June 2009 Newsletter

From the President's Corner


Hope this finds everyone in good health and doing well. This Newsletter is to inform you of our progress for the 2010 reunion.

Home Port will be in Salt Lake City, Utah. The dates for the reunion are as follows: Thursday Sept. 30th, Friday October 1st, and Saturday October 2nd, with early arrivals coming in on Wednesday Sept. 29th and those wishing to stay later, October 3rd.

The Hotel is the Shilo Inn, which is located in downtown Salt Lake City. The Shilo has reserved the top three floors for our reunion, with the Hospitality Suite being on the top floor.

The Hotel will honor the reunion rates up to 3 days before and 3 days after for those wishing to enjoy more time in the great state of Utah! We have chosen the Hotel, and have the Banquet facilities reserved.

Brent Olsen (Olie) (BTFN Cruise of '69) and his sidekick Frankie will be entertaining us with music on Thursday evening either in the hospitality suite, the lounge or the meeting room we have set aside.

The Shilo Inn features an in house restaurant which is open for Breakfast and Lunch and the Sunset Lounge. The room rates will include: Complimentary Hot American Breakfast, Free wireless high speed internet, 24 hour indoor mineral pool, spa and fitness center, Complimentary 24 hour airport shuttle, Complimentary monitored covered parking, Complimentary fruit, coffee and cookies in the lobby. Also, the Hotel is located within walking distance of over 50 restaurants, as well as clubs, theaters, shops, museums, Historic Temple Square, and the Gateway Shopping Complex, which I know the wives will love!

We will have a lot more information on the things to do and see in and around the Salt Lake City area in the next newsletter.

Enclosed in this Newsletter will be instructions on how to book your rooms either by the internet or by telephone. We would like to see everyone book as early as possible so we can have a good idea of how many shipmates will be attending. This will help us when we book the bus tour for Friday and assist us in determining the registration fee. We hope to keep the registration fee as low as possible. If you have access to the internet, please visit our web site, as a lot of the hotel information is listed there.

We have one tour planned for Friday, the Heber Valley Railroad train ride thru the mountains east of Salt Lake City to see the beautiful fall colors with a stop in Park City and the site of the 2002 Winter Olympics. We do not have a price on this tour as of yet, as it is too far out to get all the information. Saturday will be a free day for reminiscing with shipmates, touring Salt Lake City on your own, and of course shopping for the ladies. Then Saturday night we will have our banquet which will include our memorial service and banquet. For those staying over on Sunday, a bus to Wendover, Nevada will be available for those who would like to gamble and lose what their wives haven't spent shopping!

Association News

It is with deep regret and sadness that we heard of the passing of one of our shipmates who has attended our reunions in the past. John Roberts passed away suddenly on the 11th of May. He has always been there, and will be missed. Our sympathy goes out to his family. A gift from the John W. Thomason Association has been sent to the US Navy Memorial in Washington DC his name.

If you have not made you 2007 JWT Association donations, we ask that you consider contributing to the Association on an annual basis to offset the costs of mailing Newsletters and to keep our registration fees as low as possible.

If anyone knows of a shipmate who does not receive the Newsletter, please notify me or one of the other officers. Also we would appreciate it if everyone would continue to look for missing shipmates. Due to the excellent service of Bob Soukup, our Web Master, we have located several new "lost" shipmates.

For those of you who have never joined us for a reunion, we encourage you to do so. They are a lot of fun, and many sea stories are enjoyed by all.

Once again, here are the contacts within the Association:

President: Paul Steele
1020 Gramercy Ave
Ogden, UT. 84404

1st Vice President: Howard Barrett
59565 County Rd. 13 S.
Elkhart, IN 46517

Secretary: Bill Busching
2035 Majestic Pine Ct. NE
Palm Bay, FL 32905

Treasurer: Jim Kulp
131 River Bend Park
Lancaster, PA 17602

Please feel free to contact anyone of us with any information about shipmates or contact me about any information you might need for the 2010 reunion.

On Line Reunion Hotel Reservation Procedure:

Step #1

Log onto web site: www.shiloinns.com

Step #2

Enter Shilo location where you would like: (Salt Lake City) to check availability of rooms or book on-line:

Step #3

Enter other information as applicable (check-in date, number of nights, how many adults and children) in the "Check room & availability" section.

Step #4

Next, enter the Special Rate Code: 092910US (As it reads here)

Step #5

Press "Find your Hotel"

Step #6

The Shilo Inn Suites Hotel, Salt Lake City will appear, press, "Book It"

Step #7

The USS John W Thomason. preferred group rates will be automatically loaded for your choice on the computer screen. Click "Book it" to choose and book your desired room type at the indicated costs.

If prefer to register by phone you can use the Central (telephone) Reservations Process as follows:

Contact the Shilo Inn Suites Hotels reservation number at 1-800-222-2244. Advise the reservation agents that you are reserving for USS John W Thomason and they will assist in making your reservation for you.


A column for shipmates looking to find former shipmates! By Bill Busching, secretary

Kieth Corkum, onboard JWT 1948-49 writes:

I served on DD 760 during the China deployment from December 1948 to June 1949. One incident that stands out in my memory, was when we were anchored in the Wousung Delta where the Yangtze and the Wangpoo Rivers converge, waiting to evacuate people from Shanghi as the communist army was advancing. At about midnight, they fired a starshell over us. General Quarters was sounded and I believe we slipped the anchor to race down the Yangtze River in order to avoid a possible shelling. This is how I remember the incident. I would appreciate it if anyone was aboard JWT at the time and can verify this incident, especially dates and times. /s/ Kieth Corkum

Was anyone out there onboard the Fighting John in 1949 who remembers this incident? Contact Kieth at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The son of a previously "missing" shipmate, Joseph Crum, who served on board the JWT has contacted us and stated that his Dad is in failing health and would love to hear from his former shipmates. Here is waht he posted on the web site:

My father's name, CRUM, JOSEPH, appears on your list of missing shipmates. I know for a fact he served aboard the "Fighting John Thomason" from stories he shared with us growing up as well as photos of him and a large framed photo of the ship.

He worked for years as an electrical contractor out of Lubbock, TX until he became an instructor of electrical trades within the Vocational Department of the Killeen Independent School District. After 27 years with the school district he retired and currently splits his time between his residence in Killeen (TX) and the home of my brother and his wife in Temple (TX). His health has begun to get the best of him and he doesn't get around as much but I am sure would love to hear from his former shipmates. He can easily be reached at the following address;

Joseph Crum
c/o Richard and Cathy Crum
email address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Does anyone remember Rich Torres? He was on board 1952-53 and would like to hear from anyone who was on board the JWT at the same time. He does not have an e-mail address and he didn't give me a home address, but a buddy of his, Jack Briggs, says he will forward any e-mail to Rich that you send to him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Jack's e-mail address).