Al Jobkar [5.11.46 - 9.15.68]

  • "I served with Al Jobkar from 66-68. Although Alan was in the Navy and I was in the Marines, we became good friends and hung out down on the 'square' most weekends. After we both got out in the Spring of 68, we continued to get together, as he was from McDonald, PA and I was from McKeesport, PA., and they are not too far apart. I stayed at his house one weekend, several weeks before he was killed, and met his brothers and parents. Back in those days, we were still trying to adjust to being back in civilian life, and it was not easy. I was lucky, he was not." - Jim McClelland, Co F, 66-68

  • "Al and I met in January '65 while attending R Branch School. We were both transferred to T Branch School in June after nearly completing our Morse Code training. Al and I shared a room with two other classmates and therefore, spent a lot of time together at Corry Field. We became good friends as we both liked to pump iron in the weight room and listen to Oldies. We also had occasion to sample some of Pensacola's nightlife at various local lounges. We did some golfing at NAS with "Cappy" Caplinger. It seemed only a natural progression to volunteer for sea duty together aboard one of the Navy's CT ships. We had hoped to receive orders to the Jose Valdez. We pictured hitting various liberty ports after completing our mission at sea. Alas, it was not meant to be. I got orders to Kamiseya and Al was sent to Bremerhaven in October '65. We did exchange Christmas gifts for each others parents. Al sent two beer steins to my parents in Rochester, NY, which I still have on a living room mantel. They are a kind reminder of a friend so long ago." - Larry Steinfeldt (CTTSA/SN 1965)

Charlie "Dry Cell" Heiner

  • "Charlie "Dry Cell" Heiner served in Bremerhaven 1956-1957, died 13 December 1957. He was buried in the Baltimore National Cemetery, Baltimore, Maryland. He was a good friend of Robert D'Imperio, James Wright, Robert Martin, Bob Haggerty, Copenhaver, myself and many others. Bob Haggerty was his roommate, arriving from Kami Seya and Charlie from Midway in late 1956. He was on a six-month TAD stint to the Todendorf/Kiel area from Bremerhaven at the time of his death. Charlie and a couple of shipmates were on liberty in Kiel and were drowned in one of the canals on a return trip to base after dark. The driver of the vehicle drove off the road into the canal. He did not see the draw bridge had swung away to open the canal until it was too late to stop.

    Just how did Charlie get the nickname "Dry Cell"? He and some of the heavy drinking guys from Old Charlie Section (OPS-1) had been out all night consuming. A practice that many engaged in. Some of the crew would start out after finishing the midnight watch, not going to sleep, stay up all two days, and through the two nights, partying, before reporting for work party. They got back to base in time ( 0800 ) to change into working uniforms and report for the "before the eve watch" working party at the antenna shack. While waiting for their work assignment, they were cutting up and Charlie grabbed a wine bottle from a shelf and took a swig out of it. Horrors, it contained battery acid. Serious throat damage and long hospitalization followed. Hence the name "Dry Cell".

    I was really saddened when I received the news. He was a great guy and loved to have a good time." - Jerry "Giles" Argo (CTR2 1956-57)

    "I served as CTSN-Imperial Beach, CT3 Midway 55-56, CT2 Kami Seya 56-57. I am now 72.

    I first met Charlie when I was 18, in school at Imperial Beach. From the 'gitgo' it was his big smile, available most of the time, that made me like him. We were not real close friends at IB, but after we both were assigned to Midway, we got to know each other better. Among a great bunch of guys on Midway, Charlie sort of stood out as the guy who could always find something to do or say to make you laugh. Take a look on Joe Glockner's CT site, the Midway portion, and you'll see Charlie in a number of the photos. In one of them, just after stepping out of the shower in the galley over on Eastern. He's got his T-shirt pulled down, just far enough, and note one thing...he was always smiling.

    I learned from Marty Gloster and Russ Irving, both of whom I was privileged to serve with on Midway, about Charlie's 'battery acid' incident, and my heart dropped a couple of beats. Then I learned from Marty how Charlie had died, and along with missing a couple more beats, my heart grew heavy and darned if tears didn't appear on my cheek. I couldn't really believe what I had heard. Charlie, I only knew you for one very short year - over 50 years ago, but you helped make it a very good one... a 'growing up' one for me... a very 'fun' one for me and a lot of the other young pups, and I'll take my memories of your damned big smile to my grave with me. Thanks, Charlie." - Richard D. Cupka Sr.

Billy Joe Shumate

  • "I just received the following from Jim Wright. Billy Joe was a close friend while we served together at Bremerhaven in '56-'57. Several members of Section Charlie from that era, including Jerry Argo, Bob Martin, Jack Bair, Bob Tarr, and Jim Wright are planning a mini reunion in mid July. That is how we located Billy Joe's address and learned of his recent passing." - Bob D'Imperio (CTSN 1956-57)

  • "It is with a heavy and saddened heart that I must break the news to you that our shipmate Billy Joe Shumate, retired CTTCS, USN, aged 67, died in Virginia Beach, Virginia, on April 4, 2002. He died of Melanoma Cancer which was only detected in January of 2001. His family brought him back to his hometown, South Webster, Ohio, for internment. That is just about 40 miles from where I now live.

    I have been on the telephone talking with his widow, Tina, for over an hour. She is a gracious and delightful lady and said that Bill always talked of his friends in Bremerhaven and that it was the best duty station he had served at. Bill married Tina while he was stationed at Todendorf. They have two sons; William Shumate and his wife Tracie, of Chesapeake, Virginia, and Jeffrey Shumate and his wife Lori of Virginia. Tina was excited when I told her about our reunion and she said that she so much wished that it had been sooner because she knew Bill would have attended. She thanked me for calling her and said that our chat had brought back many good memories and that she was glad I called. She said that she would enjoy hearing from Bill's ole friends from Bremerhaven.

    He DID make the Navy a career and retired as a Senior Chief Petty Officer with 20 years in. Tina did not tell me when he actually retired. Bill was involved with the submarine program, both as a "rider" and as an ashore Division Chief who was intimately involved in those operations, e. g., scheduling, personnel assignments, equipment, training, etc.

    I was shocked to learn that he had made the Navy a career, just as I was shocked to learn that Bob Tarr had made it a career. As small as the Naval Security Group was/is, one would have thought that our paths would have crossed or that we would have seen the others names in SecGru correspondence. I guess the "small world" isn't so small, after all!" - Jim Wright - Huntington, WV (CTR2 1956-58)

  • "I knew Billy Joe Shumate. We were stationed together in Yokosuka. He was a rider there in between his duties as Riders Division Chief and scheduler. He was a good trooper." - Bill Lockert

John Dutcher

  • John Dutcher"John and I had many disagreements on the softball field. I always said he was lousy at calling balls and strikes but good on the bases. John had no favorites when he was umpiring, he called them like he saw them, for both sides. Off the field and after the games we were good friends." - Carlton Cox (CTR2 1966-68)

  • "I served with John "Dutch" Dutcher, USN at NSGD Pyong Taek Korea (72-73). Dutch coached our softball team and while Dutch was not the most diplomatic individual I have known, he was a great coach. Our team took the Camp Humphrey Softball tournament in 1972, (with only 65 USN personnel on an Army Base of 5,000). We recently held a 30th Anniversary Reunion in Las Vegas for our Detachment and Dutch was one of our "Silent Keys" remembered by all." - John "JJ" Hughes, CTR3, USN (a long time ago)

James Osmer

  • JW OsmerJames W. Osmer Jr., 76, a retired Navy captain who was a program manager in the Northern Virginia offices of Raytheon Corp. from 1978 to 1988, died Aug. 15 at a hospital in Flat Rock, N.C. He had Parkinson's disease.

    He lived in Falls Church from the early 1970s until moving to North Carolina this year.

    Capt. Osmer, who was born in Chicago and raised in Connecticut, was a 1947 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis. He served in Korea during the Korean War and later in Cyprus, Guam and Germany. His final tour of duty, before retiring from active duty in 1978, was as deputy commander of the Naval Security Group Command in Washington.

    His decorations included two awards of the Legion of Merit.

    He had done volunteer work at Arlington Hospital.

    Survivors include his wife of 55 years, Anne Knowlton Osmer of Hendersonville, N.C., and two brothers. - Mike McMannus

  • "It saddens me to report the death of CAPT (Ret) Jim Osmer. CAPT Osmer passed away last week after, from what I believe to be correct, a short bout with Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases.

    CAPT Osmer is survived by his wife Anne. If you desire to send a note or call, she can be reached at:

    Mrs. Anne Osmer
    62 Lakepoint Circle
    Hendersville, NC 28792"

  • Clarifications (and a correct photo) received from Mrs. Osmer 15 March 2003: "One note of correction, he did NOT have Alzheimer's....He had Parkinson's which hit him about 7 years ago.....He was doing quite well on the medications, until one night his mind started playing "tricks" on him, (he thought he was back in the Navy).....The Dr. said, he might be having a stroke and sent him to the hospital from which he never returned......"

Erroll "Tank" Reed

  • ReedNews-Sentinel, The (Fort Wayne, IN) - December 13, 1991

    Erroll L. Reed, 54, of Fort Wayne died Tuesday in St. Joseph Medical Center.

    The Springfield, Mass., native was a veteran of the Navy and owner of Pronto Inc. He was a member of the Downtown Rotary Club and Big Brother/Big Sisters Inc.

    Surviving are a daughter, Abby Reed of Fort Wayne, sons, Josh, Ty and Thim, all of Fort Wayne and Thom of Japan: a brother, Gordon, of Chelmsford, Mass., and two grandchildren.

    Private graveside services, without calling, will be held in Covington Memorial Gardens. Arrangements are by Klaehn, Fahl & Melton Funeral Homes.

    Preferred memorials are gifts to the American Diabetes Association or Big Brothers/Big Sisters inc.

  • "Erroll was born and raised in Longmeadow, Massachusetts with his older (4 years) brother Gordon. His mother taught school and his father was Supervisor of Maintenance at Smith & Wesson. Erroll attended Wilbraham Academy Preparatory School, graduating in 1954.

    After joining the Navy, October 1954, he completed boot camp at Brainbridge, Maryland, Basic radio and CT school, at Imperial Beach in late 1955. Fred Giovannitti and Erroll were then assigned language class at US Navy Intelligence school, Anacostia, DC. They both then attended Army Security Agency school, Fort Devons, Massachusetts. After a short leave Erroll reported for duty at Bremerhaven, Germany in early 1956. He was assigned to Charlie Section. Fred joined him in Charlie a few months later. While serving out his four years in Bremerhaven, Erroll extended six months for a TAD submarine opportunity to the North Pole, believed to be aboard the USS Skate.

    After taking discharge in early 1959, he attended the University of Massachusetts graduating with a degree in business. Erroll and his wife, Jocelyn, who he met while at UMass, moved to Glendale Arizona to attend American Institute for Foreign Trade, graduating in 1964. The family, Josh had arrived by then, moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana where Erroll began a successful career in Import/Export; Widgets as Josh tells it.

    He started his own business, Pronto, Inc., assisted by his daughter Abby, traveled world wide conducting business in languages he learned after leaving the US Navy.

    Erroll is survived by brother Gordon, ex-wife Jocelyn Reed-Will, daughter Abby, sons Josh, Ty and Thim. Thim's twin brother, Thom, now deceased." - Jerry Argo

    Fred Giovannitti tells this story on Erroll:

    "One night, Erroll and 'Greek' Jarema had a set to on the street between the Odeon and the Blue Angel and one of them was arrested by the SP's (my memory won't let me remember which one it was). Anyway, when the SP's went in to check the Odeon, the Paddy Wagon was opened by the other one and they both escaped."

    Frank Meinhart picks up the story:

    "Jack Bair (I think it was him) and I are were heading up the street to the Odeon when we came on the Shore Patrol Paddy Wagon with Erroll locked in it. We asked him, "What the heck are you doing in there?" He replied, "Got in a fight and the SP's are looking for the other guy." Frank relates, "we opened the wagon door and told him to get out of there." He took off running down the street, stopped about a half a block away, turned around and ran back, jumped in the wagon and pulled the door closed behind him. We asked him, "What in the hell are you doing?" and Erroll said, "The Shore Patrol had his ID card!"

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