U S S McKEAN
DD 784 * DDR 784
Vol I, No. 1
DATE: February 7, 1999
TO: ALL CREW MEMBERS AND THEIR FRIENDS AND FAMILIES
FROM: Bob Hancock, Reunion Coordinator
2002 Chuli Nene
Tallahassee, FL 32301-5826
SCUTTLEBUTT has it from a somewhat reliable source that a ship's reunion off all crew members (enlisted personnel and officers) are invited and encouraged to participate in the USS McKean's first ship's reunion! If there have been others, I have not been able to talk to anyone so informed.
The reunion will be held in a yet-to-be selected hotel in Baton Rouge from Saturday, September 25 to Tuesday, September 28, 1999. One very good reason for meeting in Baton Rouge is that the USS KIDD - DD661 is berthed there. A number of people have told me that the restoration of the KIDD is exceptional.
Another reason is that the city's hotels, etc. have indicated that they want us to meet in Baton Rouge. In addition, there are numerous family-oriented attractions. Then, too, Baton Rouge is easily accessible by auto, bus and plane. Plus, the city is centrally located in the southern part of the United States.
I will be in Baton Rouge during the first week of May and negotiate the best deals possible for our reunion. My goal is to have for you a nice, comfortable hotel at a reasonable cost and one that will be conveniently housed in an area close by the attractions you and your guests may wish to visit.
I was a crew member of the first USS McKEAN crew when she was recommissioned June 9, 1954, 53 1/2 years ago. For the past 40 or more years, this "plank owner" has had a desire for a USS McKEAN reunion of shipmates from the original crew to the decommissioning (I HATE that word!) crew.
A number of shipmates are assisting in planning the get-together. They are: James Salvant (68-71), who lives in Baton Rouge; Verner Newman III, (50-52); Jack Melvin (48-51); and Donald Hudnall (49-52). Don's daughter, Ms. Donna Gardner, has volunteered to help, too. (She has already been busy!)
Reflection: As the crew stood ready for the USS McKEAN's very first venture away from its berth in Bremerton, Washington in June 1945, the captain-Commander William D. Kelly, said, "All hands, stand by to get underway. All right, gang-let's do it! Cast off the lines." And away we went.
It is hoped you can "cast off all lines" so that you and members of your family and friends will be able to join the reunion group, and thereby help make it an event we all shall remember!!
A proposed itinerary follows. Please feel free to make suggestions - more group meals, less group meals, etc. You may respond to me at the address listed above by mail or phone or e-mail Donna Gardner at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. All feedback is appreciated!
USS McKEAN DD784/DDR784 FIRST REUNION
--PLACE TO BE ANNOUNCED--
BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA
SEPTEMBER 25-28, 1999
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 25.
2:00pm-7:00 pm Check in/registration
2:00pm-5:00pm Hospitality room open
6:00pm-til? Dinner (on your own)
9:00pm-10:00pm Hospitality room open
SUNDAY, SEPTMEBER 26.
Breakfast (on your own)
8:00am-5:00pm Check in/registration
9:00am-12:00 noon General Session: The Way It Was
2:00pm-5:00pm Tour of USS KIDD DD661
7:00pm-7:30pm Photo session
7:30pm-9:30pm Banquet at Hotel
9:30pm-11:00pm Hospitality room open
MONDAY, SEPTEMER 27
Breakfast (on your own)
8:00am-8:30am Check in/registration
8:30am-9:30am General Session: The Way It Is
10:00am-5:00pm Tour of the area (to be announced)
5:30pm-6:30pm Dinner (on your own)
7:00pm-til? Casino tour (to be announced)
10:00pm-11:00pm Hospitality room open
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28
8:00am-9:30am Group breakfast at the hotel
10:00am-11:30am General Session: The Way It Will Be
12:00 noon Check out of hotel