Thursday, November 5, 2009

Early Film of the Gal

Just added another video file to the site. The video was prepared by shipmate Charles Fritz from film and tapes supplied by five other shipmates and includes some of the earliest known film of the Gal from the late 1950s. The film is grainy, but if you've ever been aboard, you'll remember what you're seeing. What follows is a short preview of the video.

To view the complete movie, return to the Associations Home Page menu and navigate to Ship's History then Videos.

Friday, October 2, 2009

2009 Reunion is Underway in Everett!

The first day tour was the USS Stennis CVN-74 in Bremerton. The brow is on a lowered elevator, the quarter deck just inside the hangar deck.

We had over 80 Galveston guys and gals so we were split into 4 groups. First stop, the fo'c'sle...

Everything is big up here. Each link of the anchor chain weighs well over 300 pounds.

Our tour guide, PO1 Owsley is a Mass Commmunications specialist, so he learned a little more about the gear and proceedures from our own boatswain mates about the gear in this space.

The flight deck. Four-and-a-half acres big.

The "island" where you find the bridge, flag bridge, primary flight control and the Sky Bar & Lounge.

PO1 Owsly has us gather around the only aircraft on board this day... a broken F/A-18C.

... and this here is the hook thingy...

On the bridge...

A modern helm station...

More high-tech goodies for the OOD to play with...

Mike Clark is at his "Special Sea & Anchor" station and is ready to take the Stennis out...

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A Legend Passes: RADM Wayne E. Meyer

Tuesday, September 1, 2009
A Legend Passes: RADM Wayne E. Meyer

From the official DoD release: Retired Navy Rear Adm. Wayne E. Meyer, regarded as the father of the Navy’s AEGIS Weapons System, passed away today.
"I am deeply saddened by a great loss to our Navy family,” said Admiral Gary Roughead, Chief of Naval Operations. “Rear Admiral Meyer’s passion, technical acumen, and warfighting expertise served as the foundation of our Navy combatant fleet today. On behalf of the men and women of the United States Navy, I extend my deepest and most heartfelt sympathy to the Meyer family. He was a close friend and mentor to so many of us. His legacy will remain in the Navy forever."
Meyer was born in Brunswick, Mo., on April 21, 1926. In 1946, he graduated from the University of Kansas with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. He also held an master’s degree in astronautics and aeronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School.
Meyer’s Navy career began in 1943 as an apprentice seaman. In 1946, he was commissioned an ensign in the U.S. Naval Reserve and was transferred to regular Navy in 1948. After several years at sea, he returned to school in 1951 and attended the Joint Guided Missile School, Fort Bliss, Texas, and the Naval Line School, Monterey, Calif., and eventually served as an instructor at Special Weapons School, Norfolk, Va.
Meyer returned to sea as executive officer on USS Strickland, followed by service on the commander’s staff, Destroyer Force Atlantic. He was then ordered to USS Galveston.
In 1963, Meyer was chosen to head the TERRIER desk in the Special Navy Task Force for Surface Missile Systems. He turned down a destroyer command to continue his work with missile, radar, and fire control systems, and became the founding Chief Engineer at the Naval Ship Missile System Engineering Station, Port Hueneme, Calif. In 1970, the Navy chose then Capt. Meyer to lead the development of the new AEGIS Weapon System in the Naval Ordnance Systems Command.
In this position, Meyer was promoted to rear admiral in Jan. 1975. In Jan. 1977, he assumed duties as the founding project manager of the AEGIS Shipbuilding Project. This project was ultimately responsible for the construction of all of the Navy’s current cruisers and destroyers – with 89 ships built or in construction, and more in planning. This is one of the longest and largest naval shipbuilding programs in history. He retired from active duty in 1985.
In Nov. 2006, the Secretary of the Navy announced that an Arleigh Burke class destroyer, DDG 108, would be named in honor of Rear Adm. Meyer. Christened on Oct. 18, 2008, the ship utilizes the same combat system that Meyer helped to develop, the Aegis Combat System, including the SPY-lD, multifunction phased array radar. This advanced system makes the AEGIS ship the foundation of the U.S. Navy’s surface combatant fleet. Additionally, when the ship is commissioned in Philadelphia, Pa. on Oct. 10, 2009, it will be manned with a complement of highly trained sailors, providing the Navy with a dynamic multi-mission warship that can operate independently or as part of carrier strike groups, surface action groups, or amphibious ready groups, ensuring USS Wayne E. Meyer will lead the Navy into the future.
Rear Adm. Meyer’s personal decorations and service medals include: Distinguished Service Medal; Legion of Merit; Meritorious Service Medal; Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation Ribbon with Bronze Star; China Service Medal; American Campaign Medal; World War II Victory Medal; Navy Occupation Service Medal; National Defense Medal with Bronze Star; Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal; Vietnam Service Medal; Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm Unit Citation; and Republic of Vietnam Civil Actions Unit Citation.
His other awards include: American Society of Naval Engineers Gold Medal, 1976; Old Crow Electronics Countermeasure Association Silver Medal; Distinguished Engineer Alumni Award, University of Kansas, 1981; Naval Ordnance Engineer Certificate #99; Fellow in the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics; Missile Systems Award for distinguished service, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 1983; Navy League's Rear Admiral William Sterling Parsons Award, for scientific and technical progress in construction of the nation's AEGIS fleet, 1985; Harold E. Sanders Award for a lifetime of contributions to Naval Engineering, American Society of Naval Engineers, 1985; Admiral J. H. Sides Award for major contributions to Anti-Air Warfare, National Security Industrial Association, 1988.
In 1977, Meyer was designated a Pioneer in the Navy's Acquisition Hall of Fame in the Pentagon. In 2008, he was presented with the sixth annual Ronald W. Reagan Missile Defense Award.
RADM Wayne Meyer is remembered as the "Father of AEGIS" and should be credited for giving the United States the most powerful Naval Weapon System the world has ever seen.
Following Remarks as Delivered by Admiral Mike MullenDelivery of the 100th AEGIS System, Moorestown, NJ27 November 2006
Secretary Etter, fellow flag and general officers, foreign guests, other many, many distinguished visitors, ladies and gentlemen. I really am delighted to be here and thank you for joining us today… as we celebrate the delivery of the Centennial AEGIS combat system to our Navy. To echo what Charlie Hamilton said -- “What a great Navy day.” What a great Navy day.
I would like to extend a special welcome to a mentor and a dear friend, Admiral Wayne Meyer, the “Father of AEGIS.” It is also very special to have here today, someone who I consider a Saint, that will have a very high place in Heaven, that’s Anna Mae and many others from the Meyer family. I’m very fond of speaking to the needs to recognize the sacrifices of our families of the families of men and women in the uniform. And I assure you that there has been that sacrifice in the Meyer family as well. We simply would not be here without it. I am not sure that many of those working on that very first AEGIS system would have believed that one day the Navy would be accepting System One Hundred except, of course, for Admiral Meyer. He was never not sure, he was always committed to realizing the full potential of this fantastic combat system or to constantly improving it along the way.
It was his belief in rigorous system engineering that got us here and it is those same principles that must lead us forward, not just in AEGIS but in all aspects of engineering design in our Navy. All you have to do is ask him and he’ll tell you.
Now being the CNO, you think I might be able to affect this program and I always worried about having the might before Admiral Meyer. He loves this work with a passion. Every time we speak, it seems he is quick to tell me that my career peaked about 12 years ago. It’s always good to hear how I haven’t progressed since I left command of YORKTOWN. He then always goes on to explain, like only he can do, how the AEGIS system is always reaching for new heights.
It is truly a system that has delivered time and again. We saw it during the Cold War, when our brazen motto was: “Stand by, Admiral Gorshkov, AEGIS is at sea!” We saw more recently during the Desert wars, as our AEGIS ships performed brilliantly providing a shield to the fleet, launching Tomahawk cruise missiles, interdicting smugglers, controlling aircraft – and so much more. We see it today, as AEGIS is at the heart of our surface Fleet that is globally deployed in defense of freedom.
While founded on the same basic system design that graced TICONDEROGA and YORKTOWN this Centennial System’s advanced combat system and revolutionary radar – truly represent a new era of technology. For while AEGIS was originally optimized for blue water operations against Soviet bomber raids, this system brings unprecedented capabilities to the fight to the new wars and the new enemies we now face. These enemies know no bounds. They believe nothing that we believe. It is the war that we must win and it is a war we will win. In today’s fight, AEGIS is a sword and shield that enables us to command the sea, control the littoral, project power ashore, and safeguard our troops and our allies from growing threats like ballistic missiles. Nothing else at sea today even comes close.
AEGIS ships today truly represent naval excellence, strength and freedom. And are the foundation for a strong fleet and a strong Navy which this nation has always had and must have for the future. But it isn’t just our Navy; there are other navies as has been stated. AEGIS is sailing strong aboard Japan’s KONGO class of destroyers as well as Spain’s F-100 and Norway’s F-310 frigates. And it will not be long before AEGIS is put to sea aboard new destroyers in Australia and the Republic of Korea. Wherever freedom is challenged, AEGIS is there. Thanks to Admiral Meyer and this team, Sailors across the globe can sail confidently, they have the best equipment this great country can produce -- with the best training we can provide. I am mindful, that sailing with them, is a little piece of every one of you here, those of you who design, build, test, and deliver AEGIS. Yes, where AEGIS sails, you are there too. Your hard work – your enthusiastic patriotism – your dedication to putting AEGIS to sea is every bit as important as that of the Sailors who operate this terrific system in harm’s way. To this entire Navy team, Lockheed Martin, and specifically to the workers here at Moorestown, thank you -- I appreciate what you are doing for our country. And I know each of you work tirelessly everyday to make AEGIS even better. I am convinced that as you embrace open architecture you will stand on the shoulders of this great AEGIS legacy as you take this program to new heights. Legacy -- clearly, the AEGIS Fleet has a legacy of excellence. But, some use the term “legacy” to refer to “antiquated systems.” I have even heard some call our in-service Fleet, “legacy ships.”
AEGIS and the fleet is anything but that. As AEGIS transitions to open architecture, innovation will rapidly and simultaneously be introduced throughout our Fleet. O-A assures that there will be no “legacy ships” – instead, every ship of the line will be a state of-the-art combatant. It is clear to me that we must spread this open approach across the entire Navy. When I say open, I mean open systems, open competition and open the throttle. I want to move as fast as we can. Open architecture starts with fielding systems that leverage commercial standards to create an interoperable Fleet that connects seamlessly with our sister Services, our allies and many other global partners.
Navies all over the world are excited about the idea of coming together in a 1000-ship navy to help each other meet the difficult challenges ahead. But to do that we must be able to talk to each other and it is open systems that will enable us to work together as one. As we open the throttles and move quickly forward it is clear that Admiral Meyer’s principles of “build a little, test a little,” of innovation, and of sound systems engineering are the model we must continue to follow. It is a model that is reflected soundly in the 100th Aegis system we accept delivery of today. Every AEGIS system needs a home, and this Centennial System is no exception -- it is heading to Bath Iron Works in Maine for installation in DDG-108, or, as they like to call her in Bath: “Hull Number 503.” When he hears someone refer to a ship simply by her hull number, Admiral Meyer always 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 -- both for the individual, and for the ship. And that’s why DDG-108 will forever be known as United States Ship WAYNE E. MEYER. Honor - we are all so proud!
I can think of no better name for a warship of the U.S. Navy than WAYNE E. MEYER and no better tribute to the man who delivered engineering excellence to the Navy and instilled operational excellence in the fleet. Now, I know you’re proud of the Wayne E. Meyer Institute for Systems Engineering at the Naval Postgraduate School and the Wayne E. Meyer AEGIS Education Center in Dahlgren, but those buildings will never get underway. So, yes, Admiral, ships do have a name for a reason, and that’s true of this one in particular.
Many of us here have seen first hand how your commitment to learning, your demanding standards, your fighting spirit and your extraordinary leadership changed our Navy indeed; revolutionized warfighting while changing everyone around you -- for the better. It is a spirit and character that will undoubtedly serve the crew of MEYER well as they serve in defense of freedom.
Just as your noble legacy lives in every AEGIS ship, it will confidently guide those who sail in the one that carries your name. You can take great pride in knowing that some day soon a young Commanding Officer will surely consider command of the USS WAYNE E. MEYER the peak of his or her career.
You have blessed us all for over four decades. May God continue to bless you, your family, our Navy and our Nation.
The USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108) commissioning will be at Penn's Landing, Philadelphia on October 10, 2009.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

New Video 1968/69 Galveston Cruises

The video clip below is just a preview of a movie now viewable on the Galveston website. Shipmate Cyrus Moy - RM3 made the movie from 8mm film he shot over the 1968 and 1969 WesPac and Med Cruises. Included are narrated clips of Panama Canal crossings, liberty ports, unreps, and much more.

To view the complete movie, return to the Associations Home Page menu and navigate to Ship's History then Videos.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

New Photo Galleries

Our web guy, Bob Rank, has been busy! He has added hundreds of new photos and revised the cruise books with a new photo gallery program that improves on what we had before. He even borrowed a copy of the San Diego boot camp "yearbook" from 1966, scanned and posted it too. Even if you went to recruit training at Great Lakes, paging through the "Anchor" will bring back a lot of memories (and check out the last page where you should recognize a very familiar missile cruiser). So go to the Ships History page and click on the Photo Gallery and enjoy!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Ship's Clock Raffle

Recently Soupy distributed an email regarding the Ship’s Clock raffle at this year’s reunion. For those shipmates who’ve never been to a reunion and for those of us who have, but can’t remember squat, I decided to ask a few questions and here’s what I’ve learned.

Beginning in 1992, now deceased shipmate Leroy Wagner began the tradition of a Galveston Ship’s Clock raffle when he handcrafted a wooden plaque to display a brass, ships chronometer (a navy clock for you land lubbers). Leroy refused any compensation for his effort with all proceeds from the raffle directly benefiting the Shipmate’s Association. When Leroy passed a few years later, his shipmate and good buddy Bobby Sajdera picked up the tradition and has continued to donate clocks without reimbursement ever since. Now Bobby’s not feeling up to continuing his contribution which over these many years has without question been above and beyond the call of duty. How much longer will there be a clock raffle?

In the past, up to three clocks have been won in each year’s raffle and most recently one or two of those clocks were provided through a business Soupy located. But even Soupy is the first to admit his clocks aren’t quite as good as Bobby’s. Today, there’s three of Bobby’s clocks left. It’s up to our President (no pressure on Stan) to decide how many of Bobby’s clocks will be included in this year’s raffle.

This brings me back to Soupy’s email. He says, only $170 worth of clock raffle tickets have been sold @ 5 tickets for $10. Remember you don’t have to be at the reunion to win. The clock will be shipped to you. Also, if you are absent, with the first ticket drawn, you will receive the traditional clock.

Even though, I’m unable to attend this year’s reunion, I’m going to honor Leroy and Bobby with a $10 chance / contribution. Want to join me? Send your check made out to USS Galveston CLG3 to 310 Monroe Ave., Edgewater Park, New Jersey 08010-1822. Soupy will mail back your stubs.

2007 winner, Mr. Lucky, with Soupy

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Remember Pay Day?

About forty-three years ago, I enlisted in the USN earning a monthly salary of $97. Today an enlistee makes $1,294.50 a month. I know the numbers need to be adjusted for inflation, but fantasy of fantasy, it’s sure fun to imagine how much damage I could have done on that first liberty with $1300 in my pocket.

If you would like to know what your monthly salary would be today for enlisted and officers, you can click on the link below to see a 2009 pay chart.
And when was the last time you saw a $2 bill?

Friday, March 27, 2009

Did You Get All the Medals You Earned?

Depending on when you served aboard the Gal, you may have earned some or all of these ribbons and medals. Our Association Historian, Art Tilley, has compiled a comprehensive list of awards and dates earned by Galveston crew members. To review the list, you can follow the home page navigation menu from "Ship's History" and then "Medals and Awards" link.

There are also links on the Medals and Awards page that will take you to instructions on requesting issuance of you earned medals and/or personnel (DD214) record.

While you're on the Ship's Log page take a look at the recently added link for Videos. Depending on your computer configuration and Internet provider, you may not be able to view the videos directly from this site, so we also loaded lesser quality copies on YouTube. Just click on one of the YouTube links on our video page. If that doesn't work, try again later... the technology is getting better everyday! Good Luck.


Sunday, March 1, 2009

Plaque Dedication Ceremony Scheduled

Association President, Stan Shock with wife Donna, points to the spot on the wall where the plaque honoring the USS Galveston and its crew will be placed and dedicated during a ceremony scheduled for 1 pm on June 6, 2009 at the The United States Navy Memorial, 701 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. If you think you'll be able to attend, Please RSVP to Stan Shock by mid March, as he needs a head count to inform the Navy Memorial personnel. For more information on the ceremony, directions, lodging, and transportation please email Stan :
For the full history of the Plaque donated by shipmate Ralph Batson at the last reunion, read various articles going back to October 4, 2008.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Shipmate Photo at USS Meyer Event

We just received this photo that shows a couple of Galveston shipmates at the USS Wayne Meyer mast-stepping ceremony. Retired Rear Admiral Wayne Meyer is holding the presentation box with a USS Galveston command coin cradled within. It was given to the admiral by our other shipmate in the photo, Clarence Kirby, on the behalf of the entire USS Galveston Shipmates Association. A second Galveston coin was placed in mast box of DDG-108 to commemorate Admiral Meyer's service on the Gal. More info and photos on this event can be seen by scrolling down in this blog.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Ship's Store Adds Lapel Pin

Following on the footsteps of our fabulous USS Galveston Command Coin, we have just added a new item to help you show your pride of being a Galveston shipmate. The USS Galveston Lapel Pin is pictured above and available now at the ship's store for only $6, including mailing costs. This was a project taken on by Stan Shock and he did a great job.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Hand Salute Authorized for Veterans

Iraq War Veteran Brian Fontaine salutes the flag
Veterans and service members not in uniform can now render the military-style hand salute during the playing of the national anthem, thanks to changes in federal law that took effect in October.

"The military salute is a unique gesture of respect that marks those who have served in our nation's armed forces," said Dr. James B. Peake, secretary of Veterans Affairs. "This provision allows the application of that honor in all events involving our nation's flag.

"The new provision improves upon a little known change in federal law last year that authorized veterans to render the military-style hand salute during the raising, lowering or passing of the flag, but it did not address salutes during the national anthem.

Last year's provision also applied to service members while not in uniform. Traditionally, members of the nation's veterans service organizations (like the VFW) have rendered the hand-salute during the national anthem and at events involving the national flag while wearing their organization's official head-gear.

The most recent change, authorizing hand-salutes during the national anthem by veterans and out-of-uniform military personnel, was sponsored by Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, an Army veteran. It was included in the Defense Authorization Act of 2009, which President Bush signed Oct. 14.

The earlier provision authorizing hand-salutes for veterans and out-of-uniform service members during the raising, lowering or passing of the flag, was contained in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2008, which took effect Jan. 28, 2008. (reprinted from VA News 10/31/2008)

Thanks to shipmate Mike Michalski for notifying us of this news.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

New Navy Service Uniform

The new E1-E6 Service Uniform (SU) became available for purchase in Great Lakes and California Navy Exchanges starting July 31, 2008.

The SU is for year-round wear and replaces the summer white and winter blue uniforms. Sailors will have up to 24 months to purchase the new uniform, depending on their duty station location.

The mandatory wear date for all E1-E6 personnel is July 2010. Clothing replacement allowances for fiscal years 2008 and 2009 were increased to cover the purchasing of two sets of new uniforms by July 2010.

Basic SU components include a short-sleeved khaki shirt for males and a short sleeved khaki overblouse for females; black trousers with black belt and silver buckle for males and black beltless slacks for females. Collar insignia consists of miniature silver anodized metal rank insignia for E2-E6. Petty officers will wear large silver anodized metal rank insignia on their garrison cap. Males must wear a white undershirt.

Optional components include a black, Eisenhower-style jacket with epaulets, black pullover v-neck sweater and black skirt, beret and handbag for females Existing E1-E6 summer white and winter blue uniforms will continue to be authorized for wear until the July 2010 mandatory wear date.
(mouse clicking on pictures may enlarge image)