USS BELL ASSOCIATION (DD587)
IN THIS ISSUE:
USS BELL CAPTAIN’S COMMUNIQUE
I must apologize for not getting the Newsletter out after our 2012 reunion but had so much to catch up on. I wish each and everyone a Blessed New Year and hope your Christmas time was rewarding and you had some quality time with your family and friends. I had twenty members of my family here for Christmas dinner. My two year old great-grandson was the entertainment and I know he was a tired little fellow when he left. What a great time.
The 2013 reunion will be held in Myrtle Beach, SC. The dates have been set and arrival date will be October 2 and departure on October 5, 2013. The Sea Mist Oceanfront Resort and Conference Center will be our host site. I am in the process of getting all the contracts and will be sending that information very soon. I hope a lot of you will be able to attend as these meetings mean so much not only to the shipmates but to the family and friends of the shipmates. We will certainly never forget what our shipmates and their family members sacrificed for all of us and meeting together once a year to support and remember them is but a small memorial.
…..While going thru some old files, I came across this record of action by the USS BELL. I thought that you might like this for the USS BELL archives. If not, maybe some one from the Bell might want them. Jack has dementia/Alzheimer but he remembers the Bell and loves to wear his hat. He likes to go to the store and tell people how old he is (90) and tell how he was in the Navy. He remembers I’m his wife but has trouble remembering his children. Some days are difficult and this week he is in respite care. I am trying to keep him at home but am not sure how long I will be able to accomplish this. The times he was able to go to the reunions were happy times and I am glad he was able to enjoy them. Give my best wishes and his to all.
…..Nancy Forester, 10870 Dehmel Road, Birch Run, MI 48415
(If you would like to send Nancy or Jack a card this is their address.)
…..Shipmate Clifford Ball, TM 1 (Torpedoman) has sent notification of the passing of his wife from dementia on April 16, 2012. We are deeply sorry and send our condolences to Clifford and their family.
…..Clifford Ball, 1841 East Stadium Drive, Eden, NC 27285
…..I’m sorry to inform you that my dear husband, Lawrence Albert Howard passed away peacefully on Wednesday, July 18, 2012. I will enclose an obituary and card given at the funeral and prayer card. Please remember him in your prayers. Al volunteered for the Navy at the beginning of WWII. He worked as a medical corpsman while in the Navy serving a total of nine years. His service included the Korean War and he was on one of Admiral Byrd’s expeditions to the South Pole, where he was inducted into the Order of the Penguin. He attended SLI (now ULL) in Lafayette for two years between wars. Al served aboard the USS BELL and the USS Philippine Sea and was medically retired from naval service after an accident. Al’s 89 year journey in this life ended peacefully at home on Thursday, July 28, 2012 with his entire family present.
…..Janice Howard, 204 Dublin Circle, Apt C, Lafayette, LA 70506-3887
…..Note from Barbara Daniels about Dick’s back surgery. Just a short note to let you know Dick had major back surgery October 18th in what was to be an overnight visit became a 4 ½ hour operation to try and repair more than they expected. He’s doing well – still in Rehab Facility – but we have some hopes for improvement. It became much more involved and he is still in PT facility near Boston - progress is slow – he’s just been fitted for a leg brace and it should help the neuropathy in the leg. It’s hard to give you an address as he keeps moving to different places – but I know he’d appreciate some mail and it can be sent here. Best Wishes for the New Year.
…..Barbara Daniels, 48 Hidden Bay Drive, South Dartmouth, MA 02748
…..John Lawrence Haley, Sr. passed away October 24, 2012 from Alzheimer’s disease. John was born August 11, 1923.
…..Mrs. John (Rita) Haley, 47 Highview Drive, Apt. A, Pittsfield, MA 01210
…..Merry Christmas and a very Happy and Healthy New Year. I’m headed for 94 and I guess I’m on that “Slow Boat”. Was set back with 5 hospital visits this past year. I’m still enjoying being in my own home – 72 years now and holding! It’s still a great life. My love to all.
…..Fran Vershowske, N9169 Hickery Street, East Troy, WI 53120
…..Jon Diulus suffered a heart attack just before our reunion in Washington, DC. The latest information is he doing great and is off his blood pressure pills and hopefully a few others will be decreased. John is the son-in-law of Mario and Marion Capitanio and he and his family have always attended the reunions with Mario and Marion. John has been a wonderful supporter of the reunions and a great helper with the hospitality room. So happy he is doing so well and look for them at the future reunions. Their daughter Katie is going to be home for the holidays. Her husband is still in Afganistan and is due home in March. Their daughter Laura and her husband Matt are parents of a new set of twins.
Congratulations to all the family and let’s keep Katie’s husband Dave in our thoughts and prayers and wish him a safe journey home.
…..Jon & Susan Diulus, 13928 Park Drive, Brook Park, OH 44142
…..Shipmate Jimmy Faith and his wife Louise have both been under the weather but my last message from their daughter says that Jimmy has recovered well from his illness but Louise is still undergoing some treatment. She hopes they will be attending the 2013 reunion and sorry they had to miss the 2012. Let’s also remember them in our thoughts and prayers.
…..Jimmy & Louise Faith, 103 Sophie Street, Calhoun, GA 3071-7048
…..I spoke with Shipmate Al Lewis recently and he has had heart surgery to replace the valve and is doing very good. He has some low back pain due to arthritis but both he and Pauline are doing well.
…..Mrs. Rita M. Stasaitis passed away September 11, 2012. Rita was a friend of Ed Klenka and attended several reunions. Our sympathy goes out to Rita’s family and to Ed.
…..Our deepest sympathy goes out to Shipmate Ed Klenka and his family in the loss of his Nephew and his wife on January 17, 2013. Staff Sergeant David Dunlap 37 and his wife Whitney were shot to death upon entering their home. A seventeen year old has been arrested and a nineteen year old arrested as an accomplice. David was a Staff Sergeant in the 4th Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division at Fort Carson just outside Colorado Springs. David and Whitney had just moved into their new home and were expecting their first child. They were buried in Arlington National Cemetery and we all extend our deepest sympathy to Ed and his family. Ed’s address is 42 Poinsettia Gardens, Ventura, CA 93004-1648.
This is the information sent by Mrs. Jack Forester:
Heading: -A- 712 252347 172 GR BT
Report on our Task
Group strike Xmas X Christmas package for COMSOPAC from TG 37.2 X
Early today Kavieng strike dropped 32 ½ ton bombs and 9 torpedoes on two
DD’s, two large general supply ships, two medium cargo ships, eight small supply
ships and twenty to thirty barges X
estimate help of photos one DD, two large supply ships, three barges
sunk; one DD several small supply ship many barges and one “pt” heavily damaged
and possibly sunk X eight to ten float planes afired or
damaged by strafing X Our losses one damaged Avenger landed in
water two survivors made rubber boats
X request search and rescue X
Two Avengers heavily, five Avengers and two Hellcats slightly damaged by AA S
One crewman killed one wounded three missing
and two Bettys destroyed by combat patrol during day
At dusk heavily attack by 18 Bettys, no
damage.. Note: This report shows that our Xmas present
to Tojo was a potent one.
This was our first time under fire and everyone did nobly. Everyone aboard is entitled to wear a
brass star in their Pacific campaign bar.
Also the fact that you participated in this battle will be entered in each and
every official record. Well done
ever officer and every man of the BELL.
Signed, the Captain
In November I made a trip to Panama. I had always wanted to see the Panama Canal and to see just how the ships are moved from one ocean to another. We were taken through the locks on a yacht that originally belonged to Jay P. Morgan and I’m sure it was at one time very plush as it still is a very nice vessel. They served us breakfast and lunch on board. It sometimes takes hours for the ships to get through the canal. The cruise ships get priority as they have tourist on board and at a fee of $300,000 to use the canal. Ships were lined up as far out as you could see waiting to pass through. For twelve hours they move ships from the Atlantic to the Pacific and the other twelve hours of the day they move the ships from the Pacific to the Atlantic so it does take quiet a while. I went with a tour group and saw so much of Panama and what a great history lesson I received. Panama City has changed a lot since the BELL went through on the way to the Pacific. Seeing up close just how the locks work and actually getting to go through them was so interesting. They are now dredging to make the canal wider and deeper. Panama is growing rapidly with now over 100 skyscrapers and over 150 more currently being built and they have over 80 banks in Panama City alone. Donald Trump has a high rise there also. We visited the Embera Indians that live in the jungles of Panama. The Indians trained our NASA Astronauts on how to survive in a jungle environment should their space vehicle came down in an area such as the jungle. They taught them what food was available in the jungle that could keep them alive until they were rescued. The food consisted of bugs that were not poison and snakes, etc. I really got a history lesson that I won’t soon forget.
So long for now and I will be sending the reunion information and plans very soon!