F-1 held it first ever mini reunion in Woodbridge, VA from August 26 to August 28, 2022. “Fun One” currently enjoys the fortunate distinction of having more remaining members (13) than any company in our class.
Eight classmates (Baker, Bireley, Gill, Harcke, Hogarth, Maloney, Rice and Tousey) and ex-classmate Jim Lampert gathered at the Electric Palm restaurant in Woodbridge on Friday evening for dinner. On Saturday, we spent the afternoon and evening at the home of Jud and Nance Bireley for a cookout, where four others (Schwoob, Searles, Walker and White) joined in via Zoom for an hour or so. Medical reasons kept Joel Sugdinis from participating. We had a great time recalling the escapades of six decades ago and remembering our friends who have gone before us. A tour of the US Army Museum at nearby Ft. Belvoir was scheduled for Sunday, but only a few were able to go.
The pictures below were taken at Jud Bireley’s house:
July 23, 1938 – December 23, 2022
Submitted by Charlie Baker
The funeral for Ross Gagliano was held in his hometown of Birmingham, Alabama on January 13, 2023.
Delayed by a tornado-filled weather front while driving up from Jacksonville, we arrived slightly late for the “Viewing and Rosary” at St. Francis Xavier Roman Catholic Church. As soon as we walked through the front door and into a large crowd that filled the vestibule of the church, Ross’s grandson, 6’7” Zach Ricketts, stepped out of the crowd to greet us. Zach is a Captain in the 3rd Infantry “Old Guard” at Ft. Meyer. He quickly carried us over to his mom, Lisa Gagliano Ricketts. The Rosary was about to start, and we were able to work our way over to Ross’ oldest son James (“Jimmy”) before the crowd moved into the side chapel. Jimmy, as many of you may know, is a graduate of USMA Class of 1987 and went on to serve a long career with the FBI in New York. Zach is a 2007 graduate. West Point means a lot to the Gagliano Clan. Ross had eleven grandchildren – they must have all been there – and twelve great grandchildren, many of whom were there as well, including a couple of toddlers stealing the show.
The Rosary was a beautiful event, hosted by Jonathon, Ross’ youngest son. All the grandchildren took turns leading the Rosary prayers, with responses from everyone else. I was just plain stunned by the magnitude of the people that Ross and Dorothy had brought into this world. A wonderful kick off to this memorial to our great friend and classmate, Ross Gagliano.
#32 on the Plebe Basketball Team of 1956-57, and #1 in the hearts of everyone at St. Francis Xavier this day.
We met many of the family and friends following the Rosary, to include Ross’ two little brothers, Sam and Carl Gagliano. They had so much to say about Ross, their hero growing up and still today, along with his exploits on the basketball court at Phillips High School back in the ‘50s.
0900 hour the next morning, we were at Mass. 39 Degrees and breezy outside, but warm in St. Francis Xavier. A formal Mass in the Catholic tradition, but this one was punctuated by a most memorable eulogy given by Ross’ oldest child, Jimmy Gagliano. He captured the essence of Ross Gagliano, the Gagliano family, and how much Ross meant to them.
On to Elmwood Cemetery, huge and very cold. It was crowded under the tent, not unlike the “Ranger Glob” on the deck of the LST headed back from Santa Rosa Island so many years ago. Zach ran the ceremony, with the bugler and color sergeant from the Alabama National Guard rendering Taps beautifully, and both of them meeting a very high standard unfolding and refolding the flag. Capt. Zach presented the flag to Lisa on behalf of the United States, and the ceremony was over.
Back to the church for lunch, and the telling of some great stories. Told a couple myself. Ross’ horde of family members will remember this day throughout their lives, as will I.
G1 files came together for their annual reunion held in Bar Harbor, Maine September 26 to September 30. Fred Sladen did an outstanding job of selecting our hotel and scheduling tours. The highlight of each day was a late afternoon hospitality hour.
We enjoyed touring Bar Harbor, Arcadia National Park, the Abbe Museum, the La Rochelle Mansion and a lobster/seal watching tour on a lobster boat.
The picture below was taken in front of the La Rochelle Mansion.
Seated: Bill McLaughlin, Joe Stehling, Roy O’Connor, Lynn O’Connor, Dick Nelson, Bob Totten, Carol Totten; Standing: Patty Webster (Chan Duryea’s widow), Diann Eubanks, Fred Sladen, “T” Eubanks & Carol Stehling. Picture taken by Chan Duryea’s daughter, Gwynne Butcher.
From Erc Barone: A2 files gathered in Chattanooga from September 14 to September 17 for a reunion hosted by the Faery’s. Eight of our ten remaining company mates attended. We were joined by Kim Hopper, Jim’s widow and David Laurence, Ed’s son. Wives attending were Barbara Andrews, Vi Barone, Linda Faery, Maida Perkins, Arlene Strasbourger, and Pam Willauer. Cindy Laurence and Phyllis Marmon were not able to attend.
Ed Strasbourger and wife Arlene came directly from Israel despite Arlene’s difficult health situation.
The picture below was taken at the Chattanooga National Cemetery, where we had just conducted our usual Mini Memorial Service for fallen company mates. From left to right: Ed Strasbourger, Erc Barone, Randy Perkins, Ed Laurence, Fred Faery, Ray Andrews, John Willauer, now the Class of 60’s oldest Grad, and Herm Marmon.
From Dick Healy: The 2022 E2 Mini was held at the Alpenhof Lodge, Teton Village, Jackson Hole, WY, from 6-10 Sep, this year. There were 13 of us attending, including the Stukel’s daughter, Jenny. Weather was absolutely great.
Each day featured a special event and enough free time that folks could do pretty much whatever else they wished. Wednesday, we wandered around Jackson (10 miles down the road); later we had the evening meal and entertainment at the Bar T-5 Ranch, a journey up the trail in a covered wagon, chuck wagon grits and cowboy entertainment. Return down the trail was under a full moon. The hosts were kind enough to recognize our table during the meal.
Thursday most took the adjacent tram to the top of Rendezvous Mtn for a view of the world. Spectacular up there, with about a 40-knot wind. Some of us even managed a quick trip to Teton Pass for a glimpse of distant Idaho. That afternoon we arranged for an evening 4-hour Grand Teton NP tour aimed at animal sightings in the Park. The tour included two vans, driver/guides, binocs for each person, and snacks. The sightings were a full-blown success: herd of Bison, Pronghorn antelope on the other side of the road, feeding moose (singular) in a stream, two bears, deer, elk, and a chipmunk. The special evening meal, upon return to The Alpenhof , featured a fondue appetizer, choice of German entrees, followed by apple strudel ala mode.
On Friday we did the Jenny Lake boat ride, a spectacular outing on a glacial lake with sheer granite mountain backdrops. That was followed by lunch at the Jenny Lake Lodge, and supper at the Gunbarrel Steak and Game Restaurant in Jackson. We all enjoyed the time together. Working now on 2023.
On August 8th, Chuck Schrankel and 5 (younger) classmates (Charley Otstott, John Denton, John Sherden, Dick Healy & Bob Totten) led the Long Grey Line from the Ski Slope to the Superintendent’s quarters, following the incoming Class of 2026.
Following the marchback we enjoyed a luncheon where we (and our wives) sat with the new Supe, the Com, the Dean, and the Director of Academy Advancement and their wives. We were all recognized and applauded! The photo below was taken there (unfortunately Dick Healy had to leave early).
To see the Class of 2026 and the Long Gray Line, go to https://youtu.be/YYK8DSfr7ic
(The video is 8:34 minutes long. At about 7 minutes the Class of 1960 is mentioned)
Fred Hall 1937-2022
Fred passed away the evening of April 6, 2022 surrounded by his loving family. The family, Eleanor primarily but supported by her kids, Ben and Karolyn, who live in the Richmond area, and Cindy, from Orlando, Florida, planned a service and reception that took place on April 30th. Fred would have been very proud of his family.
The service was held at St. Michaels’ Episcopal Church and was followed by a reception at the Willow Oaks Country Club, both in Richmond. Twelve classmates attended (Erc Barone, Don Chapman, Phil Chappell, Ben Fegan, Craig Hagan, Dick Healy, Sam Kouns, Jim O’Connell, Roy O’Connor, Fred Rice, Tom Throckmorton and John Willauer). Sam Kouns and Dick Healy had speaking parts during the service; Sam talked about Fred, and Dick recited the Cadet Prayer. The service ended with the Alma Mater – not a dry eye in the house.
Eleanor had a spread at the reception that was above and beyond – not an empty tummy in the house. Toward the end of the reception there was an open mic used by family, classmates, and work associates to tell stories about, and remembrances of, Fred.
Displayed below is a photo taken by Pauline O’Connell at the reception. Not all the aforementioned classmates are included in the photo, but at least these were recorded for posterity. The “Class of ‘60” card had been signed the evening of April 6th by 15 classmates who participated in our class’s Vero Beach outing hosted by Sam Kouns and Hank Maloney April 2-6. Dick Healy had planned to deliver this card to Fred following the event. However, as they were signing the card, little did they know that Fred was slipping away.
Fred’s ashes were interred at Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond on 2 May with his loving family in attendance.
Early this month (Nov ’21) Vince McDermott ’85,l USMA Director of Academy Advancement, was inducted as an honorary member of the Class of ’60 Marchback veterans group. The plaque below was presented on behalf of John Berti, Dick Healy, John Sherden, John Denton, Chuck Schrankel and Bob Totten
Click on the image to see more!
Chuck Schrankel leading the Long Grey Line
John and Nancy Denton represented the Class of 1960 at the West Point ceremony honoring Dave Stem on Friday. John’s first-hand report of the ceremony and the follow-on visit to the MP HQ on the south end of Buffalo Soldier Field across the street from the Thayer Hotel is copied below. The Dentons did a great job for us all and I wish to express my thanks to them once again.
To: Classmates, families, and friends of the Class of 1960:
On September 25, 2020, my wife, Nancy, and I were honored to represent our Class at the memorial wreath laying for our classmate, David Stem, in the West Point cemetery. Due to the Covid-19 restrictions we were the only two civilians at the ceremony. Others in attendance were the Garrison Commander, an Honor Guard firing team, a USMA Band contingent, a photographer from the AOG, and others from the MP Army Garrison unit.
On Saturday, a collection of 42 photos of the event was posted by the AOG and emailed to our classmates.
Below is an edited official description of the wreathing service:
GENERAL STEM MEMORIAL SCRIPT
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the first annual Brigadier General David H. Stem memorial wreath laying. For those of you who don’t know, today has a special significance to the military police officers here as tomorrow is the Military Police Corps’ 79th Birthday. This year’s motto is “Military Police, Multi Discipline – Multi- Domain”. Typically we celebrate the Regiment’s birthday with morale activities like unit runs and an MP Ball, however as we know this year has been anything but traditional. So instead of celebrating the traditional way, the USAG Military Police Company has chosen to commemorate this year by remembering one of our own who gave so much to the regiment during his years of service. Among the distinguished service members buried here at the West Point Cemetery, and the PMO’s namesake, is Brigadier General David H. Stem.
We would be remiss today if we didn’t touch on the history of the Military Police Corps before we talk about General Stem. The Military Police Corps achieved permanent status in the U.S. Army on 26 September 1941 yet our traditions date back to the Revolutionary War. General George Washington recognized the necessity of police functions both in the camps and on the battlefield.
Since 1941, the Military Police Soldiers have been involved in every major conflict to include Korea, Vietnam, and the Global War on Terror.
So why does this matter and what does the Military Police History have to do with why we are here today? Like General Washington, and General MacArthur, General David H. Stem also realized the importance that Military Police provided to the Army and was an innovator during his career.
General Stem was born on 23 January 1938 and received his commission from the United States Military Academy, West Point in 1960. General Stem had two major goals in life, to attend West Point and to become a General Officer in the United States Army, both of which he achieved. He served with distinction in his 27 year career to include assignments as Military Police Company Commander here at USAG West Point, as a staff member at the U.S. Army War College, and as Commandant of the U.S. Army Military Police School to name a few. As the Commandant of the U.S. Army Military Police School, General Stem formed the MP Corps Regiment, established the MP Non-commissioned officer academy, and created the department of defense polygraph institute.
Tragically, General Stem died in 1987 while still serving on active duty in a plane crash. General Stem’s dedicated and inspirational leadership was the epitome of what makes the Army and the Military Police Corps successful.
Today we lay a wreath in his honor for his accomplishments and his sacrifice to the regiment. SGT Durham and Dr. John Denton, a representative from the class of 1960, will now lay the memorial wreath and the Military Police Company Firing Party will render honors, after honors are rendered, please remain standing for the Military Police Regimental March.
SGT DURHAM AND DR DENTON LAY WREATH
FIRING PARTY – TAPS IMMEDIATELY FOLLOW, FOLLOWED BY REGIMENTAL MARCH
One of the most impressive tributes of the day was yet to come. After the wreathing ceremony Sgt Durham invited us to visit the BG Stem Memorial Wall that is located in the MP HQ building. This commemorative wall is truly a demonstration of the high esteem in which BG Stem is held by the officers and enlisted personnel of the West Point MPAG unit. A photo of the Memorial wall is attached.
Well done, David Stem. Class of 1960. Grip Hands.
John Denton M-2