65th Reunion - Annapolis- 24-27 April 2019

65th Reunion - Annapolis- 24-27 April 2019

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You can make reservations at Hotel Annapolis by- by calling 800-526-2593 and asking for USNA Class of 1954. rate


Death of a class wife: Mrs. Diane Chachere Gaskill

Diane Chachere Gaskill, 83, went to be with the Lord in Heaven on March 17. 2019. She was born in New Orleans on 24 October 1935 to Marvin E. Chachere and Diana Marie Chachere (Lafleur) and grew up in Baton Rouge. As a teenager, she and her sister Bobbie Chachere taught ballet and dance while Diane attended Louisiana State University. In October 1954, at an LSU football game dance, she met Ensign Richard (Dick) Gaskill, a recent US Naval Academy graduate, who was beginning basic flight training at Whiting Field, Florida. After meeting Richard, Diane told her father that she had met the man she was going to marry. Diane and Dick were married on June 11, 1955. They honeymooned in the Carolinas and then moved to Corpus Christi where Richard was stationed for advanced flight training.

Diane served as a loving Navy wife throughout Dick's career as an attack pilot serving in squadrons on both coasts and as Commanding Officer of the USS NIMITZ. For many years Diane was one of the leaders of Navy Officer and Enlisted wives groups including during the Vietnam War period.

After Rear Admiral Gaskill retired from the Navy in 1981, the Gaskill's moved to Pensacola where they were close to their many Navy friends. Diane and Dick helped found Perdido Bay United Methodist Church and for many years Diane taught a very popular Sunday school and Bible class. She and Dick were also very active in Pensacola First United Methodist Church and Gulf Breeze United Methodist Church.

Diane earned a degree from LSU and was a very knowledgeable grade school teacher and a talented artist who drew and painted beautiful scenes with ease, and created wonderful ceramic figurines. Diane traveled the world with her husband and extensively visited every continent except the Antarctic.

Diane is survived by her husband of 64 years Richard; two sons David and Danny; daughter Debra; granddaughters Kori and Mary, grandson Richard; Great Granddaughter Lilliauna; Sisters Cherie Long, Bobbie Edwards and Mary Frances Chachere; Dick's sister Betty Brown and many members of her family.

A visitation will be held at Oak Lawn Funeral Home, 619 N. New Warrington Rd., on March 20 from 3:00 to 5:00 pm. A memorial service will be held at Perdido Bay United Methodist Church at 11:00 am on March 21.

Diane will be buried in Dayton, Texas on March 23, at 1:00 pm.

The family will receive friends from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the First Baptist Church in Dayton with a service to begin at 1:00 p.m. at the church with Rev. George Ohmstede officiating. Burial will follow at Magnolia Park Cemetery in Dayton.

Arrangements are under the direction of Oak Lawn Funeral Home, 619 N. New Warrington Rd., Pensacola, Florida and Pace-Stancil Funeral Home 1304 N. Cleveland Dayton, Texas 77535, 936-258-5300, www.pacestancil.com.

Published in Pensacola News Journal on Mar. 20, 2019

Death of a Classmate - Alan Shirley CHRISTNER -20th Co.

Alan Shirley CHRISTNER, 86, passed away peacefully at home on March 1, 2019 after an eight-month battle with cancer. Alan was born in Pittsburgh, PA on November 22, 1932. He leaves behind his beloved and devoted wife of 38 years, Margaret Christner; and a large, loving family of six children and their spouses that include, Alan and Michele Christner III, Edward and Charity Christner, Richard and Karen Christner, Pamela Ann Christner, Kathy and Alan Giner, and Karen and Kevin Good. He was also "Opa" to his 10 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. We also wish to recognize the loving care and comfort provided by the staff of Suncoast Hospice and Visiting Angels. Alan was a United States Naval Academy graduate, Class of 54', a fighter pilot, and a retired Lt. Colonel, Squadron Commander, 27th Tactical Fighter Squadron, MacDill AFB, FL. Following his Air Force career, Alan graduated from Stetson Law School and enjoyed many successful years practicing law on Indian Rocks Beach with his wife Margaret. He was also an avid tennis and golf player. A one-hour Celebration of Life will be held on Friday, March 29 at 11:30 a.m. at Serenity Funeral Home, 13401 Indian Rocks Road, followed by his interment at Bay Pines National Cemetery, 10000 Bay Pines Boulevard, at 1:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the American Cancer Society. Keep 'em, Flying Alan!

Published in the Tampa Bay Times from Mar. 3 to Mar. 17, 2019
Serenity Funeral Home & Serenity Gardens Memorial Park
13401 Indian Rocks Road
Largo, FL 33774
(727) 562-2080




If you are "registered" to attend the Reunion, you may invite one or two guests to the Reunion Banquet the evening of 26 April. The additional per person cost is $90 and reservations must be made by sending a check (made payable to "USNA CLASS OF 1954") by 10 April to:

USNA Alumni Association

Class of 1954 Reunion

PO Box 79136

Baltimore, MD 21279-0136

Also, please include a note with your guests' names.


Death of a classmate - Arnold Heiting - 24thCo.

I received word that Arnold Heiting passed away on 4  March. 


Death of a Classmate - CDR. John Frederick Lyding USN(Ret) - 20th Co.

CDR.   John Frederick    Lyding   USN(Ret) died 25 January 2019.  John was raised   in Hawthorne    NJ. along   the Passaic river.  After high school. John   enlisted in the  Marines, and   survived    rigorous Parris Island boot  camp    and became  a  Marine.   He was selected by the Marine Corps to attend the Naval Academy Preparatory School  (NAPS) At  NAPS    he passed high  enough      the  annual   regular  competitive examination given  to  all  NAPS  enlisted  men, and     received  an  appointment  to the academy  from  the Secretary  of the  Navy.  John was in the  20th  Company  and  lived in  the Fourth   Wing of  Bancroft  Hall.  Upon  graduation  he was  appointed an Ensign  USN.  After   a  four years   wait the day after  graduation John married Evelyn  Telford on   5 June 1954. They headed for Key West FL for John’s    first sea tour on SARSFIELD (EDD -837)  After completing officer basic  submarine  school,    the Lydings retuned to Key West where John was assigned to TRUTTTA (SS-421) Next the family moved to Norfolk where John was the  combat cargo officer on   SEA LION (APSS-315 ).  
When that ship was decommissioned,   John transferred    to San  Francisco as executive  officer of the training crew  of the Argentine submarine,  Santa  Fe (S-111) .
In 1962 John received a  BS EE  degree from  the Naval
Post   Graduate  School  Monterey  CA; then the family  moved   to   New  London  CT,  and   SEA  ROBIN  (SS407)   In  August    1963 , after    one  month
as  Executive  Officer   of  BELENNY   (SS-324),  John  was  injured    in  a fall   and  was  given  “light  duty” and  became an    instructor  in  the    Advanced  Tactics  department   of  submarine  school.   Back  to  SEA  ROBIN in  1964    this  time as
Executive  Officer. The   Lydings   in  1966  found   themselves   in   Northwood,  England   for three  wonderful  years  with CINCUSNAVEUR.  Afterwards      they  returned  to  the  USA for  a retirement  tour   at the  Office of  Naval  Research, and  John  retired on 1 November   1971.   He  earned an  Masters of     Public  Administration  from   American  University  in  1972,  and  became  Director,  Special  Projects Division of   Santa  Fe   Corporation  in  Alexandria VA.
The   Lyding celebrated 25 years  of wedded    bliss in  1979  at a party  given by their  children.   Johns  true   love  of  his  life   Evelyn  predeceased  him  in  2012.
John   is survived  by  3   daughters  Karen   Elizabeth,   Leslie  Ann, Kim, and   son   John    Jr. and  8  grandchildren.
 Ed Tipshus


Coronado’s “Avenue Of The Heroes” honors Lt. Commander Louis Marcel LeHardy - Linda Sweet's Father

Lieutenant Commander Louis Marcel LeHardy was killed in action on board USS San Francisco (CA 38) at 0200 on Nov. 13, 1942, during the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal. At the time he was serving as the flag secretary and operations officer for the 15-ship task force commanded by Admiral Dan Callaghan. The intense 40-minute battle pitted Japanese battleships against US heavy cruisers in a close-quarters engagement, which turned the Japanese force back, preventing reinforcement of the Japanese land forces, and was considered the turning point of World War II in the South Pacific. LeHardy was promoted posthumously to the rank of Commander.
LeHardy was born in Savannah, Georgia on Feb. 18, 1905. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy on June 3, 1926, where he was a varsity letterman in swimming and acquired the nickname “Diz,” which followed him throughout his career. On June 4, 1926, he married the love of his life, Sara Morehouse, also from Savannah, and together they headed off to Panama on the transport USS Chaumont (AP 5) with 84 other ensign classmates and seven brides. His first assignment was USS Rochester (CA 2), which was sent to join in the Nicaraguan War six days after Diz joined the ship.
His subsequent assignments included duty on the destroyer USS Converse (DD 291), initially based out of Philadelphia, with summers spent in Newport, Rhode Island. When the Converse was decommissioned in 1929, Diz spent six months assigned to the USS Manley (DD 74) until he was ordered to the Asiatic Station. He and Sara and their new-born son, Louis Marcel LeHardy III, sailed to the Far East (China) on board the Chaumont. Diz was assigned to USS Tracey (DD 214) and later to USS Smith Thompson (DD 212), patrolling the waters off China and the rivers of China. Sara, with their young son in tow, would follow where she could during those two and a half years.
Their second child, Linda LeHardy, was born in Manila on Dec. 31, 1932, and in February 1933 they all departed on the Dollar Line “President Harrison” for a 60-day passage back to the U.S.A., where Diz attended the Post Graduate School in Annapolis. Sadly, their son, Marcy, who at age 3 ½ had been around the world by ship, was killed when their automobile was struck by a drunk driver near Bay Ridge, Maryland.
Their second son, Ward Morehouse LeHardy, was born a year later in Annapolis, and then Diz was ordered to the West Coast to serve on board USS Maryland (BB 46) and later USS Trenton (CL 11). The family settled in Coronado and lived there from 1935-1938. Diz was ordered to the Navy Department in Washington, DC in 1938 and began one of the highlights of his career when he was chosen to be President Roosevelt’s Naval Communications Officer. As such he would accompany FDR whenever he went to sea with the Navy, which was frequent. It was there that Diz and Dan Callaghan, who was the naval aide to the President, met and became good friends.
In July, 1940 LeHardy took command of USS Zane (DD 337) at Pearl Harbor. He was on board on Dec. 7, 1941, and quickly got the Zane underway to lead other ships in that division of destroyers out of the harbor to search for enemy vessels...none were found. Sara and the children had left Honolulu on board the SS Lurline on Dec. 5 ... intending to meet up with him when he took the Zane to Mare Island, near San Francisco for overhaul. The Zane had planned to depart Hawaii on Dec. 9 ... the family’s reunion was delayed by 3 months.
LeHardy brought the Zane to Mare Island in April 1942 and departed the ship after two years in command. In May 1942 he became the communications officer under Vice Admiral Ghormley for the newly formed South Pacific Area and South Pacific Forces Command. His family settled in Coronado when he and the staff moved to the South Pacific area. His roommate during the early phases of that command in the Southwest Pacific region was a congressman and Reserve Navy lieutenant from Texas named Lyndon B. Johnson.
In late October 1942 as the Japanese Navy was expanding its reach in the Southwest Pacific, Vice Admiral Halsey replaced Vice Admiral Ghormley and promptly assigned Rear Admiral Dan Callaghan to command a task force of 15 ships positioned at Espiritu Santo in the New Hebrides islands. Diz was chosen to go as the task force operations officer and flag secretary. Within days the word came from Australian coast watchers of a heavy Japanese force heading down the “slot” aiming for Guadalcanal with troop transports and battleships.
Halsey directed Callaghan to move his task force north to intercept the Japanese forces. The Naval Battle of Guadalcanal ensued over several days with the culminating engagement occurring at 0200 on Nov. 13, 1942, claiming the lives of 196 men on the San Francisco including Admiral Callaghan; Lieutenant Commander LeHardy; the ship’s skipper, Captain Cassin Young, who previously had won the Medal of Honor; and many of the men who were serving on the command bridge at the time. Commander LeHardy was awarded the Navy Cross for his bravery in that battle, as well as the Purple Heart.

USS LeHardy (DE 20) was named for Commander LeHardy in January 1943 and was commissioned on May 15, 1943. After the war, the bridge from the USS San Francisco was mounted at Pt. Lobos (Land’s End) just to the south of the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco, facing on a Great Circle route back towards Guadalcanal. The names of those gallant men who gave their lives on board that ship are inscribed on that monument. The shell hole from the Japanese round that killed Callaghan and LeHardy and many from the staff is in prominent view.


Death of a Classmate - Leonard Ivan Cole, Jr. - 23rd Co.

Leonard Ivan Cole, Jr., LCDR, U.S. Navy (Ret.) Milton, Fl., Leonard Ivan "Jim" Cole, Jr., passed away on February 2nd, 2019. Born 23 May, 1931 in Richford, New York, Jim enlisted in the U.S. Navy in September 1948 at the age of 17 and within 2 years was sent to the Naval Academy Preparatory School in Newport, Rhode Island. Upon completion of NAPS program he was accepted into the U. S. Naval Academy where he spent 4 years attaining a Bachelor of Science degree and graduated in 1954 and commissioned as a Naval Officer with orders to flight school in Pensacola, Florida. He earned his 'Pilot Wings of Gold' and was designated Naval Aviator number T-5008 on December 7th, 1955. In April of that year he married the love of his life Mary Leora "Lee" Underwood of Lisle, N.Y. and she joined him down in Pensacola while he completed his flight training and was then assigned as an instructor (termed Plow-back) training the new students in Basic and Radio Instruments flying the T-34 Mentor and T-28 Trojan aircraft. Throughout his 20 plus year career he earned a second Bachelor of Science degree Meteorology in 1965 from the Navy Post-Graduate School in Monterey, California and flew numerous types of aircraft including the T-33 Shooting Star (aka T-Bird), F-11 Tiger, F9F-2 Panther, FJ-4 Fury, S-2F Tracker, T-34A/B models, T-28B, SNJ Texan, SNB-5 Twin Beech, AD-5 Skyraider, TF-1/C-1A Trader (Carrier based transport), U/RC-45J, the HU-16D Albatross, and UCUSJ. Interesting note that he amassed 2847.7 flight hours, was a carrier trained pilot and served in USS Yorktown (CV-10), USS Hornet (CVS-12), and USS Iowa (BB-61) during the Vietnam War. He was assigned to various duty stations around the nation and the world, notably Pensacola, FL., North Island (Imperial Beach/San Diego), Mountain View, Long Beach, Monterey, CA.; Agana, Guam NAS; and finally NAS New Orleans, LA., retiring in June 1974 at the rank of LCDR. He is entitled to wear the National Defense Service and the Vietnam Service Medals In his post Naval service he trained under the GI Bill at the local Vocational Technical School in Refrigeration and Air Conditioning mechanics and got his Realtor Associate license. This allowed him to assist Lee in her Real Estate sales career and manage repairs for their clients and their own real estate portfolio. Interesting to note that after he retired he never worked for any other company except as a partner in Lee Cole & Associates, Inc. Real Estate brokerage firm there in the New Orleans Westbank and Metropolitan area. He worked for himself (and Lee) in home investing, renovation and repair often retaining the properties as rentals or selling them upon completing the renovations. Jim taught us skills in the renovations and we became painters, cleaners, gophers and general unskilled labor. But we learned more than we even knew. We learned discipline and dedication and that hard work pays off through his example Dad had his interests in home repairs, rental management, hunting, fishing and boating. For a time in New Orleans he went shrimping on his boat complete with nets and outboards in the Bayous of South Louisiana and Gulf of Mexico. Gigging for flounder on sand bars, fishing for red-fish, water skiing in Bayou Barataria, or running out to our fish camp and learning to handle his boat were some of our fond memories growing up in Louisiana Jim was preceded in death by: his father, Leonard I. Cole, Sr.; his mother, Huldah C. (Arnold) Cole; his daughter, Dr. Sheri Ellen Cole, DVM; his brother, Wallace Cole; and his sisters, Bertha Lee and Delores Dixon Jim is survived by: Mary Leora (Underwood) Cole, his wife of 63 years; his children: Connie Cole; Dr. Randall Cole, DDS, (Karen); and Gregory Cole, LCDR, U.S. Navy (Ret.), (Carol); 8 grandchildren: Sherice Farmer (Mark); Sheri Lee Boudreaux; Ryan Cole; Ashleigh Paschal (Donald); Kimberly Valdez (Matthew); Jenna Cole, Mikaela Cole and Kristina Cole; 5 great grandchildren: Christopher; Brent; Tucker; Savannah; and Laylah. He is also survived by his two sisters, Ruth Beebe of Endicott, N.Y. and Joyce Storie of Owego, N.Y Dad will be truly missed. We love you Services will be held at Trahan Family Funeral Home of Milton, Florida on Thursday, 07 February, 2019 from 5 to 7 pm (6539 Trammel Drive Milton, Florida). A Military Honors funeral will be held Monday 11 February at 0930 am at Barrancas National Cemetery on Pensacola Naval Air Station. All are welcome to attend.


Death of a Classmate - Eugene L. Guttenberg - 23rd Co.

Eugene L. Guttenberg, age 87, of Sheboygan, died on Friday, February 8, 2019 at St. Vincent Hospital in Green Bay. He was born in Jefferson, Wisconsin on August 28, 1931, the son of the late Raymond and Evelyn Hans Guttenberg.

He attended local schools in the Jefferson area and graduated from Jefferson High School in 1949. Eugene attended UW-Whitewater for one year and then was appointed to the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland graduating in 1954. He was trained to be an Air Force Pilot in Florida, earning his wings in 1955. In 1973 Eugene became a part-time Liaison Officer for the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.

On May 14, 1955 he was united in marriage to Joan Yahn in Marianna, Florida. He was granted an honorable discharge in 1960 and then became a stockbroker for Robert W. Baird & Company in the Sheboygan office until his retirement in 1990. He was a current member of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. Eugene enjoyed golfing, playing cards, traveling to Oneida Casino and working at Riverdale Golf Club during his retirement years. He also enjoyed morning coffee with his friends at the south side McDonalds.

Survivors include his wife, Joan; daughter, Sue Guttenberg; a daughter-in-law, Connie Guttenberg, all of Sheboygan; three nephews, James (Laura) Wedl, of Virginia, Tom (Sherry) Gerondale and Todd (Lisa) Gerondale, both of Fort Atkinson. Many other relatives and friends further survive. Eugene was preceded in death by his parents, a son, Joseph Guttenberg, his two sisters, Jane Wedl and Ellen Gerondale and a brother-in-law, Donald Yahn.

A Mass of Christian Burial for Eugene will be celebrated on Tuesday, February 12, 2019 at 12:00 p.m. at Immaculate Conception Church, 1305 Humboldt Ave., Sheboygan with Rev. Richard Cerpich officiating. Family and friends may gather at the church on Tuesday morning from 10:00 a.m. until the time of Mass at 12:00 p.m. Burial will take place at Evergreen Cemetery in Fort Atkinson.

In lieu of flowers a memorial fund has been established in Eugene's name. A heartfelt thank you is extended to the staff at Sunny Ridge Health Care, Dr. Kerpe and his nurse, Carrie for the compassion and care that was given to him.

The Reinbold-Novak Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be expressed at www.reinboldfh.com

Published in Sheboygan Press on Feb. 10, 2019