NAPS CLASS OF 1967
Some months ago, in the wake of a casual email exchange, the idea of a reunion emerged. With little effort the names and email addresses of some twenty-seven members of the NAPS class of 1967 were gathered. Several messages of appreciation at having discovered old shipmates in cyber-world and no less than a few sea-stories were shared. Some may even be true, while clearly all have improved with age; but that's just the way it is … and the beauty (or not) of the "reply all" and "delete" buttons!
I'll skip some of the stuff in the middle and move to the bottom line:
A committee has been formed and the wheels set in motion for an October 2012 reunion of the NAPS class of 1967. Working closely and in cooperation with the Bainbridge Development Corporation and VFW Post 8185 of Port Deposit, arrangements are being made to enjoy access to the grounds of the former Naval Training Center and the long dormant NAPS facilities overlooking the Susquehanna River. A pass protected website presently under development will be available soon for the sharing of SITREPs, detailed plans as they emerge, and a growing roster of those we are able to locate and who wish to participate in the exchange. To that end, we solicit the help of all classmates in spreading the word of our search as we wish to cast a net wide enough to embrace all who attended NAPS, however long or short their stay at the prep school or the Naval Academy. As point-man for communications and the one tasked to maintain an already growing roster, I would ask anyone with knowledge of the whereabouts of any members of the NAPS class of 1967 to please advise our classmate to provide contact information to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The paragraph above will appear in the next issue of "Shipmate." Our hope is to flush out as many NAPSters as possible. To that end, we are soliciting volunteers to assist in the search. Surely, there are those among us adept at the art of social-networking, tracking down old friends, relatives, and people who owe us money. We need your help as we seek to divide and conquer. As this will be a reunion of students and staff alike, the search is on to include all who served as instructors, military leaders, or support staff personnel. You will be excited to hear that while doing some preliminary research and verification of contact information for some staff members, we have already received enthusiastic replies from Captain Robert J. Antonio, USN (Ret), Colonel Donald E. Christy, USMC (Ret), and Dr. John M. Mattiace, all of whom have marked their calendars and will make every effort to attend!
Though details will follow in later SITREPs, a rough outline of the emerging plan begins as we gather Friday the 12th at a hotel across the river in Aberdeen. Saturday will include access to what is left of the old Naval Station and the grounds at NAPS. We will form up by companies for a march from Harrison House and Tome Inn to Tome Memorial Hall. A tent and chairs will be pre-arranged and a memorial service conducted. A simple, catered lunch will be provided and time set aside to wander the grounds, take photographs, and quietly reflect upon a different time and place. There will be free time to enjoy Port Deposit, Perryville, and Havre de Grace, places most of us simply blew by on the way out of town. You will be pleasantly surprised. We will then gather Saturday evening at the VFW in Port Deposit. The folks there have been more than accommodating, extremely supportive, and are looking forward to our visit. Many may wish to remain in the area through Sunday and into Monday. A list of interesting things to do and places to visit will be provided that you might plan your travels accordingly.
Now brace yourselves if you have not seen these pictures before! The link you are about to click on provides the photographic account of an unauthorized RECON mission undertaken by Bob Capra and Wally Poleshaj in September 2009. The vandalism and destruction that have taken place over time is apparent.
NAPS PhotographsPhoto Gallery
In the next SITREP, we will provide links to the 50th reunion of the NAPS Class of 1958 held on location in 2008. The links will provide a moving account of their reunion and the extraordinary accomplishments of their class; i.e., one Medal of Honor, three awards of the Navy Cross, five Silver Stars, multiple Bronze Stars and Purple Hearts, and the naming of two warships and two Navy buildings in honor of men of the NAPS Class of 1958. Their reunion will serve as our model; and while it may have been nice to wait a few years to mark our 50th as well, we were advised to press ahead. The pictures tell us why.
The committee of five includes:
John Condon (email@example.com); (301) 320-3375 (h)
Bob Capra (firstname.lastname@example.org); (410) 757-2028 (h)
Bob Gallagher (USNA71@optonline.net); (917) 295-2922 (c)
Wally Poleshaj (VPoleshaj@mchsi.com); (563) 271-3272 (c)
… and yours truly.
If a return to Bainbridge is not on your bucket list, we think it should be; so mark your calendar and plan to attend the 45th reunion of the NAPS Class of 1967.