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Last updated:  11/01/22  

Naval Academy Glee Club
Annual Santa Barbara USNA Picnic (8/16/22)
'58 Memories From Gary Minar

Col Dick Brinegar, USMC (Ret) (8th Co)  Getting Ready For the Marine Corps Birthday  (12/22/21)
Rupe's and Joan's Loop Adventure (10/21/21)
Report From Gary Minar

New Book About Bruce McCandless  (8/13/21)

Gordo - National Champ
George Fennell, '58  Honored at NAS Pensacola
Marty Hill Takes Over As Company Rep Coordinatpr.
Memorabilia Video: Admiral Smedberg Distinguished Graduate Awards
Bob Caldwell Honored by the Touchdown Club
USNA Columbarium  
Tribute To Ben Montoya From Nils Rueckert
Naval Academy Building Named In Honor of Former Superintendent

Dedication for Ed Browne
Bruce McCandless at theUNSA Museum
USNA Sick Call 
Obituary Guidance
  (Click on this link)
Veteran's Aid Program 
Check Your Military Retiree Account Statement


Naval Academy Glee Club (10/30/22)

Gary Minar came across some of the performances by the Naval Academy Glee Club on the iernet. One of the best ones is shown in the following link

(1) USNA Glee Club: "Blue & Gold" - Bing video

Annual Santa Barbara Area USNA Picnic (8/16/22)

From Gary Minar:

The annual  Santa Barbara USNA  picnic was held on Aug 7, 2022. This event has been curtailed in recent years due to covid,. . There were about 40 attendees, ranging from 1955 to 2011
 with parents from three middies now at the Academy.

The picture shows Gary Minar on the left and Vern Hanna on the right. Vern still flies his Stinson Station Wagon aircraft out of the local Santa Ynez airport. The picnic was catered and we had good old Santa Maria BBQ and chicken, along with superb baked beans and salad. A number of sea scouts were there to help with serving tasks, etc.



'58 Memories From Gary Minar (6/15/22)

Here is a picture of Bruce McCandless taken in Bermuda in spring of 1958. The story is that one day Bruce saw me in the hall (he was 19th, and I was 20th).and said he had learned about a training flight to Bermuda by one of the seaplanes at USNA. So I said 'let's do it'.

He and I flew from USNA to Bermuda for the weekend. A grand experience and we were told by the crew to be at the airstrip at 0800 the next morning. When we got there the plane was all opened up and the huge boat hull was being loaded with boxes. As we took off in the water, it must have taken almost a mile for the a/c to get up on the step. We returned via Norfolk and custom check. The custom guy was older and seemed challenged by having to climb up the steps into our seaplane. When we finally got back to USNA, there were a lot of folks happily waiting to get their box. The contents of the boxes is left to your imagination.


Col Dick Brinegar, USMC (Ret) (8th Co)  Getting Ready For the Marine Corps Birthday  (12/22/21)

From Dick's Son: Major Tom Brinegar, USMC (Ret):

Carrying out the request of my mother, attached recent photo is her husband, and my father, Col Richard L. Brinegar, USNA Class of 1958, 8th Company. 
My explanation below of the event is captured in a single photo  taken November 10th, 2021, Marine Corps Birthday celebration.

Uniform preparations are being made for a home celebration of our Marine Corps birthday with this photo captured by my sister. Our father, who had a 
30 year career, has late-onset Alzheimer's and while I helped him get his uniform together, he clearly is mentally aware of the event taking place this particular 
evening and perhaps even recalling a glimpse into his own past life if only momentarily . My father stood as tall as I'd ever seen him at past celebrations and 
promotions, looking confident and proud as always. Our time together I shall cherish forever and the continued memories ahead. Semper Fidelis to you, Dad.  

Please share with his Class.  Thank you and Merry Christmas.  

  Respectfully & Semper Fidelis,
Major Thomas J Brinegar
USMC - Retired .

Rupe's and Joan's Loop Adventure (10/21/21)

As most of you know, Rupe and Joan MacLean have been avid boat cruisers for many years, even having spent about five years living on their own yacht  while cruising between the Bahamas and the Chesapeake Bay. At our luncheon on 30 Sept 2021, Rupe gave us a entertaining and fascinating talk about his plan for him and Joan to cruise what is known "America's Great Loop Cruise"

As described on the Great Loop's website: Loopers" cruise the 6,000-mile Great Loop route aboard their own boats, traveling northward along the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway to New York, through the New York canals to the Great Lakes to Chicago, down the inland rivers to the Gulf of Mexico, and around Florida.  The map below gives you an idea of the extent of such a trip. 

The text of Rupe's talk is a worthwhile read.  Go To Rupe's Great Loop Trip Plan


Image result for Great Loop Maps. Size: 178 x 204. Source: granvida42.blogspot.com



Report From Gary Minar (8/23/21)

Here is some info about West Coast 58ers.

Yesterday we had our annual USNA picnic, first since 2019 due to covid. It was in a lovely park in Montecito.  
There were 3 58 members, Vern Hanna, Nils Rueckert and Gary Minar.

Picture a shows Nils R, Gary M, and Vern H left to right.
Picture b shows the companions
Picture c shows the nice cakes.

There were about 45 or so attendees, from classes 55 and 56 to parents of a 2023 middie, who is on varsity water polo team. Great catered picnic.

  Gary Minar '58


Minar picnic 8-21 a.jpg (685426 bytes)

Minar picnic 8-21 b.jpg (964495 bytes)

Minar picnic 8-21 c.jpg (1345929 bytes)

Click On Picture to View


New Book About Bruce McCandless  (8/13/21)

Bruce McCandless's son, Bruce III, wrote a book about Bruce's time at NASA and also the relationships between father and son.  The book is available on Amazon. The following is an excerpt from the review on Amazon:

"It’s one of the most powerful and popular images in the history of space exploration: an astronaut in a snow-white spacesuit, untethered and floating alone in an expanse of blue. Bruce McCandless II is the man in that spacesuit, and Wonders All Around: The Incredible True Story of Astronaut Bruce McCandless II and the First Untethered Flight in Space is the thoroughly engrossing, extensively researched story of his inspiring life and groundbreaking accomplishments, as told by his son, a gifted writer and storyteller"


Gordo - National Champion (7/28/21)

Recently Gordo participated in the National Short Course Masters Swimming Championships.   The meet was held in Greensboro, North Carolina from 21 to 25 July. 
 Gordo came in first in both the 100 Backstroke and the 200 Backstroke, and third in the 50 Backstroke.  He also finished 5th in 100 Breaststroke and 200 Breaststroke and 6th in the 50 Breaststroke.
  BZ Gordo!!

Note from Gary Minar Re His Recent Heart Operation (9/10/20

I recently had a heart fix experience and wrote up some info that might be of interest to other 58ers

See Gary's Write-up 


George Fennell, '58  Honored at NAS Pensacola (12/11/19)

memorial was recently established at Pensacola called the " Walk of Honor".  It honors those who died at Pensacola during operational activities. George Myers, 16th Company, 
who lives in Pensacola saw to it that George Fennell, our first commissioned classmate to die on active duty, was included.  

See full story

Marty Hill Takes Over as  Company Representative Coordinator  (12/2/19)

After doing a superb job as the Company Representative Coordinator for many years , Terry Cooper is stepping down. 

 Marty Hill has taken over that responsibility as of 1 Dec 2019.  BZ to Terry and good luck to Marty.


Memorabilia Video: Admiral Smedberg Hosts King Saud at USNA  Feb 1957

The links below were provided by Jean LeBer.   They show the arrival of King Saud at USNA  on Feb 2, 1957.  The article and video is unedited so it has no sound 

and still has the time marks in it, so tyhe video is a little rough.  President Eisenhower is shown talking to King Saud at the end of the video.  

Photo:  https://outlet.historicimages.com/products/cvw26916

Video:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S19WDQ25leE 


 Exclusive Audio: In New Memoir, Sen. John McCain Rests His Case 5/4/2018

Click on the following link:



Class of 1958 Distinguished Graduate Awards

From Frank Gamboa:  

The Great USNA Class of 1958 is one of the few classes that have five USNA Distinguished Graduate Award (DGA) recipients. Most have four. None has six. Our DGA recipients are as follows; they validate our class motto. I had the honor and privilege of drafting each of their respective nominations.  

ADM Chuck Larson, USN  2006  

RADM Ben Montoya, CEC, USN  2008  

LTGEN Terry Cooper, USMC  2011  

CAPTAIN Bruce McCandless II, USN  2012  

SENATOR John S. McCain III, 2018  

The '58 Board of Trustees also nominated Otto Helweg, Ph,D. First USNA graduate awarded the Hoover Medal, considered the engineering equivalent to Nobel Prize. President Jimmy Carter was second.  

Otto died of a heart attack in October 2008 in Denver, Colorado while campaigning as a surrogate for John McCain. He was also in the midst of collaborating with the USNA Academic Dean on creating an Arabic Studies program at the academy. Otto was an expert in the Middle East and was fluent in Arabic and Farsi languages. As a midshipman, he was a member of the varsity football and lacrosse teams and the Brigade Heavyweight Boxing Champion as a Segundo. I am confident he would have been selected for a DGA.     


Bob Caldwell Honored by the Touchdown Club (2/23/17)

The Touchdown Club of Annapolis is about history, tradition and nostalgia. It is also about camaraderie and community.

All those characteristics were on display during Thursday (2/16/17) night's 63rd annual Touchdown Club football awards banquet, which drew another sellout crowd to the DoubleTree Hotel.

It started with the pre-dinner presentation to Commander Bob Caldwell, who has been with the Touchdown Club from the outset. Caldwell was part of the 1954 Navy football team that inspired formation of the organization.

Navy, led by head coach Eddie Erdelatz, finished that season with an 8-2 record after beating Mississippi in the 1955 Sugar Bowl. It was the first postseason victory in program history and prompted a group of Annapolis civic and business leaders to organize a banquet to honor what had become known as "The Team Named Desire."

"My long dedication to the Touchdown Club began my plebe year when I attended the inaugural banquet at St. Mary's High," said Caldwell, who would later return to the Naval Academy as Deputy Director of Athletics.

Caldwell received the Jim and Rae Ann Morgan Award as a distinguished member of the Touchdown Club of Annapolis. That special award, given to those who have shown longtime dedication and unwavering support of the organization, has previously recognized past presidents and devoted members such as Jack Cloud, Frank Brady and Joe Gross.

"I am so proud to have been associated with the Touchdown Club, which has richly supported our youth, high school and collegiate football and lacrosse teams," Caldwell said. "This club has also represented the spirit of teamwork, selflessness and respect."

Caldwell went on to mention numerous other past presidents of the Touchdown Club for whom he had great admiration, including his former football coach at Navy — H. Richard Duden.


 Tribute To Ben Montoya From Nils Rueckert (12/30/15)

At nearby Port Hueneme, CA stands the relatively new multi-million dollar Seabee Museum, which has a permanent exhibit in the entrance lobby honoring the life and career of Ben Montoya, 5th Co.  With the news of his passing, I took on the personal commitment of presenting a wreath on behalf of the class.  Ben had been the chairman of the board of the CEC/Seabee Historical Foundation and was the principal fundraiser, raising some $15 million dollars to build the museum, opened in 2010.  

Assisting with the placement of the wreath was Captain Bob Quinn, ’56, on the left, a trustee on the foundation board, who was responsible for oversight of the design and construction of the museum.    

Thank you,  

Nils Rueckert, ’58, 6th Co.

Go to Pictures of the Wreath and the Museum



Naval Academy Building Named in Honor of former Superintendent

 At a ceremony later this summer, the Naval Academy will rename the Administration Building “Larson Hall” in honor of Adm. Charles R. Larson, Naval Academy Class of 1958, who passed away 26 July. The building was built in 1907, renovated in 2014, and serves as the headquarters of the Naval Academy superintendent and immediate staff.  

Click here to see full story



Dedication  for Ed Browne (5th Co)  - Camp Pendleton holds rededication ceremony for its Child Development Center

From Nils Rueckert

Ed was killed in action in Vietnam in 1967.  His widow Ellie passed away just last year.  They left two children, Betsy and Ted, who were very, very young when Ed died.  

In 1962-64 Ed, Bob Topping, Jeff Dennis (’57) and I were all students at the P.G. School in Monterey and came to share a house in Carmel.  We all married and moved on but kept in touch through the years, except for Ellie, who withdrew from contact after Ed’s passing.  Bob’s widow Lois Topping, who forwarded the attachment to Jeff and me, attended Ellie’s internment at Arlington.

From Betsy:

Here is a link to the Camp Pendleton News (online News Paper) with a story of Thursday's (29 January) Re-Dedication ..  



Bruce McCandless Signs  Space Shuttle Model at the Naval Academy Museum (12/2/14)

The Naval Academy Museum was honored to welcome astronaut Bruce McCandless, USNA Class of 1958, who in 1984 was the first astronaut to make an untethered space walk. He was accompanied by Rupe MacLean '58, with the class flag that McCandless took aboard the shuttle. Joining them was USNA Museum Curator of Ship Models, Don Preul. Whenever the museum is visited by an astronaut from the Apollo or shuttle programs, the Museum requests they sign their models.

Bruce Mc with Rupe and Curator.jpg (251251 bytes) Bruce Mc signing Model.jpg (11602 bytes)
Bruce McCandless with Rupe McLean and Don Preul at the USNA Museum Bruce signing the shuttle model


San Francisco Area Bay Gatherings  (Updated 7/25/14)

'58 musters on the 4th Wednesday quarterly for lunch. We have been known to change the date so call/email to confirm.


       John Potter (19th) maintains the area roster and sends out the notices.

       Phone: 707-745-4914

       Email: john.potter@1958.usna.com


SHIPMATE  will accept digital photos for publication in class columns.  The only requirements are that the electronic file must be sent as either a JPEG or TIFF file, the original photo (if scanned) must be larger than 2.5" wide, and the resolution of the photo must be at least 300 dpi.    Hard copy photos are still perfectly acceptable.  Digital photos that don't get used for the class column will probably be displayed for all to enjoy on the Class of 1958 web site.

Have you written your classmates lately??? Submit your items as they occur to relieve Bill Schramm of the monthly crunch.  Adventures, life events, meetings with classmates, travels, weddings, grandchildren, retirements, Olympic medals, hospitalizations, and all that are grist for the column. Pictures are appreciated, particularly with the class flag in them. 

        The  class column length has been cut by SHIPMATE from 4,000 words per column to 2,000 words per column.  A photo of three or less persons equals 100 words,  said words to be subtracted from the column length.  And this after the survey showed the class columns to be the most popular feature!  Go figure!                     

The address for e-mail to Bill Schramm at w_schramm@comcast.net   and send the photos to him at 17 Calera Canyon, Salinas, CA 93908., Tel: 831-484-9058.

D.C. Area Class Lunches

    The Class Luncheons are held at the Army Navy Country Club on the last Thursday of every month unless otherwise advised. They start at 1130 and arrangements are made for a speaker to present talks on subjects of interest to the Class. Your class caller should contact you about a week before each event to get a head count. If you do not hear from your caller, contact in the following order: 

Mike Giglio (GIGLIO3936@aol.com) 

 If you plan to attend, accurate head counts are important to preclude unnecessary cost. In addition to charging us the full rate for "no-shows", the club also charge us a surcharge for each unannounced attendee. We have no choice but to pass these costs on to the classmates concerned. Please make your reservations as early as possible but no later than the Tuesday before the luncheon. The cost of the luncheon is ususally  $30. Honor bar prices will be posted at the event.

 USNA Sick Call

Because of our unique shared educational and professional backgrounds, alumni are often the best resource for supporting other alumni in times of crisis.  To that end, three USNA grads (Bob Martinazzi-’91, Jay Murphy-’93, and Rob Ballister, ‘94) have launched USNA SICK CALL (www.usnasickcall.org) in order to foster support for graduates suffering from cancer and other serious diseases.  The site can connect ill alumni with other alumni who may have already won their battles with similar illnesses.  In order to maximize our exposure to the alumni population at large, we are asking the following:

 1.   Check out the website for yourself.

      2.   If you think the effort has value, please forward to your class by whatever means you see fit.  We would be happy to supply verbiage if needed, or you may write your own blurb.

 There are no dues, donations, or financial obligations of any kind associated with this effort.  We are simply looking for maximum exposure in order to help as many alumni as possible.  Your assistance is greatly appreciated.  Please contact the following email addresses if you have any questions and we would be happy to answer them.

 Alumni helping alumni makes us all stronger.

 Bob Martinazzi:  bob@martinazzi.net

Jay Murphy: jay.murphy07@comcast.net

Rob Ballister: rballister@verizon.net

Virginia Beach Class Luncheons 

The Southern Virginia Class of 1958  Luncheons are held at the Cypress Point Golf Club in Virginia Beach
on the first Thursday of each month.  They begin at 11:30. Lunch orders are placed at noon.
We don’t have a program, we just swap sea stories and travel logs.  Reservations not required.
Out of town visitors welcome.”     George Chafee (chafeeg58@gmail.com)  

New Law Now Allows Retirees and Vets to Salute Flag

Traditionally, members of the nation's veterans service organizations have rendered the hand-salute during the national anthem and at events involving the national flag only while wearing their organization’s official head-gear. 

The National Defense Authorization Act of 2008 contained an amendment to allow un-uniformed servicemembers, military retirees, and veterans to render a hand salute during the hoisting, lowering, or passing of the U.S. flag.

A later amendment further authorized hand-salutes during the national anthem by veterans and out-of-uniform military personnel. This was included in the Defense Authorization Act of 2009, which President Bush signed on Oct. 14, 2008.

Here is the actual text from the law:

                        BY MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES NOT IN
                        UNIFORM AND BY VETERANS.

    Section 301(b)(1) of title 36, United States Code, is amended by
striking subparagraphs (A) through (C) and inserting the following new
                    ``(A) individuals in uniform should give the
                military salute at the first note of the anthem and
                maintain that position until the last note;
                    ``(B) members of the Armed Forces and veterans who
                are present but not in uniform may render the military
                salute in the manner provided for individuals in
                uniform; and
                    ``(C) all other persons present should face the flag
                and stand at attention with their right hand over the
                heart, and men not in uniform, if applicable, should
                remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it
                at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart;

Note: Part (C) applies to those not in the military and non-veterans. The phrase "men not in uniform" refers to civil service uniforms like police, fire fighters, and letter carriers -  non-veteran civil servants who might normally render a salute while in uniform.  

Proton Radiation Treatment for Cancer

From Kent Lawrence (6/9/11)

Hello J.B. –

Thanks for this interesting article. Our general age group is certainly “in the zone” for prostate cancer, so it’s important to learn as much as we can about the disease and how to prevent it. And as both a survivor and prostate cancer mentor with the American Cancer Society and Massachusetts General Hospital, I’ve been fortunate to be able to stay pretty close to the issue.

Back in 2005 I was diagnosed with a very high-risk, aggressive prostate cancer. My Gleason is 9 (5+4 and 4+5, with all cores up to 100% involved with cancer). When we discussed treatments, I asked my team (urologist, radiation oncologist, and medical oncologist) at Mass General about the proton beam option, since MGH/Harvard, like Loma Linda, is one of the few sites in the U.S. offering it. They agreed that proton therapy, with its reduced “collateral damage”, was very good for medium and low grade cancers (Gleason 7 and below)where the cancer is well defined and in a “good” position. But it’s not necessarily superior to other treatments.  And for especially aggressive, poorly defined cancers like mine, a more aggressive combination treatment was warranted. So I had 9 weeks of daily IMRT external radiation and 2 years of Androgen Deprivation Therapy, i.e. so-called hormones. Ever since then my PSA (checked quarterly) has been undetectable, and I’m now 6 years out and in “permanent” remission. Statistically, given the very high-risk nature of my case, I should have had a recurrence/relapse in 1 ½ to 2 years. I’m very fortunate.

I appreciate your enthusiasm for the proton beam option, and why not - - it worked great for you! However, I must take issue with your statement in your e-mail “…if you get Prostate Cancer, Please do not use any procedure other than the Proton Therapy”. Instead I’d suggest that anyone getting prostate cancer carefully examine all the options available, and talk them over with your doctors. Find out which therapies are best suited for a cancer of your severity, and go with what offers the best chances of success. It may or may not be proton beam.

Tomorrow I’ll be attending the Massachusetts Prostate Cancer Coalition’s annual day-long seminar. It’s a great place to get caught up with many oncologists and urologists (and we have lots here in Boston) and of course get some of the latest dope on the subject. I’ll pass on any updated info.

Thanks again for the article.


From John Bradley

This information is important to all who may have prostate, breast, brain, eye cancer, or most solid tumors that have not metastasized.  It gives the reason where Proton Radiation is better than any other radiation used to cure these cancers.  I had Proton done at Loma Linda University Medical Center in Loma Linda, CA for my prostate cancer back in 2006 and have had no side effects what so ever.

Click here for article on Proton Radiation

Veteran's Aid Program - Aid and Attendance (A&A) Pension

This is a little known/used benefit for vets under the auspices of the veterans' administration.  One does not have to be retired from the service to qualify, only to have served on active duty in designated war periods (either stateside or in theater).  Other eligibility requirements also apply.     

The Aid and Attendance (A&A) Pension provides benefits for veterans and surviving spouses who require the regular attendance of another person to assist in eating, bathing, dressing and undressing or taking care of the needs of nature. It also includes individuals who are blind or a patient in a nursing home because of mental or physical incapacity. Assisted care in an assisting living facility also qualifies.

Some of you may have parents/grandparents/spouses who are currently paying these expenses out-of-pocket and may rate such compensation.  More on this program at the following link:


Check Your Military Retiree Account Statement

Walt Mitchell of 12th Co sent this interesting message.  

"Just wanted to let you know that, the same as many of you, I recently received my Military Retiree Account  Statement.  Please review the back of your statement and verify who you have designated as the beneficiary in case you  die.  Mine has changed to someone I don't even know (Cathy J. McMillin ,"wife") as getting 100%.  Based upon  the fact that recently the VA had military retiree personnel  information compromised it is interesting that somehow my  beneficiaries have changed.   If you look at  the broader picture of what this means that many veterans probably wouldn't catch this  and that as we lose more of our fellow servicemen and women each day this would leave their dependents without the benefit hey deserve.  I will be calling DOD first day they are open as well as the DOD IG and local congressman.   Please send this out to the retirees you know and alert them to check whether current beneficiary is.   Ask them to pass it along."

LtGen Chuck Pitman, former Deputy Commandant for Aviation


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