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Veterans Association


Spring 2013

Happy 2013 to everyone! I trust that everyone had a joyous holiday season.

The Fall mini-reunion at the Schoodic Education and Research Center (SERC), the former NSGA Winter Harbor, hosted by Larry and Phyllis Peterson, was a huge success.

It was interesting to see how they have transformed the Naval Base into a premiere education facility while keeping the charm and character of the base. It was a very special weekend with a visit from US Army General (ret) John Deane and his wife Carolyn during the cocktail hour, a celebration of the US Navyís 237th Birthday, a Two Bell Ceremony and a delicious dinner. We not only had guests from the New England area but also had Mr. James Smith & Ms Terri Stephens from Minnesota and Mr. & Mrs. Charles Martin, from North Carolina. It was a pleasure to have them with us. Having visitors from so far away speaks to our reputation as a vibrant and engaged organization. Once again a special thank you to Larry and Phyllis for your hospitality and hard work.

The SERC did a fantastic job hosting the reunion. Ms. Michelle Bierman and her staff did a great job feeding us and meeting all of our needs. The SERC Director, Mr. Mike Soukup, gave a very detailed and informative walking tour. He talked about the changes they have made, why things were done and what their vision is for the base. They definitely have big plans and are well on their way to reaching their goals.

We would like to welcome the contingency from New Jersey. It was nice to have you join us in Maine and your attendance and participation added so much to the weekend. We all look forward to your continued involvement and all that you bring to our group.

The Lady's Auxiliary collected canned goods and non perishable food and donated it to the local food bank in Prospect Harbor. Great job ladies.

The NCVA National Reunion will be held in Savannah, Georgia at the Savannah Marriott Riverfront from Sunday 26 May Ė Wednesday 29 May. That is Memorial Day weekend so plan ahead. We will be presenting our bid for the 2016 National Reunion in Lake Placid, New York at this reunion. For more information about the reunion visit the NCVA website or email:

Be sure to log onto the NCVA web page and vote for the 2016 National Reunion. We are running against Norfolk, Virginia. You can vote in three ways, on-line, mail in ballot or in person at the reunion. Please vote soon so you donít forget. Visit the NCVA web site to cast you ballot or to download the paper ballot. More information can also be found in the Now Hear This section on the NCVA-NE homepage.

Our next reunion will be held at the Crowne Plaza Resort and Golf Club in Lake Placid New York May 10 Ė 12. Art and Suzie Gowie are hosting the reunion. It is a beautiful area with lots to see and do so come on out and enjoy the area as well as the great camaraderie. Go to the Lake Placid Runion page for details and registration form.

We will be looking for places to hold the Fall 2013 mini-reunion and the Spring 2014 mini-reunion. There is lots of help available so donít be shy or afraid of hosting one.

Be sure to check the Now Hear This and Bitsín Bites sections of the NCVA-NE web site. Karl continues to do an outstanding job of adding great articles and news of interest.

Donít forget our NCVA-NE Yahoo Group. You must set up a free Yahoo account (user name and password) and request to join. Lots of good information there too.

Kent Beach
President, NCVA-NE

Spring 2012

The Fall Reunion in Glens Falls was a huge success. Thank you Vic and Anita Knorowski for your hospitality and hard work. I know that we all had a great time, as we always do, in that area.

We lost several dear members of our NCVA-NE family since the last reunion.

  • Tony Saco passed away on 26 November 2011.
  • Merill Spaeth, the wife of Edmond Spaeth, passed away on 6 January 2012.
  • Althea Burks, wife of Jim Burks, passed away on 5 March 2012.
  • Mick Mawn passed away on 10 March 2012.

We were blessed to have them as part of our NCVA-NE family and they will all be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families. Fair winds and following seas.

The Spring 2012 NCVA-NE reunion will be held from 11-13 May 2012, at the North Conway Grand Hotel, North Conway, New Hampshire. The registration cut-off date is 27 April 2012. Our host for the event is Ed Carey ( For additional information, members may call the host at (603)424-4192, Vic Knorowski (518) 664-8032, or visit our website at . Registration forms can be found on our website. Membership in the NCVA-NE is open to all individuals living in New England, or New York State who served with the U.S. Naval Security Group (USNAVSECGRU) or have served with the successor organizations of the USNAVSECGRU. New members are always welcome. Hope to see all of you there.

The NCVA National Reunion will be held in Tucson AZ from April 24 Ė 28. It looks like we will be well represented. Registration cutoff is March 27 2012 so be sure to get yours in soon.

NCVA elections are in full swing. Log into the NCVA webpage and vote for the Executive Director, Board of Directors and the site of the 2015 National Reunion. Our own Larry Peterson is running for Executive Director and I am sure he will do a great job, if elected; he certainly has prepared himself for the position after having served in most every leadership position of our group. Good Luck Larry. You can vote on-line or by paper ballot. Visit the NCVA website to cast you ballot or to download the paper ballot.

The choices for the 2015 National Reunion are Albuquerque, New Mexico or Las Vegas, Nevada. Both warm weather destinations with lots to do and see. You will vote for these in the same way you will vote for the NCVA officers and Board of Directors.

Be sure to check the Bitsín Bytes and Now Hear This sections of the NCVA-NE web site. Karl continues to do an outstanding job of adding great articles and news of interest.

Donít forget our NCVA-NE Yahoo Group. You must set up a free Yahoo account (user name and password) and request to join. Lots of good information there too.

Kent Beach
President, NCVA-NE

Summer 2011


I think that it is important that I communicate with you at this time; normally the president will have some form of a letter summarizing activities of the chapter and it is available just prior to the reunion. In view of all that has happened and is taking place now, I feel that I should send this.

On 30 July Bob Anderson (NSGFM$4) wrote to Ed Carey via email stating that the board of directors had unanimously approved Al St. Onge for honorary life membership and that a plaque was being sent. Ed received the package on Saturday August 6, 2011, and delivered it to Al.

I quote Ed from his message to Bob Anderson on Monday:

Quote ĎWell on Saturday we visited Al and he was sleeping when we arrived and woke up shortly after I entered the room. He was the most alert I had seen in a month and I read the letter and the plaque inscription. He then read the letter and plaque and had the biggest grin I had seen in a while. He said to thank all involved and he appreciated the award and the kind words and thoughts. I had a tough time swallowing after that and we had a good visit for a couple of hours.í Unquote

I thought that you should know about this as one of our own begins the final steps to join our creator. May he rest in peace and know that he is paving the way for those of us that follow.

Since the last reunion in Maine, many changes have happened: I assumed the position of acting president, moving from the vice president and leaving that position open. The Board of Directors has conducted a large amount of business via the internet and one of the changes is that Kent Beach has stepped up to assume the position of vice president.

The subject of life membership for the NCVA-NE was considered, and the alternatives available are to charge a onetime fee and to honor members that have performed beyond. We will have an agenda item for this at the reunion.

We commend Vic Knorowski for his efforts in establishing a web space for the chapter on Yahoo. Vic occupies the position of Publicity Chair and in that capacity is designing this web space for us.

A proposal was brought forward that the NCVA-NE design and have made a challenge coin that could be used as rewards and gifts. The board feels that the challenge coin is a good idea and perhaps we should hold raffles to help defray the costs at our meetings until enough money is collected. This is an agenda item for the reunion.

The new hats are available and for sale by Phil Simmons. We have talked about having a new design on the hats and Phil has the go ahead to get the design made. Go to the section of Karlís web site for the clothing section - Alternatively, you can send Phil an email at

Elections will be held at the Fall 2011 reunion in Glens Falls, New York and I urge everyone to consider the candidates for the following positions: President, Vice President, and extend the period for Richard Carlson or elect someone to replace him on the BOD.

It appears at the writing that the assembly that we were attempting to bring together for 11-11-11 at Winter Harbor may be in jeopardy due to the insufficient number of people. Potentially there may be a way to do something, but it will not include the people staying or eating there. There will be more to follow separately, when and if it becomes available.

Hope to see you in New York,

Ray McManus
President, NCVA-NE

Fall 2010

The highlight of our Fall Reunion is to have our new member William "Bill" Amos in attendance and as Guest Speaker at our dinner.

Bill is one of the last surviving members of the Fleet Radio Unit Pacific (FRUPAC) as a translator cryptanalyst and will be available for discussion, questions and answers. Ed Carey, whose efforts made Billís appearance happen, said every time he talks to Bill he feels like he is watching and listening to the History Channel. At age 90, Bill may be one of the only ones left who can offer a first-hand account of what was to become the Naval Security Group or now the Naval Network Warfare Command.

Our Prayer List seems to be growing much too fast. Now we have the Keeper Of The Flame to add to our list. Dick and Merlene Carlson. They will not be able to join us in Rhode Island and travel to future reunions may be questionable. Let us all join in Prayer in the Hope that we can change such a bleak prediction, God Willing.

If it is not known to the Membership, Art Gowie is making a huge effort to reach out to all active duty CT types who are stationed within our NE Area as well as CTís originally from NE who are now on active duty. This is a lot of work and we have to find ways that the Membership as a whole can help.

Using our Website, maintained by Karl Kristiansen, is a valuable tool and Karl has already made some inroads by using his site. We not only have to consider the growth of NCVA-NE but also our national organization (NCVA). Perhaps our Publicity Chairman, Vic Knorowski could wordsmith a letter that could be given to every CT and Naval Network Warfare Command student graduating from one of Training Commands making them aware of the existence of our organizations. National NCVA at Pensacola should be brought onboard. I think we would have the greatest success by getting in touch with the Command Master Chiefs of each Training Command and asking for their help. I am sure each Command has a newspaper or letter where this information could be inserted. Any advice on this effort would be appreciated and may be sent to Art, Vic or me.

Now itís time to let off a little steam!

The National Reunion Site Selection Group went to Al StOnge and asked if he would help. Al and team did it all in selecting a site that would be voted on by the membership in attendance at the reunion in Valley Forge. Team NE, spearheaded by Al, Ed, Art and let us not forget Barbara and Suzie, did a fantastic job in putting together a presentation. Along with Barbara Whitten, President and CEO of Convention & Visitors Bureau of Greater Portland, NCVA-NE sporting their distinctive Green Portland golf shirts made a professional appearance. Alas the thugs from National did it again and set up an unfair playing ground. Before NCVA-NE could give their presentation, which was outstanding, we found that ballot boxes had been set up and folks were voting before they heard our presentation. Even facing this disgusting disadvantage NCVA-NE only lost by a small number of votes. Hijackers at National better look at the way they do business or they may see attendance start to drop at reunions. And thatís all I have to say about that.

I am proud to announce that we now have an official Ladies Auxiliary as part of NCVA-NE and they will be introduced and welcomed at our mini-reunion in Rhode Island. Welcome Aboard!

Karl you are outstanding! Karl is going to give the Auxiliary its own News Column section on the website.

Their first project, because they do not collect dues, is to collect canned goods and other food items that will be given to a local food pantry. There is no limit to how much you can give so get the Auxiliary off to a good start and dig deep. If you are attending the Fall Mini-Reunion, please bring along some non-perishable food goods for a local Newport, RI Food Pantry. I work at a Food Pantry and I know how much this help is needed. Thank you ladies for taking on such cause.

I am sure you noticed that in the Heading of this News Letter I included the words "We remember Uncle Sam" The suggestion that NCVA-NE be known as the Uncle Sam Chapter was voted down but I feel very strongly that Uncle Sam be remembered by us in a visible way. I am suggesting that Uncle Sam always be remembered in our opening and closing prayers at meetings and all of our gatherings. Art may want to wordsmith this suggestion and give it to Bob Payne for publication in the Cryptolog.

I am going to ask Mick Mawn if he can do some type of Uncle Sam graphic to go on the signature line of the news letter. Remember we Remember.

Speaking of Mick, donít forget he is heading up the project to restore the SECGRU spaces aboard the USS SALEM CA-139. The worldís only Heavy Cruiser. Tell us what you need, help, money or whatever. Maybe Bob Payne would help you with your project by way of the Cryptolog. It is a great story.

There will be a follow up to this newsletter after the Mini-Reunion in Rhode Island. I have a lot to say about how this all happened and who made it happen. If anyone feels I have left something out let me know and I will include it in the follow up.

John (Hogie) Hogan
President, NCVA-NE

Spring 2010

Our thanks go out to David Phaneuf and Victor Knorowski for making our Fall Reunion 2009 another success.

† Hats off to Art Gowie for his work in bringing in new members. Art reports that as of this writing, we now have 166 active members.

We are all looking forward to hearing whatís been going in your lives.† On that note, I would like to see if anyone wants to update their Bio or submit one, if you have not done so. You are a very important part of our History and we want to preserve it.

† Al St. Onge†is still working on our pitch for a National Reunion in Portland, Maine for 2013.† If any of our Members intend to go to the upcoming†National Reunion in Philadelphia in May, please contact Al St.Onge and give him your shirt size and the shirt size of anyone going with you.† The shirts will have the logo pushing for the reunion to be held in Maine.

† This up coming mini reunion in Portland, April 23-25, is very important†because we will be planning how we can best help Al with the plans for a national reunion here in Maine in 2013. There will be several important items discussed and decided upon at this meeting. It is not too late to sign up to attend the Portland Mini-Reunion. If you would like to attend, contact host Art Gowie to make arrangements.

† Thanks to Dick Carlson for keeping some of us alive with his prayers.† I thank you.

† Ed†Carey, Jim Dougherty and myself presented a Plaque to the Sailor of the Year at the Navy Information Operation Detachment Groton, CT.† There will be an article in the Crypto-Log with more Information.

† There will also be Plaques presented to Officer of the Year and Sailor of the Year at the Naval Security Activity, Ft Devins, MA.† This will take place, we hope, next week or in early May.

John (Hogie) Hogan
President, NCVA-NE

Fall 2008

Our Fall Reunion was a huge success thanks to all who attended and the outstanding work of our host Ed Carey, who not only managed the reunion, but also coordinated a Happy Hour which we hosted for the members of the USS PUEBLO (AGER-2) who were celebrating their 40th Reunion.

On behalf of the NCVA-New England, Ed Carey presented a citation for "Exceptional Patriotism" to the crew of the USS Pueblo which was accepted by Don Peppard (President of the Pueblo Group).

This was a heart moving, eye watering experience for me and I am sure it was the same for all of us who were there.

Initially we budgeted $1000 for the Happy Hour but later it was thought that it might not be enough to cover the cost so we asked for donations from the membership. Thanks to the generosity of Trader Duke's, located in the Doubletree Hotel, we were able to stay within our initial budget. Many thanks to those who made generous donations. Because the extra money was not required Art Gowie will be returning your donations, with many thanks.

We had the pleasure of the company of Bob Payne, Editor of the Cryptolog, who found our general meeting to be a unique experience. Bob's complete comments can be found in the Fall edition of the Cryptolog, and on the NCVA-NE website . Special thanks to Ken Cadran who tried in vain to hold me to Roberts Rules of Order.

Don't forget those Military Bio's. These can be very important. As you noticed in our general meeting we find people we were stationed with but of course we wouldn't recognize. When members scan through the Bio's they may find an old shipmate they would like to see and that may be an inducement to attend a meeting, plus it is fun to see how much we have changed over the years. For me it was great to see my old friend Mick Mawn join us and happy to see Jack O'Connell back in the fold. Membership Bio's can be found on the NCVA-NE website on the Membership page. All members with a [B] next to their listing have an online biography.

I thought Al. St.Onge's idea of having badges with just our names on them so they can be used over again was a great idea and the lanyards provided by Art Gowie to go with them was very thoughtful, thank you both.

Once again, our thanks to Al. Onge for organizing our 2009 Spring Reunion which will be held in Nashua NH at the Radisson Hotel, formerly the Sheraton Tara, April 24/25, 2009. This was the site of our initial meeting. You will be getting your Registration Form via E-mail or by Snail Mail if you don't have an E-mail address. It will also be available on the Spring 2009 Reunion page on the NCVA-NE website.

I believe Nashua NH will be very easy to get to from anywhere in New England, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. For those of you who may be land locked this is an easy trip to the shores of old New England. Hope to see everyone there, let's have a great turnout.

Jim Kell, from the Pueblo, approached me about a fundraiser. They have run out of land at the Annex to the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery which is the site where former POW's are interned. They want to purchase land and erect a 15 foot tall bronze statue in honor of all POW's. There will be more information on this subject in the future on our Web Site

Speaking of our Web Site, once again I can't thank Karl Kristiansen enough for the outstanding support he gives to all of us in maintaining such a professional Web Site. Let's also not forget the dedicated contributions made by Phil Sirmons, Art Gowie and Vic Knorowski.

Let us all say a prayer that Ray McManus will be sitting in the Vice President's Chair at our Spring Reunion.

Wishing each and everyone a thankful Thanksgiving. May God continue to bless the United States of America.

John (Hogie) Hogan
President, NCVA-NE