USS RICH (DE-695)
315 Kinsey Street
Raleigh NC 27603
12 October 2005
Fall Greetings to Shipmates & Friends,
Thanks to everyone who returned their post card. We had a great
response. It is surprising how many names had spelling errors, and
several folks actually changed their street address. Appreciate that.
Getting mail with a “slightly incorrect” address is a miracle, but you
did. Also appreciate the notes added to many of the returns:
Paul & Marty Fraizer have a new address: 109 N
Keene St, Apt 105, Columbia MO.
Jean Schmocker noted: “My present husband manages a rental
golf cart business in Myrtle Beach. His busy time is June, July, &
August. So, we will not be able to attend future Reunions. Please cancel
my letters & mailings. Wishing you all the best!! It does bring back
memories, as Dan was so active in the Reunions. Love to All.
Jean” (Editors note: Enjoy the memories, Jean. You will
always be on the mailing.)
Joe & Alta Podorski: “Hi and hope you’re fine.
Joe still has a few problems with his neck & shoulders, but is doing
better. So sorry to miss the fun. Take care. Alta”
Charles & Cecelia Thifault noted: that “We are so
sorry about Ed & Dot. They really helped your ship (DE
695) “RICH” in our memory.”
Sally Svoboda: “Please remove me from the mailing. I am
being sent overseas. The best to all of you!! Champagne Sally”
Victor Buck: “Send my mailing instead to the USS SLATER in
Albany NY 12203"
Again, thanks for responding. Should your address change in the future,
or you have information for the folks... please write to the above
address or give me a call (919) 833-0747.
That George Fryberger is an amazing fellow. He and Roy
Hudson (Jr)... (along with the friends & family of the USS
Rich Survivors) really pulled off a good one on us. They organized,
begged for money, and put together a very nice Bronze Plaque for display
at the D-Day Memorial in Bedford VA... honoring the participation of the
USS RICH (DE-695) at Normandy... all without our knowing about it. They
really know how to keep a secret! It warms my heart to see these young
people taking so much interest in something so personal. Yes, I am
Many thanks to Matthew White, H B Sims’ grandson (Cindy’s
son) for his excellent recording of our war experiences (last year at
the Lynchburg VA meeting). Wished that each of us could have recorded
for an hour or two. That would make a humdinger of a video. Something
like that challenges our memory... good for it. It just keeps coming
back to me how good this younger generation is to us old fogies. I hope
they know how much WE appreciate all they do for us. I can’t say it
enough... thank you, thank you.
Bennie Hicks & I talked on the phone recently. Bea
is in a rest home. She had a bad fall a few months ago and broke her
hip. Soon after recovery, she fell a second time breaking her back in
three or four different places. Bennie goes to see her at the
home everyday. Bennie says he isn’t an accomplished cook, and he
eats at fast food places most of the time, which has resulted in a minor
weight gain. To make matters worse, Bennie fell and broke his
ankle. He is receiving therapy for the ankle and is hoping the broken
ankle doesn’t interfere with his deer hunting. Now, there is a man who
has his priorities right!
Unfortunately, I must report that Robert “Bob” Darrah
has sailed on past us. Darrah wasn’t feeling well at the
Lynchburg meeting last year, and he left early. “Bob” hosted the
Frankenmuth meeting back in the ‘97; remember that? How about that
quaint little Bavarian village with the Bavarian Festival Parade... and
bratwurst sandwiches. We had gone to Michigan hoping to see where the
RICH was built. Like... tour of the plant. But, alas, the Defoe
Shipbuilding Company of Bay City, Michigan, has long since... gone out
of business. They built the USS RICH (DE-695) “upside down”! Little
trivia there for you. Had to flip it over to launch it, of course. Defoe
also built the USS BUNCH (DE-694), about a month before they built the
RICH. Coincidentally, Frankenmuth was the first Reunion for Chief
Holler. His son, O. J. brought him that year.
It is now official: Doris Holler
will be hosting the USS RICH (DE-695) Survivors
reunion next year (June 6-8, 2006) in Oklahoma. (We will send traveling
information in later Newsletters.) Doris has already checked-out
the motel for us and scheduling places to visit while we are there. She
says it is the least she can do for her “Sailor”. Chief was so
much looking forward to having “his shipmates” visit him in Oklahoma.
The Lord had other plans for Chief, but we can keep our part of
While visiting with Chief this past July, George,
Frances & Guy enjoyed a trip to the Woolaroc Museum, an
Indian Museum established by Frank Phillips of Phillips Petroleum. It’s
a museum “and” a wild life refuge. Buffalo and various wild animals roam
range free on the grounds.
Doris says biggest problem for the visit is deciding what to
eliminate from the schedule. There is too much to see: the Phillips
Indian Museum, Prairie Song (reproduction of a small town set in 1800's,
build by one man...), and maybe a trip to see Rogers & Hammerstein’s
musical, OKLAHOMA... if everyone is up to it. More than anything, we
want to visit with Doris and let her know how much we appreciate
Chief... and what he meant to every one on the RICH. I will be
there, and bring as many North Carolinians as I can. Doris, you
have been warned!
In North Carolina we are still holding two meetings a year for the North
Carolina/South Caroling Chapter of DESA. The get-together is much like
the USS RICH Survivors Reunion. This year (as usual) the meeting is
being held at Myrtle Beach, SC, December 1-3 2005. The rates are much
better in the off season. See the inserted brochure(s) for information.
(If you did not get a brochure, call Bob Scott
704-537-2931 for information.)
Surprisingly, long-forgotten memories of shipmates keep bubbling up in
my mind. I was thinking about Dan Schmocker the other day.
Most days... while I am working on the Newsletter, I think about Dan.
I now appreciate what he went through with this Newsletter! Anyway...
there was Dan... on the starboard side of the Flying Bridge (at
Normandy), with his helmet and field glasses...looking around. Then, I
remember him in Washington DC at the dedication of the Navy Memorial...
after all these years? Dan grows in stature each time I work with
‘his newsletter’! The personal character it took to produce a good
newsletter (as he did), year after year, is humbling. Yes, my hat’s off
to you Dan... my friend.
Again, We can’t thank the young folks enough for all they are doing to
carry us along. They do so many things. The biggest surprise was how
George kept his “Plaque Project” so well hidden! As one happy
sailor, I say “thanks again”... from all of us.
Wishing you fair winds and following seas, I am
M. H. Green, S 2/c
Memorial to “The Chief”:
“The world is less bright. Kindness has suffered a hit”, so said
George Fryberger. Yes, a giant among us has sailed on across the
horizon. He is missed already, but more so... we will miss his calming
influence, his moral leadership, his strength of character, and his
unselfish willingness to help others. Chief Holler was a man of
God. He lived his religion, it touched everything he did, and he was
excited to share it with everyone. We will miss you “Chief”, but
we will soldier on... make that “sailor on”. As Admiral Farragut said,
“Damn the torpedoes, full steam ahead”! And so, we shall move on with
“full steam ahead”!
A Picture Page Memorial to “Chief Holler’s Museum” is added for your
appreciation. Chief would, no doubt, have been able to relate the
occasion upon which he was given (or purchased) each item. This would
have enriched us all. MHG
M. H. Green
Guy Rich - Frances Livesay