USS James E. Kyes (DD-787) Association

San Diego, California - October, 2017

Group Photo

BT Gang

Cards sent by Trolley staff


October 18-22


Holiday Inn Bayside Hotel
4875 N Harbor Dr
San Diego, CA 92106
Tel: 619-224-3621

Danny Allender      62-64        John Armstrong      58-62
Max Barbee          71-73        Darrell Barber      60-63
Peter Beshai        68-70        David Brennan       57-60
David Brooks        71-73        Bill Burns          67-71
Gary Burnett        71-72        James Buzbee        64-68
Jerald Carry        60-62        Terry F. Caven      63-64
Craig Clifton       72-73        Dan Dale            67-68
Bert Dibley         46-49        Roger Donnay        66-69
Brian Donnelly      60-62        Alvin Dunning       52-54
Robert Frasher      67-68        Kenneth Frerichs    52-54
Roger Graham        59-63        Robert Hinzmann     69-71
Daniel Hopp         68-69        Stan Hughes         58-59
Charles Joshlin     69-70        Leonard Keene       68-72
Joseph Kamberger    70-73        Gordon Lee          67-71
David MacMorran     66-67        L.C. McGilvray      58-62
Chuck Morrissette   71-73        Rocky Mulder        69
Gerald Normand      72-73        Montie Ocha         65-66
Javier Patron       69-71        Fieldon Pugh        52-56
Charles Roberts     67-71        Gary Rousello       66-69
Ralph Smith         53-55        Darwin Sietsema     68-71
Ersul Sowers        63-64        Thomas St. Aubin    71-72
John Strebel        66-69        Walter Stephens     58
Larry Swaney        68-71        Bruce Taylor        66-68
Bob Troutt          66-69        Rick Warden         67-71
George White        54-57        Don Wolfe           65-68
Richard Zidrich     67-71

Shipmates and guests started arriving on Wednesday. Our hospitality room was fabulous. It was located on the 5th floor, however there was easy access from the elevator. The weather was perfect and there was a long patio outside the hospitality room. The view of the bayside was great. There were plenty of large tables and chairs to accomodate up to 100 people. Gift bags were handed out to shipmates. The bags included documents, a 2017 reunion hat pin, a USS James E. Kyes Rocker, a USS James E. Kyes patch, alcohol wipes, masks and syringes. The last 3 items were added due to the fires in California and the Hepatitis-A breakout in San Diego. Read this for more info.

CDR Stephens and his wife, Virginia, attended our reunion for the 3rd time. He is the only USS James E. Kyes commanding officer to have attended a reunion. He is 96 years old. His life in the U.S. Navy is documented in this presentation created by his daughter, Jan Abrams. Seven (7) total members of the Stephens family attended this year's reunion.

Laurel Dale, CDR Stephens daughter, created this fabulous memoir of her family's experience at our 2017 reunion.

Those who signed up for the Wednesday evening Pub Crawl were treated to a nice trolley ride across the Coronado bridge to Coronado Island where we ate and drank at a pub owned by a U.S. Navy Seal. Our driver told us some history about the island on our trip.

Zoud Danko could not join us due to the fact that his daughter was wounded by the Las Vegas shooter. Our association sends its best wishes for her full recovery.

Thursday was a day in which there were no planned events. Shipmates and guests used this day for their own user-guided tours.

Friday was a day which required a lot of walking around the Embarcadero area. We were dropped off by trolley at the USS Midway and spent the day touring this great museum ship and did some shopping at the Sea Port Village.

Saturday morning was dedicated to a memorial service at Rosecrans National Cemetery. We all traveled by trolley to view the WW-II naval memorials followed by a special dedication to the lost 74 of the USS Frank E. Evans.

On Saturday afternoon, shipmates met in the hospitality room to discuss association business, to elect new officers, to choose a committee for the next reunion and to choose a location for the next reunion.

Saturday evening started with a photo shoot outside the dinner banquet patio area where we enjoyed a wonderful "Luau style" banquet on the patio.

Andy Clark (Father was Forest Clark 46-49) took the above group photo with his camera. He also donated a spectacular book of photos from his father's time aboard the Kyes. He was joined by his friends, Ray Bailey and Fred Verd. Ray Bailey was a childhood friend of Forest Clark. He served aboard the USS Franklin (CV-13) and was blown off the deck by bombs dropped from Japanese planes. View Wiki Page. Fred Verd served aboard nuclear submarines in the 1980's. He addressed our group at the memorial ceremony at Rosecrans cemetery. View video.

After the banquet, we all assembled in a room for a few presentations followed by the 50/50 drawing and auction of items donated by shipmates. Our reunion this year was a great financial success due to the generosity of the shipmates and guests with donations and also due to sales from the ship's store. We should have plenty of funds to replenish the ship's store, send out Christmas greetings and plan for our next reunion in 2019.

Roger Donnay gave an address that was intended to be read at the Rosecrans cemetery but due to the fact that we ran out of time and had to reboard the trolleys he gave his address in the meeting room after the banquet. Here is the text of the address.

David MacMorran presented the Korea Defense Service Medal to Kyes shipmates who were aboard when the USS Pueblo (AGER-2) was seized by North Korea in 1968. Here is the text of that presentation.

Montie Ocha entertained everyone with his "trivia contest" in which he donated and awarded a cash prize to the winner.

David Brennan was aboard the Kyes along with CDR Stephens in 1958 when the American Sister City Bell was presented to the city of Yokahama, Japan. David told the story of how CDR Stephens received a proclamation that came from Japan, which he retained in his possession until an event several years ago in Balboa Park, where he was recognized by the Japanese Friendship Society for that "opening" of better relations with Japan in the Post-WW II era. CDR Stephens handed it to David Brennan. When David asked him what he should do with it, CDR Stephens said "You'll figure it out". Well David figured out that it would be best to give it to the USS James E. Kyes Association. Here is a photo of the proclamation which is now in our possession.

We elected new officers:

President: Montie Ocha
Vice President: Darwin Sietsema
Secretary, Treasurer: Roger Donnay

Here are some shipmate comments:

2017 was my first Kyes reunion. I belong to four other reunion groups and I have attended a total of 21 reunions with the different groups. The 2017 Kyes reunion was the most enjoyable of all. To you and everyone involved with the reunion I would like to give a big "Bravo Zulu". Thanks, Ersul Sowers

More information will be posted here as it becomes available.