Greetings Shipmates…

Our 40th Annual Reunion will be held at The Inn at Opryland in Nashville, TN on September 6 – 9, 2020.

The reunion will again be held jointly with the USS Mispillion AO-105. The following tours are being planned for Monday, September 7th and Tuesday, September 8th. Additional information concerning hotel reservations at The Inn at Opryland, the golf outing, tour costs, Buffet Banquet, and a Reservation Form will be included in the 2020 Summer Newsletter. We hope you’ll join us to enjoy the following tours:


Your knowledgeable and experienced tour guide will guide you on an enlightening & entertaining tour of Nashville to include the downtown area with some of its colorful history & beautiful architecture. Also, drive by world famous Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge on Honky Tonk Row, the original Ernest Tubb Record Shop, Ryman Auditorium, the State Capitol and more. Drive through Music Row where you’ll learn about the recording industry from songwriting to record producers to famous recording studios and the performance rights organizations ASCAP & BMI who monitor airplay of songs all over the world, so that the songwriters get paid. You’ll stop at Historic RCA Studio B for a guided tour of Nashville’s oldest surviving recording studios where legendary artists such as Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton, Roy Orbison & countless others recorded their hits.

No trip to Nashville would be complete without a visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum where you can leisurely stroll through hundreds of exhibits & enjoy numerous audio & video recordings. You’ll also have ample time to have lunch on your own. You’ll learn about Tennessee’s rich history with a drive through Bi-Centennial Mall Park and view the World War II Memorial and a drive thru Centennial Park to view The Parthenon.

Before heading back to your hotel, you’ll enjoy a Backstage Tour of the Grand Ole Opry House. Begin in the new custom built theatre as the room comes to life with music, state of the art special effects & priceless archival footage. Then join your tour guide for a guided tour & get an intimate look at the people, places & stories behind the show that made country music famous.


Country music lover or not, everyone who visits Nashville attends a Grand Ole Opry show. For 93 years, this show is the longest running radio show in radio history. From up & coming artists to traditional artists to contemporary artists, there’s music for everyone. It’s the show that made Nashville famous & not to be missed!


Step back in time to the 1830’s as you explore President Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage, home of the 7th President of the United States. The Hermitage is considered the most accurately preserved early presidential home in the country. You’ll view the Andrew Jackson Born for a Storm exhibit, interpreter-led tour of The Hermitage Mansion and explore the gardens & tombs of President Andrew Jackson & his beloved wife, Rachel Jackson at your leisure. Next we’re off to Hermitage House Smorgasbord for a buffet of Southern classic favorites for lunch.

2019 REUNION RECAP: Our 39th Annual Reunion was held in Chicago, Ill from Wednesday September 25 to Sunday September 29, 2019 at the Marriott Suites Deerfield in Deerfield, Ill.

On Thursday morning shipmates and guests enjoyed The Chicago Architectural 90 Minute Boat Cruise on the Chicago River. We learned about how the Great Chicago Fire destroyed much of the city and allowed visionaries of structural steel and plate glass to rebuild the city in less than ten years, lift Chicago from the ashes of the fire to new heights, and made Chicago the birthplace of the skyscraper. In the afternoon we went to The Museum of Science and Industry. Among the many excellent interactive exhibits, we enjoyed our opportunity to board the German U-505 submarine, the actual craft that stalked the waters of the Atlantic before it was blown to the surface and captured on June 4, 1944. From the cramped quarters to the feel of battle, it’s an interactive walk through a piece of history that we will never forget. We also experienced that which an actual coal miner would as we entered a recreated coal mine. Since 1933, the Coal Mine experience has taken MSI guests down the mineshaft, along the rails, and through the walls of a true-to-life coal mine.

On Friday we departed our hotel early to go to the Great Lakes Naval Training Center to attend a graduation ceremony and to tour the base. The graduation ceremony took place in the same building in which many of our shipmates graduated many years ago. We learned that graduations occur almost every Friday and graduate from 500 to 1,000 recruits each week. Following the ceremony, we went to lunch on the base at the Port O'Call Restaurant where we were joined by CAPT Ray Leung, the Commander of Naval Station Great Lakes. He made a brief presentation and took many questions afterwards. After lunch we stopped at the Navy Exchange where we enjoyed unlimited shopping privileges.

Saturday we were free to explore Chicago on our own before enjoying our Banquette Buffett at our hotel.

After the reunion, we received a very generous rebate from Kimberly Ghys, Senior Account Executive of the Lake County Illinois Convention and Visitors Bureau. The money will be used to defray expenses for the 2020 Nashville Reunion.


Bauer, George & Elaine and Cordts, LindaKauppinen, Robert & ConnieRipple, William & Rea
Christus, Amy and NickieKik, Ron & Joyce and Mason, RachelleRowles, Gary & Sharon
Croeber, Paul & NancyLattery, Mike & Joanna and Nielsen, KaySlingsby, Rex & Judith
Crowell, Martin & MuffettMaynard, Jerry & SandraStephens, Darrell & Phyllis
Fiorentino, RichardNorthrop, HaroldWalker, Robert and McCoy, Joyce
Gordon, Al & JunePeznowski, Edward & DoreenWilson, Robert & Linda and Hardesty, Greg & Barbara
Grant, Bob & BeverlyRaiter, John, Raiter, Susanne, and Petrzilka, Doris Ann 

DUES: In order to keep your membership current and to continue receiving our newsletters, we encourage shipmates to pay their annual dues. The dues year runs from April 1 – March 31. If you have not paid your dues for this year (April 1, 2019 – March 31, 2020) please complete and mail the dues coupon on this page to our Treasurer, Bob Wilson. We would like to thank the following shipmates who have paid their dues through this year and, in several cases, beyond: (note: dues are waived for all 1940s shipmates and spouses

If you have not yet paid your dues, please clip this notice and send with your payment. We send this notice with every mailing.
Additional contributions are gratefully accepted. NOTE: Dues are waived for all 1940s shipmates and spouses

NAME__________________________________________________________ YEARS ABOARD_________RATE/RANK_________________
(e.g. 1960-62)
StreetCity State ZIP
E-MAIL ADDRESS___________________________________________________________________________________________________
Please make your check payable to: USS CHIKASKIA AO-54 and mail to:
Bob Wilson, 6533 Wood Thrush Way, Stone Mountain, GA 30087-4857

We sincerely appreciate dues payments and the additional contributions shipmates send in to help defray the costs of mailing our newsletters and the other expenses necessary to sustain our organization. We have received generous donations from several shipmates specifically designated for stocking the Hospitality Room. Because of that, we have not had to assess a Hospitality Room charge for attendees


The Chikaskia hats are available at the reunion and by mail. If you wish to order, please mail your order with your check made payable to USS CHIKASKIA AO-54 to Bob Wilson. His contact information is at the top of page 1 below the masthead and at the bottom of the dues coupon above.

Ship’s Hats are available in Blue or Black with silhouette of ship (photo at right). Please specify the color when ordering. $15.00 ($20.00 if mailed)

Sweatshirts and many other wearable items custom embroidered with the Chikaskia logo are available to shipmates through Cabin Fever Embroidery, 291 North Street, Calais, Maine 04619.

Shipmates can view the Cabin Fever catalog at:

Scroll down to the “Main Catalog” link to view the catalog.

To place an order contact Cabin Fever Embroidery at:

Phone: 207.454.0083



Bob Grant, Vice Chairman &
Communications Coordinator
2252 Valley Oak St
The Villages, FL 32162
Richard Fiorentino
Board Chairman
P.O. Box 7973
Pittsburgh, PA 15216
Bob Wilson
6533 Wood Thrush Way
Stone Mountain, GA 30087
Ron Kik
Board Member
1126 Crescent NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Paul W Croeber
Secretary & Editor
73 Wethersfield Rd
Bellingham, MA 02019
Reunion Organization of the USS Chikaskia (AO-54) February 2020

Executive Board