USS Snook Wardroom
07/28/12

ADM James D. Watkins passed away July 26, 2012 at the age of 85 of congestive heart failure at his home in Alexandria, VA. (See Eternal Patrol List for more details.)

Bill Browning forwarded this report from Dan Gillcrist on Admiral Watkins' attendance at the christening of the last of the Nimitz Class carriers, U.S.S. George H.W. Bush (CVN 77):

"I finally found Admiral Watkins, who was one of the fine contributors to my book Power Shift, and when he saw me and just beamed!! A great big smile for me, a former shipmate on Barbero SSG 317. He was my XO under Carlos Dew who we discussed at some length. So here is my report.

He uses a walker and is quite thin and grayer. However, considering how sick he had been, I thought he looked great!! His demeanor was clearly up beat, his great sense of humor is in no way diminished and he looked very happy to be there. If asked, he would no doubt respond (with that sense of humor) that he was happy to be ANY place! He moved slowly around the room visiting with friends and former, fellow cabinet members of the old Bush administration.

I was quite thrilled to see him once more and in such good spirits and humor since I had lost track of his health and condition. So, for all you submariners out there, that is the good news I wished to pass on and I know you would want to hear this."


Captain MikeVanBrocklin, USNR, reports that Captain Clarke Orzalli, USN, has been selected for promotion to Rear Admiral (Lower Half). Captain Orzalli is currently serving as CO of Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. Captain VanBrocklin served with then LT Orzalli on Snook prior to his transfer in late 1983.


The following article was submitted by Bob Dacko (LTJG 72 - 74)
You can take Anthony Watson out of Cabrini-Green, but you can't take Cabrini-Green out of Anthony Watson. Throughout his incredible transformation from "project kid" in one of Chicago's reputedly most dangerous public housing developments to U.S. Naval Academy midshipman, to nuclear attack submarine squadron commander, to rear admiral in one of the Pentagon's most arcane inner sanctums, Watson has tenaciously clung to his roots and remained a highly visible role model in his former neighborhood. The dynamo behind this ambitious effort, Adm. Watson, is a strapping, 6-foot-2-, 225-pound gentle giant whose kindly, soft-spoken demeanor around children belies his tough training as a leader in nuclear underwater naval warfare. Since tuition for an out-of-town college was out of his reach, he jumped at the chance to try out for the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md., when he was recruited as a prospective football player. He says he had no confidence that he would be accepted because he was No. 3 on the list of candidates. As it turned out, the No. 1 candidate had a physical problem and the No. 2 candidate flunked his entrance exam, leaving him as the sole surviving candidate. Midshipman Watson was hardly bursting with self-confidence when he enrolled at the elitist, tradition-rich military school.

He had left home, "just a little guy who grew up at Cabrini-Green," convinced that he lacked the pedigree, the social polish, the connections and the "culture" that everybody had told him he needed to succeed at the prestigious institution. "I thought I wasn't going to make it," he admits. "So I found myself working extra hard to get through each little gate along the way." He says that only after he graduated from the academy, where he had distinguished himself as a brigade commander and battalion boxing champion, did the notion hit him that he had "made it through a reasonable number of gates," and that if he kept pushing, maybe he could make admiral. Paralegal John Howard, a Cabrini-Green crony and fellow Jenner alumnus, says that what impressed him most about "Tony" as a boy was the fact that he never let on how exceptional he was. "You'd see him after school and he'd be just like one of the regular kids," he remembers. Watson's ambition after leaving the academy, where he had majored in aerospace engineering, was to become a jet pilot. He soon changed his mind after a Navy pilot took him up 30,000 feet, then turned the plane over and within seconds brought it down to 20,000 feet. "I don't know if I really want to do this for the next 20 years," he told himself and switched his interests to submarines. After the most rigorous training in thermo-dynamics, nuclear energy, physics, mechanical engineering and advanced mathematics at the Navy's Nuclear Power School, Ensign Watson started his naval career as a weapons officer on a nuclear sub.He's been an enthusiastic Navy man ever since, rising from engineer to commander of a fast attack, nuclear sub, to deputy commander of midshipmen at his alma mater, the U.S. Naval Academy, to submarine squadron commander in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Married to Sharon Watson and the father of two daughters, Erica, 18, and Lindsay, 13, from a previous marriage, Watson, at age 44, became one of the youngest admirals in the Navy and the first African-American submarine officer to reach admiral's rank when he was promoted.




 
 

Some of you will remember serving with James D. Watkins. He was the commissioning XO and later CO of the Snook. Subsequently he became CNO and was the sixth Secretary of Energy under the first President Bush. He was recently appointed by the current President Bush to chair the Commission on Ocean Policy.

Pictures and news provided by Doctor William McMicken, also a Snook plankowner
 
 
 
 
 


(The following information was provided by David M. Fox, LCDR (COMSUBPAC  N474))
No less than three SNOOK sailors have served as COMSUBPAC.
RAdm Nils R. Thunman
RAdm Jon M. 'Mike' Barr
RAdm Winford G. 'Jerry' Ellis
VAdm Nils R. Thunman
USS Snook XO '64 - '66 
COMSUBPAC '79 - '81
 RAdm Jon M. Barr
 USS Snook '63 - '66 
COMSUBPAC '93 - 96
RAdm Winford G. "Jerry" Ellis
USS Snook '67 - '70
COMSUBPAC '96 - '98

See the historical section of the official COMSUBPAC web site for more information.


Captain Roster
NAME
DATES OF COMMAND
CDR H.W. Bucknell October 1961 - February 1963
CDR W.K. Yates February 1963 - November 1964
CDR J.D. Watkins November 1964 - September 1966
CDR A.K. Loposer September 1966 - August 1969
CDR W.T. Hussey August 1969 - October 1972
CDR J.D. Cossey October 1972 - May 1976
CDR R.C. Smith May 1976 - April 1979
CDR J.R. Lynch April 1979 - July 1982
CDR C.W. Olsen July 1982 - January 1985
CDR E.L. Oser January 1985 - October 1986

Quite a few officers from the 60's and 70's made flag rank. Some, including James D. Watkins and Bruce DeMars made it all the way to four stars and Nils Thunman made three stars. Adm DeMars recently retired as the third Director of the Nuclear Propulsion Program. RAdm Ellis went from COMSUBPAC to Oceanographer of the Navy and it is believed he recently retired concurrent with his relief from OoN. J.D. Watkins, third skipper of the Snook,  went on to become CNO and after retirement served as Secretary of Energy under George Bush.


The following information was provided by Tom Ross JO 12/62 - 6/65

SNOOK OFFICERS 1962 - 1965

Tom served on Snook as a JO between December 1962 and June 1965. The following is based on his memory.

When Tom reported in December 1962 in Naha, Okinawa he was a numerical replacement for Pete Vogelberger, Upon leaving Naha for San Diego, the Wardroom consisted of:

Howard Bucknell CO
Stan Anderson XO/NAV
Taylor DeMun ENG
George Stott OPS
Ralph Bird MPA
George Lehmberg WEAPONS
Paul Carwin E/RC
John Hixson SUP
Tom Ross JO

In addition to Jim Watkins, Ron Thunman, Bruce DeMars and Mike Barr making flag, Stan Anderson and Ralph Bird also made flag. Tom served with all six at one time or another during his tour.

When Snook deployed in January 1964, the Wardroom consisted of 8 officers:
 

Bill Yates CO
Taylor DeMun XO/NAV
George Stott ENG
Tom Ross MPA
Bill Burhman (non-nuc) OPS
Mike Barr ??
? Crowe ??
Larry Kramer/Cramer ? ??

When Snook deployed in March 1965, the Wardroom consisted of at least 9 officers (there may have been a 10th officer - Larry Kramer/Cramer?):
 

Jim Watkins CO
Ron Thunman XO
Bob Miller OP /NAV
Rex Kramer ENG
Tom Ross WEAPONS
Bruce DeMars MPA or DCA
Mike Barr COMM
Jim Williamson SUP
Bill Hoagland MPA or DCA


The following information was provided by Richard Cordova XO 1970 - 1973

 SNOOK OFFICERS 1970 - 1972

NAME
COMMENTS
JOB HELD
LCDR. Leo Wright until October 1970 Executive Officer
LCDR. G. A. "Kris" Kristensen left in late 1971 Operations Officer and Navigator
LT Gary Beeby left in late 1971, early 1972 Weapons Officer and First Lt.
LT Don Spellman left in late 1971, early 1972 E & RC Division Officer
LT Jacques LeFriant left in late 1971 Supply Officer and FSO
LT Gordy Green left in summer 1972 Communications Officer and Sonar Officer
ENS Ron Palanca left in early 1971 Commissary Division Officer
LCDR Tom Bond left in late 1970 Operations Officer
LT Don Lathan left in early 1971  MPA
LTJG Ken Nichols left in early 1971 Engineering Division Officer
LT Chris Rasmussen left in late 1971 Communications Officer
LT Scott Swain left in early 1971 Engineering Division Officer

 Here are some of the CPO's

QMC(SS) R. L. Binkley, COB
EMC(SS) O. A. Holbert
MMC(SS)  J. O'Rawe
MMC(SS) L. Freske
TMC(SS) D. L. Stewart
HMC(SS)  R. B. York
RMC(SS)  P. D. Wright

Other Enlisted who had "Primary Duties" on the boat.

MM1(SS)  P. L. Richeson
RM1(SS)  F. L. Rainville, Jr.
ET1(SS)  H. L. Miller
RM2(SS)  M. K. Cress
CS2(SU) E. J. Reed.



The following information was provided by James D. Cossey CO 1972 - 1976

SNOOK OFFICERS 1972-76
(Date of Cossey Detachment – 5/10/76)

NAME
DATE RPTD DATE DEP
JOBS HELD
LCDR Richard Nathaniel Cordova 11/16/70 3/14/73 Executive Officer
LCDR Michael Connolly Tiernan 2/27/73 8/22/75 Executive Officer
LCDR Wade Hampton Taylor III 8/11/75   Executive Officer
LCDR Philip George Klintworth 5/26/70 6/30/73 Engineer Officer, Navigator
LT/LCDR Gerald John Corcoran 4/15/73 1/30/76 Engineer Officer
LT Donald Lind Winchell, Jr. 12/3/75   Engineer Officer
LCDR John Francis Cook, Jr. 7/13/70 1/15/74 Operations Officer, Navigator
LT Charles John Rosselle 1/4/74 7/14/75 Operations Officer, Navigator
LCDR Willard Owen Pool, Jr. 6/5/75   Operations Officer, Navigator
LT Anthony John Watson 1/5/72 3/5/74 A-Div/DCA, Weapons Officer, Ass't Eng
LT Gordon Allen Clefton 4/22/72 4/1/74 MPA, Ass't Eng, A-Div/DCA
LT William Charles Pohl 10/25/71 5/30/74 Supply Officer, M-Div/MPA, RadCon Officer, Ass't Eng
LTJG Bohdan Steven Dacko 1/5/72 8/16/74 RC-Div, E/IC-Div, Electrical Officer, EMO, Communications Officer
LTJG Phillip Franklin Tomlinson 7/29/72 12/2/74 EMO, Communications Officer, Sonar Officer, 
Supply Officer, Food Service Officer, E-Div/Electrical Officer
LT John David Kelley 1/5/72 5/6/75 Communications Officer, Sonar Officer, Weapons Officer, 
First Lieutenant, M-Div/MPA, RadCon Officer
LT Steven Pearsall Moffat 11/3/72   Supply Officer, FSO, E-Div, Electrical Officer, A-Div, 
DCA, Weapons Officer, First Lieutenant, Sonar Officer
LT Jerry Lloyd Lewis 10/27/72   E-Div, Electrical Officer, Ass't Engineer, A-Div, DCA, 
Supply Officer, FSO
LTJG Stephen Frederick Kessler 8/18/73   RC-Div Officer, EMO, Sonar Officer
LT Mark Daniel Hovermale 11/26/73 1/30/76 Ass't Engineer, Sonar Officer, EMO, Communications Officer, DCA
LT Albert McConnell Hutchins 1/30/74 1/16/76 Weapons Officer, First Lieutenant, Electrical Officer, MPA
LTJG Alfred Edward Chaffee 9/13/74   RC Div Officer, E/IC-Div, Electrical Officer
LTJG Mark Frederick Clapper 1/4/75   E/IC-Div, Electrical Officer, MPA
ENS Frederick Richard Christ 1/6/75 7/75 Supply Officer, First Lieutenant
ENS Richard Paul Peplinski 8/18/75   FSO
ENS David Ray Herther 9/19/75    Communications Officer
LTJG Jeffrey Michael Eller 10/28/75   Ass’t Supply Officer
LT Orville Kenneth Brown, Jr. 12/29/75   First Lieutenant, Sonar Officer
ENS Leonard Harry Preston, Jr. 1/14/76   Supply Officer, FSO
ENS Richard Ray Mendenhall 3/10/76   EOOW Trainee



The following information was provided by Andrew Askinas LTJG 1980 -1982

SNOOK OFFICERS 1981

CDR J.R. Lynch (CO)
CDR Dick Vidosic (XO)
LCDR John Sohl (Eng)
LCDR Dick Halloran (OPS/Nav)
LT Jerry DeMelo
LT Bill Venohr*
LTJG Tom Bartro
LT Tom Armstrong
LTJG Gordon Medford
LTJG Andrew Askinas
LTJG Doug Rishel
LT Clarke Orzalli
* Bill Venohr retired on 1 Sep 00 as CDR


Snook Sailors Still On Active Duty
09/01/11

Rob Webber (ET2-Nuke from 1/84 - 7/84) went to Naval Academy and got a commission in 1989. He is now the Executive Officer on USS Asheville (SSN 758).

LT Paul B. HASLEY (FTG2 - FTG1 from 1983 - Decomm) SP28 Fleet Liason Officer, Strategic Systems Programs, 287 Somers Court NW Suite 10041, Washington, D.C. 20393-5446. Work: 202-764-1649;
email: sp2815@ssp.navy.mil

CDR James D. HUCK (was a JO on Snook circa 82 - 86) is now a Captain, and has moved beyond his submarine command tour.

MMCM(SS) Warren TAYLOR (served on decom crew) currnetly on shore duty on COMSUBPAC N4 staff as the Force Mechanic.

CDR David M. FOX (was an ENS on Snook May 85 - Oct 86) now at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard as Program Manager of the Fleet Customer Support Program, Code 361. Manage all off-yard availabilities, all off-yard nuclear work, and all material pre-fabrication for all Shipyard availabilities.

MM Michael PRESTON (A gang 1983 until decom) Now working in Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard on shoreduty

CAPT John C. ORZALLI (LT on Snook 4/80 - 5/83) Commander, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard recently promoted to Rear Admiral (Lower Half) reported by Captain Mike VanBrocklin 04/05.

Are there others? Contact kb5rex@gmail.com with any information