Fleet Post Office

New York, 09501

January 23, 1969

Dear (Relative)

The beginning of another year seems a good opportunity for me to greet new friends and reflect on old friendships. On November 22nd CALCATERRA celebrated her 25th anniversary---thus marking 25 years of active service since commissioning. The day was observed with a Family Cruise, for which local dignitaries, relatives and friends of crewmembers were hosted aboard for a full day of at-sea exercises. With the aid of supporting facilities from the Key West Naval Station, demonstrations of the ship’s fighting capabilities were conducted. Special helicopter and submarine exercises were carried out, and a weather balloon was launched. Crewmembers demonstrated small arms firing procedures, firefighting techniques, and many other shipboard activities. The entire day provided an opportunity for our guests to view the actual operations of CALCATERRA. My only regret is that many of you residing at great distances from Key West were unable to attend.

On the afternoon of the Family cruise, it was my pleasure to advance Jesse R. COFFMAN to Petty Officer First Class Electrician, Roger L. HARTE to Petty Officer Third Class Engineman, Russell L. WILLIAMS to Petty Officer Third Class Engineman, and Homer L. WESTBERRY to Petty Officer Third Class Boatswain’s Mate. The advancement of these men was combined with a cake-cutting ceremony in honor of the ship’s anniversary.

After several weeks at sea, CALCATERRA returned to Key West on December 16th and commenced a 3 week holiday leave and upkeep period. We saw none of the cold fronts and snow storms which visited the rest of the nation. Christmas was observed aboard CALCATERRA with dining and decorations in the tradition of the season, and Santa Claus came to us in the form of letters and packages from home. The holiday in general was a welcome pause for leave and reflection.


The first week of the New Year was spent busily preparing for operations at sea. With many new arrivals aboard since our last cruise, there was heavy emphasis on training prior to getting under way. On January 4th, it was my pleasure to advance John P. RUDDY to Petty Officer Second Class Radarman, and to present Steward Leopoldo C. ALBEA his first Good Conduct Award. Again on January 16th, I had the pleasure to advance Kenneth E. NOVARIA to Chief Petty Officer Engineman, Arturo C. HERNANDEZ to Petty Officer First Class Radioman, David L. PILGRIM to Petty Officer Second Class Yeoman, Robert A. SMITH, Jr to Petty Officer Second Class Postal Clerk, Ronald E. PETTY to Petty Officer Second Class Gunners Mate (Gun), and to present Petty Officer Second Class Gunners Mate (Gun) Harry D. HOOK with his first Good Conduct Award. At present a large number of crewmembers are preparing themselves for the semi-annual advancement tests, which will be administered in February.


For old and new friends of CALCATEERRA, let me emphasize my willingness to provide information and assistance in any way I can. I offer my best wishes throughout 1969, and my sincere thanks for your support in ’68.

Signed: (R.H. REILEY), Commanding Officer


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