Emmons Family Reunions
Siblings, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews and friends of our beloved Emmons shipmates come together each year to celebrate the legacy established by the shipmates many years ago. Each year we're honored to have new 'Emmons Family' members join us. Whether you're a shipmate's immediate family, distant relative, friend or simply someone looking to learn more about the Emmons legacy and be a part of the Emmons Family, we hope you'll join us for this tradition started by the shipmates back in 1953. For a list of past reunions, click here.
This year will take us to Baltimore, Maryland, September 28 - October 1, home of our National Anthem and the sloop-of-war USS Constellation. Click the Registration Information button below to learn more.
After retreating to Zoom the past two years, 47 members of the Emmons Family came together at the Crowne Plaza Annapolis to celebrate the Emmons legacy.
The weekend was truly a Family Event, with our second, third and fourth generation in attendance with two first generation members, Fern Sparks and Dennis Yecke. And an early highlight of the weekend was a Zoom get together with shipmate Grover McMichael, who, at 99 years young, charmed the group with his wit , wisdom and Emmons stories.
Thursday was given over to registration and renewing of acquaintances in the hospitality room as attendees arrived throughout the day and evening. The newest addition to our reunion, and one which will clearly become an annual tradition, was introduced….the USS Emmons Wall of Honor, which allowed attendees the opportunity to display photos of their loved ones and share interesting tidbits about their time of service and family life.
Scheduled activities began Friday morning with a guided tour of the U.S. Naval Academy, including our annual Memorial Service, a viewing of the impressive noon meal formation and lunch together.
Back at the hotel, Friday afternoon's program found time for presentation of Kurt Reese’s much anticipated video of the April Memorial Dive at Okinawa, which as always, did not disappoint. Also, members were allowed time to share thoughts and memories of the shipmates. Friday evening the group gathered for a time of socializing at a buffet dinner hosted by the Association.
The weekend’s climax came at Saturday evening’s banquet, with 2022 scholarship recipients Layne Fry and Isaac Bird sharing their essays and this year’s keynote speaker, Lt. Michael Ross, USN, who spoke of the call to selfless service, exhibited by the crew of the USS Emmons, as a common thread throughout Navy’s history.
The weekend came to an end with a farewell breakfast Sunday morning.
Click here for photos from the 2022 reunion.
With the uncertainty of Covid’s Delta variant causing concern, Zoom and its comfort of home became the venue as four generations of Emmons family came together virtually September 24th to celebrate the legacy of our USS Emmons shipmates. The 2021 Emmons Association reunion was attended by 106 family members and friends, including 3 shipmates and 18 attending their first reunion.
Those in attendance had the opportunity to hear from shipmates George Flory, Grover McMichael and Tony Esposito. Although Zoom technical difficulties prevented a live visit with Tony, participants were treated to a viewing of his interviews included in a documentary shared with the group.
Following Acting President Dennis Yecke’s welcome and some brief Association business, the agenda proceeded with the Griffin/Emmons scholarship awards, correspondence and Emmons happenings the past year. Included was Cheri Yecke sharing her experience transcribing all the hand-written survivor accounts for the new edition of the survivor reports book, as well as a viewing of a documentary highlighting the kamikaze attack on the Emmons.
The evening then moved into high gear with a report from our Okinawa diver friends, Kurt Reese, on the deteriorating condition of the ship, and Mike Boring, who made the presentation of a ship’s artifact to the Association honoring the Emmons shipmates.
The evening concluded with a memorial service honoring the lost shipmates and Kurt’s moving video of the April memorial dive at the Emmons site.
A recording of the 2021 reunion and two videos presented are available here: