11/10/19

FOR THE FADING GENERATION - Richard Raymond's November Poem

                                                         

                                       

                            

                                FOR THE FADING GENERATION 

                                    The Veterans of World War II
   

     

            The days are departing, in shadows, as night cometh softly behind,

            The soldiers themselves become shadows, so many are none  but in mind--.

            Sixteen million they were, at beginning, the trumpet rang out, loud and clear,

            It summoned the brave to the battle, they mustered, so many to hear.

 

            The youth of our nation responded, they faced deadly peril with faith,

            Our enemies quailed at their banners, vile tyrants are now but a  wraith.

            But years, dim and gray, overtake them, and even the bravest must fall,

            So many are gone to the hillside, three volleys, a sweet bugle-call.

 

            A thousand a day are departing, soon none will be living, not one,

            Their daylight is dimming, yet brightly still shines their magnificent sun.

            O Nation, remember, remember, though ages be ever so long,

            The names of this valiant vanguard, and join in one glorious song!

 

            9-13-19

 

 

10/30/19

Death of a Classmate - Jerry Dean Dancer - 24th Co.



Jerry Dean Dancer, loving husband of Elizabeth Joan (Freisberg) Dancer, passed peacefully at home, surrounded by family on October 15, 2019. A native son of Caney, Kansas, Jerry lived a long and wonderful life filled with love, family, faith, and patriotism. Jerry's life began on May 31, 1931, on a small farm outside Caney. Born to James Sylvane Dancer and Marjorie Alice (Tasker) Dancer, Jerry grew up as one of the four "Dancer Boys" - Jim, Charlie, Jerry, and Jack. In high school, he led the Caney Bullpups to victory as quarterback, teaming with Howard Henderson, a life-long friend, and retired Sergeant Major of the United States Army. In the summer of 1950, Jerry left Caney for a year at Kansas State University, followed by appointment to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. On graduating from the Naval Academy and accepting a naval officer commission in 1954, Jerry married his high school sweetheart, Joan Freisberg, and began a loving partnership that thrived for decades. Jerry and Joan celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary on September 11, 2019. At the Navy Flight School in Pensacola, Florida, Jerry began his military service as a naval aviator, initially flying the single-seat AD Skyraider attack aircraft. Jerry was the first aviator to catapult from a newly installed angled flight deck of the USS Midway (CV-41). Jerry flew with valor in many squadrons and commands, including VA-125, NAS Miramar, VA-126, NAS San Diego; VA-115, NAS Miramar; VT-25, NAAS Chase Field; and VAH-123, NAW Whidbey Island. Jerry earned an advanced engineering degree at the Naval Post Graduate School at Monterey, California. At the start of the Vietnam war, Jerry transitioned his naval service from aviation to surface warfare and served with honor as the Navigator on the USS Oklahoma City (CG-5), then flagship to the Seventh Fleet. His duties included piloting the 14,000-ton warship through coastal waters to provide close-in fire support and shore bombardment for our troops and allies. Life Magazine featured the Oklahoma City on the cover of the August 6, 1965 edition. Jerry's naval career continued with distinguished service as Executive Officer aboard the USS Procyon (AF-61), providing at-sea replenishment of fuel and stores for warships engaged in the Vietnam conflict, a tour teaching navigation at the United States Naval Academy, and coordinating cold war naval operations and coastal defense on staff at the Navy's Eastern Sea Frontier Command in New York City. At the same time, Jerry earned a Master of Business Administration (MBA) at Pace University and graduated with top honors. Jerry's commendations include the National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star, Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, Meritorious Unit Commendation with Gallantry Cross, Vietnam Service Medal with Silver and Bronze Stars, and Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces and Campaign Medals. Jerry's service and qualifications place him in uncommon company as his military dress included the insignia of a naval aviator's wings and surface warrior's waves. Jerry retired after twenty years of Navy service in 1974 and started a second career in engineering construction for Fluor Corporation and Norlight Telecommunications, working on high profile projects including petrochemical refineries, high-speed rail transit, and conversion of telecommunications infrastructure to fiber optic technologies. Jerry retired from his civilian career in 1994 and returned to Caney, Kansas, first making a home on the Caney Golf Club and then on 3rd Avenue. In the service of his hometown, Jerry was an active member of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Lions Club, and Historical Society. Jerry is remembered for his gregarious personality, contagious sense of humor, and love of scotch. He was a devoted husband, loving father, fearless brother, and faithful friend. Jerry golfed, gardened, drew cartoons, read avidly, and created stain glass works of art. Jerry and Joan made life-long friends everywhere they lived, from Caney to Florida, Texas, Washington, Japan, California, Maryland, New Jersey, and Wisconsin. Jerry is survived by his loving wife, Elizabeth Joan Dancer; three children, Elizabeth Kim Dancer, Mark Fredrick Dancer, and Cecily Ann Dancer; eight grandchildren, Michael Russo with wife, Heather, Jake Dancer, Clair Rogers, Thomas Rogers, Steven Dancer, Patrick Dancer, Alyse Matteson with husband, Alex, and Kirby Fracas with fiancĂ© Bob Hamilton; and great-granddaughter, Nona Rey Russo. May Jerry be eternally blessed with fair winds and following seas. Reciting of the Rosary will be held Sunday, November 3, 2019 at 5:00 PM at Sacred Heart Catholic Church with the family greeting friends and family from 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM. Funeral Mass will take place at Sacred Heart Catholic Church on Monday, November 4th at 11:00 AM, with inurnment immediately following at Sunnyside Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that a memorial contribution be made in Jerry's name to Sacred Heart Altar Society or Harry Hynes Memorial Hospice. Memorial may be left with Potts Chapel. To leave the family a special message of condolence, please visit www.pottsfuneralhome.com.
Obituarydata.com

10/15/19

Death of a Classmate - Colonel Charles G. McLean, USAF (Ret) 7th Co.




Colonel Charles G. McLean, USAF (Ret) passed peacefully at the age of 87 on October 8, 2019. Charlie was a decorated veteran and a loving husband and father.

The son of Charles and Rose McLean, Charlie was born on October 2, 1932 and raised in Baltimore, MD. A top student and athlete at Loyola Blakefield High School, he was appointed to the United States Naval Academy.  A member of 7th Company, he lettered four years in baseball, adding a star after helping beat Army. Upon graduation in 1954, he was commissioned in the U.S. Air Force and became a highly skilled navigator, pilot, test engineer, and program manager. He logged over 7,400 flight hours in numerous aircraft including the C-54 Skymaster, C-97 Stratofreighter, WB-50 Superfortress, EC-47 Skytrain, and the SR-71 Blackbird. Charlie was a Hurricane Hunter; earned the Distinguished Flying Cross with over 900 combat hours in Vietnam; and flew Mach 3.2 at the edge of the atmosphere. Later in his career, he was a leading test engineer on the SR-71 and the Minuteman III program, where he was recognized in General Electric's Hall of Fame for his advanced knowledge of metallurgy in weapons designs. He concluded his military career as the Deputy Director of the Joint Cruise Missile Program, receiving the Defense Superior Service Medal for his substantial contributions in developing the groundbreaking weapon and his 26 years of distinguished service to our nation. Charlie enjoyed a second career as a senior engineer with Vitro Corporation, where he was instrumental in the further development of the cruise missile and the Vertical Launch System.   

Charlie was known for his humor and quick wit, his infectious smile, and his love of life and the people around him. He was a big supporter of his USNA '54 Class, holding large annual crab feasts at his home in Deale, MD. In retirement, he was a long-time resident of Ocean City, MD and loved to travel, fish, crab, golf, and enjoy the beach with his family.

He is survived by his devoted and loving wife of 24 years, the former Susan Gumpper Harper of Silver Spring, MD. He is preceded in death by his father Charles, mother Rose, brother Michael, and son Cevon. He is also survived by former spouse Claire McLean; children Chari McLean, CDR Christie Applequist USN (Ret), Col Charles A. McLean II USMC; stepchildren William Harper, Andrew Harper, Laurie Pool; and fifteen grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at the USNA Chapel on November 4th at 2pm with a reception immediately following in the Leyte Gulf Room of the Naval Academy Club. He will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery at a future date. Condolences may be made at www.burbagefuneralhome.com. Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to Disabled American Veterans or St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.


10/6/19

Dick Raymond's Poem for October

                                            

                                

                             COLD SKIES

                           


"For the days dwindle down

To a precious few …

November … December …"

-- Weill, "September Song"


October days are drawing in, October skies are cold,

September's gone, the leaves are brown which fell as red and gold,

The cornshocks stand, dry sentinels on fields soon clad in white,

The stars are glittering diamonds on the black nap of night.


So many seasons come and gone, the years have fledaway,

The dreams as well—faint forms remain, they vanish with the day.

Dear names and faces growing dim, dear voices vanished too,

Our days of bold adventuring now off beyond the blue.


Yet warming us with memories, unbidden thoughts arise,

Like wines of well-aged vintages, despite these somber skies.

Then let the winds of winter come! We'll brave them,as before,

Full many a mile upon this tack, to reach that Farther Shore.



https://youtu.be/kIdbsL7Oxb0


2019 Football Highlights - Air Force at Navy

9/29/19

Death of a Classmate - Captain James Arthur McKenzie II, USN (Retired) - 9th Co.




 Captain James Arthur McKenzie II, USN (Retired) passed away on September 26, 2019 at age 89.

Born on July 9, 1930, in Lynchburg, Virginia, Jim was the adopted only child of James and Lucille (Adams) McKenzie. He was raised in New Bern, North Carolina and attended Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina on a music scholarship prior to his appointment to the Naval Academy.

It was Jim's 30-year Navy career for which he is best known and widely admired. Jim was a passionate Navy pilot who loved his work, his country and the many friends with whom he served. Jim was often thanked for his service, to which his reply was always a sincere "my pleasure".

Captain McKenzie was commissioned from the Naval Academy in 1954 and was designated a Naval Aviator October 1955. His first operational tour was with VA-196 at Naval Air Station, Alameda, flying the A-1H Skyraider. Subsequently, he served as a Nuclear Weapons Delivery Instructor at Naval Air Station, Oceana, returning to sea duty with VA-85 in January 1963. This squadron transitioned to the A-6 Intruder in February 1964 and participated in the second combat deployment of this aircraft aboard USS KITTY HAWK in 1965. At the completion of this deployment, Captain McKenzie received orders to VAH-123 at Naval Air Station, Whidbey Island, Washington to serve as A-6 Training Officer in the newly formed A-6 replacement squadron. In September 1967, VAH-123 split forces and a new squadron, VA-128 was formed with Captain McKenzie serving as Operation Officer.

Captain McKenzie was transferred to VA-52 as Executive Officer in November 1968 and assumed command in January 1969. From January 1970 until October 1971 he served as Strike Warfare Officer on the staff of Commander Carrier Division THREE. Captain McKenzie assumed command of Carrier Air Wing ELEVEN on USS KITTY HAWK in May 1972, serving as the Air Wing Commander until May 1973. Following a tour as Force Training Officer on the staff of Commander Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, he served as Commanding Officer, USS WICHITA, (AOR-1) from September 1976 to March 1978. He then served as Head, Aviation Plans and Programs Branch (OP-508), Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, from March 1978 to August 1980.

Captain McKenzie reported to COMMATVAQWINGPAC in September 1980 and assumed the duties of Chief of Staff on 1 November. He retired from active duty on July 1, 1984.

Captain McKenzie wears the Legion of Merit with "V", the Distinguished Flying Cross (seven awards), the Air Medal (twenty-eight strike/flight and three individual awards), and the Navy Commendation Medal with "V" (three awards). In 1983 he was the recipient of the Senator Henry M. Jackson Intruder Award for Leadership.

Jim met Betty Lee Hawkins in his childhood through family connections. In November of 1950, Jim and Betty had their first official date at a Naval Academy football game. That first date resulted in nearly 65 years of loving marriage to Betty and subsequently, devoted fatherhood to his two daughters, Susan and Sally. Throughout Jim's career, the McKenzie home was the "hub" of squadron and air wing social activity.

Jim was an inspiring and respected leader, mentor and friend to scores of colleagues over the years. His celebrated courage as a military officer was balanced with an abundance of warmth and kindness not expected of one in such a battle-tested occupation. His ability to lead and discipline effectively with a well-chosen word, a sense of humor and a gentle hand were the true source of his military heroics. During a particularly dangerous deployment, a junior officer in his air wing remembered "he displayed an uncanny ability to both provide strong, sensible, courageous leadership and keep a subtle, constant sense of humor. Sitting through one of his air strike briefings was always memorable – you might come in shaking in your boots, but you invariably would leave with a smile on your face."

Jim had an impressively sharp mind, a rapier wit and a true talent for writing and public speaking. Over the course of his career and through most of his retirement, he was the featured speaker at countless change of command ceremonies, community events, celebrations, and funerals. His inspiring speeches were history lessons as well as instructions on English grammar and the power of the spoken word. To all who had the privilege of being present when he spoke, Jim was and remained until the end the consummate orator.

In May 1991, as NAS Whidbey was placed on the government's list for closure, Jim joined with Oak Harbor community leaders in a victorious effort to "Save the Base". Jim's persuasive spoken remarks to the Defense Base Closure Commission were instrumental in keeping NAS Whidbey open.

Though the Navy took Jim all over the world, Whidbey Island was the only place that he ever truly thought of as "home". The McKenzie waterfront house on Whidbey was Jim's sanctuary for deep contemplation, reading and writing over a 3-olive martini enjoyed from his favorite chair.

An avid reader, Jim was an enthusiastic scholar of US history, the Civil War, British history and of course naval history. He had a penchant for great literature and was known to have a relevant quote at the ready for most any occasion. Jim loved classical music (especially Mozart), theatre (especially Shakespeare) and tolerated going to the ballet with Betty even though it "did not speak" to him.

Jim loved baseball and enjoyed trips to Safeco field and Arizona Spring training to cheer (usually unsuccessfully) for the Mariners. He loved golf but ultimately resigned from it out of frustration and a few too many lost wagers.

Jim's wife Betty predeceased him in May of this year. He is survived by his two daughters: Susan Ferguson (Robert Ferguson) of Garfield, WA and Sally McKenzie (Charles Stempler) of Seattle, WA.

Jim's daughters would like to extend their sincere thanks to the teams at Regency on Whidbey and Whidbey Health Hospice Care for the kindness and exceptional care provided to their father during his final months.

An informal gathering of family and friends will be held to remember Jim on Tuesday, October 8th from 3-5pm (happy hour) at Wallin Funeral Home.

The family requests that memorials in Jim's name be made out to Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society at https://action.nmcrs.org/page/contribute/donate2015

9/25/19

ClassLuncheon



USNA Class of 1954

 

 Class Luncheon



Thursday

10 October 2019

1130 to 1300



Hotel Annapolis BAROAK Taproom

Annapolis

 

Classmates, their families, and Widows invited

Both  valet and "self park" tickets can be validated

 

Special Notices

1.  This luncheon is being held on a Thursday, not on Tuesday as it usually is.

2.  The BAROAK room is being extensively renovated and is unavailable. Our luncheon will be held in the hotel's temporary restaurant which is located on the opposite side of the lobby from the BAROAK Taproom.



Questions

 

Bill Greenlaw

 

greenlaw2@verizon.net

9/24/19

Death of a Classmate - George W. Post - 7th Co.



GEORGE W. POST, 89, passed away Friday, September 20, 2019. He was the husband of Elizabeth A. (McGuirk) Post for the last 12 years. Born in Hartford, CT, he was the son of the late Kenneth B. and Hattie (Loke) Post. Mr. Post was a retired Lt. Commander for the US Navy, serving during the Korean War. He graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1954 and was a member of the JFK Museum and the American Legion Post in North Kingstown. Mr. Post wintered in Hudson, FL for many years before moving to Johnston in 2018. In addition to his wife Elizabeth, he was the father of Diane Raskind (Ron) of Stoughton, MA and Susan Angell (Ken) of Jacksonville, FL. He was the step-father of Edward Nunes of Johnston and Kenneth Nunes of Wisconsin. He was the brother of the late Barbara Fuhlbriggee and is also survived by 5 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren.
Visitation Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019 from 10-11am in the TUCKER-QUINN Funeral Chapel, 643 Putnam Ave. (Rt.44) Greenville, with a Funeral Service at 11am. Burial with Military Honors will be in the RI Veteran's Cemetery, Exeter. In lieu of flowers, donations to Hope Lutheran Church, 12321 Canton Ave., Hudson, FL 34669 will be appreciated.
Information and condolences, TuckerQuinnFuneralChapel.com
Published in The Providence Journal from Sept. 24 to Sept. 25, 2019