The 15th USS BAINBRIDGE Association Reunion, held in the beautiful Puget Sound area of the state of Washington was a great success due to Dave and Marlene LaFave’s creative planning and coordinating of this year’s eve.
Held over five days from registration on Wednesday, September 15 through saying our goodbyes on Sunday, September 19, our days were filled with sumptuous meals, sightseeing, tours, camaraderie, story telling, laughs and more. We had 59 attendees with six of those being first-timers! We stayed at the beautiful Silverdale Beach Hotel overlooking Puget Sound. The Hospitality suite opened Wednesday for registration and a “Welcome” reception that evening which included a wonderful array of the Northwest’s famed seafood for all attendees.
Thursday morning started off with the only hitch … the scheduled bus was broken down and Dave LaFave had to scramble to find another bus company replacement which he did in record time. The bus drove us to the Bainbridge Island ferry landing where we had an enjoyable ferry ride across the Sound to Seattle to catch our Duck boat (restored WWII amphibious landing craft) land tour of the city and water tour of Lake Union where the houseboat filmed in “Sleepless in Seattle” lies having just sold for three million +! The “duck” boat dropped us at the famed Pike Place Market where we were free to shop, have lunch and see sites we toured ‘up close’. We met back at the ferry landing at the appointed time for the trip back to the hotel or...drop at the Clear Water Casino. Friday morning we gathered for a bus trip to the USS TURNER JOY DD951 Museum Ship on the Bremerton waterfront for both a tour of the boat and for our memorial service. The USS TURNER JOY is maintained in original condition. She was named for Vice Admiral C. Turner Joy, a leading Korean Armistice peace negotiator and is the last of the Forrest Sherman class destroyers. After the Pledge of Allegiance Raese Simpson led us in prayer. Mauro Greco then tolled the bell for each of our 78 listed deceased shipmates and deceased spouses as Bob Davies read aloud their names. A memorial blue and white floral wreath was then dropped into the sea.
It was a short bus ride to our next stop to board a Kitsap Harbor cruise boat named the “Captain Pete” for a tour of Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and to Keyport where the bus picked us up for a short trip to the Keyport Naval Undersea Museum. The museum showcasing the heritage and science of the undersea was a fascinating place.Saturday started with a bus trip to the historic downtown Poulsbo, also known as “Little Norway”, on the Liberty Bay waterfront. We enjoyed a few hours shopping, touring and especially sampling the many bakeries! The bus brought us back to the hotel in time for our association General Meeting.
Saturday evening the social hour and picture taking began at 1800 hours with the banquet afterwards. Another sumptuous feast was served buffet style with entertainment by singer Joey Jewell who does great impersonations of Dean Martin and Elvis.Dick Holloway extended a “big” thank you to Ed Courtemarche and presented Ed with an engraved wood gavel on behalf of the association for his four years of service as President. The annual fund raising raffle was then held earning the association $1,138.00!! All in all a very successful reunion Again, on behalf of the Association, I commend and thank Dave and Marlene LaFave for a job well done. Bravo!
This account was only a part of the semi-annual newsletter that is mailed to every member of the USS Bainbridge Association. The newsletters contain many sea stories, including personal encounters with Admiral Rickover and other interesting things that happened aboard ship . To receive these newsletters and the reunion event packets, please join us! The cost of being a member of the USS Bainbridge Association is only $15/year. The details of joining are on the home page under ‘Not a Member’.