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Year 2015 Reunion – Our 35th

Washington, DC
September 17-21, 2015

Contact: To register interest in attending, contact:
Art Bowne, Secretary
USS Robinson DD562, Inc.
Tel: (281) 474-0558
E-mail: ajbowne@yahoo.com

Anyone desiring copies of our USS Robinson DD562, Inc.
exemption application and supporting documents for non-profit organizations, contact:

Charles Smith
1087 Briar Patch Rd.
Broussard, LA 70518-8022
Tel: (337) 367-0705

USS Robinson 2015 Reunion - our 35th

Washington, DC

Dinner at Houlihans

Hal and Gloria Mullen and Joanne and
Ron Kaiser at Houlihan's Restaurant

Our 35th Reunion was held in Washington, DC, thanks to the coordinated efforts of John Lucas, for locating the Crowne Plaza Dulles Hotel on the outskirts of Washington, DC, and to Charlie Smith for hosting this wonderful reunion.  Charles wasted no time in making it a point to express, through a letter to management, namely, Al Harndi, our gratitude for the attention and hospitality given us by the Crowne Plaza staff, including the management and staff of Houlihan’s Restaurant & Lounge. In particular, was the fantastic Banquet meal, and efficient and competent service. 

THURSDAY was the arrival day for most. Registration in the Hospitality Room (Salon A) began at 0900 and continued through the evening hours.  The task of the day was checking in, unloading baggage and getting organized before arriving at the hospitality room for not only registration, greetings and libation, but to peruse the memorabilia on display. Included were zillions of photos, notes from shipmates, Robbie historical display, Operation Redex 82, copies of Rick Campbell’s Trident Deception and Empire Rising (to be raffled off) and much, much more. Brand new to our collection is an exact replica of the USS Robinson DD562 Plaque to be dedicated Sunday. 

WWII Shipmate

Johnny New and Dean Carlyle Hirschi (WWII)
welcomed by Charles Smith and Art Bowne

As the evening progressed, the culminating activity resulting from a series of e-mails sent by a loving daughter (Becky Hirschi-New) and the time and attention given by a caring grandson (Johnny New), was the on-scene arrival of Shipmate Dean Carlyle Hirschi, WWII FC2.  Dean and Johnny traveled from Utah to attend the Honors Flight Program in DC for three days. Somehow, Becky discovered that her dad’s former ship, the Robbie, was holding its reunion in DC on overlapping dates! E-mails flew back and forth and ‘voila!’ the Robbie Crew met, for the very first time, the oldest “virgin” of them all in our 35-years of reunion history! What a grand reunion with the only WWII shipmate in attendance. Thank you, Becky, for reaching out to us with a treasure we’ll never forget. God willing, we will meet again!

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Tomb of the Unknown Honor Guard
at Arlington National Cemetery

FRIDAY, after a hearty breakfast at Houlihan’s Restaurant, the group boarded the buses for a tour of Arlington National Cemetery that included a visit to the eternal flame honoring JFK, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (and the impressive changing of the Guard ritual). Understand that what we witnessed on this beautiful morning is precisely the same routine 24/7 every day of the year come rain, sleet or snow. This is the ultimate display of honor bestowed upon those who paid an immeasurable price for freedom. Nearby, the Iwo Jima Memorial captured the infamous moment in history memorializing USA’s resilience and commitment for keeping America safe.

SATURDAY, the secretary called the Crew’s Meeting to order 0800. Following the Pledge of Allegiance, a moment of silence for our recently Fallen Shipmates, whose names were read, was observed. Also remembered were Shipmates known to be in harm’s way and fallen First Mates. Shipmates introduced themselves with some background information and as usual, the first timers (virgins), Jon Gould & Richard Ehrenreich were applauded and enthusiastically greeted.  

Men at the Naval Memorial

Robbie Shipmates at the Navy Memorial

Navy Memorial - Gals

Gals at the Navy Memorial

Recognition and thanks were directed to Charles Smith and John Lucas (and Karen!) for spearheading the Crowne Plaza Dulles location and scouting of the tours and planned activities. Also, appreciation was expressed to Bud Carlson, John Lucas and George Schureman for traveling to the US Navy Memorial earlier in the year to assist with the placement of the Robbie’s Memorial Plaque. The crew voted approval to make a donation annually to the US Navy Memorial, joining pledges to the USS Kidd and Tin Can Sailors. Shipmates who work behind the scenes toward the continued success of our organization were highlighted and applauded.

The site of the 2017 Reunion will be Philadelphia, PA, tentative dates are September 14-17, 2017.

This year the Ladies of the Robbie welcomed each other and had fun as we exchanged White Elephant gifts. A White Elephant gift is defined as a noun, a possession that is useless, expensive to maintain, especially one that is difficult to dispose of and of very little value. We decided that next year, attendees would bring a collection of personal care items; i.e.: combs, toothpaste and toothbrushes, lotion, shampoo, etc. Bags will be furnished to make gift or “ditty” bags to be distributed to a charity of choice in Omaha. Hopefully, we will continue to do this in each city we attend in the coming years.
As Saturday continues, it’s time to load the busses for today’s tours of the Capitol, the Korean and Vietnam Memorials, and a glimpse of the Lincoln Memorial.

Even though there were unannounced road closings and detours in the downtown area, (preparation for the Pope’s visit to DC the following week) our bus driver patiently wove through heavy traffic that would have discouraged many a tourist. The Capitol was under a major “face-lift” involving both exterior and interior scaffolding and repair. The Robbie gang assembled in the lobby of the visitor center. We were separated into several tour groups each with its own Guide-narrator communicating through headsets. 

Korean War Memorial

Hal Mullen, Ron Kaiser and Art Bowne at the
Korean War Memorial

After having lunch in the cafeteria, we boarded the busses and went to the Korean War Memorial. The main section is in the form of a triangle intersecting a circle. Photographic, archival images representing the land, sea, and air troops who supported those who fought in the war are sandblasted onto the wall. Within the walled triangle are 19 statues, representing a squad on patrol drawn from each branch of the armed forces. When reflected on the wall, there appear to be 38 soldiers, representing the 38th parallel. Two profound tributes: “Our nation honors her sons and daughters who answered the call to defend a country they never knew and a people they never met” and “Freedom is Not Free.”

DD562 Plaque Dedication

John Lucas, George Shureman and Bud Carlson at the
Navy Memorial, selecting the site for the
USS Robinson DD562 Plaque

SUNDAY arrived and along with it came the excitement and anticipation of the highlight of this year’s event, the Dedication of the USS Robinson DD562 Plaque and Memorial Ceremony at the U.S. Navy Memorial. Thanks to the many shipmates, families and friends for their generous contributions toward the acquisition of our ship’s bronze plaque mounted on the Wall of Honor at the U.S. Navy Memorial. 

USS Robinson DD562 Memorial Plaque DONORS
Joe Austin PK, B.J. Barros, Jr. PK, Dick Bonheim, Art Bowne K, John “Bud” Carlson K, Debbie Celiceo, Tom Clegg K, Vern Compton PK, Nancy Cooper, Betty Donohue, James Ernsberger PK, Arthur M. Fishman WWII, Richard Gillies K, Don Griffiths PK, Jerry Harshbarger PK, Hugh Lee Helmely PK, Dean Carlyle Hirschi WWII, Betty Jost, Ronald R. Kaiser PK, Bernie Kane, James Lane PK, Donald Loder K, John Lucas PK, Russell Maggio K, Peter (K) & Marguerite Masella, Spencer Meade PK, Hal Mullen PK, Robert Murphy PK, Todd Phillips, Irene Querey, Clarence Rapalee PK, Barbara Reynolds, Cliff & Craig Robertson, Carolyn Sabatini, Richard  Sprague PK, George Schureman K, Arthur Schuetze K, Charles W. Smith PK, Nelson C. Snapp WWII, James Tomkinson PK, Barbara Transue, Walter Vereecke K, Robert Welsh K, Eric West, Rick West, Tom Womble K, Evonne Wymer.

***Banquet Hightlights***
We gathered in the ballroom for our annual banquet and Cliff Robertson gave the invocation. Attention focused to The Table of the Fallen Shipmate and the traditional reading of the Fallen Shipmate plaque followed. Each fallen shipmate’s name was then announced.

In memory of each and every shipmate who served aboard the USS Robinson DD562, who could not be with us tonight because of joining the
“Greatest Admiral” of us all, our God in heaven.
This single place-setting has you join us,       
Both in Memory and Spirit, and reminds us of sharing your Treasured company.
The Single rose signifies the Love,
Dedication, and Call to Duty for having
served the Best Nation in the World.
Your shipmates Miss You, Thank You, and Salute You and Your Family.
Rest in Peace.

“Last Call”



Also remembered were the losses of First Mates Ginny (Ivan) Cobb, Jean (Bill) Douras and Venice (Don) Loder. We mourn, too, the passing of Dottie Kiker (Maye Tompkinson’s sister) who regularly accompanied the Tomkinsons to our reunions
***The Chow Lamp is Lit”***
The diligent Banquet wait staff was at the ready to serve us!  We all enjoyed a delicious meal of Prime Rib w/Au Jus, Stuffed Chicken Breast w/Wild Rice or Baked Salmon w/Dill Sauce.  The consensus of opinion was that each of these meals was excellent! After dessert, the program continued with the MC recognizing the site locator and hosts, and he went on to announce the newly elected Board of Directors, Officers and appointed positions. Patsy Smith was recognized for the creative centerpiece table decorations.
*** RAFFLE ***
Now it’s time for Patsy Smith and Sharon Harshbarger, our Rafflettes, to top off the highlight of the evening. Marvelous gifts ranging from a Kaiser-crafted oil painting of the Robbie to CA$H, gift certificates and an assortment of donated items were ready to be handed over to the lucky winners, one-by-one. An exact replica of the ship’s Plaque was won by Jon Gould. A special raffle was also held that awarded 3 replica Plaques to a shipmate or family from each distinct era (WWII, K, & PK) who donated toward the dedicated Plaque for the U.S. Navy Memorial. Winners were Nelson Snapp (WWII), Russ Maggio (K), and Richard Sprague (PK). Congratulations to all winners! Special thanks to all the shipmates, first mates, friends and organizations for their very generous raffle donations. Thanks, too, for all of you who purchased raffle tickets to support this very rewarding event.
MONDAY was our last day in DC and the “gang” fueled up for our final tour – the Navy Yard and U.S. Navy Museum.  What a fantastic visit this was as we were literally brought back in time to witness Navy life aboard a Tin Can as we knew it.

The shipmates, first mates and (guests) who attended this 35th Annual Reunion are listed. Names in bold print preceded by an *asterisk compose the elite group of virgins.

Joe & Gail Austin
Everette & Linda Boaen and (Ronald & Ronnie Boaen)
Art & Judy Bowne and (Bernie & Judy Kane)
Tom & Peggy Clegg and (Dorothy Yates)
Vern & Marge Compton
*Richard & Martine Ehrenreich
Jim & Mary Ellen Ernsberger
Perrin Farrar & (Betty Jost and Hannah Plummer and Perry & Nancy Farrar and  Dave & Diane DeGezelle)
Gene Ferguson
Millie Gelmini
*Jon Gould
Don & Inga Griffiths
Jerry & Sharon Harshbarger
Hugh & Margaret Helmly
Ron & Joanne Kaiser
James & Janice Lane 
Don Loder

John & Karen Lucas
Pete & Margie Masella and (Phyllis Kaczor)
Spencer & Carolyn Meade     
Hal & Gloria Mullen
Renee Querey    
Barbara Reynolds and (Jon & Tucker & Trey Reynolds)
Cliff & Kim Robertson     
Carolyn Sabatini
Art & Bonnie Schuetze and (Evan Schlachter)    
George & Eleanor Schureman
Charles & Patsy Smith and (Danny & Karla Williams)
Jim & Maye Tomkinson    
Walter Vereecke    
Robert Welsh & (Dorothy Keeney)
Luke & Sue West   
Evonne Wymer and (Lynn & Janice Leonard)
Looking forward to seeing you at our upcoming 2016 Reunion at Omaha, Nebraska,
September 15-18, 2016
Calm Seas and Smooth Sailing!


WWII Shipmate Dean Carlyle Hirschi

Dean Carlyle Hirschi 

Korea Crew

Korea Crew
 Back L to R: Luke West, Tom Clegg, Don Loder, Bob Welsh, Art Bowne & Pete Masella
Front:   Walt Vereecke, Art Schuetze, George Schureman, Gene Ferguson & Perrin Farrar

Korea Gals

Korea Gals
Back L to R: Betty Jost, Carolyn Sabatini, Margie Masella, Judy Bowne & Renee Querey
Front: Barbara Reynolds, Eleanor Schureman, Millie Gelmini & Peggy Clegg. 

Post-Korea Crew

Post-Korea Crew
 Back L to R: Joe Austin, Vern Compton, Jon Gould, Ron Kaiser, Jim Ernsberger,
Jerry Harshbarger, John Lucas, Charles Smith, Don Griffiths & Everette Boaen
Front: Jim Tomkinson, Hal Mullen, Jim Lane, Spencer Meade & Rich Ehrenreich.

Post Korea Gals

Post-Korea Gals
Back L to R: Sharon Harshbargar, Joanne Kaiser, Carolyn Meade,
Karen Lucas, Inga Griffiths, Patsy Smith, Linda Boaen & Margaret Helmly 
Front: Maye Tomkinson, Gloria Mullen, MaryEllen Ernsberger, Gail Austin.

Families of WWII Crew

Families of WWII 
 L to R: Cliff & Kim Robertson (Fred Robertson), Evonne Wymer (Emery Anthony.)    

Here's where we were in past Robbie reunions. Where were you?

1981 South Bend, IN
1982 St. Louis, MO
1983 Denver, CO
1984 St. Louis, MO
1985 Seattle, WA
1986 Baltimore, MD
1987 New Orleans, LA
1988 San Diego, CA
1989 Dallas, TX
1990 South Bend, IN
1991 Post Falls, ID
1992 Charleston, SC
1993 St. Louis, MO
1994 Denver, CO
1995 Covington, KY
1996 Myrtle Beach, SC
1997 Harrisburg, PA
1998 San Diego, CA
1999 Covington, KY

2000 Daytona Beach, FL
2001 Peoria, IL
2002 Gulf Breeze, FL
2003 Buffalo, NY
2004 Baton Rouge, LA
2005 South Portland, ME
2006 San Antonio, TX
2007 Branson, MO
2008 Boston, MA
2009 Newport News, VA
2010 Branson, MO
2011 Myrtle Beach, SC
2012 Nashville, TN
2013 Waterloo, IA
2014 Savannah, GA
2015 Washington, DC
2016 Omaha, NE
2017 Philadelphia, PA
2018 Lafayette, LA

Send us your comments and Contributions!
Send them to Spencer Meade at

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