CLASS of 1953 SHIPMATE July-Aug 2021

President Corner

All seems a GO for our Sixty-eight reunion. [28-31 July 2021] It also seems that COVID restrictions in the Yard will be lifted soon. So far (20 May) we have 10 Classmates and 12 guests registered for the Reunion. Please get your registrations in soon and no later than 30 June. I saw the cover of the last issue of SHIPMATE [May 2021] where the Superintendent has a saluting sailor in his garden. I’ve got one of those at my front door to welcome guests.


Your Class Scribe

I hope the Reunion went well. Marcy and I, Art (22) did not attend, but I hope some attendees   took some photos for later SHIPMATE issues…Remember the Memorial for Carl Trost (22) 1100 September 20, 2021 at the USNA Chapel….Art B (22)     



Otis K. Back, Dr (Dentist), Non-grad, died July 12. 2016 in Hodgenville, KY. After graduation from University of Louisville Dental School, under a USAF contract, Dr. Back served in Germany for three years as an Air Force dentist. He returned to Hodgenville in 1959, to take over his father’s dental practice. He retired in 1989. Survivors included a brother and a sister, and numerous nieces and nephews.

LaRita J. Boggs, widow of Steve V. Boggs, CDR USN (Ret) (14), died November 17, 2017 in Derby, KS. She attended Emporia State Teachers College before getting married at age 20 for a brief time. She later met her soulmate, Steve Boggs. The two were married for 22 years before Steve’s passing in 2006. LaRita said their time together was the best of her life. Survivors are numerous family members.   

Michael C. Davis, CAPT, USN (Ret) (9) died March 28, 2021 in Tecumseh, MO. Mike was second in our Class. After Mike’s tours in destroyers and submarines he spent the next four years at MIT working toward a doctorate in electrical engineering. The rest of his naval career he served as an EDO including ships design, including the submarine Los Angeles Class, submarine rescue vessel, Trident missile submarine Ohio Class, Aegis Class Cruiser, then Command of the David Taylor Naval Ship R &D Center. His decorations were the Legion of Merit and JSCM. Mike’s second career was in Missiles and Space, and Marine projects. He lost his wife Edna, to ovarian cancer in 1998. He married second wife, Jackie. He had two sons from his first wife….*

Harold E. Gross, BGen, USAF (Ret) (3) died March 3, 2021 in Ashville. NC. Harold was appointed to USNA via the US Army then NAPS. He opted for the Air Force career, included assignments in ATC, MAC, Headquarters USAF, JCS, SHAPE, and SAC Air Division Commander. He held Command Pilot, Navigator, Missile and Parachute ratings. He attended ICAF and Harvard’s Advanced management Program. His decorations were Legion of Merit (2) and JSCM. Upon retirement from the Air Force, he joined Air Asia Co. as President which provided logistic support and technology service and later started his own business consulting services. Survivors include his wife, Shirley of 63 years, one son and two daughters….*

Larry D. Collier, LCDR ’64, USN (11) died April 4. 2021 in Jacksonville, FL. Larry served in USS Randolph (CV-15), then submarines he served including XO in USS Greenfish (SS-351), and Engineering Officer staff on COMSUBPAC in Hawaii. His first wife. Fran, was deceased, and second wife, Shirley, also deceased. Surviving is his wife of 3 years, Madeline, two children, three step-children, and six grandsons.

Edwin H. Brooks, CAPT, USN (Ret) (20) died April 18, 2021 in Virginia Beach, VA. Hawley attained Naval Aviator in 1954. His first squadron was VA-31, flying ASW missions in the S2F. He made the transition to jets to operational tours in A-4 Skyhawk. He was witness to major changes in carrier aviation. The fleet went from strait decks large angle decks, and other significant and safety changes. Hawley took part in the Bay of Pigs Operation. He was Air Operations aboard the USS Enterprise (CVA-65). He attained a Master’s Degree at USNPG School. He was promoted to XO/CO of VA 36 aboard USS Intrepid in Vietnam. He became Head of Aviation Enlisted Detailing in BUPERS. More sea time XO of the USS America (CVA-66) in Vietnam again. Hawley had the unique experiences of 820 carrier landings on 15 different naval ships. His medals include Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal (3), Naval Navy Commendation. And many others. After retiring from the Navy Hawley was SVP from Bank of American. Survivors include his wife of 26 years, Kathy, and two children….*

Joanne K. Hamilton, widow of Jay R. Hamilton Jr. (2), died April 28, 2021 in Tucson, Arizona. Joanne attended University of Maryland from 1950-1952. She married Jay in 1953. She was a Eucharist Minister at St. Thomas the Apostle Roman Catholic Church. And she was twice blessed with traveling to Israel. Survivors include six children, 11 grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.

*See 50th Year Legacy Book


Mail Bag

Louis Schlaufman (9) is somewhat of a “pen pal” after he sent a letter to me November 26, 2020 and I thought it was interesting and included it the SHIPMATE March-April 2021. Louis does not have e-mail, but he has a telephone and he called me, pleased about the article and then he sent me the “91” ball cap. But that was not all, Louis sent the book “BEING MORTAL” by Atul Qawande. I have not started reading it yet, but I’ve been told by others, including Marcy, that it is a “remarkable book on aging and death, and shows how the ultimate goal is not a good death but a good life”….ACB

Photo Caption: ((53#1) Chris Zirps Sailor Statue