Roark DE-1053 - History

Roark DE-1053 - History

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(DE-1053: dp. 4,100 (f.); 1. 438'; b. 47'; dr. 25'; s. 27 k. cpl. 245; a. 1 5", 4 21" tt., ASROC, DASEt Sparrow III, c . Knox)

Roark (DE-1053) was laid down on 2 February 1966 by the Todd Shipyards Corp., Seattle, Wash., Launched 24 April 1967; sponsored by Mrs. William M. Roark and Mrs. Frank F. Roark; and commissioned 22 November 1969, Comdr. Wayne L. Beeeh in command.

Since completing shakedown in the spring of 1970, Roark a unit of DesRon 21, conducted training operations out of her homeport of San Deigo, Calif., until the end of the year. With 1971 she began preparations for her first deployment with the 7th Fleet in the western pacific and departed from San Diego 7 January. After stopping at Pearl Harbor and refueling at Midway Island, Roark suffered a fire in her engine room. The damage was sufficient to require her return to Pearl Harbor for repairs. Almost two months later, in March, she was underway again for WestPac. She remained in the western Pacific until July, when she started for home, urriving in San Diego 10 August. For the remainder of 1971, Roark operated out of San Diego.

The new year, 1972, brought with it another deployment to the Far East. She departed San Diego 8 February and arrived in Subie Bay, Philippine Islands, 29 February. She operated in WestPae, primarily in the Vietnam area until 15 August, when she pointed her bow homeward. Roark entered San Diego 30 August and remained in the vicinity for the duration of 1972 and the first eight months of 1973. She departed San Diego in August and arrived in Subie Bay on the 31st. After almost four months of deployment with the Seventh Fleet, Roark sailed into San Diego 21 December 1973. As of January 1974, she is still in San Diego.

Roark received three battle stars for Vietnam service.

Our Navy Magazine - October 1972 - Seagoing Pussy Cat

The USS New Jersey (BB-62) cruises serenely through Gaillard Cut during her transit through the Panama Canal and was the first battleship in American history called on to serve in three wars. Photograph by JOC Case.

The Navy Man's Magazine Founded 1897
Vol. 67, No. 10, October 1972

Stanford F. Brent, Editor
Photographic Editor Jack Todd
Washington Correspondent Harold Helfer

  • The Panama Canal and the U.S. Navy
  • The CSS Stonewall
  • Your Seagoing Vocabulary
  • There's Viroidone: the Aquarium
  • What a Break!
  • Stamps Ahoy!
  • Seagoing Pussy Cat
  • Liberty Port — Copenhagen
  • Your Science IQ—____ . Plus
    By L. Mack Menser
  • Our Navy's Ship of The Month USS Roark (De-1053)
  • Covers & Cancels
    By Desmond D. Jagyi
  • Exclusive Interview—Leon Morris
    By Harold Helfer
  • Pass the Word
  • Laff Lines
  • Book Report
  • Editorial

Pabco Representatives 22 East 42nd Street New York, N.Y. 10017

OUR NAVY is published monthly by Our Navy, Inc., Paul Watson, President and Publisher Chris J. Lund, Circulation and Business O law Manager Office of Publication, Editorial, Advertising and Executive Office, 1 Hanson Place, BrIQ-The, N.Y. 11243,

Telephone: 212-783-4540. Second Class postage paid at Brooklyn, N.Y., and at additional mailing office Single copies 50 cents. One year's subscription (12 issues) $4.95 ($6.95 foreign). Although every attempt will be made to avoid losses.

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What Roark family records will you find?

There are 37,000 census records available for the last name Roark. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Roark census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

There are 1,000 immigration records available for the last name Roark. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in the USA, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

There are 9,000 military records available for the last name Roark. For the veterans among your Roark ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

There are 37,000 census records available for the last name Roark. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Roark census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

There are 1,000 immigration records available for the last name Roark. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in the USA, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

There are 9,000 military records available for the last name Roark. For the veterans among your Roark ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

Roark DE-1053 - History

History Channel "Dogfights"
Individual Comments:

Of course because of my last name, I have been interested in the history of the USS Laffey. I watched the computer-generated re-creation of the attacks near Okinawa in April 1945 on the History Channel. The detail was amazing. I already have the book "The Ship That Wouldn't Die" but I definitely want to purchase the DVD. This is my first visit to the Association Website and was pleasantly surprised by the extent and comprehensiveness of the information and following of the ship.
Pat Laffey

WOW! A remarkable tribute to the men who fought so bravely on Radar Picket Station #1. Outstanding job!
CTTC (SW) Louis F Cerasani Jr .

I saw Mr. Walker on the History Channel show about the WW II kamikaze actions against the USS Laffey. I am the author of the recently published book "Combat Loaded: Across the Pacific on the USS Tate." While the existing literature does a good job of describing the actions of the Laffey on April 16, 1945, it does not mention what the larger implications of those actions were. During the time when the Laffey was under attack, just over the horizon to the south a whole squadron of amphibious transports (including the Tate) packed with troops, ammo and fuel was landing the 77th Infantry Division on Ie Shima. You don't hear much about Ie Shima, because it was an operation executed with great speed and precision and was all over in a few days, giving the US control of the then largest airfield in Asia. In my book I give most of the credit for this operations success in its initial phases to the destroyers who were taking it on the chin while the infantry was clawing its way ashore--not far away. The main reason the Laffey was at Radar Picket Station #1 was to provide a screen for the transports operating west of Okinawa. Oddly, when this same Transport Squadron left for Saipan it was accompanied by the battered and charred Laffey before she returned to Seattle. The men on those transports knew what the historians have often failed to realize, that it was but for the Grace of God and the tin can sailors on picket duty, that they escaped a similar fate. I thought you and your fellow Laffey shipmates might find this information of interest. If you have any questions I would be happy to answer them.

Attached are the links for "Combat Loaded"

I recently saw a program on the on the History Channel about the Laffey in WWII. It ' s hard to believe that the DD could take so much and still fight the battle. I will always admire the U.S.S. Laffey and her crew.
Russel T. Norton

I watched Dogfights on TV. I have seen the battle that was fought by this valiant ship and its incredible crew. I salute all the men that fought in that battle and thank them for the freedom that the y fought for in my behalf and the behalf of all free peoples of the world.
Michael Grisanti

Regarding the History Channel's airing of Dogfight Kamikaze and the Laffey, I just wanted to comment that as a the daughter of surviving ship's crewmember, George "Lucky" Weissinger, it gave me chills to actually see the re-enactment of what my Dad and all the Laffey crew endured that fateful day. We happened to be at a family reunion that evening, but gathered around the TV to watch, even third generation of great grandchildren were in awe of the Laffey, her crew and the brave pilots who came to her rescue. It was a somber but proud group. I am happy to say we still have our Dad with us at 86 years old and God Bless all the men and their families who served and fought to give us freedom and life at all costs.
Linda Weissinger Atkins

I recently saw the TV show "Dog Fights" , which gave a n detailed account of your ship's courageous battle on the 16th of April, 1945.

First let me express my gratitude and respect to you and all your shipmates for the courage they displayed under those incredibly difficult circumstances. I watched with added personal interest since my father's cousin, my second cousin, Warren H. Chaple was aboard the USS Pringle at Radar Picket Station 14 at that same time. His ship was also under attack, but unfortunately, did not survive the Kamikaze attack and was sunk. My father's cousin was killed when the Kamikaze's bomb exploded and destroyed his position at a 40mm gun.

Yours truly was the Greatest Generation. Thank you for your many sacrifices.
Bob Chaple

I served aboard the USS Isherwood DD-520. I saw the Laffey on the History Channel. Wow, what a beating it took and remained afloat.
G ary Kolodny

I caught the History Channel's Dogfights episode about Kamikazes, and the majority of the show was about the USS Laffey. The danger that the crew faced with courage (and certainly some fear) during the first Japanese suicide attacks will stand as a testimony to the US Navy and the entire country!

Until now - I never knew of this story, but will share it with my family and friends.

Tim Grizzle
Glendora, CA

I have visited Laffey Twice over the years and plan returning soon. I just watched the Laffey story on the History Channel, I really admire and respect the young men who endured the attacks she went through
James Barfield

To all you valiant men who served on the 724 in 1945, I am so proud of you. I saw a piece on the History Channel the other night and couldn't believe the beating you guys took. As I watched the program, I was sure the ship would sink. When it didn't, I had a funny feeling that I had heard the name USS Laffey before.

I told my wife, "You know, I think it was the USS Laffey moored at Patriot's Point when we were down there." Tonight, as I confirmed my suspicions with an internet search, I was astounded. I will return to Patriot's Point and board your ship with a whole new outlook and feeling of gratitude and respect. God bless all of you and your shipmates. Thanks for your service and courage.
Bob Lipscomb
Tamassee, SC

Last Friday I watched the History Channel's "Dogfight" program which featured the April 16, 1945 Kamikaze attack on Laffey. I enjoyed it so much I watched it again Sunday night. Ari, Sonny and Al were eloquent!

All I can say is a hearty and grateful "thank you" and "well done" to the brave men who defended our proud ship on that day. You acquitted yourselves with unbelievable bravery, and those of us who benefited from the efforts of you and the whole World War II generation owe you a tremendous debt of gratitude. We will never forget you and we are all so doubly fortunate to have our ship as a permanent memorial to all who proudly served in destroyers.
-Craig Keith USS Laffey 1969-1971

Just saw on the History Channel a program about your ship, the USS Laffey DD-724. Being a Tin Can sailor myself, I was aboard the USS Mansfield DD-728 during the Vietnam War, and I honor the Destroyer sailors of WW2, especially during their sea battles with the Jap Naval ships.

I must pay a visit to your ship sometime in the future, and tour another sister ship of the Mansfield, as it was my favorite duty station during 10 years active duty.

Also had tours of duty aboard the USS Shangri-La CVA-38 (58-60), USS Point Defiance LSD-3l (1966), USS Roark DE-1053 (72-73).
Milton A. Stephens, SM2, USN---SM1 USNR, (Ret)

I just saw the story of the Laffey's Kamikaze ordeal on the History Channel show "Dogfights". To all those who have ever served and put everything on the line to protect democracy from tyranny you have my undying admiration and thanks. Very few of my generation can comprehend the sacrifices your generation made for our great country, however I for one know that without your courage and determination in fighting off fanatical foes our country and the world at large would be far different. I recently came across an article listing the veterans of WWII from my hometown, and was amazed to realize that virtually every able bodied man of that age that I know or knew had served in one way or another. It makes me very proud to know that the citizens of this country in a time of dire crisis stood together tall and proud in the face of unspeakable terror and carnage.
Jeff Walker

I just saw the TV special on Dogfights. I was really glad that the History channel put the Laffey story in the spotlight again. I thought it was a nice tribute to all hands. Thanks to all the members who did the interviews and took a part in making the show a reality. You guys did a great job!

I have been picking through all the great stuff you have on this website for a year. So much so that I almost feel like I know some of you. I knew there was some talk with the folks at the History Channel, but I had no idea this was going to air. I salute everyone from the "Ship t hat wouldn't Die".
Steve Appleton

Learning about The USS LAFFEY and the Patriots that served on her makes me think of all those that fight for America EVERYDAY.

I thank the History Channel for there great education on the history of warfare. That ' s where I learned about the USS LAFFEY.
Richard Wright

Just saw the computerized story of the Kamikaze attack on "Dog Fights" last night. (July 13, 2007) Did not know about this battle. My heart goes out to all those brave men. I will make it a point to visit the Laffey next year.
William M. McCulloch

I saw the part of the "Dogfights" episode about the USS Laffey engagement near Okinawa(?) this past week. I had goose bumps as the action unfolded. I say a heartfelt "thank you" to the crewmembers of both Laffeys for their service, courage and sacrifice.
Mark McDowell

I have been to Patriot's Point many times. Charleston has so much to offer the history buff. I just saw The History Channel episode of Dogfights featuring the Laffey's battle off Okinawa. It prodded me to reacquaint myself with the U.S.S. Laffey. Many thanks to all who served.
E. Gilbert Jordan

Awesome stories of an amazing ship and an heroic & brave crew. You gentlemen are amazing. Thank you for your service.
Glenn McDonald

I'm watching the USS Laffey on the history channel right now and I'm pretty amazed.
Glen Sizemore

Генеалогия и история семьи Roark

The name Roark is quite intriguing to many and even rather unusual - some will say. In one account regarding just how the name came to be, it is popularly thought to have originated in Ireland in the 800's AD - with the Ro meaning "very" and arc meaning "swift and small".

However, the more popular pronunciation of the name, Roark, seems more fitting to have been derived during or about the time of Noah which could be a second account. If the first account is taken as the unequivocal beginning, the original bearer with the surname "Roarc" died in 893 AD and handed the surname down to his descendants. This original Roark or Roarc had a son named Art or Arthur. The son, Art, was the first known son to take Roark as his given surname. Thus, as shown in the King's decree, he officially became Art ui Roarc when written in Gaelic.

The "ui" has the sound of "O" and just as in the prefix Mac and Mc, it means "descended from" that is - think of his name this way: Arthur "Decended from" Roarc. Therefore, some descendants from the original bearer of the original name "Roarc" continue to use the "O" prefix.

A third account of the origin of Roark shows it to be derived over 2350 years ago. That is, if it can be established that the families of Milesuis and Hermon are our common ancestors. So, regarding the origin of the name, Roark - the jury is still out, so to speak.

There are several variations of last name "Roark". A few of these would be: Roarke Roaire Ruirck Rourke Rourk Ruark Rook Rooke Rorke Rork.

Roark DE-1053 - History

A Tin Can Sailors
Destroyer History

The HULL was commissioned at Boston on 3 July 1958. Her first Far East deployment in April 1959 took her to Taiwan and operations with hunter-killer and attack carrier task groups before returning to San Diego. Two more WESTPAC deployments, fleet operations off Southern California, an overhaul, and engineering school ship duties carried her into the autumn of 1962. Her routine was interrupted that October to escort California-based amphibious forces to the Canal Zone during the Cuban Missile Crisis. She was in Hong Kong when her crew received news of the Kennedy assassination. In April 1964 she headed for home with the JOHN R. CRAIG (DD-885), and INGERSOLL (DD-652) and finished the year operating along the West Coast with the PREBLE (DLG-15), DENNIS J. BUCKLEY (DD-808), and HANSON (DD832).

She steamed west again in April 1965 and by June she was in the war zone on screening and plane guard duty with the BON HOMME RICHARD (CVA-31). Later that month she and the HOEL (DDG-13) left their Tonkin Gulf station and steamed at flank speed for the successful rescue of a pilot from the CORAL SEA (CVA-43) downed off the coast of North Vietnam. In August the HULL’s long-range guns supported troops at Danang and Chulai. The following month she helped rescue a helicopter pilot from the GALVESTON (CLG-13) and soon after was homeward bound with the FLOYD B. PARKS (DD-884), and BRAINE (DD-630).

She again left San Diego for Vietnam in August 1966 and assumed flagship duty with Destroyer Squadron One responding to calls for fire from ground troops in Vietcong territory. In September, the U.S. Marines at Quang Ngai, and the HULL, HOLDER (DD-819), JOHN R. CRAIG (DD-885), and HMS ST. FRANCIS—the ex-WELLES (DD-257)—were congratulated by General William Westmoreland for their “judicious use of accurate naval gunfire” in a well coordinated and successful operation. She spent most of November through early January 1967 on the gun line. During that patrol, the HULL fought heavy seas as her crew coordinated six helicopters, a flare aircraft, and other rescue craft in the salvage of the tug SAM TAM and evacuation of six men from the vessel it was towing.

Early in 1968 the HULL steamed west with the PREBLE and JOUETT (DLG-29) and in February began shore bombardment near Nha Trang. Supporting units of the Third Marine Division around the DMZ, she came increasingly under fire from enemy coastal batteries, and in March, with the cruiser NEWPORT NEWS (CA-148) made a coordinated attack against the enemy’s offending guns. During one twenty-four hour period of shore bombardment, the “Hustlin’ HULL” fired over 300 rounds of 5-inch shells. Some days crewmen unloaded 100,000 pounds of shells and powder during a single replenishment. On 29 May she steamed to the aid of the HARWOOD (DD-861), which had taken a direct hit during a heavy enemy artillery barrage, and covered the ship as she moved out of range. On 15 June she fired the 25,000th round of her deployment, a feat unequaled by any other destroyer in a six-month cruise. Relieved two days later by the BLUE (DD-744) she headed for home.

By September 1969 she was back on the gun line, supporting U.S. Marines and Korean units in the Nha Trang area. Plane guard duty on Yankee Station with the CONSTELLATION (CVA-64) in 1969, a return to the Tonkin Gulf with the MANSFIELD (DD-728) and OSBORNE (DD-846) in 1970, and a stint of search and rescue duty with the STERETT (DLG-31) ended her Vietnam tour. She was relieved by the DEHAVEN (DD-727) and proceeded to Okinawa with the CORAL SEA (CVS-43), HOLLISTER (DD-788), and TUCKER (DD-875) before returning to San Diego. In 1971 the veteran destroyer returned to the gun line and plane guarding on Yankee Station. During her 1972 Vietnam deployment, she engaged in gunfire support, Linebacker raids, and surveillance operations.

Beginning her eleventh WESTPAC deployment in July 1973, she traveled with the GRAY (DE-1054), and MCCORMICK (DDG-8). Escort duty in the Gulf of Tonkin was followed by a month of excellent typhoon evasion experience. On her return home with the ROARK (DE-1053), the HULL picked up three survivors from the tugboat MARPOLE, sunk by rough seas. In 1974 the HULL gained the distinction of having the “biggest navy gun in the world” when she became the test ship for the 8-inch 55-caliber light-weight gun. The navy’s most heavily armed “all gun” destroyer left for the Far East on 31 July 1976. Joined by the TOWERS (DDG-9), the HULL steamed for Taiwan. She participated in exercises with the Republic of China Navy and other exercises in the Philippines.

Kodiak Alaska Military HistoryOther Guestbooks
[email protected]
Name: QMC Ken Nichols, USN-Ret
Comments: Served Aboard USS Graffias 58-59, USS Paricutin AE-18 59-62, ComAlSeaFron Kodiak, Ak. 62-63, USS Trathen DD-530 63-Decomissioning, NavRecruiting 65-68, USS Constellation CVA-64 68-70, ComSubFlot One (TWR-3) 70-72, USS Roark DE-1053 72-74, NROTC Ga. Tech., 74-77. Retired in 77. Enlisted in 1958, sworn in at Grand Ole Opry's Ryman Auditorium. Enjoyed Web site, will return I promise.
[email protected]
Name: John (Jack ) R. Hawkins IV, RDCS, USCG Retired
Comments: Retired Senior Chief Radarman, Retired 09/01/86 with 21 years, 2 months, 22 days active duty. Served aboard the USCGC ABSECON (WAVP-374), Norfolk, VA USCGC STORIS (WAGB-38), Kodiak, Alaska USCGC PONTCHARTRAIN (WHEC-70). Long Beach CA. USCGC RUSH (WHEC-723) San Francisco, CA Precom Crew and Vietnam Deployment HARBOR ADVISORY RADAR PROJECT/VESSEL TRAFFIC SYSTEM, San Francisco, CA Precom Crew USCGC RELIANCE (WMEC-615) Corpus Christi Texas USCG TRAINING CENTER, CAPE MAY, NJ (Instructor/ Recruit Career Counselor) ATLANTIC AREA TRAINING TEAM, Governors Is. New York USCGC RUSH (WHEC-723) San Francisco, CA USCG GROUP Charleston, SC USCG HEADQUARTERS, Defense Operations Div. Washington, DC Vessel Traffic Service, New York, Governors IS. USCG Support Center, Governors Is, NY, NY (Security Police)

[email protected]
Name: NCC Peter Wolfgang Berryman, USN (RET)
Comments: Had a great time looking at the pages. I enlisted in 64 RTC San Diego, served onboard Coral Sea(CVA-43) 64-68, Kearsarge (CVS-33) 68-70, Navcomsta Kodiak 70-71, NRD OKC 72-75, USNS Rigal (T-AF-58) 75-76 VF-142 onboard America 76-78, NRD Dallas 78-83, NRD New Orleans 83-85. I'm always interested in contacting old shipmates, my prior rate was SM. Thanks BZ
[email protected]
Name: MCPO Lesley B. Campbell
Comments: Enisted 1949, RMC 1960, RMCS 1968, RMCM 1970, Post 1960 commands: FWC Kodiak, USS T.E. Chandler (DD-717), ANMCC (OJCS), USS Durham (LKA--114) , NCSJ Japan, USS Mars (AFS-1), Sasebo, USS Oklahoma City (CLG/CG-5), Yokosuka. Retired 9/01/79 while serving as Command Master Chief, Fleet Acts Yokosuka/Yokohama. Lived in Subic City, RP 1979-1984. Now residing in Sparks, NV. Active member of FRA Branch 274.
[email protected]
[email protected]
Name: R. E. (Rick) Stone, YNC, Ret
Comments: Just a note from an old, retired Chief Yeoman. Served in USS NEWPORT NEWS (CA-148), USS SAMUEL GOMPERS (AD-37), USS LANG (FF-1060). Also at Naval Station, Kodiak, AK Naval Reserve Center, Oklahoma City, OK SIMA, Long Beach, CA Naval Air Station, Dallas, TX Naval Supply Center, Oakland, CA USCINCPAC, Camp Smith, HI.. alt [email protected]
[email protected]
I served with NMCB-10 from March 1961 till May 1964.This included Kodiak Alaska,Okinawa,detachment Zulu in Udorn Thailand and STAT team 1002 in Vietnam. I later served with NMCB-40 and NMCB-11. I retired in 1979 and now work at Farley Nuclear Plant in Dothan Alabama.
[email protected]
Enlisted July 61 served at Ream Field Imperial Beach Ca. attended class"A" CE school AO1-63 Port Hueneme 1year Adak then NCB 9 DET Mike Kodiak disaster recovery then Okinawa . Like to hear from any one from that group
Robert Feiereisen
Cedar Rapids, Ia. USA - Monday, March 29, 1999 at 20:29:31 (EST)
Served with FASRON 114 in Kodiak,Ak 1953-54, and am trying to remember which VP squadrons were based there while I was there. They flew P2V Neptunes and there was one squadron that flew PBM's. can anyone enlighten me to the squadron #'s ? We worked on the AVQ-2 searchlights for them at our facilities,also provided battery shop service. thanks, Rudy Wehner AE-2 Rudy Wehner Collins, Ms USA - Saturday, September 05, 1998 at 15:45:46 (PDT)

Served in FASRON 114, Kodiak, Alaska from Feb.1953-Sept 1954, and in VR-3 at Moffett Field, Ca. from Oct 1954 thru Sep.1956, was an AE-2 at discharge in 1956. worked on everything in FASRON,espicially P2V Neptunes,and mostly R6D's in VR-3. anybody out there from this era? I understand the NAS Kodiak is no longer in existance, anybody know when it died? Rudy Wehner Collins, Ms USA - Wednesday, June 03, 1998 at 19:06:09 (PDT)

Sun Oct 4 19:17:18 1998
Location: Sparks, Nevada
E-mail: [email protected]
Message: Great Branch, home of PRPNW Irma Price, the Shipmate who made it possible for my to get Subic Branch 334 off the ground in 1981.
Copilot VPB109 Central/Northern Pacific 1944-45PPC VPHL10 Whidbey Island-Kodiak,Etc.1945-47all in PB4Y-1'S AND PB4Y-2'S VP Squadron NAS Los Alamitos P2V-5F (PPC)would enjoy contacts with any of my old shipmates-look forward to hearing from anyone-still flying but these days it's in Bonanza's and Cessna's. Tom Fusselman Sacramento, Ca. USA - Wednesday, November 04, 1998 at 14:03:58 (PST)

I flew in 4y2's as an Aviation Ordnanceman for FASRON 895 during 1951 and 52 out of NAS Sandpoint and NAS Whidby Island. We worked with VP 772 and VP 871 on their getting operational in the 4y2. We picked the planes up in San Diego and flew them to Sandpoint. I flew many trainning missions, search and a ferry hop to NAS Kodiak, Alaska. The weather was pretty wild out there and we made a lot of GCA takeoffs and landings. I also got a chance to work on some radar bombing which was was very interesting at the time. So if there is anybody out there from FASRON 895 give me a shout. Ron Lindberg Mahtomedi, MN USA - Tuesday, May 19, 1998 at 16:26:31 (PDT)

Richard R. (Dick)Dee
[email protected]
Parkland, WA USA
comments: 1948 - 1952. FASRON 115 (Adak, Alaska,FASRON 112 (Whidbey Isalnd, WA, FASRON 114, Kodiak, Alaska. While at Whidbey Island I was a Plane Captain on R4D 50777. Understand that it went down at the South Pole and would like to know the story behind the crash. Looking for old friends from the above suadrons. date: Thursday, December 17, 1998 at 13:39:35 (CST)
CDR R. R. "Bob" Esch USN (Ret) [email protected] ". In WW-II from a few days after Pearl Harbor I served sequentially in VP-74, then VP-18 and finally in VP-99 until January 1946. I served on board the USS Greenwich Bay (AVP-41) a seaplane tender from Jun 1948 to Mar 1950. I was CO of FASRON 114 at NS Kodiak, Alaska in support of PBM and P-2V squadrons from Jun 1952 to Jan 1953. " [01FEB98]

Name: Bob Whitman
From: Texas
Time: 1999-03-08 03:56:52
Comments: An update. My step-Dad, Woodrow W. Lolley, a veteran of Attu, died 04 Mar 99. He served with the 37th Infantry, Company H, at APO #986, c/o Postmaster, Seattle, WA under Major Howard F. McManus. It looks like they trained at Camp Clatsop, Oregon prior to deployment, and the commander there was Major Phillip R. Dwyer. I have some pictures of Kodiak, where the unit was attached to Ft Greeley. None so far of Attu but now I am certain that the 37th was in Alaska, apparently from fall of 1941. As I can I will try to list the names of those others, maybe there will some one who is looking for them. Bob

Damage Control: Before, Not After

Our eyes are drawn to the headline, “NEW NAVY WARSHIPS HIT BY FIRES,” and the story which states that “The Navy’s new 1052-class destroyer escorts may be floating firetraps.” Cited in support of the reporter’s contention are the serious fires that occurred on board the USS Roark (DE-1053) and USS Knox (DE-1052) in early 1971. Quoting from a report on the Roark fire, the article gives several detailed examples of poor design and inoperative equipment which contributed to the seriousness of the fires.

The article is significant because it places the spotlight on Damage Control, which the Navy has not adequately emphasized or supported since World War II.


Timothy O'Roark was one of four O'Roark brothers brought to America by an Uncle settling in the area of Pennsylvania then Virginia. The other three brothers are unclear at this time. They were of Catholic and Presbyterian religious beliefs and were possibly brought to America because o f their conversion by an evangelist type person John Wesley/ John was known for his travels, especially, to America. I t is possible the other brothers were William, James and Ni cholas. This account of the Roark boys as orphans, being "kidnapped" by a maternal uncle, was related to a family of Roarks in Tennessee(?) in 1931 by a Catholic Priest who had just come from Ireland. This account by the Priest fits perfectly with all history I have been able to uncover. The Priest was positive about the William, James and Nicholas , but was unsure about the fourth one. This Timothy, mentioned above, is the s/o Thaddeus O'Rourke.

The Storied History of Giving in America

People moved quickly to the water’s edge that September day in 1794. A boy, around eight years old, was in the ocean and in distress. Alerted to the crisis by a young child, old Captain Churchill called out for help. A few people came running, but the tide was rising and the boy slipped beneath the water’s surface—until, all of a sudden, he rose again. Immediately, one of the bystanders, Dolphin Garler, an African American man who worked in a nearby store, dove into the water and pulled the child out. Although worse for the wear when he was pulled out, the youngster survived and was given over to his panicked mother.

The Plymouth, Massachusetts, incident would spark a townwide philanthropic effort to recognize Garler for his bravery. Four townsmen lobbied a statewide lifesaving charity, writing up an account of the rescue and before long Garler was awarded a sizeable award of $10 from the Humane Society of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, an organization established in 1786 to promote the rescue and resuscitation of victims of drowning and other near-death circumstances. It was the organization’s single largest award given that year.

Like other humane societies in Europe, the Caribbean and North America, the Massachusetts group disseminated information on resuscitation techniques and rewarded rescuers whose actions were verified by respectable and well-to-do men. At a time when white Americans assumed that free blacks were a threat to the health of the republic, the charities were giving rewards to black rescuers and for rescuing black drowning victims at the same rate as they did to and for white people. An outgrowth of the humane society supporters’ commitment to an expansive moral responsibility in a maritime world, this approach reflected the humane society movement’s commitment to aiding people regardless of background.

Beyond tangible rewards, in an era when many believed that acts of benevolence were evidence of civic responsibility, this attention from prominent charities representing the nation’s elite given to Garler and other African Americans signaled that they were worthy members of society in the new republic. The recognition of African Americans by the Humane Societies highlights how philanthropy—at an optimistic moment in the early United States—contributed to conversations about inclusion.

Today, philanthropy often refers to large financial gifts, typically given by very wealthy people, but throughout American history philanthropy has involved giving time, money and moral concern to benefit others. At the National Museum of American History, scholars and curators from the Smithsonian’s Philanthropy Initiative are exploring the topic of giving and its culture in American life by collecting and displaying objects, conducting research, including oral histories with notable people in philanthropy and hosting programs.

This year, the National Museum of American History’s long-term philanthropy exhibition "Giving in America" features a section exploring Americans’ debates over philanthropic and public funding for education from the 1800s to today. (NMAH)

To encompass the breadth and diversity of giving in American history, philanthropy can best be defined as “recognizing and supporting the humanity of others.” Studying its history offers a lens for looking at how people have cared for one another and in what sort of society they have aspired to live. Objects in the Smithsonian’s collection show that Americans practicing the act of giving have tackled prejudice and racism, economic disparities, and the human suffering they cause—sometimes tentatively, and sometimes head-on.

On the flip side, the history of philanthropy also reveals how the practice can reflect and reinforce inequity. The work done by the Initiative requires being sensitive to the inspiring, complex and at times divergent perspectives of people throughout the charitable ecosystem—donors, leaders, staff, recipients and critics. The history of this diverse, empowering American tradition belongs to all of them.

To honor the firefighters who gave aid to a black neighborhood under attack, a group of black women gave this handsomely embossed silver trumpet. (NMAH) A lengthy, but powerful inscription on the trumpet, resonates with the message of today's Black Lives Matter movement. (NMAH)

Like the well-off white men in the humane society movement, a group of African American women in the mid-1800s also turned to philanthropy to pursue equality—their own, in this case. It began with another dramatic rescue. This time, the rescuers were white, the endangered people were black, and fire, not water, threatened lives.

The year was 1849, and the trouble started in an all-too-familiar pattern when a crowd of white men and boys attacked an African American neighborhood in Philadelphia. In the 1830s and 40s, white rioters periodically terrified black Philadelphians by assaulting them, destroying their property, and setting fires. A group of white volunteer firefighters crossed racial lines to help and give aid to the endangered black neighborhood. The firefighters were under no legal obligations to help, but did so at their own peril.

To honor the firefighters, a group of black women presented the group with a handsomely embossed silver trumpet, now held in the the Smithsonian collections. It bears a lengthy but powerful inscription, which in its distilled form, certainly resonates with today’s Black Lives Matter movement.

Presented to the Good Will Engine Co.

By the Colored women of Philad.a

as a token of their appreciation of their manly

heroic, and philanthropic efforts displayed

upon various trying occasions in defence

of the persons’ rights and property of

their oppressed fellow citizens.

The women chose words for the inscription that both praised the firefighters and asserted their community’s own humanity. The word “philanthropic” in that era meant “love of humanity.” By calling the men “philanthropic” for aiding black Philadelphians, the women were underscoring the inclusion of African Americans in the circle of humanity.

Everyday philanthropy also sustained Americans whose grueling labor fashioned the fine goods that wealthier countrymen would collect for their estates and in turn, deem worthy of being donated the Smithsonian.

Silver-mining, for instance, was perilous work. “Scalding water, plummeting cage elevators, cave-ins, fiery explosions, toxic air,” incapacitated miners, widowed their wives, and orphaned their children, writes historian and material culture scholar Sarah Weicksel in her examination of Nevada silver-mining communities in the late 1800s. Women in mining towns such as Virginia City and Gold Hill led the way in creating charitable institutions and raising the funds to care for those in need.

The winter of 1870 saw the Ladies’ Mite Society of Gold Hill organizing a “Grand Entertainment . . . Expressly for Children” with games, dancing, refreshments and more to help fill the group’s coffers. The special event not only provided fun for the children, but also included them in the community of philanthropy, imparting a lesson on its value. Families’ support for the event, joined with the contributions of many miners’ families, enabled the Ladies’ Mite Society and the Catholic Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul to meet local needs.

These women of Philadelphia and Nevada lived in a world where women’s involvement in philanthropy was familiar that hadn’t always been the case. In the 1790s and early 1800s, women in the United States were new to organized benevolence. Although they faced some initial skepticism and even outright opposition from some quarters for violating gender norms with their organizational leadership, women carved out public roles caring for other women and children, supporting missionary efforts, and, in time, advancing a range of causes.

For Emily Bissell, launching the athletic club also launched her philanthropic career that would, in time, involve creating the powerhouse Christmas Seals fundraising effort to fight tuberculosis, advocating in favor of child labor laws, and more. (National Postal Museum )

By the late 1800s, not only was philanthropy a widely accepted way for women to influence public life, it also led some Americans to embrace the idea that women should also have the right to vote. For Emily Bissell, however, the possibility of suffrage threatened the power she saw women exercising through philanthropy. Her lifelong career of social activism began in the 1880s when she was troubled about the limited recreational opportunities for working-class young men in her hometown of Wilmington, Delaware. Industrialization was changing the city and not for the better for working people. Skilled jobs were disappearing, and neighborhoods were becoming crowded. As Bissell and other middle-class residents saw it, with little to do, young men fought, loitered about, and generally behaved rowdily.

Only in her early 20s, Bissell led the creation of an athletic club based on a top-down approach common among many white well-to-do reformers in this era. Along with sports and exercise facilities, the club included a reading room, heavy on religious literature, for neighborhood boys and young men. In time, it expanded its programs to serve girls too. Launching the athletic club also launched her philanthropic career that would, in time, involve creating the powerhouse Christmas Seals fundraising effort to fight tuberculosis, advocating in favor of child labor laws, and more. The success of women activists came from being, as Bissell saw it, apolitical. Women's civic inequality and inability to vote, she believed, enhanced women’s philanthropic clout. In her view, having the vote would threaten their influential role.

If Bissell saw disenfranchisement help shape the nation through philanthropy, Mexican American physician Hector P. Garcia viewed his giving as an opportunity to confront the hardship and discrimination his community faced in south Texas and the United States during the mid-1900s. “[T[hey had no money, they had no insurance” is how Garcia’s daughter, Cecilia Garcia Akers, remembered many of her father’s patients. They were also discriminated against.

Schools were segregated. Military cemeteries were, too, in spite of a strong tradition of service among Mexican Americans. Garcia himself knew discrimination firsthand. Because of racist admissions restrictions, he was the only student of Mexican origin in his medical school, and no Texas hospital would take him for his residency. At the start of World War II, Garcia was not yet a citizen when he enlisted in the Army, seeking to serve in the medical corps despite his commanders’ doubts that he was even a doctor. His experience spurred him to fight for Mexican-American veterans’ and civil rights by establishing the American GI Forum, a group to advocate for Latino veterans, as historian Laura Oviedo has explored in the larger context of Latino communities’ philanthropy.

Some white residents, Garcia’s daughter remembered, opposed his activism. After moving his family to a white community, neighbors routinely pelted their home with eggs, spit on the children and harassed them in other ways. Besides his activism, Garcia sustained his community by providing free medical care to thousands of impoverished patients.

A few decades later and thousands of miles away, a group of young activists in New York’s Chinatown also understood the connections between access to health care and equal citizenship. In the 1970s, Chinatown residents faced a range of barriers to medical care, as Weicksel writes, including language gaps and prejudice. Few health care providers spoke Chinese languages and many residents didn’t speak English. At city hospitals, Chinese Americans experienced dismissive treatment. Inspired by the free clinic movement then burgeoning in California, and by the civil rights movement, Asian American activists Regina Lee, Marie Lam, Tom Tam, and others aligned with the cause volunteered to organize health fairs to survey community needs.

Without fully understanding what they were getting into, as Lee remembered, they next established a basement health clinic. Funds were so tight that one of the doctors built a homemade centrifuge for testing blood. That was then. Nearly 50 years later, the small basement clinic is now a federally qualified community health center with multiple locations in New York City and a leader in providing culturally appropriate health care to underserved communities.

In Tulsa, Oklahoma, teacher Teresa Danks Roark used this poster in a roadside fundraising campaign in July 2017 to offset the nearly $2,000 she spent every year for classroom materials. (NMAH)

Before they could reach such great heights, however, the young activists first needed the community to recognize the vastness of the problem at hand. Tulsa, Oklahoma, teacher Teresa Danks Roark likewise sought with her philanthropic engagement to gain recognition for a community challenge.

A cut in school funding led Roark to take to panhandling. Most public school teachers use some of their own funds each year to buy school supplies, and many use online platforms (such as Donors Choose) to solicit donations from family, friends and concerned strangers. (During the Covid-19 pandemic, some educators have also raised funds for personal protective equipment for classroom teaching.)

In July 2017, Roark was fed up with having to struggle for adequate school supplies and, spurred by a joking suggestion from her husband, stood out on the street with a homemade sign asking for donations. A photo of her roadside fundraising went viral and contributed to an ongoing national debate about who pays for education and who sets educational priorities. Raising much more money than she had sought, Roark and her husband set up an educational nonprofit, Begging for Education, and have been learning the ins and outs of making change through philanthropy. Roark’s poster, meanwhile, is now in the Smithsonian’s collections.

Like Roark, everyday philanthropists from the early republic to today have recognized that pursuing the country’s promise was not just the work of formal politics. Engaged philanthropy is vital to democracy. The museum’s collections reveal that many Americans, whether they’re prominent or unsung, know this well.

The online exhibition "Giving In America" at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History is complemented by the museum's Philanthropy Initiative.

About Amanda B. Moniz

Amanda B. Moniz is curator of philanthropy at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History, and is the author of From Empire to Humanity: The American Revolution and the Origins of Humanitarianism (2016).

Watch the video: Gimnasio de roark


  1. Hieu

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  2. Xola

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  3. Guillaume

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  4. Lache

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  5. Senior

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