JANUARY 2013                      WINTER  ISSUE

ÓÔCopyright 2000-2013 and Trademark of the Navy Nuclear Weapons Association.  All rights reserved worldwide.



President:        Michael D. Snyder (415) 456-2876         waterdog99@att.net


Vice President: Frank Cantrell (864) 859-3056     Treasurer: Frank Kelly (843) 378-4026

                        frankcantrell@msn.com                           fmkelly0001@gmail.com


Secretary        David L. Cobb (352) 454-2660               Webmaster:  Ray Margeson (607) 732-0579

                       Davecobb2@comcast.net                         rmargeson@aol.com


Historian:       Michael D. Snyder (415) 456-2876         Storekeeper: Jack Grieves (352) 347-5269

                        waterdog99@att.net                                 compactorjack@aol.com


Board Member: Ron Moran (702) 431-2712                 Board Member:  Edward Krenk  (402) 289-3291

                        rjmoran6039@cox.net                                 ekrink@cox.net


Board Member: Antonie Lewin (505) 293-4784            Board Member:  John Gray (360) 895-3188

                        arlewin@q.com                                           wtcs_sw@wavecable.com


Board Member: Thomas Salisbury (360) 254-5244      Board Member:  Larry Sneide (804) 986-4861

                        tbsalis@yahoo.com                                   ldo616@aol.com

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


The President’s Message


Shipmates and Ladies,


As many of you know by now, our President of ten years, Jim Hambley, has declined nomination for another term on the Board of Directors and stepped down to make room for others.  Also declining nomination for a new term is long serving Board member and Service Officer Chuck Weber and our Chaplain, Lonnie Cucinitti.  Fortunately, Chuck has offered to remain as Service Officer and continue his outstanding assistance in that area.  We owe these men a sincere debt of gratitude and a hearty Well Done!  During their tenure they and the dynamic Board of Directors standing with them accomplished much in the way of advancing the management of the NNWA.  A few of the accomplishments seen over the past ten years include: Update of the NNWA Constitution and By-Laws, NNWA Incorporation and registration as a tax exempt association, splitting the Board of Directors tenure to ensure continuity, initiation of the Gray Dragon Recognition Program, increased membership through various outreach activities, initiation of the Standard Operating Procedures and Pass Down the Line document, significant expansion of our memorabilia holdings, formalization of the Two Bell Ceremony and initiation of the NNWA Display-Away program.  A records review will reveal many additional accomplishments.  Thanks to Jim, Chuck and Lonnie for their exemplary and tireless service.  The NNWA hopes and expects to benefit from their continued presence and counsel for many years to come. 


And with their departures we welcome three new members to the NNWA Board of Directors, Tonie Lewin of Albuquerque, NM, John Gray of Port Orchard, WA and Tom Salisbury of Vancouver, WA.  It was Tonie who arranged the Sandia Base Museum Tour during the 2011 Albuquerque reunion.  John and his wife, Beth, hosted the NNWA reunion at Bremerton in 2008.  Tom has been a strong member of the NNWA for more than fifteen years.  Welcome to all of you and thanks for your interest in making the Navy Nuclear Weapons Association the vibrant organization it is. 


The 2014 reunion is scheduled to be held in the Western region.  As indicated by Jim Hambley in his report to the members at Rapid City, SD, we still do not have a designated site nor identified host for that event.  Western members, please search your consciences and ping on your friends to break that impasse.  Remember, you don’t have to do it alone.  A group can organize to act as host.  It works!  Just look at the success of the 2012 reunion.


I’m looking forward to our next reunion in Pigeon Forge, TN and hope to see all of you there.


Mike Snyder

President, NNWA






John N. Cummings, GMTC U.S. Navy Retired

“A Navy Nuclear Weapons Pioneer”


John N. Cummings was born in Weston, WV on August 27, 1925.  On August 27, 1942, at age 17, he raised his right hand, swore to defend the nation against all aggressors, and went off to Navy boot camp at Great Lakes, IL.  Upon graduation he boarded a troop train heading east.  Following many stops enroute he debarked at Casco Bay in Portland ME where he met his first ship, the brand new USS Indiana (BB-58) then in the midst of a shakedown cruise in preparation for deployment.  Indiana steamed to Norfolk for stores, soon getting underway to transit the Panama Canal for Pacific duties which included joining in the assault on Guadalcanal.  The Indiana went on to participate in major naval engagements of the Pacific including Solomon Islands, Gilbert Islands, Tarawa, Kwajalein, the Marianas, Saipan and the Battle of the Philippine Sea.  Fireman 2nd Class Cummings was assigned to the electricians’ gang where he advanced to EM3 before departing USS Indiana in late 1944.


Electrician Mate 3rd Class Cummings attended Gyro School at NTC San Diego and then worked in the gyro shop at the San Diego Naval Base awaiting construction of USS Belle Isle (AG-73) then in-building on the east coast.  At the end of WWII Belle Isle, an electrical and electronic repair ship, departed the US for Yokosuka, Japan where Cummings worked on gyros for ships homeward bound.  Cummings advanced to 2nd class in 1946 and was transferred to the USS Alcor (AD-34) to bring it back for decommissioning.  Upon arrival in San Diego he was transferred to The USS Prairie (AD-15) where he served as E division acting chief and stood the engineering chiefs’ watches.  In 1947 2nd Class Cummings was transferred to the USS Lofberg (DD-759), which made summer reserve cruises between San Diego and Alaska.  It was on one of these cruises that Cummings met student nurse Flo Nixon.  Petty Officer Cummings accepted a discharge in 1948 and travelled to Tacoma, WA where, after speaking to the Commanding Officer of the Naval Reserve training ship USS Charles E. Brannon (DE-446), he elected to reenlist.  EM-2 Cummings served aboard Brannon for a short time until he was advised to apply for well-deserved shore duty.  Certified by the Bureau of Naval Personnel as “shore duty eligible”, Cummings received orders to a mine sweeper, U.S.S. Merganser (AMS-26), stationed in Pearl Harbor, HI.  In late 1948 John was called to the CO’s cabin and handed an envelope of Top Secret orders directing him to report to the Commanding General, Sandia Base, Albuquerque, NM.  EM-2 Cummings was escorted by a Navy Officer through the entirety of his check-out process, right up to the time he boarded one of the big double-deck Pan American China Clippers bound for San Francisco.  The overnight flight provided formal meals, open galley and individual bunks.  John met ET-1 Chuck Schoen at the Pearl Harbor receiving station and they travelled together to New Mexico.  Chuck Schoen is an active NNWA member and second on our NW seniority list.  In fact it was Chuck who told the NNWA Board of Directors about John.  Both men now live in southern California and maintain a causal relationship, somewhat inhibited by their age. 


Petty Officer Cummings retrieved his car from storage and the two set off for Albuquerque, only to be immobilized by a snowstorm in Flagstaff, AZ.  Turning south they drove to Phoenix, then on to Sandia Base to arrive on New Year’s Eve, 1948.  John was assigned to the Navy Special Weapons Unit 471.  Chuck Schoen went to the 802.


EM-1 Cummings served with the 471 until February 1952.  During that time John made one extended deployment aboard USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CV-42) with a 15 to 20 man SWU.  In 1950, Roosevelt became the first carrier to take nuclear weapons to sea.  His team also visited a number of other carriers for short periods to accomplish tests and certification.  It was during one of these tests aboard USS Midway (CV-41) that Petty Officer John Cummings was awarded a Navy Letter of Commendation.  In 1952 John was transferred to the Special Weapons Supply Depot (SWSD) in Norfolk, VA where he made EM1. He remained there until 1955 when he was ordered to Special Weapons Unit Pacific (SWUPAC) and re-associated with a Special Weapons Deployment Team.  His team deployed to West Pac aboard USS Lexington (CVA 16) from November 1955 until December 1956.  His next tour took him back to Hawaii, this time to NAD Oahu, Waikele Branch, until 1959, the year John was advanced to EMC and Hawaii became a state.  Returning to NWTCPAC, San Diego, EMC Cummings performed duties as an instructor and in the technical repair department.  When he applied for retirement in 1962, BUPERS response was to issue him a letter offering three years additional shore duty at either Sandia base, Albuquerque or NWTC, San Diego.  With his wife and four children already settled in Imperial Beach, he chose to remain at NWTC until 1965 when he retired as GMTC in charge of tech repair.  During his twenty three year Navy career John Cummings had been attached to Navy Nuclear Weapon Facilities for 16 years and saw two rather crude weapons (“Little Boy” and “Fat Man”) evolve into complicated, multi-role weapons systems.  Mr. Cummings worked as an electrician for a year after retirement at Solar Aircraft, San Diego manufacturing large turbines.  John was then employed at NAS North Island in its aviation instrument clean room for the remainder of his working years.  He retired at age 55 in 1980.


John married his bride, Florence, (Flo) in Victoria, B.C., Canada on Sep 7, 1950.  They spent 62 happy and productive years together until she passed in May 2012.  John and Flo had four children; twins Neal and Nancy followed by Susan and Ian.  Nancy, an RN, joined the Air Force and is now a retired reserve officer.  Neal, a graduate of the University of New Mexico and Navy Flight School, Pensacola was lost in a boating accident soon after receiving his wings.  Susan lives in Arizona, Ian in San Diego, Nancy in Virginia.  John proudly reports he has seven grandchildren and five great grandchildren.  He is well, living in Chula Vista, CA, enjoying the company of his friends in the antique car clubs, AACA and SDC. 


It was a pleasure and an honor to speak with Mr. Cummings while preparing this article.  I plan to travel to San Diego in mid-January to present him the NNWA Gray Dragon Certificate.  I will report on that event with photos later in the NNWA website.


Should you wish to contact John, the information below is current.  It is also posted in the roster section of our website, navynucweps.com.  Mr. Cummings does not communicate by internet.


Frederick Manor

172 Jasmine Way, Apt 110

Chula Vista, CA 91910



Mike Snyder  President NNWA






WELCOME ABOARD ALL NEW MEMBERS! IF I MAY ASSIST YOU, FEEL FREE TO CONTACT ME. (864) 787-2322(cell), (864)859-3056, or frankcantrell@msn.com.


With the help of Frank and Brenda Kelly, the 2013 reunion is looking to be another great one.  We will be staying at the Oak Tree Lodge Sevierville, TN. from 10/06/13 to 10/11/13.The Room rates are $65.00 for two queen beds, and $69.00 for a king. NO PETS ALLOWED.  However, the hotel has arrangements with other nearby hotels that do allow pets for the same Rates. We will have the same rates three days before and three days after the reunion. There are plenty of RV Parks in the area. We will put in the JUNE newsletter, detailed information n several of the RV Parks near the hotel as well as registration information for the hotel.


The Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg/Sevierville area, offers a lot of entertainment and things to do for all ages. The cities are basically three cities in one with a lot of shopping (An upscale outlet mall right across the street from our hotel), theaters rides, and DOLLYWOOD!


A little history: Gatlinburg had been a local attraction for years with shops, skiing, weddings,and other attractions in the Great Smokey Mountains, when the famous Dolly Parton, from Sevierville, decided to open DOLLYWOOD in Pigeon Forge.  All three cities, and the local people, have greatly benefitted from that event.


With so much to do, we had a hard time selecting tours, but I think we have some you will enjoy.




We will enjoy a three hour tour of this facility that started our Profession. This will be a Special guided tour, and will include the museum. Oak Ridge National Laboratory was established during WW2 by the Manhattan District (ORNL) to experiment, using the theories developed by Albert Einstein, with different processes to separate Uranium 235 from natural Uranium 238, to produce fissionable enriched Uranium for Atomic weapons, and develop fissionable Plutonium 239.These materials became the nuclear material used in the "Fat Man" and “Little Boy”, weapons used at Nagasaki and Hiroshima.


We will enjoy this tour as we learn of the past as well as learn of some future developments.




NO. 2


This Tour will take us through to the upper reaches of The Great Smokey Mountain National Park for some of the most beautiful scenery in the country, and a visit to some historical places.


No. 3



This is an all day, self-guided tour of the beautiful Vanderbilt Estate (The largest private residence in the US), Gardens, and winery. This home was built in the mid-1800s, a 250 room mansion filled with art, antiques, and many examples of "how to live the good life”.


Navy Nuclear Weapons Association    

Secretary Report




Navy Nuclear Weapons Association business meeting was held at The Grand Gateway Hotel in Rapid City.  The meeting was called to order at 0900 with all Board Members present, except Jack Grieves and Larry Sneide.  The meeting was attended by 42 members in good standing.


The President asked for all present to stand for the opening prayer by Chaplain Lonnie Cucinitti followed by the pledge of allegiance to the American Flag.  All present remained standing as Lonnie Cucinitti conducted the 2-Bell ceremony to honor our shipmates who transferred to the Supreme Commander’s Staff: GMT2 Bruce Belfer, Steven Harris, GMTCS Ritchie M. Verlander, Glen Estel Newman, GMTC Maurice L. Gadbois, The Gray Dragon Ed Doss, GMTC Raman L. King, LCDR Robert Everett Foxwell, Manuel W. Cuellar, LCDR Gerhard Nundahl, Perle Olson and GMT2 Jack Roberts.


The President called for all new members to stand and introduce themselves.  Four Members were welcomed aboard for the first time.


A Poem was read by Mike Snyder that was written by Bob King entitled ‘Proud to be an American’.


The President called for the minutes of last year’s general membership meeting to be read.


The minutes of the 2011 business meeting were read by the Secretary.


The President asked if there was any additional information to report.


The President entertained a motion to accept the minutes as read.  A motion was made, seconded and vote carried to accept the minutes as read.


The Secretary reported no additional information to report.


The President called for the Treasurer’s Report.


            a. The Treasurer passed out copies of the financial report to the membership.  The Treasurer stated that there were outstanding bills to pay for this year’s reunion.   The Treasurer reminded members to not leave copies of the financial report lying around.  Take them with you or destroy them.


b. The President asked for a motion to pay all outstanding bills.  A motion was made, seconded and approved to pay all outstanding bills.


The President reported on the 2012 Association accomplishments as follows:


a.                    Last year we lost our Gray Dragon (Ed Doss).  The Board has searched records and made phone calls to replace the Gray Dragon.  The Gray Dragon, as you know, is the member who has served in the Nuclear Weapons Program at the earliest date.   The new Gray Dragon is John Cummings.


The President then asked each board member to give their report: 


            a. Secretary’s Report:


                        1.  Nothing further to report.


             b. Treasurer’s Report.  No additional input.


c. Service Officer’s Report. - Fall 2012


The Service Officer gave an overview of what a Service Officer can provide for you and how to find one in your home area. 


He mentioned the poem we listened to earlier today and to remember those who did not come home.  Yesterday was National POW/MIA Remembrance Day.  The Service Officer requested a moment of silence in Honor of the POW/MIA’s that are not with us today.


All of our benefits come from legislation passed by Congress.


Walgreens and ESI Settle Dispute

Drug store chain Walgreens and Express Scripts, Inc. (ESI), the administrator for TRICARE's pharmacy benefit; have reached an agreement that will again allow TRICARE beneficiaries to fill their prescriptions at Walgreens stores. The new multi-year contract will take effect on September 15, 2012.

Undone – the dispute is not settled.


VA Claims Processing

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced July 11 it is deploying a new model for processing compensation benefits claims at 16 of its regional offices. The new model is part of a comprehensive transformation plan designed to yield an estimated 150,000 to 200,000 additional compensation claim decisions annually, while ensuring that veterans who are most in need get high priority.


The new organizational model involves the special handling of claims from veterans with the most serious injuries or illnesses, experiencing financial hardships, or homelessness, and need immediate attention. Through a new "intake processing center," claims are routed to one of three segmented lanes:


• Express: claims that have only one or two medical conditions, or have all the supporting documentation, medical evidence and service records needed for an expeditious rating decision (referred to as fully developed claims).


• Special Operations: claims requiring special handling because of the unique circumstances of the veterans. These include financial hardship, homelessness, serious wounds, injuries or illnesses, post-traumatic stress disorder associated with military sexual trauma, and former prisoner-of-war status.


• Core: claims with more than two medical conditions, or those that will need additional evidence to make a compensation decision.


In further news, the VA is making it easier for vets to provide medical info supporting their disability claims.  Veterans medical care providers can now download any of 71 forms for specific conditions at benefits.va.gov/transformation/disabilityexams/. 

The provider completes the form (a disability benefits questionnaire) and sends it to a VA Regional Office.  The VA plans to further simplify the process for clinicians by creating a secure portal by the end of 2012 for completing and submitting disability benefits questionnaires on line.


Sequestration Update: Veterans’ health care funding may be exempt from automatic, across-the-board budget cuts that are due to begin in January, but military health care is not — and a new think-tank report says Congress would have to reprogram $3 billion from other Defense Department budget accounts to fully pay for military health care should the cuts occur.


Hearing Aids Update: The DOD sponsored Retiree-At-Cost Hearing Aid Program is designed to help retirees purchase hearing aids through an Audiology Clinic at a special government negotiated cost. The hearing aids available through this program are the same state-of-the art technologies available to active duty service members. The program is open to all military retirees who have hearing loss or tinnitus (ringing in the ears). Dependents of military retirees are not eligible for this program. Retirees can buy hearing aids at a significant savings by using the program. For example, a set of hearing aids (one of the best available) that retails for about $5,000 costs a retiree as little as $755 or about 15% of the retail costs


Vet Charity Watch:  Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society (*) is on the Veterans Charity watch list.  They are holding massive asset reserves (*);


Blue Water Vietnam Vets One of our top legislative priorities has been support for legislation that would allow veterans who served off the coast of Vietnam to cite exposure to toxic herbicides relative to veterans' disability ratings and claims. Many national veteran organizations strongly support the


"Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act" (H.R. 3612, S. 1629) and the "Agent Orange Equity Act" (H.R. 812), both of which would allow so-called "blue water"

Veterans to be compensated for their service-connected disabilities related to their exposure to Agent Orange and other herbicides.


Last February, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) added 47 ships to their list of Navy and Coast Guard vessels that are presumptive for exposure to Agent Orange due to duty in the coastal waters and inland waterways of Vietnam. There are now 214 ships on the VA's presumptive list, which is available at www.fra.org/agentorange. If a service member served aboard any of these vessels during the described time period and they have any of the 14 diseases recognized as Agent Orange-related, they may have a creditable claim for VA disability compensation.

Visit the following links to support specific blue-water legislation:

S. 1629 -
H. R. 3612 -
H.R. 812 -

The National Defense Act which authorizes the money to be spent has been put off until after the elections.                   


d. Historian Report:


The Historian suggested that everyone should take note of the memorabilia that was on display.  Our collection is alive, well, and growing.  Because of the size of the memorabilia, we are thinking of establishing 2 different sets of memorabilia.  One set on each coast to ease the burden of travel and setting up our memorabilia display at each reunion.


Thanks to Phil Markin for ‘Albert’s’ new dragon cage.


In the back are some shoulder patches from Weapons Training Group.  If you desire one, take one as we have many more.


f. In our search for the new ‘Gray Dragon’, I was asked to go thru our records.  It seems we have 800 or more history and personal records that I had not seen before.  As a result, I put together a new book with histories that had had not been displayed before.  I would like to note that LCDR Thom Best who was our Secretary for some time and the President and Treasurer.  He had a great hand in revitalizing the NNWA.  The Historian then read some of Tom Bests history.   His history, as remarkable as it was, is somewhat typical of those in the Nuclear Weapons Program.

The President then encouraged all members to write down their histories and submit it to Mike.  ‘If you do not get it on paper, it doesn’t exist when you leave’, Mike said.


e. Chaplain Report:


Dee Rochester and Bob King are having medical problems.  If you know them, get in touch and let them know you wish them well.


I am not going to be running for the Board anymore but he did say what an honor to serve the NNWA on the Board of Directors.





The President thanked Bill Beard, Bill Melby and all those who helped with this outstanding reunion.  The membership gave them a round of applause for their efforts in putting together an excellent reunion.  Bill Beard said that with the check sheet made up on the steps to follow, anybody can set up a reunion.


The Hospitably Room will secure at 1600 today so preparations can be made for the dinner dance.  For the first time since we have been doing this, the bar drinks will be from our own supply.




As the first order of new business the President announced that 6 positions were open on the board and up for election by the Membership.  He informed the Membership that, in accordance with the By-Laws, the following Officer positions were also up for election by the new Board during the Board Meeting to follow the general meeting.  He then turned the gavel over to the Nominations and Elections Chairman Chuck Weber to conduct appropriate nominations and elections. 


Chuck provided an overview of the qualifications and responsibilities of being a Board member.  You must be a member in good standing and have email capability.   We opened nominations with our June Newsletter being sent to each member. That closed at the end of August 15th without comment and was suspended. 


2012-2014 NNWA Board Nominations


NEW Nominations   Y/N     Will be at meeting?  In good standing


Rev. Randall D. Scallan (ex GMT-1)        YES    Absent and rescinded acceptance.                                             

John Gray, WTCS (Ret)                  YES    Present       YES                              


Incumbents                                       Y/N     Will be at meeting? 

In good standing?


President Jim Hambley                   NO      Present          NA                 


Service Officer Chuck Weber        NO      Present          NA

Chaplain Lonnie Cuccinnitti         NO      Present          NA


MAA Frank Cantrell                         YES    Present          YES


Director Ron Moran                         YES    Present          YES


Director Jack Grieves                      YES    Absent, have writing

  Accepting nomination


Rules for Nominations

- Nominees must be present or must have sent writing to the Board indicating their willingness to be nominated.

-  Seconds to nominations are unnecessary and nominees must accept their nomination.

-  Nominees must be members in good standing and have email capability.


Nominations for the office of Director are now re-opened.  (gavel)

The Bylaws of our Corporation call for a minimum of 8 Directors, each with a term of two years.  Currently there are 12 Directors serving.  The bylaws also require that half of these are up for election each year.  Therefore, there are 6 positions up for election this year, but only 2 of them need to be filled in order to meet the 8 Director minimum.


The Board of Directors appointed a Nominations Committee which announced acceptance of mailed nominations through 15 August 2012. 


Additionally, members were contacted to see if there was anyone new was interested in serving on the Board.  The incumbent Directors were asked if they were interested in continuing.


As a result of all of this, the Board of Directors places the following names in nomination for the position of Director for the term 2012-2014.  Each has indicated that they would accept such nomination.


 Frank Cantrell                                              Ron Moran                          

Jack Grieves (by written letter)                   John Gray                       


Nominations from the floor are now opened.  Are there any nominations from the floor for Director?  (Ask 3 times).  Tonie Lewin was nominated by Don Fulbright.  Tonie Lewin accepted the nomination.  Phil Markin nominated Tom Salisbury.  Tom Salisbury accepted the nomination.

Are there any other nominations from the floor?  Going once, twice, three times.


Hearing none, I will accept a motion to close nominations.  Call for second.  Call for vote.


Nominations are now closed.  (gavel)









Fellow Dragon Keepers, the floor is now opened for elections. (gavel)


You have heard the nominees for office of Director.  I will accept a motion from the floor that the Secretary of the Corporation shall cast a single vote for those nominated which will reflect the unanimous consent of the membership present at this meeting.


Call for second.  Call for vote.


The motion carried unanimously.


Let us congratulate our newly elected Directors (applause).


As a reminder, the Directors will meet after this meeting to elect officer positions


I will accept a motion to close from elections.  Call for second.  Call for vote. 


Elections are now closed.   (gavel)


Return gavel to President.

Present returns gavel to By-Laws Chairman:


Proposal for Amendment of NNWA Bylaws


WHEREAS, the membership of the NNWA in its 2011 regular meeting in Albuquerque , NM on October 15, 2011 did approve the addition of two new positions to its Board of Directors resulting in a new total of twelve Directors, and

WHEREAS, the Force Majeure cancellation of the 2010 NNWA reunion and associated regular membership meeting did not provide a venue for election of Directors, and

WHEREAS, the NNWA Bylaws at Article VIII, Section 1 are silent on the issue of term schedule for more than ten Directors, and

WHEREAS, the NNWA Bylaws at Article VIII, Section 1 are also silent on election of Directors if no regular membership meeting can be held, therefore be it

RESOLVED, at the NNWA regular membership meeting held on September 22, 2012 in

Rapid City, SD that the sentences “In the event that any additional Director(s) is/are added to the Board, they shall be added to the schedule first as an even year term and then as an odd year term. Similarly, if there are reductions in the number of Directors, the actions shall be done to maintain a balance of

odd and even year terms.   Elections of Directors shall be conducted at the annual regular membership meeting.  In the event that such a meeting cannot be held, the election of Directors shall be conducted by the Board of Directors by mailed ballot to the regular membership using rules established in “Roberts Rules of Order” in its current edition.  The President shall appoint at least two Directors who are not standing for election and they shall receive, count, verify and publish the results of all returned ballots.” shall be added to the very end of Article VIII, Section 1.  The thus amended Article VIII, Section 1 shall read as follows (with the additions in red):                                                                                     





SECTION 1. ELECTION AND INITIAL MEETING.  A Board of Directors consisting of at least Eight (8) members in good standing shall be elected by a majority of Regular Members present at the Annual Meeting held by the Corporation.  Immediately following the election meeting the newly elected Board shall meet for the purpose of electing its officers and conducting any business that may be necessary. Election of the Board of Directors shall be on the following schedule:                   

                    Even Years                                                 Odd Years

                    President                                                     Vice-President

                    Service Officer                                           Secretary                     

                    Chaplain                                                     Treasurer

                    Master at Arms                                           Historian

                    Director                                                      Webmaster

                    Director                                                      Director

                    and so forth

In the event that any additional Director(s) is/are added to the Board, they shall be added to the schedule first as an even year term and then as an odd year term. Similarly, if there are reductions in the number of Directors, the actions shall be done to maintain a balance of odd and even year terms.   Elections of Directors shall be conducted at the annual regular membership meeting.  In the event that such a meeting cannot be held, the election of Directors shall be conducted by the Board of Directors by mailed ballot to the regular membership using rules established in “Roberts Rules of Order” in its current edition.  The President shall appoint at least two Directors who are not standing for election and they shall receive, count, verify and publish the results of all returned ballots.


Submitted by:

//S//Charles J. Weber

Chair, Bylaws 2012


I call for a motion from the floor to accept the changes to our by-laws as read.


The motion was made and seconded.


On the question, hearing none.  All in favor say ‘Aye’, all opposed say ‘Nay’, abstain say ‘Here’.


The question passed unanimously and we have amended our by-laws.


The Chairman of By-Laws returned the gavel to the President.


The 29th 2013 annual reunion will be held in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.  The host will be Frank Cantrell.  Co-Host will be Frank Kelly and Brenda Kelly.  The reunion will start on Sunday (6 October) and check out will be Friday (11 October).  Frank will try to set up a tour to Oakridge, Tenn.


The 30th 2014 reunion will be held in the Western Region.  The President asked for places where we might hold the next reunion.  I have yet to get a volunteer for that region.


We already have a host for the 2015 reunion.  Lonnie Cucinitti will be the host in San Antonio, Texas.  Dates to be established.


There being no other new business, if not the President wanted to personally thank all the Board Members (present and past members) who have served with me over the past 11 years.  He also wanted to give the membership thanks for giving him your trust. He then asked for a motion to adjourn the meeting. The motion was made and seconded.


The Chaplain offered the closing prayer.


The meeting was adjourned.


Dave Cobb






Treasurer Report

As the treasurer and keeper of the roster, let me welcome our new and reinstated members since the last newsletter. We have 47 new and reinstated members for 2012:


Cesan,  David W.                Hollingworth , James P.       Gerig, Bruce H.                                 

Brooks, John E.                  Marshall, William M.            Steenburgh, Charles                  

Winter, Dennis D.              Gagnon, Xavier  G.                Welsh, Timothy J.                      

Lowery, Joel  F.                  Bilash, SR. James A.             Griffin, Robert A.                     

Thomas, Charles V.            Harris, Vance L.                    Brewer, Charles M.                   

Ballard, John A.                  Cantrell, John                        Castronova, Louis T.                 

Krouse, Wayne R.              George, Tyros K.                    Huff, Ronald G.                    

Campbell, Eric (Rick) M.


We now have 737 members listed on the membership roster: 332 members in good standing, 53 life members (spouses of deceased members), 240 past members (members with unpaid dues for three years), 115 members with dues in arrears, and 1 honorary member (NAAV). Past members will not receive news letters or reunion information until their dues are brought up to date. Membership is $10.00 per year. Past members can be reinstated by sending $10.00 reinstatement fee plus $10.00 for each year they wish to pay their dues. This is an effective policy due to the cost of mailing newsletters and reunion information. If you are unsure whether your dues are up to date and receive your newsletters by mail, the date in the upper right corner of the mailing label shows the month and year to which your dues are paid.

If you receive your newsletter electronically and wish to know your dues date: Log on to our web site (www.navynucweps.com).  The dues date will be listed in the date column on the right of your name on the membership roster. Some members find it convenient to pay several years in advance. This can save you postage and the Treasurer, Secretary and web master a considerable amount of time in processing payment.

The following members have been listed as past members because of their dues being in arrears for three years. If you know the status of any of these members PLEASE notify the Treasurer or any member of the board.

Burick, Gary                           Charpentier, Leo F.          Clark, Bryan           

Jorgensen, Swede                    Koerber, Ralph A.           Lanning, Delbert R.

Love, Odell G.                        Marcuzzo, JR Paul L.       Mattero, Francis P.       

Morse, Donald A.                   Nicholsen, Jr. Dennis        Pinder, Charles G.                     

Roposa, John A.                     Sprague, Michael              Stanley, Robert W.                   

Thexton, William K.               Thirty, Robert                   Thompson, Michael           

Weatherholt, Bobby G.           Wensing, Kelvin M.          Wright, Lester L.


The current membership roster is posted on our website (www.navynucweps.com). Members not on line may request a hard copy by calling or writing Frank M. Kelly, 1087 Frank Kelly Road, Society Hill, S.C. 29593 PH# 843-378-4026.  Again for our survival it is imperative that we keep our roster up to date. Some members have indicated that they are not receiving our newsletter. Please review the roster and notify the Treasurer or any board member of any changes to your status.

We now have $17,415.80 on deposit with Wells Fargo Bank (formerly Wachovia).


Frank M. Kelly                                                                                                               

Treasurer and keeper of the roster






The web continues to exist and new items are added from time to time.  Unfortunately, the last major addition was over 200 names to the Memorial page.  I was able to find a search engine that developed those names.  To make it easier for you the check the names of those added, there is a link on the NNWA home page to that list.


For you information, I leave items on the What’s New and Taps sections for three months.


Ray C. Margeson

NNWA Webmaster






January 2013

Fellow Dragon Keepers,


We had all hoped that by the time this newsletter went to press that there would be something concrete to report regarding our national financial situation.  Unfortunately, that is not the case.  The looming threat of sequestration has not been resolved; instead it was kicked down the road for another two months.  Here is what is at risk:

            For all veterans

                        - Elimination of conceded presumptive illnesses for disabled veterans

                        - Lock out of VA medical treatment for Priority 7 and 8 veterans

            For military retirees

                        - Increased Tricare/TFL fees, deductibles, copays, etc.

                        - Increased pharmaceutical fees

                        - Reduction or elimination of COLAs

                        - Elimination of the Defense Commissary System

As always, I urge you to contact your elected representatives as they prepare to deliberate the future of these issues. Some quick shots:

COLA -  now an old issue, the 2013 increase is 1.7%, effective 01 DEC 2012.

CLAIMS – VA continues in its transition to a paperless, electronic filing system

This parallels an effort to reduce claims’ backlogs, but so far is unsuccessful.

FAILURES – Items not making it out of Congressional committee for NDAA 2013 include:

            - a new Stolen Valor Act

            - any more base closures by BRAC

            - Purple Hearts for Ft. Hood victims

            - protections from indefinite detention for terrorists

SUCCESSES – Items included in NDAA 2013:    

            -  Fixing a concurrent receipt glitch that reduces the monetary benefit for some                disabled retirees when their disability rating is increased;

            - Authorizing a 1.7 percent increase for active duty/ Reserve pay;

            - Requiring a DOD report on future availability and access to TRICARE Prime      throughout the United States;

            - Requires states to ensure training received by a veteran while on active duty is             taken into consideration when granting certain certifications and licenses;

            - Providing civil liability remedies for violations of the active duty consumer           protections under the predatory lending law;

            - Providing parity for certain benefits for U.S. Coast Guard Reserve personnel;

            - Requiring DOD to report, after the closure of any overseas U.S. military base, a             plan to ensure that a federal agency or private entity assume responsibility for        continued maintenance and oversight of any cemetery located on the base;

            - Extending increased BAH rates and active duty leave rollovers;

            - Providing $25 million in additional Impact Aid for schools that educate military   children and $5 million for military children with special needs; and

            - Expanding TRICARE coverage to include health services for military children    with autism.


RECORDS – a few of you asked how you could get military service information on a deceased parent.  Others asked about how to get a copy of your military records.  The answer for both is the same and I thought the questions were worthy enough to share with all of you.  If you want to get any of your military records, your medals or to research your family’s military records, go to http://www.archives.gov/veterans/  and you will find a trove of information.  You can submit online or send in a Standard Form 180 for this info.

FOUND – the Mojave Cross, subject of controversy in the separation of church and state issue, was stolen on 09 MAY 2010.  Last November it was found neatly wrapped and tied to a fence post in San Mateo Cty, CA.  It was re-dedicated on Veterans Day.

BAD WATER – If you were stationed at Camp Lejeune between 1957 and 1987, you were exposed to contaminated well water.  It contained TCEs and PCEs, both of which are known to cause some cancers.  VA provides FACT SHEET DMA-11-004 – REV with detailed information.  It is available at any VAMC, VA Office, or Outreach Center.


Topic of the Month


Q:        What is the least known, least claimed and least utilized veteran benefit?


A:        Probably one that you have never heard of – the Aid and Attendance and Housebound Improved Pension.  Many of our aging members may qualify for this.  Below is a copyrighted article providing detailed info on A&A, as it is known.


A&A Benefit Details


New York Times

Friday, November 23, 2012


Here’s a riddle: When is a government benefit that pays for caregivers, assisted living and a nursing home not a benefit? When hardly any people know they’re entitled to it.

That seems to be the story with a Department of Veterans Affairs benefit called the Aid and Attendance and Housebound Improved Pension benefit, known as A&A, which can cover the costs of caregivers in the home (including sons and daughters who are paid to be caregivers, though not spouses) or be used for assisted living or a nursing home.

The benefit is not insignificant: up to $2,019 monthly for a veteran and spouse, and up to $1,094 for the widow of a veteran. Surprised that you’ve never heard of it? You’re not alone. “It’s probably one of the lesser-known benefits,” said Randal Noller, a Veterans Affairs spokesman in Washington. Of the 1.7 million World War II veterans alive as of 2011, who were in need of caregiving assistance and thus eligible, only 38,076 veterans and 38,685 surviving spouses were granted the A&A benefit that year, according to Mr. Noller. Mr. Noller is not the first to acknowledge A&A is a well-kept secret. Jim Nicholson, former secretary of Veterans Affairs, said in a December 2006 news release that “not everyone is aware of his or her potential eligibility” for the program, which he called an “underused” benefit. Not much has changed. A search of the Veterans Affairs Web site for evidence of public information efforts in the six years since came up blank.

“The sad thing is, it’s been an entitlement for 61 years, but it’s sat idle — the V.A. employees just haven’t been educated about it,” said Debbie Burak of Midlothian, Va. She said she repeatedly called department offices on behalf of her father, a World War II veteran, and her mother, who became homeless after their house caught fire and their injuries required extensive care. She was told there were no benefits they were entitled to. (Indeed, when I called two Baltimore-area Veterans Affairs offices for my father, a World War II veteran, no one had heard of this benefit or any benefit that paid for caregivers or assisted living or nursing homes.)  “My parents’ end of life was so difficult. They lost everything, were living in a terrible hotel, ran up every credit card we had,” Ms. Burak said. “My mother begged us not to cremate her, but there was no money for a burial; we had no choice.” It was only after her father died that Ms. Burak discovered her parents would have been entitled to as much as $160,000 over the last decade through the Aid and Attendance benefit. She applied, but no money arrived before her mother died Mr. Noller said the program’s low visibility might be an effect of the size of the department. “The V.A. is the second-largest agency in the federal government, and you can’t expect everybody to know everything,” he said, referring to the agency’s work force To bridge the information gap, Ms. Burak introduced VeteranAid.org, a Web site and a 501(c)(3) charity, in 2005, to provide information about A&A eligibility and how to apply.

To qualify, a veteran need not have suffered a service-related injury. He or she only had to have clocked at least one day of his or her 90-day minimum military service during a time of war and need caregiving for activities of daily living. Applying can be confusing and arduous. If you know the program’s name and search the Veterans Affairs Web site for Aid and Attendance, the first page states, among other things, that you are not eligible for A&A unless you already qualify for a basic Veterans Affairs pension — for which you have to be “totally disabled.” That’s more than a little misleading.

“What people don’t know is that when wartime veterans turn 65, the V.A. automatically classifies them as ‘totally disabled,’ ” Ms. Burak said. And if they meet income and asset criteria, they are eligible for a basic pension. The A&A benefit can be more than 50 percent higher than the basic veteran’s pension ($24,239 annually for a veteran and spouse with A&A, versus $16,051 for a basic pension). The income and asset cutoffs are also higher than for A&A benefits. Karen McCarty, of Fort Worth, is one of the lucky ones who applied for A&A — and got it. She heard about it when the assisted living facility where her father-in-law, Robert McCarty, 92, was living, held a seminar on it.

Ms. McCarty, a former certified public accountant, started researching the application process at the Veterans Affairs site, but, she said, “the VeteranAid.org site was much clearer.” She found all the forms she needed, and her father-in-law received the first check in record time — six months.  Not all Veterans Affairs officers are in the dark about A&A.  After Annette Cadena’s parents were in a car accident and moved to a nursing home in their tiny hometown, Fossil, Ore., it was the local Veterans Affairs officer, Paul Conroy (now retired), who saw her on the street and mentioned that her parents might qualify.  “I was skeptical, to be honest,” said Ms. Cadena. “My husband did two tours in Iraq and has worked 30 years for the Washington State Army National Guard coordinating with the V.A. to help veterans, and he had never heard of it.”

Still, she applied in August 2009, and nine months later her parents started receiving the maximum $2,019 per month.  The benefit was a lifesaver. That is, until her father, Clinton Ray, died on Aug. 5. The payments to her mother, Bessie Ray, stopped, even though widows of veterans are also entitled to this benefit. “They cut her off cold,”

Ms. Cadena said, and told her she would have to apply all over again as a widow, which could take 9 to 18 months. “My mother said, ‘Oh, my God, are they going to kick me out of the home?’” Ms. Cadena recalled.  Still, when the benefit comes through, it can make a real difference.  Marcia Hruska’s mother, 85, had run through all her savings after seven years of worsening Alzheimer’s and round-the-clock care in her apartment in Coconut Creek, Fla. Assisted living was the next step, but Ms. Hruska didn’t know how they would pay for it, with Social Security her only income.  “One of the assisted living facilities we visited asked if my dad had been in the service,” and mentioned A&A, Ms. Hruska recalled. So she filled out the 26-page Veterans Affairs application — which used to be only four pages — and on Sept. 1, six months after applying, she received the first monthly check for $1,019. “This relieves a lot of tension,” Ms. Hruska said.

One warning note: Scams abound. The department forbids anyone to charge to help veterans fill out these challenging forms, yet a growing number of companies — many of which, on a Web search for “Aid and Attendance,” pop up with waving flags and red-white-and-blue banners — offer to “help” veterans fill out the forms free, then charge thousands of dollars for financial consultation.  And, Ms. Burak warns: “Financial planners at assisted living facilities are putting on seminars about the A&A benefit — but it isn’t out of the goodness of their hearts. They are trolling for residents who have too much money to qualify, to get them to move assets into annuity products that don’t count as income or assets and yield big commissions.” (This is possible because, unlike Medicaid, with its five-year look back, Veterans Affairs has no look back on asset transfers.) The department does not reveal maximum allowable assets. But $80,000 (the house and a car are exempt from this total) seems to be in the ballpark, though someone with more assets could still qualify if expenses were very high, according to Ms. Burak.  Income limits are not set in stone either. But the maximum is around $20,000 to $23,000 after deducting costs for medical expenses, caregivers, and assisted living or nursing home fees.  Some people are taking advantage of A&A to protect assets for their heirs, Ms. McCarty said. Still, she said, “it’s a wonderful benefit.”


That’s all for this issue.  Remember, your best source for information and assistance is a Veterans Service Officer.  You can find one at your local veterans’ organization, any VAMC or VARO and at most County governments.


Yours in service,


Chuck Weber

Registered Veterans Service Officer




Spalling and Exudate


The NNWA Historians Report of January 2013




May 1947 the United States Army Air Forces awarded Martin Aircraft Company a contract for a turbojet powered subsonic missile, the Matador.  The Navy saw Matador as a threat to its role in guided missiles and, within days, started a Navy development program for a missile that could be launched from a submarine and use the same J33 engine as the Matador.  In August 1947, the specifications for the project, now named "Regulus," were issued: Carry a 3,000-pound warhead, to a range of 500 nautical miles, at Mach 0.85, with a circular error probable (CEP) of 0.5% of the range.  At its extreme range the missile had to hit within 2.5 nautical miles of its target 50% of the time.


USS GREYBACKThe design was 30 feet long, 10 feet in wingspan (folded), 21 feet (extended), 4 feet in diameter, and would weigh between 10,000 and 12,000 pounds.  After launch, it would be guided toward its target by two control stations.  (Later, one submarine could guide it).  Army-Navy competition complicated both the Matador's and the Regulus' developments.  The missiles looked alike and used the same engine.  They had nearly identical performances, schedules, and costs.  Under pressure to reduce defense spending, the United States Department of Defense ordered the Navy to determine if Matador could be adapted for their use.  Not surprisingly, the Navy concluded that Regulus could perform the Navy mission better.


Regulus did have some advantages over Matador.  Initially, it required only two guidance stations while Matador required three.  It could also be launched quicker, as Matador's boosters had to be fitted while the missile was on the launcher.  Regulus was stowed with its boosters attached.  Finally, Chance Vought built a recoverable version of the missile.  Though a Regulus test vehicle was more expensive to build, Regulus was cheaper to use over a series of tests.  The Navy program survived and the first Regulus flew in March 195The first launch from a submarine occurred in July 1953 from the deck of USS Tunny (SSG-282), a World War II fleet boat modified to carry Regulus.  Tunny and her sister boat USS Barbero (SSG-317) were the States’ first nuclear deterrent patrol submarines.  They were joined in 1958 by two purpose built Regulus submarines, USS Grayback (SSG-574), USS Growler(SSG-577), and, later, by the nuclear powered USS Halibut (SSGN-587).  So that no target would be left uncovered, four Regulus missiles had to be at sea at any given time.  Thus, Barbero and Tunny, each of which carried two Regulus missiles, patrolled simultaneously.  Growler and Grayback, with four missiles, or Halibut, with five, could patrol alone.  These five submarines made 40 Regulus strategic deterrent patrols between October 1959 and July 1964, when they were relieved by the George Washington class submarines carrying the Polaris missile system.  Early Regulus missiles carried the MK 5 implosion warhead.  It was succeeded by the thermonuclear warhead, MK 27.


Regulus was deployed by the US Navy in 1955 in the Pacific on board the cruiser USS Los Angeles (CA-135).  In 1956, three more followed: USS Macon (CA-132), USS Toledo (CA-133), and USS Helena (CA-75).  These four Baltimore class cruisers each carried three Regulus missiles on operational patrols in the Western Pacific.  Macon’s last Regulus patrol was in 1958, Toledo’s in 1959, Helena’s in 1960, and Los Angeles’s in 1961.


Regulus from USS Princeton (CVS-37)Ten aircraft carriers were also configured to operate Regulus missiles (though only six ever actually launched one).  USS Princeton (CV-37) did not deploy with the missile but conducted the first launch of a Regulus from a warship.  USS Saratoga (CVA-60) also did not deploy but was involved in two demonstration launches.  USS Franklin D.  Roosevelt (CV-42) and USS Lexington (CV-16) each conducted one test launch.  USS Randolph (CV-15) deployed to the Mediterranean carrying three Regulus missiles.  USS Hancock (CV-19) deployed once to the Western Pacific with four missiles in 1955.  Lexington, Hancock, USS Shangri-La (CV-38), and USS Ticonderoga (CV-14) were involved in the development of the Regulus Assault Mission (RAM) concept.  RAM converted the Regulus cruise missiles into an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV): Regulus missiles would be launched from cruisers or submarines, and once in flight, guided to their targets by carrier-based pilots with remote control equipment.


Production of Regulus was phased out in January 1959 with delivery of the 514th missile, and it was removed from service in August 1964.  A number of the obsolete missiles were expended as targets at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.  Regulus not only provided the first United States Navy nuclear strategic deterrence force (preceding the Polaris, Poseidon , and Trident missiles) during the first years of the Cold War and especially during the Cuban Missile Crisis, but it also was the forerunner of the Tomahawk cruise missile.


The inspiration for this report originated with correspondence from GMT-3 Dennis Winter, GMT-3 Jim Hollingsworth, and GMTC Bob Tome.  Their stories and photo collection may be read and viewed in the HISTORY SECTION of the NNWA website www.navynucweps.org.  The information presented in this report was obtained from Wikipedia, official US Navy sources, Winter and Hollingsworth correspondence, and the authors personal experience.  Photos in this article were provided by Dennis Winter, Bob Tome and official US Navy sources.


Mike Snyder

NNWA Historian