P.O.D.
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As previously reported here, Chris Pipkin, ET2(SS), Nav ET - Operations Electronics, 79-83, passed away on 22 SEP 2019 from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident.

Linda Pipkin and her son Christopher Radke invite you to honor Chris and join with his family in a Celebration of Life on this coming Saturday, 16 NOV 2019, from 1330 to 1530 in Alpine, CA.

The Celebration will be held at the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Bert Fuller Post 9578, 844 Tavern Road, Alpine, CA 91901, located in the East San Diego County area. Street parking is available.

Dress is casual, with Hawaiian shirts and attire preferred, and strongly encouraged! A light lunch will be served.

Linda anticipates 200+ in attendance. If you plan to attend, please RSVP to Sheila J. Snyder, VFW District 1 Auxiliary Chaplain and close friend of Linda, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

If you have photos or or information that we can use in Chris’ Honors page, please email them directly to me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

We are conducting a short survey to assist us in making hotel arrangements for REGROUPEX 20, the next major reunion scheduled for crew-members of the USS William H. Bates (SSN 680).

Scheduled for June 22-25, 2020, we need your input to negotiate the best rate with our target hotel, the Best Western Silverdale Beach, in Silverdale, Washington.

It is expected this survey will take about 2 minutes, and you can only take it one time. You are encouraged to reach out to other Bates shipmates and invite them to log in to the website and take the survey for themselves.

REGROUPEX 20 - June 22-25, 2020 in Silverdale, Washington, is a go. You can put it on your schedule, and as soon as we sign a contract with the hotel, start making your travel arrangements.

At this point, it looks like we will be contracting with the Best Western Silverdale Beach to host REGROUPEX 20. As soon as we have a contract signed, we will know the final room cost and be able to start making reservations. That should happen the first week of October, but it does depend on you!

You need to complete the survey on the www.ssn-680.org website so we have an idea about how many rooms we need to block out at the Best Western. There will be details about the survey in the Familygram that will be mailed to everyone on the 23rd or 24th of September.

Some of you may have noticed I haven’t been around much the last two months, and if you have, I’m grateful.

If you missed the updates on Facebook (about all I’ve had the time or strength to do), the second of August brought horrific news. At the time, Margaret and I were headed into Canada to celebrate our 35th anniversary, when a phone call turned our world upside down.

At lunchtime that day, my sister Melissa, her husband Bob, their 22 year-old daughter Landyn, and my youngest brother Kent were killed instantly in a collision with a drunk driver here in Michigan. In that moment, five children lost their parents, my sister-in-law Karen lost her husband, her six children lost their father, and I lost two of my three siblings.

Chris Pipkin, ET2(SS), Nav ET - Operations/Electronics, served with us on the Bates from 79-83. I was just informed by his step-son, Christopher Radke, that Chris passed away on the evening of September 22, succumbing to injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident earlier that morning.

Fair winds and following seas, Chris. You were our brother. You will be missed.

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I will post funeral service information for those of you in SoCal that might want to attend, and Chris’ Honors page will go up shortly.

If you have photos or or information that we can use, please email them directly to me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

More to follow…

Last night many of you received the first text message sent from the www.ssn-680.org website and the USS William H. Bates (SSN 680) Association.

This feature works hand-in-hand with our Familygram newsletter emailing system, and creates a new way to stay connected with you, especially in the case where your email address or mailing address has not been updated.

What do I need to know, you ask?

First, we protect your privacy. You will not receive advertising or nuisance texts. The system can only be used by administrators of the website, and for now, that means me!

Second, all texts will come to you through this phone number: 269.234.1751. This is the text phone number for the USS William H. Bates (SSN 680) Association, so create a contact on your phone with this number, and then you will see who the text is from immediately.

I know I keep ragging on you to keep your profiles on the website up-to-date, but there is method to my madness. Your profile is the mechanism by which the USS William H. Bates (SSN 680) Association keeps you informed using the Familygram newsletter, and now, by text message.

We have just upgraded the website to allow us to send you periodic SMS text messages for notifications of major events or to track you down when your email no longer works.

Don’t expect many - it does cost us about 3/4 of a cent for each message that goes out, so don’t expect more than one or two a month.

Once everybody has a few days to update their profiles, I’ll send a couple of texts. One will allow you to opt out, if you desire to not be bothered, but I’d encourage you to stay with it and let me use texts to keep you in the loop. After that, they’ll be relatively infrequent, unless your Familygram bounces, and of course, your phone numbers, like your street address, are never revealed to anyone without your permission.

All this means that it is more important than ever to keep your profile information up-to-date. So get hot, or get dink, and watch your phone for text messages from the USS William H. Bates (SSN 680) Association.

REGROUPEX 20 Countdown

Fund Sailing List Research!

Help fund SSN–680.org research and recover Personnel Diaries and Quarterly Muster Reports from the National Archives, helping us in our goal to identify every sailor that sailed on the USS William H. Bates (SSN 680) and add them to the Master Sailing List.

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© 2019 Brad Williamson
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USS William H. Bates (SSN 680) Association
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Permission is granted for not-for-profit reproduction of text and images under the condition that all attribution as to owner and source is included,
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