Author Topic: Monthly News Letter of Cavalla Historical Foundation  (Read 4164 times)

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Monthly News Letter of Cavalla Historical Foundation
« on: April 10, 2010, 11:36:20 AM »
The Board of directors has begun publishing a monthly newsletter, I will try to remember to post them here as they are written.
The NEWS  
                                   at the
Home of USS Cavalla SS244 and USS Stewart DE238
Editor – Dick Hoffman

7 April 2010                          Volume 2, Number 4


The BIG news this time is the upcoming Cavallas Reunion.  Occurring only once each two years, these events are huge successes, as they draw from the crews of both the diesel and the nuclear Cavallas.  It winds up on 24 April with a Tolling of the Bells next to our Cavalla, a meeting of the Board of the Cavalla Historical Foundation, and a Banquet in the evening.  For details – go to Coordinator Lee Hadley at

And the SAD news is the death of our good friend and Volunteer, Bill Thirtle.  Bill was our “Volunteer of the Year” for 2004.  For many years, Bill could be found guiding visitors through our USS Cavalla.  He was just “always there”.  His Son, Barry, also one of our most loyal Volunteers, tells us his Dad’s service included not only Submarines, but a DD, and a second career as “motion and still picture photographer” in the Air Force.  As is often the case, Bill’s contribution to his community involved a variety of other volunteer programs, including teaching at the local Community College in the Adult Life and Learning Program.  Bill will be MISSED.
From the VP and Communications Chair….. Planning Committee has approved a By Law change that makes that Committee official.  Communications Committee has approved a proposed change that defines the role of Chief Administrative Officer.  Other proposed changes modify check-signing provisions.  All proposed changes will be placed before the Board for approval at its April meeting.
From the Planning Committee …… Of first importance is the setting of priorities now that  most of the post-Ike recovery has been done.  High on the list are the hiring a Chief Administrative Officer and the securing of Cavalla and Stewart to withstand the next hurricane.  Other projects, both administrative and having to do with our physical assets, tend to separate themselves based on the availability of funding.  Hence, an effective fundraising program is also at the top of the list.  
From the Chief Operations Officer ……A quick list of work done includes:  repair of leak under Stewart’s #3 3” gun, prep for installing refurbished periscopes, arrangements for trip to Beaumont to replace artifacts lost to Ike (clocks, chronometers, sextants and anything else worthwhile).  Weather permitting, fill around and under Stewart should be started this week.
On 27-28 March, the Navy sent its team to inspect Cavalla and Stewart for proper custodial maintenance.  Once more (and this was an important year because of Ike) the Inspection Team went away very pleased.  Following a very laudatory opening to the report, here are some of the highlights of their assessment:
•   Ex-USS Stewart ------was righted from a post-storm 17 degree list by re-floating (and repositioning) her.  Ex-USS Tautog Sail was returned to original setting after having been torn from her concrete foundation.
•   Ex-USS Cavalla was patched after having sustained collision damage from storm debris.
•   Forty-six, forty yard containers of storm debris was cleared from the park.
•   The Memorial Circle monument and display was repaired
•   The Fishing Pier was repaired and restored.
•   Playground and park recreation equipment and park amenities were replaced.
•   New Cathode Protection System was installed in both ships.
•   New power supplies and transformers were installed.
•   Mold remediation was completed on USS Stewart.
•   New attractive heavy-duty security fencing was installed around the military display.
•   Parking Lot was repaired.
•   Park maintenance vehicles and equipment were replaced, and landscaping was redone.
•   A new Veterans’ Memorial Monument was added to Memorial Circle.
•   New Visitor entry stairs installed for both USS Cavalla and USS Stewart.
•   Six replacement Air Conditioners installed in USS Cavalla
The 10 member Inspection Team was headed by CDR Carl Torres
From the Administrator …..(See “Treasurer”, below)  With funds now on hand, installation of Cavalla’s refurbished periscopes is now set to begin on Saturday, 1 May.  A crane will be on hand to pull the old scopes starting at 0800.  Critical to a quick completion is the condition of the bearings.  The hope is that things are good enough to allow installation of the new scopes without having to hire the crane for a second time.  Also critical to success are VOLUNTEERS!  Any who can stay more than one day will make a big difference.  Call John and make a commitment – John’s Cell is 409 770 3196, or email at

From the Treasurer …..  The special Periscope Fund: has worked very well.  We do not have the final tally as yet - some donations are still trickling in, but we have been able to.get $2000 matching funds from USSVI so the first $2000 in donations has doubled into a total for the Fund of $4000!!  This will go a long way to help with the installation of the newly refurbished Cavalla periscopes.  Contributions have come from many donors and from all over.

From the Park Board ……  Plans are again in place to build a new Ticket Office at the Park Entrance.  Permit was applied for 2 weeks ago, and approval could take 4-6 weeks more.  Time to build?   Well, the target is 60 days.  Resolution of the “restroom” issue – there will be no public restrooms in this building.  Looks as though a Grand Opening will be about two years after Hurricane Ike !!      
From the Editor  ….. Keep your calendar clear for the Memorial Day ceremonies (details in the next issue).  Plan to attend this impressive and moving event.
We have included a large part of the Annual Inspection Report because it is so compelling.   Read it thoughtfully – one cannot help but be impressed with the accomplishments.  
Technically, CHF does not actually own our two vessels.  We have full responsibility for them, but the Navy does an Annual Inspection to satisfy itself that we are taking proper care of them  

No pictures from anyone this time.  I thought of putting in a couple of myself – I have a great one of me on the helm (for two hours) of the 125 foot gaff-tops’l schooner, MARY DAY off the coast of Maine last June.  But, NO, my humility got the better of me.  Look out though – if I don’t get any pictures for the next issue – I’m gonna run it.  

Come to the Cavallas Reunion and see the model of the Edsall Class DE.  

See you next month --