About 4 months ago, around Feb 2013, Brad Mills called and said he had been diagnosed with bladder cancer.  Not good, but today, June 6, 2013, Brad called and told me his treatment has been successful and he is doing well.  Thank the Big Guy in the Sky for this one.


Latest video of Hopewell at rest at the bottom of the Pacific SW about 50 miles from San Clemente Island...she deserves to be among the creatures of the sea:

The New Navy a video for Dale Taylor:

Before we and listen to this is what this is all about:

Below is a picture of the Crew at Mt Soledad where our plaque is located:

OK, now go to: This URL takes you to the Nashville Reunion website sponsored by Ken Davis, the Boson, and his compadre, Ken Rigsby.

Ken Rigsby called and your prayers worked: the spot on his lung was not cancer.  He sends a Great Big THANKS! to all of you.  He also asked me to ask you all to pray for a good outcome for me when I see my oncologist Friday.  I said I would, but added that I would appreciate it if we all said a prayer for all our shipmates who may have cancer or other medical conditions which may endanger their lives....SO, I am asking you to do that.  As a tough old SgtMajor USMC told me once many years ago:  The Big Guy In the Sky is always watching over us. Talk to him once in awhile.

Nashville, TN, in 2010!

Ken Davis and Ken Rigsby will be our hosts.  Hope to see you all there!  Plan now.


All of you who attended in San Diego were lucky enough to meet Chief Maner and enjoy this crusty character who not only survived Pearl Harbor, but also the November 1955 plane crash into Hopewell.  Well, San Clemente, a town that loves its Veterans and especially the "old guys"  put the Chief on the front page of its local newspaper, the Sun Post.


PLEASE bear with me.  The albums are works in progress.

Scroll down for another great photo of the Hopewell, 1964, from Joe Gambill, FTM2, USS Columbus CG-12.

Plus a nice link from Alan Baker, Supply Officer, 1966-68.

PLUS PLUS: Lee McClain, who sent us the story of the Ship's Logo Plaque, also sent us the picture of his copy of the three original plaques.  Click here.

PLUS PLUS PLUS:  Jon Kolb, ET1, 1967-69, sent this one. This was taken, probably during 1969, off of Phan Thiet, and was part of an actual fire mission.

Thank you...thank you...thank you, to all who attended the reunion and made it so special.  Carlene and I were so pleased with your accolades and also with the plaque that Bob Lawson gave us as well as the generous gift to which you all contributed.  Check out the Reunion 2008 Pix page by clicking here.

Special kudos to Brad Mills our bartender, flag raiser and source of information and ideas; Al and Marilyn Cecchi for bring our ship's bell (click here to go to pictures of Al and the bell) and working the sign-in desk; Jack and Nancy Natter for bailing me out at the last minute with a lot of grunt work as our working party; Father Chuck Fuld (who gave a wonderful invocation and blessing/ dedication of our plaque (click here) on Mt Soledad. Click here to go to his invocation and more); George Sivani who donated our ship's plaque (click here) and as our only attending former CO was an entertaining speaker at our banquet; Sharon Mahaffey for the beautiful doll for the silent auction; Debbie Hazelwood for the original jewelry her sister designs and makes; Bonnie Bilo and her special jewelry; Mike Halldorson for his Hopewell artwork; Pam Sutters for the great leather bill ball caps; and all of you who chipped in to make the Hospitality suite work when Brad couldn't be there. 

I wish to also thank those of you who asked questions of our guest speaker, Captain Peter Gumataotao, USN, which allowed him to talk about the things you wanted to know about.  All of you have heaped praise on him and it is all deserved.  I think we will see him as an Admiral in the near future.

Our tour manager/director, Rob Wallace told me our service on Mt Soledad was the best he had ever witnessed and he has seen a few hundred.  Carl Dustin, the American Legion Post 275 and Mt Soledad Veteran's Memorial, host told me ours was the largest gathering for any kind of plaque dedication on the memorial.  He especially enjoyed the back and forth with you all as one Tin Can Sailor to another.  OH, yes, a special salute to MMC Maner, a Pearl Harbor survivor and survivor, after a very long hospital stay and many surgeries, of the November 1955 aircraft accident.  The Chief was delightful.

I am sure I must be missing someone, but my thanks go out to all of you for making the reunion so enjoyable and memorable.  


Compliments of Joe Gambill, FTM2, USS Columbus CG-12, 1964.


Special Note:  We had a professional photographer covering the Reunion, taking group, individual and candid photographs.  These pictures will be available at extra cost as will a Memory Book of USS Hopewell Reunion 2008.  We sold 35 memory books so far (04-01-08) and have  5  more available.  It will be about 8 weeks from the reunion date to the published copy being sent.


What we did!  And did it with fun and enthusiasm!

USS Hopewell DD-681 Reunion 2008

March 18-21,2008
Handlery Hotel and Resort
San Diego, CA

Plan of the Week

Tuesday March 18th
1200 to whenever Check-in and Registration Hospitality Suite located just past the main lobby on the left side across the pool. Signs to guide will be posted. The Hospitality suite will be open until at least 2200. Attendees will be on their own for dinner, but Welcome packets will have transportation and restaurant area suggestions.

Wednesday March 19th
0700-1000 Hospitality suite open with muffins, Danishes, apple juice, and coffee.
The morning is free time, with ship tours in the afternoon.
1215 Group #1 Board bus for Naval Station to tour USS Antietam (CG-54)
1415 Group #2 Board bus for Naval Station to tour USS Antietam (CG-54)

Note: Due to the large number of participants, the Antietam tour is being split into two groups of approx. 50 each. You will be assigned to either the early or the late tour. A listing will be posted so you can trade if you want to, but it is important that you be on time for the bus you are assigned to. You will have a ticket in your badge holder that tells you what time your group boards. If you trade, be sure to trade tickets. IMPORTANT: be on time for your assigned bus.

1430 Group #1 Return to Hotel
1630 Group #2 Return to Hotel

After returning to Hotel the rest of the day is Free Time.

The Hospitality suite will be open at 1500 and the Bar at 1700 with beverages and light snacks being sold at nominal prices, and will be open until 2200.

Thursday March 20th
0700-1000 Hospitality suite open with muffins, Danishes, apple juice, and coffee.
0915 Board busses to Midway Tour.
1000 Board Midway for self guided tours using recorders and headsets.
1130 Board busses to Bali Hai restaurant, on Shelter Island, for buffet lunch.
1315 Board busses to Mt. Soledad and Memorial Service
1400 - 1440 Memoria Service Mt Soledad Veterans Memorial
1515 Board busses to return to Handlery Hotel and Resort
1600 to 1745 Hospitaltiy suite open. May reopen after the banquet
1700 to 2100 Prime Rib buffet banquet in the Garden Ballroom of the Handlery.

Friday March 21st
0700-1000 Hospitality suite open with muffins, Danishes, apple juice, and coffee.

Check out and return to homeport


Since much of the time you spend at this reunion will be free time you will be provided with a complete self guide package, so Tuesday, half day Wednesday and Friday will be free days, with suggested tours, places of interest and how easy it is to get around San Diego on the bus and light rail system.   There is a golf course just around the corner from the hotel, so if you golf, bring your clubs.  Old Town San Diego is a short bus ride from the front of the hotel.  Shopping abounds within walking distance of the hotel, also, in a beautiful Mall.  Other voluntary group gatherings are being planned, but with so much to do in San Diego, we want you to make your own choices.  The Hospitality suite will be available for all to enjoy with hours to be provided and posted.

Ed Chew, LTjg, 62-63, Supply Officer

2161 via Aguila

San Clemente, CA 92673

949-388-4465 and fax 949-388-4579


A special note from Captain Russ Wilson, CO Hopewell 1968-69:

Dear Friends and shipmates.....First, let me thank you , Ed, for all the time and effort you have been putting in to make the upcoming reunion a big success. My wife and I truly regret that we will be unable to attend, and we have given it much serious thought. It sounds as though it will be a huge success, especially there in San Diego where so many of the memories started and came together. I will be anxiously awaiting the "after-action" report and to learn about all who were able to attend. Please give everyone who attends who remembers me (whether fondly or otherwise) my warmest regards, my thanks, and best wishes for a healthy, happy, successful career in whatever they are doing now. Command of the HOPEWELL was the highlight of my 31- year naval career and each of the officers , chiefs, and crew contributed personally and I would like to thank them once again for their loyalty, support, and hard work. We did quite a lot and accomplished a great deal in the nearly two years that I was aboard. I have many fond memories, and while everyday was not exactly "Shangra-L.a" (sp?) or "Camalot", it was never dull for long. Perhaps we will still make one of the future reunions, but this year it won't be possible. Thanks for the invitation.... LOOK SHARP--BE SHARP I salute you......Most Sincerely Yours, Russ Wilson

USS Hopewell DD681 Reunion 2008

Where:  San Diego, California

When:  18-21 March 2008

Location:  Handlery Hotel and Resort

950 Hotel Circle North

San Diego, CA 92108

If you served on Hopewell at any time from 1942 to 1970, send us an email and register with the Association.  Send to  Thanks.

This is the USS HOPEWELL DD-681 Temporary Website for Reunion 2008.  It is intended only to provide easy communication between the Reunion Boson and the Crew Members.  After the Reunion it will be up long enough to load event photos and then will be taken down.

The official USS Hopewell Association website can be accessed by clicking HERE.

Welcome to Hopewell Reunion 2008

in San Diego

From WW II thru Viet Nam: 

Hopewell and her crews served proudly.

1945 smoking from Japanese attack            Underway in the 1960s, still strong.

A Quiz to see how your memories are doing:

Who are the three sailors in the picture, below, and when and where was it taken?  If you just can't remember, go to the end of this page:

ANSWER to the Quiz:

Berrigan, Calim and Hartwell, the Long Beach Pike, 1943, just before deployment.


Russ "Rusty" Dickens contributed the picture in the header of this site and displayed below.  Thanks, Rusty.

Just remember, this beauty was your introduction to the Tin Can world.  Doesn't get any better or more opinion: ed  One of the last photographs of USS Hopewell DD-681 in 1969, on the way home from WestPac.


Reservations can be made by calling (800)676-6567 and Using the Group Name: USS Hopewell (DD-681) National Reunion-Rooms and Group Promo Code: USSH

Room rates are King or Double $95/night or deluxe upgrade for an additional $20/night.  PLUS you can book a full week for only $570, a nice vacation rate for San Diego, all rates plus taxes.  Reservations will be accepted until Sunday, February 17, 2008, for these special group rates.  Click enclosed  to go to the reservation form for additional information.