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USS Basilone DDE/DD 824
A Gearing Class Destroyer
The Greyhounds of the Fleet
Commissioned 26 July 1949 - Decommissioned 1 November 1977

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DDE 824
DDE 824
DD 824
DD 824

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2021 Reunion Survey

Due to the uncertainty surrounding Covid-19 the USS Basilone Association officers have been discussing this year’s reunion as to where it should be held. Also, what kind of restrictions and social distancing that might be required and if some of the tours we plan on having will be open?  With that in mind we have a 2021 reunion survey on the website.  Click on the 2021 Reunion Survey tab above.  The survey will be open until March 6, 2021

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February 22, 2021, Received the below email from Jim Goodspeed

All crew members who moved from the crew barge to the Basilone during FRAM in the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard 1963-64, you were exposed to asbestos. As Damage Control Officer on the ship, I advised command against berthing crew members in berthing spaces until after all shipyard lagging work was completed. 

Crew members were moved into berthing spaces before completion of lagging for the convenience of the Government. If you were moved aboard during this period, YOU WERE EXPOSED TO ASBESTOS. 

You need to document your exposure and use this evidence to support any current or future VA claims for respiratory issues.

YOU MAY CITE THIS EMAIL TO SUPPORT YOUR CLAIM.

James Goodspeed LT USN DCA, FRAM 1963-64

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January 14, 2021, From: Fred Gehrisch, ETN2 66-68

To All Basilone Shipmates:

2021 Basilone Association dues are due.  This is just a gentle reminder that if you have not paid your 2021 dues, please consider doing so.  If you are not sure, please email me at fgehrisch@charter.net and I can look it up for you.

Please make checks payable to - USS Basilone Association

The mailing address is:
USS Basilone Association
c/o Fred Gehrisch
5640 Whistling Cove Rd
Gainesville, GA 30504

Regards,

Fred Gehrisch, ETN2
USS Basilone Association Treasurer

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January 20, 2021 – Attention shipmates.  

A shipmate of ours, William Sohn, IC3 64-66, is currently being treated for mesothelioma.  He is looking for any information from shipmates who dealt with or are currently dealing with mesothelioma.  To contact William, go to the Ship’s Scuttlebutt page to obtain his contact information.

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January 19, 2021, From: Frank Stepka, SN 70-73

On Jan. 1, 2020, the Blue Water Navy (BWN) Vietnam Veterans Act went into law, supporting Veterans who may be eligible for benefits based on presumption of herbicide exposure. One year later, VA reflects on its progress.

Granting benefits
 
As of Nov. 30, 2020, VA has processed 39,061 of 75,205 claims received. Of those, 27,366 were granted – awarding more than $724 million in retroactive benefits. The most common granted claims included medical conditions diabetes, malignant growth of the lung, coronary bypass surgery, malignant growths of genitourinary system and coronary artery disease.
In addition, the law provides benefits for children born with certain health conditions whose parent was a Veteran with verified herbicide exposure while serving in Thailand. 
 
Eligibility

The law affects Veterans who served on vessels operating not more than 12 nautical miles seaward from the demarcation line of the waters of Vietnam and Cambodia, as defined in Public Law 116-23 . Veterans, their dependents, and survivors who meet this criteria can apply for these approved benefits.

Veterans – and survivors of deceased Veterans – who served in or near the Korean Demilitarized Zone from Sept. 1, 1967, to Aug. 31, 1971, can apply for benefits.
 
Increasing accessibility
 
To help implement the law, VA collaborated with the National Archives and Records Administration to digitize all Navy and Coast Guard deck logs for ships with known Vietnam service. Digitization of the Navy deck logs was completed in December 2019; Coast Guard deck logs were completed in September 2020. As part of the agreement, VA provided digital images of the deck logs to NARA to make them digitally available in the National Archives Catalog. Veterans may contact inquire@nara.gov if the deck log they are seeking is not available in the National Archives Catalog.

Learn more about Agent Orange exposure and VA disability compensation or call 800-827-1000 for more information.

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January 6, 2021, From: Geoffrey Bender, FTG2, 70-74

USS John Basilone DDG-122 Update

I sent the dates from Tom Berry about DDG-122 to my contact at NAVSEA and asked if they were firm or tentative and the response I received from her is:

It looks as though the information below came directly from the DDG 51 Class Master Planning Scheduled.

The information below is considered internal planning data and represents target dates based on the best information the Navy has at this time and are definitely not firm at this point.  Based on this new information, we are projecting that christening could notionally take place in the November/December 2021 timeframe and commissioning in June 2023.  Again, this is all very notional at this point.

I will be checking with my contact every 4 or 5 months for updates and will post them on the website.

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December 22, 2020, From: Tom Berry, OS3 74-77

USS John Basilone DDG-122, Update

Shipmates:

I just got an update on the ship from NAVSEA (my employer) with new key dates.

1. The home port has shifted from Norfolk to Mayport (YEAH!!!)
2. The Launching is now 27 NOV 2021 (was 06 AUG 2021)
3.Delivery (crew moves onboard) now 20 JAN 2023 (was 29 JUL 2022).
4. Sail away from BIW MAY 2023 (was NOV 2022)

Not sure when/where commissioning is but I bet it’s sometime in MAY 2023.

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September 26, 2020, From: Frank Stepka, SN, 70 - 73

I received a newsletter from my VFW Post about Agent Orange.  If you would like to review it, it is on the Ship's Scuttlebutt page and you can download it.

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May 16, 2020: Note from Jim Goodspeed, LT, 1963-1966 about Agent Orange.

All Basilone crew members who served on board during Vietnam cruises have been exposed to Agent Orange. They should all register for VA health care and take the Agent Orange screening. Even if they have not been diagnosed with one of the fourteen presumptive disorders they may be affected later in life.

Presumptive disease may occur as much as 35 years after exposure.  To see the list of presumptive diseases go to: www.va.gov and search on Agent Orange.

 Crew members who want to file an initial claim for an herbicide-related disability can use VA Form 21-526EZ, Application for Disability Compensation and Related Compensation Benefits or work with a VA-recognized Veterans Service Organization to assist with the application process.  Crew members may also contact their state Veterans Affairs Office.

If for some reason this fails or you are having problems getting help, then contact Jim Goodspeed.    Jim is a certified Veteran Service Officer and can provide guidance and counseling to help crew members with this process. Questions may be directed to his email jwgoodspeed@gmail.com.

Please note that Jim’s access is limited and unreliable and it may take him some time to get back to you.
 

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May 3, 2020: For those shipmates who were on the Basilone when we went to Vietnam in 1966 or 1972 and are going to apply to the VA for Agent Orange benefits. You will need a copy of the deck logs from our time in Vietnam. Go to the Ship’s Scuttlebutt page and you can download the deck logs from our time in Vietnam.

 

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Shipmates

As our association continues to decrease in size due to attrition, your dues become more and more important.  If you supported us in the past please consider continuing that support. For those shipmates that were never active in the past this would be a great time to establish new friendships and even get to know your shipmates from the past.

The dues are $25 per year (or $125 for the lifetime membership).  The monies we receive, pays for our printing and postal charges throughout the year , as well as the association's annual donations to organizations like the SGT. JOHN BASILONE FOUNDATION, UNITED STATES NAVY MEMORIAL , TIN CAN SAILOR'S GROUP, THE JOHN BASILONE PARADE COMMITTEE and others.  Please keep in mind that we are now a 501(c)(19) organization and your donations are tax deductable.

If you have not already done so, please forward your check  (Payable to the Basilone Association)  to:
BASILONE ASSOCIATION
5640 WHISTLING COVE ROAD
GAINESVILLE, GA. 30504
Thank you!

Fred Gehrisch
Treasurer
Basilone Association

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The USS Basilone Association welcomes all crew members, their family and friends to the official site of the USS Basilone DDE 824, DD 824. The Basilone is a post WWII Gearing Class Destroyer that in its lifetime was home to all the men that served on her.

This site was created to bring all of Basilone’s former crew together where old friendships could be rekindled. The Association has been running Reunions since 1994 and the creation of this site was a natural continuance to bringing Basilone’s crew together and a way to remember crew members that are no longer with us. During the gallant life of the Basilone she had many miles and the tales are still being told all over the US.

The Photo Center is the place you can rest assured will put a smile on your face. Hard to believe we actually looked like that. We have vintage and photos from past reunions. If you have photos you want to add to the Photo Center, contact the webmaster to add your photos to the Photo Center.

The Ship’s History section tells not only the complete history of the USS Basilone but also about John Basilone the Marine Medal of Honor recipient the USS Basilone is named after.  And as Basilone sailed the world’s oceans they were not always a safe place to be.  In the Basilone Tragedies section of Ship’s History we talk about the events that occurred on the Basilone and remember the men who lost their lives.

In Memoriam is the page we list all the Basilone Crew that are no longer with us.

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