DESRON 25 \
The first ever Destroyer Squadron 25 reunion (in which all 9 ships were represented) was held in Louisville, Kentucky July 26-28 2005.. All nine "tin cans" in the squadron were represented and attendance figures show over one hundred persons attended this unique event. The three day event was highlighted by a banquet on the last evening, and a great time was had by all.
Prior to dinner a very emotional memorial service was held paying tribute to the squadron's sailors who did not return from the war: from the USS MURRAY, Orval Knox, USS HARRISON, Charles Ellenberg and Kenny Baker, USS DASHIELL, Paul Nystrom, USS MCKEE, Nicholas Gentile, and from USS SIGSBEE twenty-four (see memorial link this site).
A memorial video was shown for the SIGSBEE sailors. This memorial included the traditional "bell ringing ceremony" as individual photos were shown. Also listed were the sailors home state, rate, and his general quarters location. The beginning of the video displayed the crippled 502 as the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" plays to the poem (see sailors poem memorial link this site) by A.J. Pohl, of Scottsdale, Az. paying tribute to his fallen shipmates
Coordinators from each ship brought history's, photos, action reports, models, displays, deck logs, etc. and all was made available for viewing in the "Yeoman's Club" library parlor sponsored by the USS SIGSBEE. Two other parlors were used for social/hospitality rooms. The MCKEE took advantage of this event to stage their annual reunion and hosted a hospitality room as well. In this regard the MCKEE also had the most in attendance at thirty-two.
Many of those in attendance took time to tour the Louisville Kentuckiana area attractions while many stayed around the hotel to take in the daily programs offered. During the day the "Yeoman's Club" parlor was utilized for informative and entertaining programs. Representatives from each of the "cans" shared their individual recollections and stories about their ship. These programs thus provided everyone an opportunity to learn about the other ships in the squadron. A debt of gratitude goes out to those sailors who represented their ships:
Henry Higginbotham (Ringgold) of Illinois Carl Artino of Florida (John Rodgers)
Bob Schwartz from Lodi, California & Dave Schroeder of Milwaukee, Wis. (Schroeder)
Scott Lynch (McKee) from Michigan Clint Camic of Windsor, Ill. & Gene Brooks of Centerville, Ohio ( Dashiell),
Bob McDonald (Murray) of Belpre, Ohio
Author Gary McIntosh (native Hoosier now living in Florida) has published a book (in honor of his father) about the USS STEVENS (see "new" link on this site). He gave a very descriptive account of the STEVENS and her trials and tribulations being apart of the Navy's attempt to place a catapult / aircraft on a destroyer.
A video presentation of the USS SIGSBEE and the new USS CHUNG-HOON was shown by John Mastin.
Notes of interest..... The oldest sailor in attendance along with his wife Ruth was Myron Scott (USS MURRAY) of Dayton, Ohio, at 92 years young. The couple traveling the farthest was Mrs. Polly Seto-Richardson and her husband from Honolulu, Hawaii. Jack Mindock (John Rodgers) of Olgesby, Ill. was extremely happy to meet up with an old navy buddy from Orleans, Indiana. Jack and shipmate Robert Coleman met for the first time in sixty years!
Note: A big THANK YOU to John Chiquione (Harrison) of Philadelphia, PA. for all his work in making this event a reality. Accolades also to; Dick and Dot Janda (Harrison) of Berwyn, Ill. for their work in the DesRon 25 hospitality room, Leonard Musselman (Ringgold) of Quakertown, PA. for his keyboard music during the "sing along" and banquet entertainment, Lt. Gene Myers (Ringgold) of Louisville, Ky. for his terrific donations of door prizes and his son Bill for a presentation on how sailors might obtain awards and medals they have coming to them. Thank you Gene Bittner (Ringgold) of Madison, Ohio for helping with the memorial service and Dick Steffes of (McKee) for giving the benediction at the banquet. Dave Schroeder (pronounced Schrader) (Schroeder) of Milwaukee, Wis. for all his help in recording new data from each ship and for help in orchestrating this event. A special thanks to my SIGSBEE buddy Billy Roberts and his wife Edy for all their support and donations..... you were missed by everyone. (Billy was unable to attend due to a health problem).