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PMMC Captain's Call Newsletter - April-May 2007, Part 1

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  • Phelps Hobart
    Here is part 1 of the text of the Pacific Merchant Marine Council s April-June 2007 Captain s Call newsletter. It will be mailed out before the 14th to members
    Message 1 of 1 , May 10, 2007
      Here is part 1 of the text of the Pacific Merchant Marine Council's April-June 2007 Captain's Call newsletter. It will be mailed out before the 14th to members and friends.
      Phelps Hobart, Editor and Webmaster

      This is the Captain Speaking

      Dear Members and Friends,

      The council is on course steady as she goes.

      We have had some great luncheons and we have another ahead June 18th. Please mail your check as soon as you decide you are attending.

      We will be serving great make it yourself sandwiches with the usual trimmings. This luncheon only the price is $15 instead of the usual hot lunch $20. But hang on, we could use that extra $5 and any additional you care to contribute.

      What’s going on is the Council is adopting the National Liberty Ship Memorial SS Jeremiah O’Brien. We will have the certificate ready for signing, sealing and framing, at the luncheon. What we don’t have is some $$$ to go along with it.

      The O’Brien is an expensive lady to maintain and operate and now as our first adoptee we would like to help keep her in the manner she to which she has become accustomed. In mid-June she goes into dry dock to get her bottom tested and some hull repairs accomplished. She has a big bottom and her visit to the beauty parlor is not cheap.

      So, members and friends we have dropped the price of lunch but we ask that you please open up those wallets and purses, write those checks, and help keep her ship shape ready to cruise the Bay or beyond. Enough said, call me if you have questions. Yes, receipts for tax purposes will be available.

      In addition to the adoption, I have invited my buddy Mason Brown to come on over from Coast Guard Island and be our guest speaker for the occasion. I first met Manson at the Naval War College some years back when he wore commander stripes. We have kept in touch. Now I am semi-retired and he is an Admiral. By the time lunch is over I suspect you will be appreciative as I am that he continues to serve on active duty.

      There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about mariners who gave their all during WWII and those who survived only to come home to a second class welcome. I ask for your support of Senate Bill 961, “A Belated Thank You To The Merchant Mariners Of World War II Act of 2007.” Let’s make 2007 the year this is signed into law . Call Ian Allison, Co-Chairman of the American Merchant Marine Association Just Compensation Committee. He can be reached in Santa Rosa at (800) 545-4173.

      The Jeremiah O’Brien’s National Maritime Day Cruise is actually on Saturday, May 19th. The council has purchased a wreath to be laid upon the Bay in memory of those who gave their all. The wreath has two ribbons. On the top ribbon, “We shall never forget!” On the other, “In memory of those who gave their all. Pacific Merchant Marine Council.”

      With pleasure I have given Phelps another office. He and I can’t do it all - I am seeking volunteers from among the membership to also serve. At the very least take a title, preferably an officer, but we need directors too. Call me, (707) 332-7659, - I don’t like asking!

      Our membership shows substantial growth but at something less than 60 we have quite a ways to go to having the clout of a large membership backing up our NLUS initiatives. If already a

      member, sign up others. If not join up even if you are a member of another council. We want you too.

      Keep in touch - thanks!

      That is all. Carry on.

      Kerry C. O’Brien, President

      Pacific Merchant Marine Council

      Merchant Mariners Belated Thanks

      House Bill H. R.23 is now filed in the Senate as S.961, “A Belated Thank You To The Merchant Mariners Of World War II Act of 2007.” Belated Thank You to the Merchant Mariners of World War II Act of 2007 provides $1,000 per month to WWII mariners (average age 82) or their widows in lieu of benefits not received after World War II.

      The provisions in both are identical. Please contact Senator Dianne Feinstein to ask her to co-sponsor the bill and Senator Barbara Boxer to thank her for co-sponsoring it. In the House, contact your representative- 14 have so far. Both senators are Navy Leaguers - affiliated with the Sacramento Council.

      Contact information is in the telephone book or on-line at http://navyleague..org or http://usmm.org. Ian Allison is Co-Chairman of the Just Compensation Committee. He can be reached in Santa Rosa at (800) 545-4173.

      H.R.23 was introduced in the 110th Congress by Bob Filner on January 4, 2007. S.961 was introduced in the Senate on March 22, 2007 by Ben Nelson of Nebraska, along with Ted Stevens of Alaska and Sam Brownback of Kansas. There are several VIP Senators needed to sign on. They are: Daniel Akaka, (D-HI), John D. Rockefeller, IV., (D-WV), Jon Tester, (D-MT), Barack Obama, (D-IL), Daniel Inouye, (D-HI), Larry Craig, (R-ID), Alen Specter, (R-PA), Kay Bailey Hutchison, (R-TX), John Ensign, (R-NV), and Johnny Isakson, (R-GA).

      H.R.447 would provide that World War II merchant mariners awarded the Mariners Medal would receive eligibility for Department of Veterans Affairs health care on the same basis as veterans who have been awarded the Purple Heart.

      Phelps Promoted to Senior Vice President

      Pacific Merchant Marine Council

      Navy League of the United States

      PO Box 230

      Fairfield CA 94533-0022

      1 May 2007

      Phelps Hobart

      939 44th St

      Sacramento CA 95819-3405

      Dear Phelps,

      As President, in recognition for your endeavors to promote our new council, I hereby advance you to the position of Senior Vice President.

      I specifically chose Loyalty Day, May 1st. I greatly appreciate all you have done - you are definitely a first mate.

      As Senor Vice President you will assume additional responsibilities; primary are:

      The coordination of the council’s major committees

      To serve as President (Acting) if called upon

      To manage legislative affairs for the Council

      To represent the council at events which I am unable to attend

      To be my understudy learning the duties of President

      I ask that you retain responsibility for membership, membership retention and remain as the Council Webmaster. I have served as interim Editor. What with the splendid job you are doing as Editor of the Sacramento Council’s Log, I ask that you take on the editorship of Captain’s Call.

      Again, thanks for all you do. Please acknowledge you will


      fulfill these duties to the best of your abilities by signing and dating this letter in the space indicated below.


      Kerry C. O’Brien, President

      Acknowledged - I will assume these responsibilities.

      Phelps Hobart (signed 4 May 2007)

      National Maritime Day May 22nd

      The United States Merchant Marine has an important role in ensuring our national security and strengthening our economy. As we celebrate National Maritime Day and the 71st anniversary of the Merchant Marine Act, we pay tribute to merchant mariners and their faithful service to our Nation.

      Since 1775, merchant mariners have bravely served our country, and in 1936, the Merchant Marine Act officially established their role in our military as a wartime naval auxiliary. During World War II, merchant mariners were critical to the delivery of troops and supplies overseas, and they helped keep vital ocean supply lines operating. President Franklin D. Roosevelt praised these brave merchant mariners for persevering "despite the perils of the submarine, the dive bomber, and the surface raider." Today's merchant mariners follow those who courageously served before them as they continue to provide crucial support for our Nation's service men and women. America is grateful for their commitment to excellence and devotion to duty.

      In addition to helping defend our country, merchant mariners facilitate commerce by importing and exporting goods throughout the world. They work with our Nation's transportation industry to share their valuable skills and experience in ship maintenance, navigation, and cargo transportation. More recently the good work and compassion of merchant mariners also played an important role in hurricane relief efforts. Ships brought urgently needed supplies to the devastated areas, provided assistance for oil spill cleanup, generated electricity, and provided meals and lodging for recovery workers and evacuees. BRAVO ZULU Mariners!

      USS San Francisco Service May 27th

      Stan Ellexson writes, “Just a reminder of the USS San Francisco (CA-38) Memorial Ceremony at Lands End, Ft. Miley, San Francisco, overlooking the world famous Cliff House. Starts at high noon Sunday 27 May. Hope to see some of y'all there. I will be the Master of Ceremonies for the 9th year. There will be 12 to 16 "Frisco" vets in attendance as well as several other dignitaries from the area.”

      Memorial Day May 28th

      Throughout our history, the men and women who have worn the uniform of the United States have placed the security of our Nation before their own safety. America will be forever grateful for their service and sacrifice. On Memorial Day, we honor those who have paid the ultimate price for our freedom.

      Defending the ideals of our Nation has required the service and sacrifice of those from every generation. From Valley Forge, across Europe and Asia, and in Afghanistan and Iraq, courageous Americans have given their lives so that others could live in freedom. These Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen took an oath to defend America, and they upheld that oath with bravery and decency. They have liberated the oppressed, spread freedom and peace, and set a standard of courage and compassion for our Nation. All who enjoy the blessings of liberty live in their debt.

      This debt of gratitude extends also to the families who stood by our servicemen and women in times of war and times of peace. Each of the fallen has left behind loved ones who carry a burden of grief, and all Americans are inspired by the strength of these families. On Memorial Day, a grateful Nation pays tribute to their personal courage, love of country, and dedication to duty.

      Editor’s Note: On April 22nd the Sacramento Valley Veterans Administration National Cemetery was dedicated. It is located at 5810 Midway Road near Dixon. Representatives of the Navy League were present.

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