CLASS of 1953 SHIPMATE Oct 2021

68th Reunion

My deadline is July 28 for this SHIPMATE Oct 2021. It is also the same date of July 28, the opening day of our 68th USNA’53 Reunion in Annapolis. There have several registration numbers that have cancelled. I am one. I have a basal cancer in my left ear that has a big bandage on it that no one would want to see me. There are others that have medical issues. Chris Zirps (5) is hopefully that will reach 60 attendees. I asked Al Glazier (15) to take some photos for the SHIPMATE Nov-Dec 2021. Anyone else taking pictures, please send to          



Arnold J. Orr, LCOL USMC (Ret) (9) died May 16, 2021 in Alexandria, VA. Arn enlisted in the USMC in 1947, entered NAPS ‘49, and appointed to USNA’53. He then returned to the Marine Corp, assigned to the infantry as a platoon leader, then as an infantry company commander, and then as an infantry battalion in Vietnam. His military decorations the Legion of Merit with combat V, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal. Arn served two tours in R&D, one with the Navy and with the other with the Army. One more memorable assignment was at the US Embassy in Beirut. Survivors include four daughters, and seven grandchildren. Arn’s wife, Midge of 50 years, died from breast cancer in May 2007….*

Bernard Grossman (18) died May 20, 2021 in Spotsylvania, VA. Bernie attended Tulane before enlisting in the Marines, entered NAPS’49, and appointed to USNA’53. He opted for the USAF when he graduated. After six years he left the USAF. He then worked for GE before returning to the government for a long career as an engineer. Bernie was preceded in death by wife, Laura of 25 years, and his son, Curtiss. Survivors include four children and five grandchildren.

Gunnar O. Hansen (9) died July 10, 2021 in Louisville, KY. Gunnar “Swede” enlisted in the USMC entered NAPS’49 and appointed USNA’53. He again served in the Marine Corps in Japan, Korea, and several Marine Corps bases in the USA. He rose to Captain USMC. He resigned to 1965 and enrolled in San Diego State University and earned a Master’s Degree in Mathematics in 1968. He taught Mathematics in the U of Indiana and volunteer work tutoring prison inmates in Mathematics. In 1968 he married Diana who survived him. Other survivors include two children.

Mary D. Kubiak died July 22, 2021 in Boulder City, NV. She was widowed in 1963 when her first husband, James C. Welsh, CAPT. USAF (20) died December 11, 1963 in an aircraft accident. They had two children. She later married John M. Kubiak, COL, USAF (USMA) West Point for 50 years. He died June 22, 2020. They had one Child. Survivors include the three children and three grandchildren.        

*See 50th Year Legacy Book

Mail Bag

There was no mail from Classmates for this October column so I will use a story from my grandson Andrew Pack. He is a super adventurer, a graduate of the Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, but he works as a carpenter in Oregon. He sent an email 4/22/2021 as follows: “I have a new job working as a carpenter for a company called Polar Field Services contracted by the National Science Foundation funds research stations in the Artic, North and South.

I’m currently in Kangerlussuaq,  a small town in Greenland, a logistics hub, since it has the longest runway in the country with C-130 Hercules equipped with snow skids. I flew to Summit Station in the middle of the Greenland Ice Sheet at 10,00 elevation ft where I will live in a little 8’x5’shed without heat or water.” He sent another email 5/2/2021. “The hut didn’t really keep you warm but it keeps the wind off you. The other night it was -40F. It’s astonishing how fast our bodies acclimate to the cold, working in the cold in -5F if there is not much wind. The last season 2020 at Summit Station was canceled from COVID which means some of the buildings are completely submerged in snow and ice this season.

 My main project was working raising the buildings to reset them.” Andrew left Greenland July 24, 2021. He had applied for the next exciting job, to work in Antarctica and was accepted. He will leave September 21, to Christchurch, New Zealand before leaving to Antarctica October 3 and finish his job Feb 16 ~ 41/2 months. Where next? ….ACB