t past reunions, we have spent a few moments remembering Tidewater Sailors who have passed away. We call it The Dedication Of The Hats. If you would like to dedicate your own Tidewater Hat in memory of a shipmate at an upcoming reunion, please click here, fill out the form and send it to us. During the ceremony, you or someone you designate will have the opportunity to come to the microphone and perform the dedication. During past reunions, hats were dedicated by Association members to the following Tidewater Sailors, and their words and dedications appear below:


To The Memory of George A. Correa:

AD31 Association members Mike McCarthy and John Pellicano came to the podium during the Saturday evening 2012 Reunion banquet in Branson to make a hat dedication in George's memory:

"We would like to dedicate a hat in George's memory. He was a dear friend and shipmate who was always there to help and defend his mates. He was a successful businessman and father who lost his battle with heart disease too early in life. He will be missed by all his shipmates and never forgotten."

George A. Correa - Member No. 0071 - last resided in Las Vegas, NV and passed away on November 15, 2005. He was a founding member of the AD31 Association. George reported aboard the Tide in 1963 and worked in S4 Division's Laundry and Dry Cleaning Plant. "I've met up with several of my old buddies through your web site," says George. He departed AD31 in March 1966 as a SHSN and was a LIFE MEMBER of the Association.

John and Mike are sending their dedicated hat to George's son, Lane, in Las Cruces, NM.


To The Memory of Robert E. Branch:

Association member, Bill Cook, dedicated a hat in Bob's memory at the Branson 2012 Reunion:

"I first met Bob while aboard the Tidewater - not sure where exactly, but probably in the chow line or on liberty somewhere. But Wynne and I really got to know him and his wife, Kathy, subsequent to our Steering Committee Meeting in September 2003. I liked him immediately - he was my idea of a true Texan - always gracious and polite, but always positive about what he believed and how he behaved."

"Kathy made me a US Navy flannel throw that Wynne and I could use to cuddle with on those cold winter nights in Florida. We have used it at least a dozen times at baseball games, on the beach and

Robert E. Branch, Sr. - Member No. 0036 - passed away in Buffalo, TX on Friday, February 12, 2010 with his wife Kathy Jo by his side.. He was a founding member of the Association. Bob came aboard the Tidewater in September 1961 and worked in Ship's Company as an Electricians Mate. He departed AD31 in July 1963 as an EM3, and was a LIFE MEMBER of the AD31 Association.

have shared it with our grandchildren who were sleeping on the back porch (pretend camping, they call it). I always think of her and Bob when I see it. We definitely miss seeing them at these get-togethers."

Bill will be sending Kathy a hat, which he dedicates in Bob's name, as a memento of their friendship and of Kathy's devotion to this kindhearted Texan who was one of us when the Tidewater was in Norfolk, and will remain one of us forever..


To The Memory of Fred D. Lewis:

Association member Bill Cook made a hat dedication in Fred's memory:

"Fred sent us some of his photos from the family album. Glenn passed away sometime back, at which time I dedicated a hat in his name and sent it to Fred. Now it is Fred's turn and we've lost both of them. They served together aboard AD31 from March 1953 until January 1957."

"At one point in their tour aboard the Tidewater, Glenn and Fred were the pointers for mounts 43 and 44. That means they sighted and fired the twin 5-inch guns. And while the Tidewater as operating out of GITMO one time they both hit the sleeve being pulled by a tow plane, so the Captain had the cooks bake them two identical cakes. It made the news."

Fred D. Lewis - Member No. 0027 - Fred passed away on July 7, 2010 and until then resided in Baker, LA with his wife, Jo Anne. He was a founding member of the Association. He came aboard the Tidewater in March 1953 and worked as an Opticalman in 6th Division. Fred's shipmates sometimes thought they were seeing double as Fred served with his twin brother, Glenn who was also an Opticalman in 6th Division. Both Glenn and Fred departed AD31 in January 1957, both as OM2. Fred was a LIFE MEMBER of the AD31 Association.

Bill will be sending Fred's family a hat, which he dedicates in Fred's name, as a memento of his service to our country, our ship and his enthusiastic support of our Association.


To The Memory of Fred Smith:

I would like to dedicate my USS Tidewater hat to the memory of Fred Smith, who passed away on January 15, 2006. Fred was a good friend of mine during the 1956-58 years that I served on board the USS Tidewater. He will be missed by me and all his shipmates from the Tidewater Association.

Roger Nash

Chief Frederick R. Smith - Member No. 0097 - was a founding member of the Association. Fred reported aboard the Tidewater in January 1957 as a Seaman Apprentice and worked in R-5 Division's Torpedo Shop. He departed the Tide in November 1960 as a TM2 and went on for a career in the Navy, retiring as TMC. Fred signed on with the AD31 Association as a LIFE MEMBER. He passed away after a brief illness on January 15, 2006.


To The Memory of John "Jack" McCadden:

Jack was aboard the USS Tidewater from August 1951 to April 1955 and worked in the 5th Division Pattern Shop as a PM2. He was a longtime friend and shipmate who we had been in touch with after all the years after being aboard the Tidewater.

Jack was so happy to know of the reunion that was coming up in October 2004, but he took sick in August 2004 and passed away on September 2, 2004. He will always be missed.

Shipmates Jesse L. Gorden and George Malloch


To The Memory of Ralph C. Jones:

I got to meet Ralph after he joined the USS Tidewater Association and experienced a close newfound friendship like so many I have made with former shipmates. Ralph later passed away after a short illness, but not before I would meet his family and find out how much his memories of the Tidewater and its crew meant to him. For his family and his shipmates I want to dedicate my Tidewater hat to the memory of this new friend and Tidewater Sailor.

Bill Cook

Ralph C. Jones - Member No. 0035 - Ralph came aboard AD31 in January 1953 . In applying for his LIFE MEMBERSHIP, he said, "I have waited a long time for this!" Ralph made two Med Cruises (1954 & 1956) and worked in 5th Division and in R1 Division Hull Repair. Ralph was a founding member of the Association and departed the Tidewater in November 1956 as an ME3. He passed away on May 17, 2004 in Fort Wayne, IN.

To The Memory of Glenn C. Lewis:

Glenn served in the Optical Shop with his identical twin brother, Fred, from March 1953 to January 1957. Fred had originally planned to dedicate his hat to his brother but was unable at the last minute to attend the Branson Reunion. So I dedicated a hat for Fred to his brother Glenn.

We have a number of stories on the website which tell about how they served together and how they kept the spirits high on the ship. One story tells about the time they were pointers for Mounts 43 and 44. While the Tidewater was operating out of GITMO, they both hit the sleeve and so the Captain had the cooks bake two identical cakes for them.

Bill Cook for Fred Lewis

To The Memory of Marvin Hrubes:

Marv passed away at the early age of 58 due to a massive heart attack. He was a good friend, a good provider for his family and we talked hours on end

about the good times we had aboard the Tidewater. It's hard to think about our service time without thinking of Marv.

James (Mike) Sharp and Russel Schultz

To The Memory of Sam Boomer:

Sam and I had more than a Navy history. We both graduated from Hastings High School in Nebraska in 1962. We enlisted in the US Navy in July of 1965 on the Buddy Plan. Our boot camp and "A" school was in San Diego. Sam went to the MR school and I went to EM school. We were able to do "Sailor" things on liberty.

Sam reported to the Tidewater around January of 1966 and I showed up the following month. We have kept in touch over the years, sharing many fond memories. Sam passed away unexpectedly on April 1, 2008. He had a brilliant mind and a kind heart. and he will certainly be missed by his family and friends.

Larry (Grover) Cleveland

Sam Boomer - Member No. 0089 - passed away on April 1, 2008, and, until then resided in Norwich, CT. He was a founding member of the AD31 Association and came aboard the Tidewater in February 1966, reporting to R2 Division's Heavy Machine Shop. Sam advanced to MR2 while aboard AD31 and departed in July 1969. He was active in Amateur Radio and held an Amateur Extra Class License AK1B. He was a LIFE MEMBER of the AD31 Association.

To The Memory of Chief Earl Leonard:

Chief Leonard was aboard the Tidewater during one of the history-making phases of its service to the Atlantic Fleet. Not much gets in the newspapers about a destroyer tender just doing its daily duty but when Sam, the Space Monkey, came back from his short trip into Space, Chief Leonard was there.

Here's how he tells it:

'It just so happens that I had the OOD at the forward brow when all that happened! I will never forget all those cars pulling up on the pier, flag vehicles, marines galore and having to summon the CDO and the Captain down as no notice was passed on to me. Even when all this parade of personnel passed over to the other ship did I know what was happening! When Sam was retrieved and was crossing over to the pier I was in a position to get a real good look at him in his little capsule. Cute little bugger, all wide eyed and looking around.....looked as confused as I was!'

Today, I am dedicating this Tidewater hat in Chief Leonard's memory. We are indebted to him for his service aboard AD31, which included personality traits, not the least of which, were his humility and his sense of humor.

Bill Cook

Chief Earl Leonard - Member No. 0022 - Chief Leonard was a founding member of the Association. He came aboard the Tidewater in 1958 and worked in R-3 Division's Electric Repair Shop where he was the Chief Petty Officer in charge. Chief Leonard was OOD when Sam, the Space Monkey, made his arrival. You can read about his recollection of the event at our web site. He departed the Tidewater in 1962 and retired from the US Navy at the rate of EMCS and is a LIFE MEMBER of the AD31 Association. Chief Leonard passed away on June 8, 2005 and was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetary.

2006, 2008, 2012 USS Tidewater AD31 Association
all rights reserved