CLASS of 1953 Submission for the JULY-AUG 2015 SHIPMATE
Class Luncheon at Ft McNair O-Club 5 May 2015
CAPT Ron Wilcox USN (Ret) was our guest speaker, who talked about his experiences as a career Intelligence Officer, having served with aviation squadrons, on aircraft carriers, and ashore commands, and in particular his tour as the Asst. Naval Attaché in Israel 1981-84. He gave this talk to our Mantua neighborhood Men’s Group in Fairfax, VA. I was impressed and I invited him to give a similar talk to our Class Luncheon. I loaned him the book, The Attack on the Liberty, an account of the action in which our Classmate Phil Armstrong was killed in action as the Exec Officer of the USS LIBERTY when Israeli air and surface forces attacked the ship during their 1967 “Six Day War.” Ron drew the same conclusion from the book, that it was deliberate. Although the USA is a friend and ally of Israel they feel very vulnerable and trust no one completely, including the USA. His thought was that they could not tolerate a communication intercept ship lying off their coast regardless of the nationality. Ron mentioned that there was a room in the US Embassy completely sound and “bug” proof called the “bubble” so that we can keep some secrets from the Israelis. A few other points in his talk: Jews make up 75% of the population and those over 18 years must serve in the military (men 3 yrs, women 2 yrs). Arabs account for 20% of the citizens. They can vote but are not required to serve in the military for obvious reasons. At the time Ron was a LCDR with duties ranging from intelligence collection and exchange, to helping round up wayward sailors from visiting US Navy ships that missed movement. He also told a story about a sightseeing trip with his family in which their car broke down too close to the Israeli Nuclear Research Center at Dimona in the Negev desert. Within 5 minutes there was an armed security detail surrounding them. After determining who he was they helped Ron fix the problem and let them go on their way.
Fun and Games
Bert Shoopman sent a photo of him and Dixie enjoying the day in their sailboat on the bay near their home in Rockport, TX, some 20 miles NE of Corpus Christie.
Darrell Dempster, one of our Senior Olympians, sent a photo and an article about his participation in the 2015 USA Master’s Indoor Track and Field meet in Winston Salem, NC on March 20-22. Darrell hesitated to send this as his stories have been in this Shipmate column often. Anyone of us competing at that level is newsworthy. He is a member of the Potomac River Track Club. In addition to his regular field events, he was recruited to run in the 200 meter, 400 meter, and 800 meter relays in the 80 to 89 age group to help the club gather points. Since no other club could field four octogenarian runners, they won by not fouling or dropping the baton and finishing. However, they broke and set records. The Maryland Senior Olympics motto is, “To participate is to win.” Darrell is on the right in the photo of the relay team. For Darrell’s full article see it on our website.
Antonio Nevarez, LCDR, USN (Ret) died August 6, 2014; last known address Westminster, CA. Only available career info of Tony was that he had PGs in Ordnance Engineering and Electrical Engineering. His wife of 59 years, Christine, preceded him in death in 2010. Survivors include 7 children, 13 grandchildren, and 6 great-grandchildren.
Margaret Anne Williams died April 8, 2015 in High Point, NC. She was the widow of Rex M. Williams CDR SC, USN (Ret), who died in 1989. Margaret “enjoyed her life as a Navy wife and bore five children, each in a different duty station.” Survivors include her 5 children, 9 grandchildren, and 1 great-grandchild.
John Victor Cricchi, CAPT, USN (Ret) died April 15, 2015 Charlotte, NC. Vic was a varsity baseball pitcher at USNA. He served on various ships and staffs, among those assignments his favorite was the CO of the USS AGGRESSIVE (MSO-422) where he participated in the naval blockade operations during the Cuban Missile Crisis. He became an Intelligence Officer and served as Asst Naval Attaché in South Africa, Vietnam as Civic Action Officer and then Asst Chief of Staff for Intelligence and Security in Danang. He served as CO of Naval Investigative Service Office in Charleston, SC. His final tour of duty was with the Defense Intelligence Agency at Arlington Hall, VA. Awards include Bronze Star with Combat “V”, Navy Commendation Medal, and the Defense Meritorious Service Medal. After the Navy, Vic worked as an intelligence researcher/analyst for Delex Systems. In addition to his wife of 57 years, Ann, he is survived by 3 children and 5 grandchildren….*
Irvin L. Boeskool died May 5, 2015 in Holland. Irv opted for the USAF, resigned in 1956 as a 1st LT and began his engineering career with Lear Corporation, then Conduction Corporation that was bought by McDonnell Douglas with which he became their Washington Liaison for technology. Irv was preceded in death by his first wife, Carolyn in 1965. Survivors include his wife of 32 years, Ruth, 4 children, 4 step-children, 10 grandchildren, and 4 great-grandchildren.
Don J. Ammerman, CDR, USNR (Ret) died May 20, 2015in Fredericksburg, VA. From 1953 to 1958 Don served in the USS PICKING (DD-685), XO of USS GOLDFINCH (MSC-12), and as CO of USS YAZOO (AN-92). On leaving active duty he served an additional 21 years in the Navy Reserve. He served the Reserve Research Program and was CO of a Reserve Research Company. In civilian life Don worked for the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Dahlgren, and later for EGG Technical Services and NAVSEA Reserve Support Unit. Survivors include his wife of 50 years, Anne Britton, and one son….*
Albert J. Baciocco Jr., VADM USN (Ret) died May 22, 2015 in an automobile accident while returning home from NC to their home in Mount Pleasant, SC. His wife, Janie, survived with injuries. Al served in USS SAINT PAUL (CA-73). After Submarine School he served in USS Wahoo (SS-565); then nuclear power training. His subsequent submarine assignments were in USS SCORPION (SSN-589); ENG/XO of USS BARB (SSN- 596); CO of USS GATO (SSN-615); SubDivCom , SubRonCom and Group Commander, all in Charleston, SC; Director Attack Submarines/Deep Submergence in OPNAV. Other major assignments were Director of Naval Research and Director RDT&E OPNAV, Washington, DC. Survivors include his wife, Janie, 4 children and 8 grandchildren….*
*Article in 50 Year Legacy Book
Thomas L. Greaney, LTJG USN, was lost in September 1955 along with all on board their aircraft while flying into Hurricane “Janet.” Nothing was ever found. His wife, Peggy, wanted to make sure that Tom’s life and legacy would be remembered and appreciated. Peggy has since died, but family members headed by Tom and Peggy’s daughter, Tracey Weis, carried out the plan. On April 30, 2015 the Memorial Service was held at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors. Family members from all corners of the USA, and overseas, came to honor Tom. Classmates and wives present were Al and Jean Glazier, Chuck Fellows, Darrell Dempster, Alfred “Pete” and Jean Smith, and Art Bivens. After the ceremony, the reception at the Ft Myer O-Club was like a big happy family reunion. Tom’s older brother, “Uncle” Dan Greaney, is very fit for 90 years.
In the photo L-R: Art, Dan, Al, Tracy, Darrell, and Jean Glazier. The next day, Darrell and Al took a group of the Greaney family on a tour of the Academy Yard, especially Memorial Hall where Tom’s name is inscribed on a memorial plaque. In a thank you note, Tracy wrote; “Having [the Class of ‘53] presence made a special occasion for [her] family more meaningful, as [we] were among the few who knew and remembered Tommy.”
A Family Update with Weddings a Bunch
Frank Lammers sent the following: “During the past year and a half, my wife Pat, and I have had a happy and joyous time. Four of our grandchildren were married.” He attached a collage of photos from the four weddings. I picked one for this column: Frank and Pat with grandson Christopher and bride Emily.
The full message from Frank and the photo collage are posted on our website. Frank also mentioned that they “welcomed the birth of two great grandsons, an added plus to their family of 6 children, their husbands, 15 grandchildren, etc.”….Sounds like many of us with large four generation families….ACB