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Volume I    Issue 2

Newsletter of the USCG Lightship Sailors Association

Spring 2003




Dennis Cosmo


Bob Gubitosi




Rick Bennett


John Hughes


Doug Bingham

Larry Strauss

Bernie Isherwood

Chris Bennett

Varoujan Karentz



Marty Krzywicki


Larry Strauss


Marty Krzywicki


Dennis Cosmo


Doug Bingham


Marty Krzywicki


John Hughes

For inquires regarding

Membership, contact;

Dennis Cosmo Jr.

50 Belvedere St.

Johnston, RI 02919



Rick Bennett

25 Keswick Rd.

Brockton, MA



Report of Reunion

USCG Lightship Sailors Assn. Reunion IV was held at the Hampton Inn,

Westport, MA. The dates were 1-3 August 2002 and most stayed for the

Lightship Memorial dedication on Coast Guard Day, the 4th in New Bedford.

This was a red-hot reunion! Not only was it a huge success, but Mother Nature

cranked up the thermostat to where it read "boil."

60 members signed in over the 4-day period with a total of 103 present at the

banquet. This is by far our best reunion attendance to date.

Oh yes, there were some glitches, the major one being the nonperformance of

the air conditioning system during the banquet, not to mention the loud and

raucous music next door.

White?s knocked off 10% of the bill for that but it was annoying to say the

least. The hospitality room was nicely located but it was somewhat too small.

On the up side, we all had a good time and best of all, the financial estimates

were met and we came out far enough ahead to pay for everything. This was

mainly due to the auction and I must thank each and every one of you who

contributed so generously.

You approved the suggestions that we hold the next (2003) reunion in Lewes,

DE and the one following that (2004) in Astoria, OR. You can bet that the

dates for Lewes will be in the cool of fall, now set for 2-4 October 2003. Plans

are already in the works for Lewes and a formal announcement has been


Dedication of the Lightship Memorial was perfect in all respects, a very

appropriate tribute to our lost comrades. It is comforting to reflect that this

memorial is a permanent thing that will honor these men long after the rest of

us are gone.

An added and welcome attraction was the presence of Lightship 612, moored

near the end of the State Pier as a private yacht. The ship has been restored to

pristine condition for all past crewmembers and others to admire.

To those of you who attended, we thank you for your participation, and for

those who didn?t, we hope to see you next year in Lewes, Delaware.

Jim Gill

Meet the Board of Directors

President Dennis Cosmo Jr.

My first assignment from boot camp was in January of 1970, to the Relief WLV-613 for twenty-seven months. During that

time we relieved Nantucket Shoals, Five Fathoms, Delaware, Boston, and Portland. In 1972 I went to Station Gloucester and went

to the Boston L/V 189 for 8 months. I went active reserves in 1978 stationed at Castle Hill RI, Pt. Judith RI, and retired in 1993.

Vice President #1 Robert Gubitosi

January 1957 Boot camp in Cape May N.J. then on to Commissaryman school in Groton CT. 1957 to January 1961 LV112

WAL-534 and Relief. Also went with ship to Curtis Bay, MD for conversion from steam engines to diesel engines. January 1961

to January 1963 Active CG Reserves with some duty at Toms River LB Station N.J. January 1963 to January 1965 Inactive

reserves. Married, five children and ten grandchildren, making home in Dimock, PA.

Vice President #2 VACANT

Election in Lewes, Delaware to fill this position (REMINDER that only members with paid dues allowed to vote)

Treasurer and Chaplain Rev. John Hughes

Served twenty-two years in the Coast Guard. Served aboard the WAL-531 1962 to 1963. Also served aboard USCGC Anvil,

Sassafrass/Hornbeam, and Dauntless, as well as bases, training centers, and recruiting office. Retired as a BMC at CG Institute 1

Jul 1983. Graduated from Nazarene Bible College in May 1987 and served as Pastor of Churches of the Nazarene in Alabama,

Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Bitburg, Germany.

Secretary Richard A. Bennett

Served twenty years in the Coast Guard. Served on the Portland WLV-612 in 1972 to 1973 and later served on the last lightship

in the Coast Guard, decommissioning the Nantucket I WLV-612 in March 1985. Served at Cove Point Lighthouse in Maryland,

and was OinC of Isles of Shoals Light on White Island off Portsmouth NH. Retired from Boston Station 1 MAY 1991.

Director Larry Strauss

I have been a member of LSA for a couple of years, and have volunteered to be on the Board of Directors. I served in the Coast

Guard from August 1965 to August of 1969, in that time I was stationed on the Boston Lightship WLV-539 from November 1965

to November of 1968, with the remainder of my time spent at Merrimack River Station. Following the service I worked at

Eastman Kodak Company, retired last year and my wife Carol and I live in Hilton NY near Lake Ontario.

Director Christopher Bennett

This is my first year serving the members of LSA with a title attached to it. My father is your secretary, and together we have

been working for LSA from the start in 1999 in Quincy, MA. I was always in the background and now I have stepped forward as a

voice for the Second Generation. I urge more family members to get involved with this organization in some way. I am currently

working with the U.S. Postal Service as a letter carrier and hope to meet many of you at the Lewes, Delaware reunion.

Director Varoujan Karentz

Currently reside in Jamestown RI. I served in the Coast Guard 1945 to 1946, USS Groton PF-29, USS Brunswick PF-68, and

No Lightship Duty. U. S. Navy 1950 to 1952, USS Sicily CVE 114, USS C. T. O?Brien DE 421. Interests Preservationist and

Historian, Advisory Board USS Saratoga, BOD Heritage Harbor Museum, Herreshoff Marine Museum, Jamestown Historical

Society, Beavertail Lighthouse Association.

Director Bernie Isherwood

Graduated high school (La Salle Academy) June ?65, joined the Coast Guard Sept. ?65, Graduated Boot Camp (Quebec 59)

Nov. ?65 (Note: Listed on Dream Sheet Alaska & Hawaii. Gave me CCGDONE because "I came fm New England, yeah and?)

Rptd. CG Base Boston (Dream Sheet once again WAL 534 offered no clue what a lightship was and put in as a request for. Got it)

Reported CGGRP Woods Hole and then to The Nantucket Lightship (WAL-534), tied up at dock Nov. ?65

Served aboard Nantucket (WLV-534) 2 yrs, 4 mo. 8 days. (Kicked off was told, "That it was about time I joined the Coast Guard."

Fm Boot Camp to the Lightship, what a deal) Transferred to CCGRP Woods Hole (p) SN/YN, April ?68. Transferred to CGDONE

(p) YN3, Aug. ?68 to discharge Sept. ?69. Joined the Reserve Unit (Prov., RI) Sept. ?69 to Dec. ?70. Upon discharge in Sept. ?65

returned home to Providence, RI and joined the Providence Fire Dept; remained there for the next 23 years until my retirement in

May 1992. Still miss the Coast Guard and the "BEST" 2 yrs of my life, "The NANTUCKET L/V (WLV-534)

Director and Historian Douglas M. Bingham

Served in the U. S. Navy 1969 to 1973, with the Atlantic Mine Force at Charleston, SC, USS Jacana MSC 193, USS Agile

MSO 421, MSB 93. Since 1983 I have studied Lighthouses, Lightships and the History of the US Lighthouse Service, Revenue

Cutter Service, and the USCG 1786 to 1939. Volunteer Restoration crew of WLV-612 while owned by the MDC in Boston.

Served as the Historian for the restoration and have spoken to dozens of groups such as American Legion, VFW, Amvets, Historic

Societies and many school groups in the New England region.

Director and LSA Founder Martin Kryzwicki

Served in the Coast Guard from 1953 to 1959. After boot camp I was stationed at COTP Philadelphia PA 1953 ? 1955 CGC

Barateria Portland ME 1955 ? 1957 CGC White Heath Boston MA 1957 ? 1958 WAL 536 Pollock Rip Lightship 1958 ?

1959.After leaving the Coast Guard I became a Police Officer and then a Deputy Sheriff for 10 years. I spent the next 30 years in

heavy construction. I have been retired (more or less) since 1999 although I do still plow snow in the winters. I am a Member of

the American Legion and have served as Post Commander, District Law Chairman, and District Vice Commander. My wife

Georgia and I live in Saint Paul MN.


Jim Gill crossed the bar 2-10-2003 while serving as President of LSA. Here are my thoughts.

August 1999. Three and a half years ago. I do not remember how I had heard about it, but there was to be a reunion of former

Lightship Sailors in nearby Quincy, MA. Had any other location been selected I might never have gone. But this was here, in my

own backyard, so to speak. This was a chance to learn what other men felt about their ships. I loved the time spent on my

Lightship. I work nights, and was able to report to work late each day, so I was able to attend. This is where I met a man named

Jim Gill.

Jim and I got to chat just a bit, and we discovered we had a common bond?we both served on the 612. I saw a kind and gentle

man, gray-haired with a beard, and his hat. He told me he was called "Poop Deck Pappy," and that was an easy way to remember

his email address. It turned out I would get to know that email address very well. The association was born that day. Jim

volunteered as Vice President, and I volunteered as Secretary. Jim said that we would have to work together to form some

paperwork needed for the association. I had no idea what "some paperwork" meant then. He said we would be in touch by email

shortly since he had some research to do before returning home.

We were in constant communication. In three and a half years we must have sent thousands of emails to each other. Jim wrote the

bylaws for this organization. We fine-tuned what was to be used and finally submitted them to the membership. They are the

current bylaws of this organization. Jim was the machine behind membership drives. Membership rose from 27 at the start to what

is today: six hundred and sixty-five. He and his wife Betty took a vacation together to France. When Jim got home, he sent me a

list of new members he had found while in France and other places on his trip. I already miss not getting an email from my friend.

No more do I see the daily emails with the subject line "stuff" on them. I think he liked using "stuff" so he wouldn?t give away the

surprise hidden inside. "Hey Rick, I FOUND HIM!!" he wrote one time. He had spent over a month trying to find one member.

That man is on our list today.

When Jim wasn?t looking for Lightship sailors, he was looking for the ships. On February 10th, 2003 at 10:35 in the morning, I

received a document from Jim Gill. It was his letter documenting what he had done and what he knew about the Lightship 76-504.

He was trying to locate her. He believed she was in Canada as of this letter. But he had passed this letter on to me. And now he is

gone. The torch was passed. I have no idea how, but on February 10, 2003, I began a search for a ship. You see, my friend was

looking for it, and now it is my turn. Anyone seen an old converted Lightship out there? I am looking for her.

For those of us who knew Jim, and his bride Betty too, they became very close friends. Cherished friends. To me he was like a

dad, supportive but allowing me room to grow. I learned better writing skills from him. I shall miss his smile, his soft voice, and

his guidance, but most of all I shall miss not seeing an email from PDP@CTS.COM. Fair winds and following seas, my friend, till

we meet again.

Rick Bennett

Memorial Service and Scattering of Ashes for Jim Gill

Will be held in San Francisco on the 10th of May 2003 from the M/V HARBOR EMPEROR

Boarding will begin at 0900 at Gate 3, Pier 39.

Departure will be at 0930.

Return to Pier 39 at approximately 1200.

Pier 39 is located on the Embarcadero at the foot of Powell Street at Fisherman?s Wharf.

Reception follows at Point San Pablo Yacht Club located at 700 West Cutting Boulevard in Point

Richmond CA.

All are welcome.




Lightship 605 has found a home at last. A pier-side ceremony was held on 23 October 2002 at Jack London Square in

Oakland, CA to announce the good news and welcome the ship to her new berth. U.S. Lighthouse Society President

Wayne Wheeler presided over the program, introducing the principal speaker, Vice Admiral Terry Cross USCG,

Commander USCG Pacific Area. Other dignitaries sharing the podium represented the State of California, the Port of

Oakland, the U.S. National Park Service and the U.S. Department of the Interior. Also attending were RADM(LH) Tom

Gilmour USCG, CDR Matt Bliven USCG and Jim Gill, President, USCG Lightship Sailors Assn.

As the program concluded, the USLHS pennant was hoisted to the tune of a soft-pedaled sounding of the ship's fog

signal, whereupon the assembled group went aboard for refreshments and to inspect the ship.

Lightship 605 has been restored to a level that defies belief. Thanks to the dedicated efforts of Ship keeper John

Byrne and a crew of enthusiastic volunteers, the ship appears ready to resume station with the mere addition of fuel,

stores and the assignment of a crew. Rest assured, this priceless treasure in the annals of maritime history has

reached a safe harbor.

The "Man of the Hour" is Wayne Wheeler, who with steadfast and unwavering determination endured 17 years of

frustration, red tape, financial duress and other formidable barriers to succeed at last in bringing about this great

historical event.

To Wayne Wheeler and the staff of the USLHS, the 605 volunteers, docents and all others who contributed to this

hard-earned victory, the USCG Lightship Sailors Association extends a most hearty WELL DONE!


AUGUST 2002 Reunion #4 in New Bedford, MA. This has got to be the best reunion so far. The outpouring of members was our

highest yet for a reunion. During this reunion the LIGHTSHIP SAILORS MEMORIAL was dedicated. It sits proudly facing the

water at what is now called COAST GUARD PARK. Mr. Harold Flagg, the last survivor of the Vineyard sinking, was on hand to

assist in the dedication, and we were honored to have him. This memorial was Harold?s lifelong dream. Each and every year

Harold and the other survivors of this sinking celebrated the memory of those who lost their lives. One by one this group has been

reduced. Now Harold, the last survivor, has finally seen the memorial dedicated. This memorial is a granite block, with the names

of fifty men who gave their lives in one way or another to the Lightship service. Although we no longer have any room for more

names to be added to the stone memorial, there is plenty of room left to add names, around the base, as we identify them. We

know of other incidents but have found no documents anywhere to identify these people. Therefore they were left off the

memorial. Your stories and information might be the key to finding the names of these men. Share them, please. Mail or email

them to any Board Of Director member.

January 06, 2003 We received a photograph of a life raft and several men standing around this life raft from Mr. Jay McCarthy.

They were the men rescued from the Relief LV78/505, after it was sunk on 24 JUNE 1960.

The men were identified in the photograph, and the documentation was provided as to where they lived at the time they served on

the ship. This was enough information for Doug Bingham to complete an Internet search, make phone calls, and speak with all but

two of them. So the search is on for these two men. This newsletter will eventually reach over 600 people. Again, one of you may

hold a clue to the location of the missing. Contact us if you have any information on any incident.

LSA WEBSITE ? When was the last time you visited the main branch of your local library, or the senior center of your locality? If

you have no computer you will most likely find one there. Ask for help and surf the web for our website with all the information it


Check it out?. Stay in touch with everyone.

Your stories and photos are wanted. Write your story related to this duty. Scan your pics.


GOT SOMETHING TO SHARE WITH EVERYONE? Send in a story, some photos (make copies since we can not return them),

ask a question, or look for someone. We can help. Write to Rick, Doug, or any other member of the board of directors. They will

see that we get your items and try to answer your request. Get in touch with one of your shipmates you have not heard from since

way back when. Get involved with LSA!

REUNION INFORMATION October 2, 3, and 4 2003

Hotel ? Atlantic Sands Association. All rooms must be booked using the Association name for the discount rate of $105.00 plus tax. This includes rooms and suites on a first-come, first-served basis as shown below.

Oceanfront Room - Standard accommodations, 2 double beds, and oceanfront balcony.

Ocean View Room - Standard accommodations, with 2 double beds, and a balcony with a side view of the ocean. Please note;

Ocean View rooms are not Oceanfront.

Suites, Southside - Deluxe accommodations, with 2 double beds, wet bar area with microwave, sink, refrigerator, and coffee

maker, sitting area with pullout sofa, balcony with side view of the ocean.


Beef tenderloin tips in mushroom demi-glaze

Stuffed chicken breast

Roasted potatoes

Vegetable medley

Hearts of Romaine with cracked peppercorn and Parmesan dressing

Market greens salad with raspberry vinaigrette

Cheesecake with fresh strawberry sauce

Fresh brewed coffee, decaffeinated coffee, and assorted teas

FRIDAY NIGHT SOCIAL HOUR Featuring a cheese and cracker display.

REUNION COSTS. Please read this very carefully to be sure of what you want.

Wearguard lifetime guarantee jacket, style # 355

Rugged Stain-resistant 100% nylon outer shell is strong and durable. Flannel lining is

warm and comfortable. Jacket has a new, roomier fit. Versatile

Multi-season wear. Wind and water-resistant shell with 100% cotton flannel lining

provides lightweight protection. Features a drawstring waist, snap front, elastic

cuffs, two deep pockets and one inside pocket. XL largest size at reunion.

Larger Jacket sizes are special order and ordered after the reunion.

Member costs $100.00 includes jacket Guests with jacket $100.00

Member & guest with no jacket for guest $165.00

Member and guest with jacket for guest $200.00

Send your personal check to our Treasurer:

John Hughes, P. O. BOX 805, ATOKA, OK. 74525




The day-to-day operations of this organization are paid for with funds

provided from DUES. Dues have been lowered to $15.00 per year for all

categories of membership. Please support this organization with your

prompt submission of dues to the treasurer at the address on the

previous page. Thank you for your support. All are reminded that only

members with dues paid may vote during business meetings.


From Baltimore, MD

Take I-695 to I-97 South

I-97 South to US-50

Travel East on US-50 over the Bay Bridge ($2.50 fee east bound only) to SR-404

Drive East on SR-404 to SR-16

Continue East on SR-16 to SR-1

Drive South on SR-1 towards Rehoboth & Dewey Beaches

Turn East on 1A extended and continue towards the beach

Turn left on Second Street

Make first right on Baltimore Avenue for two blocks

Atlantic Sands Hotel is on the left

From Lancaster, PA

Travel southeast on US-222 to SR-472

Continue southeast on SR-472 to SR-213

Take SR-213 south to SR- 273

Take SR-273 east into Delaware

Take SR-273 southeast to SR-896

Go south on SR-896 to US-301

On US-301 drive south to SR-71

Take SR-71 southeast to US-13

Go southeast on US-13 to SR-1

Travel southeast on SR-1 (toll on portions) passing Milford, DE

Drive South on SR-1 towards Rehoboth & Dewey Beaches

Turn East on 1A extended and continue towards the beach

Turn left on Second Street

Make first right on Baltimore Avenue for two blocks

Atlantic Sands Hotel is on the left

From New York (GW Bridge), NY and from Newark, NJ

Go west on George Washington Bridge (toll on portions) to New Jersey

Continue west on George Washington Bridge (toll on portions) to I-95

Drive southwest on I-95 (toll on portions) to New Jersey Turnpike


Continue southwest on New Jersey Turnpike (toll on portions) to I-295

Go northwest on I-295 (toll on portions) into Delaware

Go west on I-295 (toll on portions) to US-13

Go southeast on US-13 to US-113

Dive south on US-113 to SR-1

Drive South on SR-1 towards Rehoboth & Dewey Beaches

Turn East on 1A extended and continue towards the beach

Turn left on Second Street

Make first right on Baltimore Avenue for two blocks

Atlantic Sands Hotel is on the left




Due to the many inquiries regarding service connected hearing deficiency peculiar to lightship tours of duty, an informal search

was made to determine the extent of interest within the Lightship Sailors Assn.

As of 22 January 2002 there were 25 Lightship Sailors that responded, enough to indicate the need for some organizing. The

acronym DAAG (Diminished Aural Acuity Group) was coined to avoid any possible embarrassment to those afflicted.

A volunteer, Bernie Byrnes, has stepped forward to act as spokesman for the group and our Webmaster, Marty Krzywicki agreed

to provide space on our website. www.uscglightshipsailors.org

This group consists of USCG Lightship Sailors members who have had the misfortune to lose any amount of hearing capability

due to exposure to fog signal apparatus and/or high noise levels in lightship engine rooms.

Disability claims to the Veteran?s Administration have in some cases been accepted but in others

rejected. While LSA is presently not in a position to pursue the legal problems involved, there is much to

say for the power of numbers appearing in letters, affidavits and the like.

Within this group there is a wide variety of experience to be found and DAAG has been created as a

FORUM in which to share any information that may prove helpful.

Bernie Byrnes can be contacted at;

32 Sexton Ave., Westwood, MA 02090-2821




All of the paperwork that is required to be submitted has been delivered to H&R Block, and is now in the hands of the IRS for

our tax exempt status and number. We are reminded that this process can be a very lengthy one that could take up to several years

to complete. This is now a waiting process from the IRS. An update on this if any will be provided at the reunion business



Well spring is here finally. I will be organizing a clean up crew for the memorial in New Bedford real soon. This will be a

washing down, sanding, priming, and painting as needed on the memorial. Anyone interested in joining me (Rick) for this project

let me know. I will contact Art Motta and inform him of our plans, and provide a date soon.


I would be very glad to accept any item from any member if you wish to donate something for the auction and are not able to

attend the reunion yourself. My address can be found on page one. If anyone that plans to attend the reunion has anything they

would like to donate to the fund raising auction you may bring said item with you to the registration table. If you are traveling and

would rather ship it to the east coast before you leave contact me and ship it to my home, since Chris and I will be driving to

Lewes, Delaware, space limited but we do have some.

Thank you for your support and see you in Lewes, Delaware.

OCTOBER 2, 3, AND 4, 2003



25 Keswick Road

Brockton, MA. 02302-1518



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