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March 3, 2015



Ron Swart reports that a Mine Warfare uniform insignia has been designed and has received initial approval. 

Rear Admiral William R. Metz,  (Commander, Naval Mine and Anti-Submarine Warfare Command, assigned as RIMPAC Task Force Commander 177, Commander Mine Warfare Task Force) signed off on the design. His approval came on his last working day before retirement. The Admiral's approval letter has been forwarded to the Navy Uniform Board, via COMTHIRDFLT and COMMANDER FLEET FORCES for final approval.

 This insignia will strengthen the pride and standing of those serving in Mine Warfare units. Very few naval ratings have insignia other than the left-sleeve occupational designator. Those who do have a specialty designation are generally the elite and those who participate in dangerous duty, such as EOD, divers, Seals, etc. The opportunity to wear a new and distinctive emblem indicates to the higher echelons of naval staff that those who are engaged in Mine Warfare are an elite organization, as we have been claiming, since our founding in 1943.
The recommendation from the Admiral has been forwarded by Ron Swart for publication in the Dashpot and the Mineman News for all to see. 

 Read it here <LETTER>

Toby Horn, not normally known as a secretive person, slipped one past many of us. We recently learned that Toby had a coronary blockage and was recently admitted for surgery. As soon as we learned of it, the surgery was complete and Toby is well on his way to recovery. He writes:
"Hiya!  Per the subject, I'm back and doing well.  The carotid artery surgery went really well and doc's comments were that he was glad we got it when we did.  The blockage (right side) was almost to 90% and the right side is the most critical re speech, sight, balance, etc.  I was in the hospital overnight only.  Heart rate is lower, but was told that is normal with the procedure.  'Have a nice wound/scar (Frankenstein style) and drain hole, but healing nicely.  You'll  have to put up with me a little longer - albeit, I'll be low profile for a while.  'Can't wait for warm(er) weather and a whack at that  golf ball.  Thanks, everyone for your good wishes and prayers.  You pulled me thru!!!  Toby"
Toby can be reached by e-mail with a note of cheer, which I'm sure he'll appreciate <e-mail>.
If you care to spring for a buck or so for a card of cheer, 
he can be reached at:
Toby Horn
54 Rivers Point Row
Charleston, SC 29412-3620

I'm sure that most of us recall that our good friend, Cecil Martin was facing a serious crisis. The doctors were cautioning Cecil about his blood count, due to bone marrow cancer. Cecil has promised to keep us informed about his precarious condition. He writes:

We are cautiously optimistic after my bone-marrow cancer (MDS) check up today.
My red blood count was 8.6 (normal 13.5 - 17.5) which hopefully means that the growth hormone has finally kicked in and my bone marrow is beginning to make viable red blood cells again - no transfusion today. 
Two weeks ago my red blood count was around 6.7 or so and I was given another two units of blood to bring the count up. Today it appears that my red blood count stayed at about, or a little above, what it was elevated too by the two transfusions. The elevated red blood count seems to verify our hopes that the growth hormone is working. Each unit of blood raises the count by about one point but the cells live for only around ten days.
Over the next few weeks I will have my blood work done and get the injection of the hormone and hopefully my blood count will stay above the level requiring more transfusions or at least require less of them. I will never reach normal levels of the red blood count but hopefully will be able to maintain a level that will allow me to function somewhat in a normal fashion - when your red blood count gets too low you become more like a "Zombie" than a thinking human being - been there and done that and don't want to do it again. I'll be having my blood work done at the Danville VA which is about 1/3rd the distance to Indy which will save a lot of wear and tear on our old bodies - not mention the automobiles!!
We have taken an apartment in Champaign near our daughter and really thank her and her family for their support. It takes a huge sacrifice on their parts such as missed work and all day trips to Indy VA and back far too often. Wish we could be closer to our Son in Houston but then you can't have everything!! Fourteen degrees below zero here this morning would make most anyone wish they were in Houston!!
About all for now!!
Our very best to you and yours,



Last issue's Mystery Mineman stumped everyone! I thought for sure that he would be recognized by those who were stationed on Azuma Island, Yokosuka in the 1958-60 time frame. Guess not! He is Reginald 'Reg' Vollmer. I last knew him as MNSN at Mine Assembly and remember him for his exploits <here>. We both worked for MN1 Dan Priest. Reg now lives in Spokane WA. If you knew Reg and want to contact him, see the "former MN" e-mail page."

This issue's Mystery Mineman is another tough one (It's not who you think it is) If you know who he is, and the officer making the presentation, write me <here>