2001 Reunion

Summary Of The 2001 Reunion
We want to thank Cheryl Jones and Ruth Dace for the following report. Cheryl is the daughter and Ruth is the wife of Stanley Dace CBM, recently deceased.

The 56th Memorial service of the USS DE 682 Underhill was held at the Naval Academy Main chapel July 24th, 2001.  The service included beautiful organ music, hymns, invocation and a Navy bugler to play taps for those lost at sea.  Paula Ponas read the honor roll of the departed crew members lost on July 24, 1945.  The Naval Academy graciously provided all of the memorial service of music and chaplain.

Following the memorial service, a catered banquet was served at the Naval officers Club. Our speaker for the banquet was Mr. Sam Saylor Past president of DESA (Destroyer Escort Sailor Assoc.) Mr. Saylor presented formally to the crew of the 682 their NAVY Unit Commendation Award from the Secretary of the NAVY. The crew members present stood up and gave their name and rank they had when aboard 24 July, 1945.  Mr. Saylor also told them they would merit a ribbon for combat and one for the commendation.

The actual commendation was presented to Paul Adams for safekeeping to be presented to the Navy museum, but he suggested that the Underhill give the commendation to the “Saltier” where the Underhill will have an honorary footlocker and the certificate will be prominently displayed. The members present agreed and the commendation will be displayed on the Slater moored in Albany, NY.  Most of you know the “Slater” is a DE being restored in Albany N.Y. It is the only DE in the U.S. and it is totally financed and restored with volunteer effort and funds.  It is now 80% restored.

Paula Ponas made a motion to give the “Slater” $500.00 in memory of the Underhill it was seconded by many and passed unanimously! Air Raid Worden also presented the crew with information concerning receiving the Purple Heart and getting a reduction on rates for medicine and Doctor visits. Some 60 people attended the banquet and memorial services. Don Kruse turned in 100.00 from book receipts as most of the printing costs have been made, and $ 631.00 was the total from pass the hat.

The 56th reunion was a great time for everyone. We were headquartered at the Sheraton Barcelo Hotel in Annapolis, Md. Some of the group filtered in early on the 22nd. On July23, we held our meeting in a conference room. Mr. Sam Saylor spoke about DE’s and gave a slide presentation on the Slater.  Most of us who didn’t know much about DEs learned how small crews quarters really were. His remarks were uplifting and very true.

Cheryl Jones presented Don Kruse a thank gift, a cup with a picture of the Underhill on it and also one for Joe Riley. Don took over all the marketing and mailing chores for the book “The Last Convoy”. Jim Cannon also had a video tape of his interview with a Local TV Station about the Underhill and the reunion. All families were introduced and recognized some for the first time. The hotel graciously provided a large screen, microphones, tv-vcr, and seating for everything.

And you guessed it ! of course there was the Hospitality room enjoyed by all. The 56th annual reunion was attended by a total of 61 people. Some of us visited the Naval Academy, Washington’s Arlington Cemetery, Downtown and the harbor in Annapolis, and Baltimore’s harbor. But mainly we gathered as a family group to honor and remember those of the 682. We were especially grateful to Darryl Baker of the 804 one of the first of the rescue boats on the scene for the Underhill. Mr. Baker was coming to the rescue again in walking a long distance to fetch some name tags for all of us.

Now most of us are home and making plans to visit the “Slater”.

So long and Aye,Aye!  From Cheryl and Ruth

At the meeting held on July 23, treasurers report was a balance of 1243.42 that did not have the pass the hat balance and book receipts of 631.40 . and the printing costs of newsletter of some 241.00 Also the gift of 500.00 to the DE Slater. 

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