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JANUARY 2004                    WINTER ISSUE


President:                 Jim Hambley   (757) 340-6909                              Director:  Ray  Margeson   (607) 732-0579

                                        jghambley@cox.net                                                  rmargeson@aol.com

Vice President:         William (Bill) Grizzard  (505)527-1162                  Treasurer:   Frank Kelly  (843)378-4026

                                       grizzard@zianet.com                                                 LindaK0001@aol.com

Secretary:                 Richard (Sam) Samsel (602)765-0381                  Chaplain:  Don Fullbright (505)764-0234

                                       uremus@cox.net                                                          nicki6199@aol.com

Master at Arms:         Frank Cantrell    (864) 859-3056                                              Historian:  Michael D. Snyder   (301) 570-0242

                                     frankcantrell@webtv.net                                                waterdog9@comcast.net 

Service Officer:         Chuck  Weber  (215) 822-4329                             Director:  Philip Markin   (775) 777-8637

                                       NNWASO@ptd.net                                                    pmarkin@elko.net

The Navy Nuclear Weapons Bulletin is produced by the Association’s Board of Directors and is distributed free to NNWA members.  Edited by Sam Samsel


 The President’s Message


Shipmates and Ladies,

I want to wish everyone a belated Happy Holidays and a prosperous and safe New Year. I hope everyone who attended the Branson reunion enjoyed it as much as I did. I want to thank Paulette and her crew from McAlester for a job well done.


The membership has been talking, for many years; about a reunion cruise and now we have finally put one together. So lets all go to sea where we don't have to worry about who's got the duty, the next watch or special sea and anchor detail.  Now is the time to start thinking about the reunion cruise out of Tampa, Fl. The deadline for reservations is May 5, 2004 a lot earlier than you would normally see for a reunion. So make your reservations early with your refundable deposit. The earlier you make your reservations the easier adjustments can be made to the quantity or ratio of the cabins. The association has reserved 60 cabins (30 inside and 30 window). Shipmate Owen C. Johnson is the host for the cruise. Look for the flyer and registration form in this Bulletin.


I want to thank the following members for their donations to the association: Maurice Cheeks for "ALBERT" our newest Dragon, Sid Hart and Doug Carroll for the autographed copy of "The return of the Enola Gay" by Paul W. Tibbets and Sue Eisenhauer for the cruise book in memory of her husband "Ike".


Well it time to set our goals for the coming year and we hope to do better this year. There were several goals that we didn't complete last year which have been brought forward to this year. Our goals are as follows:

  1. Develop a SOP/Board of Directors resolution document.

  2. Review the Operational by-laws and develop recommended changes.

  3. Develop and procure a logo baseball cap.

  4. Increase our membership by 10%. (All hands should be recruiting eligible individuals.)

  5. Continue to develop a listing of all individuals who worked in the Navy Nuclear Weapons Program (Navy. Marines and Civilian).

The 2005 reunion will be held on the West Coast and I am looking for volunteers who would be willing to Host the reunion. The locations that have been recommended are: Seattle, San Francisco and San Diego. If anyone is interested in hosting the reunion please let me know.

The World War II memorial website http://www.wwiimemorial.com should be reviewed by all WW II veterans and their relatives. They have a registry, which is available for all WW II vets to be registered by themselves or by someone else. They also have the capability to add the individual's photo for a $10.00 fee. You will also find a link to the site on our website. This is a great way to honor the WW II vets and let all who view the site know who they are.


I hope to see everyone onboard the cruise ship Sensation out of Tampa, Florida on September 27,2004.

Jim Hambley

NNWA SHIPMATES:  Cruise Information from our Host

It is now time to make your reservations for the 20th Annual Reunion of the NNWA aboard the Carnival Cruise Line ship Sensation.  We will sail from Tampa FL on September 27 for a 5 day cruise.  Details and registration forms are enclosed with this newsletter. 

We would ask and hope that you would make your reservations early so that we may determine early if we will need to reserve more cabins at the current price.

If you make your reservations and decide not to go, you may cancel up to the 12th of July without penalty. 

We will have a fun filled time aboard the Sensation, with activities almost 24 hours each day, along with food available 24 hours a day.  Lots of things to do for everyone.

Should you have any questions, please call Dawn at Cruises Only, 1-800-683-7447, extension 77219, or me at 956-782-8770 until May 1, 2004.

We look forward to seeing you on board when we sail the 27th of September.

Owen Johnson


E-Mail from Dawn at Cruises Only about Lower Cruise Costs and Advantages of purchasing cruise tickets as part of the Group

Owen, I have just confirmed with Carnival Cruise Line that the per person cruise rate for your group has been reduced by $35 to $235 for an inside cabin and $285 for an ocean view.

You should advise people who think they are saving money by booking individual cabins on line of the hidden charges.

Prices that appear on websites include port charges, but not taxes.  Also, individual bookings add an administrative fee of $15 to $25 per cabin.  These charges do appear in the small print; but sometimes people miss them and realize only when they get their credit card bill just how much they spent.  In your group, there is no administrative fee.  And if they book into your group, they will receive $50 shipboard credit and be invited to the complimentary cocktail party.

Dawn Mangan
Group Account Executive
800-683-7447 ext. 77219


Click here for:  Reunion Flyer   or  Reunion Registration

HISTORIAN’S REPORT (End of year 2003)


Again this year many of our shipmates came through with personal stories, histories and information; enough to fill three new binders.  Others contributed memorabilia in the form of ships plaques, jacket patches, and even a ship’s logo sweat shirt.  Jim Hambley donated three large boxes of nuclear weapons program technical and administrative manuals, and we have a new, very impressive dragon to grace our display.  Many have responded to my request for lists of crew members names and copies of cruise book photos.  In all, I received more than 300 separate pieces of correspondence this year.  Thank you one and all for your generosity and your response. 


As always, I look forward to personal accounts of your experiences in the Navy Nuclear Weapons Program.  Anything is acceptable: humorous, serious, poignant, dangerous, and personal accounts are all part of the total experience the association is trying to preserve.  Please think about your service and write about it.  Each of us has a unique view point and unique experiences that should be remembered.  Tell us about your most notable character, your best or worst cruise, or interesting duty stations.  Please write.  We’ve begun to post some of the anecdotes on our website.  I expect to increase the screening, selection, and posting process as I become more accustomed to full retirement.


We continue to request lists of shipmates you knew in the program.  Cruise book photos and captions, formal photographs with names, etc.  We’re trying to capture the names of as many nuclear weapons personnel and their duty stations as possible.  This is a long-term effort.  Help us populate the data base by sending the following information about yourself and your shipmates.  Name, Rate, Rank, duty station, date at that station, additional comments.  It is possible for one person to have many entries in the data base, depending on the number of duty stations he or she was assigned to.


Finally, I ask for the assistance of woodworkers and model makers to begin renewing the Don Micco nuclear weapons model collection.  Many have begun to deteriorate and require repair or remake.  Sid Hart took a few of the “basket cases” home from Branson.  I plan to tackle a few more over the coming year.  I think we might also begin to display nuclear capable Navy aircraft and ships.  If you are interested, please contact me. 


Thank you all.  I wish you a happy, healthy, and safe 2004. 


Mike Snyder

P.O. Box 226, Ashton, MD 20861





 Our website www.navynucweps.com continues to evolve (we have had over 20,000 hits in our first two years on the web) but it will take everyone's cooperation to keep it vital and useful.  If you have anything to offer for our website let me know!  Mike Snyder, our NNWA Historian, continues to gather historical information relative to the USN nuclear weapons program, but he really needs your remembrances.  We look for pictures that we can put in the photo archives section.  Our Staff of the Supreme Commander listing is nowhere near as complete as it could be, so if you know when a member passed, or know their final rank/rate, let us know.  We offer a Locator Service that we hope will be seen by someone who can help locate a  missing shipmate, or help to provide missing information for someone’s search.  If you have a photo  you can't identify, or are looking for  assistance with other matters, let us know so we can put it on our Looking for Help page.  We have our Roster of Members listings, including addresses and e-mails, to help you become reacquainted with and contact old shipmates.  If we don't have your address, or phone number, or e-mail address on our roster, it is because we won't post it without your specific permission.  If you want any or all of them published, e-mail me at rmargeson@aol.com or just click on a Webmaster link on the website.

The website is a very useful tool for our members, and others interested in the information we offer, so let me know what changes or additions you feel may improve the NNWA website.  Remember, it is there to be used…so, please use it.

Ray Margeson   rmargeson@aol.com

NNWA Service Officer’s Report

January 2004

Fellow Dragon Keepers,

Sorry that I had to miss you at the Branson reunion.  But, we did get the old body fixed and now I’m up and about again.   A lot has happened regarding veterans matters and I have provided a synopsis below.

Concurrent Receipt of retired military pay and VA disability compensation has gained some relief in recent legislation.  However the plan only helps those with 50% or more disability and then phases in concurrent full pay over a ten-year period – until 2014.  When you couple this with the combat related special compensation legislation of the year before, only about one half of disabled retirees will gain full equity.

Military Service Records are easier to obtain.  Vets and next of kin can now request the info on line from the National Personnel Records Center at https://vetrecs.archives.gov .  The old SF180 or a letter may still be used for the request and sent in via snail mail.

Unremarried former spouses of retirees will now verify their eligibility for TRICARE through DEERS by using their own SSN and not their former spouse’s.

Armed Forces Retirement Home Gulfport (formerly The Navy Home) is a retirement option for qualifying retirees.  More than half of your active duty must have been enlisted service.

Cold War Certificates are still available for those who served on active duty between 02 Sep 1945 and 26 Dec 1991.  apply at https://coldwar.army.mil  or call 703.325.5864.

Veterans Benefits Act of 2003 was enacted at the end of the year and combines many congressional bills.  While large in scope it provides specific benefits for National Guardsmen, Korea DMZ vets, and POWs.  Importantly, it removed the 2 year limit for payment of benefits to spouses and children of deceased veterans.  Also, all compensations received a 2.1% COLA increase for 2004.

Project SHAD exposed thousands of Navy vets to bio-chem hazards during tests in the 1960’s and 1970’s.  Congress is considering legislation to give them priority VA medical care.

Government Grave Markers are easier to obtain.  For veteran deaths after 9/11/01 these markers are available to mark their graves, even those  with private markers already in place.  Visit http://www.cem.va.gov for VA Form 40-1330 or call 800.697.6947 for information.

Pharmacy Copay for retirees has been proposed for an increase of over 300%!!  From $3 to $10 for generics and $9 to $20 for brand names.  To express your disagreement and to send a message to Washington visit http://capwiz.com/moaa/issues/

 Yours in service,

Chuck Weber

Service Officer




- Master At Arms – Logo Salesman – Reports.  Frank Cantrell

  Sales of the logo items are going well. If memberships and sales continue at the present rate, we may have to reorder both patches and decals again this year.  The embroidered patches are $5.00 per logo (mix and match) plus $1.50 shipping and handling for up to 5 patches.  The 5” vinyl decal suitable for a car window is $3.25 including shipping.

  Sales at the reunion were great! We had many requests for logo ball caps, as well as a membership card. I am making progress on both of those items. Happy New Year to ALL! You can reach me at (864)859-3056, 2772 Greenville Highway, Liberty, SC 29657




MINUTES OF NNWA Business meeting, 11 Oct 03, Branson, MO.


At 9:00 am Jim Hambley, President, called the meeting to order.  Mike Snyder led in prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag. 


The Two-Bell Ceremony was conducted by Mike Snyder and Frank Cantrell.


New members and first time attendees were introduced and welcomed.


The minutes of the 2002 business meeting were read and accepted.


The treasurer's report was read and accepted.


Jim Hambley reported on the achievement of goals as follows:

(1)       New membership cards completed.

(2)       SOP for Reunion Organizers is working.

(3)       Review of By-Laws is working.

(4)       Increased membership exceeded 10%

(5)       The Navy Nuclear Weapons Registry is under development.

(6)       Logo baseball cap selection under review.

(7)       Dragon logo decal procured

(8)       Trademark/copyright registered.

(9)       Web page up and running.


Frank Cantrell reported on procurement and sales of logo items, i.e., decals and pins.  He said sales are good.


Ellamae Weaver, Secretary-Treasurer, reported as follows:



1 October 2002 – 30 Sep 2003

There were three big mail outs

(1)   January 2003 Bulletin with last years Board of Director’s Reports

(2)   February Membership Rosters were mailed

(3)   June 2003 Bulletin with Reunion information

There were 62 New Member packets mailed.

In addition to collecting and depositing the fees and dues from the new members, dues were collected and deposited from 154 members.

Public Affairs releases and reunion notices were mailed to 67 magazines and newspapers.

There are now 480 Total members, 11 Associates, 35 LIFE, 434 Regular.  (NOTE:  as of 12 January 2004, the numbers are 500, 11, 37, 452 respectively)

Of the 445 Associate and Regular members, (as of 30september 2003)  25 have paid through the year 2001, 37 have paid through the year 2002, and 383 members paid through 2003 and beyond.

Actions Taken by the Board of Directors:

(1)   The proposal passed to purchase 200 each 3 inch "Keeper of the Dragon" decals in a quantity of 200 decals @ $2.31 ea. For a total of $462.00 plus shipping. They will be of the same material as our 5-inch decal.  They will sell for $3.00 each including shipping.

(2)   The proposal passed for the purchase of 400 Lapel Pins of each logo
800 total pins @ $1.11 each, plus $15.00
for artwork for each pin, and approximately $15.00 for shipping, for a
total of: $933.00.  They will sell for $2.00 including shipping

(3)     A proposal to subsidize the Hospitality Room and door prize at the Branson Reunion did not pass.

(4)    A proposal to give each regular member attending the Branson Reunion a lapel pin and “Keepers of the Dragon” decal passed.

(5) The proposal passed for the purchase of materials and laminating machine for the development of new NNWA membership cards.  It came to $128.48.



From 23 September 2002 – 30 September 2003



Balance on hand as of 23 September 2002                   $18,416.69

            New Associate Member                                                  25.00

New Membership                                                        1,245.00

            Renewal/Reinstated Membership Dues                   3,640.00

            Logo Sales                                                                     729.25

            Misc.                                                                                 18.00

            2002 Reunion Income                                               2,116.18

            2003 Reunion Income                                                    20.00

            Sub-Total                                                                  7,793.43


Historical Upkeep                        $300.00

Incorporation Fee                          400.00

Logo Lapel Pins                            949.00

Logo 3” Decals                             463.50

Web Site Fee                               108.24

Postage                                        420.53

Printing                                         662.43

Masc. Office Supplies                277.53

2002 Reunion Bills               8,003.00

     Sub-Total                       $11,854.23



Insurance                                          395.00

Advance to Paulette Picoulet      1,500.00

    Sub-Total                                 1,895.00

                                                TOTAL INCOME                 $26,210.12

                                                TOTAL EXPENSE              $13,479.23

                                                BALANCE                            $12,730.89


Mike Snyder, Historian, commented on the number of new members we have and reported that he has received from 3 to 4 hundred pieces of historical information from members, and requested that all members record their personal history of their experiences while working with Navy nuclear weapons, and submit it to him.  He also reported he needs some assistance with the models repair and/or replacement.


Ray Margeson, Web Master, reported that the web page had 7,400 “hits” in 2002 and 19,000 “hits” to date in 2003.  The web page contains a new section on SWUs.  He is incorporating more pictures on the web site and solicited ideas from the members for inclusions on the web site.


Bill Grizzard, Director, reported that he and Frank Cantrell conducted the audit of the Treasurer’s records and there were no discrepancies.

 Unfinished Business:  Branson was the first time NNWA utilized a professional reunion planner, and comments were favorable.

 New Business: 

There were five Board Members up for election.  Mike Snyder and Ray Margeson volunteered to remain on the Board.  Richard “Sam” Samsel volunteered to serve as Secretary and Frank Kelly volunteered to serve as Treasurer.  Phil Markin was nominated to fill the remaining vacancy.  They were all elected to the Board

Owen Johnson made the 20th NNWA 2004 Reunion presentation.  It is a five-day cruise out of Tampa, FL, aboard the Carnival Cruise Line Ship, “Sensation”.  Prices per person for a category 4A inside cabin $422.33, or a category 6A Ocean View cabin for $472.33.  Price includes a $50.00 shipboard credit for each stateroom and a complimentary one-hour cocktail party.  Our group will all dine at the first sitting.  There will be no dinner dance, but dancing is available nightly in many of the lounges and show room.  Owen is taking a cruise on the “Sensation” to work out details.

Jim Hambley announced that reunion plans should be made two years in advance.  The 2005 reunion will be held in the Western Zone.  Suggestions were made for San Diego, San Francisco, and Seattle.  The 2006 reunion will be held in the Central Zone with suggestions for Wisconsin with Bill Beard as Host, San Antonio, Chicago, and Corpus Christi.  The 2007 reunion will be held in the Eastern Zone with the suggestion of Niagara Falls with Ray Margeson as Host.

Sue Eisenhauer was recognized.  She donated a Cruise Book to NNWA in memory of Ike Eisenhauer.

Maurice Cheek was recognized for his donation of the dragon “Albert”.

Sid Hart was recognized for his donation of an autographed book by Paul W. Tibbets who piloted the Enola Gay, which dropped the first atomic weapon on Hiroshima.

Richard Arcoleo made the suggestion that NNWA consider donating a plaque to the Navy Memorial in Washington, D.C.  Also consider engaging a professional photographer to develop a reunion picture album.  The Dunning Company, which does this for many military reunion groups, was suggested.

Ellamae Weaver was thanked for her service on the Board as Secretary-Treasurer for the past two years.

The meeting was adjourned after the closing prayer.

Submitted by Ellamae S. Weaver


Let us pray for the safety and well being of our service men and women, Who are serving in all parts of the world. I ask our association members to offer a special prayer for shipmate Richard G. Severance, who has joined the staff of the Supreme Commander. May God Bless his loved ones, comfort them, and provide their every need. Let us not forget our Members and their Love One's who have been on the sick list. We wish them all a Speedy Recovery

Don  Fullbright

Treasurer Frank Kelly’s Message

Greetings: First, let me as the treasurer and keeper of the membership roster welcome the new members who have joined our organization since October.  Thanks to our website and NNWA decals and to the efforts of a few of our current members, we have had a very active year in new memberships.  We now have 506 members in the Navy Nuclear Weapons Association; 456 Regular members, 37 life members and 11 associate members. Of our membership 91 are in arrears for one year, 31 are in arrears for two years, 24 are in arrears for three years.  If you are wondering if your dues are  paid up to date, please check your mailing address on this newsletter.  The date behind your name shows the month and year through which your dues are paid (if the year is 01, 02, or 03, your dues are delinquent).  If you are receiving this newsletter electronically and wish to know when your dues are due, e-mail lindak0001@aol.com.  Some of our members find it convenient to pay several years in advance; this can save you and our organization  postage.  Past policy has been to drop members who are three years or more in arrears.  This is an effective policy mostly due to the expense of mailing newsletters and reunion information.  However, with the military close-down of our program and no new prospective membership on the horizon, we as an association need to make a collective effort to ensure that those members who are in the arrears are afforded every opportunity to upgrade their membership dues.  Please assist us in doing so.  Annual dues are cheap ($10.00 annually); renewals are cheap ($10.00 for renewal and $10.00 for current annual membership).  Although as an association we are financially stable this year; however, in the near future, with the loss of members from non-payment and the lack of new membership due to the demise of the Nuclear Weapons Program, in the out years we will be financially strapped.  

Reunions are basically self-supporting, but not without a tremendous amount of volunteer effort from our on-site chairperson and his/her volunteer staff. The hospitality room is normally the major expense provided by the association, but the registration fees and the collection jar at the bar help offset this cost.  This year the collection jar was pitiful, only $64.00 was collected; the cost was approximately $1066.00.  Don’t forget to drop a couple of dollars in the jar.  Let’s all play the mistake game.  Everyone, review the Membership roster to ensure that we have your correct name, address, phone number, e-mail  address, etc.  Submit corrections to Frank Kelly, 1087 Frank Kelly Rd., Society Hill, SC 29593, phone no. 843-378-4026, or e-mail lindak0001@aol.com.  Remember, if we do not keep our dues up and continue to bring in new members, we may be the “last of the Dragon Keepers”. New and Reinstated Members:

Lowell M. Rabb

James S. White

Charles M. Ross

William J. White

William A. Meline

Arthur A. Kalinski

Kenneth J. Mackenzie

Robert J. Bureker

Oscar Anchondo

Roger L. Lankford

James S. Peironnet

Donald C. Bartling

Norman R. Wood, Jr.

Jerry L. Noll

Earl T. Wylie

Stephen Stubblefield

William E. Tanner, Sr.

Frederick R. Hofmann

Steve Sottile

Larry W. Larson

Melvin S. Norris

Karry L. Smiecinski

Melvin S. Norris

William K. Mizell

Bertram J. Barron

David R. McClure

Theo M. Loudis



From 01 October 2003 – 21 JANUARY 2004



Transfer of Funds from Previous Treasurer                                                          $9,634.59

Return from $1500 Advance Hospitality Room (Branson Reunion)                        434.42

New and Reinstated Membership (26 to date)                                                          480.00

Membership Dues                                                                                                        520.00

Logo Sales                                                                                                                   689.00



Registration Fees                                                                                              1,300.00

Hospitality Room Donations                                                                                  64.00

Bar Stock Sold                                                                                                        70.00

50-50 Raffle                                                                                                           217.00

Raffle (Dragon)172.00


Sub-Total                                                                                                     $13,581.01



Advance to Richard Samsel (Secretary)                   $1,000.00


                                                Sub-Total                    $1,000.00




Cruise Deposit – Refundable (President)               $3,000.00


                                                Sub-Total                   $3,000.00


                                                                                    TOTAL INCOME                       $13,581.01

                                                                                  TOTAL EXPENSE                     $1,000.00

                                                                                  BALANCE                                 $12.581.01


NOTE:  1) Balance includes membership dues paid in advance $2,470.00

2) Balance down $149.86 from previous financial report

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