinner, Ray Hammock and Bud Harlow of the USS John Willis offered a tribute to our recently deceased shipmate and friend Richard
Soltis. Marc Arsenault presented Larry and Brenda Eckard, our reunion coordinators, with
memorial silver dollar coins as a token of our appreciation to our working friendship over the last 14 years. Jerry Skorch
then presented Barbara Soltis with a personalized framed pastel etching of her and Richard, which he rendered. This evening entertainment consisted of a photo projected shellback presentation, where the ceremony
was described in detail and photos of Newport Dealeys Shipmates (Pollywogs) entering the domain of King Neptune, meeting the
Royal Court and finally achieving Shellback status, brought many laughs. There were several shipmates at the podium including
Admiral Roy Hoffmann providing comments as the photo sequence advanced. Our attendance
raffle followed with Al Bardsley, USS Van Voorhis winning the first prize a Newport Dealeys porthole clock.
Our Chaplain Jerry Skorch and Shipmates from the USS Van Voorhis hosted our traditional Sunday morning
memorial service where reported deceased shipmates names were read and the bell rung for each. After the service Richard Legg
announced that he volunteered to chair our Burlington
VT reunion next year. As with past reunions, good bys were difficult and everyone wondered how
quickly the four days went by. In parting, everyone agreed that our 2012 reunion in Portland Maine was another successful
and memorable one.
USS Michael Murphy DDG-112
Day 5 Sept. 2012.
Leaving the Bath Iron Works for the last time.