Following is the link to the site that the shipmates have always been directed to for official info on who has completed their paperwork and paid their reunion fees.


This link gives an official up-to-date count of attendees, and, barring some untoward event, these are the people who are coming.


Sad but uplifting news sent by Noel Nichols, CWO Bobby Jack Freeman, Hopewell 62-64, passed.  Here is a link to his memorial: https://www.facebook.com/CWOFreeman/


Good information source for Veterans, especially Viet Nam Vets, from Ken and Doug: http://www.veteranprograms.com/ copy, paste in your browser and open.  Good source. 


IMPORTANT ABOUT OUR Association Membership:

In order to be a voting member at a reunion business meeting you must be a paid up member of the Association.  Association dues are $25 for two years, biennially, and the money goes to defray the cost of putting a reunion together, plus other expenses.  Anyway, our NEW President, Doug Graybeal, has authorized me to put his email to Bill Slomanson here and to attach the new application form.  I am adding it in two formats, Word or PDF for your convenience:

From: Doug Graybeal <douggraybeal@me.com>
Date: August 20, 2016 at 9:22:20 PM CDT
To: bills@tjsl.edu
Cc: Ed Chew <popschew@cox.net>

Hello, William,

Following, in response to your inquiry to Ed Chew, is the Hopewell Association's Membership/Renewal Application form for you to complete and send to Jim Niquette, Treasurer.  Your $25 Association fee must be paid any time before the reunion begins.   Let me know if there is any problem with this forms or website.  Membership form follows...

Application in Word format:


Application in PDF Format:


**Please get your Application and Check in the mail SOON.  Thanks, Ed.

-----Original Message-----
From: Doug Graybeal [mailto:douggraybeal@aol.com]
Sent: Monday, August 15, 2016 09:16 AM
To: Ken Davis <kfdavis718@yahoo.com>
Cc: Ed Chew <popschew@cox.net>; Harold Niquette <niquettejim@yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: Congratulations

Good morning, Ken. I know I speak for all the crew when I say "thank you" for your able leadership in guiding the Hopewell Association through these past several years. We will miss you and Peggy this year and we look forward to seeing you again in 2018 wherever the crew decides to meet.

As you well know, the Branson reunion schedule provides really top-notch entertainment plus ample free time for the crew/wives to experience Branson's world-class shopping and browsing. Every day of the reunion the itinerary contains first-rate entertainment, lunch or dinner, and transportation to/from the events. In addition, attendees receive a full buffet-style breakfast at the Radisson every morning.

Being appointed to head the Association on this interim basis is a bit of a surprise, but I feel better about the challenges ahead knowing that you stand ready to bring your multi-year experience to bear if needed.

Best Regards,


> On Aug 15, 2016, at 9:51 AM, Ken Davis <kfdavis718@yahoo.com> wrote:
> Doug,
> Congratulations on your new position as President. I want to personally thank you for assuming the responsibilities. I know you will do an excellent job.
> You and Faye have supported me since day one and Peggy and I will support the two of you in anyway possible.
> Thanks,
> Ken Davis
> 931-728-9626


More from Ken Davis:


I regret to inform you of my resignation as President of the USS Hopewell DD-681 Association to be effective as of August 15, 2016. As my last official act as President, I have appointed Doug Graybeal as acting president with the approval of the Executive Board of the association. As of August 15, 2016 Doug will assume all duties as President and Host of the Branson Reunion 2016.

It has been my pleasure to serve as your President since 2009 but as times change, so do some things beyond our control.

Doug Graybeal and his wife Faye, have totally set up and prepared for the Branson Reunion. A lot of fun things to do have been set up and I am sure you will all have a great time. Please make all of your reunion registrations and hotel reservations not later than September 2nd to get all the discounted rates for rooms and tours.

My wife Peggy and I will remain "members in good standing" with the association. Although we can't make this reunion, I am sure we will be able to attend future reunions.

Me hope everyone has fun in Branson.

Thanks to each of you for letting me serve as your President. It was my honor.

Ken Davis


From Ken Davis:

Please make your plans and reservations for the upcoming 2016 Branson Reunion.  The time has come to finalize the tours and shows so that tickets can be purchased at a discounted rate, so please make your plans ASAP....that means NOW.


Bad News but Understandable.  I received an email from our President, Ken Davis, and it said:


I have to inform you that Peggy and I cannot attend the Branson Reunion.
Doug and Faye Graybeal have put the entire reunion together with Gatherings Plus (Pam Brown).
As you both know, I have stated that if an officer of the association cannot attend the reunions then they should not be an officer.
So at the reunion business meeting, please remove me from the list of eligible candidates for election.
It is with regrets that I must inform you of this. Doug Graybeal would be an excellent choice to take my place and I will help in any way possible.

Ken Davis


OK, another great USS Hopewell DD-681 product from http://www.scottees.org

NO, it does not include Sgt. Guapo who loves it too.  Get your own imaginary English Bulldog!  ;)


Just Received Sad News:

It is with a heavy heart that I have to notify you of the death of your shipmate Richard Odell. He passed away 6/12/16 in Cottonwood Arizona. His Naval career spanned WW2, Korea, and Viet Nam. Richard re-commissioned the Hopewell in 1951 and was a crew member during her first Korean War cruise. During this time he was a Machinist Mate First Class and his battle station was the forward engine room. One of his stories about his cruise with the Hopewell involved one of the bombardments of the railroad guns above Wonson Bay. He was standing on the deck next to the starboard whale boat watching the Hopewell's 5" guns firing away. The North Koreans returned fire and he watched the shell splashes coming closer and closer. Shrapnel from a near miss hit the whale boat and the forward stack. He said that he made it back down into his engine room in record time and never again had any desire to venture onto the deck when the guns were firing. He would want me to let his shipmates know that of all the ships he sailed on, the Hopewell was his favorite.

Ron Odell
May he rest in peace.


http://scottees.org/thome/your-ships-photo/   I just ordered two, one for Hopewell and one for Fort Marion.  These guys do a great job.  Order now and be ready for the Reunion in October or just to wear to the VFW or American Legion or just anywhere.



The area code for the Radisson Hotel in Branson for your reservations should be 417, NOT 416.  So when you download the forms, REMEMBER 417. 

OK, now we have a link to sign up for Branson:  Reunions  Click on the link, then on that page click on Reunions, and Type in USS HOPEWELL where it says, Name and click enter. Click on the Hopewell patch and that takes you to the site.
You can click on “itinerary” and “registration form” and print them off
I will add attendees as they sign up for the activity package.

from Pam Brown, Gatherings PLUS in Branson.

NOW click on Itinerary, here, to download the reunion itinerary in PDF format so you can save it, print it or whatever.  It will open in a separate page on your browser.

I ordered a shirt online.

You can buy one here HOPEWELLTee   I like the shirt.


Does anyone recognize where and when this picture of Hopewell was taken?  And do you have a picture of the skipper 67-68?

YAY, results:  pretty sure above is in Hong Kong. 

PRIOR posting was incorrect.  Ignore it.


Picture of an article about Hopewell arriving at Hunters Point Naval Shipyard in 1968.


One of my mentors when I was an Ensign, Chief Dale Taylor.  He has aged a bit, but still going strong.  He is holding a picture made from sea glass.


VA Agent Orange Ships List:


USS Hopewell DD-681 Reunion in Branson, Missouri, October3-7, 2016


Please mark your calendars for the upcoming 2016 Branson, MO reunion to be held on October 3-7, 2016.
You should have plenty of time to start making arrangement to attend this event.

All those in attendance at the Chattanooga Reunion had a good time I was told. With the exception of a couple of weather days all went well.

I will send more info as it becomes available. Ed will also have it on the website when he gets it up and running.

Ken Davis


Emblems of the two largest Veterans Organizations in the US:


Veterans of Foreign Wars     and   The American Legion

They do lots of good and have helped protect Veteran benefits and work to get the VA cleaned up.


Mike Halldorson, Hopewell 1964-1967 is a very talented artist AND he is the Commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1555 in Chico, California.  Here is a video made to teach folks how to do prints:


News: Cdr. George Silvani, USN, Ret., former CO of the USS Hopewell DD681

Hi All,

It is with a sad and heavy heart that I share with you the passing of Cdr. George Silvani yesterday (7/11/2015). Attached is a picture that was taken of him on his 96th birthday (just last week) where he received a personal dance from a belly dancer lighting things up!!!

George was an institution and will be dearly missed (sniff).

Elizabeth Meehan
CELL: 858-735-3740


A Memorial to one of our WW11 Sailors, Arthur Johnson, whose sons provided this input and are contributing memorability items for our reunion in Branson: click ArthurJ   Thanks to Les Johnson and RIP Arthur.


Fiddlers' Green, an OLD sailor's song.

http://youtu.be/OHzC_QPeSQk  Original (?) version by Barney McKenna of the Dubliners.

My modified version for sailors in general. Now you will know the tune that goes with the words.

As I roved by the dockside one evening so fair
To view the salt waters and take in the salt air
I heard an old sailor singing a song
Oh, take me away boys me time is not long
Wrap me up in me oilskin and jumpers
No more on the docks I'll be seen
Just tell me old shipmates, I'm taking a trip mate
And I'll see you someday on Fiddlers Green

Now Fiddler's Green is a place I've heard tell
Where the sailors all go if they don't go to hell
Where the weather is fair and the dolphins do play
And the cold coast of Greenland is far, far away
Now when you're in dock and the long trip is through
There's pubs and there's clubs and there's lassies there too.
And the girls are all pretty and the beer is all free
And there's bottles of rum growing on every tree.

Where the skies are all clear and there's never a gale
And the fish jump on board with one swish on their tail
Where you lie at your leisure, there's no work to do
And the skipper's below making tea for the crew
Now I don't want a harp nor a halo, not me
Just give me a breeze and a good rolling sea
I'll play me old squeeze-box as we sail along
With the wind in the riggin to sing me a song