Reunion 2012

In 2012 the Reunion will be held in Branson Missouri at the Lawrence Welk Resort. Currently the dates will be 13 June 2012 through 16 June 2012. The hosts will be Wayne and Florence Harclerode, if any of you have been to one of the Reunions they host, you will be excited (as I am 🙂 ) More info coming soon.               

Today is the day ! Attached are the letter and Registration Form in Microsoft Word, if you have trouble opening or printing please email Ed Benningfield. Click on the below links and download the files to your computer.

Invitation Registration 

2011 Reunion (57th Annual)

Ahoy Shipmates

You are heartily invited to attend the 57th annual Ashtabula Reunion to be held June 22,23,24,and 25th 2011. This year we’re meeting in Evansville , Indiana on the north bank of the Ohio River at the southwestern tip of the state. Our hotel will be the Clarion Inn (formerly Holiday Inn) which has offered us a good rate of $70 per night which includes a Hot Buffet Breakfast for which they normally charge $10 per person It’s good. Also a large Hospitality room which will have no curfew. The hotel is close to the airport and other restaurants and is on USHwy 41 N. For room reservations call 812-424-6400. Be sure to tell them you are with the USS Ashtabula Reunion.

There are several reasons Evansville is good for us. It is centrally located in the USA . The prices are reasonable and there is a bit of Naval History here. During World War II the P47 fighter plane was manufactured in the plant now occupied by Whirlpool, Sherman Tanks were built and tested here by Chrysler, Crane Naval Ammunition Depot is just a skip and a jump up the road and last but not least hundreds of LST’s were built in a shipyard just west of downtown Evansville. Several years ago one of these LST’s #325, was discovered languishing in terrible condition in a Greek seaport and available. Several old timers formed a crew and brought her back home in an adventurous crossing of the Atlantic . After some much needed repairs at Mobile , Alabama , she cruised up the Mississippi and Ohio rivers and after several ports of call she was home ported at Evansville where she has and is being restored. We are going to tour the ship but logistics prevent us from taking a cruise up or down river. She gets under way in April and in September to visit other ports of call. In 2010 in September she went as far as Pittsburgh and hosted several thousand paying visitors which helps pay for her restoration. We will tour the LST on Friday, June 24th. During WW II we knew there were one or more Nazi spies in the shipyard but as far as the citizens knew the spies were never caught. There is a good book about it which follows fact with some fiction thrown in. It’s title is  “Return to Valhalla“ by Mike Whicker. Indiana is also the home state of Ernie Pyle,Herb Shriner, Red Skeleton, James Dean, Michael Jackson, Darrel Hooten, Orville Redenbacher, Jimmy Hoffa, Dan Patch and John Dillinger. Abe Lincoln spent his formative years from age 7 to 21 about 30 miles east of Evansville and north of Rockport which was Florence Henderson’s home town.

Ashtabula Patch

This is the patch that Dan Polecheck has had made, if you would like one this is what Dan says:

If anyone is interested, send your email to and I will send you a picture of it. The cost will be $10.00 and that includes the shipping. It is a 5 inch patch and I think it really looks nice. I hope to hear from some you


2009 Reunion

 The 2009 Reunion(55th Annual) will be held in Myrtle Beach SC and the hosts will be Grom & Lee Carroll. Early Information has been received from Lee in the form of the Fall 2008 Newsletter.  The dates will be Sunday, June 7, 2009 through Thursday June 11, 2009 at the Landmark Resort 1501 South Ocean Blvd in Myrtle Beach SC 29577. The deadline for Reservations will be May 7, 2009. The Reservation number is 1-800-845-0658. There is a 4 Night Package available and you can make other arrangements if you need to.  if you have questions, email Grom & Lee at the address in the Roster page.

A quick comment: Be sure you make the Deadline for the Registration, there is a lot of planning and arrangements for food, and other activities. When you just show up at the Reunion you take a real chance in not being able to attend the Dinner and other activities and it makes it doubly hard for the Hosts

A different Perspective !

Ashtabula from an approaching ship!  Thanks to Neil Greer and the USS Virgo website.  USS Virgo alongside Ashtabula in 1969.

Manuvering  Moving to Port and Preparing to come alongside Coming Alongside  Transfering Forward Midship View Aft View


Ashtabula Ribbons


Ashtabula was awarded eight battle stars for World War II service, four battle stars for Korean War service, and eight battle stars for duty in the Vietnam War

 Top Row – Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation – American Campaign Medal
Second Row – Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (5) – World War II Victory Medal – Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp)
Third Row – National Defense Service Medal – Korean Service Medal (4) – Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (4-Quemoy-Matsu, 9-Vietnam, 1-Korea, 1 Op. Frequent Wind)
Fourth Row – Vietnam Service Medal (7) – Humanitarian Service Medal (1-Frequent Wind, 1-Boat People) – Philippines Liberation Medal
Fifth Row – United Nations Service Medal – Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal – Republic of Korea War Service Medal (retroactive)

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