Churchhill Religion T.S. Eliot Quote - Going too far Brotherhood Home Address Pirates

As self-appointed Chief Archivist and Master Historian for the USS William H. Bates (OK, I made up the title too!) I can attest that we have spent significant energy debating the timeline of the Bates in the Scuttlebutt. Sometimes it seems we are no closer to nailing it down than when we started, which is becoming more of a concern as our memories fade and we join the queue to shuffle off this mortal coil.

I’m driving hard to complete two separate activities that will help capture and preserve our collective Bates history.

I have discovered that access is available to monthly officer and crew rosters as well as the Deck Log for the life of the ship through the Naval Archives. This will not only help nail down our Master Sailing List, but help solidify the documentation of the unclassified ship’s movement. In itself, this is a big project, and comes at a cost. The Archives charge for printing, microfilm copying, and access, which requires the researcher to know exactly what they are looking for. Daunting, but on my list of projects to pursue. More on this later.

Happy New Year!

2017 is finally here. “Finally!”, we all sighed. 2016 was a heck of a ride, and most of us are glad to say, “thank God that’s over!” The passing of great musicians, actors and actresses that had entertained us through the years just wouldn’t quit, reminding us that each are getting old and the same fate awaits us all. The political dumpster fire we call our election process seemed to be tearing our country apart. I could go on, but I won’t.

It is a new year, and a time to look to the future and let the past fade from view. No matter our differences, politically or otherwise, we have much, much, more in common than we have that divides us. For those of us that sailed on the Bates, that statement is a personal and resounding truth.

We spent more Christmases and New Years underway, as I recall, than we did in port. The few holidays we spent in port are probably the reason behind that strategy! I remember one New Year’s Eve in Thailand that they are probably still talking about in Pattaya Beach. My last Christmas in Guam is the reason I couldn’t go back. I was

The reunion wheels are starting to turn! REGROUPEX 17 is really happening!

Interest is starting to build among your shipmates. Seventeen of us have already indicated that we are planning to attend, and one of us (me!) has already made hotel reservations for September 1-4th, 2017 at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando, Florida.

The beautiful Shingle Creek Resort, twelve minutes from the Orlando International Airport and only a few more from Walt Disney’s Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and many other area attractions, has been chosen as the location for both REGROUPEX 17, and the USSVI annual convention, so there will be other boat reunions, conference activities and speakers, and sub-related merchandise vendors, as well as many planned activities for boat sailors, spouses and families.

The room rate for the convention is a reasonable $105.00 per night plus taxes, if you make your reservation through the USSVI.org website , or use the group code GRPUSSVI.

Some of the more astute of you may have already discovered the list of plank owners on the SSN-680.org website under Quarters >> Plank Owners. It’s been there for a while, but has been incomplete for far too long.

The good news is, through the efforts of Terry Fessner and myself, we have finally taken the information from the Plank Owners plaque, correlated it with the Commissioning booklet (Logroom >> Ship’s Archive’s >> Ship’s Brochures - Commissioning Brochure [thanks to Phil Saul and others]) and updated the profiles of all 121 shipmates assigned to the Bates on May 5, 1973.

That means the the Plank Owner’s list is relatively complete, more or less, minus a couple of profiles that still need to be created, and plus a handful of shipmates assigned to the Bates before commissioning but transferred off before May 5, 1973.

Each of the Plank Owner’s profiles has been updated, so if you are a Plank Owner, you might be surprised (pleasantly, I hope) to find your photo from the Commissioning Brochure is now your Profile avatar, as well as your Photo Then, unless you had already uploaded one of those.

Time to take this reunion planning to the next level, and that means getting each one of you to go to the ssn-680.org website and indicate if you would attend REGROUPEX 17!

So here’s the deal.

REGROUPEX 17 - an all-hands reunion 01 SEP - 04 SEP 2017 in Orlando, FL at the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel concurrent with the USSVI convention and other boat reunions.

PRICE - yet to be determined, and it will be influenced by the response. More commitments, lower cost. Expect something in the neighborhood of $75 to maintain the reunion suite and keep it stocked with refreshing beverages and succulent treats while we lounge around spinning sea stories. Additionally, you’ll pay for your room, cost of which is unknown at this point.

There is a hint of reunion in the air. A good idea, long overdue, is coming together. Enough of you have expressed interest to motivate me to push this forward.

We really haven't established anything more than the possibility at this point, but it's looking like Labor Day weekend of 2017 in Orlando, FL, with the USSVI Annual Convention might be a real possibility.

Check the Scuttlebutt in the Reunion Planning forum for conversation as this evolves. Look for updates through the P.O.D., Facebook groups, and the occasional Familygram.

I'll keep you posted!

Some of you are on the dink list, and you know what that means. No libs tonight!

If you fall dink in maintaining your email address current, I find out when I run a periodic newsletter, and guess what, it's that time again.

I'm reminding you, in the sweetest tone of voice possible, to keep your user profile up-to-date, you jack-wagons!. It is especially important to update your email when you change service providers or jobs. Your email address lets us keep you informed with the Familygram newsletter, and without a current email, you can't access the site if you forget your password, so it has to be accurate. But you are the only one that can keep it current.

© 2020 Brad Williamson
and/or the
USS William H. Bates (SSN 680) Association
or respective image owners
All Rights Reserved
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,
and additionally, when republished electronically, a link to is provided.

U.S. Naval Institute News

  • Report on Iraq and U.S. Policy
    The following is the Sept. 29, 2020 Congressional Research Service In Focus report, Iraq and U.S. Policy From the report Al Kadhimi Government Facing Numerous Challenges In May 2020, Iraq’s parliament confirmed Iraqi National Intelligence Service director Mustafa al Kadhimi as Prime Minister, and in June finished confirmation of his cabinet members, bringing months of […]
  • Marine F-35B Crashes After Collision With KC-130 Over California; All Aircrew Recovered Safely
    A Marine F-35B aircraft has crashed near Naval Air Facility El Centro, Calif., following an air collision with a KC-130J, defense officials confirmed to USNI News. At approximately 4 p.m. local time, “it was reported that an F-35B made contact with a KC-130J during an air-to-air refueling evolution, resulting in the crash of the F-35B. […]
  • Investigation Finds USS Columbia Shooter Was Likely Unfit to Serve on Submarines
    The sailor who killed two contractors and them himself at a repair yard in Hawaii had shown signs of “long-developing problems that in aggregate should have raised concerns about his mental condition,” which would have likely disqualified him for submarine service, according to an investigation into the Dec. 4 incident that was released on Tuesday. […]