January 2004




NEW YEAR'S GREETINGS to all of our Sproston shipmates, family members and friends. Once again, we extend to you all our best wishes for a Happy New Year. We look forward to seeing many of you in San Diego in 2004.


Plans are well underway for the 2004 Reunion. We have selected a Hilton Hotel on San Diego bay as our reunion site. We are in the process of organizing reunion activities. Some tentative plans include our Annual Memorial Service at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery on Point Loma and, hopefully, a visit to the aircraft carrier USS Midway which has just arrived in San Diego and will become a naval museum. Mark your calendars for September 15-19. More information and registration forms will be mailed in early April.


The 2003 Reunion in Niagara Falls was another successful event thanks to Joe O'Neil and all the crew who provided assistance before, during and after the Reunion. There were 143 in attendance. This included 65 shipmates and 73 family and friends. There were 17 WWII shipmates, 28 Korean vets and 20 from the Vietnam era. The first excursion on Thursday morning was to the Buffalo Naval and Military Park where we boarded the Fletcher class destroyer USS Sullivans. The Annual Memorial Service was conducted on the fantail by Charles Holland and Jim Marlatt. Several members of deceased shipmates' families actively participated in the ceremony. The Service concluded with the playing of taps and the placing of a memorial wreath in the water. The Memorial Service was followed by lunch on board the guided missile cruiser USS Little Rock and a tour of the Buffalo area. On Friday the group got underway for a tour of the Canadian side of the falls and the surrounding area. Later, we had dinner in the Sheraton Hotel penthouse with a spectacular view of the falls. Saturday was time for rest, relaxation and fellowship. Saturday evening we had the annual Dinner/Dance honoring the plankowners, those proud sailors, who put the Sproston in commission 60 years ago. The WWII crew truly sailed in Harm's Way and brought the ship safely home. The Reunion concluded with the Farewell Breakfast on Sunday morning.


As you know, Sproston Reunions don't just happen. They are the result of work and planning by many shipmates, family members and friends. The assistance of all these people is sincerely appreciated. Thanks to plankowner Joe O'Neil for serving as Reunion Chairman. It was great to see Yogi Forsythe back at his old post assisted by Dick Clark and others tending bar. Thank-you to Jo Zittrauer our Registrar. Thanks to Richard Taylor and Jim Poe and the work party that assisted in obtaining hospitality room “supplies”. Thanks to Conrad Forks for the Navy thermos mugs which were distributed to all attendees. Thanks for the banquet table gifts provided by The Kleins (Derby glasses), The Kellys (bookmarks) and Frank Tenore (handmade napkin holders). We appreciate the raffle prize assistance of Patricia Clark and thanks to Ike Winner's grand- daughters Courtney and Amanda for distributing the raffle prizes. Thanks also go to Al Fitz, Elmer and Fay Everidge and Jim and Norma Marlatt for their assistance and support at the Reunion and throughout the year.

The following gifts were donated for the raffle:

Orville Amos ---------------------------------------Collector Watch

Lyle Jensen ------------------------------------------Kona Coffee

The Brixeys -----------------------------------------Midway video

The Kenneys ---------------------------------------Treat Bags

The Clarks -------------------------------------------Patriotic Gift Bag

Wayne Kluth ----------------------------------------Freedom Bears

The Dorans ------------------------------------------Pen and Pencil Set

Bobby Nazarenus ---------------------------------Yard Hammock

Patricia Edgar --------------------------------------Miscellaneous Gifts

The Moores -----------------------------------------Golf Ball Set

Fay Everidge ---------------------------------------Water Color Painting

The Poes ---------------------------------------------Mugs, Calculator, Towels

The Georges ----------------------------------------Maple Syrup and Bath Works

Frank Santistevan ---------------------------------Destroyer Models

Jo Zittrauer ------------------------------------------Down Filled Throw

Thanks so much to all the donors. We apologize for any donations we may have omitted. The annual raffle is always a fun part of the evening.

The “Traveling Sailor” handmade by Jim McLaughlin was won by Jim Bennet. Remember Jim, you have to bring it back this year.


At 1530, Saturday 13 September, the annual business meeting was called to order by President Jim Marlatt. It was announced that an audit committee had been appointed by the President. The members included Charles Holland, Don Klein, Tony Filosa and Orville Amos. Tony Filosa , Audit Committee Chairman, presented the audit committee report indicating all financial transactions had been reviewed and the records as presented by Treasurer, Elmer Everidge, accurately reflected the financial status of the Group. In accordance with the bylaws the annual election of officers was conducted. The following officers were nominated and elected: Jim Marlatt, President; Elmer Everidge, Treasurer; Al Fitz, Secretary/Webmaster and Johnny Johnson, Director. After extensive discussion, San Diego, California was selected as the location for the 2004 Reunion. Len Doran volunteered to serve as Reunion Chairman and Jim Marlatt will assist as Cochairman. Jim Marlatt thanked the members of the audit committee for their assistance and the meeting was adjourned at approximately 1630.


Each year The Sproston Reunion Group donates the bar proceeds to a worthy cause. In 2003, based upon the recommendations of Jim Marlatt, who is a Cancer Survivor, the proceeds ($500) was donated to the Wellness Community. The Wellness Community provides support and assistance to cancer patients and their families at no charge. Over the years support has been provided to many veterans and their families. Jim has been a volunteer for over thirteen years.


Since the Niagara Reunion we have been notified of the passing of the following shipmates:

McKinley P. Campau FN Korea

John R. Hamblet MM2 Korea

May they rest in Peace. Our condolences to their family members


During and following the Niagara Reunion we have had discussions with Charles Holland concerning initiating efforts to assist our shipmates and their families. As a result we are establishing an Outreach Committee and Charles Holland will serve as Chairman. Mrs. Janis Burns has graciously offered to assist. Initial efforts will be directed toward providing assistance to shipmates who have service connected disabilities or wives of deceased shipmates who had service related disabilities. You are encouraged to apply to the Veterans Administration (VA) for compensation. Charles Holland reports there is reason to be encouraged. Recently, Mrs. Wilma Lundy, wife of A.C. Lundy (deceased) was notified that, in response to her application to the VA, she will receive a substantial monthly compensation. He died of kidney cancer, but had been diagnosed with asbestosis. Mrs. Janis Burns, widow of William Burns (deceased from mesothelioma) and Charles Holland assisted Mrs. Lundy in her request to the VA. Mrs. Burns has some personal experience because she applied for, and received, an award last year. During WWII the Sproston crew experienced extensive exposure to asbestos. During the Korean War, in addition to asbestos, the crew was exposed high levels of radiation in 1952 during the nuclear tests at Einiwetok Atoll. Charles and Janis would be delighted to assist any shipmates or family members who think they might be eligible for compensation.


We are in the process of restocking the Ship's Store with Sproston hats and shirts and possibly other items. We are also developing procedures for ordering and shipping items. The next Sproston Report will have additional information.

Webmaster, Al Fitz, has posted additional pictures on the website including pictures of the Niagara Reunion. We will also post additional information concerning the San Diego Reunion as it becomes available. We encourage all hands to visit the website periodically for information concerning our Reunion Group.


Again, PLEASE let us know when you move. We may have to start removing names from our roster of those shipmates who fail to keep us informed of their mailing addresses. Also, there are still many sailors out there who served on board the Sproston who are unaware of the USS Sproston Reunion Group. We ask for your assistance in locating these shipmates.

Finally, it's not too early to be thinking about Reunion 2005. If you have any ideas or suggestions please contact Jim Marlatt.


“Fair Winds and Following Seas”


Jim Marlatt, President


Al Fitz, Secretary/Webmaster


Elmer Everidge, Treasurer


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