|San Diego, CA
|Fort Lauderdale, FL
|San Fransisco, CA
|Colorado Springs, CO
|San Diego, CA
|Mobile Bay, AL
|San Antonio, TX
|San Antonio, TX
|Rapid City, SD
Martin Weibel – All 19 reunions
Doug Aitken – All except No. 1
20th REUNION PLANS
The 20th Hadley Reunion was planned by Marty and Marilynn Weibel. It was to take place in Rapid City, South Dakota during a four day period around 11 May 2014. They had plans to tour Mt. Rushmore, the Badlands, Custer State Park, and Deadwood. Marty had medical issues early that year, planning was delayed and the reunion date was changed to late September. Then several other shipmates had health issues, the attendance was going to be very low and so the reunion was cancelled.
Allison and Bart Brown Joy and Jeff Veesenmeyer
But four Hadley family members did keep their reservations and met up at the Adoba Hotel in Rapid City. Allison Brown (Charlie Karmel’s daughter) with her husband Bart, and Jeff Veesenmeyer (Louis Veesenmeyer’s nephew) with his wife Joy had breakfast together each morning. They shared Hadley Reunion stories plus the must see vacation hot spots and photos of South Dakota. There won’t be anymore Hadley reunions. It’s hoped that other family members and maybe even shipmates might meet again for a luncheon or a dinner…maybe for the 70th Anniversary of the Hadley story 11 May 2015.
19th REUNION PLANS
Dear Shipmates, Families, and Friends of the HADLEY,
These are the final plans for the 19th Hadley Reunion that was 10 May to 14 May 2012 at the Hilton San Antonio Airport Hotel. Attendance was very good with 12 shipmates and over 50 attending various parts of the reunion. The plan of the days was as follows.
Thursday, 10 May sign in at hotel, dinner was on your own and the hospitality room was open until taps.
Friday, 11 May board bus at 8 am for the National Museum of the Pacific War, the Nimitz Museum, the Pacific Combat Zone, and a WWII PT Boat all in Fredericksburg, Texas. At Noon the group assembled for a catered buffet lunch at the museum.
Hadley Reunion attendees were greeted by the curator at the Museum of the Pacific War on 11 May 2012. First stop on the museum tour was the Okinawa Room. A lifesize display of the Hadley’s Combat Information Center (CIC) is the main attraction in this room. Across the room is a glassed in case displaying the original scoreboard from the Hadley’s bridge with 25 Japanese flags that represent kamikazes shot down by the Hadley crew…23 were downed during their 100 minute battle 11 May 1945.
That evening dinner was on your own. Hospitality room was open 8 pm until taps and featured a guest speaker. He was a member of the “Old Guard” from the “Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.”
Saturday, 12 May at 8 am the group met for breakfast at the hotel dining room. At 9 am they boarded a bus for Mission San Jose tour. Lunch was served at the Republic of Texas Restaurant.
Marty Weibel, Tom English and Doug Aitken received awards for their participation and support of the Hadley Reunions.
At 7 pm all attended the Hadley Banquet at the Hilton Hotel. A special presentation was given by Richard Harden, an award was presented to Marty Weibel for perfect attendance at all 19 reunions. Tom English and Doug Aitken were thanked for their efforts in planning most of the reunions. They passed that torch on to the Weibel family. The Hospitality Suite was open until taps. The war stories flowed late into the night.
Sunday, 13 May met for breakfast at 8 am, then boarded a bus for a tour of the military museum at Fort Sam Houston. Lunch was at the Texas Ranger Museum and Buckhorn Saloon Restaurant in downtown San Antonio. Following lunch we boarded two boats for a ride and tour of the Riverwalk area. Dinner was on your own and everyone gathered for goodbyes in the Hospitality Room that night.
Monday, 14 May was checkout and a Farewell Breakfast in a private room with hopes to meet again in two years.
18th REUNION PLANS FINALIZED
Dear Hadley Crewmembers, Families, and Friends,
Here we go folks!!!! Final arrangements – well, almost – check the Plan of the Days.
The Lodge is eagerly waiting for you to make your individual reservations for the room of your choice (either King or Two Queens) at (toll-free) 1-877-327-9894, or at 417-334-7535. Be sure to ask for the USS Hadley Room Block, as we have a block of 40 rooms at $80 per night (plus tax) with complimentary Continental Breakfast. The same room rate applies if you want to arrive two days prior, or stay two days after the Reunion. A Full Hot Breakfast with omelet station may be had on any morning for $7.50 per person. Our Hospitality Room (Room 255) is ours for the duration – until midnight following the Banquet. For those driving, parking for autos and R/V’s is on a free, level, on-site lot. We have wheelchairs for those in need – but let us know in advance on the reservation form enclosed. All scheduled events are wheelchair friendly.
Note – IMPORTANT – Please make your room reservation before 20 March to avoid losing our Room Block and the possibility of not getting the special rate. As always, you may cancel your reservation without jeopardy up to 24 hours prior to your arrival date. CALL (toll-free) (toll-free) 1-877-327-9894, or 417-334-7535.
We have a pretty full schedule of a variety of activities, but NOTHING IS COMPULSORY. All of the shows and activities come highly recommended, and most of us will use the suggested list. However, you can pick and choose those you want to join, or go on your own to see a different show, etc., and there are MANY shows available. All of the activities listed have given us a special group rate which would not be available to those in small contingents. Small groups (15 or 20) may want to use spare time to see another nearby show and may meet their group rate minimum for better pricing. See the Concierge in the Hotel Lobby. Activities called Reading, Relaxing, and Socializing with shipmates and families while sipping coffee, wine, and other beverages are always available in our Hospitality Suite, Room # 255.
We are disappointed at the apparent lack of major airlines flying directly into the new Branson Aiport. Hopefully, the smaller airlines which do fly to Branson will be of assistance to at least some of you. For many years, all of those who flew to Branson, actually flew to Springfield, MO, on other airlines and took shuttle busses to the hotels in Branson. This has worked VERY WELL for a long time, and many of us will be using this system.
We are also surprised that some shows STILL do not have all their schedules and prices firmed up for the late Spring and Summer visitors. Several of our contracts have been received, signed, and deposits made. We are not asking for a check with funds quite yet, but will be doing so in a few weeks so we can make some guarantees that will be the subject of the next Communiqué. The bus transportation arrangements from the Hotel to some of the activities are not complete, and some Show contracts are not yet received and signed and there could be some slight changes in the costs, but for the most part the costs shown here will be very close, if not exact. Right now we really need to have tentative plans from each of you as to your attendance at the Reunion and in what activities you would like to participate. This is NO commitment, but a good guess of what you will be doing. And even when you send your check after you receive the NEXT communiqué, if you have a real problem, you can back out of the whole thing. The Hotel will need you to contact them 48 hours prior to your arrival to cancel your individual reservation. Most of the activities need one week’s notice, so you must notify me (Doug) so that I can lower the guarantee with those activities affected. It has always been this way at our Reunions. The information we need RIGHT NOW, ASAP, is on a separate sheet enclosed with the self addressed envelope. Here is the tentative cost picture for all the activities:
USS H.W Hadley (DD774)
Lodge of the Ozarks Branson, Missouri
Saturday, 8 May – – – – Tuesday, 11 May 2010
Saturday, 8 May Welcome to Branson Check-In at the Hotel front desk and stow gear in your compartment. Go to room # 255 (Hospitality Suite) to see if you recognize anyone. Everyone will look just the same as you do!! We will each have dinner on our own – – likely there at the Hotel, and join all who want to go to our first show at 8 PM adjacent to the Hotel. Hope you arrive in time and will have signed up for it. The name is , ÒSix BrothersÓ. I am told it is the # 1 show in Branson at this time, and it is right at our Hotel!! Please sign up for it, and join us.
Sunday, 9 May Enjoy your free Continental Breakfast (every day) in the dining room.
(or a complete hot Breakfast with omelet station @ $7.50 / per). Gather in front of the hotel to board a modernized WWII Duck (landing craft) and depart at 10AM for a 70 minute ride and a brief splash-down into the lake. (Swimming suits NOT necessary!!) There will be about 35 in each Duck, – a popular excursion for both male and female sailors, and children, ages 1 to 100. We will return to the Hotel for lunch on your own at the hotel or at another nearby restaurant. We will meet in front of the Hotel at 2 PM to board a bus for a short tour of Branson, followed at 3 PM by a short Memorial Service in a Park area nearby where we board the Branson Belle before 4 PM for our early Dinner Cruise aboard the Paddlewheeler on the Lake. A bus will return us to our Hotel about 6:30 PM. The balance of the evening is Free-time for socializing, or for attending one of the other Shows in the area which usually start about 8 PM.
Monday, 10 May After Breakfast, meet in front of the Hotel to depart at 9AM by bus to the Titanic Memorial Museum. We will try to stagger our entrances so as not to bunch up at any one spot. We will each have hand-held devices (like a phone) to explain things to us, and. each will receive an identification of an actual Titanic passenger, making the tour more realistic. A bus will return us to the Hotel area for lunch on your own about 11:30. Our afternoon 2 hour show at 2 PM, adjacent to the Hotel, is, The Five Hughes Brothers with their band and troup of about 40+ people. (Our on-your-own dinner arrangements are undetermined at this point) Our evening 2 hour show at 8 PM is “The Duttons”, a well known show, and is a one block walk from the hotel.
Tuesday, 11 May, 1945 Exactly 65 years ago this morning, as some of us were quietly eating breakfast, or sleeping after being at General Quarters most of the night, we heard – – GONG, GONG, GONG, GONG – – General Quarters, General Quarters, all hands man your battle stations, – – (OH NO ? NOT AGAIN!!- -we thought), and as we ran to our Battle Stations, we heard, Commence firing, Commence firing, Starboard side. Thus commenced that fateful day when, just 1 hour and 40 minutes later, 30 lives would be lost, our ship would be totally damaged beyond repair by 3 Kamikazes and 2 bombs, ‘abandon ship’ would be ordered and, years later, final records would show that 151 Purple Hearts would have been awarded, and an all-time record of 23 Kamikazes would be shot down by one ship (our ship) in a single engagement. Today, let us enjoy our breakfast in peace, and remember those crewmen on the Hadley and the Evans (which suffered similar damage and losses) who are no longer with us…..
This morning, (65 years later), is open for socializing or attending another Show of your choice in the area. After an early lunch of your choice, we will board a bus at about 12 Noon to take us to the Branson All-Wars Veterans Museum for about a 2 hour visit. The bus will then take us to see our last 2 hour Show, the Acrobats of China, starting at 3 PM. (this show will be unbelieveable) We will be picked up at 5 PM to return to our Hotel. We will have 2 hours to be ready for our Banquet in the hotel banquet room starting at 7 PM. Enjoy!! We say goodbye and smooth sailing to many who will leave early for transportation home, and we ALL pray for a healthy and happy interlude until our next Reunion, Number 19, the location and date for which, hopefully, will be decided before we leave for home. Our Hospitality Suite will close permanently at midnight, so PLEASE clear out any personal items before that time.
18th REUNION POSTPONED
U.S.S. H.W. Hadley DD-774
Lodge of the Ozarks
NEW DATE IS: Saturday, 8 MAY to Wednesday 12 MAY 2010
Dear Shipmates, Familes, and Friends of the Hadley,
Note that the significant date of this letter to you all —- is —– 11 May 2009.
You do not have to put on your glasses to read the banner at the top!! Yes, we have postponed the Reunion until next year. The result of the Poll taken is quite surprising — not yet fully complete, but so clear that we are canceling everything in favor of doing the Reunion next May. The Hotel has agreed to the dates.
The letter dated April 29 requesting a vote was sent out only to those shipmates, families, and friends who had indicated an interest in attending the Reunion. Also, as you may remember, we have had only about 15-18 shipmates at the past two reunions, the large balance of attendees being families and friends, who make the Reunions such wonderful occasions. Their votes are important, too. We have had 38 replies so far:
23 Shipmates and 15 Families and Friends
of the 23 Shipmates, only 2 voted to keep on schedule
8 voted “either way is OK”
13 voted to Postpone to May 2010
of the 15 Families and Friends,
only voted to keep on schedule
1 voted “either way is OK”
12 voted to Postpone to May 2010
Regardless what the straggling-in votes may turn out to be, it is virtually impossible to destroy this majority. Soooo — with by far the preponderance of votes (mostly from Shipmates) being for Postponement, that’s the way we go.
We have just canceled the hotel reservation for the Reunion in September ’09 and all the aspects of it, and will cancel all the reservations for the shows and activities, and get back our deposits…. (Don’t forget to cancel any hotel reservations you may have made!) We have also just made a Room Block of 40 rooms at the same hotel for the above dates and will have our customary banquet there on May 11th, 2010. That Banquet will mark the 65th Anniversary of our famous Air-Sea Battle at Okinawa. WOW!
Is there any Shipmate (in particular), or anyone else, who thought in 1945 that we would celebrating the 65th Anniversary of that battle in a tiny little unheard-of town in Missouri in 2010? Certainly, it was not I. I was just happy to be alive that day, and each one thereafter, without even dreaming about the next year – ten years, 15, 50, or 65 years later. It will be a GREAT Reunion, and y’all PLAN to be there! OK?
We will keep you ALL informed with more details as things develop, so count on it. We will arrange to reserve seats at most of the shows and activities again, but with some improvements, adding new or previously unavailable really good shows.
For those of you who move to another address, PLEASE let us know so we can keep you informed. We always get a few returned envelopes saying that the addressee has moved, giving us no forwarding address.
SOOO —- save the dates and mark them on your calendars. 65 years is a significant Reunion!
PS Again — Don’t forget to cancel any hotel reservations you have made for the Sept ’09 Reunion, or you will be charged!!!!
MARRIOTT COURTYARD HOTEL, CHANTILLY, VA
MAY 10th THRU MAY 14th 2007
WELL ANOTHER TWO YEARS OF TIME HAS PASSED AND THE LAST REUNION IS NOW PART OF OUR HISTORY.
FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MY MEMORY MORE FAMILY MEMBERS WERE IN ATTENDANCE TO ENRICH OUR TIMES TOGETHER, AND TO MEET THOSE GUYS WHO SERVED WITH THEIR PARENTS OR RELATIVES IN THE PAST.
IT WOULD SEEM THAT ALL THE WISHES EXPRESSED AND THE SIGHTS TO SEE IN WASHINGTON D.C. WERE ACCOMPLISHED.
ONE OF THE OUTSTANDING MEMORIES FOR ME WAS MEETING DELL B. HALL, A FIRST TIME ATTENDEE, WHO WITH SEVERAL OTHERS WAS ABLE TO REMOVE ME FROM THE POWER MAGAZINE AND BRING ME TOPSIDE. I DID NOT HAVE TO ABANDON SHIP THOUGH MANY WERE ALREADY IN THE WATER. THIS WAS NOT NECESSARY AS A RESCUE SHIP PULLED ALONGSIDE, AND I WAS NOT PLACED IN THE WATER. (IT SHOULD BE NOTED, WE ALMOST LOST DELL AT THE REUNION WHEN HE TRIPPED OVER ME AS I ASSUMED THE POSITION I WAS IN THE LAST TIME HE SAW ME, ON MY BACK.)
WE NEGLECTED TO MENTION OLIVER AND FRIEDA JACOBSON WHO WERE FIRST-TIME ATTENDEES. WELCOME BACK HOME.
A GREAT NUMBER OF PEOPLE MADE THIS REUNION A SUCCESS.
KENNETH KING, AND HIS WIFE TAMMY, WHO DID THE SHOPPING AND ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE HOTEL, RESTAURANTS AND WHEELCHAIRS, AND WAS OF IMMENSE HELP IN ALL AREAS.
KENNETH ENGLISH, MY MAN FRIDAY, WAS THERE FOR ME WHEN NEEDED AND WAS WAY AHEAD OF US, ANTICIPATING OUR NEEDS. HIS LAPTOP COMPUTER CAME IN HANDY AND HE WAS INSTRUMENTAL IN ARRANGING THE BUS RENTAL AND FINAL ACCOMMODATIONS AT THE HOTEL AND RESTAURANT.
DOUG AITKEN AND HIS SON DOUG AITKEN JUNIOR, WERE OF INVALUABLE HELP HELP IN ADMINISTRATION. IT WAS A SURPRISE THAT THEY WERE ABLE TO DO IT WITHOUT JEANNE (WHO WAS SORELY MISSED).
BOB EATON, WHOSE LISTINGS, BADGES AND OUR WEBSITE CONTINUE TO AMAZE ALL OF OUR REUNIONS.
LILLIAN KARMEL, WHOSE TALENTS ON THE COMPUTER ALLOWED US TO DELIVER A LISTING FOR ADMISSIONS TO THE WHITE HOUSE AND TO MAINTAIN THE CHANGES AS THEY OCCURRED.
FRANK BOFFI OUR OFFICIAL COFFEEMAKER WHO COULD NOT HAVE PERFORMED THESE SERVICES WITHOUT THE COOPERATION OF MARTY WEIBEL, AND MARILYNN WHO SUPPLIED THE EQUIPMENT, COFFEE AND TEA.
MARYANN FITZPATRICK, WORKING BEHIND THE SCENES, CORRECTING MY SPELLING, PUNCTUATION AND CAPITALIZATION, SHE ALSO IN CHARGE OF ADDRESSING AND MAILING THE COMMUNIQUÉS TO ALL OF YOU. THANK YOU MY FRIEND AND AND SWEET LADY.
DIANE SHAW AND LAURIE E. ATHERHOLT, OF THE MARYLAND DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS FOR THE CERTIFICATE OF RECOGNITION DELIVERED TO US AT THE MEMORIAL SERVICE.
SHARRON MOFFAT, AND THE STAFF AT THE NAVAL ACADEMY, MADE THE OCCASION A MEMORABLE ONE, TO FATHER McGEORY, WHO CONDUCTED THE SERVICE AND HAD NICE THINGS TO SAY TO ABOUT THE MEN OF THE HADLEY.
WE DID EXPERIENCE A FEW SHOCKS, A BUS THAT WAS LOST AND HEAVY TRAFFIC, DIVERTED OUR MEMORIAL SERVICES TO THE CHAPEL, AND NOT THE MAIN CHURCH, AND THAT CAME OUT OK.
A GLITCH AT THE WHITE HOUSE, PERSONAL ITEMS WERE NOT ALLOWED, AND THE CONDITIONS WAS CHALLENGED BY A FEW.
THE SET-UP AT THE RESTAURANT WAS NOT CONDUCTIVE TO KEEPING THE GROUP TOGETHER. I HAD PLANNED ON ABOUT SEVENTY-FIVE AND WE HAD ONE HUNDRED- FIVE AT THE BANQUET BUT WE SURVIVED.
NOW THAT THIS IS BEHIND US WE MUST LOOK AHEAD. A FEW THINGS WERE LEFT TO BE RESOLVED.
1 WHERE WILL THE NEXT REUNION BE HELD, AND WHO WILL COORDINATE IT? A COMMITTEE WAS SET UP, DOUG AITKEN, MARTY WEIBEL, AND BOB BELL ARE PERFORMING THIS TASK.
NEW ORLEANS, AND A RIVERBOAT TRIP ON THE MISSISSIPPI TRIP ON THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER. WERE SUGGESTED AS WELL AS WELL AS VISITS TO BRANSON, MO.
2 A NEW REQUEST FOR HATS WAS WAS VOICED, AND FRANK BOFFI WILL GET DETAILS ON PRICES , AND THE EXTENT OF GOLD BRAID TO BE ADDED TO THE CAPS.
3 WE ALL RECEIVED COPIES OF THE ROSTER SUPPLIED BY BOB EATON. IT IS REQUESTED THAT YOU ALL REVIEW THEM FOR POSSIBLE CORRECTIONS AND GET THEM BACK TO BOB. HE IS STILL WAITING FOR MANY BIOGRAPHIES FROM YOU GUYS TO ADD TO THE WEBSITE. GET BUSY PLEASE.
4 THE COST OF MAILINGS ARE GETTING OUT OF HAND, AND YOU ARE REQUESTED TO ADVISE DOUG AITKEN IF YOU WISH TO BE REMOVED FROM THE MAILING LIST. IT WILL NOT BE NECESSARY TO GIVE A REASON.
5 THE TASK THIS YEAR WAS VERY DEMANDING AND VERY TIME-CONSUMING. I THANK GOD THAT ALL WENT WELL, YOU ALL SEEM SATISFIED IN HOW THINKS TURNED OUT. YOUR GIFT TO ME WAS VERY
MUCH APPRECIATED. (HOW DID YOU KNOW THAT THERE WAS NO BOB EVANS IN THIS NECK OF THE
6 I WISH TO THANK MY FAMILY FOR ATTENDING AND I REGRET THAT I WAS NOT ABLE TO SPEND A VERY LARGE AMOUNT TIME THEM. I AM SURE THEY ALL KNOW THEY ARE LOVED.
7 AS A FINAL THANKS YOU AND TRIBUTE TO VALOR BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY, I WISH TO THANK MY
LITTLE PUSHER, DANIEL WOODFORD, WHO WAS ABLE TO DO WHAT MY KIDS ALWAYS WANT TO DO, PUSH ME AROUND. IF IT WAS NOT ME, IT WAS GRANDPA HAROLD, AND I AM GLAD THAT I WAS ABLE TO BENEFIT FROM HIS SERVICES.
8 THANK YOU ALL FOR MAKING THIS REUNION A VALUABLE MEMORY TO ONCE AGAIN RECAPTURE THE THE GLORY DAYS.
9 AS OUR RANKS DECREASE IN NUMBERS, IT IS NICE TO REALIZE THAT A STRONG AND DEFINING RELATIONSHIP EXISTS AMONG THE SURVIVORS. WE THANK THE LOVING WIVES WHO HAVE HEARD
THESE STORIES OVER AND OVER. WE THANK THE CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN OF THESE OLD
WARRIORS, AND REJOICE IN THEIR BEING WITH US, AND BRINGING HONOR TO US.
10 ONCE AGAIN THANK YOU FOR THE PRIVILEGE OF ALLOWING ME TO BE OF SERVICE TO YOU. ANITA AND I WERE ALWAYS PROUD OF BEING ABLE TO FIND AND TO HONOR YOU, BY HAVING YOU WITH US EVERY TWO YEARS.
GOD BLESS ALL OF YOU WITH GOOD HEALTH AND PEACE
TOM ENGLISH /AUTHOR
IN ORDER TO CONFORM TO THE EXISTING TEXT FROM PREVIOUS
REUNIONS THIS TEXT HAS BEEN MODIFIED SLIGHTLY.
FROM/ BOB EATON, WEBMASTER
USS BARRY DD933
Forest Sherman Class
A Museum Ship tied up at the Washington Navy Yard.
Visited by our people during reunion.
Shipmates I can ID are L-R sarting 4th from left, Dell Burt Hall, Jim Harden, Tom English, Bob Bell, Harold Woodford, Frank Boffi and seated Doug Aitken and Marty Weibel.
USS HADLEY forty-eight star flag hanging in background.
Hadley survivors, 2007
(Looking for this photo)
Rear L-R, Doug Aitken, Bill Gallagher, Marty Weibel,
Jim Harden, Frank Boffi, Fred Hammers,
Tom English, Oliver Jacobson
Front L-R, Perry Camp, Dell B Hall, Bob Eaton,
Harold Woodford, Call Borror, Bob Bell
16th REUNION –11-15 May 2005 Double Tree Hotel Oak Brook (Chicago) Illinois
5 June 2005
Dear Shipmates, Families and Friends,
When we contracted with the Hyatt Regency in late 2003 for this Reunion we did not anticipate that the hotel would change management to the Doubletree right at the time most of us would be making our hotel reservations. Despite the reining confusion at the time, all turned out just fine. Some of us checked in a little early to review final arrangements, and most all arrived on 11 May, a famous battle date familiar to all of us. There were 18 of us shipmates, and 50 various members of our families present.
Our Reunions are getting to be more family oriented. There was one family of 4, one family of 5, and another of 6. But, the all time record is now held by shipmate Bob Eaton who took 13 other members of his family to Chicago. Will someone try to beat that next time??
Enclosed for those who were unable to attend the Reunions is a copy of the PLAN OF THE DAYS, the Banquet Program, and a black and white copy of the program for the finest Memorial Service we have ever had. The originals were in color, and on heavier paper, but there were so few left that we had to make copies for you.
Our Hospitality Suites were up-scale, comfortable lounge rooms where we enjoyed going over documents and pictures with lots of stories, memories and chatting each evening. We had many snacks, popcorn, beer, and soft drinks. For some unknown reason, our consumption of hard liquor has tapered off over the years to practically nothing. The full hot breakfast each morning (included in our contract), was enjoyed by all.
The highlight of the Thursday guided bus tour of Chicago was the visit to the top of the John Hancock Bldg. where we had an eye-popping view of Lake Michigan and all of Chicago. You would have thought we were in an airplane looking down. The weather was beautiful.
Our visit to the Great Lakes Naval Training Center, no doubt, was the highlight of the Reunion. We had to miss our big Buffet Breakfast on Friday the 13th as we had to leave at 0615 in our two chartered buses for the Great Lakes Boot Camp Graduation ceremony. The hotel, however, did fix for each one of us a bag of goodies and coffee ‘to go” and we could eat at the hotel or on the bus. The big (included) buffet lunch at the club on the base at noon was more than sufficient. There was lots of marching music by the Navy Band at the graduation, as we watched about 500 graduating “Boots” march tall, straight, and sharp into the huge indoor pavilion bringing great pride to the assembled parents and friends, and to the USS Hadley Reunion Group. It all brought back memories.
Our Memorial Service originally had been scheduled in the Base Chapel, but due to the increased expected attendance it was relocated to the large Ross Theater on the base. As we had 6 wheelchairs, we all entered by a side door where we had reserved seats in the front rows. We were stunned to view the sea of hundreds of young, clean-cut, sharp looking sailors in whites standing quietly at attention for us. It was –WOW –and brought tears to our eyes. We immediately saw that a photo of the USS HADLEY filled the full size movie screen. During the service, other photos of the crew, the ship, and battle damage photos slowly appeared. The Chaplain delivered a message relating the duties and devotion of the older generation to the similar needs of the newer generation. Hymns were sung, and the Bell Ceremony honored those Killed in Action, and the shipmates whose deaths we learned of since the 2003 Reunion. The Service concluded outside with a Wreath Blessing, a 21 Gun Salute, and the playing of TAPS. Without doubt, it was the finest Memorial Service we have ever had.
On Saturday, a number of us went by chartered bus to the Billy Graham Museum at Wheaton College, a short distance from our Hotel. It is very well done, and was appreciated by those who went. We had intended also to visit the Mansion, and its associated gardens, of the former Editor of the Chicago Tribune, along with his Army Museum for the 1st Division and its battles in Europe during WWII. We had stayed too long at the Billy Graham Museum, and the hours of the Mansion had changed, so that part was canceled .
At our Banquet Saturday night at the Hotel, the guest speaker was James Parlier, the Command Master Chief of the Navy’s North Central Region and the Great Lakes Naval Base. He held us spell- bound with his very personal account of the disastrous terrorist attack on the USS COLE in Yemen about 3 yeas ago. During his long career in the Navy, he had risen to Master Chief as a Pharmacist Mate, thence to Command Master Chief, which was his position on COLE. Fortunately, for the sailors on COLE, when the attack occurred he was able to step right in as a medic to treat the seriously wounded.
All put together, it was a fine Reunion. We said our good byes until we meet again in 2007 somewhere in the Washington D.C. area to see all the beautiful, meaningful, and thought-provoking Memorials. If you have not been there lately, you MUST return to that beautiful Capitol. A new team is going to surprise you. Shipmate Tom English, with his son Kenny, assisted by Bruce Krobusek, Richard Harden, and perhaps others of the younger generation are teaming up with fresh ideas. I’m really looking forward to it!!
I must reiterate a short request made by Bob Eaton at the Banquet. He requests again that all of you shipmates (and family members) who have not sent to him a short Biographical Sketch (of the Shipmate), PLEASE do so, so he can get it on the website with all the others. We do have the best ship’s website we have ever seen. If you don’t have a computer, get a family member or neighbor to show the website to you –you will be amazed. This is the address for it: www.usshadley.com If you can do it, you should also see another website on Destroyers in general –it is very good and has a Hadley section. It is very educational. Go back to our Welcome Page. At the bottom are three Hyperlinks. Select Destroyer History for a complete coverage WWII Destroyers. The other two are the site of USS Evans, our partner at Picket Station 15, and the web site of the Prefecture of Okinawa.
Reunions like this 2005 Reunion do not get done without a LOT of help. For example, Marty and Marilyn Weible bought and hauled to the Hotel all the Hospitality Suite drinks and snacks, water bottles and bus snacks. coffee maker and coffee, etc. Bob Eaton has continually run the website, making it better all the time, maintained all the Address Lists, Alive and Deceased lists, designed and made the Name Tags, etc. Tom and Kenny English are always there when lots of things have to be done quickly. And others do kind things to make the task easier on the spot. Richard Harden deserves an applause for delivering his second well done Power Point Presentation at the Banquet. If he has time, he wants to start some “Living History” interviews so that a number of them can be done by the 2007 reunion. He has other ideas, too. Lastly, I thank my partner, Jeanne, for her help at home on checking lists with me and reminding me of things I may have forgotten, as well helping in the Hospitality Suites, and putting up with my spending the time on the whole process. The whole reward is seeing the Reunion through to completion, and without any complaints!! That really makes the day. If I have left out anybody for something important, it certainly is not intentional, and I apologize.
Unfortunately, we must end this with a sad note. Shipmate AI Safranek sailed over the horizon on 30 May at about 6PM, just 2 weeks after the Reunion. He absolutely insisted that Betty get him to the Reunion to see everyone one last time, both knowing full well what was in store for him. Although very tired, he enjoyed drinking beer with his buddies. They left early on Friday, the 13th, and Betty drove straight through to Lincoln, NE, to get him home. As a yeoman, AI knew everyone on the ship. They had attended all but one of the 16 Hadley Reunions. Betty’s address is still 1149 S. 48th St., Lincoln, NE, 68510-4813, and her phone number is 402-488-9247. She would greatly appreciate hearing from shipmates and friends.
As AI would say, “- –see you at the next Reunion in 2007!
As a form of recognition, the Training Center Commander of the Great Lakes Naval Training Center greets to the Hadley Survivors with a 21-gun salute. Note the foot at the right-hand of the frame belonging to the seventh rifleman.
Our fifteenth Reunion is over. It was held 8 thru 12 May 2003. We stayed at the Radisson Market Square. San Antonio, Texas. There was the usual Hospitality Room and Banquet Night. At this we had eighty-seven in attendance. Shipmates present twenty-five.
The highlight of this reunion was the get together for the Dedication of our USS Hadley Plaque at the National Museum of the Pacific War, Fredericksburg, and our Memorial Service for those 31 shipmates Killed in Action. We also donated an original piece of the Hadley Bridge containing the Kamikaze scoreboard of Japanese Flags for all the world to see henceforth. This piece had been donated to the crew by Hugh Hadley Birdwell, grandson of CDR Hugh W. Hadley.
USS HADLEY Bridge Structure
USS SAN ANTONIO LPG17
The U.S. Navy’s newest amphibious ship, USS San Antonio (LPD 17), underway in the Gulf of Mexico during her initial at-sea testing. The city of San Antonio, being land bound, did not present us with the chance to see any naval ships during our 14th Reunion. To see LPD 17 in person, visit the Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia.
Our fourteenth was held 17 May to 20 May 2001 at the Hotel Chamberlain in Hampton, Virginia . This hotel is located on
the grounds of historic Fort Monroe. This fort remained in Federal control throughout the entire Civil War even though it was deep in Confederate territory.
It was an all-navy affair with visits to the destroyer USS Mahan DDG72, an Arleigh Burke class destroyer, based at the Norfolk Naval Station, and to the battleship USS Wisconsin BB64, for our Memorial Service. The Wisconsin is now a museum ship based at the city of Norfolk.
Attendance was grim with age making it’s mark on the troops. There were sixteen crewmembers in attendance for our banquet. Family and friends brought the total count to fifty-six present. Most of the no shows begged off for health reasons.
In memoriam we must note our loss since Seattle. In the last two years seventeen of our shipmates have passed on. Three in the month of May 2001.
USS WISCONSIN BB64
An Iowa class battleship is the only remaining ship of it’s class that could be restored to active duty. It is kept with all compartments sealed and de-humidified. Picture shows the ship docked in downtown Norfolk, Virginia where it abuts the Nautilus naval museum. Norfolk being across Chesapeake Bay from our reunion sit Hampton Bay, the ship was visited by many Hadley crew members during owr 14th Reunion.
USS MAHAN DDG72
Pictured is an Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyer. We boarded the Mahan at the invitation of the Base Commander of Naval Station Norfolk and were given the royal treatment. We even enjoyed cookies and tea in the ship’s mess hall. Note that even though classed as destroyers, ships of the Arleigh Burke class displace as much or more than WWII cruisers.
This reunion was officially held at Seattle, Washington although our hotel was at SeaTac, WA the location of the main Airport.. We visited the Boeing Aeronautic Museum at Boeing Field. It is loaded with historical, mostly one of a kind, aircraft. Our most important field trip was to the Navy Submarine Base at Bangor, WA, next door to the Bremerton Navy Yard. We were invited to go aboard the USS Henry M. Jackson SSBN619. This vessel carries 24 ICBM’s. It all was quite an experience for us WWII Swobbies.
We visited them on Memorial Day, actually a coincidence. On this day they hold a Memorial Day Service to remember the Submarines the are on perpetual patrol. My memorial recalls the number to be forty-four. Each ship’s name is called out and a ship bell is rung. A very solemn ceremony.
USS HENRY M. JACKSON SSBN619
Mobile Bay, AL. Not much history at this time. We did visit the USS Alabama BB46 ? A Museum Ship. As with most of these ships most of the vessel is not open for tourists. This author did take advantage of going into one of the main turrets and all the way down to the breach. That would not have been a very desirable General Quarters station. On the same dock next to the ship was a hanger type building the contain an A11 Blackbird. This and it’s other versions were my career, thirty-six years in varying capacities.
USS ALABAMA BB60
Mobile’s Battleship Park
Mobile Bay, AL
11th REUNION At SAN DIEGO, CA, 1995, was OUR MOST SUCCESSFUL
This one was our most attended. It was held at the Hanalei Hotel and was a huge success. We had some seventy-five crew members in attendance and a total of one hundred seventy-five people, counting family and friends, on banquet night. Thanks to Tom English, our finder, and to the correct timing. Just about all of us by now were retired and with the kids now out of the house. There was no excuse not to attend.
The banquet was held on night of our anniversary date of 11 May, our day of infamy at Radar Picket Station #15. This was truly an emotional event. For many first time attendees it was the first meeting of shipmates in fifty years. At this time of our lives those present are indeed the survivors. Ned Winder said the invocation. There were not many dry eyes in the room.
This is the last reunion to have pictures taken of those present. See the 50+YEARS Section to see those pictures.
At the Naval Station San Diego we went invited aboard the USS John Young DD973, a Spruance Class vessel. This ship has now been decommissioned and has been sunk.
USS JOHN YOUNG DD973 at sea.
USS JOHN YOUNG DD973 during visit by HADLEY shipmates. Notice unknown
assault carrier in background.
Three fleet aircraft carriers at anchor off of North Island in San Diego Bay.
HADLEY shipmates seen in courtyard of Hanalei Hotel, San Diego, CA.
10th REUNION At Williamsburg, Virginia
Historic Williamsburg is a place that all hands should visit. It is unique. It has been restored to look as it looked in the 1800th Century. Near by is Jamestown. The first settlement on our continent. These people all disappeared at a time between visiting ships from England. It would seem that the natives were not to thrilled by these European Settlers.
As of now we have no more information prior to Reunion No. 11. We will have to work on that deficiency.
HOW IT ALL GOT STARTED
In a question to Doug Aitken about his involvement in setting the first reunion this was his response.
Yes, you are right – I wasn’t there as my sister just died and I couldn’t go.
I feel quite sure that ENS, later LTJG, Jim Daniel had the biggest part in the organization of it and the selection of Chicago. He was Special Assistant to the president of United States Steel at the time and had such things as an airplane at his call, and lots of pull in lots of places. (For example, at the reunion at Ft Lauderdale he brought, as his guest, his buddy, the former governor of Florida.) He was that kind of guy – former All American in football at Ohio State and staunch member of the Chicago Bears team. (He was a huge man, very outgoing, and came aboard Hadley with Mullaney at Mullaney’s request. I think he was a guard or tackle) The reunion was at the Palmer House for a couple of days only, and was not very large as we didn’t have any Tom English to locate people and no listings to amount to anything. It was a start. Tom Dwyer and I met with Jim in Wash. D.C. for lunch one day early in the year, and he laid out the plans for us.
I didn’t get involved until #2 in ’75 when I worked with Robbie for the reunion at the Del Coronado in San Diego, and from then on.