2003 News Letter Review

 

USS Jallao SS-368


Eternally grateful for those who preceded us and laid down their lives for our country, United States Submarines Veterans. God Bless our President.

 

Reunion News Letter Manitowoc Wisconsin

May 21-25

 

Our heart felt thanks goes to the planners of this event, it went on flawlessly. The area the hotel was located had a marina on one side and the museum and sub on the other, the lake view was out of this world what more could you ask for but to be with a fellow shipmate that you haven’t see for a long time and reminisce about old times and check out to see what prescriptions you are on.

 

Frank got to Manitowoc a couple of days before anyone else to start the prep along with Jerry and Pete, talk about team work, these guys were like “three cockroaches” in a ships store as they prepared for the crew’s arrival, packages were put together and the “Beer” logistics were finalized by “Jerry” and Pete” (I wondered why they were so happy).

Thursday was the official check in even though some of us were there on the Wednesday like me, “Hoot” the hospitality room started to receive guests who were in dire need of liquid refreshment, coffee and doughnuts were available and if needed for medical purposes ‘BEER’ have you had beer and doughnuts? In the morning, not bad!

Shouts and hugs and hand shakes were exchanged as shipmates gathered in the hospitality room, renewal started and the camaraderie started to fill the room.

The most interesting aspect of this reunion, no one has changed, we all are the same weight and look better then ever and haven’t put on a pound of weight, well maybe a little.

Many of us would be talking to someone for a while before we recognized who it was; I hope it didn’t just happen to me!

As the people started to trickle and get together with their shipmates, we paused to share some of Jerry’s birthday cake and sing him a birthday song.

 

Jerry’s birthday party

 

Jerry at 78

 

To me I think Thursday was the most exciting, anticipation of seeing your old shipmates and how they looked and if they still recognized you was the big question. There were three groups, the WWII and plank owner, “Jerry” and his shipmates, the WWII commissioning crew, the fifties Re-commissioning crew “conversion to Guppy 2a” crew, the sixties crew, “the Largest group” Conversion to Fram. And the seventies, the smallest group the Decommissioning crew.

The one thing we all had was the Jallao spirit, in which we have to thank Jerry and his mates from the WWII area as said at the banquet, the spirit was all ways there, all we had to do is bond with it and when you qualified it was part of you.

Thursday night was highlighted with more bonding as everyone got together
for the first time “for some of us” in 40 years + we got to meet each others wives and talk about grandchildren, yes not children but grandchildren, so who is old? I hope to have the vitality that Jerry has when I hit 78, I have to tell every one that “Jerry” was the highlight of this reunion, and I’m honored just to meet him, how about the rest of you!

Friday started the Schedule with the museum and the Cobia visits, after a good breakfast either at the hospitality room and the restraint at the hotel. As the Jallao crew and their wives visited the museum, history unfolded right before our eyes, who would have known that this area had so many craftsmen in ship building, many of the displays were a marvel of beauty, epically that old cabin cruiser, now I can see why the Jallao was built so well. Tours of the Cobia followed, and what a treat it was to go on board and see this well preserves submarine, it was just like the school boat “Spike fish” in sub school where we learned what it was like in the fifties.

The day continued as in the after noon we were part of the memorial service for the USS LAGARTO SS371 at 1600 hours the tolling of the bell for those lost at sea and on final patrol with the wives of the Jallao taking part in the memorial service by presenting flowers and giving a final tribute.

 

Jerry!

 

Saturday was History day with our special guide “Jerry’, history unfolded itself as the Jerry spun his “Yarn” you could use your imagine, and picture the area at time in the forties, buildings barracks and shops were described, where ssembly took place of the Jallao, the barracks and the field where every one was taking their required exercise, and of course where all the Taverns were, many secrets were given up, where thing happened “Girls” that is! Jerry really out did himself! We thank you.

 

Minutes of the organizational meeting

 

Saturday afternoon, at the riverside room in the museum the crew gathered for strategic planning and selection of officers.

This was laid back gathering! Things had to be ironed out, “Questions to be answered” Frank’s relief, next store keeper and banker.

By laws or loose organization were some.

Do we want to elect officers or do we have Volunteers, do we want to collect dues, incorporate for tax purposes or just stay a loose organization! And also! When and where the next reunion will be, one or two year wait.

First the Volunteers:

Taking over for Frank is Jerry Emerson and will be heading up the next reunion, Steve our web master will take over as store keeper also, Earl Johnson will be our Banker, taking over from Pete.

Motion for assessment of dues was brought up to be voted on by the crew, then the issue of tax liability and tax ID was discussed, the motion was taken off the floor and to keep everything as simple as possible and stay a loose organization. The motion for dues was reversed.

Pete said there was monies left in the kitty and suggested that we donate thousand dollars to the museum, this was voted on and passed by the crew.

Seed money was suggested instead of dues we would pass the hat and collect a ten dollar donation from each of the crew, this brought in approximately another thousand, and the balance is approximately two thousand. The meeting was adjourned, perpetrations for the Banquet followed.

 

Banquet

 

What a feast, good food good company and fellowship, let the festivities begin, two beautiful cakes were the highlight of the décor, the food was out standing, the hotel really out did them selves, but more so was the company of our shipmates and their wives, each year group gathered at their tables,
ladies and wives we thank you for coming and keeping our sea stories “Truthful” Ha! But we all who are married have been truly blesses by our wives, you stood by us, we thank you.

We are truly blessed on the Jallao, for we all are family and each of us share this “Bonding” Frank at the podium expressed this when he introduced the daughter of Terry Parsons, our shipmate lost on the Jallao, her name “Terry” after he dad, was the high light of the Banquet! We are all family and Terry is part of the family, we are here for her no matter what the occasion and she will always be a part of us. This was an emotional part of the program for me and for most of us, we might be hard and crusty on the outside, but have soft hearts when needed.

 

Captain Gil Carlson, prior to reading the log entry addressed the crew members about the Jallao “Spirit” initially seeded by the commissioning crew and passed on through out her history, explaining how this bonds a crew and through harrowing trails as he had with a runaway diesel this spirit saved them from a near loss of life this comes from good leadership and the will to adapt to different situations. Captain Carlson read the last entry in the log, Jallao was transferred to Spain.

Final tribute to our commissioning crew, Jerry and his boys, we salute you for your service during the Second World War and bringing our girl back home, and thank you for being a part of this reunion, Crew of the Jallao.