GROVER T. McMICHAEL
Grover McMichael passed away on May 2, 2023 at his home in Sequim, Washington. Just a few weeks shy of his 100th birthday in June, he was the last know surviving shipmate of the Emmons.
Grover, who boarded the ship in November, 1942, served as a Sonarman 3c. In June, 2015, having participated with his shipmates in the 1944 Normandy Invasion and bombardment of Cherbourg, the French Consul General bestowed upon him, at the Georgia State Capital, the Legion of Honour Medal. The medal is the highest distinction France can confer on a citizen or a foreigner.
He was known among his Emmons Family as a true patriot with a keen wit and wonderful sense of humor. He lived to share the Emmons story with everyone from students, through his visits to the Newnan, Georgia, high school, to his friends and neighbors. Regarding his educating the students, Grover stated, “I want the young people to understand and know what went on at the time.”
CHARLES J. BONHAGE
Daughter Colleen notified us of the recent passing of her father, Charles Bonhage. Charles was the brother of shipmate Joe Bonhage, who made the ultimate sacrifice for his country aboard the Emmons at Okinawa.
Charles, himself a submariner in the Navy reserves, was a long-time supporter of the Emmons Association as evidenced, among other things, by routinely being the first to remit his dues each year.
Ten years younger than his brother Joe, Charles told of how he came home one evening to find his sister was home by herself when the Western Union notice arrived regarding Joe's death.
Charles passed away August 21, 2022 at the age of 91.
On January 25, 2022, Lorene Veal, widow of shipmate Clyne Veal, passed away. They had been married 67 years at the time of Clyne’s death in 2016.
Several years ago Lorene, of Buford, Georgia, shared with us her family’s pride in her husband’s humility regarding his service and how he was one of the last off the Emmons at Okinawa as he rendered care to his injured shipmates. She was 93.
Daughter Jacqueline notified us recently that her mother, Madeline Basile, 96, passed away January 11, 2022, having been under hospice care during her struggle with advanced stages of dementia.
Madeline and late husband, shipmate Frank Basile, were long-time supporters of the Association’s efforts. Madeline continued attending Emmons Family reunions until her declining health precluded it. Daughter Jacqueline expressed how her mother greatly enjoyed the reunions and camaraderie shared among everyone there.
GEORGE C. FLORY
Shipmate George Flory passed away November 20, 2021 in Sarasota, Florida. As Electrician’s Mate 3rd Class, George was a Plank Owner, serving aboard the Emmons 12/5/41 into late 1942.
George and wife Carol attended reunions regularly until health issues made the trip difficult for several years. His children, Michael and Susan, also attended and accompanied him most recently to the 2019 Gettysburg reunion, as well as the 2020 and 2021 Zoom virtual reunions.
Son Michael shared that his father was extremely proud of his service with the Emmons along with the camaraderie of his shipmates.
George was always one to greet you with a warm smile. He was 98 years old.
ANTHONY S. ESPOSITO
The Emmons Family mourns the October 8, 2021, passing of Seaman 1st Class Tony Esposito at the age of 97. As a plank owner and survivor of the Okinawa attack, Tony served aboard the Emmons from her December 5, 1941, commissioning to April 6, 1945.
Beloved Association members Tony and, until her passing in 2013, wife Betty, attended and hosted reunions and enthusiastically supported our efforts of preserving the memory of his lost shipmates.
Tony’s smile and warm personality will surely be missed.
PETER F. CIPARELLI
Daughter Jessica notified us of the passing of her father, Peter Ciparelli, August 22, 2021, following a valiant fight against cancer. He was 69.
Peter and his late wife, Wendy (Jolly) Ciparelli, arranged and hosted several reunions and were active and passionate supporters of the Association’s efforts throughout the years.
JAMES A. ANTHONY
An internet search revealed the passing of Emmons shipmate James Anthony back on February 7, 2020. Jim, Gunner's Mate 1c, boarded the Emmons August 12, 1943 and served on the ship until the latter part of 1944.
Jim lived in Norfolk, VA, and continued serving our country through the Army Corps of Engineers until his retirement. He was very proud of his service time, always one to share his many Navy stories with others. He was 96.
CHARLES E. UNTERBERGER
Kathy Unterberger notified us that her father, shipmate Charles Unterberger, passed away in March, 2021. Charles served as an Apprentice Seaman, going aboard the Emmons in September 1942. He was 96.
Kathy told us how proud her father was to have served and how he often spoke of his time aboard the Emmons and of his buddies who meant so much to him.
Charles was fittingly buried with military funeral honors, including a flag presentation, taps and 21-gun salute. Out of the kindness of other veterans, each of his seven children were presented American flags.
ARMAND J. JOLLY
Armand Jolly, president of the Emmons Association, died peacefully December 26, 2020, at the age of 98. A resident of Pomfret Center, CT, he recovered remarkably well from a stroke in 2019, allowing him to attend the Gettysburg reunion. At the time of his death he was recovering from another suffered in March, 2020.
Armand served aboard the Emmons as a Gunner’s Mate from September, 1942, to the attack at Okinawa, in which he was a wounded survivor.
He served as vice president of the Emmons Association from 1990 to 2004, then took over as president in 2005. Under his leadership, the Association experienced significant growth and strengthening relationships among generations of the Emmons Family, as well as the establishment of the Lt. John J. Griffin/USS Emmons Memorial Scholarship, providing educational assistance to Emmons Family members.
Armand’s love of life, family and all things Emmons will truly be missed. His obituary can be viewed here.
GEORGE W. AVERY, JR.
Lynn Avery notified us that her father, Emmons shipmate George W. Avery, Jr. passed away peacefully in his sleep December 23rd, 2020. He was 94.
George, of Cordele, Georgia, went aboard the Emmons in December, 1944, serving as a Fireman. He was a survivor of the April 6, 1945, attack at Okinawa and was a long-time supporter of our efforts to preserve the Emmons legacy and honor his lost shipmates.
Following WWII, George continued his service to his country during the Korean Conflict. His obituary can be viewed here.
Rita Blumer, widow of USS Emmons shipmate Arthur L. Blumer, passed away July 11th at the age of 95. Residents of Allison Park, PA, Rita and Art hosted the 1996 and 2004 reunions in Pittsburgh. Both were regular attendees at reunions until declining health limited their travel.
Following Art's passing in 2014, Rita made one final visit with her Emmons Family at the 2015 reunion in Groton, CT, along with daughters Deborah, Lisa and Amy.
Sue Kaminsky notified us of the passing of her grandmother, Eunice Kaminsky, on May 7, 2020. Eunice was the sister of shipmate Kenneth Jacoboski, Machinist's Mate 3c.
Kenneth went aboard the Emmons July 1944 and was among those who gave their lives for their country April 1945 off the shore of Okinawa, Japan.
With the help of her granddaughter Sue, Eunice discovered the Emmons Association in 2011 and has been an avid supporter of our efforts ever since.
Christine Yarbrough passed away suddenly April 30, 2020, having recently been diagnosed with cancer. Christine was the granddaughter of shipmate Tony Esposito and daughter of Mike Esposito.
Christine, husband Mike and son Patrick, were among the large contingent of Tony's family to attend the 2011 USS Emmons reunion in Newburgh, NY. The Emmons Association extends its sincere condolences to the Esposito family.
We received word that Shirley Stancheva unexpectedly passed away March 4, 2020. In the two short years we've known her since she attended her first reunion, Shirley became a true friend and avid supporter of the Emmons Association.
Shirley wowed everyone with the USS Emmons quilt she made and provided as a raffle prize for the 2019 Gettysburg reunion scholarship raffle. Over the years, she routinely showed her appreciation and respect for those who served by making quilts for veterans of our Armed Services, including shipmates of the USS Emmons.
Shipmate Clarence Chantlin, 94, passed away March 3, 2020. Clarence went aboard the Emmons on February 7, 1944, participating in the Normandy invasion, the Battle of Cherbourg, the assault on Southern France and finally Okinawa. As Steward's Mate 2nd Class, he was a survivor of the Okinawa attack.
A resident of Lake Charles, Louisiana, Clarence and the Emmons Association found one another in 2018 when we learned his American Legion Post 551 was holding a special ceremony honoring his WWII service.
JOSEPHINE F. MORROW
Long-time supporter and Emmons family member Josephine Morrow passed away February 20, 2020, at the age of 89. Josephine was the sister of Emmons Seaman 1c O'Neil Infanto, who made the ultimate sacrifice for his country aboard the Emmons at Okinawa, Japan, April 6, 1945.
Having attended reunions in the past, Josephine last joined with her Emmons family at the Buffalo reunion in 2017. There, the proud grandmother was on hand as her grandson, Isaac Bird, accepted his Griffin/Emmons scholarship award honoring his great uncle O'Neil.
EDWARD T. MONAHAN, SR.
We recently received word from son Michael Monahan that his father, shipmate Edward T. Monahan, passed away in 1993. Ed was a plank owner and served aboard the Emmons as Seaman 1c until the latter part of 1943.
Ed's death halted plans in the works that year for him to attend his first reunion. Michael expressed his appreciation for the work done by the Emmons Association over the years honoring the service of his father and all the Emmons shipmates.
JAMES G. QUEEN
James Queen passed away December 9, 2019. A resident of Valdese, NC, he was 96 and was appropriately buried with military honors.
James served on destroyers during WWII, including as Seaman 1c aboard the Emmons from January, 1943 until late 1943.
Many of us were honored to have met James at the 2015 Washington, D.C., memorial plaque dedication where the love and respect of his family was evident by the 13 family members that accompanied him.
Jeffrey Horwitz advised us of the passing of his father, Leon Horwitz, on April 20th, 2019, at the age of 84. He was a regular attendee of our annual reunions until failing health prevented his attendance the past two years.
Leon was the brother of Emmons shipmate Lt. (jg) David Horwitz, who gave his life aboard the Emmons at Okinawa. Leon was a passionate supporter of the Association and was instrumental in fundraising for the Griffin/Emmons Scholarship Program.
RAYMOND E. O'CONNELL
Shipmate Raymond O'Connell passed away March 21, 2019. Ray, a Signalman 2c aboard the Emmons, was predeceased by his wife Elizabeth.
MARY FRANCES AVERY
Shipmate George Avery, Jr. informed us of the February 24, 2019 passing of his wife, Mary Frances. George served as Fireman 2c aboard the Emmons. After he survived the Okinawa attack, George and Mary Frances were married, celebrating their 73rd anniversary this year.
HAROLD J. HEATH
A recent inquiry by Wendy Couillard about her grandfather, USS Emmons shipmate Harold J. Heath, led us to learn of his passing in 1996, having been previously diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
Harold served as Chief Machinist’s Mate and, as a Plank Owner and survivor of the Okinawa attack, was one of the relative few who served aboard the Emmons her entire life.
RAYMOND F. FEURA
Son Roger Feura notified us of the June 28, 2018, passing of his father, Raymond F. Feura, nephew of late shipmate Joe Gocella, who sacrificed his life at Okinawa.
The Feura’s, including Ray’s son Richard, have been long-time supporters of the Association and our efforts to preserve the Emmons legacy.
Jackson Tittle, son of late shipmate Homer D. Tittle, passed away in November, 2018. We were excited to meet and get to know Jackson and members of his family at the 2017 reunion, his first, when the proud grandfather accompanied his granddaughter, Alexandra STACK, a recipient of that year’s Griffin/Emmons scholarship award.
Jack was quite knowledgeable and passionate about the Emmons’ history and very proud of his dad’s service during WWII.
WARREN G. SPARKS
Daughter Cindy (Sparks) Allwell notified us of shipmate Warren Sparks' passing the morning of May 12, 2018. Warren, 97, went aboard the Emmons as a Yeoman 3rd class in January, 1942. Working up through the ranks, he received his commission resulting in his transfer off the Emmons near the end of 1943. His service to our country continued until his retirement as a Lieutenant.
Warren served faithfully as a Director and Vice President of the USS Emmons Association since its inception. He and wife Fern have been regular attendees at the annual reunions where his cheerful demeanor will be missed. Both were avid supporters of our efforts to preserve the Emmons legacy and the memory of the shipmates lost at Okinawa.
JAMES W. FLORY
James Flory, 53, son of Emmons Plank Owner George Flory, passed away December 12th, 2017. We were first notified in October by his brother Mike that Jim was undergoing chemotherapy and radiation for cancer.
Jim was a graduate of the University of Wisconsin and the University of Minnesota Law School. Some may remember Jim as having attended past Emmons reunions with his father and other family.
JOSEPH P. POMYKALA
Joseph POMYKALA passed away December 6th, 2017. Joe, a Seaman 1c and long-time supporter of the Emmons Association, served aboard the Emmons from November, 1942, until he transferred with shipmates A. Robert READ and Jim DONOVAN to the Boston Navy Yard’s last destroyer, the USS Joseph P. LEARY, in late 1943.
Joe was active in the Leary’s latter-day association and reunions, accompanied by his daughter, Mary Kay MIKUSKA and husband John. Although Joe was not able to make the trip to Buffalo, the Emmons family was pleased to welcome Mary Kay and John to their first Emmons reunion IN 2017, what we hope is the first of many.
RICHARD E. KIDD
We received word from Susan Ludlow that Richard E. Kidd passed away November 5, 2017, one month after his 94th birthday. Richard was a plank owner aboard the Emmons, serving as a Boatswain’s Mate.
Susan tells us he was very proud of experience aboard the Emmons and would share the Emmons story with anyone willing to listen. Susan and Richard attended several reunions in the past and she expressed her blessing to have gotten to know many of the shipmates and their wives there.
EDWIN J. KROM
Shipmate Edwin J. Krom passed away November 17, 2017. A survivor of the Battle of Okinawa, Ed served as Seaman 2c aboard the Emmons.
Ed was reunited with his Emmons shipmates when he attended his first reunion in 2016 together with 12 of his family members. He topped that when 15 family members accompanied him at the 2017 reunion in Buffalo.
DAVID R. SHAUB, JR.
Courtney Silvestre informed us of the October 25, 2017, passing of her grandfather, David R. Shaub, Jr. David, a long-time supporter of the USS Emmons Association, was the nephew of shipmate John L. Donaldson, who gave his life at Okinawa.
David attended past reunions and most recently joined the Emmons family at the 2015 memorial plaque dedication at the Navy Memorial Heritage Center in Washington, D.C.
GERALD R. FOX
Gerald R. Fox died unexpectedly September 4, 2017, at the age of 56. Gerald, with his wife Susan, attended past reunions with Susan’s father, Emmons shipmate George Flory and wife Carol.
Gerald, a 9-year veteran of the U.S. Army, later joined the Wisconsin Army National Guard, which included a 2005 deployment to Iraq. He most recently served as Jackson County Wisconsin District Attorney since first elected in 2006.
We received word from brother Leon of the July 6, 2017, death of Samuel Horwitz. Sam and Leon’s brother, Lt. (jg) David Horwitz, gave his life aboard the Emmons at Okinawa.
Sam, along with brothers Leon and Gerald, have been avid supporters of the Association’s efforts in preserving the Emmons legacy and the memory of the 60 shipmates who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
DWAIN G. BOWER
Following a long struggle with cancer and related illnesses, Dwain Bower died June 10, 2017, at home surrounded by his children.
Until his illness set in, Dwain and brother John were long-time attendees at the Emmons reunions where they enjoyed the company of their fellow Emmons family members and honored the memory of their uncle, Harry Bower, who gave his life at Okinawa aboard the Emmons.
EDWARD E. GREENLAW
Shipmate Ed Greenlaw passed away on May 9, 2017. Ed served as a Water Tender, going aboard the Emmons on January 21, 1942.
He and wife Evelyn (Evie), proud and active supporters of the USS Emmons Association, were married 71 years. They were regular attendees at the annual Emmons reunions, where Ed could always be seen with a camera around his neck capturing all the activities.
WILLIAM R. PATTON
William "Bill" Patton died April 8, 2017 at his home in Cape May Point, NJ, following a hospital stay and rahab for a recent illness.
Bill served aboard the Emmons from December 1942 to December 1944, departing when the Emmons was being converted to a highspeed minesweeper in Boston. From there, Bill was sent to Water Tender school and finished out his six-year Navy career aboard other ships.
Bill was a faithful and enthusiastic supporter of the Emmons Association, attending reunions with wife Margaret until her death in 2001, thereafter with children Bob, Anne Marie and Bill.
WENDY J. CIPARELLI
Wendy Ciparelli, daughter of shipmate Armand Jolly, passed away March 1, 2017. With her family at her side, her courageous 16-year battle with cancer ended.
Wendy was an enthusiastic and passionate member of the Emmons Association, coordinating and hosting annual reunions and always looking for an opportunity to share the Emmons story with anyone who would listen. And her passion for fundraising was instrumental in helping establish and grow the Griffin\Emmons scholarship fund.
Wendy served as a member of the USS Emmons Legacy Committee. Her hospitality, enthusiasm and fun-loving nature will surely be missed at the annual reunions.
WILLIAM J. ROBERTS
After suffering a stroke earlier in the month, shipmate Bill Roberts passed away January 28, 2017, while recovering at home with his family.
Bill boarded the Emmons in June, 1942, and was a regular attendee at the annual reunions. Serving as a Quartermaster, he was a wounded survivor of the Okinawa attack.
Bill is the subject of a 2015 20 minute documentary done by his grandson, sharing his experiences while aboard the USS Emmons during World War II.
HAROLD R. YOUNG
Virginia Happel, daughter of crew member Harold Young, notified us recently of his passing January 17, 2017. Harold served as Seaman aboard the Emmons.
Having boarded the Emmons December 5, 1941, he holds the distinction of Plank Owner. Harold served aboard the Emmons for her entire life and was a survivor of the April 6, 1945, Okinawa attack.
PAUL F. DODD
Paul Dodd passed away January 4, 2017 at a Providence, RI, hospice facility. His daughter, Ann Short said he passed peacefully there with his family at his side.
Paul served as a WaterTender aboard the Emmons, boarding in January, 1942, and was a survivor of the Okinawa attack. He was a regular attendee at the annual reunions until health issues intervened.
Two granddaughters, Jennifer Tucci and Alaina Short, made Paul proud as past recipients of the Lt. John J. Griffin/USS Emmons Memorial Scholarship, Jennifer in 2010 and Alaina in 2016.
PETER J. TINKOVICZ
We received word from Patty Tinkovicz of the passing of her husband, shipmate Peter J. Tinkovicz, December 15, 2016. Aboard the Emmons, Peter was a Torpedoman and served from October 1942 to September 1944.
Patty shared how proud he was to have served in WWII and how he often spoke of his time aboard the Emmons and of his buddies who meant so much to him.
Peter was fittingly buried with the rendering of Military Funeral Honors, including a flag presentation, taps and 21-gun salute.
EDWIN L. HOFFMAN, JR.
Shipmate Ed Hoffman, USS Emmons Newsletter Editor-in-Chief for the past 28 years, passed away while attending the Emmons reunion in Portsmouth, NH, September 23, 2016. Ed, Secretary of the USS Emmons Association, was a Quartermaster aboard the Emmons and a wounded survivor.
Known as the historian of the Emmons Association, Ed was a passionate and enthusiastic member and was thought by many to be the glue that held the Emmons Family together. With his friendly, caring demeanor, he was most often the first point of contact for family members inquiring about their loved ones who served on the Emmons.
It was fitting that Ed's final hours came only hours after honoring his lost shipmates one last time along with his children and Emmons Family.
BILLY RAY DEESE
Emmons Shipmates and friends were saddened to learn of the passing of Billy Ray Deese on August 10, 2016, in Lancaster, SC. Bill was a Seaman on the Emmons and, as a member of a Main Battery handling room crew, was wounded in the final attack.
Physical difficulties kept Bill from attending Reunions in recent years, but he remained steadfast in his relationship with Shipmates and friends of the Emmons Family.
CLYNE C. VEAL
A message from his wife, Lorene, advised us of the death of Shipmate Clyne C. VEAL April 22, 2016 in Buford GA. Clyne was a Water Tender on the Emmons and a survivor who performed invaluable service in rescue efforts on April 6, 1945. He was one of the last to leave the ship aboard the PGM-11.
Heartfelt sympathy is extended from all the Emmons Family.
Elsie Jolly, wife of Emmons Association President Armand JOLLY, passed away January 22, 2016, following a lengthy, confining period of illness.
Elsie was beloved by all the Emmons Family, having been a cheerful, smiling figure at Armand’s side and assisting in all activities of the Association from its earliest days. Her warmth and friendliness added much to the growth and spirit of the organization.
Elsie and Armand had been married 68 years.
A. ROBERT READ
Shipmate A. Robert Read died March 11, 2015, in Warminster, PA. We were advised of his passing by his daughter Betsy.
Bob was a quartermaster on the Emmons who trans-ferred with Emmons shipmates Jim DONOVAN and Joe PO-MYKALA to “new construction” on the USS Richard P. LEARY.
Bob assumed a leadership role in the Leary’s latter-day association and reunion activities while maintaining contact with his former Emmons shipmates.
Shipmate Harold Jay died peacefully March 16, 2015, at his home in Marina Del Rey, CA. Recognized as the patriarch of the Emmons Family, his passing came just three days before his 97th birthday.
Harold, a Plank Owner and an Electrician on the Emmons, rose to the commission ranks in his later Navy career.
Harold’s association with the Emmons Family was especially precious, inasmuch as he had been privately mourning the loss of all his earlier shipmates for many years – result of a false report circulating that “the Emmons had gone down with loss of all hands.” It wasn’t until 1998 and the advent of the internet that he learned the real story, made contact with the Association and was able to reunite with shipmates and their families at the Reunion in West Palm Beach, Fl. Until 2014, he hadn’t missed a Reunion.
ROBERT J. GLUTTING
Shipmate Bob Glutting, an Emmons Plank Owner, died January 28, 2015, at The Villages in Lady Lake, FL.
Bob was a Water Tender on the ship, and was Oil King, a post carrying responsibility for receiving and storing fuel oil.
With his wife Carol, Bob was an enthusiastic member of the Emmons Association and attendee at reunions. In re-porting his passing, their son Tim said “The reunions and time spent with all of you meant the world to him.”
JAMES A. DONNELLY
In a message from Ginny Donnelly, wife of Shipmate Jim DONNELLY, Ginny wrote: “It is with a heavy heart I write to tell you Jim answered his final roll call Thursday, January 29, 2015.”
Jim was an Emmons Plank Owner who rose to the rating of Torpedoman 1/c during his time aboard. He was a co-chairman of the Emmons crew’s first get-together in Boston in 1953 and, though dealing with the rigorous onset of Parkinson’s Disease, was able to attend, with Ginny, until last year.
ANTHONY J. SIRAGUSA
Tony Siragusa died September 27, 2014, at Academy Manor Nursing Home in Andover, MA. A native of Lawrence, MA, Tony was a Water Ten-der and a Plank Owner on the Emmons. He served also in the Korean War, and completed a total of 10 years Navy service.
Tony was an enthusiastic attendee at Emmons reunions until restricted by an ongoing program of dialysis therapy during the last several years.
WILLIAM E. HENWOOD
We recently learned of the August, 2013 passing of shipmate William Henwood in Voorhees, NJ.
Bill was a Fireman on the Emmons and a survivor of the final attack. He had been a regular attendee at Reunions until declining health prevented travel-ling, but had maintained contact with shipboard buddies.
ARTHUR L. BLUMER
Shipmate Art Blumer, longtime Chaplain of the Emmons Association, died August 13, 2014 in Allison Park, PA.
Art was an active and dedicated member of the Association from its earliest days, setting the pattern and conducting our Reunion Memorial Services each year until declining health limited travel. He and his wife Rita also hosted memorable Reunions in Pittsburgh in1996 and again in 2004.
Art was a Signalman on the Emmons and a wounded survivor. He is survived by seven children, all of whom have attended Reunions, 14 grandchil-dren and a great –grandson.
A message from his wife on his Destroyer History web site informed his many friends and associates of the passing of David McComb in July, 2014. Dave was a universally-recognized authority on destroyer history, founder of the Destroyer History Foundation and a special Emmons friend.
Josephine Morrow, sister of lost shipmate O’Neil Infanto, advised us of the death of John PANTO in Baltimore in January, 2014. John was a boyhood friend of Neil’s and attended several reunions.
WINFRED D. KRUEGER
Winifred D. Krueger, sister of lost shipmate John DONALDSON, passed away in August, 2014, in Bethesda, MD. Mrs. Krueger attended the 2005 reunion in Washington.
RAYMOND M. DIEHL
Son Robert informed us that Rose E. Diehl, widow of shipmate Raymond M. Diehl, passed away.. Known as “Pappy” among the crew, Ray passed away in February, 2012.