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

_________________________________ Welcome Aboard __________________________________

DDE 824
DDE 824
DD 824
DD 824


June 6, 2021, From Don Ayers, RD3 65-67

Three Agent Orange Presumptives Added

Three conditions will be added to the list of those presumptively associated with exposure to Agent Orange. Those conditions are bladder cancer, hypothyroidism and Parkinsonism.

Vietnam War era Veterans and their survivors, who previously filed and were denied benefits for one of these three new presumptive conditions, will have their cases automatically reviewed without the need to refile a claim.



May 16, 2021, From John Jaskowiak, RM3 64-67

May 14, 2021

VA to readjudicate Veteran and survivor claims for possible herbicide exposure

WASHINGTON — Veterans who were previously denied service connection for an herbicide related presumptive condition due to lack of in-country Vietnam service will have their claims automatically readjudicated by VA.

The department began readjudicating claims in April for Veterans who served in the offshore waters of the Republic of Vietnam during the Vietnam War but were denied for one or more herbicide related conditions, on the basis that military service was not performed on the landmass
of the Republic of Vietnam or on its inland waterways.

“Readjudication means VA will review the evidence of record and provide replacement decisions in the cases of Veterans who were previously denied service connection benefits,” said Acting VA Under Secretary for Benefits Thomas Murphy. “We have the proper resources in place to meet the needs of our Veteran community and will ensure all eligible Veterans’ and their survivors’ claims are examined thoroughly and fairly.”

The review also applies to eligible survivors of deceased Vietnam-era Veterans and is part of the Veterans Benefits Administration’s implementation of the Nov. 5, 2020, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California order in Nehmer vs. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, requiring VA to readjudicate previously denied claims.

VA will determine if benefits for qualifying disabilities can now be paid retroactively to the date of previously denied claims. The court’s decision requires automatic readjudication in such cases without requiring a new claim, and potentially paying benefits to the survivors or estates of deceased beneficiaries.

More information is available regarding VA disability benefits based on Agent Orange exposure.



2021 Reunion Announcement - March 9, 2021

Attention Basilone Shipmates,

We were eager to have a reunion in September however due to continued uncertainty surrounding Covid-19 the USS Basilone Association officers have decided to cancel the 2021 reunion.  We know that cases of Covid-19 are down, hospitalizations are down and vaccinations are up, and by the time of the reunion most of our members should have received their vaccinations, however we are also concerned about Covid-19 variants.  Also, we are concerned that there may be limitations still in place regarding the number of people allowed in restaurants and venues and there still might be closures of venues we would like to visit.   It was a difficult decision to make but we believe that the health and safety of our members come first and that is why we are canceling this year’s reunion. The reunion will be rescheduled to either the week of May 10 to May 14, 2022, or May 17 to May 21, 2022, depending on the availability of hotel rooms.

Some of the comments on the 2021 Reunion Survey reflect concern about the health and safety of our members and concern that they could bring Covid-19 back to their families.  Then there are other comments that believe that by September most of our members who would attend would have received vaccinations and we should be fine.  As stated above the health and safety of our members comes first.

Some comments on the survey suggested we have the reunion in conjunction with the launching of the USS John Basilone, DDG-122.  This would be great, but we don’t know the exact date of the launching.  Tom Berry (OS3, 74-77) who works for NAVSEA has information that the Launching will be November 27, 2021.  Geoff Bender’s (FTG2, 70-74) contact at NAVSEA informs him that the November 27th date is a target date and the launching will be in the November/December time frame.  (NAVSEA, stands for Naval Sea Systems Command, who oversees the construction of new ships.)   We will continue to update the USS Basilone website with information about DDG-122 when it becomes available.

2021 Reunion Survey Results - Download


USS Basilone DDE/DD 824 Association Officers


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.


James Goodspeed LT USN DCA, FRAM 1963-64


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. 

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.


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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