The SixGun










Vol. XXIII, Issue 30 Official Newsletter of the USS Charles S. Sperry DD 697 Association  October 2010               




President's Message:



The 2011 Sperry reunion in Annapolis, Maryland is expected to be one of the most memorable our association has had.


Benefits  of attending the 2011 reunion  are:  the location - Annapolis is strategically located along the mid-Atlantic coast, within reasonable travel distance for most members.  Members of the U. S. Naval Academy staff  have been invited to address attendees at our  business meeting.


Another good reason  is the huge number of historical, educational, and national attractions in the area.  Such important sites as the Naval Academy, Arlington National Cemetery, the Capital, the White House, Washington Monument,  Lincoln Memorial, Viet Nam Memorial, Korean War Memorial and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery.


Members are encouraged to arrive early or stay after the reunion in order to see the many sites the area has to offer. 


I  hope to see you there.


B. W. Jennings







Reunion 2011

Annapolis, Maryland on April 28-May 1

DoubleTree Hotel

Make plans now to attend



You don't want to miss this opportunity to visit one of the most historical and inspirational sites you will ever see.


For the almost four million people who visit annually, Arlington National Cemetery represents many different things. For some, it is a chance to walk among headstones that chronicle American history; for many, it is an opportunity to remember and honor the nation's war heroes; and for others, it is a place to say a last farewell during funeral services for a family member or friend.


I am excited at the opportunity our tour will afford attendees.  If you have never been to Arlington National Cemetery you do not want to miss this opportunity.  It is a very humbling experience.  The tour will be on Friday, April 29.  Final details will be in the January SixGun.


We will tour the cemetery via a tram so walking will not be an issue.  After the tour we will have lunch at Tutto Bene’s for a large buffet to choose from.


See you there.








SEPTEMBER 25, 2010





(CLOSED ON JUNE 16, 2010)                                    ENDING BALANCE                                       $-8.05                                 


NEW ACCOUNT OPENED MAY 28, 2010               : (Opened with loan of funds by Bob Jennings)

                                                                                          BEGINNING BALANCE                               $100.00


ACTIVITY UP TO SEPTEMBER 25, 2010:                                                                                                        


JUNE                                                                 INCOME                                                                          $324.45


JULY                                                                 INCOME                                                                          $49.00

                                                                           BAD CK. CHARGE BACK                                           $-16.00


AUGUST                                                          INCOME                                                                          $10.00


SEPTEMBER                                                   INCOME                                                                          $20.00

                                                                           INVOICE-INSPIRATIONAL CRAFTS                       $-60.00

                                                                           INVOICE-BAUER VISUAL GRAPHICS                    $-70.30

                                                                           INVOICE-ACE T-SHIRTS                                            $-119.68

                              REIMBURSE BOB JENNINGS PER RECEIPTS FOR POSTAGE                        $-114.49


SEPTEMBER 25, 2010 ENDING BALANCE                                                                                       $122.98



A full report of the findings of the investigation into the Association’s financial records will be provided at the 2011 Annual Meeting of the U.S.S. Charles S. Sperry DD697 Association in Annapolis, MD.


Gary Chesser


U.S.S Charles S. Sperry DD697 Association
















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Drop a stone into the water –


In a moment it’s gone,


But there are a hundred ripples


Circling on and on and on.


Say a word of cheer and splendor –


In a moment it is gone


But there are a hundred ripples


Circling on and on.





In Remembrance:

rows,order,American flags,patriotism,pride,national,representing,Veer Images

          Shipmate William H. Brown passed away on April 24, 2010. Shipmate Brown sailed through life's cruises meeting his share of calms, storms, adverse tides, and favoring winds. His ship of life has now come to its final anchorage in a harbor unknown to mortal man.


          We who remain do not know the course to steer and we believe our shipmate is setting his course by those beacons that were given to him from those who have found their harbor safely.


          To those loved ones who our departed shipmate left behind, await their own day of departure and voyage to that same harbor of eternal mercy, we can offer our sincere condolences in this time of separation and loneliness.


"Final Tribute"


to Galen "Smitty" Smith as requested by Adaria.


Smitty's widow, Adaria was honored to received his 60 year membership

recognition from the American Legion.  This was a great tribute to a man

who was dedicated to his beliefs. 


Galen was a man of many accomplishments. Serving

his country during WWII he was awarded the Meritorious

Mast for assisting in saving a shipmate.


Smitty was an active member of the Tin Can Sailor Association,

Durff-Kuhn  VFW, Oscar M. Hykes American Legion, PA State Fire,

Police Association and the Cumberland Valley Hose Company 53.

While Smitty accomplished many things in his lifetime.


Smitty was loved and will be missed.



Over the past 21 years we have lost so many of our shipmates.  Hold on to the wonderful memories of your time with each of them.  Please do not forget the widows that are left behind to only have the precious memories of their time with your shipmates. 




Crew's News:


B. W. and Barbara Jennings would not describe their summer as "dull."  In April their daughter Tami who has cystic fibrosis moved in with them after her husband went back to Bagdad to work.  Their youngest daughter kept Tami's five year old son.  On September 2 Tami had to have emergency surgery to repair the arteries that supply blood to the lungs.  The infection from the cystic fibrosis had eaten a hole in the arteries.  While in the hospital on Saturday, September 4 they were notified there was a possible lung donor.  Things started happening very fast.  After arriving in the intensive care unit, the family was informed that by midnight they would know if the surgery was a go.  At 12:15 a.m., Sunday, September 5 it was a go.  After four hours the surgeon came out to give the family wonderful news.  The surgery was a huge success and Tami did not have to be on the heart - lung machine.  The next couple of weeks were rough but she is now at home staying with B. W. and Barbara.  The doctors told Tami she needs to be the poster child for organ transplants.  She is far ahead of most lung transplant patients.  B. W. and Barbara want to say a huge thank you to their Sperry family for the many calls and prayers.


Jerry and Sara Smith doing fair.  Jerry is having some health issues but hopes to be at the reunion.  Jerry says he would enjoy hearing from his shipmates.


Jess Mayberry, Vice President reported he had made several contacts via emails and telephone calls recruiting shipmates.  Response has been slow.  We all need to assist in recruiting members. 


Gary Chesser and Fred Hilberer reported during their travels since the reunion in Charleston they were able to make several contacts and get former shipmates signed up.  The new members are planning to attend the reunion if possible. 





Recruiting is everyone's JOB!





If you have not renewed your membership please fill out the enclosed form and mail to:  Barbara Jennings, Secretary, 2018 Concord, Deer Park, TX 77536.




Fred Hilberer (68-71) Our thanks to Fred for sending the following article, which is sure to bring back a lot of memories for every shipmate.)



By VADM Harold Koenig USN (Ret.)


I like the Navy.  I like standing on the bridge wing at sunrise with salt spray in my face and clean ocean winds whipping in from the four quarters of the globe - the ship beneath me feeling like a living thing as her engines drive her through the sea.


I like the sounds of the Navy  -  the piercing trill of the boatswain's pipe, the syncopated clang of the ship's bell on the quarterdeck, the harsh squawk of the 1MC and the strong language and laughter of the sailors at work.


I like Navy vessels  - nervous darting destroyers, plodding fleet auxiliaries, sleek submarines and steady solid carriers.   I like the proud names of Navy ships:  Midway, Lexington, Saratoga, Coral Sea  - memorials of great battles won.  I like the angular names of Navy "tin cans":  Barney, Dahlgren, Mullinix, McCloy - mementos of heroes who went before us.


I like the tempo of a Navy band blaring through the topside speakers as we pull away from the oiler after refueling at sea.   I like liberty call and the spicy scent of a foreign port.   I even like all hands working parties as my ship fits herself with the multitude of supplies both mundane and exotic which she needs to cut her ties to the land and carry out her mission anywhere on the globe where there is water to float her.


I like sailors, men from all parts of the land, farms of the Midwest, small towns in New England, from the cities, the mountains as the prairies, from all walks of life. i trust and depend on them and they trust and depend on me   -  for professional competence, for comradeship, for courage.   In a word they are "shipmates". 


I like the surge of adventure in my heart when the word is passed, "Now station the special sea and anchor detail  -  all hands to quarters for leaving port", and I like the infectious thrill of sighting home again, with the waving hands of welcome from family and friends waiting pier side.  The work is hard and dangerous, the going rough at times, the parting from loved ones painful, but the companionship of robust Navy laughter, the "all for one and one for all" philosophy of the sea is ever present.


I like the serenity of the sea after a days of hard ship's work, as flying fish flit across the wave tops and sunset gives way to night. 


I like the feel of the Navy in darkness  -  the masthead light, the red and green navigation lights and stern light, the pulsating phosphorescence of radar repeaters  -  they cut through the dusk and join with the mirror of stars overhead.  And I like drift off to sleep lulled by the myriad noises large and small that tell me that my ship is alive and well, and that my shipmates on watch will keep me safe.


I like quiet mid watches with the aroma of strong coffee  -  the lifeblood of the Navy permeating everywhere.   And I like the hectic watches when the exacting minuet of haze-gray shapes racing at flank speed keeps all hands on a razor sharp edge of alertness.   I like the sudden electricity of "General Quarters  General Quarters  -  all hands man your battle stations", followed by the hurried clamor of running feet on ladders and the resounding thump of watertight doors as the ship transforms herself in a few brief seconds from a peaceful workplace to a weapon of war   -  ready for anything by youngsters clad in dungarees and sound powered phones that their grandfathers would still recognize.


I like the traditions of the Navy and the men and women who made them.   I like the proud names of Navy heroes:  Halsey, Nimitz, Perry, Farragut, John Paul Jones.   A sailor can find much in the Navy, comrades-in-arms, pride in self and country,  mastery of the seaman's trade.   An adolescent can find adulthood. 


In years to come, when sailors are home from the sea, they will remember with fondness and respect the ocean in all its moods  -  the impossible shimmering mirror calm and the storm-tossed green water surging over the bow.   And then there will come again a faint whiff of stack gas, a faint echo of engine and rudder orders, a vision of the bright bunting of signal flags snapping at the yardarm, a refrain of hearty laughter in the wardroom and chief's quarters and mess decks.  Gone ashore for good, they will grow wistful about their Navy days, when the seas belonged to them and a new port of call was ever over the horizon.  Remembering this, they will stand taller and say,


                              'I WAS A SAILOR ONCE."


                              "I WAS PART OF THE NAVY."


                              "THE NAVY WILL ALWAYS BE A PART OF ME"'







Cal Dyk                                               

2697 Hope St.                                      

Hudson, MI 49426  



Vice President                                                                                               

B. W. Jennings                                                                   

2018 Concord                                                                              

Deer Park, TXD 77536                         




Gary Chesser

1407 Old Hwy 12

Starkville, MS 39759




Barbara Jennings

2018 Concord

Deer Park, TX 88537


Appointed Positions

Web Master                                                              Chaplain

Gary Chesser                                                                      Roy Welch

1407 Old Hwy. 12                                                                44 Triple R Lane

Starkville, MS 39759                                                           Crossville, TN 38571

662-323-5059                                                                     931-484-0375