Welcome Aboard the USS Perry mail Call web page and enjoy a smooth voyage down memory lane.
Remember, it's the contribution of your fond memories and experiences that makes our
Perry Association most enjoyable for us all.

EMAIL us a letter of your memories & experiences, past & current

"Long after they are gone their crews remember"

USS Perry WEB site went ON-Line September 1, 1998
Conceived, created and maintained by Steve Silk, SN 1956 - 1957

1st shipmates to come aboard the Perry WEB Site
Leif Bendeke, SFM3 1958-1960
Bob Campbell, GM3 1958-1959
Martin Denney, MM3 1959-1960

Our very first gathering of Perry Shipmates was held at the
March 1999 Tinton Falls NJ Tin Can Sailor Bull Session

Left to right: Bill Janulin, Martin Deeney, Rick & Joy Flanagan,
Bob & Bonnie Gruss, Leif Bendeke, Bob Campbell,

Top row: Bob Campbell, Leif Bendeke, Bill Janulin
Bottom row: Bob Gruss, Lou Guarinello, Steve Silk

Memorial Day
James 'Doc' Holladay, SFP2 1959 - 1962
View Personel Photo Album

At a time when political correctness would seem to suggest deemphasizing the value of patriotism and national service through military service and sacrifice, it’s more important than ever to pause and reflect on the lives lost and sacrifices made by America’s young men and women in the uniform of our armed forces, past and present.

In my seventy five years on this earth I have found that without recognition and celebration nothing seems important or can will held for very long in esteem. Nothing matters unless its properly acknowledged and celebrated otherwise it just gets forgotten…..another day.

With this thought in mind, on this Memorial Day weekend I tip my hat to all my former shipmates, family members, associates and buddies who accepted the responsibility to do their part once in uniform. I am personally grateful for the opportunity to live here in America, an America which exist because of men (like my uncles) and women willing to stand proud as American’s and do what they were tasked with to insure our nations safety and freedom. Men and women who selflessly put their accepted responsibilities first, sometimes when they had no freedom. Ah yes, we still have some things to work through, but in America working through problems is possible.

Two years ago I lost the last of four uncles who served during WWII, I loved them all. They are gone but I remember the kind of men they were and what they stood for. They did their part and I can only hope I have kept up my end of the deal,…..they never complained, “Just Soldiered On”.

So, I want to wish all you fellow veterans the best on this special day, our day, and thank you for serving and doing your part………it did and does matter. This is our weekend let’s make sure we acknowledge and celebrate it and share our experiences with the younger members of our families.

Jim, Doc, Pop, Holladay etc.

Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor, and campaign
funds from the rich, by promising to protect each from the other

Captain Spencer Johnson, USN Ret.
USS Perry 7th Reunion
Newport, RI - July 2008

Just a note to thank you and all involved for a truly great reunion experience last month. Andrea and I are indeed happy that we were able to attend and to meet so many great Perry shipmates and their spouses. We are also very humbled by the attention you all paid to us. It is a great honor you bestowed upon us and one that we won't ever forget. Someone asked me for a copy of the words I used to close my rambling reminiscences of my days aboard the Perry for the website. I really didn't prepare any remarks in advance, but I think the below reconstruction is pretty close to the original.

“I have become deeply impressed during the course of this reunion that we all share a deep and enduring bond as a result of our service aboard the Perry. We served aboard the Perry at differing times and places, in the formative years of our lives. We all, individually and collectively, made the ship what she was. The Perry, in turn, made us who we are. The Perry is gone now but sails on. We are the ship. I have no greater honor in life than to know and have each of you as a shipmate.”

Capt Spencer Johnson

RE: USS PERRY DD844/DMS17 San Antonio Reunion

To all of the Shipmates and friends of the USS Perry Reunion Association:

I would like to express my thank you to everyone attending the reunion. It’s your fellowship and continued support of the Perry Association that has made this San Antonio Reunion another great success. Let me also salute all the duty personnel that worked the registration check-in desk and helped with the refreshment procurements and especially Bob Hales for coordinating our reunion events in the absence of Steve Silk who will not be attending this reunion due to the terminal illness of his son Chris.

It was just wonderful being congratulated by so many of the shipmates, wives and guest about the great time they were having and how smooth everything was going. As has been said before, "This Tops the Last Reunion". Shipmates, I have to agree, the San Antonio Reunion will be hard to beat. Each event seemed to out do the other. From the Margarita get-acquainted party to the Rio-Rio Dinner, River Cruise and then the Rio Cibolo Ranch where we all became true cowboys and cowgirls. It just don't get any better. Our trip to the Admiral Nimitz Museum was another highlight of the reunion. At the memorial service we remembered all our fellow shipmates that have taken their final voyage. We then paid tribute to the USS PERRY DMS-17 for its exemplary WWII service by dedicating a plaque in its honor.

The reunion came to a close with a wonderful dining experience provided by the Hotel Menger. The food was superb and there was plenty to go around. I must also commend our crew on keeping the Texas tradition with their most beautiful and colorful western attire. The spirit of our shipmates was a well-deserved liberty call that will be remembered for a long time. I know this event will go into their scrapbooks to enjoy for a long time.

I would like to personally thank Steve Silk for having arranged all the events of our San Antonio reunion and especially of his dedication to the Perry Association. Even though you were not there to enjoy the fruits of your hard work, Steve you were with us in spirit, we can never thank you enough. Let me also thank Martin Deeney, Bob Hales and Bob Noroski for your personal efforts. You fellows make a great and easy team to work with, thank you.

The new slate of officers are Sid Brown President, Steve Silk Vice President, Arnie Myotte Secretary, Bob Hales Treasurer. I will have a big pair of shoes to fill by relieving Martin Deeney of his Association leadership. Thank you Marty for your superb job. The choice for the next reunion will be in the Providence, RI. area in 2008 with a date to be determined.


I want to let all the Tin Can Sailors who held their great reunion in Jacksonville earlier this month that it was held in the high tradition of the Navy. It was the Greatest!!!!! All hands really enjoyed the fellowship. I want to express my sincere appreciation to all who had anything to do with the great job of putting together this great week-end. Thank you, thank you all. I can't wait until Las Vegas!!
              Leo B. Gardner QM

Hello my name is Jeff Wonnenberg and I just found your web page. I was one of two divers with Larry Tunks that discovered the ship in Palau. What a memorable day that was for not only Larry but a highlight of my life also. Your webpage is a great way to keep the saga going. keep up the great work.


Jeff Wonnenberg

Date: 2/16/99 6:48:10 PM Eastern Standard Time
From: HARRIS3595
To: Steve Silk Perry

I am amazed when I received your letter stating the oldest shipmate to come aboard the Perry WEB site was from 1948. Well here is one earlier. I was on the commissioning detail. We were sent to Bath, Maine to familiarize ourselves with the ship as it took shape. Rode it to Boston and then for shakedown at Guantanamo Bay.
We worked with a carrier, I believe the FDR and then went to the Broopklyn Navy Yard where I was discharged.

More later-Harris Steele

Stuart T Ussmann

Received the Perry newswire today, Wow what a shock. I thought that OUR ship and everyone who had ever served aboard her were just a forgotten entity. I had regularly looked for Perry ship reunions but No such luck. Had friends who served aboard other ships which had reunions, but never the Perry. Again --wow-- This is really great!!!!
Let me introduce myself name is Stuart T Ussmann. I served aboard the Perry (after sonar school in key west) from may 1953 to June 1956 I left the navy as an SO1. I also had a twin brother who came aboard for the last eight months of our enlistment just in time for a Northern Europe Med. Cruise. He was a storekeeper 2/c and quickly got an in with the cooks & bakers. It sure helped to know someone.

Anyway, I live in Ortley Beach, NJ. In fact I'm curious to know how you got my mailing address. Was it through Bill Smith. He got off just before I Came aboard and I got to communicate with him via Tin-Can-Sailor.
Yes I have pictures mostly taken from the Perry. I am not able at this time to e-mail them to you. Actually I haven't figured out how to do it on the WEB as yet. Let me know what you are looking for and I will send them to you.
What a great surprise. After more than 40 years, a memorable part of my life has come alive again.

Leland E. Phillips
10530 Barcus Ave., N.E.
Alliance, Ohio 44601-8702
Phone: (330) 821-3079

February 13, 1999
Steve Silk
USS Perry DD 844
47 Alpine Drive
Wayne, New Jersey 07470
Dear Shipmate,

I received a copy of the USS PERRY DD 844 Newswire in the mail today and was not only surprised but also happy to receive it. This is the first contact I have had with the USS PERRY since leaving her in June of 1952 bound for the Newport Receiving Station and Honorable Discharge from the United States Navy.

I reported aboard the PERRY in January of 1951 after arranging a swap with a member of her crew of like service and same rank as myself. At the time I was a 3rd Class Boilerman aboard the USS VESOLE DDR 878. The transfer took place in Newport, Rhode Island.

I am assuming you obtained my name and address through the TIN CAN SAILORS of which I am a member. I am also a member of the USS VESOLE DD/DDR 878 ASSOCIATION and the USS BRISTOL DD 857 ASSOCIATION. I might as well add also that I am a member of AMERICAN LEGION POST 166 in Alliance, Ohio and VFW POST 892 in Salem, Ohio.

I do not have a web site myself and am not on line so thought my best way of contacting you is through the US Postal System. It is really great having contact with the PERRY.

I will give you a few quick memories of my days aboard and then conclude this letter. As I said I came aboard as a 3rd Class Boilerman. I was promoted to 2nd Class Boilerman while aboard and took over the duties of the "OIL KING" and Log Room Yeoman.

I remember an incident caused by me while we were at sea when I switched fuel tanks and wound up pumping sea water into the boilers burners and of course put out all the fires. Capt. Archer was quite irritated with me as well he should have been but was very lenient and took it easy on me. It is enough to say it never happened again.

Launch Accident

The launch from the USS Bailey DD-713 was swamed and capsized with a liberty party. Two men were drowned from the Perry and approx 13 men from the USS Yellowstone AD-27 as recorded in the Yellowstone ship log.

I was one of the sailors aboard the 50 foot liberty launch that swamped in Narragansett Bay on May 24th 1951.

I would be interested in any contact I might be able to have with any of our other shipmates that were also on that launch that morning. The PERRY, GLENNON, POWER and BAILEY were nested next to the YELLOWSTONE out in the bay at that time. The BAILEY had boat duty that morning and their launch was bringing us back from liberty. In particular I would really like to find the sailor who I strongly feel saved my life that morning. After being in the water for nearly an hour without a life jacket I managed to join this sailor who had a life jacket on and floated along with him on his life jacket until we were picked up. I believe we were in the water for about an hour and forty minutes from the time the boat swamped. After being picked up by a small boat we were taken to a tug boat that was in the area and then taken to the Naval Hospital landing. I spent the next three days in the Naval Hospital.

Three weeks after that event my wife Yvette and I were married in Providence, Rhode Island where she lived with her family. Shortly after that the PERRY went to Rockland, Maine to take part in their annual lobster festival. My wife joined me there and we had a great time. Being the "OIL KING" I had the privilege of open gangway and spent the entire time ashore with my wife.

Another duty that I had aboard the PERRY was that of the Captain's driver. We had a jeep aboard for the Captain's use. That thought brings on many more memories such as the time the Navy Liberator bomber made an emergency landing on the Isle of Rhodes and our many calls to North African ports. This letter isn't long enough to go into all of that. Perhaps someday we will have a reunion and I can reminisce about those times with other shipmates.

Well I guess this letter has gotten long enough so I will bring it to an end. You have my name, address and phone number and know that I am interested in any correspondence that might come my way.

I have enjoyed writing this letter and only hope you get some pleasure out of reading it.

A USS PERRY shipmate,
Leland E. Phillips

Bob Campbell

Hi Leif,

I just turned the computer on to check my mail and here you are.
Steve said he was going to forwared my mail to you.
It's great to hear from you. It sounds like you are doing OK.
I am retired from the phone company. And you can't beleve how many times I have talked about our great times on the PERRY. I retired in 1990 and took a part time job on the USS Edson DD946 at the INTREPID MUSEUM in the city. I will set up a meeting with Steve and Martin, its a shame we all cant get
together. Is that your telephone number ?


Bob Campbell
11 Lorraine Court
New City N. Y. 10956 ---------- Perrydd844@aol.com

This is a great home page. I served on the PERRY from Nov 57 to April 59. I sent Martin Deeney a E mail and he told me about your home page. I was shocked to see my picture in this. I am next to Leif Bendeke and George Sullivan is next to me. I will keep in touch.

Leif Bendeke

Thanks for the Perry WEB Site! I guess your "to" list pretty much says it all. Your site has been a stimulus to us. I'm sure everyone has done the same things I have after visiting your site. Going back and digging out old photos, Navy records and paperwork, and remembering the good times and good friends that have grown somewhat fuzzy over the years.

Well done, my Friend.
Best regards,

Bradley Bau

Dear Steve,
I was so happy to find the Perry site. I have not found many shipmates from my time aboard the Perry 1964 1967, but its good to hear from anybody who served on her. I was able to obtain the Perrys complete itenary from the time she was commisioned until 1960, I gave the original copy to the USS Edsons libaray.,but i will send you a copy. All the pictures I have of the Perry are after FRAM 2 but you will enjoy them. My e-mail is BAPB54N. Hope to hear from you

Ned Hooper

Subj: Re: USS Perry DD-844
Date: 1/11/99 11:08:37 AM Pacific Standard Time
From: Wayne.Hooper@xilinx.com (Wayne Hooper)
To: seamansilk@mail.com

My sisters and I have tried to get my dad to at least have email, but he's resisted. He does have a computer at home, although its 4 or 5 years old, with the speed of innovation and the bloating of software size, its obsolete now. I was there for Christmas and actually went out and bought him a new computer but he made me take it back. He used to have email at work but he's been retired for 3 or 4 years now. He and his twin brother Neil worked for Bell Laboratories as engineers. My uncle Neil (also an ET) was on a radar picket destroyer out of Pearl, but the name of the ship I can't recall right now. Uncle Neil recently sent my dad a newspaper from the Tin Can Sailors Association. My uncle knows some members. Are you familiar with this organization? I see they have a web site also.

I only went to the USS Midway once for a 2 week reserve cruise. It was in Yokosuka, Japan. I made a couple friends there but I've lost contact with them. My father's boss for many years was a jarhead who also spent time on the Midway. He also was defusing ordanance on Guadalcanal after the island had been taken. To heck with that!

I was in for 3 years active duty, and spent two years of that on the USS Mount Whitney, LCC-20, homeported in Norfolk. The Mt. Whitney is a command and communications ship, and the flagship for the Second fleet (soon to be flagship for the Sixth fleet while the sixth fleet flagship goes in the yard). Reserve duty was spent with the USS Hart reserve unit (an FF) and then the USS Midway unit, with cruises on USS Constellation (had a real fun time there fighting a fire for 20 hours.....luckily nobody was killed), and the Midway. Was on the Hart when she tied up across the pier from us a couple times when on active duty, but moved before my cruise aboard her.

Thanks again for your work and putting the muster roll and pictures on your web site. I will see what pictures I can get scanned for you. Perhaps this will convince my dad to get online!

Take care

Motor Launch Incident

A story I have is about the motor launch accident in Newport harbor in May of 1951. The launch was from the USS Bailey DD713 was swamed and capsized with liberty party. Two men from the Perry and also approx 13 men from the uss yellowstone were drowned

Leland Phillips was one of the lucky guys who survived after being the water a very long time.

I was doing some research on the Yellowstone and got the ship logs on the accident.

George E Wright, SN

Bath Iron Works

A little some thing from us at the Bath Iron Works site. Here is an award for your site. It has been personalized to your ship.

I hope you enjoy your award.

Your site has really paid tribute to a Best Built ship the USS Perry DD 844. Congratulations on a super job!!!!

Fair Winds, my Friend,

Martin Deeney
Following the Frame I conversion

After her shakedown cruise we steamed up the Potomac River to Washington, D.C. for review. I was to be discharged in Washington, so I last saw her as got underway heading down the Potomac on a bright sunny morning in September 1960. I remember raising my arm and giving her a right-hand salute. I took a lot of pride in the Perry. She was MY SHIP.

Subj: Re: reunion
Date: 98-08-26 16:21:07 EDT
From: ssa@pacbell.net (Steve Ramirez)
To: seamansilk@optonline.com

seamansilk wrote...

I served on the Perry DD844. Can you give me some advice on finding shipmates to start a reunion.


It's basically a three step process over a long period of time.

1) Get Dept of Defense microfilm copies of your ships muster-logs. They will give you names of shipmates. They don't give any other useful info. The Navy web site gives info on ordering these muster-logs.

2) After you've got names. Get a US Names-to-Address CD-ROM and start matching names. It's a hit miss process that requires a lot of patience and hopefully a few others helping. Once you've got a possible name. Send a letter asking if they served on the Perry and advising the Perry has a reunion organization.

3) Announce your Perry Organization in Veterans publications, the Internet, Tin-Can Sailors, and other organizations. Once you got enough people, hold a reunion.

In addition, some respondents might also know the locations of other shipmates...

I originally learned of my organization from the Naval Institute
Proceedings magazine. At the time we have only 50 members. We now have over 700 members.

Hope this helps some. It's a lot of work.


Steve Ramirez ssa@pacbell.net

Gerald "SMITTY" Smith
46-47 MM3 ... GERALD A. SMITH ... RINCON, GA ...

Thank you, it's been 53 years since I've saluted the ensign on board the USS PERRY DD 844 ,, felt kind of good ,,, congratulations on a nice web site ,,, found a few laughs up on it ,, especially the torpedo officer that lost the training torpedo ,, A buddy & myself were almost under the tubes when that one was fired ,, got a picture of it half in & half out of the tube ,,, wish I still had it ,, but it was my buddy's camera & picture ,,, and I wrote him a note telling him about it last night ,,,, the officer I mean ,,,
take care ,, may gentle winds fill your sails ,,

DEBRIGARD,WILLIAM ... 61-64 BSN ... Cranford,NJ

Hey Mates!

Found some pics to help pull up those great memories. I'm sending them along to Steve Silk. The years aboard Our ship was one of the mile stones in my life. Friends and times I've never forgotten. Like Lebnon before it turned into rubble. Remember the Ocean Liner that berthed along side of us with warm welcomes and a bit of US cheer when they threw us a party.
When traveling in the Red Sea and seeing how people lived in other areas
of the world sure makes one greatful for the ole Stars and Stripes. Talk
to all soon.

Bill 'Chris' Debrigard
The 'Chris' is another story

Garland V. Harper ... Powder Springs, GA
63-64 SOG2 ...
... gvharper@bellsouth.net

Around 1990 or maybe earlier, I purchased an old book in a used book
store titled "The Ship That Would Not Die. by Adm Julian Becton,
USN,Ret. Shortly after buying the book Our family vacationed in
Charleston and decided to visit Patriot's Point. We were unaware that
the USS Laffey was premanently moored there. The biggest surprise was
finding much of the WW2 crew aboard for a reunion. I soon discovered
that no matter what generation, a tin can sailor is still a tin can
sailor and I hope they never change. Darn! If only I had had the book
with me I could have gotten some autographs from some of our true heros
and they would be priceless. As I read the paper each morning I find
more and more WW2 and Korean Vets. passing on. If the opportunity
arises, thank them for a job well done before its too late. We Vietnam
Vets and later can have our turn a little later.

Vic Harper

Lt. Tim H. Roberts - Landrum, SC
1966 - 1967 Email : figtree@iwon.com

Fantastic shipmates. My father was killed while we were on a Med deployment. To help me get home the crew contributed to a plane ticket. It made a big difference. I'm forever in their debt.


Hello Perry,
The Perry was my second ship. My first being her sister USS Warrington DD843. After I helped decommission the Warrington in the P.I. I was given orders to the newly built USS Nimitz but I did not want to serve in a "Bird Farm" so I turned those orders down. I even turned down my second set of orders a communication station in Puerto Rico. Tin Cans were in my blood by then and I wanted another one! I didn't want an impersonal floating city or a cushy shore job so I found someone to swap orders with and I got my Can! When I think of the Perry I have many memories to relive. The one I think of the most takes place off the coast of Quang-Tri. I was standing watch on the bridge when we observed an air burst perhaps fifty yards off the port bow. During that moment of indecision the OOD asked if someone knew how to pass G.Q. so I volunteered and sent the crew off to their battle stations. Another was on the way home from" Nam." We were in a storm for perhaps thirty or more hours with winds of sixty or more knots and seas up to fifty feet. The newer ships we were with Garcia & Knox class fell behind but we plowed on through! I even managed to get a third Can. Although bigger and newer but she was still labeled a Can. She was the USS Farragut DLG6/DDG37.
They say hind site is 20/20, I should have done 20 years!
Frank Roessner

USS Perry DD844
Website Story - The Beginning

It all began in the summer of 98 after a round of golf. While having a brew with my Navy buddy Smitty, he mentioned his plan to attend his Ship's reunion. Knowing that I served aboard a Tin Can, he asked if I had ever attended a reunion. My answer was a somewhat embarrassed no. He then asked why not and I replied jokingly, "I was never invited". He laughed and said, "what the heck are you going to do about it"? For me the answer was simple, I would go on the Internet, find my Perry and rejoin my shipmates. What a disappointment it was to learn a Perry website did not exist. I immediately considered building a website but ruled it out just as quickly. As a software developer, I understood the long term committment of building an Association and the effort needed to maintain and launch the website.

However, things changed very quickly. As I rumbled through my own Perry memorabilia my enthusiasm became over whelming and I decided to undertake the project. I soon had the website underway, but no Perry shipmates. I took it a step further and began submitting Perry data to Internet search engines to enable our site to be found in the event someone was looking for us. Can you imagine my excitement after receiving my very first heart-warming email and photo from Lief Bendeke? And just as soon as I had the photo posted to our website I received a 2nd email from Bob Campbell telling me that Lief was his best buddy with whom he had lost contact and hadn't seen for 30+ years. We soon corrected this situation. Within a few days I picked Leif up at Newark airport and drove him over to meet Bob. This was one hell of a reunion. My 3rd encounter was Martin Deeney. I can still remember his statement as he was leaving the Perry for the last time, " as I watched her sail down the Potomac, I gave her a right hand salute, she was my ship ". What a statement! Meeting Martin in Paoli, PA was another wonderful experience.

By this time my Perry had me hook, line and sinker. It was full speed ahead dam the torpedoes! I joined TCS and with a little effort, Tom Peltin provided a list of Perry members that I contacted. I also purchased our ship's 1956-57 roster from the US National Archives and converted the microfilm to hard copy and began my rescue mission of familiar names. I sent out our 1st newsletter and was trilled by the response and enthusiasm of everyone.

Myself, Bill Janulin, Bob Campbell, Bob Gruss, Leif Bendeke, Rick Flanagan, Martin Deeney & Lou Guariniello all agreed to hold a mini reunion in conjunction with the March 98 NJ TCS Bull Session. It was a wonderful get together.

Soon afterwards, our Perry XO, CDR. Ken Chapman planned our 1st official 2000 reunion at Virginia Beach, VA. The event was a huge success with over 150 shipmates attending. My Skipper CDR George Ball was very proud and pleased to become our 1st honorary reunion Skipper. CDR Ball had the unique distinction of having served aboard the 3rd USS Perry and actually assumed command of the ship during the Pearl Harbor attack.

It's remarkable; 27+ years after the Perry’s decommissioning in 1973 the Perry again has a full crew. I think this says it all.

Smooth sailing,
Steve Silk, USS Perry 1956

70-71 MD ... Doctor Dayton Kirk, MD
Topsail Beach, NC ... DAYTONKIRK@aol.com

Steve Silk,
You have done a wonderful job with the site. I stumbled onto it this rainy
Saturday afternoon while surfing the web from Topsail Beach, NC. I found it
via the Altavista search engine. I have looked periodically since the advent
of the 'web' and was gratified to find it. I know a lot of sailors will be
happy to have the 'Perry' site.

I, like so many, found my Navy time a sentinal event and my six months aboard
the Perry deployed in the Med an unforgettable life experience.

I was not 'ships company' but a brand new medical officer straight from three
weeks orientation in Newport, Rhode Island (I clearly remember the Chief's
lecture--'the pointy end is the bow and the other is the stern and the stern
you salute'). I was detached from my Destroyer Division staff to ride the
Perry from Mayport to the Med where I would rejoin the staff. Half of my
seventy member physician Rhode Island class went to WestPac ships or Viet Nam
so I was overjoyed that I was sailing east.

After the ten day Atlantic transit to the Med I managed with with various
excuses to remain aboard the Perry the remainder of the six month cruise so
I count myself an unofficial member of ship's company. Having shipped my
'sea chest' aboard the USS Meridith with my staff unit I had minimal uniform
and as it got colder the Perry Captain Commander Sorrenson gave me his green
Navy flight jacket that I treasured over the years but lost in a move. My
wife saw it a couple a years ago in a magazine and bought me the identical
jacket in a commercial reproduction which I wear regularly.

Just a few of the events aboard the Perry that make those six months so vivid
thirty years later:

(1) A middle of the night rendezvous in the port near Athens where a small
steel high tech communication building was welded to the deck and Admiral
Stansfield Turner, then the Navy's chief spy and later CIA chief, boarded
with a contingent of ten junior spys. We sailed, acompanied by the USS
Sumner, into the Black Sea to show the flag and do some spying. For two
weeks we were within hailing distance of unhappy shadowing Soviet warships,
frequent overflights at near mast level by soviet Bear bombers, and routine
games of chicken by Russian shipping. For myself I was constantly aware that
during that time I had no medical back up for our two destroyers and was
grateful we had no serious injuries.

(2) Plane guard for the FDR when an A-7 crashed with the pilot safely
ejecting, picked up and dropped by a helo from a supply ship not trained in
pilot retrieval and the Perry then given the task to rescue and as medical
officer assigned to the motor whaleboat. We pulled the brand new (that day)
Lieutenant out ot the water. He commented that the ejection was nothing
compared to the fall from the the helo. We traded him to the carrier the
next day for 20 gallons of ice cream.

(3) A stealthy pick up in the middle of the night of a sailor with
appendicitis from a submarine that communicated with us with 'gertrude' and a whaleboat ride with the first lieutenant and the coxswain guided with a
'nightscope' to the surfacing submarine and the transfer of the ill sailor.

(4) A real GQ for a paint locker fire in winter far from land , a sailors

I'm retired as of the year 2000 and fish, travel, and spend time with my
grandchildren. I have had an eventful life practicing medicine but certainly
no six months with the excitement of the Perry.

My particular best wishes to the Perry CO Commander Sorrenson and the XO Lieutenant Commander Pittinger, both exemplified the best of America and the best of the U.S. Navy.

Dayton Kirk, MD

Richard Duncan ... Augusta, ME
53-54 YNSN ... rduncan@saturn.caps.maine.edu


I served aboard the PERRY during her 1954 European cruise. I was the
logroom yeoman. We spent three months in Northern Europe and three months
in the Med. When we left Newport our commanding officer was A. S. Archie.
We had a change of command while in Norther Europe and the new skipper was
off a battleship, high on the seniority list for his fourth stripe. He was
quite a chnage for the "dungaree navy!" His name was Clausner.

While attempting to moor in the Grand Canal in Venice we backed over and
sank the large mooring bouy off our stern. Bent the shafts and chewed hell
out of the screws. We limped into Malta, waited for new screws to be
shipped from the states, and then into a British navy dry dock. The old man
tried to blame the accident on the Italian pilot. Since I was typing all
the correspondence, I saw what went out and what came back. Old "21 knot"
Burke was at that time COMDESLANT. In his endorsement it was clear that he
did not buy Clausner's excuse. Mock stationary sprank up around the ship
changing her motto to "Sighted bouy...sank same." Wonder if Clausner ever
got his fourth stripe.

I have pictures taken during the cruise. Most in black and white, a few in
color. I would enjoy hearing from anyone else on the PERRY at that time.

Phillip W. Tucker
EWCM (SW), USN (Ret.)
April, 1967 to May, 1968

Hello shipmates,

What a treat to see the USS Perry reunion notice in 'Shift Colors'. I
served on board from April, 1967 to May, 1968. I reported aboard as a
Radarman 2nd Class and made 1st Class in May, 1967. I remember well the
closeness of the crew and the loyalty we felt towards one another.
Among all the crews that take ships of war to sea, only Tin Can Sailors
experience that kind of camraderie. The Perry was my first assignment
after my marriage in April 67 to Diana, now my bride of 34 years. The
friendships we formed with the men and families in OI Division brought
her to love the Navy as much as I did. Many of us lived in the Atlantic
Gardens apartments on Mayport Rd. and in those frugal days, shared
liberty time at each others homes rather than spending money on the
town. The year on the Perry was special and still provides very warm

I eventually did 2 more tours in Viet Nam, served on 2 other ships,
taught A and C school for 3 years and served on the CincLantFlt
Headquarters Staff before retiring after 25 years in 1984.

I am not certain I can get to the reunion, but I am going to try. I
would like to know if any crewmembers from the 67-68 time frame are
planning on attending. It would be great to renew some old
friendships. In any event, I want to extend my most sincere wishes for
a successful reunion and wish all of my Perry Shipmates fair winds and
following seas. If I can locate any photos from our North Atlantic
Cruise (had one of the worst storms I ever saw) or Refresher Training at
Guantanamo Bay, I will send them along.

With Warmest Regards,

Phillip W. Tucker
EWCM (SW), USN (Ret.)

Cmdr. Robert K. Asman
XO of the Perry from 3/65 to 5/66

Thank you for the memories of the perry, as a 12 year old in 65, I remember running around her decks when she was in port at Mayport. I have always been very proud of my father and of the 28 years he served our country.

Cmdr. Robert K. Asman, XO of the Perry from 3/65 to 5/66 passed away on April 12, 2001. His remains were buried in Arlington National Cemetery on May 15, 2001 with full military honors.

He loved the Navy and he loved this ship. May God bless all those who served faithfully on her.

Sadly I hate to inform you that Cdr. Clark also passed away 6 years ago, his wife and daughter Pricella were at my fathers funeral. They also live in the Washington area. Again, thank you for this web site

R.K.Asman Jr.

53-56 DK3 .. Richard L Linden .. Ashland, MA .. peglin86@msn.com

I must add my congratulations and thanks to Steve Silk for creating and maintaining this terrific web site. I was sorry to read of the deaths of two of my shipmates, Charlie Gallup and Ed Reddish. Having handled the "payroll" for two years, I recognized a number of names. i.e. Burrows, Duncan and the Ussman brothers. The memories just "float" back. With the exception of following a Russian trawler for two weeks off the coast of Egypt in '55, my time aboard the Perry involved "good will" tours to Europe and the Med. From London and Oslo at Christmas to Spring skiing in the French Alps, walking through the Acropolis in Athens, camel riding and pyramid climbing outside Cairo and visiting many other interesting ports, I can only say "thank you" U.S. Navy and U.S.S. Perry Perry for a great ride!!!!!

Richard Linden

Gerald A Schnoblen, 62-64

This Christmas poem was sent to me by my cousin who has a son [PO
1st] assigned on-board to a 'boat' [sub] stationed in Washington[the state],
WESTPAC. As always, their missions are hush, hush. He is currently
'underway' and he will not be home for Christmas with his family, this year.
This poem is dedicated to all the shipmates, the men and women ashore and
afloat, state-side and overseas, and too, all our men and women serving in
the military. If possible, please add it to the letters on the Perry web
site so that it can be shared by all. THANKS!!

The Sailor's Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas, the ship was out steaming,
Sailors stood watch while others were dreaming.

They lived in a crowd with racks tight and small,
In a 80-man berthing, cramped one and all.

I had come down the stack with presents to give,
And to see inside just who might perhaps live.

I looked all about, a strange sight did I see,
No tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.

No stockings were hung, shined boots close at hand,
On the bulkhead hung pictures of a far distant land.

They had medals and badges and awards of all kind,
And a sober thought came into my mind.

For this place was different, so dark and so dreary,
I had found the house of a Sailor, once I saw clearly.

A Sailor lay sleeping, silent and alone,
Curled up in a rack and dreaming of home.

The face was so gentle, the room squared away,
This was the United States Sailor today.

This was the hero I saw on TV,
Defending our country so we could be free.

I realized the families that I would visit this night,
Owed their lives to these Sailors lay willing to fight.

Soon round the world, the children would play,
And grownups would celebrate on Christmas Day.

They all enjoyed freedom each day of the year,
Because of the Sailor, like the one lying here.

I couldn't help wonder how many lay alone,
On a cold Christmas Eve on a sea, far from home.

The very thought brought a tear to my eye,
I dropped to my knees and started to cry.

The Sailor awakened and I heard a calm voice,
"Santa, don't cry, this life is my choice."

"Defending the seas all days of the year,
So others may live and be free with no fear."

I thought for a moment, what a difficult road,
To live a life guided by honor and code.

After all it's Christmas Eve and the ship's underway!
But freedom isn't free and it's sailors who pay.

The Sailor say's to our country "be free and sleep tight,
No harm will come, not on my watch and not on this night.

The Sailor rolled over and drifted to sleep,
I couldn't control it, I continued to weep.

I kept watch for hours, so silent, so still,
I watched as the Sailor shivered from the night's cold chill.

I didn't want to leave on that cold dark night,
This guardian of honor so willing to fight.

The Sailor rolled over and with a voice strong and sure,
Commanded, "Carry on Santa, It's Christmas, and All is Secure!"


Charles "Charlie" Bowersox, ET1

Don Fowler, 70-73 RD2
Finding the Perry again

My next to the youngest son lives with me here and just recently graduated from high school. We were discussing something we had watched on the History channel that the term Heavy Water was mentioned, he asked me what the term meant. I, in my "infinate wisdom" told him to see what he could find on the internet about it. There was quite a bit there but essentially it is a major component in the manufacturing of nuclear weapons. Well, seeing the abundance of information about that, calling on my memories of fire fighting school at Mayport, I asked him to see what he could find about Light Water. There is surprisingly little about it. Well this sparked my determination to save face, as it were in front of my son and prove that I am not as far gone as those side long looks of his would indicate "yea dad, sure thing whatever you say man" you know the ones. Well every referance we found to it was! always crossed with the USS Roosevelt CVA-42. One such indicated the web site for her. Once we were on the site, we learned of her role in developing the additive to sea water which made fighting shipboard aircraft fires more effective and so on.......well by this time I had my own alarm bells going off in my head. It had never occurred to me that there would be web sites like this, and if a decrepid old bird farm like the Rosey had one ....well I put the USS Perry into my yahoo search engine and there it was I was moved to tears when I found it and to see that I have only missed 3 reunions I had emotions that have not surfaced in years. Anyway if God grants that I am alive next year, I will be in Charleston.

Don Fowler

Don Fowler, 70-73 RD2

Dear President Bush,

I would like to think that you will actually see this, but I fear that you have too many people intercepting your e-mail and your regular mails as well, and I can understand that. A man in your position could not possibly have enough hours to sort through all the overwhelming amount of mail that must come to you.

Mr. President, do you see the ads on the media attacking your Medicare programs, especially the prescription benefits. I just read what is posted on the White House home page, and truthfully, I do not see where they are getting this information. What they are doing is "name calling" which borders on slander, and I am very uncomfortable with it. Sir, I have the highest respect for you, as I have for your father, your brother is my Governor. If they are being untruthful why have you not said anything to re-assure the public? I also understand the idea of not stooping down to their level getting into a p------ contest with them. However, you must counter act their statements without stooping to their level.

I am one voice in America. I fought in Vietnam to do my part to uphold our part of the S.E.A.T.O treaty that we were honor bound accept. It appears that the politicians of that era conveniently forgot to keep the country informed about that treaty. It wasn't popular. The Navy was my platform for that little bit of action in which so many of our young men and women participated in. Be that as it may I only wanted you to see where I am coming from. I am registered Republican but only because I had to put something on the form. When in the poll, I am neither one. I am only for what I think is in the best interest of the country. There is way too much partisan crap in D.C. The Republicans think up something that is really good for everybody, then the Democrats have to think up something different which may actually be as good, but by the time all the in fighting and arguments are over, not a one of them remembers what they were arguing over, and in the meantime, we the public lose what may have been something really great.

I do not believe that the congress should have the power to vote themselves a pay increase every year or so. They were elected to serve the interests of their constituents, not to become wealthy at our expense. I know about the cost of living there, I still have relatives in Baltimore and Richmond and it does not cost that much more than anywhere else. I think, and I am not alone in this, that they need a reminder that their job is a service job. If state Governors can cope on less than $100,000 a year so should they. I live on just over $12,000 a year and I pay my rent, and utilities and buy groceries and gas for my vehicle and I want for nothing. I don't have the clothes that the senators do and representatives do but then I don't need them either. I'll get down off my soap box in a moment. I understand that as president living in the white house that you are responsible for the bills that come with it, this may or may not be true but it really isn't that important, the highest job in the country should have the best paycheck.

Sir, I truly hope that you see this, or that you at least get to hear about it. I don't do this often, but I felt that it needed to be said. Whether or not you yourself see this, I will feel better having gotten it off my mind. I am very proud of the way you have handled your job so far if you can stand the strain I would be proud to have you as president for a second term.

Very respectfully,
Donald W. Fowler

1364 Laclede Ave.
Jacksonville, FL 32205

Cdr. Don Turner
60-67 RD3

Hi Steve,
Sorry Doris and I missed the reunion but she fell and broke her foot in two places and it wasn't advisable to travel that soon. I always look forward to seeing everone especially my OI Division troopers.

A recent newsletter had a note that I served aboard Perry for 6 and1/2 years, actually it was 7 & 1/2 yrs. I reported aboard in Feb 1960 (Capt Kane) as an RD3, progressed to RDC then shortly thereafter was commissioned a Chief Warrant Officer by Capt Wideman and departed July 4,1967.

It was a long but very enjoyable tour, and even got to drive the ship under Capt's Clark and Wideman. I served under five skippers and five XO's.
Was sorry to learn of Capt Sheppard's passing. I should have called him since he lived so close.

Looking forward to our next reunion.


Will we still be the Country of choice and still be America if we continue to make the changes forced on us by the people from other countries that came to live in America because it is the Country of Choice??????

What about MY RIGHTS? I celebrate Christmas, but because it isn't celebrated by everyone, we can no longer say Merry Christmas. Now it has to be Season's Greetings. It's not Christmas vacation, it's Winter Break Isn't it amazing how this winter break ALWAYS occurs over the Christmas holiday? We've gone so far the other way, bent over backwards to not offend anyone, that now I am being offended. But it seems that no one has a problem with that.


I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some individual or their culture.

Since the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, we have experienced a surge in patriotism by the majority of Americans. However, the dust from the attacks had barely settled when the "politically correct! " crowd began complaining about the possibility that our patriotism was offending others.

I am not against immigration, nor do I hold a grudge against anyone who is seeking a better life by coming to America. Our population is almost entirely made up of descendants of immigrants. However, there are a few things that those who have recently come to our country, and apparently some born here, need to understand. This idea of America being a multicultural community has served only to dilute our sovereignty and our national identity. As Americans, we have our own culture, our own society, our own language and our own lifestyle. This culture has been developed over centuries of struggles, trials, and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom.

We speak ENGLISH, not Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society, learn the language!

"In God We Trust" is our national motto. This is not some Christian, right wing, political slogan.. We adopted this motto because Christian men and women, on Christian principles, founded this nation, and this is clearly documented. It is certainly appropriate to display it on the walls of our schools. If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home, because God is part of our culture.

If Stars and Stripes offend you, or you don't like Uncle Sam, then you should seriously consider a move to another part of this planet. We are happy with our culture and have no desire to change, and we really don't care how you did things where you came from.

This is OUR COUNTRY, our land, and our lifestyle. Our First Amendment gives every citizen the right to express his opinion and we will allow you every opportunity! to do so. But once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about our flag, our pledge, our national motto, or our way of life, I highly encourage you take advantage of one other great American freedom and go back where you came from.


Dear Perry Prayer Warrior,

In our lifetimes it's difficult to avoid the perils of life. We never know when or where we will be dealt a hand that we must play to the best of our ability. When it happens, it's nice to know your family is there to support you through your trials and tribulations. Prayer is one of the great-unclaimed resources for people of all faiths. The price is right and the results can be pleasantly rewarding. When we take the time to focus on the pain of others our own difficulties will appear less severe, so let's rally to support our extended Perry family with our Prayers. Our recent Reunion Campaign has made me aware of the very serious health issues confronting many of our extended Perry families who are unable to join us at our DC reunion. Let us join in supporting them with our prayers for their recovery. In my opinion, the Etzkorn family is facing one of life's most painful experiences. Ed's son Mike is presently undergoing intense treatment for a very aggressive cancer. The family was advised that this was pretty much Mike's last chance and they doubted that treatment would be successful. The good news is, after a massive prayer network, treatment looks successful and the family has avoided their worst fears. However, Mike isn't of the woods just yet and needs our continued prayers. Mike turns 27 in a week and we want him to see 90, so keep praying. egetzk@sbcglobal.net

The Kreskey's were really looking foward to attending this reunion but life handed them a tough assignment. Peggy has just completed her chemo treatments and is awaiting a Stem Cell transplant. fkreskey@cfl.rr.com

Paul Reddick has been fighting cancer in the hospital since August and is scheduled for an operation this week. He extends his best wishes to all and hopes for a successful reunion. VET1223@webtv.netJohn Martin will again miss our reunion. He will be having another operation some time in March. This will be his 12th operation in the last 10 years. However, he continues a positive attitude and hopes to make our next reunion. ka5bse1@bellsouth.net

Ed Crocker is undergoing radiation & chemotherapy for lung and rib cancer. The next two months will be critical in determining the success of his most recent treatment. edwardcrocker@cox.net

The Raposo's travel plans are also on hold for a while. Ray is dealing with macula degeneration while his wife deals with her diabetes and spinal stenosis, etc. Last week she was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery to repair a perforated ulcer and removal of her gallbladder. rayrap1@earthlink.net

Mike Stephens wife, Dee, has recently undergone major surgery. Although surgery was successful, chemo and radiation are being considered. Working the reunion without Mike will be quite a bit harder since Mike has been a staunch supporter and worker of our reunions. mstephens@hal-tec.com

Lucille Harris (Barbara Kline's mom) is really wanting to attend the reunion and will if she is able to at all. She has good and bad days during her chemo treatment for an aggressive cancer.baba4@sbcglobal.net

Don Kelly who is living in Iceland is recovering from a recent bout with cancer. He wishes all hands a wonderful time at the reunion. ridgerunner@isl.is

Warmest regards to all and sincere apologies and to anyone I may have overlooked.

Steve Silk

To all hands,

Trust you are all well and rested after a wonderful Christmas and New Year holiday. I was lucky to have enjoyed the holiday season in Manchester Vermont skiing with my daughters and grand kids. No kidding, they actually got me back on skis and I did better than expected, no broken bones. My family however did much better than me. My 18 year old granddaughter, Brittany, beat out her mom Helene to win a Gold as the best overall women snowboarder in the giant slalom races. My 7-year-old grandson, Joey, placed 2nd in the 7-10 year old category with his older sister Lindsay, taking the gold medal. My daughter Darlene, took the gold in the giant slalom 40-50 age group using traditional skis. It just doesn't get any better.

Now it's back to business with a brief note to give you a heads up on our Reunion status. The itinerary is complete and the registration forms are now available on our website for viewing and printing. There is also a simple feedback form we would appreciate having you complete and send back to us. We're looking to find out if you plan to attend the reunion and the name of the companion that may be accompanying you. Also, let us know if you or your companion are planning to sign up for the OPTIONAL mansion tour

If you are unable to read and or print the registration forms posted on our website please notify me via email or use the mail form mentioned earlier in this notice. ( steve@ussperry.com )

To view / print the reunion registration forms go to our web site and click the REUNION & EVENTS button and follow the other links.

The reunion registration packet includes our Cover Letter, Registration Forms & Itinerary and Meslothelioma letter. We have presented the Meslothelioma Letter on behalf of The Meslothelioma Research Foundation that is providing an invaluable service to individuals having been in long term contact with asbestos and possibly suffering from associated illnesses.

Looking forward to seeing you in Newport, RI at the reunion.

Steve Silk


Dear Shipmate & Family,

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Healthy & Happy New Year.

Please accept my sincere appreciation for your expressions of sympathy posted on the legacy.com web site


We can’t begin to tell you how comforting it was to know you were thinking and praying for us and especially for our son Chris. Special thanks go out to my Perry Shipmates for their thoughtfulness for having setup the Legacy web page that enabled us to receive your warm and comforting messages.

The floral arrangement from our Perry Association was beautiful and most welcomed. It was especially heart warming to see Martin Denney and Bob Hales at our Memorial Services. Thank you so very, very much for being there for us.

Please forgive us if we failed to acknowledge any of the many Christmas Greetings and expressions of sympathy we have received. It has been almost two months that our boy is gone and our hearts still ache. With our sons’ 46th birthday this January 5th just around the corner we just can’t seem to get in the high spirit of Christmas that we always enjoyed throughout the years. Our other children, grand children and especially our son’s daughter are working hard to help ease our pain. They always remind us that Chris loved and enjoyed Christmas with his whole heart and we should continue to enjoy Christmas as he would want us to. We also take comfort in knowing our boy is now in a better place with our Lord.

Our sincerest & warmest regards to you all,

Cathy & Steve Silk