“News from the Hut”
for American Legion Post #142; Hominy, Oklahoma.
>>> by Gary Lanham
Knock on wood about the weather. Surely, the moment I submit this offering I will jinx it, but I think we are out of the woods weather wise. But don’t let your guard down and remain on the “common sense” rule. Our fearless commander had returned from his journeys to Arizona for the Ira Hayes/Iwo Jima Memorial Parade and Ceremony at Sacaton, AZ on the Pima Indian Reservation and from Wyoming. We had to move the slide presentation and narrative to the Thursday evening meeting (2 April) so be sure and drop by. The Hut Boss had to do duty at Ft. Sill and we appreciate his continued service. The spy’s were right…our Chef extraordinaire Jerry Sebert (fellow flyboy USAF) served up some good chow. It was beyond my wishes of beans and cornbread. It was fried potatoes, onions, peppers, brown beans, navy beans, smoked pork and two types of dessert. If you were not there you missed out.
Vice Commander, Steve Swinford conducted our meeting starting with the Pledge and Chaplin Mantooth with an Invocation. Treasurer Jack Cross updated us on our budget and it wasn’t bad. We still will have our public dinner to “boost” the account that was cancelled during freezing weather so stay tuned for that update. We were also graced with the visit of Bonnie Lies from the Ladies Auxiliary who presented the Hut with a considerably nice donation for the water heater replaced recently. Salute to those wonderful women who mean so much to us.
Speaking of “Navy” beans this week, I would like to focus on a great guy and patriot and his dedicated service to our country. Daniel Rathbun was born July of 1949 joining the U.S. Navy in 1968, until his discharge 1972. His service was as a Damage Control Man or as he put it “the guy that doesn’t let the ship burn or sink”! He received his Honorable Discharge in 1972 at the rank of E-5 (Second Class Petty Officer) having served on the USS Koelsch DE 1049 (Destroyer Escort) and USS Piedmont AD17 out of home ports respectively, Newport Rhode Island and Long Beach California (where I grew up). His travels took him to Subic Bay Philippines and Da Nang Vietnam. His award and decorations included the National Defense Service medal, Vietnam Service Medal with one Bronze Bar (what we in the USAF called a Device), and Meritorious Unit Commendation Medal. Salute Dan! Thanks you for your service!
I dug up some interesting facts on the USS Piedmont. She served in WWII from Iwo Jima, Okinawa, to Tokyo. After serving during the Korean War, she spent time at Subic Bay servicing destroyers and other 7th Fleet ships serving in the Tonkin Gulf and off Vietnam. It was during her 1968 West Pac tour, Piedmont was still servicing ships in Subic Bay, as well as Taiwan. The ship left for the West Pac tour July of 1970, to perform ship repairs of all kinds…on ships of all kinds, visiting Subic Bay Naval Base in Philippines for most of the seven months. Other ports visited were Yokosuka, Japan and Hong Kong for R & R, and Pearl Harbor on the way overseas to load weapons and upon return trip to leave weapons. Returned to new home port of Long Beach, CA in January of 1971.
She received rework at Hunter’s Point Shipyard, San Francisco in summer of 1971. Afterwards, she did three weeks maneuvers upon arrival in Long Beach. She left for another Westpac tour May of 1972 for ship repairs of all kinds on all kinds of ships. Ports visited were Subic Bay for most of the 9 month tour…other ports visited were Hong Kong for R & R, Kaohsiung, Taiwan and Yokosuka, Japan and Da Nang, Vietnam and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Pearl was for loading weapons on way to Asia and off load of weapons on return to States. Returned to Long Beach in December 1972. She was given to the Turkish Navy in the 1980s.
Our regular meetings continue the first and third Thursdays of the month at 7:00 PM. For April, that would be the 2nd and 16th. Monday morning Koffee Klatch meetings in April are still planned (if weather permits) and running starting around 0700 till about 0900. Much thanks to the crew for providing biscuits and gravy and maybe a waffle or two and always a cup of Joe (coffee to the civilians). If you are a veteran come on by. If you have a good story it may end up in print! Also keep up with us at website “americanlegion142.org” which by the way just broke 15,000 hits! Much thanks to Michael Frazier. While far away he still maintains and updates our website.