CLASS of 1953 SHIPMATE May 2021

Class President Corner

The Army-Navy game this year will be at West Point on 11 December. I am looking at 7 December for our annual get-together with West Point Class of 1953 at The Fairfax in Belvoir, VA. Right now, we are unsure if it will go since their Class President Bob Segal passed away in February. I will be in contact with West Point ’53.

All arrangements for the 68th Reunion have been completed. If you still have not submitted and indication that you plan to attend please do so. I only plan to send the final reunion letter to those who have indicated that they might attend. The letter will be sent in March.

Please keep well and hope that you will get your COVID vaccine soon. Best regards, Chris      

COVID-19 will probably stay for some time. Marcy and I(Art) have had our vaccinations, both first and second shots finished Feb 21. We feel lucky in our Greenspring Retirement Community as it was so well organized. Hope all of you will have had your vaccinations by the time you read this SHIPMATE.     



 Curtis W. Miller, CAPT, USN (Ret) (21) died in February 5, 2021 in North Kingstown, RI. After 30 years of active duty, Curt retired in June 1983 having served primarily as a Carrier ASW Pilot. Career highlights include Command of VS-31, a tour as Navigator in USS SARATOGA (CV-31) in Vietnam operations, Command of USS AUSTIN (LPD-4), and Command of USS GUAM (LPH-9). Decorations include Meritorious Service Medal (2) and Navy Unit Commendation. Following Navy retirement, Curt pursued a civilian career in Healthcare Management. Survivors include his wife Julie from 1954, two children, five grandchildren, and three great-grandchidren….*

Edna S. Dunn, widow of Charles B. Dunn LT, USNR (11), died January 1, 2021 in Mattapoisett, MA. After High School Edna moved to New York City to pursue a career in modeling. After four years she married and stayed home raising her children. She played violin and piano. Survivors include one son, several grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

Suzan S. Albright, widow of CAPT Richard K. Albright USN (Ret) (22), died February 19, 2021 in Pawleys Island, SC. Sue and Dick were a fun loving and happy couple to be with. We will miss her. My deadline for the May SHIPMATE is today. One of her granddaughters reported Sue’s passing. From our 50th Year Legacy Book survivors are four children and nine grandchildren….*         

*See 50th Year Legacy Book

Mail Bag

Art Gilmore’s son Mike sent a message regarding: the loss of the Thresher (SSN-593). “My father, retired Captain Arthur Gilmore, was on the Trieste for two dives as a lieutenant commander in 1963, including the dive that recovered the pipe section that is in the Navy Museum. With the recent death of Captain George Martin, I believe my dad is the last living member of the Trieste divers of the USS Thresher (SSN) search team.”  


USNA Museum fellowship Research

Holly Powers, the Alumni Associations Director for Class Programs, has received a Research Fellowship at the USNA Museum. Your personal experiences as midshipmen are the most important historical primary source for this project. With this in mind, please send her your stories, particularly on the following topics: The greatest or most favorite high jinx, prank or spirit mission you participated in or witnessed as a midshipman. Many of you have already provided stories of this nature.  Please send stories to

Chris Zirps is persuading us to send stories to this program and he sent six short stories to Holly and suggested that I use one in the SHIPMATE as an example.  I picked Chris’s STORY 2; Plebe Year: When the upper classes returned after their Summer cruises we were all together and us Plebes were ready for hazing. About one week into the year the Plebes at our table were asked by the First Class to stand up and sing “Anchors Aweigh.” I guess that I was sort of mumbling and consequently was asked by the First Class to “Come around” that evening and sing two verses of “Anchors Aweigh.” When I started to sing they stopped me and said: “You don’t like to sing, and even worse, you can’t sing. We don’t ever want to hear you try to sing again!” What a break.                              

[I (Art) tried out for the Plebe Summer Choir, but Music Prof Gilley didn’t care for my rendition of “Old Folks at Home.”]

There’s plenty of stories with hazing, and other Plebe Rates, also sports, summer cruises and ports, “Bricks’ and “Dear Johns,” West Point exchanges, deciding US Air Force. etc.

Chuck Walker (21) has sent two stories to Holly Powers that she liked –The topics were Bancroft Shower Water Shortage and Honor Code Midshipmen Board.     


Here’s a story for :


STORY 1 by Art Bivens - Yawl Sailing Races – Holloway Trophy 1952 The Holloway trophy is for the winner of a series of yawl sailing races in the Chesapeake Bay named after Vice Admiral Jim Holloway who was the Academy Superintendent during our plebe year. He initiated this series of yawl races to promote seamanship and competitive sailing and to award the winning midshipman skipper.   

With the coming of spring 1952 the yawl sailing racing season returned. I organized a crew and entered the Holloway Trophy series. All Midshipmen with Yawl Commands could enter the series. The first two races consisted of a Saturday race from Annapolis to St. Michaels on the Eastern Shore, a stay overnight in St. Michaels, then race back to Annapolis on Sunday. We had a good boat, a good crew, and with some hard sailing we won both races, which put me in the lead in the competition. The race back was in a strong wind out of the north, which meant a beat against the wind when we rounded Bloody Point into the main part of the Chesapeake Bay. Just prior to the start of the race my working jib ripped and we didn’t have a like replacement so we decided to put the fore stay sail upside down on the head stay. It worked like a charm. We were able to point closer to the wind than any of the other boats in the race. The other boats were practically out of sight when we crossed the finish line.

I remember bragging to the wrong people about how well this combination of sails worked, so another skipper in the race registered a protest with the Race Committee stated that I used an improper sail combination. To me it was a creative way to use the sails we had on board as especially considering that high winds blew out the jib we would have preferred to use. The Race Committee was stacked with First Class middies and I was a Second Class so it appeared that the Committee was bias toward the protesting First Classman. At any rate, the result of the second race were thrown out. In the re-race I had another protest against me regarding a right of way situation at the start. That effectively killed my chances of winning the Skipper in 1952, but since I was a Second Classman, I would get another chance the next year.

See STORY 2 in June SHIPMATE 2021 that will show how we won the Holloway Trophy in 1953 with a 22nd Company all Plebe Crew….ACB