Reminder: Send in your $15.00 donation for the 2021 calendar year. Mail to

USS John W Thomason Association, 131 River Bend Park, Lancaster, PA 17602

January, 2021

Update on JWT Information

We hope with the receipt of this newsletter that your health if good and looking forward to a better Year 2021. This last year stuck in the walls of your home unable to visit with the grandchildren has been something that we all do not want to experience again. It is always fun to look forward to being together and seeing old friends. With the vaccination around the corner, we hope that most of us can get it in the first quarter of 2021. Veterans Administration has a program where after the hospital workers and the nursing homes, ages 85 years old and above will be first inline. After that it will be 75 years and older than 65 years and older. The last group should cover all of the veterans from the JWT. We are hopeful that we can all get our vaccines in the first quarter. We hope that your spouses can get there vaccines before the middle of the year. Let’s all try to stay safe and prepare for a reunion in October 2021. We desire to be free and have some fun. On our end, we will do everything we can to make this reunion one of the best.

As some of you know, this may be our last reunion under the JWT Association. I was formed in 1988 with Bob Paulter leading the way. Since our membership has been dropping, we need to consider someone else who can put these reunions together and continue what some of our shipmates started back then. Our thoughts are to join up with

Tin Can Sailors homeported in Massachusetts. During our Association meeting at the reunion, we hope to get a member of Tin Can Sailors to discuss with us about their reunions. Many Associations have joined with Tin Can Sailors for their reunions. We understand that we can keep our hospitality room for just the JWT sailors but many of the events will be with other tin can sailors. It will be a time where we can swap experiences with those guys on our overseas trips. We will have a lengthy discussion at our reunion so you can ask all the questions you may have.

Whatever Happened to the USS John W Thomason?

Many of you often wonder what ever happened to the JWT. Here is what we know:

When she was decommissioned in San Diego on December 8, 1970, most of us were assigned new duties. Some remained to seal up tight the JWT for storage. Her hull was in tack to she was able to be mothballed. She laid in mothball until February 1, 1974 until the Navy disposed of her through the Security Assistance Program (SAP) in a cash sale to Taiwan. At that time a number of Sumner Class ships were sold to Taiwan to present a presence to mainland China with a fleet of ships to defend the island. Taiwan assumed command of the JWT on May 6, 1974 and named her, Republic of China Navy ROCS Nan Yang (DD954).

After 25 years of service, the ship was decommissioned once again. Here is the statement presented by the Taiwan Navy:

Kaohsiung, Jan. 16 (CNA) The second Nanyang destroyer was decommissioned on Sunday at the southern Taiwan port of Kaohsiung after having served 25 years in the Republic of China Navy. The decommission ceremony, presided over by the Navy's 124th Fleet Captain C.C. Chang, ended after the destroyer's Captain T.S. Chen returned the ship's flag and stamp to Chang. Chen, leading all captains and officers who ever served on the Nanyang, toured the vessel for the last time to bid their final farewell to the ship, which had sailed a total of 407,750 nautical miles during more than 39,470 hours of duty. The ROC Navy bought the destroyer, originally named "John Thomason," from the US Navy in 1974. The vessel was officially commissioned and christened "Nanyang" in June 1975, replacing the original Nanyang, also purchased from the US Navy, which was discharged from service in 1973 due to its outdated equipment. The second Nanyang, equipped with anti-submarine, anti-aircraft and other weapons systems, was the star battleship of the ROC Navy in the 1970s and contributed greatly to the upgrade of the Navy's combat ability. Although the destroyer was downgraded to a "second-class" vessel as a result of the Navy's modernization program, the ship was still carrying out its mission of coastal patrol and surveillance of waters off Taiwan during its last years in service. The Nanyang also paid visits to Singapore and South Korea as a member of the ROC Friendship Fleet.

She was placed in reserve for several years before begin towed off the east coast of Taiwan and sunk. After many years of service in the US Navy and the Taiwan Navy, the USS John W Thomason DD 760 remains forever in her final resting place over 800 fathoms of water in the East China Sea where she roamed for over 50 years.

2021 Reunion Information

Reunion Dates:

The dates for the 2021 JWT Association is set for Wednesday, October 13, 2021 through Sunday, October 17, 2021. We selected this time to hopefully coincide with the fall foliage in New England although we will be at the back end of the changing of the leaves. Take advantage of this time to observe one of nature’s wonders. In discussing this reunion with other shipmates, many are taking a tour of New England before the reunion to see the fall foliage. Spend some time to plan with some of your buddies an extended tour while attending this reunion.

LOCATION:

The hotel for the reunion will be the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 801 Greenwich Ave, Warwick, Rhode Island 02886. If you are driving to the reunion, travel north on Interstate 95 and take Exit 12 in Warwick to Hwy 113. Then in a short distance turn right on Hwy 5 for 0.2 miles to the hotel entrance. If you are flying in, the hotel will provide free shuttle service by calling the hotel at 401-732-6000. The van can accommodate about 12 people with luggage. The costs of our rooms will be $129 per day plus a 13% State Tax. This amounts to somewhere near $145 per night. To lower the costs of your stay, the reunion committee negotiated free breakfast in the hospitality room each morning for two hours. The hotel will serve us a buffet breakfast to everyone attending the reunion in our hospitality suite each morning. By providing breakfast, the room costs will be around $115 per room. Included in your room costs will be:

Free parking during your stay. Free Wi-Fi in all guest rooms and meeting places including the hospitality room. Free hotel guest shuttles to any place within 3 miles from the hotel. A copy of local restaurants are available on the JWT website and will be included in your reunion packets. A 20% discount on hotel restaurants during your stay (excluding alcohol). There are two restaurants located at the hotel.

Reservations

Hotel: The most convenient way to make room reservations is by emailing the hotel directly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Guest may also reserve their room online at www.CrowneHotelWarwick.com using the three letter group code of JWT. You can also call the hotel reservation department after October 2021 at (401) 732-6000. Guest must identify their affiliation with the USS John W Thomason to receive the $129 per nightly rate. Rates can “not” be adjusted at check in or check out for guest who fail to identify their affiliation with the JWT when making their reservations. The cutoff date for the JWT block is Monday, August 31, 2021. Remember, you can cancel your rooms up to 24 hours prior to arrival without any penalty. So book now to hold your room. We recommend that you contact the hotel directly and state that you are with the JWT. You can book three days before and three days after our reunion. This hotel has undergone a $20,000,000 renovation which should be completed this month. All rooms are new.

Reunion: You must fill out the attached reservation form for the reunion and mail it back to us by

August 30, 2021. Make sure you fill it out completely. On the rear of the registration form is the ship’s store form. If you wish to purchase ship store items, we can have them ready for pick up at the reunion. If you have any questions, visit our website at dd760.org and ask your question. We will respond with any help we can give. The registration fee costs for each person is $35. This will cover the banquet and other items for the reunion.

 

Tours

We have two tours during our reunion. You may attend any of them but we encourage you to take the Battleship Cove tour since we will have our memorial services onboard the USS Kennedy, a Gearing class destroyer on Saturday. Here are the tours we have set up:

Tour 1 – Breakers and Shopping in Newport Costs per person is $30

This tour will begin with a 2-hour tour of the Breakers Mansion in Newport, RI. This mansion was built by Cornelius Vanderbilt in 1895. It has 125,339 sq ft with 70 rooms. After the tour, the bus will take our guest to the Newport waterfront where there are numerous shops, restaurants, and breweries. After several hours of walking the streets shopping and stopping for lunch or refreshments, the buses will return to the hotel in late afternoon. This tour is scheduled for Friday, October 15nd. The costs for the tour will cover the entrance to the mansion and bus service.

Tour 2 – Battleship Cove, Falls River, Massachusetts Costs per person is $20

On Saturday morning, the buses will load for the 45 minutes trip to Falls River, MA. Here is a naval museum of actual ships who served in World War II. Included is the battleship, USS Massachusetts, the Gearing Class destroyer, USS Joseph P Kennedy, Jr. (850), the submarine USS Lionfish, several PT Boats and a Maritime Museum. As customary, we will wear our blue JWT shirts and hats for our fallen shipmates. We are looking at including a stop for lunch (your costs) on this tour.

Hospitality Room

Our hospitality room will be the Tiverton Room which is a central place in the hotel where we gather.

Registration Desk

On the first floor near the Tiverton Room will be our registration desk. So after checking into the hotel, turn directly down the hall and check in with the reunion.

Raffle

This reunion will have our reunion raffle after the banquet. We ask each of our guests to bring something from your area of the country for a contribution toward a raffle at the conclusion of our banquet. You may either make a gift or purchase something you wish to contribute to the raffle. During the reunion, our woman auxiliary will sell raffle tickets. Your contribution and the purchase of raffle tickets contribute to the success of this reunions.

Association Meeting

On Friday afternoon at 5:00 pm, we will have our JWT Association meeting where we will go over business of the Association. By your attendance, you are a member of the Association. Jim Kulp will give his financial report and we will discuss the day’s activities and future reunion locations. This meeting should last about one hour. It is important that you attend this meeting since this reunion may be our last as the JWT group.

Banquet

This is the final event of our reunion after our day at Battleship Cove. It will be held in the Ocean Room of the hotel beginning with a cash bar starting at 5:00pm with dinner being served at 7:00 pm. Pictures of couples and/or families will begin around 5:30pm. After a few brief words for the committee to outline the future of the JWT reunions, we will have dinner and our raffle.

Memorial Services

On Saturday morning around 10:00 am, we will have our Memorial Services on the fantail of the USS Kennedy. All shipmates and guest are encouraged to attend. A brief ceremony will occur with the laying of a wreath over the side of the ship in honor of those shipmates we have lost since the 2018 reunion. We will especially recognized Bob Paultier who was one of the first shipmates to organize a reunion of the JWT Association in 1988. All shipmates are encouraged to wear their blue polo JWT shirts with the Navy baseball caps. After the ceremony, a group picture of shipmates will occur in front of a gun mount on the bow of the ship. Once the ceremony and pictures are completed, you will be free to tour the USS Kennedy and the other ships for the remainder of the day. Each shipmate who has passed since the 2018 reunion will have their name read aloud to honor them.

Veterans Information

One of our members asked that we pass this along to any of you who are looking for VA help. Visit this website to obtain more information: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/USVAVBA/bulletins/2b2583c

 

Fair Winds and Following Seas, may the lord fill our sails with fair wind, support our hulls in inviting seas, guide our hands upon the tiller toward pleasant places, and bring us home, O Lord, to a safe and loving harbor.”

 

Remember to call the hotel in October, 2021 and send in your registration.