In Memoriam - U.S. Navy Minemen

Previously Unreported Deaths


Carol M. Schafer

WILLIAMSBURG - Carol Mae Baldt Schafer, 38, died Sunday, March 27, 1994

Born in Philadelphia, Pa., Mrs. Schafer was a Navy veteran who served for eight years as the first Navy female Mineman. She was a former volunteer worker for the Navy Relief, the AVALON Woman's Shelter, and had attended the Community College of Philadelphia as an engineering student. She worked at the Holiday Inn 1776 for two years as an assistant maintenance supervisor.

Mrs. Schafer is survived by her husband, Mark E. Schafer; one daughter, Sarah M. Schafer; four sons: John L. Bach Jr., Kevin C. Bach, Michael D. Bach and Mark E. Schafer Jr. of Williamsburg; four sisters, Patricia Marcinkiewicz of Philadelphia, Pa., Dorothy Riviezzo, Theresa Sanchez and Angela Slackus Connors of Broad Axe, Pa.; her father, George F. Baldt of Toms River, N.J.; and twelve nieces and nephews.

A funeral service will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Bucktrout Funeral Home. The family will receive friends following the service until 9 p.m.

Donations may be made to the Carol M. Schafer Memorial Fund, c/o Holiday Inn 1776 or AVALON



Harold L. Keeran

Harold L. Keeran (1934-1999)

Over the years, we sometimes we lose touch with our compatriots. Harold Keeran was a fellow mineman and one who apparently slipped beneath the radar. Belatedly, we learned of his passing just recently. While ten years has passed since his death, we would like to acknowledge him now and provide recollections offered by his fellow shipmates, Bill Roberts, Toby Horn, Don Jones and also Ed Oyer, who provided the photo.

Harold L. KEERAN was born 20 Aug 1934 and died 10 Feb 1999, in Snowflake, AZ.

Bill Roberts added recollections to Don Jones' initial announcement:

"Its been quite some time since I learned of Harold's death and I really don't recall exactly how I learned about his passing. Toby Horn could possibly come up with more info. Harold was married to Lyal Stryker's daughter, you could try getting in touch with Lyle but he has retreated so far back into the boondocks that I don't think that would be possible. Harold was sort of a free soul after leaving the navy, he lived on his boat for a while and the last that I knew of him he was in California digging truffles. Good luck in your search I am pretty sure that he was born in Ohio and he was a year younger than myself so 1934 is a good birth year. "

Toby has been kind to provide the following recollections:

"His nickname was "Josh" and he was a favorite friend and shipmate of both Lyal Stryker and myself. He was born in Ohio - Mount Gilead, to be precise. During the time we all spent together, he was the greatest "cumshaw artist" I ever met. If not for him, we may never have gotten the Mildenhall project established - and later on, the relocation of the Mildenhall stockpile to Machrihanish. We had two C-130s from Rota allocated to us for the transfer - one crapped out after it's first flight with several major flight maintenance issues - the second was kept up by Josh's cumshaw efforts, which included an "allocated" engine and a total tire/brake refit (again with "allocated" parts and done entirely by MNs at the Mildenhall end of the pipeline). With two more flights to make after drop-off at Mac, that plane also crapped out and had to final-leg it back to Rota with no prospect of landing safely due to the other tire/brake malfunction. That left 60 more mines (Mk 52/55) left to transfer, which we had to accomplish by rail. Once again Josh came to the rescue, "recruiting" USAF trucks so we could get the mines to the railhead at Shippey Hill. We already had the mines there and loaded before we got the official okay from Navy Headquarters in London to "negotiate" the transport with USAF officials. The USAF Wing Commander (Col Fulmer) was astounded at how fast the transport was made. Josh was a wizard and had the greatest gift of gab you ever came across. After the Navy, as I recall, Josh went to Atlantic Beach and Morehead City, NC where he had a large charter boat that he lived aboard. He met and married a gal named Linda who sort of "adopted" Lyal as her adopted father. She was NOT an actual daughter of Lyal and Doreen. I became a sort of surrogate brother. We all stayed in close touch for a long time and then we got word that he had sold the boat. I recollect that they moved to Delaware (Dover???) for a short stint - then on to Arizona. Lyal and I would get a call from Linda from time to time to keep us posted on Josh's deteriorating health. Her last call was to report his death, which was posted as a taps item back in 1999. I am emailing this to Lyal's old email address (haven't seen or conversed with him for several years now) in hopes that it will get thru and maybe he can add to this account. Josh was a good shipmate and a close friend."

Many thanks to Don, Bill and, Toby.



John William Koerber Sr.


John William Koerber Sr., LCDR , USN ret., 81, entered into rest on Saturday Jan. 11, 2003. He was born on Long Island, in New York and was a Newport News resident for over 37 years. Mr. Koerber retired from the United States Navy in 1969 with over 27 years of service. He was a veteran of WWII, with service in the Pacific Theater. He rose through the enlisted ranks, then served as a Warrant Officer and as a Commissioned Officer. He worked in Naval Underwater Demolition Teams as a combat swimmer and instructor. He served as an instructor at the Yorktown Mine Warfare School, and served in several billets overseas, and at the Yorktown Naval Weapons Station. He was a member of the Mineman's Association. He is survived by his loving wife of 54 years, Shirley D. Koerber; a daughter and son-in-law, Sandie Wilde and Gary Wilde of Sierra Vista, Ariz.; a son and daughter-in-law, John W. Koerber Jr. and Barbara Koerber of Graham, Wash.; a sister, Bert Hough of Jamaica, N.Y.; as well as a granddaughter, Kelly DeForrest of Spanaway, Wash. Funeral Services will be privately held. Condolence messages to the family may be sent online at [Published in Daily Press on January 15, 2003]


Maurice L. 'Mac' McCune

WILLIAMSBURG, VA - Maurice L. 'Mac' McCune, 78, departed this life on Sunday, June 20, 2004. Mac, an E7 Chief Mineman, retired from the U.S Navy in 1964 and later went on to serve as a weapons inspector for the N.W.S. until his retirement in 1980. He was preceded in death by his mother, Lillian Golding of Winona, Miss., and two brothers, Harry L. McCune of Sacramento, Calif., and Kermit McCune of Lawton, Okla. Mac was a member of the Fleet Reserve Association in Grafton, Va., and a Masonic Lodge in Mississippi. He is survived by his wife, Katherine 'Jane' McCune; son, Maurice L. McCune Jr.; stepchildren, Wanda P. Fox and her husband, Capt. Dennis Fox, of Alexandria, Va., Eric D. Priest and his wife, Nancy, of Williston, Fla., Catherine R. McClellan and friend, Dennis R. Davis, Margaret Ann 'Peggy' Cowan and her husband, Chris, of Chula Vista, Calif.; grandchildren, Tiffany and Shawn McCune; step-grandchildren, Daniel Priest of Michigan, and Amanda, Eric Jr. and Mathew Priest, all of Virginia, Michelle S. Falin of Tennessee, Jeremy McClellan of Williamsburg, and Andrew and Melanie Lipsky of Oak Ridge, Tenn. The family will receive friends from 6 until 8 p.m. Thursday at the Nelsen Funeral Home, 3785 Strawberry Plains Road, where services will be held 11 a.m. on Saturday. Burial services will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Monday June 28, at Quantico National Cemetery. Condolences may be registered online at [Published in Daily Press from June 22 to June 24, 2004]



Allen 'Eddie' Vernon Edwards

Chief Petty Officer Allen "Eddie" Vernon Edwards, USN,  86, of Wethersfield, CT, retired, died peacefully, Friday, (February 3, 2006) at Hartford Hospital. Born May 24, 1919 in Little Rock, Arkansas, Allen lived for many years in Connecticut. "A.V." joined the navy in 1937 serving initially on the USS Richmond and later in submarine support as a mineman. He married Rose Marie DePhillips of Hartford in 1944 and along with their son Robert Allen saw duty in French Morocco, Key West Florida, Charleston, South Carolina, the Groton sub base, Prudence Island, R.I. and Honolulu, Hawaii. After 30 years of service, Allen retired from the navy in 1957 and worked for the next 20 years at Franklin Sign Co. in Wethersfield. A man of honor, character and decency, Allen Edwards will be sorely missed by his family, especially by his beloved "Rosie". They shared 62 wonderful years together as much in love today as when they started their life together. Allen loved his automobiles and was ready at a moments notice for a road trip. Rose remembers his marathon non-stop trips from his Florida base to visit her in Connecticut. He loved to watch endless auto racing when not watching his Red Sox or Giants football. He rarely missed his grandsons hockey games or a trip to Cape Cod. Allen is survived by his wife, Rose Marie Edwards, his son, Robert Allen Edwards and daughter-in-law Karin of West Hartford, his granddaughter Elizabeth Marie Edwards of West Hartford, his grandson Daniel Allen Edwards of Falmouth, MA, sister-in-laws Annette Cerasole of Rocky Hill, Roccina Sapienza and her husband Rosario of Manchester and numerous loved Brancieri cousins in Connecticut and Fort Meyers, Florida. Funeral services will be Tuesday, February 7th at 9 a.m. from the D'Esopo Funeral Chapel 277 Folly Brook Blvd., Wethersfield with a Mass of Christian Burial 10 a.m. in Church of the Incarnation, Wethersfield. Burial with military honors will be in Mt. St. Benedict Cemetery, Bloomfield. Friends may call at the funeral chapel Monday 3-6 p.m. In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to the Church of the Incarnation, 544 Prospect St., Wethersfield, CT 06109. For on-line expressions of sympathy please visit [Published in The Hartford (CT) Courant on February 5, 2006 ]



Malcolm A. Nicholson
 (11 September 1947- 14 December 2006)

Malcolm A. Nicholson, age 59, of West Haven, died Thursday, December 14, 2006. He is survived by his children, M. Chris Nicholson of Milford, Katie A. Nicholson of Fairfield, Ann E. Nicholson and Colin P. Nicholson and his ex-wife, Catherine Thompson Johnson, all of North Branford. Malcolm was born in New Haven, son of the late Malcolm and Marion Genett Nicholson. He was a teacher for many years, mostly at West Haven High School, Bridgeport Central High School and the Aquaculture School in Bridgeport. He was active in the local, state and national teachers unions. He was an eagle scout and a boy scout master for troop 16, West Haven and was also a U.S. Navy veteran, serving as a Mineman Master Chief until his retirement. The hours of visitation will be Tuesday from 4 to 8 p.m. in the West Haven Funeral Home at the Green. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Wednesday at 11 a.m. in Our Lady of Victory Church. Interment will follow in St Lawrence Cemetery. [Published in Connecticut Post on December 17, 2006] Visit Guest Book



These deaths were recently discovered on the Internet or notification was belatedly provided.
The fact that several years have passed since their deaths in no way diminishes from the pain of their loss.



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