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The September 2-5, 2003 reunion in Reno, Nv. was a hit... part two.

   All too soon it was Thursday and the Bergall Association annual meeting was scheduled for 1pm.   With the diligence and promptness renown of submariners, the meeting started around 2.  

   With enough of the guys gathered, Don Basham called the meeting to order... strict attire and attitude was required... somewhere.

   Although a few topics needed serious consideration, I thought Dick was really into contemplation of important things...

   Hmmm, me thinks he ponders too hard...

   That darned thinkin' stuff was getting a bit carried away and spreading?   (We KNOW that Carl wasn't catching some rest, so he MUST have been thinking!   So was Dick, but the photo doesn't look that way and we aren't going to change the story now!)

   As a few items were discussed with several options and considerations, it was generally thought that we should put them together, post them on the web and get more ideas!   This seemed to get agreement and the end of the meeting was drawing near... can you tell?

   Seeing this "newcomer" coming in, I figured it must be our guest speaker, Tom Kimmel, so I tried to get his picture. It was at that moment that Don pointed out my hiding spot. It real nice to meet Tom.   It was pure chance that our web site had just recently attracted an Englishman who, as a child, had attended school in the south seas run by the parents of Tom's mom.   The Japanese were moving through the islands and the school and the children had to get away.   He had been trying for years to find out what had happened to Tom's mom and others and, as it turns out, Tom's mom had been wondering the same thing for these many years.   Tom's dinner lecture gave us a real treat and I guess we gave Tom a treat as well.  

   Carl grabbed his attention and conveyed our respect and admiration for his dad's service to the Navy and the Bergall!  

   At this point it was time for us to go and get cleaned up for the dinner.   We probably would have just gone on down but the women probably would have had us neutered.

   The dinner was held in the "Carson Room", there in the Hilton, and as folks began to gather it became obvious that the lighting was set for "mood" not cameras.   The evening started out with cocktails at 6 and dinner scheduled for 7.

   The following are a compilation from the guys, hopefully in some reasonable order of events.   As I said, the lighting was pretty rough so a lot of allowance needs to be given to the shots that the guys grabbed.   Up close a flash worked great.

   Reid Smith and Mike Sobkowski take a moment to share a tale.

   Chuck reviews as Tom and Vi Atienza greet Trudy Valero.

   "Willie" and Gloria Wilson made it down.

   Sam Wasson flashes a friendly smile.

   Do you think he's proud of a boat or two?

   Chuck and Dorothy Kennedy.

   Warren "Moose" Grossetta shows his winning smile!

   Tony and Carol Porazzo took a moment for the flash.

   Some of the wives, June Dineen, Margaret Grossetta and Carol Porazzo.   (Chuck, what are you up to?).

   Tony Porazzo, Moose Grossetta, Norm Dineen and Abe Kern.

   Marge Weber, Trudy Valero, Vi Atienza, Carl Weber and Tom Atienza enjoy a moment.

   Sid and Nishan found a table and settled in.

   The animals gather... Mike, Mac and Anne, Tom Kimmel, Abe, Dot and Chuck Kennedy and Don.

   Back row: Don and Rose Mary Small, Mike, Marge and Carl Weber.  Front: Sid Hoialmen and Nishan Derderian.

   Mike Sobkowski and Ted Ansink catch a break.

   Clare Ansink, Pat Murphy, Barb and John Mosticone, Cindy Sobkowski at the table as Anne and Mac make a visit.

   Tom and Vi Atienza, Sam Wasson, Trudy Valero and Sam's wife.

   Carol and "Willie" Wilson, Paul Weddle and his wife and ?

   Warren Valero and his skipper's son, Tom Kimmel.

   That sneaky Bob Peterson smiles as Chuck checks his notes... Trudy Valero awaits a joke?

   The four horsemen of the early days on the boat, Sid, Chuck, Don and Nishan and his wife, Ruby Ann.

   Carol and "Willie" Wilson discuss things with Paul Weddle and his wife.

   Barb Mosticone, Ted Ansink, Reid Smith, Clare Ansink, Mike Sobkowski, Pat Murphy and Cindy Sobkowski.   John Mosticone is hiding behind his wife.

   Folks are settling in and getting ready for dinner.

   A general shot of the floor.


   Pat looks up as John Lynn takes a picture of getting his picture taken.   In the front is ?, ?, and Paul Weddle.

   The front table is missing a culprit?... DuWayne, Mac and Anne McConnell, Tom Kimmel, Don, Abe and Dot Kennedy.   Makes you wonder where Mike and Chuck were off to.

   As dinner came to a conclusion, Don Basham got up to introduce our guest.   Tom had provided a few pages of "key points" that Don could use in the introduction... we never knew Don was British... in a true style of understatement Don announced, "And now here's Tom Kimmel!"

   With a slide show in support, Tom gave us a very interesting and informative talk about the events of December 7th, 1941 and who in the government and the military knew what was going on and who SHOULD have known.   Tom (at the projector) wasn't moving faster than light... it was darned dim for the slides to show up.   Great shot, considering...

   The slide show, acting as counter point to Tom's dissertation, had an amusing nuance near the beginning... can you spot the "addition"?

   Anyone not familiar with the brilliant and remarkable career of Admiral Kimmel should look it up.   To have his name, reputation and FAMILY dragged down and thus hated by many ill-informed Americans was a tragedy at least, a crime in it's face!

   As an aside, at the end of the talk, Tom asked for comments or questions.   Nishan (Radar) Derderian stood up and said, "His father was the first executive officer on the Bergall, one of the most handsome and intelligent men I've met in my life and compared him to our Captain Hyde.   I used to go up on the bridge to navigate by shooting the stars.   Commander Kimmel knew the name of every star in the sky!   I couldn't even pronounce half of them.  This man knew everything.   

   And we still had a trip to TOP GUN to see on Friday...

   The bus ride to Fallon gave everybody a little time to chat and wet their anticipation to see the home of this famous aviation fighter training unit.

   The entrance let folks know that this was definitely an "active" base!

   The "Bottom Gun" guys man and guard the door... note that there is not ONE person trying to attack an aviator in the area!   Are these guys good or what?

   The orientation started with some of the basic facts of airplanes and combat.

   Mike Sobkowski and Reid Smith get a close look during the talk.

   Barb Mosticone enjoys a peak and acts as a decoy as Basham liberates parts for... well, I'm sure it was just his lunch in the bag!

   Mac and Anne get their turn at a close look.

   As the group gets ready to head out onto the strip, Mike and Pat watch a jet making noise and the guard checks on the camera man!

   Gathered on the "parking area" is our brave group.

   Some of the finer points of the aircraft are pointed out as they approach.

   Because these guys are trained to fight the top enemy pilots, we use paint schemes that we "might " see in the field and planes that perform more closely to our enemy's planes to make the combat training more realistic.

   Although there aren't "hundreds" of aircraft, it needs to be remembered these are our TOP Navy fighter jocks brought here from across the world to train and get that rare honed edge that keeps us on top!   Top Gun WAS at Mira Mar Navy Station in northern San Diego.   The takeoff was right over Interstate 5 to the west and then over the expensive residential of La Jolla and THEN the safety of the ocean, the landing was over the expensive residential of Rancho Santa Fe and then Interstate 15 on the east before you could touch down.   This looks like they have a lot less to worry about on takeoff and landing and lets them concentrate on the "real job at hand".   (Except it was a real thrill to ride my bike to and from work up I-5 and have them babies scream overhead on their climbout!   It wasn't so damn funny when you heard one of their engines go "sour" overhead!!!)

   Coming soon to a theater near you ... the historic 2004 Reunion in Saratoga Springs, New York... 60 years since the commissioning of the diesel and 35 for the nuclear!


Click here for the main page for the 2003 reunion
Click here for the home page for the USS Bergall SS 320
Click here for the home page for the USS Bergall SSN 667