Why Go To A Reunion?

If you are a former MASSEY sailor, you know what the camaraderie of shipboard life is all about.  Going to sea in a “small boy” is a unique and often challenging experience.  There are few life experiences that can match life aboard a “Tin Can” of MASSEY’s vintage… riding out a storm for days on end, refueling at “O-Dark Thirty” off an oiler, freezing or sweating in cramped berthing compartments, spending hours at General Quarters (GQ) or enjoying a greasy “slider” at Mid-Rats.  At a young age you learn to work as a team and you develop relationships that bridge a lifetime whether you do a 4 year tour or serve a full career (a Lifer!).  There are few fields of endeavor in civilian life that create the trust and bond that develops between Navy Shipmates.  The majority of our members from MASSEY’s 1944 commissioning to her decommissioning in 1973 served their tour and then returned to civilian life.  So why do they go to a reunion?  You only need to attend one to see a sea of smiling faces, watch old friendships and memories rekindled, and once again hear the great “Sea Stories” that seem to get better every year!  Shipmates back together again!

What makes the MASSEY Association reunions special?

So what makes the MASSEY Association reunions special? Well they are literally a Massey Family reunion with the namesake Massey Family often joining MASSEY Shipmates for the get together.  Other reunion associations rarely have the honor and pleasure of having the ship’s namesake family members present at a reunion.  The MASSEY Association is often uniquely blessed with the presence of CDR Lance Massey USN (ret), son of the ship’s namesake; his gracious Navy wife, Judy; and their son, Capt Lance Massey.  A MASSEY reunion is truly a multi-generation family experience!

MASSEY reunions occur annually… unless Mother Nature intervenes.  The membership votes at the annual business meeting on the location of the next reunion and the follow on reunion 2 years out.  The association’s Reunion Planning Committee then starts the planning process that works every detail from accommodations to the schedule of events.  The latter includes tours of historic sites, visits to local attractions, a Memorial Service to remember fallen shipmates, and plenty of socialization time in the “Hospitality Room”. On the tours, the Planning Committee is ever mindful that we don’t have the “Sea Legs” of past days so mobility accommodations are always factored in.

The reunion is a multi-day event with Day 1 being a PM check in at the hotel and a welcome gathering at the Hospitality Room; Day 2 through Days 3 or 4 are dedicated to tours/events; and the last day is usually breakfast and check out.  Reunion dates are picked to allow the best possible hotel rates matched to moderate weather typically in Spring or early Fall.  There is no requirement to attend the whole schedule of events.  There is a Sign Up Form included in the association newsletter that allows you to make your choice of tours/events to attend.  Remember you must be a member to attend a reunion!  To join up, click on one of the links on this site or the Join The Crew menu above to take you to the Membership Form.   Lastly you can join up when you fill out the Reunion Sign Up Sheet!  It’s the best $10 investment you’ll ever make!

Wives and family members find these reunions a great shared experience and are welcome to join in this annual tradition!  To give you a flavor of a reunion, at Left are After Action Reports on each reunion held to date.  Click on any of them and you will see former MASSEY shipmates, who served on her through three wars and four decades, together again for a fun event.  Come join us at the next reunion!

11 thoughts on “Reunions”

  • Gerald verdi says:

    How do I join this site?

    • Dick Pearsall says:

      Gerald – Am assuming you mean how do you join the USS MASSEY Association? There is no site to join since the Association publishes it free to any user. Did you serve on MASSEY? s/Dick Pearsall (MASSEY 64-66)

  • Carol Giguere says:

    My husband served on the Massey from 51 to 55. Before he died in 2010 he was able to go to a few reunions. My question is how many of his shipmates are still alive? His name is Conrad Gerard (Jerry) Giguere. He worked in the ships store. Thanks for your reply.

    • Richard Ernest Pearsall says:

      Carol – That’s a tough question to answer off the top of my head but let me work on it. The only source we would have is the Membership Directory which depends on members keeping it updated. Let me see if there are any current members from the 50s who may have known your husband. My email is if you would like to continue this thread. Be safe. s/Dick

  • Kathy & Tom Truesdale says:

    Looking for links to 2015 Reunion in Nashville TN, as noted in hard copy of The Big Dipper, Feb 2015. Are they available on this site? Thank you!

  • Kathy & Tom Truesdale says:

    Looking for links to 2015 Reunion in Nashville TN, as noted in hard copy of The Big Dipper, Feb 2015. Are they available on this site?

  • Mike Roberts says:

    Portland, Maine is a great place for a reunion. For those who like seafood, especially lobster, one of the best places the locals go is the LOBSTER SHACK at the twin lighthouses in South Portland. It’s a local secret. It’s a beautiful site above the ocean and also features a big lawn, seating inside and out, and a big fog horn at the end of the point. You can see the waves crashing against the rocks and look at the lobster pots floating in the water. The website is http://lobstershacktwolights.com/, but it doesn’t do it full justice, you have to be there to really take it in.

  • Steve Brown says:

    Had the pleasure of meeting a number of the Massey’s crew while they were here in Philadelphia for their reunion. One gent, in particular, spent a few minutes reminiscing with me about his years aboard ship in ’44-’45. Apparently, he is one of only two members of the original crew still with us and is a ‘plank owner’ — I neglected to ask his name, but snapped a picture with him.

    As the son of a Tin Can Sailor who served from ’39-’45 aboard the Tarbell and, later, the Lewis Hancock in both the North Atlantic and Pacific, those few minutes with this veteran reminded me of the kind of man my Dad was and the kind of men and women who put their lives on the line for us then — and now. We owe them far more than our gratitude.

    Being brought up in Newport, RI in the 50’s and 60’s, we saw the Massey come and go during the Vietnam period.

    S.F. Brown

  • Tom Norman says:

    Tom Parker, great video! Did not see a link below, but clicked on your name and got the video. First time I have seen it, good job.

  • During the Charleston Reunion I put together a little video of the reunion and posted it on You Tube. Hopefully clicking on the below link will open it up for anyone who may be interested.

    If it does not open try pasting it to your browser.

  • Skip and Mary Schnetzer says:

    This is a very good web site. I like the way it shows pics of the current officers also. It is very informative and so easy to use.

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