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   August 1st, 2000 

Dear Shipmates, Guests and Friends,

The 2000 DE Rich 695 Survivors Reunion in Virginia Beach dates June 5 through June 8th was a joyous and a happy gathering. Those of you who could not join us were surely missed.

Those attending of the USS Rich Reunion were:
USS Rich DE 695 USS Bunch DE 694 Guests
Ed Black/Dot Cole
Bob Bruno
Frank/Ruth Doody
Berman/Ruth Scott
H.B./ Doris Sims
Robert/Shirley Aluni
Bill Cunningham
Norman/Thelma Jenson
Joel/Alta Podorski
M.H. Greene
Roy/Jane Hudson
Bob/Joyce Darnati
Benny/Bea Hicks
Charles Black
Tom Cook/Benny (son)
Bill/Virginia Shure
Roland/Bertie Freeman
Ray Holler/Eugene (son)

Dave Hibbs
Janice Wherley
Jim/Dottie Gwaltney



Fred/Aileen Tarver


USS Bates DE 68 / APD 47

Stan/Judy McMillan
Dyne Poglayen
Velma Edwards
    Sisters of Lester Hines 
Pat Hines 
    Niece of Lester Hines
Jack/Cynthia Helmann
Guy Rich
Frances Livesay
Art Ferreira 
    Brother of John B. Ferreira
John/Kathy Scarpato 
    Kathy's father was Don Staab
    Daughter of Benny Hicks
Sam/Kathy Aluni 
    Son of Bob/Shirley
Doug/Edna Joyner 
    Doug's brother was J H Joyner

A solemn memorial service was held at Little Creek Amphibious Base Chapel. We were fortunate to have Capt. Victor Smith, U.S. Navy Chaplain, to conduct services. We remembered our faithful shipmates. Also, Nib Cunningham and Louise Boyd.

A fellow shipmate from the USS Bull Winifred Carter who had attended our reunions in the past passed away in May 2000. We will miss Winifred greatly.

Also remembered was a USS Rich Shipmate Carmine Simione who passed away recently.

Frank Doody of the Rich has our thanks for being in charge of the memorial service and Bob Darrah who was in charge of the candle lightening service.

A cookout was held Wednesday evening, which was enjoyable. Hot dogs and hamburgers were served. The cookout would not have been complete without Norm Jensen's precious dog Mitzi singing for us.

Our thanks goes out to H.B. and Doris Sims for their super job in managing the hospitality room.

The USS crew members were surprised to receive the photo album book compiled from the computer by H.B.'s daughter. Cindy and family surprised H.B. and Doris, coming from Georgia to attend.

We were saddened by Virginia Shure becoming ill necessitating Bill and Virginia having to depart. My follow up phone after retuning home to Bill and Virginia was great. Virginia had recovered, a one day virus perhaps.

Some days prior to our reunion, we located Peyton Mize in Elberton, Georgia. Dot and I drove down and had an enjoyable get together. Shipmate Mize was discharged 100% disabled and has remained so for all these years. He would appreciate hearing from any of you. A hero indeed on the sinking, I was next to him as he struggled to turn the torpedoes out. A loss of an eye, and arm permanently disabled him. He is 78 years of age and still witty.

The Carmine Simione family were located shortly before the reunion. They were added to the mailing list.

Art Ferreira, brother of shipmate John B. Ferreira, lost on the Rich attended the reunion and gained so much information on his brother loss and sinking of the ship.

We have been in touch with Mrs. Vermillion, sister of Santo Porto GM 3/c. He died on 20 MM gun on the port side. She planned to attend but did not. She has been added to our Rich mailing list.

We were pleased that John and Kathy Scarpato came down from PA to attend the cookout. Kathy's father Don Staab, was our shipmate on the Rich. He passed away some years ago.

I have been in contact with Chief Rick Jasper son of H. P. Jasper who died in 1985. We are sending information on the Rich. He is in command of the Pacific 7th Fleet Band. He has been added to the mailing list.

Lester L. Hines who gave his life aboard the Rich was from Goldsboro, NC. His sisters' Velma, Dyne and niece Pat attended the reunion. They desire mailing list also.

Fred and Aileen Tarver of Raleigh, NC attended the reunion. Fred is an LST-865 sailor and gave up his reunion to join us. He had trained in VA at Amphibious Base.

Always glad to have Guy Rich and Francis to attend each year. Hopefully, they will continue in our family. Guy has been instrumental in helping on the website. Happy Retirement Guy!!!

Commander Doug Joyner and Edna always enliven our reunions. We all remember Doug's brother J.H. who made the supreme sacrifice.

Chief Holler and Raymond Eugene arrived from Oklahoma. Eugene has a testimony on ill health worth hearing, Great recovery our friend. Get this:

Chief Holler and Raymond Eugene had a 12 hour layover going back to home base. Chief Holler elected Chaplain for another year.

Stan McMillan and Judy of USS Bates attended our reunion. It was so nice to have a representative from the USS Bates to join us.

Attorney Sam Aluni and his lovely wife, Kathy attended with his mother and father, Bob of USS Rich and mother Shirley.

We are always glad to have Benny Cook, son of Tom Cook of the USS Rich to accompany his father to the Rich Reunion.

Shipmate Bennie and Bea Hicks attended along with their daughter, Jane and her husband Wilson Dillard

Jim Gwaltney and wife Dottie came over from Chesapeake, VA to join us again this year. He is from the USS Bunch DE 694. He celebrated his birthday again with us.

We are indebted to Dave Hibbs with License Tag DE 694. That's how we met Dave in Surfside, SC. Dave and Janice always help us greatly in information gathered on the Rich. Our hats off to them. Dave has worked on the website and located some Rich crewmen. Dave is Chairman Coordinator for USS Bunch DE 694 Reunion in Branson, MO this September 12-16. Ed and Dot are planning to go. Call us if you want more information.

Capt. Jack Helmann and Lt. Cynthia Helmann attended our reunion again this year. His Navy career is longtime service and is appreciated. Cynthia served as a Navy Nurse. He was the highlighter and speaker at our banquet.

USS Rich DE 695 Survivors send praises and thanks to former Navy man Paul Dunn of Pinehurst, NC.
The USS Rich De 695 publicist chairman, he has publications and proclamations from several sources in Virginia and North Carolina praising the Rich and Crew. Thanks friend Paul for a job well done.

Shipmate M. H. Green of Raleigh, NC has volunteered to order USS Rich DE 695 caps at an estimated cost of $12.50. Listed are those desiring caps:

Velma Edwards

Dyne Poglagen

Doug Joyner

Ed Black

Joe Podorski

Tom Cook

Benny Cook

Frank Doody

H.B. Sims

Those desiring a cap please inform:

Dot Cole
PO Box 126
Carthage, NC 28327
(910) 947-2214

Dot will contact M. H. for order. Deadline for ordering is September 15, 2000. These are regulation caps.

Thanks for your kind donations and thoughtfulness, as we all know it requires postage and etc to keep the USS Rich Survivors Association in ship shape.

Joe will need donations for next year's reunion.

Thanks to Leo Andrus of Michigan on sub chaser No.32 who picked up some survivors and sent photo of Rich breaking in two and the log of his ship the day the Rich sank. Anyone desiring photo and log contact Dot Cole.

As your Chairman Coordinator and Historian for the USS Rich, I am grateful for your support. It has been self-gratifying.

Dot Cole has done a great job indeed and thanks to her, also.

Shipmate Norm Jensen was also at one time on the USS Corry DD which we saw sink at Normandy. He came from the Corry to the Rich. You may not have known this. Many thanks to Norman for News Letters this past year.

Spoke to Paul Frazier by phone before the reunion. Both unable to attend due to illness.

Have had correspondence with Gladys and Jerry Comer, brother of Hubert Comer who was lost on USS Rich. They desire information on the Rich Videos and Photos are available by contacting us, Ed and Dot.

Thanks to Sally for the champagne again this year. She's our girl!!!
This is the toast by Sally:
Here's to the men of the USS Rich
You heroes of World War II
This champagne is a token gift
Of the affection I have for you.

It is an honor to be
A part of your crew
And a privilege just
To know all of you.

So raise your glasses
And make this toast
To the best darn sailors
On either coast.

Let's support Joe for our next reunion in Branson, Mo.

New Addresses:
Bob Darrah (Joyce)
8100 Bissonette Drive A
Oscoda, MI 48750-2236

W. D. Cunningham
400 University Parks Drive Apt. 111
Birmingham, AL 35209


Business Meeting, June 8th, 2000

Meeting called to order by Chairman Ed Black.
Chief Holler opened meeting with prayer.

Present Officers:


Ed Black


Dot Cole


Ed Black


Chief Raymond Holler


Norman Jensen

Minutes read from last year by Dot Cole, which were sent out in newsletter.

Treasurer report - Dot Cole. After bills are paid, there will be about a $1200 balance in treasury.

Joe Podorski will need some to pay for next year's reunion. This is usually deposits, etc. he has to make.

Old/New Business

Please let Ed or Dot know if anyone in your family, from another ship, or just a friend dies and we will send a sympathy card from the USS Rich DE 695.

Dan Schmocker, AC Boyd and Jack Lunceford have been added to the Navy Log Memorials. You can find this on the Internet.

Website discussed. Frank Doody, Guy Rich and Dave Hibbs are working on this. I am sure more will come in the following newsletter. Let Frank know if you have any ideas.

Selection of Officers:


Joe Podorski


Dot Cole


Ed Black


Ed Black


Chief Holler

Reunion for 2002 will decide next year. Suggested that we go to the New World War II Memorial in New Orleans.

Joe Podorski, Chairman for next year's reunion in Branson, MO passed out booklets and discussed the reunion. More information will be followed up on this event. Chief Holler adjourned the meeting.

Dot is working on a new mailing list of members. She is trying to update the list with phone numbers, and adding family members that want to be on the list.

Ed Black - Dot Cole

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