Reunion VII took place on September 21-24, 2004, in The Sunny Side of Louisville in Southern Indiana.
Wilma Grosenbough, on the left, is the wife of Lewis Grosenbough who was an officer on the Caldwell.
Leon Hendrickson came from Winchester, Indiana. After the war, Leon started a restaurant. The typical fare was one entree, three (3) sides, bread, butter, and a drink for 55 cents. On Sundays they tried to gouge the people a tad by charging 60 cents. Leon became interested in the coins people were using for paying for these meals. Over time Leon started collecting these coins. Around 1967 Leon started dealing in coins full time. At the time of this reunion, Leon has 84 employees shipping some 1400 packages of one or more coins each day. One thing leads to another -- a door closes only to have another open!
Leon's wife did not make the reunion this year. She has had a stroke and a seizure in the two weeks prior to the reunion.
Robert Khaler came to this reunion from Phoenix, Arizona. Robert is a Plank Owner. Robert is a retired union pipe fitter. Robert seems to have the record
for being the youngest sailor on the Caldwell. Robert joined in Denver, Colorado, at 15 years of age. His mother lied for him to help him join. It seems that Robert's
father died when Robert was about three. Robert's mother held two jobs. Robert was raised by his grandmother who was quite
strict. Today Robert is very actively involved in helping juveniles avoid additional detention and jail time. His wife is wondering when,
oh when, will Robert really retire?
If you think the front of this shirt is impressive, you should really see the back! Unfortunately I did not get a photo of the back!
Raymond and Marjorie Lease and their family are from Wisconsin. They are retired dairy farmers. Rumor has it that of the eleven kids, no child wanted to take over the "family farm" and so they have sold off parts of it. Lord knows this is more than a full time job!
Raymond Lease, Jr. and his wife are shown here. Raymond is a fire chief and an EMS person. He has given classes at University of Wisconsin, La Crosse. Ray claims that he remembers a classmate of mine who is a philosophy professor there. Ray's wife was the first to take photos at the Banquet. That opened the doors for lots of other camera aficianados. I hope some of these folks share their work so we can enhance this site!
Mrs. Lease, what is your first name?
Jack Lewellen came into the hospitality room on Wednesday with an original copy of the Caldwell Commando. I have a complete copy of Jack's copy in another part of this site. At least I intend to! Jack is also a Plank Owner of the Caldwell.
William and Mary Martin come from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. I had the good fortune of sitting at their table for the banquet. One bit of trivia that I found quite interesting was that Eugene Elliott's wife in Spokane, Washington, worked for the Episcopal Diocese there. A classmate of mine had been pastor of St. David's in Spokane and was transferred to Cedar Rapids, Iowa. I would not like to compute the probability of that.
Here William and Mary are distracted by the computer showing pictures taken earlier during the banquet. Irene Weiss is distracted from the computer by the camera.
William, whose folks called him "Bob", was a Sonar Specialist on the Caldwell. He joined the Caldwell in January, 1945, in San Francisco after the repairs from the kamikaze attack in Ormoc Bay.
I asked Bob to write a brief autobiography. On October 4, 2004, he wrote:
Thanks, Tom! You did a great job with the site. I'm sure all of us will appreciate it! I'll probably give you more info than you want. You can glean from it what you think is adequate.
At warís end, sometime in September of 1945, they ordered a reduction of the shipís crew of about 150 men. I was one of them. We sailed into Yokohama late one afternoon. I got to see Mount Fujiama through the fog. That's all I was to see of Japan. Early the next day we were on our way stateside aboard a converted air craft carrier. I was assigned to another destroyer until April of 1946, then mustered out. I lived with my parents until October 1, 1949, when I married. I fathered three children: one girl in 1950, a boy in 1952 another boy in 1954. I divorced their mother in 1958. Mary and I were married in 1959. We have two daughters born in 1964 and 1967. We have 11 grandchildren and six great grandchildren. In 1960 Mary and I moved to Torrance, California. I held three different jobs. We moved back to Cedar Rapids in 1968. I worked as a machinist for forty some years retiring at 65 in 1990. So thatís it! We both enjoy relatively good health.
W. R. (Bob) Martin
William and Helen Meyers came to this reunion from their home in Independence, Missouri -- Harry Truman's area! I am sorry to say that William and Helen have their names spelled Myers and Meyers on different documents. I hope we can set the record straight in a future version of this site.
Glenn and Marilyn Montgomery were the primary organizers for this reunion. I am very grateful for their efforts. On the way to this reunion my father relayed a story he had told many times. It involved a sailor named "Monk" who had a bunk on the same level as my father. Marilyn claims that Glenn has had "Monk" as a nickname from grade school. Monk verified the tale we had been told for years. True again!
Ed Murphy was also an electrician on the Caldwell. He joined the ship after Ormoc Bay repairs. John Anzelc, in a letter to my father in August, 1945, sung great praises for this sailor. It seems that Ed sent John five dollars as promised. They very nearly never saw each other again until this reunion, about 60 years later! I wonder if they remembered?
Ed now lives on Long Island in New York. Edward helped Warren Bacon with the numerous duties of "tending bar".
Ed joined the Caldwell during the Ormoc Bay repairs near San Francisco.
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