1 LEAKY T News The Newsletter of the U. S. S. Tolovana AO-64 WE CARRY THE LOAD Dedicated to the deceased and living members of the best Fleet Oiler in the U. S. Navy. First Edition published Spring-Summer 2002 If you were thirsty, we gave you a drink. Edition No. 21 SUMMER REUNION REMINDER AND UPDATE: October 15,16 & TUESDAY,WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY IN HOT SPRINGS ARKANSAS. THE REUNION WILL BE HELD AT THE COMFORT SUITES, 320 NASH STREET, HOT SPRINGS AR, THE PHONE NUMBER IS WHEN MAKING RESERVATIONS BE SURE TO ASK FOR THE TOLOVANA RATE AS IT IS LESS THAN THAT SHOWN ON THE WEB SITE. JESSA IS THE HOTEL PERSON IN CHARGE OF THE TOLOVANA REUNION SO IT MAY BE A GOOD IDEA TO ASK FOR HER WHEN MAKING RESERVATIONS OR FOR INFORMATION. THE STANDARD SUITE ROOMS COST IS $85 +14% TAX PER COUPLE PER NIGHT. THE STANDARD SUITE ROOMS HAVE EITHER 2 QUEAN BEDS OR 1 KING BED. A FREE CONTINAL AND HOT BUFFETT BREAKFAST IS INCLUDED. THE HOTEL DOES NOT HAVE A RESTURANT. THE BANQUET WILL BE HELD THURSDAY EVENING ABOARD THE BELLE OF HOT SPRINGS ON LAKE HAMILTON.
2 NOTE: There are 3 lakes around Hot Springs National Park, Lake Hamilton, Lake Catherine and Lake Ouachita. Lake Hamilton is the one for the Banquet! We will board the Belle at 5:30 PM, the boat leaves at 6:00PM. Casual attire is the dress code for the banquet. The dinner cruise will be for 15 miles of sightseeing on Lake Hamilton with the Captain giving a narration. The dinner menu is: Roasted Beef Brisket w/onion gravy, mashed Irish potatoes, green beans, tossed salad, homebaked cobbler, tea and coffee. The cost of the dinner and cruise is $39.00 for each adult. All reservations for the banquet must be received by October 1, Please mail your banquet reservations and checks to Ray O Neal, 9725 Hwy 67, Benton, AR Ray can also be reached via at PHONE for any additional information. USS TOLOVANA 2013 REUNION AGENDA TUESDAY OCTOBER 15 TH 12:00 PM Registration begins and the hospitality room opens stocked with coffee, soft drinks and snacks. An attendee s form or the current roster will be available for attendees to fill out or highlight your names on the roster so everyone will know who is in attendance and for the newsletter. Any change of address, phone # and addresses should be noted. (NOTE CHECK IN TIME AT THE COMFORT INN IS 3 PM BUT ARRANGEMENTS HAVE BEEN MADE TO ALLOW EARLY ARRIVALS TO MEET IN THE HOSPITALITY ROOM BEFORE ROOM CHECK IN). Raffle tickets will be sold for the raffle of Navy/Tolovana items that have been donated, AND, for the lucky winner to split the jackpot! The more you buy the better your chance of winning. DINNER IS ON YOUR OWN. WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 16 TH Free breakfast at the Comfort Inn Visit the local attractions on your own. 1-4 PM The business meeting will be held in the Comfort Inn hospitality room.
3 Volunteers to host the 2014 reunion will have an opportunity to tell the group as to the where & when they would like to host the reunion. If there are two, or more, volunteers to host the 2014 reunion an election will be held. Final chance to buy raffle tickets before the raffle starts. 5 PM The RAFFLE will be held. DINNER IS ON YOUR OWN. THURSDAY OCTOBER 17 TH Free breakfast at the Comfort Inn Visit the local attractions on your own. 5:30 8:00 PM Banquet on board the Belle of Hot Springs cruise boat. FRIDAY OCTOBER 18 TH Free breakfast at the Comfort Inn. Checkout of the hotel and final goodbyes until next year. FYI as of July 8, 2013 there were 9 room reservations at the hotel for the reunion: Leland and Kathy Haskell; Skip and Dot Moore & their two Sons and Daughter-in-law, Howard & Virginia Hensley, Ray & Mary O Neal, Wayne & Mavis Schultz, Earnest & Beth Brasseaux and Bernie & Donna Wagner. Best get your reservations in ASAP! CHRISTMAS ISLAND ATOMIC BOMB TESTS OPERATION DOMINIC Operation Dominic happened during a period of high Cold War tension between the West and the Soviet Union since the Bay of Pigs Invasion had just occurred. Khrushchev ended the 3 year moratorium on nuclear testing and the Soviets held a series of tests. Kennedy responded by Operation Dominic, the largest nuclear weapons testing program ever conducted by the United States and the last atmospheric test series by the U.S. The limited Test Ban Treaty was signed the following year. 36 nuclear test explosions were held at Christmas Island starting April 25, 1962 to November 4, The USS Tolovana was there and Dave Cassel HM2, , was there. His story follows: April 22 through the 26 th, 1962 I was assigned to a training course at the Naval Station, San Diego, Course C420, Atomic Biological, Chemical Warfare. A one day course, C427, Radiological Decontamination, was held at the Fleet Training
4 Center in San Diego. The Tolovana ship crewmen assigned to these schools were: Ens. Wm a Andary, Ens. Robert Duke, BM1 A,F, Ramos, SFC Thomas Brown, FN Russell Champagne, SK3 Daniel Wood, SN Tom Boyd and HM2 Dave Cassel. The Navy assigned the ships Medic s to issue 2 monitor badges per person. (As he remembers one badge was for Alpha Beta particles and he thinks the other was for Gamma rays what a memory!). These badges were to be worn by all personnel during the course of the operation. The Corpsmen were not trained to read the results of the radiation that the badges accumulated. The badges were turned in to the Navy upon return to Long Beach. During the remained of my duty aboard the Tolovana we never got any results of the badge findings. We all assumed everything was within acceptable limits. Little did we know. Dave is interested in finding out if anyone else that was on the T at that time is experiencing effects of exposure to ionizing radiation. One abnormality will be an excessively high red blood cell count. Treatment for this condition is chemotherapy. If you have something to share with Dave about your health issues contact Dave at
5 Jerry Jay Miller and his brother Lee Roy Miller also was aboard the Tolovana during the tests. Lee was an electrician on board the ship, I don t know Jerry s rate. If anyone remembers them you can contact them via Lee s Sister-in-law Dorothy at Lee underwent chemotherapy and radiation treatments at the Poulsbo WA. Veterans Administration hospital March 2013 for Leukemia he contacted at Christmas Island. The Doctor told him if he hadn t had the treatments when he did he would not have lasted 2 more weeks wow! Jerry got the treatments due to a sworn statement by his brother that he was aboard the ship during the tests because of not having his service records. (this indicates to me that, like to get the Agent Orange benefits you need someone to testify you had boots on the ground in Viet Nam, and in this case boots on the deck at Christmas Island).
6 If you need copies of your service records the address is: National Personnel Records Center 1 Archives Drive St. Louis MO Phone FAX The easiest way is to get it off your PC by typing SF 180 Military Form in your search engine, fill it out and mail or FAX it. I am very sad to tell you Lee Miller passed away Thursday May 23, 2013, at the University of Washington Medical Center with AML leukemia. Condolences may be sent to his wife Lois c/o Karen Grossman, P.O. Box 245, Uniontown WA Being a private person myself, I understand shipmates not wanting to tell the world about their health issues, however some of us don t know stuff about the VA and we need to share our information to help others in dire need. Like Lee, when life threatening events suddenly hit us we and/or our family members sometimes aren t prepared or know how to get the help we may need so lets share with Dave and Lee if we have health problems due to Christmas Island and how we got the VA benefits. MESOTHELIOMA Navy ships, like the USS Tolovana (AO-64), were laden with asbestos containing products. Asbestos was used throughout Navy ships sleeping quarters, mess halls, bulkheads and engineering spaces. During their service, thousands of Navy veterans were exposed to asbestos. As such, many of these navy veterans have been diagnosed with Mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a cancer that develops in the outer lining of the lungs or abdomen usually many years after the asbestos exposure has occurred. If you are a Navy veteran who has been diagnosed with Mesothelioma you may be eligible for compensation. Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer which is caused by exposure to asbestos. This article is written is to help those that have been diagnosed with Mesothelioma get benefits and treatment from the Veterans Administration and advise you of a Law Firm that works for veterans who have contacted the disease
7 AnyonerememberCurtisTurner? Curtis Turner boarded the USS Tolovana on September 6, 1949 as a Fireman Apprentice (FA) and achieved Boiler Tender 1st class while aboard the ship and left the ship August 4, Unfortunately Curtis Turner was diagnosed with a disease called Mesothelioma. Mesothelioma was the cause of his death. Mitch Van Norman with the Shrader & Associates Law Firm represents the family of Curtis Turner and is working to obtain compensation for the family from the manufacturer of asbestos products used on Navy ships. Mr. Van Norman is asking any shipmates that remember Curtis to contact him to verify that Curtis was aboard ship and could have been contaminated by asbestos. He wants to find information about his time on the leaky T, what duties he performed which would have exposed him to asbestos. Mr. Van Norman can be contacted at or Curtis Turner played the violin and probably played with others in the mess deck the first night after leaving port. Below are pictures of Curtis with shipmates. If you are in the pictures, or know who is in the pictures please contact me and/or Mr. Van Norman.
10 . If you are a Navy veteran who has been diagnosed with Mesothelioma you may be eligible for compensation. Contact the Sharader & Associates, L.L; P. office and one of their attorneys will review your case with you in confidence, and at no charge. Thank you on behalf of Curtis Turner s family for your help with this matter. Alice Joseph has had a setback after her hip surgery. She had abdominal surgery 8 weeks later. Praise the Lord, no cancer. You can call Alice on to give her a get well soon message. PLEASE SEND ME ANY NEW CONTACT INFORMATION YOU HAVE FOR OUR ROSTER. ALSO PLEASE ADVISE ME OF ANY HEALTH ISSUES YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEND OUT TO YOUR FELLOW SHIPMATES. IN ORDER TO KEEP THE ROSTER CURRENT WE ALSO NEED TO KNOW OF ANY DEATHS. HOWARD HENSLEY RD
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