USS Whitehurst Logo by: Pat Stephens, Webmaster, DESA
19th Reunion of the 1950-1969 Crews of the
USS Whitehurst DE-634
Clarion Hotel, Albany, New York
September 21 - 24, 2005
                                  Photos by: Lyn Heppern and Max Crow

USS Whitehurst DE634 

The 19th annual reunion of the USS Whitehurst, 1950 to 1969 crews,  took place September 21-24, 2005 in Albany, NY at the Clarion Hotel. Twenty eight shipmates were aboard, along with spouses and guests. Aboard were Glen Anderson, Gene Avery, Jake Bufford, Bob Carter, Al Crawford, Dick Cromer, Tom Crouse, Max Crow, George Davis, Jim Dempsey, Richard Dixon, Bud England, Adrian Filipiak, Zeke Frasier, Jim Gries, Roy Hasty, George Holmes, Jim Houser, Clarence Martin, Joe Murphy, Jack Nettles, Arnold Pettijohn, Miller Roberts, Dave Stewart, Miles Waggoner, and Ken Whitehurst. We were honored to have two WWII crew members with us, Lew Crowden and John     Dethlefsen. We also picked up a castaway from the USS Wiseman DE667, John Suiter, who made our complement complete.

Thursday morning we went aboard an amphibian vehicle called the Albany Aqua Duck and had a tour of Albany, topped off by a seaward view of the USS Slater. At the afternoon’s business  meeting we decided to initiate a registration fee at future reunions to replenish our association’s treasury, instead of charging yearly dues. Bud England, assisted by his daughter Kathy Lynch, volunteered to host the 2006 reunion in Kansas City, MO in late September.

 A beautiful Friday morning found us on a motor coach bound for Lake George, where we boarded the biggest steamer on the lake. Lunch was served, music provided and the views were magnificent We were joined there by a Korean-American film producer named Soon-Mi Yoo who is  making a film based on a young Korean lad, Jimmy Pon Son See who lived aboard the Whitehurst in 1950  while the ship was in Pusan, Korea. She and her assistant were interviewing crew members who were aboard at that time.

Friday night’s entertainment was provided by a comedy magician and an informative talk by Soon-Mi Yoo about her film project.

Our entire group visited the USS Slater on Saturday morning. For most shipmates, it was the first time aboard a DE since they were young men. Most all commented that the ladders seemed steeper than they remembered them. A solemn program took place on the fantail. The Whitehurst’s Ships Bell was donated to the Slater Museum, thanks to Pat Perrella, museum curator. Al Crawford read the names of recently deceased shipmates, the ships bell tolled for each one. They were Gary L.Couch, SO3 onboard 1955, Jack Farmer DCW2 onboard 1950, Daniel Jandebeur FP3 onboard 1953, Ray Nowacki ET3 onboard 1954, John R. Rockhold RD3 onboard 1950, Loyd H. Nelson YN1 onboard 1961, and Bobby Gentry EN2 onboard 1953. Jim Dempsey read the praises of shipmate RM Alvie McClaran who is gravely ill. Our prayers are with him. A monetary donation was presented to Tim Rizzuto for the ship’s general fund.

Saturday night’s farewell banquet was attended by 63 shipmates and guests. Mary Nettles won the raffle of a framed picture of the Whitehurst’s Navy Memorial Plaque. Jim Gries commissioned the making of a large, stoneware platter commemorating the 2005 Whitehurst reunion.  He donated it for auction, the receipts to given to the Whitehurst Assn. Treasury. Zeke Frasier purchased this beautifully crafted platter, and in turn, donated it to Max Crow in appreciation of his dedication and hard work as yeoman and webmaster of our organization. Betty Ringanese and Dick Cromer


   Veterans of the USS Whitehurst DE-634 at the Reunion Banquet 9/24/05


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