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May 19, 2016

Dear Shipmates,


Less than five months to go before our 2016 Reunion in Yorktown/ Williamsburg. Dates and plans are posted on the web page. We hope to see as many members and guests as possible. This will be the last reunion in Tidewater Virginia until at least 2020 so make every effort to be there.

John Loonam has passed on the sad news of the passing of a shipmate and mineman that many of us were acquainted with.



LT Robert McGaw, (USN, Ret.), age 83, passed away after a brief illness on Saturday, April 30, 2016. Robert was born on June 2, 1932 in Springfield, IL. He graduated from Aurora high school, Aurora, MO in 1950. While in high school, he served in the National Guard. Within days of graduation, he joined the Navy, the career he loved dearly began at the Naval Weapon Station, Yorktown, VA. Shortly thereafter, he met the love of his life, Jane G. Anderson, in Williamsburg. They married on August 4, 1951, a day after her 18th birthday. The following 23 years took the two of them, plus their children, all over the states and the world, including tours in Morocco and Japan. Robert's naval career ended where it started, at the Naval Weapons Station in 1973. His next career was at the Newport News Shipyard. He took a leave of absence to earn a BS in Business Administration from CNC (now CNU). After he retired from the shipyard, he did not stay idle. He was a member of the Board of Visitors at CNU, where he created a scholarship for single parents, which continues to be awarded annually to two or three CNU students. He volunteered for many years at the Williamsburg library, and on election days he helped out as a poll worker. He is preceded in death by his beloved wife of 63 years, Jane, and his eldest son, John Robert. He is survived by his brother John Wellington of Germantown, TN; his children Carl Fenten, Elizabeth Jane Tomasso and her husband Steve, Colin Thomas and his wife Susan, and daughter-in-law Catherine; grandchildren Shawn, Rachael, Shane, Katie, Tori, David, Robert, Rebecca, and William; and great grandchildren Cody, Justin, Kyle, and Anjouli. The family would like to thank the staff at Doctor's Hospital in Williamsburg. Dr. Chitti's tenaciousness in trying to combat dad's illness and the care and compassion that the nursing staff offered dad will not be forgotten. We miss you so much dad. Your humor was infectious, your gentleness and humbleness an inspiration. You touched so many people. But we know you are finally home with the love of your life. A Memorial Service will be held at Bucktrout Funeral Home, 4124 Ironbound Rd. Williamsburg, on Wednesday, May 11, 2016 at 5:00 PM followed by a reception at The Vineyards Clubhouse. In lieu of flowers and in the spirit of Robert's philanthropic nature, we welcome you to make a donation to the charity of your choice . Please view and sign the family's guest book online at: 

Published in Daily Press on May 4, 2016 -

 News from Mike Femrite heralds a new arrival in the Mineman family.
Our President Tracey Ann Hays has become a grandmother.  Tracey's daughter, Katie Hays, gave birth to Spence Dean Hays on March 2, 2016, at 1227.

Finally, Tom Hoffman has some really great news:
"Today, May 16th, was an important day for my cancer treatment. I reported to the University of Michigan Hospital today at 0630 for extensive blood work and testing. Also for a conference with my cancer doctor. My CatScan being the most important test. My blood pressure, heart rate and temperature being great.  From my blood work my INR  2.9   my prostate PSA undetectable aka as perfect.  My cancer doctor checked my CatScan and said it looked OK to him. He said as soon as he gets the report from the radiologist he will forward it to me. At 1:00pm he sent "CT looks good-No sign of disease. Great news". This report says I am cancer free and will be rechecked every 6 months.  I feel great and am doing what I did prior to the cancer.  I am looking forward to October for our AOM Reunion.  Thanks to all that prayed and thought of me while fighting this disease.  See you all in Williamsburg/Yorktown."
Tom Hoffman

Write Tom at and rejoice with him

Ron Swart sends the following sad news:
HORNE, Flora Eustice, 83, of Mount Pleasant, wife of retired Navy Rear Admiral Charles F. Horne, III died Monday, April 25th, 2016. She passed away quietly and comfortably after a long illness and deteriorating health.  Admiral Horne is at home, doing well, and is in good spirits.  The memorial service is slated for June 4th in Charleston so that all the family members could be there with him. Arrangements by Stuhr's Mount Pleasant Chapel.
RADM Horne was COMINEWARCOM served roughly from 1979 through 1984. He was a high-speed, life-long advocate for mine warfare.  His wife, a concert pianist, bless her heart, stood by his side through it all and was a very nice, kind lady. Arrangements by Stuhr's Mount Pleasant Chapel, Charleston, SC. Sympathies can be conveyed to his email at  His telephone number is:  (843) 971-9052.
Most of us are aware of the tragedies that Curtis Christian has been plagued with. Our thoughts and prayers have been directed toward him for some time now. If you are inclined toward prayer, this is the time to exercise that plea for a positive outcome. 
"I talked with Curtis last night and 'am sorry to report that he is currently being processed for Hospice care at his home in North Charleston.  I will be seeing him tomorrow morning and will see if he (or Mary) wants me to provide contact information - and I'll let you know.  I regret passing you bad news, Toby"
Toby sends a short message which is obviously designed to make us eat our hearts out:
"We are off to Tahiti early tomorrow morning [3-24] and won't return until after April 5th.  Please hold all non-essential emails until then or my inbox will look like I'd like to have my outbox look like?  'Be thinking 'bout you all as I sip a rum and coke while my vahine slowly swings me in my hammock?  Yeah!  Right!"


Respectfully submitted,

Derick S. Hartshorn
Communications Coordinator