Dear USS Haynsworth Shipmates,
Received the following e-mail and
tribute and thought many of you would appreciate it.
Howard R. Doble 50-52
Webmaster of http://www.Howard5052@Charter.Net
Spread the Word, "Lets All keep the USS Haynsworth
Memory and Spirit Alive".
August 18, 2008
This Eulogy was written by
Captain David J. Oberholzer
USNR (Ret.) and it was read aloud by his son, Gary at
his father's funeral.
To the family and
friends of Vernon Stuard
Those of us from the
Haynsworth Reunion did not know it, but at our
Minneapolis reunion in 1998 the man who was going to
change our reunion from "business as usual" to the
efficient organization it is today, joined us for the
first time. His name was Vernon Stuard.
Vern was elected
President for the first time at our 12th
reunion which was held in Portsmouth, NH
6 weeks after 9/11. Vern knew that many changes needed
to be made such as an elected President, better
financial reporting and other organizational changes. He
began putting things in motion when he accepted the
Presidency of the Haynsworth Reunion Association. The
Association improved vastly under his direction during
the next five years. He has the respect and admiration
of "all hands" for his diligent efforts in leading the
organization to its' smooth running status. He turned
over the reins of office to the new President, Ed Timm,
in October of 2006.
Sherry and Vern also
did an outstanding job hosting two reunions, the first
in San Antonio in 2000 and the second in Arlington in
2004. At the 2004 reunion we went in the black
financially and actually contributed to the treasury.
Vern and Sherry ran this reunion impeccably, despite
Vern's daily appointment for radiation. They bent over
backwards to see to it that all the shipmates and their
wives had a great time at both reunions.
I believe Vern's two
favorite reunions were Myrtle Beach in North Carolina
and Arlington in Texas. Gary came to Myrtle Beach where
they played lots of golf and he loved introducing him to
all his Navy buddies .. Arlington ranks right up there,
too, as a favorite because that was the reunion where we
got to meet Sharon, Roger and, of course, Gary, and
their spouses and their children I He was so proud of
Vern served aboard the
USS Haynsworth (DD-700), a destroyer built during World
War II. He served in the Gunnery Department as a Gunners
Mate Second Class from 1954 to 1955.
We treasure these
memories of Vern as we salute him for his service to our
ship, to our Association and to our Nation.
To you, Vern, as you begin your final voyage, we wish
you "fair winds and following seas"
I regret to inform you that Lt. Cmdr Alvin Mandell
passed away January 24, 2003, at the home of his son
Robert Mandell in Reading, MA. Apparently my dad served
on multiple destroyers in WW2 and I have found multiple
contacts at his home in terms of newsletters and dues
paid. He served I think on the Ault DD-698, the
Haynsworth, the English DD-696 and the Weeks DD-701, I
do not know how many of his friends are still alive, I
would appreciate your posting this notice and you can
list my email firstname.lastname@example.org for anyone wishing to
The following tribute was
published in the local paper by a friend of my dads.
Robert L. Mandell 441 Lowell St.
Reading MA email@example.com
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++Remembering Al Mandell
By Tom Mountain
Tuesday, February 3, 2004
In August, 1985 on the 40th
anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and
Nagasaki, retired Naval Lt. Commander Alvin Mandell became
a spokesman for the millions of World War II veterans who
were angry with the liberal media for distorting the truth
about this historical event. The rant in leftist circles
held that the Japanese were already surrendering at the
time of the bombing.
Al Mandell knew better. He was
there. Literally.Al was serving on the destroyer USS Weeks
off the coast of Japan when he witnessed Japanese planes
bomb the nearby USS Borie, killing 45 American sailors.
This was after the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima
He would encounter the same PC
revisionism in Newton 10 years later in 1995 when the
library held a forum, "Should We Have Dropped the Atomic
Bomb?" And once again Al was there battling for the truth.
As he had done his entire life.
Al Mandell was a standard bearer
for what has become known as the Greatest Generation. They
triumphed over the Depression, World War II and the Cold
War. They created a prosperity that would eventually
catapult America to unprecedented heights. They were
selfless and patriotic, hardworking and frugal. Sacrifice
was their motto. Service to country, community and family
Al personified this generation.
He devoted his life to building a better America.
He was the quintessential
compassionate conservative, long before the term was ever
invented. He cared deeply about improving public education
and the quality of life in Newton. In 1968 he was elected
to the School Committee, where he served until 1979. Back
then Newton was, as it is now, a liberal community.
Perhaps not as extreme as today, since conservatives like
Al could get elected. But it still presented an uphill
battle. This was the early 1970s, long before Proposition
2 1/2. School spending was out of control. Property taxes
were through the roof. The city was headed toward a fiscal
meltdown. Conservative Democratic Aldermen Sid Small and
Eliot Cohen formed a citizens group called "Voice," with
the sole purpose of electing candidates who could bring
fiscal sanity back to Newton. They succeeded brilliantly.
The year 1975 saw the dawn of a brief "conservative
renaissance" in Newton politics when five fiscal
conservatives were elected to the School Committee.
Republican Al Mandell became the chairman. The liberals
went ballistic. Al went to work.He introduced a radical
concept in public education - that public schools were not
the private domain of the mayor, unions or School
Committee; they belonged to the taxpayers. School
officials were to be made accountable. Al was well ahead
of his time. He demanded educational standards and
outcomes. He foresaw the MCAS. He created a full-term
school day in part to help working mothers who couldn't be
at home during the day as the students were sent home
daily for at least an hour-long lunch. He opened up the
School Committee to the public, even when the liberals
packed the audience to taunt him.But Al was a man of
principal. He could not be intimidated. He never backed
down. Even his diehard opponents eventually gave him a
grudging respect. Al could never suffer fools lightly. A
classic Al Mandell School Committee hearing involved an
overpaid assistant superintendent, who was left speechless
when Al publicly asked him, "Tell us exactly what you do
all day." He became the bureaucrats' worst nightmare. He
called it as he saw it, regardless of the fallout.The Left
couldn't stand him ... but the people could. They kept
re-electing him even as his conservative colleagues were
defeated. But the liberals desperately wanted him out.
They set up a Charter Commission to update some of the
city's archaic policies. Al was a believer in term limits.
So were his liberal commission colleagues, but they wanted
term limits ... just for Al, and any future Als. They
created a four-term limit for the School Committee only,
not for the Board of Aldermen since at the time, Al had no
interest in running for alderman. So determined were they
to push him off the School Committee. But Al wouldn't go
away. He became a lightning rod in the successful Prop 2
1/2 movement of the early 1980s when Newton property taxes
were finally brought under control. He beat City Hall on
the 1992 library tax issue. And the new library was
eventually built, as he predicted, without a higher tax
surcharge for the public.
At age 77, when most have long
since retired, Al was appointed chairman of the Newton
Housing Authority. He correctly surmised that as Newton
became a haven for the wealthy, the middle class was
squeezed out and the lower income marginalized. So he
became an advocate for acquiring permanent affordable
housing. He hosted his final meeting with his Housing
Authority colleagues last week - the day before he died.
Al forbade his own obituary to
appear in the ultra-liberal Boston Globe. He wanted any
memorial donations to go to the Donahue-Mandell
Scholarship Fund, named for Bobby Donahue, a Newton North
student tragically killed in 1977 during Al's School
Al Mandell never forgot Bobby
Donahue. He never forgot a lot of people. It was typical
And that's why we remember him
... and pay homage to that Greatest Generation which he