From: Association of Minemen <>


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October 28, 2015

Dear Shipmates,


This is the first newsletter since September. Without the contributions of news and photos, there is nothing to report. Please share your reports of death, illnesses, photos and interesting stories.


Now that the 2015 AOM Reunion, I need news and photos from that event.



It's always a sad duty to report the illness or death of our Mineman shipmates. Our close friend and shipmate, Curtis Christian checked into Trident Hospital  for shortness of breath to the point where he thought something needed attending to. Doctors found a mass in the upper cavity of his left lung, did a biopsy, and found cancer, but good news is that all appears treatable. On the difficult side, he and Mary have plans now to sell their home on Lake Marion and move to a location here closer to Charleston. Sadly, that would pretty much end the commercial catfish business that Curtis has loved and pursued for these many years. At the time the illness was discovered, Curtis had made reservations for the AOM Reunion in Reno. Not one to let adversity stand in his way, Curtis never cancelled his plans and even made arrangements with the airline for transport of oxygen aboard the plane. He reported that they had a great time in Reno at the reunion, and he'll be seeing everyone next year at Yorktown.  Prayers for well-being are greatly appreciated. While I was on the phone with Curtis, much of this dialogue came from Toby Horn, whom we all thank for his great concern for all of our shipmates. A card of cheer to Curtis may be directed to him at 303 Cypress Shores Road, Eutawville, SC 29048 and phone at (803) 492-4245. His e-mail is 

 For reunion attendees, you should be aware that we agreed to adopt an official flag for the Association of Minemen. In addition, members were asked to provide a banner representing their "favorite" duty station. The flag and banners were sent by Toby Horn to Reno for the Reunion. Members were rewarded with finally seeing a tangible representation of our organization. As it was to be held in the custody of Toby between reunions, it was sent by UPS back to Toby. The mailing tube arrived at the Horn household, sans flag and banners. It appears that rough handling by UPS resulted in the loss of the contents. Arrangements are currently underway to have UPS make good on our loss.

Mike Whitener, MNCS (USN, ret.) was proud to claim that his ancestors arrived from Germany  prior to 1750. They first settled in Pennsylvania before coming to North Carolina before the Revolutionary War.  Our newsletter editor, Derick Hartshorn, happens to be a genealogist who helped Mike discover that line of ancestors who just happen to have lived close to Derick. Mike wanted to visit the cemetery where they are buried and the remains of the 1770 house that his 4th great grandfather built. He hopped on his beautiful Can-Am roadster and made the 240 mile trip to Conover, NC. He and Derick went to the old Weidner (original spelling of Whitener) homestead and took lots of pictures. 


From North Carolina, Mike rode his bike to the King's Mountain battlefield where his ancestors died, fighting the British in October, 1780. Here's hoping that Mike arrived back at Goose Creek safely.
We welcome new member Richard E. Peffley of Lafayette, Indiana. Here's hoping that you are able to make contact with former shipmates and enjoy the  benefits of AOM membership. For those who would like to contact Richard, his e-mail address is