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2019 Edition

Annual Reunion

of the

USS Beale DD/DDE 471

Bay City, MI

September 12 - 15, 2019


The crew began dropping anchor a day early on September 11. Most arrived on September 12. They found the Comfort Inn to be very accommodating with nice rooms, a breakfast area to kick start our days in Bay City and our "just right" Hospitality Room.

Our hosts,LeRoy and Donelda Thurn along with Jim and Jane Svejk arrived early to set up our Hospitality Room and to visit with representatives of the hotel, American Legion Post 18 and the USS Edson. Finding all was in order, they had a bit of time to see what Bay City had to offer.

Thursday was the main arrival day with the crew checking in then visiting the Hospitality Room. Auction and raffle items were dropped in the Hospitality Room followed by greeting old shipmates and friends.

Bay City Weather Report



USS BEALE in stormy seas.jpg

The weather report call for rain all day Friday and fair weather on Saturday, so LeRoy and Jim "took an evasive heading" and revised the POD to move the Fundraisers to Friday morning and the USS Edson Tour to Saturday morning. This worked out very well as the weather man was indeed correct.

Thursday Evening

Most of the crew and guests were on board for dinner. There are a number of restaurants with varied menus within walking distance of hotel. We split into small groups and ventured forth. The Hospitality Room was a busy place following dinner with more camaraderie and delivery of auction and raffle items. A few of us went next door to the Doubletree hotel for an evening cocktail or two.

Krzysiak's House, one of Bay City's known for its authentic Polish cuisine, was recommended to Bob & Barbara Duke and Paul & Elaine Barry by Rudy Klawuhn.


Friday Morning

The day began with a hotel breakfast buffet on steroids accompanied by more sea stories. The weatherman was indeed correct. The rains arrived and all were glad LeRoy and Jim rearranged the POD. Visiting the Edson today was totally out of the question. So, following our animated breakfast, we gathered in the Hospitality Room for the Annual Raffle and Auction.


Rainy view of the Saginaw River from

hotel window.

Annual Raffle

The raffle held an array of valuable items. Tickets were sold and eagerly purchased in hopes of winning. Two USS Beale models were built by Bill Jones. One of these was donated by Joe and Janet Repasch. The winners were Dave Leslie and "can't remember who". Jane Svejk's knit a beautiful sweater won by Jerry Chitwood. A First Navy Jack was offered and won by Gary Reed. Several other beautiful items were included in the raffle.

Beale model.jpg
What's your bid? Do I hear more?
This is a very valuable item from the Tuscan Hills of China!

The Annual Auction was conducted by our Host and Auctioneer's Mate LeRoy Thurn. He was assisted by several of the crew, most notably by our Model's Mate Dave Leslie. It included an array of wondrous and mysterious things from the four corners of the globe and the seven seas. A few "preview" pics of the auction are shown below. You can enlarge the photos by clicking on them. You can see the rest of them by clicking on the following galleries.

Leslie Model.JPG
Irma surprise.JPG

Raffle & Auction

Slider Show

You can slide the pics from L-R or R-L by clicking on the "white arrows" on each side of the "slider". Also, you can zoom in by clicking on  the photo

This was  the very  first time we held the fund raisers in the morning. We had almost 100%  participation and brought in about $1,700. Please let the Board know if you wish to continue "morning hour" fundraisers.

Friday Afternoon

"on your own"

The crew scattered in small groups for lunch and to explore the area. Others visited the Hospitality Room after lunch to swap more sea stories with their shipmates and friends. Some even had the time to take a nap!

A few Bay City Attractions

by Shannon Reed Baumann

Lake Huron, Mug Shots and Cops & Donuts

You can click on the photos to enlarge them.

Lake Huron.jpg
Shannon Mug Shot.jpg
Cops and Donuts.jpg

Friday Evening

American Legion Post 18

The rain was gone! The Post was only a short walk away. Waiting for us was a wonderful Lake Huron Fish Dinner cooked by the Ladies' Auxiliary. Tim Eckstein, Post Commander, a 39 year retired Navy Captain, gave us a warm welcome.


Many enjoyed pure white fillets of Lake Huron Walleye and delicious Yellow Perch and deep fried smelt, pronounced schmelt. Others were offered firm/not fishy tasting pollack fillets, shrimp, cole slaw, salads,  hamburgers, tater tots and even mac and cheese. Of course, the Post had a bar where we could buy "adult" beverages to wash down the "fish fry"!


Pics at the Legion


Bob Duke & Kay Jones

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Kay Jones at Legion.jpg
Legion 1.jpg

A nice surprise after dinner!

The Dixie Kings Trio serenaded us with country and western tunes. We loved the Dixie Kings! They were of our generation! They played music we could readily recognize! And, some "sang along", and a few, "risked severe physical and traumatic injury", by getting up to dance.

Their program included a special request for Jambalaya. Austin Smith really loved it and sang along with the band (from his seat, f course). Jambalaya also set the "tone" for our 2020 Reunion in New Orleans.

Dancing to the Dixie Kings

by Chuck Hunnell

We left the Legion and wandered back to the hotel reminiscing about our dinner conversations and entertainment. Some went to the Hospitality Room and a few found the lounge at the Doubletree for some single malt scotch. A very nice time!

Saturday - "USS Edson Day"


We awakened to a beautiful day! Sunny with a few puffy clouds and temperature in mid 60's. After breakfast, the crew paired up to drive to the highlight of the 2019 Reunion.


Click on the blue button above for links to more USS Edson information.

Program while aboard the Edson


Edson docents gave guided tours throughout the ship, Optionally, we could explore all unsecured locations at our leisure. At least one of our shipmates was said to have done so with the

"agility of a spider monkey"!

The first thing our shipmates noticed was the Edson's size and armament when compared to the Beale.  Bigger ship and bigger guns! You can see a comparison table using the Blue Button.

Late morning was reserved for our crew meeting officiated by Jim Sveck. Association Officers were elected and Dianne Sorola, our 2020 Reunion Host and Coordinator, gave a brief overview on next year's late September Reunion to be held in New Orleans. This was followed by our memorial ceremony conducted by John Davis and a catered light lunch. To our hearts delight, the afternoon afforded us the opportunity for more exploration of the Edson.

The following gallery of photos were taken by Jim McAuley and several other shipmates. Click on the boxes to see the pics.

Saturday Evening

American Legion Post 18

Dinner time arrived and we were looking forward to another cocktail hour and a delicious dinner at the Legion. Once again, the Ladies Auxiliary outdid themselves and served a nice buffet of shrimp appetizer, salad, baked ham, roast chicken, spuds, veggies and beverages.

No dinner music by the Dixie Kings!

Tim Eckstein met with Paul Barry to discuss the Beale's History. Tim said he would publish it in the next post newsletter. You can click on the photo to see what Tim wrote.


Beale interview_edited.jpg

Our guest speaker was Mike Kegley, retired Master Chief Aviation Electrician's Mate. Mike is President of the Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Museum and the USS Edson DD946. He gave us an informative, entertaining and, at times, a "salt encrusted" presentation on the Edson's naval history and her trials and tribulations during her New York City to Bay City transfer. You can see more of this by clicking on:

Saturday evening ended with a walk back to the Comfort Inn for more sea stories and early good byes. And, we had to pack as we would be getting "underway" on Sunday morning.

Sunday Morning

Many arose early to finish packing and breakfast. Farewells were exchanged with hugs and handshakes.  

Several thought the reunion was such a great time, it could have been longer. Then again, maybe it was "just right"

Crew Photos

by Jim McAuley

Enlarge photos by clicking on them


Front: LeRoy Thurn, Bill Jones, Gary Reed, John Davis

Middle: Paul Barry,Doug Fletcher, Chuck Hunnell, Bob Tyler, Mark Evdemon, Dave Leslie

Back: Ed bales, George Marlow, Chet Suda, Jim Jenkins, Bob Hinkle, Rudy Klawahun, Bob Duke, Jerry Chitwood, Jim Svejk, Theron Hall


Front: Barbara Hall, Dianne Sorola, Jane Svejk, Irma Davis,

Shannon Reed Baumann, Maria Johansen

Back: Paula Goll, Elaine Barry, Leslie Leslie, Barbara Duke, Maryanne McAuley,

Donelda Thurn, Pat Chitwood, Linda Fletcher

One Last Thing

Please join me in thanking LeRoy and Donelda for a job well done!

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