The Board of Directors of the Portsmouth Submarine Memorial Association held their annual meeting on Thursday, November 17th at the Discover Portsmouth Center. Chairman Phil Munck called the meeting to order at 1802. The following are key points from the reports provided by various board members.
Jim Craig - Executive Director. 1. Due to being closed for an extra six weeks, visitation was down overall last year. However, month to month visitation was up over previous years. 2. New signage appears to be drawing in more people. 3. Removal of a portion of the shrubs along the Route 1 By-Pass has increased visibility of the boat and also seems to have a positive effect. 4. More ceremonies (re-enlistments, awarding of dolphins) are being conducted onboard. 5. Assistant Executive Director Bernie McAfee is in process of producing a new introductory film that will replace the existing one playing in the Visitor's Center at the museum. 6. A local artist is working with the staff (and COB Norm Bower) to produce a history of the Albacore in comic book form. 7. A grant is being sought to complete the cataloging of the Hamlen collection of donated historical material. 8. A new exhibit is being prepared about the Type XXI U-boats that were at the shipyard following Germany's surrender. 9. Former crewmember Thomas Bovyn QM1(SS) donated Albacore's last commissioning pennant to the Albacore museum. 10. Discussions continue about the feasibility of expanding the museum.
Phil Munck - Chairman. Treasurer's Report. 1. The Basin Rehabilitation Project cost $1,274,804. 2. Assets exceed liabilities by $563,285. 3. There were 32,982 visitors last year, down from the previous year. 4. Operating Income before project expenses was $51,815. 5. Project expenses for hull repairs (of which $23,529 were reimbursed by the Federal Government), Memorial Garden Walk, cellar remediation, museum and shop improvements and curatorial and display upgrades totaled $49,155.
Jim Wakefield - Maintenance Manager. 1. Completion of the basin rebuild. 2. The first 100-feet of port side hull wrinkles have been removed. An additional 40-feet will be done next year before tackling some wrinkles on the starboard side and two large dents at the bow. 3. The cellar of the museum building was made watertight and a mold infestation problem was remediated. 4. Intermittent problems with basin and parking lot lighting are being addressed. 5. Sealing of the superstructure and cleaning and painting of the lower portions of the control fins and lower hull areas, previously in damp soil, will be undertaken as time, weather and resources permit.
Phil Munck - The chairman introduced a proposed amendment to the PSMA By-Laws to increase then number of Directors from nine to eleven. This would allow the Association to expand the number and diversity of individuals serving as directors. After a brief discussion, the amendment was passed with no dissenting votes.
Jim Wakefield - Nominating Committee Report. Nominees and their offices were: Ken Herrick, President; Dick Wilder, Secretary; Phil Munck, Treasurer. (Gerry Sedor was not up for re-election and continues as Vice Chairman.) There being no further nominees and no nominees from the floor, the slate of officers as presented was approved. Additionally, Ken Latchaw (an Albacore shipmate) was elected as a Director and Cheryl Coviello was elected as an Associate Director in accordance with the just approved By-Law change. (Cheryl was the one responsible for the recent basin design.)
The meeting adjourned at 1856.
A PSMA ad hoc committee is working to come up with a master plan for the use of the remaining space specifically within the area of the Memorial Garden and in the rest of the Park's grounds. A new bench will be placed in the Garden to honor long time employee, Jim Sergeant. Jim started as a volunteer docent at the Park in 1987 and stayed on until he reached the magic age and retired in April of 2011.
The Park's winter shutdown and maintenance period for 2017 is a little different from that of prior years. The Park will be open weekends only from 0930 to 1600 during January and February. Full seven day a week operations will resume on 1 March.
Shipmate John Gandiello has created a Facebook group called "USS Albacore (AGSS 569)". It is open to all who served on the Albacore, their families and members of PSMA. All you need do is find it on Facebook and join it. It has the photo of Albacore shown below on the page.
Shipmate Cliff Phippen has moved and mail can reach him at P.O. Box 337, Bryantville, MA 02327-0337. Shipmate Robert Lawrence also has moved and mail can be sent to him at 274 River Road, Bluff City, TN 37618. Shipmate Bob Lyon's new email is "firstname.lastname@example.org".
I regret to report that shipmates John Ilgenfritz departed on Eternal Patrol on 7 July of 2016, and on 9 December Captain James Organ, CO of Albacore '65-'67, went on Eternal Patrol.
A Wreaths Across America ceremony was held at the Park on December 17th. The photograph shown below is just one of many taken that day. To see the complete series of pictures, go to either the News & Events page on the Albacore website "ussalbacore.org" and click on the link provided or go to https://flic.kr/s/aHskRxdsdu. At this site, you will be able to read the keynote address given by Mrs. Carol Norton, daughter of Fred Abrams. Mr. Abrams was a WWII Army veteran and a Shop 38 Machinist at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. He was lost on the Thresher. Thanks to USSVI Thresher Base Commander Kevin Galeaz for conducting the ceremony and to his wife Robin for providing the photographs.
If you are receiving this newsletter via Uncle Sam’s postal service, it is because we do not have an e-mail address for you. In addition to the 189 copies sent out electronically, there are 41 more that go out as a hard copy. We would prefer to be totally GREEN and deliver the newsletters electronically to save on paper and stamps. So, if you have recently gotten on-line, or had a change of address, telephone number, e-mail provider or if you just have something you would like to submit for posting on the website, please pass that information along to Jack Hunter by snail or e-mail or via phone.
Until next time, shipmate.
11 Admiralty Drive, Apt 3
Middletown, RI 02842-6254