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July 13, 2015

Dear Shipmates,


Three months until the AOM Reunion. All the latest details are on the Reunion page. Take time to keep up to date.




About 57 years ago, I met Hank Villwock in Yokosuka. We went on liberty together and then he was accepted by EOD for training. He went with my other buddy, 'Rebb' Rebetoy. I received a post from Rebb yesterday announcing the death of Hank. In his message, he wrote: "You're now the last of the Minemen shipmates from my career as a Mineman.  Just recently lost a very dear EOD shipmate and only a few left." 



Hank's wife, Sandy also wrote: "I wanted to let you know that Hank passed away on Thursday, July 9th.  He entered the hospital a week ago with pneumonia and just wasn't strong enough to fight it off.  His lungs and kidneys just weren't working.  As you know, he had been in frail health since his bout with cancer 2 and 1/2 years ago."  


Henry 'Hank' Villwock (L) and Rebb Rebbetoy at FAY Boat Pool

 Henry "Hank" Villwock, 78, of Benton Harbor, died Thursday, July 9, 2015 at Lakeland Medical Center, St. Joseph, due to complications from pneumonia. Cremation has taken place and, per his wishes, there will be no service. Memorials can be made to the Humane Society of Southwestern Michigan, 641 S. Crystal Ave., Benton Harbor. Arrangements are being handled by the Fairplain Chapel of Florin Funeral Service, Benton Harbor. Hank was born Dec. 29, 1936, in Chicago, the only child of Albert and Emily (Wetter) Villwock and graduated from Benton Harbor High School in 1955. He served four years in the United States Navy in underwater demolition, receiving an honorable discharge in 1961. He married the former Sandra Smith of Benton Harbor on Aug. 31, 1963. After leaving the Navy, he was employed at Okadee Machine Shop in Benton Harbor until the company closed in the '60s. He worked a brief time at Clark Equipment Co. in Benton Harbor and Bendix Corp. in St. Joseph. He then went to work at Gast Mfg. Co. of Benton Harbor, where he was a machine shop supervisor for 27 years, retiring in 1998. He was a life member of the Loyal Order of Moose, Benton Harbor Lodge No. 1570 and also a member of the American Legion Post 0568 of Stevensville. Hank is survived by his wife, Sandra; their three daughters, Renee (Thomas) Tinkey, Valerie Villwock and Susan Villwock, all of Benton Harbor; and two grandchildren, Zoe Shaw and Zane Shaw of Benton Harbor. He was preceded in death by his parents, Albert and Emily Villwock. [The Herald-Palladium (St. Joseph, MI).Sunday, July 12, 2015]   Please share memories, messages or photos at the funeral home web site            .





Michael Lunde, STGC(SW) USN, Ret., the son-in-law of Don Costa, recently notified me of the death of Don. He writes: "We spent many days playing golf and talking. Please pass along to your members. Also if anyone has stories about Don during his Navy days, feel free to pass them to me. We never did talk about the things we did or saw during our service. -- Michael Lunde

 Obituary for Donald Costa DONALD COSTA 


 Donald Costa, MNCM, USN, ret., 83, of Panama City Beach, passed away Thursday, June 11, 2015, at his home. Donald was born in New Bedford MA, and lived in Panama City Beach since 1977. He retired as a Master Chief Petty Officer after 30 years service in the US Navy. Donald enjoyed his afternoon visits to Dusty's Oyster Bar and spending time with his friends. He was preceded in death by a son, Devlin Costa. 

Survivors include his wife, Dana Costa; his children, Don Allen Costa (Priscilla) and Dollieen Costa, all of Panama City and Dwayne Costa of Columbus, OH; his step children, Ronald DePriest (GeorgeAnn) of Panama City, Patrick DePriest of San Diego, CA, and Robyn Lunde (Michael) of Dallas, TX; his grandchildren, Dwayne Costa, Jr., Mallory Costa,Tiffaney Keller, Ashley, Brittanee and Shelbee DePriest, and Nicholas, Cameron and Samantha Lunde; 2 great-grandchildren Chanler and Braylee;2 sisters, Tillie Costa and Ethel Morris, both of New Bedford, MA; and numerous nieces and nephews.

 The family will have a Celebration of Life Service at a later date. In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of Donald Costa may be made to the Humane Society of Bay County, 1500 Bay Ave., Panama City, FL 32405 
Funeral arrangements have been made by Kent-Forest Lawn, 
2403 Harrison Avenue, 
Panama City Beach
Condolences and memories may be shared at their web site





Just when things seem to be coming up roses, bad things seem to happen. Such is the case for Janie Horne, beautiful bride of Maurice 'Toby' Horne, CDR (USN, Ret.) Janie is having some very serious issues with her eyes and a major medical procedure is in the offing. For some reason, there will be a problem with insurances and the Horn household will be taking a major financial hit. Please be in prayer for Janie and Toby that through the intervention of the Lord, every aspect of this problem will be alleviated.


 Calls and messages would be appreciated at:

 (843) 762-3552, e-mails at <>

A card of cheer would be welcomed at:

 54 Rivers Point Row, Charleston, SC 29412-3620.  




 "Truck Drivers' Rebellion, at NAVMAG, Subic" 


   When NAVMAG, Subic Bay was commissioned 1 July 1955, 3-ammo ships were waiting to be unloaded and it was costing the Navy thousands of dollars a day. So for the next 16.5 days we worked long hours loading and hauling ammo at such a frenetic pace, the truck drivers got fatigued and we started making stupid mistakes. Jim Box was driving an empty truck down a hill to the ammo pier when a fire extinguisher inside the cab toppled over and fired off a shot of CO2 that looked like smoke. Box thought his truck was on fire and it was loaded with ammo, so he drove the vehicle into the ocean alongside the ammo pier to put out the fire. Truck drivers would take a load of ammo to the wrong magazine and go to sleep while waiting in the hot sun for a forklift to arrive to unload the truck. Sailors would put incompatible explosives in a magazine one day and have to go back the next day to take the bad stuff out and re-stow it in another magazine. 

   Then it happened, one morning a mousy little driver from Tennessee walked into the Transportation Shop and turned his explosives driver's license in to the MN2 in charge and said, "I refuse to drive anymore."     

That Saturday night, right after "Taps" I heard a commotion going on in the head and got up to investigate. A truck-driver from Oklahoma had a half-inch long tear in the foreskin of his manhood and his skivvies were soaked in blood. He said he was taking care of business with his girlfriend when the rip occurred. I decided right then and there that come Monday morning I was going to Sick Call to arrange to get circumcised.   At Sick Call, I was surprised to see Box, from Mississippi, we called him "Bebop." I asked Bebop why he was there and he said, "For the same reason you are. I'm going to get clipped." 

  After the surgery and in bed, a male nurse gave me a pressurized can of something that caused an instant chilling effect to spray where needed if I started to feel like the stitches were about to do some damage. Bebop claimed that he could have watched the whole procedure by looking in a mirror that happened to be pointing in the right direction. But he said after a couple of pain deadening shots took effect the Doc got down to the business at hand and Bebop started to feel a little woozy, so he had to look away or pass-out.

    The next morning a loudmouth petty officer came in after breakfast and ordered all of us to get out of bed and, "Let's get this place looking ship-shape."   A rumor spread that the movie stars Mona Freeman and George Montgomery were in town making the "B" movie "The Huk" and they were coming to visit the hospital and possibly our ward.

    I was assigned to run a buffer after the deck had been swept, mopped and waxed.  While buffing the deck all spraddle-legged to lessen the pain and feeling sorry for myself, I noticed a guy in a steel cage in a dark corner of the ward. He was quarantined because he had syphilis and before I had a chance to eat lunch I was ordered to take a tray of food and drink to the guy in the cage. I managed a friendly smile, when I saw how young and ashamed he looked with downcast eyes and a slouch to his shoulders by being shunned and locked away like a wild animal. And he was a good-looking kid about my age and I wondered if his life was ruined forever by a mistake in judgement and how would his family treat him when they found out what had happened.

    That night things quickly got out of hand, when the Shore Patrol brought in a drunk sailor, who was short, and strong as a weightlifter with a miniature samurai sword sticking out of his breast bone. Within seconds, the Shore Patrol bailed out of there and left the two male nurses with more than they could handle. They needed to give the guy a sedative shot so he would calm down and stop fighting them so they yelled for us to come and help. Bebop and I rushed over and he grabbed one leg and I grabbed the other.

    But the guy was too strong and we had a hard time to just hang on to a leg. Finally, they managed to give the shot, but it didn't have any effect so they gave him another and a few minutes later another. The next morning I saw "wild man" going to the head minus the samurai sword and he looked bad and walked woobly-like.   NAVMAG-er Art Artelejo, from El Paso, came back from surgery and several others from NAVMAG showed up until there were nine of us in various stages of recovery. At lunchtime I was told to take a tray of food to a Filipino burn victim. A barrel of gasoline in a LCM had caught fire and exploded. When the Filipino would get out of bed, burned skin on his back would stick to the sheet and stay there.

    That night you could hear psst-psst up and down the ward as guys felt the need to spray their manhood or risk ripped stitches. Before, daylight Artelejo came to my bed and asked if I had any of that spray stuff left, so I gave him my can.

   Box came up with the idea that all of us should put five bucks in the kitty and whoever took his new equipment for a test-ride the soonest would win the money.   Three and a half days after surgery, I was back double-clutching my 4-ton stake-bed diesel with 5-forward speeds and an electric split-shift on the side while sitting on a fluffy pillow. Artelejo won the darn kitty after only 11-days of abstinence. And the truck-driver from Oklahoma, who was the first man in, was the last man out, he got an infection and his thingy turned several different colors before healing.

    Oh, Mona Freeman and George Montgomery, they didn't show up, but if they had they would have had a strange story to tell their movie star buddies back in Hollywood. 
   Don Jones, Sherwood,TN    





Gerald Chipman was the only person to have identified the Mystery Mineman as John Cushman.


 Now, see if you can identify these scraps of paper and tell us what they represent.




 Write me at and tell me what they are.





   CWO-2 Edwin Jones, retired in 1971 in Charleston SC and is seeking shipmates to contact. If anyone remembers Ed or served with him, he would like to get in touch with you. His name has been added to the e-mail list. His numbers are 804-556-6020 Home,  804-241-3753 Cell.  Email is If anyone remembers Ed, please give him a call or write to him.