November 2009 Newsletter

From the President's Corner


Hope this finds everyone in good health and doing well. I know Marcia and I had a great summer and we sure hope you all had one as great as ours. We are moving ahead with the 2010 reunion. It is less than a year away, so start making those plans!

Just to follow up, and to let those newly found shipmates know, here is the information once again:

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, 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!

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.

Entertainment and Tours

On Thursday evening, Olie (Brent Olsen) BTFN Cruise of '69 and his sidekick Frankie will be entertaining us with music either in the lounge or Hospitality suite. Also on Thursday, we are checking to see if the world renowned Mormon Tabernacle choir will be practicing. If they are, we can sit in on the practice and they will honor us with the Navy Song.

We have a 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 for shopping, site seeing, and lunch on your own. The price of this tour will depend on how many people will be attending the reunion and want to go on this tour. As it is now, it will cost approximately $40.00 per person.

On Saturday, we have a short trip planned to the Hill Air Force Base Museum. The museum is free, but we will have to pay for the bus. Depending on how many people sign up will determine the price on that tour.

For those wanting to stay over on Sunday night, a bus to Wendover, Nevada will be available for those who like to gamble and want to go to Wendover for the day.

Things to do on your own

Located approximately 30 miles south west of downtown Salt Lake, is the Bingham Canyon Copper mine. One of the largest open pit mines in the world. It is 2 3/4 miles across and 3/4 miles deep. It is indeed an impressive site. We will have maps and information available at registration.

Just two blocks from the Hotel, is the genealogy library where anyone can look up their ancestors or search for long lost relatives.

The Golden Spike Historical site is located about 80 miles north of Salt Lake City. This is the site where the Central and Pacific railroads met for the completion of the first transcontinental railroad and the site of the driving of the golden spike.

Heritage Park, or better known as the "This is the Place Monument" is just east of downtown at the foot of the mountains. This is where Brigham Young first stood after coming out of the mountains, and declared the valley as the place the early Mormon pioneers would settle. There are a lot of unique homemade crafts available.

Association News

We would like to thank Skip Flippen who has worked tirelessly on locating many lost shipmates. Our list of active shipmates has increased by over 150 since he took on this arduous task. A big thanks to Skip for his fine work!!

If you have not made your 2009 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 and reunion 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.

Association Officers

President: Paul Steele
1020 Gramercy Ave.
Ogden, UT. 84404
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1st Vice President: Howard Barrett
59565 County Rd. 13 S.
Elkhart, IN 46517
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Secretary: Bill Busching
2035 Majestic Pine Ct. NE
Palm Bay, FL 32905
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Treasurer: Jim Kulp
131 River Bend Park
Lancaster, PA 17602
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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.

Also, please check out our Web Site, at: Thanks to Bob Soukup who has done a great job on this site!!!

The following are instructions on how to book your rooms either by the internet or by telephone. We encourage you to book early as that gives us more time to schedule the tours and set the prices for registration.

On Line Reunion Hotel Reservation Procedure:

Step #1 Log onto web site:

Step #2 Enter the 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 read here)

Step #5 Press "Find you're 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 you choice on the computer screen. Click "Book It" to choose and book you desired room type at the indicated costs.

Central (telephone) Reservations Process:

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

Once again, we will be doing the registration process online for those folks who would like to do that. But first we need to get everyone to get your hotel registration done so we can get a fairly good head count of how many ship mates will be attending.

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.


Shipmate William (Bill) Machart needs help!

How many of you older shipmates remember William (Bill) Machart? He served on JWT for nearly four years, from September 1950 until April 1954. He was a QM2 and was the sea-detail helmsman. Bill needs your help !!

After the shipwreck (collision) off the coast of Korea, the ship was patched up in Japan. The ship was then sent to Hawaii for further repair. While in Hawaii, Bill severely injured his knee while playing ball and was left behind when the JWT sailed. After surgery and some recuperation at Tripler Army Hospital, Bill requested that he be sent back to USS John W Thomason. He caught up with the ship in Tokyo. A couple of months later the JWT was sent back to San Diego along with three other destroyers. Upon arrival home from WESTPAC, the ship was sent to Mare Island for overhaul. Bill believes this was around the fall of 1953.

During the yard period, Bill was assigned as fire-watch/welders watch in the bottom of the dry dock. He was squatted on his heels, his elbows on his knees, when steel tool box fell from (the ship) above, striking Bill on his back. He was taken to the base hospital for X-rays and observation. From then on, he has always had back pain. Several years ago, Bill applied to the VA for disability because of the pain in his back which he believed stemmed from the toolbox that struck him when it fell on him in the Mare Island Shipyard dry dock. There was no record of this incident in Bill's files so the VA denied disability for his back problems indicating that a falling tool box did not cause him the back pain.

Bill needs any shipmate who witnessed or has first-hand knowledge of this incident, to send him a notarized letter explaining how you saw this happen and any other specifics that you may remember of Bill's accident. Bill desperately needs your help to prove to the VA that he has a service connected disability.

Since his days onboard USS John W Thomason, Bill has had a knee replacement and two major back operations. Today he can walk only with assistance.

Bill needs us to help him. Anyone who served in the JWT in 1953 or 1954 that remembers Bill Machart and can remember his injury in the Mare Island Shipyard dry dock, please contact me ASAP. I will put you in touch with Bill.

Bill Busching, Secretary, USS JWT Association
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