The 2019 Savannah Reunion was held on: May 5, 6, 7, 8, 2019 at the EMBASSY SUITES SAVANNAH AIRPORT Hotel, 145 West Mulberry Blvd., Savannah, GA

Mondav May 6, trolleys picked us up at 0830 for the three-hour Savannah Experience Tour that visited all the familiar sites and landmarks of the Historic District as well as the “forgotten” neighborhoods. We saw the grace of the Victorian District, restoration in the Thomas Square neighborhood, and the history of the Beech Institute area and the oak lined grandeur of Victory Drive. We dined at one of Savannah’s oldest and most unique restaurants since 1753 – The Pirates House. 

Mondav May 6, trolleys picked us up at 0830 for the three-hour Savannah Experience Tour that visited all the familiar sites and landmarks of the Historic District as well as the “forgotten” neighborhoods. We saw the grace of the Victorian District, restoration in the Thomas Square neighborhood, and the history of the Beech Institute area and the oak lined grandeur of Victory Drive. We dined at one of Savannah’s oldest and most unique restaurants since 1753 – The Pirates House. 

Tuesdav May 7, trolleys picked us up at 0830 for the Mighty 8th Air Force Tour. The Eighth Air Force was activated in 1942. The museum features over 90,000 square feet of exhibits, interactive displays, historical artifacts and a magnificent collection of art. See a visually realistic mission experience, a world renown, research center and a beautiful memorial garden.  The World War II, B-17 Flying Fortress, “City of Savannah” is undergoing a complete restoration inside the Museum’s Combat Gallery. This was a two hour guided tour that took place after our memorial service in the Chapel of the Fallen Eagles. The chapel was built in an English Gothic style with antique features. 

Wednesday May 8, trolleys picked us up at 0830 for the Island Beach and Fort Tour. This excursion included a visit to Old Fort Jackson, Georgia’s oldest standing brick fortification and a National Historic Landmark.

We also visited Tybee Lighthouse which has a breathtaking view of the surrounding coast.


We ate lunch at The Crab Shack.

Following our return to the Hotel, we prepared for the Banquet at 1800.  The crew enjoyed a good meal with lots of time to share memories and to get to know one another a little better.  Don Heenan our Treasurer, humored us with his stories of his service.

Thursday morning the crew said our good byes and wished each other safe travels until our next reunion and then we went on our separate ways.

 Thank you to:

Gordon Risk and the reunion planning committee.

Henry and Dianne Brueggman for the Navy Bears passed out to the women attending the banquet.

The shipmates who helped our physically challenged fellow shipmates board the transportation to our excursions.

Thanks to the many Hotel staff who helped make the stay an enjoyable one.

The attendees at the Savannah Reunion included the following pictured shipmates their spouses, family and friends;

News from the 2019 USS Massey Association Business Meeting held on May 8, 2019 at the Savannah Reunion:

  • Plank Owners Wendall Davis’ and Jack Zagaros’ attendance at the reunion was acknowledged.  This was the 30th year of reunions.
  • President Risk thanked Tom Norman for his years of service as Secretary.
  • Bernie Barilla was thanked for his many years of service as the Chaplain.
  • Associate membership, to the USS Massey Association, of family members and friends of the Association, was discussed.  It was agreed that associate membership should be encouraged as permitted by the Association Bylaws.  Benefits of Associate Membership are the same as a member except that associate members are not entitled to vote on Association business.  Friends and Family members can join by completing the Application for Membership form provided on the last page of this newsletter.
  • The site of Buffalo NY was approved as the location of the 2020 USS Massey Reunion.
  • Sites for future reunions were discussed and by a majority vote the members chose Norfolk, VA as the site to be evaluated for the 2021 reunion.  Final determination will be made at the 2020 reunion  Other sites considered included Rapid City SD, Branson MS, Mobile AL, and Springfield IL.
  • Election of Officers was held with Darrell Hanson being elected President and all other officers holding the positions in the EXCOMM were approved to continue their respective duties for the next year.
  • Ned Culver and Frank Tiffany were acknowledged as members attending their first reunion.
  • The members all joined in on thanking Gordon Risk for serving as President for the last 3 years and the extra effort in planning the rescheduled Savannah Reunion.