Last Call for South San Francisco Reunion



This will be the last newsletter before our reunion. If you haven't yet made a hotel reservation for our special rate of $99, then your rate may be higher if our room block is full. Of all the rooms we blocked at the hotel, back in February, we only have about five left. If you're just now making a reservation and don't receive our special rate, try calling Ronnie Lau in sales at the hotel and he may be able to help. Actually, the hotel extended our $99 rate to more attendees than we contracted for but, after the next 5 reservations, it may be on a space-available basis and our special rate may not be offered.

  Last year's reunion in Charleston went as planned and even the weather cooperated most of the time. We had great tours of the city, Patriots Point and Ft. Sumter. San Francisco is on schedule for a repeat of last year's reunion. Maybe it'll be even better! The Charleston reunion resulted in a very professional video, created and produced by our own Scott Youngren. We'll be showing and selling copies at the reunion (or you can purchase it by mail from the Ship's Store). Scott did it all, including making duplicates for us, with all the proceeds donated to the Brooke Assoc. So, if you attended Charleston you'll be in the video; if you couldn't attend, then you'll see what you missed! The video will be listed with the other Ship's Store items and will sell for $15.00, same as our other videos. Bravo Zulu, Scott!

   This year, at our annual business meeting, we'll have the election of our Assoc. Offices for the next 2 years. If you're happy (or unhappy) with your current officers, or want to just be "part of it", this will be the time to speak up and make changes. New ideas and, more importantly, new volunteers are always welcomed and encouraged! We'll also be selecting a reunion location for 2009. 2008 will be the cruise reunion.

   Other annual events/items will be the passing on of our "Spam Award", our "new" Elvis impersonator and, of course, our Association raffle. The raffle has been very successful at every reunion. It's kinda unique to have stuff donated from all over the U.S., so don't forget your raffle items and, as a reminder, make 'em small. Many of us fly in, so size does make a difference. We've also gotta leave room for the 'Frisco souvenirs, not to mention the famous Sourdough Bread from Fisherman's Wharf. Better bring an extra (empty) bag!

   As with other reunions, we'll have some new faces along with the old.

   We have a record number checking in early, before the reunion. There're so many attractions that we need an extra day or two. some of us are going to Alameda to visit the "Hornet" and maybe do the "tourista" Cable Car thing in downtown S.F. (Its 5 bucks now!).

    Early or late, I hope to see you at the reunion. Next year we will have our reunion "At Sea". We're still planning our departure from Galveston or New Orleans for a 7-day cruise. It'll be fun, and it's less expensive (cheaper) than a regular hotel reunion.

   See most of you soon, and the rest of you later!



5th Annual

USS Brooke Reunion

San Francisco

August 29 – Sept. 1, 2007

DoubleTree Hotel - San Francisco Airport

835 Airport Blvd. –


Room Rates: $99.00  Single or Dbl. + Taxes


Note: Rates are honored 3 days prior and 3 days after the reunion.

So, come early and stay late at the same low price.

 However, these additional rooms are LIMITED so make your reservations now!


For Reservations:   1-800-222-TREE (8733)

Make your reservations TODAY!


Planned events:

See "South San Francisco Event Schedule" in this newsletter


The DoubleTree Hotel is located just south of the San Francisco Airport and has a direct 24 hour shuttle from the airport.  The comp shuttle to the airport connects you to the BART subway which runs every 15 minutes to downtown San Francisco.

In Addition, the town of Burlingame offers a complimentary shuttle to the

Downtown Burlingame area for shopping in unique stores and restaurants.


Other DoubleTree amenties include….

Full Hot Breakfast Buffet at the Chutney Grill

Complimentary parking for all reunion attendees

Complimentary Golf Club rental at the Burlingame Golf Center

 located directly behind the hotel

Complimentary Hospitality Suite and Banquet Room




           We are now only a month and a half away from our fifth Association reunion and by the “head count” we have so far it looks like we are going to experience another great gathering of the “Brooke Gang” in San Francisco. I know I have mentioned this in past columns but, where the heck does the time go? It seems like just a few months ago we were putting the finishing touches on our Charleston get together, and here we are planning the POD for the “City by the Bay”. I guess it is just a part of the aging process that time seems to fly by. I don’t know about you, but I’m in no hurry to finish out this enlistment because there are just too many things I want to do.

I believe that getting together each year with my former shipmates is part of my “things to do” list. For a very brief period of time I have the opportunity to travel back to a very happy time in my life. While we may have thought that period of our lives was hectic, compared to what our children (and in many cases, grandchildren) are experiencing today, our time wasn’t so bad. I know, we like to tell them; “you don’t know how good you have it”. I know that each generation tells the next generation that, but in reality we didn’t have the airport security checks, cost of housing, street gangs, price of gasoline, etc. to deal with. In the course of the history of our great country, it seems that each generation was marked by events that tested their resilience. Our parents fought WWII and the Great Depression; our generation had Viet Nam and the Cold War. Our children, thus far, have had it far better, but the future brings an uncertainty. How will they be tested? And when that test comes, will they be able to pass muster? Well, based on the young folks that I meet and work with on a daily basis, I feel we are in good hands. You see, I have had the pleasure of working with the United States Marine Corps for the past fourteen years, and each day I look into the eyes of some of the most dedicated and motivated young men and women you could possibly imagine. Many of them have put in two or three tours in the “Sand Box” as they euphemistically call Iraq. Believe me, these incredibly brave young men and women are our future. They have been “tested” and have come through the fire. They will continue to make our country great as they move into civilian life, just as our parents and we did.

Now you may well say, “How did this subject come up in Tom’s column?” To tell the truth, I was just thinking of why we have our Association, and this passed through my mind. When the ‘Young Spartans” of today see the gray warriors of the past keeping their camaraderie strong through associations they understand their heritage and what it means to keep freedom free. While it is not our intention to live in the past, we, as a group, the USS Brooke Association, must never let those who go after us forget the past. And in time, maybe forty years from now, a group of graying men and women will gather at a reunion somewhere and remember the past and how it made them and their country strong.

For those of you who are coming to San Francisco, I look forward to seeing you again and sharing “our time”. For those who can’t make it this year I hope to see you in the future.

Fair Winds and Following Seas,

 Tom Adametz


USS Brooke DEG/FFG-1 Association




USS Brooke DEG/FFG-1

South San Francisco/San Mateo - Registration

August 29 – September 2, 2007


Name_______________________________                      _____________________________

 Spouse and/or                                                                    Name for Badge

    Guest Name _______________________                      _____________________________

                                                                                             Name for Badge




Room(s) reserved at DoubleTree Hotel?  Yes or No____________

Arrival Date:__________Time__________     Departure Date:_______Time:____________


SPECIAL NOTE: Do you have any special needs concerning Transportation, Hotel or Dietary requirements? [ ] Yes  [ ] No

_IF YES:__________________________________________________________________________________________________


[ ] Please reserve_______seats for “Welcome Aboard” Party.

          Wednesday 1800 to 2200 in our Hospitality Room.   Beverages & Light snacks.

 [ ] Please reserve_______seats  San Francisco tour and Alcatraz     @$67 ea. ____________

[ ] Please reserve_______seats for San Francisco tour only               @$45 ea.____________

           (Those who choose the S.F. Tour only will have additional shopping time @ Pier 39)

        Shop and have lunch on your own at Pier 39/Fisherman’s Wharf.                       Includes all Bus Tour Charges.

          Thursday 0900 to 1600                   7 hours.                      And requested Alcatraz tickets

 [ ] Please reserve________seats for Pizza Night!                   Hosted by USS Brooke

          Thursday 1830 to 2000 in our Hospitality Room            Assoc. members

 [ ] Please reserve _______seats  USS Potomac tour, Harbor Cruise  @48.00 ea.__________

           and Chinatown lunch on your own and walking tour   Includes Potomac admission, Harbor                

          Friday 0900 to 1600                          7 hours.                        Cruise and all Bus Tour Charges.

[ ] Please reserve_______seats for the Saturday Night Banquet       @ $49 ea.  ___________

              THREE ENTRÉE Bayside American Buffet  with all the trimmings!                     (Includes 20% Serv.

               Includes New York Strip, Grilled Breast of Chicken and Petrale Sole plus            Chg.and 10% tax.)

               3 salads, Scalloped potatoes, rice pilaf, vegetables and Gourmet desserts.


                                     Reunion Registration Fee______person(s)     @ $20 ea. ___________


                TOTAL OF ALL EVENTS AND REGISTRATION FEES            _____________


To help your reunion hosts plan our reunion, please check off the events you wish to attend

and send this form along with your reunion total as soon as possible.     Deadline is Wed. July 25th.


USS Brooke Assoc./Steve Hunt P.O. Box 1692 Tacoma, Wa.  98401

More details/Questions Call Steve @253-471-7766 (day) e-mail:


USS Brooke DEG/FFG-1

South San Francisco Event Schedule

August 29th  – September 2nd, 2007


August 29th   – Wednesday

           Hospitality Room Opens 1200

           Welcome Aboard Registration – Pick up Reunion Pkg./Refreshments!

           Ship’s Store Open

           “Welcome Aboard” Party 1800 to 2200

August 30th   – Thursday

           Buffet breakfast begins at 0630

           Hospitality room open 0800 to 0845 and 1800 to 2200.

           Alcatraz  and city bus tour from 0900 to 1600

           Shop and have lunch at Fisherman’s Wharf today.

           Board buses at 0900 sharp.         7 hours.

           Pizza night in the Hospitality room!  Begins @ 1830

August 31st  – Friday

           Buffet breakfast begins at 0630

           Hospitality Room open 0800 to 0845 and 1600 to 2200.

           Board buses for USS Potomac, Chinatown and Harbor Cruise tours.

           0900 to 1600.    7 hours.    Free evening to have dinner at the hotel,

           take the FREE Burlingame trolley downtown, or take BART to downtown San

           Francisco, or just hang out in the Hospitality room with shipmates.

 September 1st   – Saturday

           Buffet breakfast begins at 0630

           Hospitality Room opens 0800 – Annual Business Meeting 0800 – 1000

           Coffee, juice and pastries served.

            Free time to visit Burlingame and shop, or take BART to downtown S.F. to

            see the sights you missed on Thursday and Friday. 

            Hospitality will be open most of the day….as needed.

           Saturday night Banquet /Social at 1800. Dinner at 1900 – 2100      

           Entertainment TBA

 September 2nd   – Sunday

           Buffet breakfast begins at 0630

           Hospitality Room opens 0800 – 1200.  Coffee and leftovers will be served.

           Memorial Service  at 1000 for our departed shipmates.



A new tour delves deeper into daily life at the infamous prison on Alcatraz. It features an updated audio tour and an exhibit of prison artifacts.

San Francisco - Darwin Coon is constantly reminded of his time on Alcatraz. The former bank robber can see the notorious island prison from just outside his from door in the city's North Beach district.

Coon remembers thinking he'd never get out alive, and was among the last inmates to leave when U.S. Attorney General Robert Kennedy closed the federal penitentiary in 1963. Years later, when a niece asked him  to show her his old cell, he responded "I never want to go back there." Now 74, Coon finally did go back, and his recollections of daily life on "the rock" are now part of an updated audio tour unveiled this year as part of a $5.5 million renovation aimed at making Alcatraz more accessible.

The improvements also include an elevator that gives access t the elderly and disabled and allowed the National Park Service to open another floor of the prison. And visitors, now enter Alcatraz the same way new inmates did through the dank shower room where "fresh fish" were hosed off before being issued their jail clothes.

Getting Coon and the others to share their stories was vital because many Alcatraz alumni are dying, said rich Weideman, spokesman for the Golden Gate national Parks Conservancy, a nonprofit that helps to preserve Bay Area parks.

Updating the 20-year old prison tour also provided an opportunity to inject new perspectives that had previously been ignored.

"In the housing of inmates at Alcatraz, it was deemed necessary to keep blacks away from whites" Phillip Bergen, a captain of the guards at Alcatraz, says on the audio tour.

While other federal prisons integrated their inmate populations, Alcatraz never did. "The tried (integration) and they opened up, but, they had such a high population of hostile rednecks and such a low population  comparatively of blacks, they soon found out they couldn't do it" Bergen says. And of the 100 or so guards who served, only a few blacks were ever hired, including tour contributor Ron Battles. He says life on The Rock mirrored American culture of the 1950's and that he faced persistent discrimination from white colleagues.

Listening to stories from inmates and guards while strolling through the cold, gray prison has long been part of the experience that draws 1.5 million visitors to Alcatraz each year. The original groundbreaking audio tour was created in 1987. "It was the first major audio tour in a historic site to use first-person stories" Weideman said of the earlier tour. "It changed the audio tour industry."

The new features at Alcatraz also include museum displays of artifacts that have never been on public view. A collection of shivs, or knives honed secretly by prisoners from kitchen utensils or smuggled scrap metal, shows how dangerous the prison was for guards.

But Alcatraz was designed to break down its inhabitants, and those who lived to tell their tales don't mince words when describing their lives on The Rock.



The USS Potomac was built in 1934 as the Coast Guard cutter Electra. The 165-foot vessel, weighing 376 gross tons and cruising at speeds of 10 to 13 knots, was commissioned as a U.S. Navy vessel in 1936, renamed the USS Potomac, and served as Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s presidential yacht until his death in 1945. As former Assistant Secretary of the Navy, FDR had a deep love of the sea and the Navy tradition. He hated to fly and preferred to travel by train or ship throughout his presidency.

During the sultry summer days in Washington, D.C., he preferred to cruise on the USS Potomac rather than stay in the White House. The USS Potomac gave the nation’s 32nd president much-needed respite from the cares of governing the United States throughout the Great Depression and World War II. He loved holding informal strategy sessions with close advisors and Congressional leaders in the privacy and seclusion of the yacht. Recreation aboard the vessel included fishing, poker games and family gatherings, and he spent endless hours on board with his beloved stamp collection.


A paraplegic since he was stricken in 1921 with polio at the age of 39, FDR’s greatest fear was being caught in a fire and being unable to escape. He therefore preferred the USS Potomac, an all steel vessel, to the all-wood Sequoia after his inauguration. A hand-operated elevator was installed inside a false stack, and the president – who had developed an extremely strong upper body – was able to use ropes and pulleys to move the elevator up and down between the saloon and upper boat deck.

There are a few records of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt coming aboard her husband’s "Floating White House." In 1941, she celebrated her 57th birthday with family members aboard the USS Potomac. She also came aboard during the June 1939 visit by the United Kingdom’s King George VI and Queen Elizabeth when the two couples cruised to George Washington’s home at Mt. Vernon. Other royalty to board the presidential yacht included Crown Princess Martha of Norway, Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands and Crown Prince Gustav of Sweden.

At least one of FDR’s famed radio broadcasts originated from the USS Potomac, on March 19, 1941.

On Monday, August 4, 1941, four months before Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, FDR boarded the USS Potomac ostensibly for a fishing trip and a visit to Martha’s Vineyard. The President, however, was secretly transferred to the heavy cruiser USS Augusta on Tuesday morning the 5th to travel to Newfoundland where he would meet with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill – their first meeting as Heads of State. During this top-secret rendezvous, the two world leaders forged the principles of the Atlantic Charter, which formed the Allied partnership during World War II and what Roosevelt called the "United Nations", to plan the post-war peace. With the United States’ direct involvement in the war at the end of 1941, the president’s recreational use of the USS Potomac came to an end.

After FDR’s death in April 1945, the Potomac began a long and ignominious decline from her former role in world affairs. After many adventures and many owners – including Elvis Presley at one point – she was seized in 1980 in San Francisco by U.S. Customs for her role as a front for drug smugglers. Towed to Treasure Island, the proud vessel’s hull was pierced one night and she sank.

Refloated by the Navy two weeks later, she was sold to the Port of Oakland for just $15,000. The Port of Oakland spearheaded a cooperative effort with organized labor, maritime corporations and dedicated volunteers to complete a $5 million restoration.




Regular Membership dues to the Association are $25 per year. Associate membership (no fee) is available for all surviving spouses of Brooke Crewmembers.

Your current membership expiration date is to the right of your name on the address label on the newsletter. To continue "Port & Starboard" please remit your dues payment in accordance with published dues schedule, payable to the USS Brooke Association and mail to our Treasurer at the address below:

Steve Hunt

USS Brooke DEG/FFG-1

P.O. Box 1692

Tacoma, WA 98401


For more information please visit our website @