JANUARY 2005                                      WINTER ISSUE



James Hambley (757) 340-6909


Ray C. Margeson (607) 732-0579


William (Bill) Grizzard (505) 527-1162


Frank Kelly (843) 378-4026


Richard (Sam) Samsel (602) 765-0381


Philip Markin (775) 777-8637


Frank Cantrell ((864) 859-3056


Michael D. Snyder (301) 570-0242

Service Officer

Chuck Weber  (570) 722-0212

Board Member

Dave Cobb

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 Presidents Message

 Shipmates and Ladies,

 Well it's the start of a new year and a new term of office for me and I want to thank all those who put their trust in me to continue on as your president. From all I have heard despite hurricane Jeanne everyone who went on the reunion cruise had a great time. I want to thank Owen and Bev Johnson, Dave Cobb and all the other personnel who worked so hard to make the cruise such a success.

 The 2005 Reunion will be held in San Diego October 19 thru Oct 23 2005 at the Best Western Seven Seas Hotel and is hosted by Allen Maxwell. The room rate is $75.00 plus 10.5% tax for single, double, triple, or quadruple. Reservations must be made by September 23, 2005. More information on tours and events will be coming later as the schedule is completed.

 The 2006 reunion host is Bill Beard and the reunion will be in the central region. Bill will provide a briefing on his plans for the 2006 reunion at the San Diego reunion.

 Our goals for the coming year are as follows:

  1. Continue the development of a SOP/Board of Directors resolution document.
  2. Publish the newly approved Operational by-laws.
  3. Purchase Logo ball caps and make available to the membership.
  4. Formalize a NNWA Reunion Planning Guide/Check sheet.
  5. Continue our drive to increase the membership.

 I'm looking forward to see everyone in San Diego.

Jim Hambley

Navy Nuclear Weapons Association

Service Officer’s Report

 Fellow Dragon Keepers,

 It was good to see you all at sea again at the last reunion.  Please find below a few items that you may find of interest.

 Combat Related Special Compensation (CRSC) has changed.  Retirees may be eligible for CRSC if they have 20 years or more creditable service and combat or operations related disabilities that are rated 10% or move by the VA.  To be eligible the disability must be the direct result of combat, special hazardous military duty, war simulation training exercises or caused by an instrumentality of war.  To apply go to    or call 866-281-3254.

 Concurrent Retirement Disability Pay (CDRP) for military retirees rated at least 50% disabled by the VA has begun and will be phased in over ten years.  CDRP does not apply to retirees with less than 20 years of service or those who retired under TERA.  CRDP is automatic and retirees do not have to apply for it.  NOTE – Retirees cannot receive both CRSC and CDRP.  DFAS will pay them the benefit with the higher monetary entitlement.  For more info and rates, go to .

 The FY 2005 VA Budget has brought the following changes:

  • establishes an annual $250 user fee for Pri 7 & 8 vets with incomes above certain levels
  • increases pharmacy copay for Pri 7 & 8 vets from $7 to $15
  • ends pharmacy copay for Pri 2-5 vets with incomes between $9,894 and $16,509.
  • ends all copay for former POWs
  • authorizes VA to pay for emergency room treatment for enrolled vets in non-VA medical facilities
  • ends hospice copay

 VA is issuing new enrollment ID cards that will protect user identity and help to battle identity theft.

 Headstones or Markers for Veterans interred in a private cemetery cay be obtained by filling out VA Form 41-1330 which may be found at   Put together that form first, then a cover sheet with your name and telephone number, then supporting documentation (preferably the veteran’s DD-214) and  FAX THEM IN THAT ORDER to 800-455-7143.  Verify that your fax is set at HIGH resolution.

 You may be eligible for another medal if you served in Korea, within 12 miles of it at sea or flew over it while on active military service.  Date of first eligibility is July 28, 1954 and is ongoing.  You may be issued the new Korean Defense Service Medal (KDSM) by applying to the National Personnel Records Center at .  Be sure to submit substantiating documentation (again, preferably your DD-214).

 Yours in service,

 Chuck Weber

Service Officer

Historian Report---Mike Snyder


Hello Shipmates,

 I’m sorry I missed all of you who attended the reunion cruise out of Tampa.  Hurricane Jeanne put a lid on our plans to go to sea. 

 I have two new topics to address for your interest. 

 1)  I was contacted by Mr. Chris Edwards, a National Park Service Ranger in San Francisco. (Please read his e-mail memo printed below)  He is a historian and writer, has worked aboard the historic ships in Battleship Cove, MA as well as the Maritime National Historic Park, San Francisco.  Earlier he performed as a docent and restorer aboard USS Hornet after it was moored at the former NAS Alameda as a museum ship.  I spent a day with Mr. Edwards aboard Hornet touring the SASS spaces and the remainder of the ship.  I was impressed with his knowledge of the ship and his sincerity of intent to write about W Division aboard carriers.  I offered to extend his request for information to the NNWA membership and the Board of Directors supports this initiative.  Mr. Edwards has assembled a questionnaire and would appreciate hearing from anyone interested in telling his story.  The questionnaire and Mr. Edwards contact information appear in the NNWA website Historian’s page.  I encourage you to support this endeavor to the extent you feel comfortable in doing so.  My response to his questions ran to several pages.  For those of you without computers who wish to respond, please contact me for a copy of Mr. Edwards questionnaire.



My name is Christopher Edwards and I am researching the subject of shipboard life of personnel who worked on aircraft carriers in W Division/ Special Weapons.  My goal is to put together a 2-3 page article focusing mainly on the way of life for crew who worked in the special weapons area of carriers.  Except for rather elemental non-classified/ declassified information, I am not seeking detailed weapon information.  Your website has proved to be a great watershed in providing a starting point for my research and I was wondering if you could point me in further directions that might help.


I have located e-mail addresses for several former navy personnel involved in this work and I am currently sending out e-mail queries asking for their help. So far, progress on this line is very slow, due, no doubt, to the security of the subject. Any help you could suggest would be greatly appreciated.


Further contact information for me is:


Work phone: (415)556-6435

San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park



Christopher Edwards

 2)  This summer I received a phone call and the following e-mail from Mr. Keith Buch.  He had visited our website, read “Keepers of the Dragon”, and associated the “crock of mercury” mentioned in the article with his clean-up endeavors at Atlantic City, NJ.  As in the earlier request for information, the NNWA Board of Directors supports Mr. Buch and requests NNWA members who may have information related to mercury use and disposal at NAS Atlantic City contact him directly.  As an aside, no one whom I questioned since first reading “Keepers of the Dragon” had any knowledge of crocks of mercury and their possible use in the project.  If you know what the mercury was used for, please contact me.  I’m just interested.  Thanks.



As stated this morning, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) operates a 5000 acre research and development facility on the site of the former Atlantic City NAS.   Atlantic City NAS was established in April 1942 and decommissioned in July 1958.  The VC-4, VC-33, and the VX-3 Squadrons were stationed at the facility from 1948 through 1958.  It has been reported that the VC-4 Squadron had deployable "Special Weapons Teams" assigned to it.  It has also been reported that an earthen crock of pure mercury was deployed with each of the teams.


The sediments of South Branch of Absecon Creek (the main water course that flows through the property) are heavily contaminated with mercury.  Millions of dollars have been spent in effort to locate the source of the mercury so that it can be properly remediated.  Unfortunately, the source has not been found.  Perhaps, some of the members of your association would recall the final disposition of the above-mentioned earthen crocks of mercury.  We have had heard reports from members of the local community that flasks containing mercury were buried at the end of one of the two runways at the NAS.  However, no one could provide us with any further details


Any information relative to the mercury would be greatly appreciated.  Please contact me at (609) 485-6644 with any questions.


Thank you in advance


Keith C. Buch

Superfund Program Manager

William J. Hughes Technical Center

 Thanks to all who may respond to these requests for information and assistance.  I hope to see you all in San Diego.

 Mike Snyder

NNWA Historian

P.O. Box 226

Ashton, MD 20861-0226


 SECRETARY REPORT                 


 Minutes of the Navy Nuclear Weapons Association business meeting held on1 October 2004, onboard the cruise ship Sensation at sea in the Gulf of Mexico.

 At approximately 0840 the President Jim Hambley called the annual meeting to order. The following Board members were present: Jim Hambley, Bill Grizzard, Frank Kelly, Chuck Weber, Ray Margeson, and Phil Markin. Also present were 21 members in good standing.

 The President ask for all those attending to rise for the opening prayer by Director Phil Markin, followed by the pledge of allegiance to the flag.

 The President call for a moment of silence while Director Phil Markin read the names of the shipmates who transferred to the Supreme Commander's Staff. The NNWA members are: Herbert L. Thomas, William F. Vines, Donald Bartling, and Richard G. Severance. The shipmates who were in the Nuclear Weapons program and non-members are: CWO Doyle Clark, EMC John Martin, CWO William Reed and Master Chief George Dhill.

 In the absence of the Secretary the President entertained a motion from the floor to waive the reading of the minutes of the last annual business meeting. A motion was proposed, seconded and approved by the membership.

 The President asks for a motion to waive the reading of any communications. A motion was proposed, seconded and approved by the membership.

 The Treasurers report was read and accepted by the membership.

 The Treasurer reported on all unpaid bills and the membership approved paying all unpaid bills.

 The President reported on last year's goals as follows:

  1. Our membership increased by 7.6% a little short of our goal.
  2. The By-Laws were reviewed and changes developed. A vote on the changes will be conducted later in the meeting
  3. Development of the SOP/Board of Directors Resolution document is still in the working phase.
  4. Development and procurement of a Logo baseball cap is near completion.

 The Service Officer, Chuck Weber reported the following:

There are almost no new initiatives in Veterans’ Affairs (VA) programs since most of the federal budget is directed at sustaining the war in Iraq and the war on global terrorism.  The VA has reaffirmed that it will give priority treatment to service connected disabled veterans and has supported this by accepting civilian written prescriptions into its pharmacy program and by allowing civilian medical records into consideration for service connected disability claims.

 All members are urged to put together an envelope containing their wishes for funeral home and graveside services along with a copy of their DD-214.  Make sure family members know where this information is.

The Web master, Ray Margeson, made his report.

 Unfinished Business:

 The President thanked Owen and Beverly Johnson and Dave Cobb for all their hard work and outstanding performance in organizing the reunion cruise.

 Owen Johnson express his appreciation for Dave Cobb's assistance and express his desire for all who made the cruise to send their thanks in writing to the Best Western Motel, Cruises Only, and Carnival cruise line. It was also requested that the association send a letter to the same locations, which the President will cause to happen.

 New Business:

 A. The first order of business was the By-Laws change. The President turned over the Chair to the BY-LAWS Chairman Chuck Weber who provided an overview of the process and an outline of the intents of each by law change.  A vote on the proposed BY-LAWS changes was conducted with the following results: 

  1. 1. Article V Section 2 Para B. Change to read: " ASSOCIATE MEMBER.  Individuals who do not meet the REGULAR Member criteria, but wish to affiliate with the Corporation, must be recommended by at least one Regular Member in good standing, and must have paid the appropriate dues and fees set by the Corporation. Such Members will have no voting rights."

  (Reason for change: To preclude an individual from applying for membership who is not known by at least one of our members.)

 The vote was unanimous to approve the change as submitted. 

  1. Article VI Section 5. Change to read: " Quorum.  At least 50% of the Board of Directors and a minimum of Ten (10) additional regular members in good standing present at any meeting of the Corporation shall constitute a quorum."

  (Reason for change: The way it is now written it leads one to believe that the complete Board is required to be at a meeting to make a quorum.  This clarifies the issue.)

 The vote was unanimous to approve the change as submitted.

 3.   Article VIII Section 2. Change to read: " Term and Vacancy. The term of a member of the Board shall be Two (2) years except when a Director is elected as an Officer whereupon his/her term shall expire to coincide with the election schedule of Article VIII Section 1.

      Vacancies may be filled by appointment by the Board and the appointee shall only serve for the remaining term of the Board member being replaced."

  (Reason for Change: To allow for the Board to elect any Director to any position without regard to when his/her term expires. For example we now have a Vice-President whose term expires at the same time as the President's.)

 The vote was unanimous to approve the change as submitted.

 4.   Article VIII, Section 1.  Change the wording of the last full sentence to include the Webmaster as a separate Officer position and as member of the Board of Directors comparable with the Historian, Master At Arms, Chaplain and Service Officer.

        (Reason for Change:  We have become, and continue to be, more an electronically based corporation, requiring significant attention to electronic communication media.  The Webmaster currently has the following responsibilities:

       a.  Maintains a Roster of Members

       b.  Sends / forwards e-mail to members as necessary for various operations of the corporation. 

c.       Maintains an informational website)

 The vote was unanimous to approve the change as submitted.

       5.   Article IX, Section 1.  Change the 2nd sentence to read, “The positions of the Chaplain, Service Officer, Historian, Master At Arms & Webmaster shall be filled from the members elected to the Board of Directors.

.               (Reason for Change:  Same as above.)

 The vote was unanimous to approve the change as submitted.

       6.   Article IX, Section 2.  Change “Any officer may be removed from office and the Board…” to read, “Any member of the Board of Directors may be removed from office and from the Board…”

             (Reason for Change: …” The By-laws currently give no provision to remove non-officer

      members of the Board of Directors.  Supposing the intent of Section 1 of this article is to have the supporting members to be defined as officers under the phrase  “…such other positions as the President may direct.” 

            This will clarify the issue.

 The vote was unanimous to approve the change as submitted.

       7.  Article IX, Section 3.  A resolution for future change is made to define the responsibilities of all of the Members of the Board / Officers in this section.  In other words, to fill in the other positions as follows:      

  1. Director – The Directors shall…
  1. Chaplain – The Chaplain shall…
  1. Master at Arms - The Master at Arms shall…
  1. Service Officer – The Service Officer shall…
  1. Historian – The Historian shall…
  1. Webmaster – The Webmaster shall…

      (Reason for Change: to provide the minimum responsibilities for each position.)

 The action for #7 will be for the membership to approve the concept for the defining of the responsibilities of the various positions.  The incumbent President shall be allowed to approve the actual wording of the responsibilities and have them inserted into the By-laws as a change.

 The vote was unanimous to approve the change as submitted.

 B. The President announced that there were four Director positions up for election. The Directors up for re-election are currently serving in the following officer positions: President, Service Officer, Master-at-Arms and Chaplain. He strongly recommended that Chuck Weber and Frank Cantrell be reelected to the Board. The President then turned over the gavel to the Nominations and Election Chairman, Chuck Weber, to conduct the nominations and the election of four members to the Board of Directors. Sid Hart volunteered for, and was appointed as, Marshal of Elections.  The following members in good standing were nominated for positions on the Board: Jim Hambley, Chuck Weber, Frank Cantrell, and Dave Cobb. Owen Johnson was also nominated but respectively declined the nomination.  The Marshal recorded the votes for each and announced that the four nominees were unanimously elected to the Board.

 C. The 2005 reunion will be in San Diego October 12-16. Bill Grizzard presented a tentative schedule of events.

 D. The 2006 reunion will be held in the central region. Bill Beard has volunteered to host the reunion in Wisconsin. The other locations that were approved at the last business meeting were San Antonio, Chicago, and Corpus Christi. 

 E. The 2007 reunion will be held in the Eastern region. Ray Margeson has volunteered to host the reunion in Niagara Falls.

 F. The 2008 reunion will be held in the Western region. George Holden has volunteered to host the reunion in the Seattle area.

 There being no further business the business meeting was adjourned.

       ( ( Additional Notes ) )

          First off, it was a real downer for me having to miss the cruise, but, for various reasons, it could not be helped.  I’m looking forward to being able to attend in San Diego…and things are looking very positive right now.  I want to give special thanks to those who took notes and prepared this report for me.  

    As most of you know by now, NNWA Membership cards have been (finally) prepared, and mailed.  Those receiving the Bulletin by Postal Mail should find their cards in their package with the Bulletin and other appropriate documents.  Shipmates, I sincerely apologize for the tardiness , but this project proved to be a true time-sink for me, since I was forced by various circumstances to do it all manually.  If anyone did not receive their card, or if an unsatisfactory card got thru my inspection, please let me know, and I will replace it ASAP.

   Sam Samsel


  Treasurer Report                                       

NNWA Membership has increased to over 521 members. Of the total membership, there are 482 regular members and 39 life members. 221 members are in arrears with their membership dues. 19 since 01, 28 since 02, 65 since 03, 109 since 04. If you are wondering if your dues are delinquent and receive your newsletter Electronically, log onto, Go to your name on the members roster. The last column will tell you when your dues are due. Dues notices will be sent to members receiving newsletter by snail mail.

(NOTE:  Several members have paid their dues since the preparation of this report, but many are still delinquent as of the date of this Bulletin.   Sam)

                                  New members since last newsletter


Charles O. Schmidt           Lonnie O. Cucinitti                     Ted V. Pase

Steven J. Cantero               Edward J. Conners                     William G. Short

Tim S. Schofield                 Owen K. Mowbray Jr.               Travis Read

William Paul Bailey


                                                       Financial Report

                                                    9/15/04 Thru 1/04/05



                     Balance Brought Fwd                                17,345.27

                     Dues                                                            1,590.00

                     Logo Sales                                                        21.25

                     New Members                                                155.00

                   Total Income                                              19,111.52



                       Misc                                                              126.20

                       Web Site                                                        108.24

                     Total Expenses                                              234.44

                     BALANCE                                                 18,877.08






Just a reminder to everyone that we have some awesome patches, lapel pins, and vinyl decals for sale at very reasonable prices (only Association members may purchase these items).  All are available with either the NNWA or the KEEPERS OF THE DRAGON logo.

   Also, we have finally found an acceptable supplier for Ball Caps, also with each of the logos.  These have been a much-requested item, and we anticipate them to be available about the end of February.  Check our website often for all these items (and for other interesting or important information). (Specify desired logo for all items ordered). 

          Lapel Pins……….$2.00 each (includes shipping)

          Patches………….$5.00 each  + $1.50 shipping for up to 5 patches

          Decals…………..$3.25 each  (includes shipping)

Send check or money order (made out to NNWA) to:

 Frank Cantrell

2772 Greenville Hwy

Liberty, SC 29657


 Our website continues to have about 10,000 hits annually although it has been accessed more in the last four months.  New features on the website include:

  • Guest Book – drop in and give some comments or see who has visited – we have over 60 entries at this time.  I believe that we may have picked up a couple of members because of the Guest Book.
  • On-line membership profile change – if you phone, address or e-mail have changed, you can update them right on line.  When I receive the information, I pass it on to the rest of the Board of Directors.

 Remember – we have gotten more “electronic” and our website is where we can all come together.  Please let me, or any of the Board members, know of any suggestions you may have for

  21st Annual Reunion in San Diego, CA, 19-23 October 2005.

The reunion will be held at the Best Western Seven Seas Hotel. With its park like setting, the Best Western Seven Seas sits proudly on twelve beautiful landscaped acres and is centrally located on Hotel Circle in San Diego’s exciting Mission Valley. The hotel is located at 411 Hotel Circle South.. Room rates are: $75.00 a day plus 10.5% CA state tax. We will have our usual Hospitality Room and memorabilia display, and we are looking into a variety of tours/event such as: The USS Midway; Tijuana, Mexico; Old Town Trolley tour; San Diego's amphibious sea and land adventure; and golf tournament. Sometime in May/ June when all of the contracts and plans are finalized we will send out a complete information package which will include an agenda/schedule of events; all of the tour details; golf information; and reservation form(s). Watch for our next mailing and, of course, monitor the website for all the reunion information.




January 01, 2014