Winter/Spring 2013

Please remember to send in your annual dues
of $15.00 (or more) for the 2013 calendar year to:

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

If you have news about yourself or another shipmate you would like to have printed in the next newsletter please send it to the address above.

President’s Message

Hello from Long Beach, (“The Beach”)

Can you believe it?   2013 already!   If you have not done so yet, now is the time to start planning to attend our next reunion here in Long Beach Wednesday, July 23 to Saturday, July 26, 2014.  

I have contracted with the Hilton Long Beach Executive Meeting Center to act as our reunion host hotel.  The Hilton is located at 701 west Ocean Blvd.   I have negotiated a very favorable room rate of $109.00 per night, which is considerably lower than the usual going rate for the downtown Long Beach area and only ten dollars more than we have paid at the last two reunions.   The quoted rate is good two days prior and after the reunion also.   You can start making reservations for our reunion in the late fall of this year.   More info will be in the next newsletter.

Since the Hilton is located in downtown Long Beach you will have easy access to all that downtown LB has to offer.   There are many fine restaurants nearby and the Queen Mary is only a few minutes away as are the Aquarium of the Pacific, the Pike at Rainbow Harbor, and much more.   I suggest you consider taking the “AquaLink” water taxi to the Veterans Belmont Pier and the Belmont Shore area where you will find many upscale restaurants and unusual shops.

If you should be interested in visiting Los Angeles, the Metro train station is located a few short blocks from the Hilton.  I highly recommend the Metro train for getting to many parts Los Angeles.  It is a great alternative to fighting LA freeway traffic.

Long Beach is near Disneyland, Disney California Adventure, and Knott's Berry Farm.  A few other nearby points of interest are Hollywood, the space shuttle Endeavor at the California Science Center, and the Griffith Observatory.   Ask at the hotel front desk about tours and/or transportation.

Here is a tentative itinerary for the reunion:   PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS IS A NEW ITINERARY.

  • Wednesday, July 23, 2014:  Check-in and touring on your own.
  • Thursday, July 24, 2014:   Bus trip to the Griffith Observatory.
  • Friday, July 25, 2014:    Business meeting, group photos, and hospitality.  Touring on your own.  Banquet dinner in the evening.
  • Saturday, July 26, 2014:>Bus trip to San Pedro for a tour of the battleship USS Iowa, visits to Fort MacArthur, the Los Angeles Maritime Museum, and Ports O’ Call.·· Lunch at one of the Ports O’ Call restaurants.·· Along the way you’ll see where the Long Beach Navy base and shipyard used to be.

Getting to Long Beach is easy.   If you are coming by air, Long Beach (LGB) airport is the logical choice.   Of course there are also Los Angeles (LAX) and Orange County/John Wayne (SNA) airports.   Shuttle service to/from any of the three is about $20.00.   If you are driving, the hotel is at the very end of the southbound Long Beach (710) freeway, next to the World Trade Center.   If coming by train, you can take the Metro Blue line from Union Station in Los Angeles to downtown Long Beach.

I am looking forward to seeing all of you here at “The Beach” for 2014. 

-- Bob Soukup, President

Looking Ahead to 2016

Oscar Boudreaux, Howard Barrett, and Steve Petryk have been scouting out some possible locations for our 2016 reunion.   Oscar reports that he visited the Battleship Cove area in Massachusetts this past fall and he felt the area may be a bit pricey for us.   Howard Barrett has been investigating Patriots Point in South Carolina and has obtained quite a bit of information.  Obviously no decision has been made yet.   We’ll keep you posted.

Bob Kleinschmidt Passing

Robert Kleinschmidt passed away on October 20.  Bob was an FTG2 onboard 1968/1969.

The Association has made a donation in Bob’s name to the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society and the U.S. Navy Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Bob’s name and military information has been placed in the Navy Log.