This site is dedicated to the nine Dealeys Class ships that were based in Newport Rhode Island
from 1954 through 1973
USS Cromwell DE1014
USS Hammerberg DE-1015
USS Courtney DE-1021
USS Lester DE1022
USS John Willis DE-1027
USS Van Voorhis DE-1028
USS Hartley DE-1029
USS Joseph K Taussig DE-1030
Pier 1 and 2 Newport RI
Newport Dealeys 2014 Reunion
USS Constitution, Boston MA
Jerry and Sandy Skorch
Joseph K Taussig
Newport Dealeys 2014 Reunion
After a long year of anticipation, Newport
Dealeys shipmates mustered at the Adams Best Western hotel in Quincy
MA, from September 4th to the 7th, for our 16th annual reunion with Mike Upchurch MM2, USS
Van Voorhis, serving as chairman for the event. Seventy five shipmates and guests began arriving on Thursday and enjoyed a
light fare of chicken wings and pizza. After the pledge of allegiance, Mike welcomed our assembly and named the USS Dealey
as the host ship this year. Marc Arsenault, USS Lester, provided a welcome to Boston introduction
including comments on how to decipher our heavy Boston accent and local slang. Our evening’s
entertainment, the “Dealey Fued” game created by Chief Rich Legg and hosted by Tony Zeole of the USS Lester, was
again a hit this year.
Friday tour to the Plymouth Plantation provided us with
an historical insight into the harsh lives endured by the pilgrims during the early days in the New England
settlements. Their transportation to the new world, the Mayflower (which is smaller than a Dealey) was docked next to the
Plymouth Rock, downtown. After a stop for photo ops, gift shopping and lunch, we returned to the hotel and our business meeting.
The attendees voted Warwick RI (local to our former home
port of Newport RI) for our 2016 reunion location. Next
year, 2015, the Newport Dealeys reunion will be held in Cincinnati
OH, with LCDR Ray Hammock, YN3, USS John Willis as the chairman.
After dinner, Marc Arsenault, reported on a new Tom
Clancy style submarine thriller and best seller “The Trident Deception” by Rick Campbell. Along
with other veterans groups, Rick had forwarded one to Marc and the Newport Dealeys for review
prior to the reunion and later donated three more for our raffle.
Marc then followed by reading an
email he had received from a former Norwegian merchant sailor, Jarleiv Bøe, he was on a freighter, en route from Baltimore
to Miami in January 1970 when the boiler room blew up 85 miles SE of Wilmington NC. Two of his shipmates were killed
and all but a few abandoned ship. In life boats for about 8 hours, their ordeal finally ended when, the USS Joseph K Taussig,
on route back to Newport from operations down south, was notified and arrived at the scene to bring the survivors aboard.
Master Chief Larry Goulet, USS Joseph K Taussig, who was in attendance and gave us first hand account of the rescue as he
witnessed it. Jarleiv also indicated in his email that he was in the process of building a ship model based on the Norwegian
version of our Dealey Class ships for his grand son and would like to obtain some sort of a souvenir for him from the Joseph
K Taussig, if possible. Chief Richard Legg generously stepped forward and donated his original JKT hat to send to Jarleiv’s
The Friday evening’s
entertainment followed with another Chief Legg production “How I Hooked my Dealey Sailor”, where shipmate’s
wedding pictures were projected to a screen. We had to guess who they were, once revealed, the wives then were asked to give
us a short story of how she caught her sailor. There were many comments such as, Oh, how young we were back then!
Saturday’s tour took us to the Boston
Navy Yard and the USS Constitution. A stop at Quincy Market for shopping and lunch was followed
by a narrated Boston city tour. Chief Ernie Pina, USS Hartley, served as the tour guide
with many amusing stories. A cash bar and formal photos by our reunion organizers, Premier Reunion Services, preceded the
banquet. The USS Dealey color guard organized by Jerry Skorch, USS Joseph K Taussig, posted colors, followed by the “Missing
Man” ceremony and Grace.The post Saturday evening banquet activities included our raffle where attendee’s
names were pulled from a hat to win Navy themed prizes. Steve Kittle, USS Lester, won the grand prize, the Newport
Dealeys porthole clock. Music, dancing and socializing completed the evening.
The Newport Dealeys Sunday morning ceremony was
conducted by our Chaplain Jerry Skorch and the USS Dealey shipmates. Names were read from a list of recently deceased shipmates
and the memorial bell rang twice for each shipmate. Parting good wishes and tearful hugs were everywhere
as we concluded our 16th annual reunion. Many shipmates also personally expressed
their gratitude to our reunion committee members for their continuing dedicated work throughout the years to insure successful,
fun and memorable reunions.
personally would like to thank, Jerry Skorch, Chief Richard Legg and his wife Lee, for their dedicated participation
in the organizing and planning the evening ceremonies and entertainment.
Our first time chairman, Mike Upchurch, proved to be a natural as he kept the committee
in contact through out the year with conference calls and schedule updates. After he opened the reunion,
he led us through the schedules and activities with personal friendliness, and when things didn’t go on time or as planned
(Murphy’s Law), with his good humor, he just continued to plan “B” like a pro, so it would go along seamlessly.
GREAT JOB MIKE.
you next year, now on to Cincinnati 2015.
USS Lester / USS Hartley