|A rather new event in our reunions is a lunch with just the members of the company we were members of. The last two events we've met at a funky little place on Main St., Chick and Ruth's Delly, taking over the up stairs portion of the place.
As the 15th Company had only four attending the reunion, we invited them to join us. Again, the four companies of the 4th Battalion, 13th, 14th, 15th, & 16th were closely intermeshed all four years attending classes together and were all well acquainted.
Joining us for the 2nd reunion was Howie Cohen who had left us after two years. I didn't have a chance to spend any time with him this year, and have forgotten of his civilian career. Another non-graduate was Frank Regan, who again, left after two years. Of his career I only know that he holds a PhD degree.
In addition to my roommates, I hung around a lot with roommates Pat Taylor, Pat Byrne, and Johnnie Richards, the latter two passed away recently. They were all Navy Juniors whose father's had been academy graduates during the 1920s. Pat Taylor's father skippered submarines during WWII. Pat Byrne's maternal grandfather, William H. Standley had attained 4-star rank and served as Chief of Naval Operations ca 1933, the same time as General Douglas McArthur who served in the equivalent Army position. Adm. Standley served as Ambassador to Russia during WWII.
Pat Taylor, like his father, served in submarines making six Polaris patrols on nuclear ballastic missile submarines, later serving two tours as commanding officer of diesel boats/submarines, retiring as a Captain, Army Bird Colonel equivalent.
Pat holds the rare distinction of attending the same high school in Hawaii, Punahou, as our present occupant of the White House!
Pat's wife Karen, mother of five, also a Navy Junior, attended the same grade school, Kindergarten and 1st Grade at the Little Red School House on Ford Island that I had attended. Ford Island, in the middle of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, was where the Battleships moored along "Battleship Row." While my father was stationed on the Island, I used to try tossing rocks at the stern of the BBs. Only 50 yards or so off the beach, I never came close. Karen's father commanded the PBY flying boat Patrol Squadron on the island. She was on the island during the December 7, 1941 Japanese bombing.
Johnnie Richard's widow, Sheryl, also attended along with her sister Gayle. She keeps Gracie's inventory of magnetic rings, ear rings and bracelets up to date. Supposed to be good for arthritis. She's heavy into Holistic Medicine.
Little Eddie Essa became an Air Force flight navigator flying the EC-47 "Goonie Birds" 110 missions in Vietnam. He holds the Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal. While in the service, he attended post-graduate schools attaining a PhD in Business.
Otto Zipf of the 15th company, graduated 6th in our graduating class of 742. For the past 20 years, he has funded a two year graduate study scholarship for a USNA graduate at the University of Heildelberg, Germany. Twice he has served as our class president.
Attending the lunch was a character from the deep South, Charlie Strang who claims he comes from LA, Lower Alabama, Eufaula, where ever that his. Carl spent four years following graduation flying the A-1 Skyraider prop driven bomber, off the carrier Forrestal. "The Douglas A-1 (formerly AD) Skyraider was an American single-seat attack aircraft that saw service between the 1950s and early 1970s. It was a propeller-driven anachronism in the jet age, and was nicknamed "Spad", after a World War I fighter." These single engine bombers could carry the bomb load of the WWII B-17. Launched off carriers, they would fly their mission to and from the target only 100 feet off the deck. A rather demanding job. Resigning, he has held a number of risk-taking capitalist jobs, including that of Bank President. For a number of years now, he has been maintaining the Class web List Serve.
Rounding out our cast of characters was Charlie Plumly, who unlike, Otto, graduated a few numbers above the Anchor Man of our Class, 9th from the bottom. Part of his problem was spending most nights our last year, after taps, "Over the Wall." Charlie, five years after graduation, became the first of our class to obtain command of a ship, a Mine Sweeper out of Sasebo, Japan. While in Yokosuka, Japan in 1960, Charlie let me spend a day at sea with him. He later held two more sea going commands, along with a Flotilla/Squadron, of Swift Boats in Viet Nam. He also retired as a Captain. In civilian life he has attained a Coast Guard Master's license and has skippered a number of Mega Yachts, performed tug boat & luxury yacht deliveries, along with various other sea going activities. He has also hiked the entire Appalachian Trail. I consider him one of our most accomplished members of the class. Had our country served in one of our great wars, I would think Charlie would have been the Bull Halsey of our class.