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CONN-DESA Feb 2007


 It has been quite some time since Conn-Desa submitted some news about our chapter. We are dwindling rather quickly of members passing on or too ill to continue as a member. Although we have picked up two new younger former DE Sailors and gained an older member in his 90's did not make any impact in increase membership. Fortunately, some of the widows in the auxiliary are staying on board after the loss of their mates. Even with a reduction in crew, we are still going strong in carrying out as many programs as possible to be within the traditions of DE SA.

In review of the year 2006 highlighting just some of the things we had on our list to perform were as follows; We held our 14th DE-Day and it went very well with our guest speakers, one being a Chief Petty Officer who read and presented to our chapter skipper the Connecticut State Governor Rells' proclamation proclaiming DE Day. We held our annual outing which everyone looks forward to and enjoyed. Each year our chapter presents to the Commissioner of the CT Dept. Of Veterans' Affairs the annual Christmas Gift to the hospital for all the veterans there to enjoy. The auxiliary worked hard all year long at each meeting doing craft construction of approximately 400 small colorful boxes from used Christmas cards and filled them with candy, sugar free and regular. They were identified by the color of the bow on the box. Along with the craft candy boxes the chapter Skipper Harry Wheeler, presented a $200.00 check to be used for the Secret Santa Program, also our annual donation of a subscription of the WWII magazine for the hospital library. Those present for the annual gift presentation, were, Linda S. Shwartz, Commissioner of the Connecticut State Department of Veterans Affairs, Deputy Commissioner, John Wiltse, Maggie Concannon, Hospital Administrator, Skipper Wheeler, Nick Palermo, coordinator for the affair, Bill Svihovec, USS Slater DE-766 crew member, Auxiliary members, President Annette Palermo, (beginning her 9th term, Peggy Svihovec, and Doris Wheeler.

The Chapters Auxiliary continues to handle the Pennies For The Slater Program, and reached their goal again and turned in a $200.00 check that is usually presented by the CT Auxiliary President Annette Palermo at the National Convention. However She and her husband were unable to attend the Michigan Convention this year and were presented by other means. Their fund raising programs consist of pizza party, bake sale, cookie swap, tag sales, penny auctions, etc. Our monthly meetings continued to be held at the State of CT Dept. Of Veterans Affairs Veterans Home and Hospital at Rocky Hill, CT on the first Sunday of each month commencing at 13:00 hours (1:00PM) in the auditorium. Construction is taking place at this veterans' hospital, which the complex is large and dates back to the Civil War, and for a moment we were to have our meetings cancelled during the construction period. However the Commissioner of the Department granted us a return. A thankful gift for Conn-Desa sorely needed.

Although other things have taken place through out the year which are general business meetings, they are not much interest for mentioning. Our year ended off with a wonderful Christmas/Holiday party held at the Courtyard by Marriott in Cromwell, CT. There were no awards presented this year. Our Chapter Skipper Al Pearce had to step down from this position due to illness.

Unfortunately his Wife, A long time auxiliary member is also ill. We wish them well and a speedy recovery. The Executive Officer Harry Wheeler, USS Conklin DE-439 moved up as Skipper of the Conn-Desa Chapter. We congratulate him and wish him the very best in his new responsible position.

We welcome our new members John Adriani, USS Brough DE-148. He is already working pitching in as our liaison officer for the USS Slater as well as our Yeoman. Presently he is putting together a Web site for our chapter.  He is a boon to our organization.

We also welcome Charlie Vesterman, USS Blair DE-147 and Alexander Gershman USS Barr DE-576. The Auxiliary welcomes their new member, Nancy Zickefoose of Avon, CT She is the daughter of one of our Directors, the late Edmund Sikora. Her Mother (Edmundsí wife), Caroline is also a member and Secretary of the Auxiliary.

Ships in port at the last year end meeting; DE'S - 60, 147, 148, 194, 251, 351, 418,421, 439, 534, 744, 766 DD-220 and our honorary member Vincent Thomas Iwo Jima Survivor of the aircraft carrier USS Randolph was present with his wife Ann, Auxiliary member.


Nicholas D. Palermo, DE-421, Public Relations Officer, Past Skipper.





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