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

May, 2021

The Virus is coming to an end - It’s Time to Have Some Fun

We hope with the receipt of this newsletter that your health if good and looking forward getting together for another reunion. We hope all of you have had your vaccinations against the virus and enjoying your grandchildren once again. We have made arrangements with our hotel in Warwick, RI to move our reunion to October 13 through October 17, 2021. You can check in early and stay later if you desire.

As some of you know, this may be our last reunion under the JWT Association. Our reunions started in 1988 and has continued every other year since then. This will probably be our “last” reunion under the JWT Association. Our membership is getting older and our ranks are dropping. As some of you may know, the youngest members of those of us who served on the JWT are about 70 yrs. old. We anticipate joining 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 since they too are experiencing membership drops. 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.

This will be our only time for one more final reunion. If you have not made one yet, please consider coming to this one. The New England fall foliage will be at its peak and should offer a sightseeing bonanza. We some of us, it is hard to decide on coming to an event such as this. For those who do come, they have a wonderful experience and most times they come back again. If you have missed some of the past event, consider coming for our final Association event. It is time for one more gathering of the JWT shipmates. Our ship may be long buried but our memories are just around the corner. Let’s have a good attendance and share some memories.

 

  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. It is our intent to spend some of our funds on this reunion to reduce your costs.

 

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 Vanderbllt 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 15th. 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.

 

Name Tags

For this reunion, the name tags will be reusable. No longer will we put the name of the City and State on the tag. This way, we can use the same name tag for future reunions. So save your name tags for future reunions.

 

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. One item to discuss is how much should we contribute to Tin Can Sailors and how much to retain for our joint reunions with them. Your voice should be heard on this subject and we encourage you to be part of that discussion.

 

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.