Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Galveston 'Command' Coin Now Available...

The USS Galveston coin that was designed and produced in response to the USS Wayne Meyer DDG108 request (see posts below) is now available for all to purchase. The coin is 1.75" in diameter, cast in 3D and epoxy coated. The coin looks even better than the photos here. All who have seen the coin claim it is absolutely beautiful. In fact, the chief on the USS Meyer who was our liaison for the mast stepping ceremony told us that the Galveston coin is "by far the best looking ship's coin I have ever seen", and he's seen a lot of ship's coins in his career.

The coins are $10.00 each, postage included. We'll get the coin and an order form on the ships store page a little later, but for now simply mail a check (payable to Keith Hedley) for the number of coins you want to:

Keith Hedley
317 Bowsman Ct.
Oakland, CA 94601

Be sure to indicate where the coins are to be mailed to.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Association Donates to Texas Hurricane Relief

Shipmate, Mike Merkel made a motion at the 2008 Reunion for the Association to donate $200 to the Hurricane Ike Relief Fund. The motion was passed with The Salvation Army selected to receive the funds.

As of the date of the vote, the Salvation Army had already provided 1.3 million meals throughout Galveston and Southeast Texas to those affected by Hurricane Ike.


I was just informed shipmate Harold Ackley passed away. He was on board the GAL 63 and retired as a DCC. He will be added to our "DECEASED ROSTER" and his wife Jon will be added to our "HONORARY MEMBERS ROSTER". Our Condolences to Mrs Ackley and her family. May he REST IN PEACE.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


I was informed by Shipmate Mike Merkel that his wife, and our GALVESTON Gal Eydielyn died Saturday, October 11th, 2008 due to Heart Failure. Eydielyn, Wanda Brush and Joanie Campbell were very close friends, so I am guessing that they are all together now. She is added to the Gals "DECEASED ROSTER". May she "REST IN PEACE". At least we got to see Eydie at the reunion in GA before she left us. Our sincere Condolances to Mike and their family.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Another great reunion was had in Pooler, GA. We had a total of 208 people who attended. We now have 408 shipmates and 49 honorary, which brings our overall total up to 457. The association and gals had a very tough year. We lost 17 shipmates and 4 gals. Lets hope that we have a much better 2009. We are all set for Everett, WA 2009 reunion. I have already contacted Memphis, TN concerning the 2010 reunion.

Monday, October 6, 2008

USS Galveston Shipmates at DDG-108 Mast Stepping

At the USS Wayne E. Meyer mast stepping ceremony in Bath, Maine on October 17 there will be a USS Galveston challenge coin included in the mast box. This is being done to commemorate the admiral's time aboard the Galveston as a fire control and gunnery officer. Additionally, we will be providing the Navy personnel running the ceremony a second challenge coin (also referred to as a command coin) that is to be presented to RADM Meyer as a token of our shared bond as shipmates of the USS Galveston. The presentation box is pictured above.

IF THERE IS ANY GAL SHIPMATE WHO COULD ATTEND THE CEREMONY... please contact Keith Hedley ( or call 415-298-1964) and we may be able to have you make the presentation of the coin... no speeches!

The coin shown above will be available for all to purchase soon after the mast stepping.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Shipmate, Ralph Batson, Funds Memorial Plaque

After a lot of discussion at the (2008 Reunion) meeting both pro and con, the negatives about the money and how to deal with it, Ralph Batson stood up and said that he would donate the whole $3000 for the plaque. Once Ralph did this the votes for was an overwhelming majority.

About the Commemorative Plaque Program

The Commemorative Plaque Wall offers individuals and groups the opportunity to create a permanent memorial by sponsoring a plaque dedicated to an individual, group, ship, squadron, command, battle or event within the U.S. Sea Services, while supporting the mission of the Navy Memorial. The plaques are publicly displayed within the Naval Heritage Center and on the Internet, where they are viewed by thousands of veterans, families, friends, tourists and school groups who visit Washington or browse our website.Each plaque is an archival Silvaloy plate measuring seven by three and three-quarter inches and is created by our Graphic Designer in co-operation with the plaque's sponsor. Plaques can include pictures, text, group insignias, logos, and other graphical elements.

Plaque sponsors are given a picture of the plaque on a CD-ROM and can use the image to create coffee cups, fabric patches, baseball caps, or other items using the picture.

Each sponsor is also entitled to a dedication ceremony in our newly RENNOVATED theater. During the ceremony, a member of the Memorial's leadership team will give a speech honoring the sponsors of the plaque, in addition to any other speakers from the sponsoring group. Often, Plaque Dedications are done in conjunction with a scheduled reunion in the greater Washington D.C. area. These events are frequently very meaningful to the participants.

Thanks, Ralph

Friday, October 3, 2008

Rear Admiral Wayne E. Meyer - A Shipmate, Honored

Admiral Wayne E Myer has been honored with a namesake ship: USS Wayne E. Meyers DDG-108. Read all about it in the following story.

Rear Admiral Wayne E. Meyer - Biography

Wayne E. Meyer was born Brunswick, Missouri, on 21 April 1926. His father and family were livestock and grain farmers, plowing the land referred to by locals as the "gumbo". Meyer's father was displaced in the drought and the Great Depression and lost everything in 1935. He and his family of four children moved eleven miles into clay country five miles North of Brunswick. Wayne and siblings were enrolled in St. Boniface Catholic School, a 2-room schoolhouse. Enrolled in the 140-pupil Brunswick High School in 1939, his primary teacher (and principal) was Miss Edith Marston. Under her tutelage, he and three other boys had been prepared by her to take a three day Armed Services competitive exam in January 1943, which all passed. In April they were called to Kansas City to examine their physical fitness for enlistment in a competitive college program created by President Roosevelt, called the V-12 in the Navy.

He enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve on 12 May 1943 after his parents signed the required papers, as he was only 17 at the time). Meyer graduated from high school on 23 May as president of his class and valedictorian. In June he was called to active duty as Seaman Apprentice, USNR, reporting to the University of Kansas on 1 July.

Meyer was enrolled in the University's Engineering School as his primary duty. He completed eight semesters towards his degree on 1 February 1946. Later that month the Navy ordered the remainder of that Naval Unit (only 35 out of approximately 500 originally) to be commissioned as Ensign USNR, and the University awarded him a B.S. in Electrical Engineering (with Communications and Pre-Radar option). After 11 months at M.I.T. in Radar/Sonar training (and an additional B.S. in Electrical Engineering with an Electronics option), he was ordered to radar picket destroyer USS Goodrich. He qualified for Officer of the Deck underway at the age of 20. Meyer subsequently served as part of the Occupation Forces in the Mediterranean along with service in the Greek Civil War. He was part of the force supporting the creation of Israel in 1948. He was also accepted for transfer to the regular Navy that year.

Over the next two decades he served in the occupation forces in Japanese and in Chinese waters. His ship, the light gun cruiser USS Springfield, was in the mouth of the Huangpu River when Chiang Kai Shek's Nationalist forces fell to Mao Zedong's Red Army in March 1949. Probably the last U.S. warship in China, his ship sailed for home only to head to Hunters Point, San Francisco shipyard for decommissioning. From 1951 through 1955, he attended the Joint Guided Missile School, Fort Bliss, Texas, the Naval Line School, Monterey, California, and served as instructor at the Special (atomic) Weapons School, Norfolk, Virginia. He returned to sea as Executive Officer on USS Strickland followed by service on the Staff, Commander, Destroyer Force, Atlantic.

Later, he returned to Monterey to study Ordnance Engineering, followed again by M.I.T. for 12 months. Here he was awarded one of the early master's degrees in Aeronautics and Astronautics. Then he was ordered to the guided-missile cruiser USS Galveston as Fire Control officer and subsequently Gunnery Officer for her conversion as the first TALOS Cruiser. He has fired, in exercises and tests, more TALOS missiles than any other person.

After an assignment with the Secretary of the Navy's Special Task Force for Surface Missile Systems in Washington, D.C. He transferred to the Naval Ordnance Engineering Corps in 1966.
In 1967, he reported as Director of Engineering at the Naval Ship Missile Systems Engineering Station, Port Hueneme, California and three years later to the Naval Ordnance Systems Command, as Manager, AEGIS Weapons System. He was named Project Manager for Surface Missile Systems in 1972 and in July 1974, he was named the first Director of Surface Warfare, Naval Sea Systems Command. He was selected for Admiral in January 1975. In July 1975, he assumed duties as the founding Project Manager, AEGIS Shipbuilding. In September 1983, he was reassigned as Deputy Commander, Weapons and Combat Systems, Naval Sea Systems Command. He retired in 1985.

As of mid-2008 Rear Admiral Meyer operated a consultancy with offices in Crystal City, Virginia. He chairs and serves on numerous Panels and Committees chartered by various DOD civil and military officials. He has served on the National Ballistic Missile Defense Advisory Committee for the past seven years, serving as its Chairman for the past three years. He also gives numerous speeches besides reviewing and editing articles, essays and books.

USS Wayne E. Meyers DDG-108
The Navy received the 100th Aegis weapon system from Lockheed Martin, 27 November 2006, and announced it would be installed into a guided-missile destroyer named in honor of the man recognized as the 'Father of Aegis,' retired Rear Adm. Wayne E. Meyer. The centennial Aegis system that will be installed in the future USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108) came more than 20 years after the first system was delivered to the Navy in 1983 and, according to Lockheed Martin, has eight-times more computing power and costs 66 percent less than the first Aegis baseline. Aegis is widely considered to be the Navy's most successful air defense weapon system and multi-mission combat system in history.

Rear Adm. Meyer was on hand for the ceremony. Remembering something Adm. Arleigh Burke said in the 1950s about integrity, Meyer said he hopes the ship named in his honor, and the Sailors who will sail on her decks, will embody integrity. "I've tried to lead that way, I've tried to be that way, I've tried to raise my kids that way," Meyer said. "And I'm hoping that the Wayne E. Meyer has the capacity also to recognize it."

"Adm. Meyer reminds us that a ship has a name for a reason. Indeed the namesake of a warship inspires the crew and instills a fighting spirit. To have one's name immortalized in an Aegis warship is a high honor indeed," said Adm. Mike Mullen, Chief of Naval Operations. "And that is why DDG 108 will forever be known as United States Ship Wayne E. Meyer."

The 509 foot, 9200 ton, DDG-108 Wayne E. Meyer is a Flight IIA variant of the Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyer and incorporates a helicopter hanger facility into the original design. The ship can each carry two SH-60B/R helicopters in addition to it’s vertical launch missile systems that can fire the RIM-66 Standard Missile 2, Tomahawks or ASROCs. The ship will be crewed by 380 officers and enlisted personnel.

Guided missile destroyers operate independently and in conjunction with carrier strike groups, surface action groups, expeditionary strike groups and replenishment groups. DDG108 will be home ported in San Diego following her commissioning in the fall of 2009.

The picture above is what an Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyer looks like.