AOM Header logo
September 3, 2015

Dear Shipmates,


The 41th annual Association of Minemen Reunion is only a month away. Here's hoping that you have made all necessary arrangements. If not, the Reunion web page has all the information that you need. 



The most recent Fleet Reserve Magazine announced the death of a mineman compatriot. Thanks to Dick Schommer for the head's-up.



Gary Dwayne Snell, MNC, US NAVY (ret.) 68, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa died Friday, July 17, 2015 at the Dennis and Donna Oldorf Hospice House of Mercy in Hiawatha.

A celebration of life will be held 1:00 p.m. Sunday, July 26, 2015 at the Cedar Hills Community Church, located at 6455 E Avenue NW in Cedar Rapids.  A private inurnment will be held at Cedar Memorial Park Cemetery at a later date.  

Gary was born September 3, 1946 in Greenfield, Iowa to Zara Elmer and Hazel (Kephart) Snell.  After receiving his bachelor's degree, he served honorably in the United States Navy during the Vietnam War Era from October 16, 1967 to September 13, 1974.  Gary then served in the reserves from July 12, 1975 to July 11, 1989.   He was united in marriage to Jackie Heppner on June 7, 1986.  She passed away in 2010.  He was later married to Carole Sue Maher on May 7, 2011 at Pinicon Ridge Park in Central City, Iowa.

Gary worked as a building inspector for the Linn County Building Department and retired after 36 years of service.  Gary was a member of the International Association of Electrical Inspectors. He enjoyed reading Westerns and Science Fiction books, blacksmithing, going to movies and traveling with his wife and step grandson Jaxson.  He always had a smile on his face and enjoyed helping others. 

He is survived by his wife Carole of Cedar Rapids; two step-sons: Vincent John Maher of Illinois and Jim Maher and his son Jaxson of Cedar Rapids; five siblings: Shirley (Basil) Stafford of Clive; Mardelle Bohling and Steve (Pat) Snell, both of Greenfield; Karen Jerome of Des Moines; and Linda (Michael) Friedel of Windsor Heights; step children; Arlin Heppner, Joe (Margi) Heppner, Randy (Denise) Heppner, Sue (Gary) Schropp, Sally (Kerry) Bruckner, 7 step-grandchildren and 8 step-great grandchildren. 
He was preceded in death by his parents; brother-in-law, Don Bohling and nephew, Michael Bohling

In lieu of flowers a memorial fund has been established. His obituary page provides details.

You may leave condolences at the Guest Book page.


T. J. Smith,  after he married Brenda Hanson, 38+ years ago, took on the hyphenated last name of Hansen-Smith.  Those who remember him may know of him as only T.J. Smith.  Gary Cleland shared this sad memorial with us.



T.J. was the Commanding Officer of the Seal Beach reserve MOMAG 2419 unit during the late '70s. He was the first MOMAG Reserve CO I served with when I re affiliated with the MOMAG reserves upon moving back to Long Beach. We were his first reserve command as I remember.  However he later told me that he especially enjoyed his first CO tour leading a group of unruly Minemen.  During an ACDUTRA in 1979 at COMOMAG Unit One Charleston we toured Patriots Point, and as a former diesel & nuke machinist mate submariner he delighted in giving me and several others an intimate tour of the Patriots Point submarine USS Clamagore SS343 pointing out details only a diesel submariner would know.  It was his way of letting those CPO's of our unit that there was much more to the US Navy than mines although I think he secretly would have preferred to be a "black shoe" rather than a "snipe."  --Gary Cleland 

The honoraria of TJ's life can be found here.

Toby Horn deferred his attendance at this year's AOM Reunion due to Jani's eye surgery. We are happy to report the success of the procedure. 
Toby writes:



Thu, 30 Jul 2015
Jani's right eye surgery was yesterday morning and apparently successful.  We had to wait in the prep room for two hours before they finally wheeled her in.  Actual operation only took forty minutes.  Amazing, robotic laser and the implant lenses!  We go this morning for follow-up to make sure all (lense/stints) is well.  The left eye will be in two weeks.  I'll keep you posted.  Toby

Fri, 14 Aug 2015  
'Have had several requests for update on Jani's eye surgery.  Both of her eyes now operated on and surgery follow-up completed.  Prognosis is that all is well, but she will have some adjusting (getting used to) re her eyesight.  She has lost much of her distance vision she had before - can't see across the lake (guess where I'll be hiding out?).  She has restrictions re lifting heavy objects and strenuous exercise, and no driving until new prescription glasses for distance vision.  'Guess I'll be driving Ms. Daisey for a while?  She has a follow-on with her regular optometrist in another week, but I think that will be too early for new prescription - so we have some minor follow-on issues.  We thank each and every one of you for your good wishes and prayers.  I'm sure that's what made it all happen nicely.  Toby


Edmund ("Ed") R. Szczutkowski reports that he is scheduled for "for total left knee replacement" on September 29, 2015. Right now my knee is bone on bone and the only way to correct it is this surgery. Your prayers will help not only for me but Mary." 

A note of cheer may be sent to:  <>


Our friend and Mineman, CDR Jorgen Lorenzen, Royal Danish (Ret.) has kept in touch with us ever since AOM was founded. A graduate of NSMW, Yorktown in 1951, Jorgen attended the AOM Reunion in Yorktown in 2010.



He writes:

Copenhagen 1 September 2015

Just to let you know, On the 22nd of September,  I will be 90 years old. I will have a birthday reception for app. 70 person in my house.

I have jumped out on deep water and am not a good swimmer anymore. There will be guests representing all my engagements and close family. There will be war veterans from 1942 and 1943. So few left anymore. On the other end of the scale they range in age from 2 months.

I have up to that day nearly one day left free in my calendar. I have taken a blood laboratory test with a whole page of results. All OK I do have a glucose test result on 6,5 - it should have been under 6,3. That is probably my stress factor that is much too high.

I have just enclosed my Danish invitation. I have not the needed time to translate the page.

No one believes that my age is so high. That is nice words.I need some vacation - but that is not easy to find.

So that was just a few words to tell the AOM members a little about me.
There is in enclosed material a letter from a person "Hans Hertel" he is professor the highest Danish culture system. No one there will have doctor's degree without his signature. He is due to retire. His words about me are so exceptionally - that give me some more energy to carry on my "works". 

Sorry that I do not have the needed time to do better writing.

All the best from Jorgen.

Jorgen's 70th WWII Anniversary page 
Jorgen's African safari page


  Toby Horn offered these scraps of paper in the hope that someone could identify what they were. I still have several if these pasted into my navy scrapbook. Did anyone else save this kind of memorabilia?


Toby respionds:

Attached you'll find the document that provided me my draft/boarding number, bunk number and chow number when I reported to Treasure Island to board the USNS Frederick T. Fungston to take me to Guam, FFT to Okinawa; 1955.  I wonder how they would handle it nowadays?  Toby


Respectfully submitted.


Derick S. Hartshorn
Communications Coordinator