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(Seal courtesy Larry Hawkins)

Posted 8/02/2013: (Final Flight for Bill Wright, from Jack Akin)

Presentation of the American Flag to Yvonne Wright

Dear Classmates;

I attended the funeral service in Atlanta, GA for my roommate, Bill Wright, on Thursday, Aug. 1st. I was privileged to give a eulogy, and all in attendance sang the song I wrote years ago, "The Halls of Navy", so loudly that Bill heard it, I'm sure. His wife, Yvonne, with children Robert and Rosalind, and grandchildren Christopher and Luke, were in attendance as well as many local friends.

Two Navy Commanders folded the flag and presented it to Yvonne, followed by a volley from the firing squad

Select "videos" to see a clip of my eulogy for Bill at his funeral service.


Jack Akin

Posted 7/27/2013: (Final Flight; William (Bill) Wright, by Jack Akin, from Bill's Family)

Hello Deke,
    I am sad to relate that my roommate, CDR William (Bill) Brissey Wright, USN (Ret), passed away this morning, July 27, 2013 at 10:30 AM, in Atlanta, GA, with his family at his side, from heart and cancer complications. I have rewritten his obituary from the detailed summary sent to me by his family, as follows.
Commander William B. (Bill) Wright, USN (Ret.) passed away peacefully in the presence of his
family on July 27th, 2013 after a long illness.
Bill was born on April 9,1928 in Anderson, South Carolina to Alvin McLenna and Elizabeth
Robertson Wright. He attended Anderson Boy's High School where he was very active in sports.
He was Captain of the Boy's High Yellow Jackets in 1944, a team coached by legendary high
school coach, Bill Dillard, a strong mentor and role model. He was also very active in scouting,
attained the rank of Eagle Scout and was a member of the "Order of the Arrow".
After graduating from High School in 1945, Bill attended Clemson University on a football
scholarship. Multiple injuries cut short his football career, and in 1946 he accepted an
appointment to the Naval Academy and graduated with the class of 1950.
After graduation Bill reported to the USS Saipan, CVL-48. He spent a year in Saipan before
receiving orders to Flight Training at Pensacola, Florida. After training he reported to Fighter
Squadron 173, the renowned "Jesters", based in Jacksonville, Fl. The "Jesters" were one of the
first Navy squadrons to receive swept winged jets, the Grumman Cougar. After an 8-month
West-Pac deployment, the "Jesters" returned to Jacksonville where they were the first squadron
to receive the North American FJ-3 Fury. Bill participated in the Fleet Indoctrination program
conducted at Patuxant River Maryland. It was after this tour at Pax River that Bill met and
married his lifetime mate, the lovely, Yvonne Wilson.
Subsequent tours included flight and ground instructor in the training command, transition to
helicopters and a tour with HS-1 in Key West, Florida. This was followed by a tour as Aide &
Flag Secretary to Commander Carrier Division 14 based in USS Wasp operating out of Boston,
Mass. Then came tours in Monterey, California, Key West, Florida, Keflavik, Iceland and finally
Atlanta, Georgia. In 1974 Bill retired from the Navy after serving as Executive Officer of the
ROTC Unit at Georgia Tech for 4 years.
After retirement Bill worked in real estate and with Douglas Guardian Warehouse Corporation.
He retired from the latter in 1988 after serving as Vice President & Eastern Regional Director.
He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Yvonne Wilson Wright of Jacksonville, Florida, son
Robert (Charlotte) Wright; daughter, Rosalind (Len) Picard; grandsons, Michael, Christopher,
and Luc Picard.
In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to: The USNA Class of 1950 Historical
Exhibit Program, attention: CAPT Richard Powell, USN (Ret), 6123 Dunsinane Court, McLean,
VA 22102-2719.
Celebration of life services will be held on Thursday at 11:30 AM at H.M. Patterson & Son
Oglethorpe Hill.
    I will forward funeral arrangements to you as soon as they are firm, and will post them on the class website.
    Thanks for your help, Deke.

Posted 10/22/03: (Ken Bixby's Funeral Service)

To the Class

    Bobbie and I attended Ken Bixby's services yesterday. He was buried in Spring Grove Cemetery in Andover, MA, with full military honors and a complement of his classmates in attendance.

    During visiting hours with his wife, Helen, and all family members, Ken was postured in his Air Force uniform with Masonic emblems and a roomful of beautiful floral arrangements. In attendance were Chuck and Sally Mull, Roger and Muriel Buck, George and Jackie Deranian, Bob and Molly Murphy, Harold and Betty Buehler and Charlie and Ruth Conlon.

    At the funeral service Jack Akin tendered a eulogy, including a recent testimonial recording by Ken, in which pleasant memories of their Air Force service and retirement days together were recalled.

    Chuck Mull (Ken's roommate), Jack Akin, George Deranian and Roger Buck accompanied Ken's son David and son-in-law Peter Walsh as pall bearers at the funeral. An Air Force chaplain conducted the service. Two Air Force Lieutenants folded and presented the American flag to Helen Bixby. Six airmen executed three precision volleys, followed by the rendering of taps in a beautiful wooded setting on a misty fall day.

    Helen and her family were supported in prayer and by classmate condolences during this service of farewell to Ken.

Jack Akin

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Posted 11/09/03: (Ref: Mike Grove)

Obituary of Michael Motte Grove

May 9, 1928 – November 8, 2003

Michael Motte Grove died Saturday, November 8, 2003, at his home in Sharon, Massachusetts, after a long illness from a brain tumor. He was born in New York City on May 9th, 1928, and was the son of the late Mrs. Ludwig King Moorehead of New Canaan, Connecticut, and West Newbury, Vermont, and the late Lt. Comdr. George Wilson Grove of New York City and Cornwall, Connecticut.

Mr. Grove attended New Canaan Country School in New Canaan, Connecticut, graduated from Brooks School in North Andover, Massachusetts, in 1946, and the U.S. Naval Academy in June of 1950. Upon graduation he served on the destroyer USS Renshaw (DD499) operating off the coast of Korea in the Sea of Japan with the U.S. Seventh Fleet during the Korean War. He then attended the U.S. Naval Submarine School in New London, Connecticut, serving thereafter in the Atlantic Fleet on the submarine USS Irex (SS482).

Lieutenant (j.g.) Grove resigned from the U.S. Navy in 1955, attended and subsequently graduated from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration in 1957, receiving a Masters Degree in Business Administration.

Mr. Grove worked for 14 years with Robertshaw Controls, Inc. of Milford, Connecticut, followed by 16 years with Imperial Knife Associated Companies of Providence, Rhode Island. He retired from the Imperial Knife Company as Vice President and General Manager in 1987 and, with his wife, founded his own firm, Connors Grove Associates, a business management consultancy. In addition, Mr. Grove began a long-term affiliation with SCORE, where he counseled small businesses in the Boston area.

Mr. Grove moved to Sharon, Massachusetts, in 1972 and for many years had been very involved with the management of the town and the affairs of his church. Most recently, he was chairman of the Personnel Board of the town and was a member of the Friends of the Council on Aging. Mr. Grove was a lifetime member of the U.S. Naval Institute, the U.S. Naval Aid Association, the U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association, and the Navy League of the United States.

He is survived by his wife of 31 years, Sheila Connors Grove as well as his sisters, Anne Loring Grove Turner of Small Point, Maine, and Barbara Moorehead Griffin of Hopewell, New Jersey, his brother, Captain George Sargent Grove, USN, (Ret.) of West Newbury, Vermont, and many nieces and nephews.

Visiting hours will be held from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Friday, November 14, 2003, at the Joseph P. Keating Funeral Home, 46 South Main Street, Sharon, Massachusetts.

A funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 15, 2003, at Our Lady of Sorrows Church, Sharon, Massachusetts. Burial will follow at the Rock Ridge Cemetery, East Street, Sharon.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the MGH Palliative Care Service, Massachusetts General Hospital, Founders 600, 55 Fruit Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02114  



Posted 9/03/03: (From Dick Powell For Bill Curley)

Dear All:

Truly  regret learning about Will's death.  He was a loyal Classmate who
with Janet invariably made all Metro DC Class affairs in ebullient
spirits.  He was a generous donor and strong supporter of Class
projects--probably even beyond his means.  He's the salt of the earth.
We could use more like him and in his spirit.  We were lucky to have him
as a Classmate and Shipmate.  You couldn't help but like him. He will be


Thomas H. McGlaughlin
Retired Navy Capt. Thomas H. McGlaughlin, who served as an aide to President John F. Kennedy, commanded a destroyer in the Vietnam War and directed naval operations for the Pacific Command, died Feb. 18, 2003, in Honolulu. He was 75.

He served at the White House in 1962 and 1963 as a military aide to President Kennedy, and later spent seven years at sea off Vietnam during the war. He was the youngest destroyer commander in the Pacific Fleet on the USS Maddox, and was executive officer on the guided missile heavy cruiser USS Boston and the destroyer USS Pritchett.

He was director of naval operations for CINCPAC at Camp Smith from 1970 to 1974, then served as chief staff officer for the Military Sea Lift Command/ Atlantic, in New York City until until 1979.

He retired from the Navy in Honolulu in 1980 and went to work in marine surveying for the R.W. Dickieson Co., in Kane'ohe, and as a once-weekly skipper of the tour ship Rella Mae.

His Navy decorations include the Bronze Star, and decorations from the government of South Vietnam.

McGlaughlin is survived by his wife, Moana McGlaughlin-Tregaskis; and brother George W. McGlaughlin of Pittsburgh.

  Frank S. Beal

Frank S. Beal, an Air Force officer and Westinghouse engineer who led state agencies during the 1970s, died Friday, Feb. 14, 2003, of leukemia. The Mt. Lebanon resident was 76.

Mr. Beal was Pennsylvania's secretary of administration from 1973 to 1975 and secretary of public welfare from 1975 to 1978. He left Harrisburg to become deputy administrator of the Health Care Financing Administration in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from 1978 to 1979.

Mr. Beal's public service, which included work in the administrations of former Govs. Milton Shapp and Robert Casey and service on a transition team for Gov. Ed Rendell, followed years as a commissioned officer with the Air Force and a decade working on nuclear power plants with Westinghouse Electric Corp.

Mr. Beal was born in 1926 in Terre Haute, Ind. He grew up in Mt. Lebanon, where he graduated from high school in the January class of 1944 -- classes were split during war years, so young men could be advanced for service as quickly as possible, his wife, Caryl, said.

After attending the University of Richmond and Dartmouth College through a Navy program, Mr. Beal graduated from the Naval Academy in 1950. Top graduates of the academy had the option of going into the Air Force, Caryl Beal said. Standing 6 feet 3 inches tall, Mr. Beal felt life on a ship wasn't for him.

The couple met in 1951 in New Mexico and were married the following year. Before retiring from active duty as a colonel in 1960, Mr. Beal earned a master's degree in nuclear engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology. That enabled him to secure his next job, designing and marketing nuclear power plants for Westinghouse.

But Mr. Beal was always fascinated with government and history, his wife said. He attempted a run for the Penn Hills school board in the 1960s and then was appointed to the school board in Pittsburgh. Those first steps ultimately led Mr. Beal to Harrisburg and Washington, D.C.

As a member of the Pittsburgh Board of Public Education from 1969 to 1971, Mr. Beal supported eliminating corporal punishment from schools, said his wife.

Aldo Colautti, business manager for the school system at the time, said Mr. Beal also had an unusually sharp eye for budget details.

"As secretary of public welfare, he had the responsibility of running the largest department of state government at the time, with more than 40,000 employees," said Colautti.

"He was hard-working, almost to a fault," he added. "His idea of relaxation was that on the weekends, when the average cabinet official in Harrisburg was taking the weekend off and relaxing, Frank would be out visiting state institutions to assure himself that the facilities were working well."

After his public sector work, Mr. Beal returned to Westinghouse in 1979, where he worked as director of government affairs and then director of environment affairs.

Retired since 1987, Mr. Beal earned a master's degree in history from the University of Pittsburgh and helped advise Casey, Rendell and former Secretary of Labor and Industry Harris Wofford.

Retirement also gave Mr. Beal an opportunity to travel -- he visited more than 60 countries during his life. One trip during the 1980s had him crossing the Sahara in a World War II transport truck. During a trip to southern Africa, Mr. Beal wound up having tea with Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

At the time of his death, Mr. Beal was planning a train trip from Portugal to Saigon.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Beal is survived by three sons, Frank S. Jr. of Point Breeze, Thomas H. of Glenn Dale, Md., and Hugh L. of Mt. Lebanon; a sister, Sue Beal Smith of Mt. Lebanon; and eight grandchildren.

February 16, 2003

Received word at 5PM today from Dick Harkness  through Bob Fahey (Beal's roommate of 4 years) that Frank Beal died during the last week (Feb. 14, 2003) in a Pittsburgh area hospital. Cause of sudden death was leukemia that had not previously been diagnosed and with no previous indications. Frank  had been pursuing his usual interest in Pennsylvania politics and had apparently been in a conference in Harrisburg. When he arrived home in Pittsburgh, he developed symptoms that resulted in his hospitalization.

Frank was a Colonel, USAF and had worked in the nuclear engineering field for Westinghouse following retirement. Frank had set up a reunion of the 4th Company at Annapolis during last year's USNA homecoming with attendees as reported in the latest Shipmate. He looked far healthier than most of the rest of us.

Frank had traveled widely in Africa and the Balkans following Westinghouse retirement.

Frank's wife Carol may be sending further details directly to the class leadership. If I receive any further details, including funeral arrangements, I will advise. 

Jerry, alert the net as you see fit.


                            "My father is not afraid of the future,  but is deeply saddened by the prospect of losing his many friends 

                                         and family members"..

                                                                                                                                Frank Beal Jr.    

 Donald Kenneth Robbins

         Donald Kenneth Robbins passed
          away on Feb. 11, 2003. He was born
          Sept 21,l928 in Portland.
             Donald was a graduate of the United
          States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md.,
          after which he attended flight training
          then served in World War II and the
          Korean conflict.
             After a distinguished military career
          Donald became a very successful
          businessman, having great impact on
          the local Real Estate community as well
          as many other business entities. He was
          a member of the Royal Rosarians from
             He will be lovingly missed and is sur-
          vived by his mother, Marjorie F. Dexter
          of Portland, wife, Barbara A. Robbins of
          Portland, daughters, Beverly Yocom
          and Gia Reyes, both of Gresham.
           There will be a memorial service in celeb-
          ration of his life at 1 pm. Tuesday, Feb. 18
          in St. Matthews Lutheran church, 10390 SW
          Canyon Rd., Beaverton, 503-644-9148.


Our classmate, William P. Kelly, Jr., died of cancer on 20 October, 2002 at Lakeland Regional Medical Center in Florida. During his active duty period, he made wartime deployments on VALLEY FORGE and PHILIPINE SEA, and a Mediterranean tour on INTREPID. He retired from the Navy in 1970 and became the chief test pilot and flight test engineer for the Piper Aircraft factories. Bill is survived by his wife, Barbara, sons David, Robert and Stephen; and three grandchildren.

 Robert Elbridge Smith


 William B. Farnsworth

William B. Farnsworth Jr. of Wellesley Hills, a retired Raytheon employee and active environmentalist, died Sunday (Jan.02.2003) at New England Baptist Hospital in Boston. He was 74.

Born in Rhode Island, he was a graduate of the Moses Brown School and the United States Naval Academy.

Mr. Farnsworth served with the Navy during the Korean War. He was awarded the Bronze Star, for valor in amphibious, minesweeping and rescue operations, as well as the Korean War Service Medal with three battle stars. He later served in submarines in the Atlantic, Mediterranean and Caribbean.

Mr. Farnsworth worked for the Raytheon Co. for more than 30 years, holding positions in engineering, program management, marketing, long-range planning and on the corporate staff.

He was a member of the Navy League, the Air Force Association, the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association and the National Security Industrial Association. Mr. Farnsworth became active in several wildlife and natural resources causes upon his retirement from Raytheon, joining the Massachusetts Audubon Society, The Nature Conservancy, Trustees of Reservations and the World Wildlife Federation. He was also a licensed pilot and was for many years a member of Raytheon Employees' Flying Club and the Aircraft Owners' and Pilots' Association.

Mr. Farnsworth is survived by his wife, Jean (Gibson); a son, Robert L. of Lewiston, Maine; a daughter, Elizabeth Jean of Royalston; a sister, Alys MacLeod of Bristol, R.I.; and two grandsons.

 Charles Greathouse

This informs of the death of non-grad classmate Charles Richard Greathouse,
Jr. of Middletown, Ohio, on Saturday, 28 SEP 2002.  Dick had suffered from a
lengthy battle with cancer.   Tom Ross


Dad sailed home to heaven at the break of dawn this morning.   Mom & my
brother Dick are well.   Dad died peacefully while sleeping.   Feel free to
write or call anytime.


 Frank Meyer

  MEYER, FRANK G. SR., 75, of South Pasadena, died Friday (June 14, 2002) at the VA Medical Center at Bay Pines.

He came here in 1975 from his native Detroit, where he was an electrical engineer for Toledo Scale.

He was a 1950 graduate of the Naval Academy and a retired Navy lieutenant.

Survivors include his wife of 43 years, Alice M.; a son, Frank F. Jr., St. Petersburg; two daughters, Sheri Heiser, Naples, and Marcia Colarusso, Panama City Beach; six grandchildren; and a great-grandchild.

Howell P. Hoover, Jr.

DR. HOWELL P. HOOVER, 73, of Brentwood, Tenn., formerly of Memphis, medical doctor, died Tuesday, May 7, 2002, in Nashville. Graveside services will be at 1 p.m. Friday at Forest Hill Cemetery Midtown. Franklin (Tenn.) Funeral Home has charge. He was a graduate of the Naval Academy and a Korean War veteran. Dr. Hoover, the husband of Donna Goode Grubbs Hoover, also leaves a daughter, Susan Elizabeth Hoover Cook of Nashville; three sons, Dr. Jeffery Hoover of Memphis, Daniel Hoover of Nashville and Howell Hoover of Iuka, Miss., and six grandchildren. 

  Jim Robinson 
  Jim Robinson died of  a heart attack
at his home in Playa Del Rey, CA on Wednesday, March 20, 2002, shortly after an
exercise workout. JIm and I were close friends, having played baseball
together at USNA, and went through flight training together (where we also
played baseball). We were assigned to VF-61(The Jolly Rogers) at Oceana, VA
in early 1952 and made cruises together as roommates until going ashore in
1955. Jim and I were close friends since those days.

All the best


Edwin Lamar Mauzy

CPT, USAF. Born Dec. 14, 1926. Died Dec. 25, 2001

Edwin's daughter, Lynn, will mail his obituary.


James H. Hall

                  Col. James H. Hall (USAF Ret.), age 74, formerly of
Colorado Springs, Colo., passed away Saturday, November 17, 2001 in
Mechanicsville. He is survived by his wife of 41 years, Ginny Hall; three
daughters and a son-in-law, Cindy Stockton, Tena M. Sterrett, and Mary L.
and Robert J. Doak; son, Lt. Col. John Cherniga (USAF) and
daughter-in-law, Joan Cherniga; two sisters-in-law, Mrs. Dorothy Hall and
family, and Mrs. Sally Allen; two nephews, David L. Allen and family, and
James Gibson and family; and last but not least, numerous grand-puppies.
Col. Hall was retired from the United States Air Force after a career of
31 years as a fighter pilot. He served in World War II and the Korean
Conflict. Remains rest at the Laburnum Chapel, Woody Funeral Home, 2110
E. Laburnum Ave., where the family will receive friends 6 to 8 p.m.
Monday and where services will be held 12:30 p.m. Tuesday. Burial in
Arlington National Cemetery at a later date. 

William T. Rassieur III.

Bill died on Sep. 25, 2001. He was born in San Diego, California, on April 28, 1928. He was a top scholar and 1950 graduate of the Naval Academy at Annapolis and served our country in the United States Air Force during the Korean War, earning the Korean Service Medal, the National Defense Medal, and the Air Medal. He subsequently entered a distinguished career as an engineer and program manager with Lockheed Missiles and Space Corporation, and later enjoyed his retirement years perfecting his golf game, firing up the grill, and proudly watching over his family. Dad, you never let us down and you'll always be our hero.

He is survived by his sweetheart and wife of 50 years, Joy Rassieur, of Dripping Springs. He also leaves daughters, Gayle Harris of Austin and Donna Abelson of Los Gatos, California, and two sons-in-law, Daniel Harris and David Abelson; four beloved granddaughters; and innumerable friends far and wide.

William G. Petty

William Gordon Petty Sr., 73, of Evelake Drive, Asheville, N.C., died Thursday, Oct. 4, 2001, in an Asheville hospital.

Mr. Petty was born Jan. 30, 1928, in Charleston, W.Va., and was a former resident of Hampton Roads, Va., before moving to Asheville in 1983. He was a son of the late George L. and Kathleen F. Petty and was also preceded in death by a daughter, Jane E. Petty, and a sister, Jennette Eileen P. Baugh.

Bill was a graduate of the 1950 class of the U.S Naval Academy and served on destroyer escorts and submarines. He spent most of his career as a mechanical engineer and was an expert in cryogenics. He applied this knowledge in his work on the missions to the moon and to Mars while working with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. He retired from NASA in 1977.

His hobbies included flying and flight instruction in single engine aircraft. He was also a Bridge Life-master and was an active member and served as president of the Asheville Bridge Club. He was a member of St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church on Haywood Road, Asheville, where he sang in the choir. He endeared all those he met with his charm, wit and wonderful sense of humor.

He is survived by his loving wife Mary Geraldine Hess Petty; one son, William Gordon Petty and his wife, Kathleen, of New Orleans, La.; six daughters, Kathleen Petty Mousavizadegan and her husband, Amir, of York County, Va., Rosemary Petty Hobart and her husband, John Stockton, of Hampton, Va., Barbara Ellen Petty and her husband, Daniel Waddle, of Oak Ridge, Tenn., Marjorie Petty McGuirk and her husband, David, of Geneva, Switzerland, Loretta Ward and her husband, Joseph, of Hampton, Va., and Mary Petty Mayfield and her husband, Richard, of Friendswood, Texas; 21 grandchildren, Margaret, Gambrill, and William Gordon Petty III, Adnan Mousavizadegan and his wife Mendy, Anideh M. Grubb and her husband, Corey, Abrahim, Alia and Ariah Mousavizadegan, Phillip and William Hobart, Andrea, Tolsun, and Michael Waddle, Brian McGuirk, Eileen, Jennifer, Jacqueline, Joseph and Sara Ward, and Erin and Richard Mayfield; three great-grandchildren, Nichole and Joseph Mousavizadegan and Conner Grubb; one brother, George L. Petty of Charlottesville, Va., and his many friends.

Ellis Buckley

  Ellis H. Buckley, 75, retired senior engineer with Newport News Shipbuilding, died Sept. 3, 2001, in a Virginia Beach hospital.

Mr. Buckley was a native of D'Lo, Miss. He was a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Class of 1950, and was a member of the Old Dominion Alumni Association.

Survivors include his wife, Marlene L. Buckley of Virginia Beach; his daughter, Beth Ellison Morgan of Atlanta, Ga.; his son, Dean W. Buckley of Portsmouth; his stepdaughters, Sharlet D. Marquez of Mentor, Ohio, and Shandra L. Bond of New Lebanon, Ohio; his stepsons, Robert M. Moore of Virginia Beach, Mark E. Moore of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; his sisters, Katherine B. McClaurin of Houston, Texas, Frances B. Hardy of Roma, Ga., Margaret B. Owen of Alexandria, Va.; and his five grandchildren, Jennifer L. Buckley, Joshua D. Buckley, Jonathan B. Morgan, Gregory S. Morgan and Matthew Morgan.


 Gayle May

Gayle Lynwood May, 74, a space, defense and management consultant, died Aug. 17, 2001, at Frederick Memorial Hospital of complications from a stroke.

Mr. May, a Silver Spring resident for 45 years, was born in Winchester, Ky.

He served in the Navy at the end of World War II and graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis in 1950.

Commissioned in the Air Force and assigned to intelligence activities, he served in Korea during the Korean War directing air attacks from forward ground positions.

His post-war assignments included a stint with the Air Force Technical Applications Command, developing programs for arms limitation agreements and technical intelligence on nuclear capabilities.

He left active military duty in 1958 but continued to serve in the Reserve until he retired in 1987 with the rank of colonel.

In his civilian career, he worked as a program manager for a number of government contractors in the 1960s and 1970s, including TRW Space Systems and Westinghouse Defense Systems Group. In 1980, he started his own firm, G. Lynwood May and Associates, and continued with his management and technology consulting businesses until his death.

He also was very active in alumni and professional associations.

He was past director and president of the U.S. Naval Academy Class of 1950 Alumni, past director of the National Military Intelligence Association, a life member of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers and past president and director of the American Astronautical Society.

For the latter organization, he also served as a liaison with astronautical societies in Asia and Europe to establish international conferences and technical exchanges in space science and technology.

Survivors include his wife, Doreen May of Silver Spring; two children, Diana Castle of Frederick and Dean May of Reston; his mother, Rose Carlovitch of Frederick; two brothers; two sisters; three grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.


       THOMAS K. DYER '50

Captain Thomas K. Dyer, USAF died on February 10, 2001, at his home in
Roanoke, TX with his entire family at his side.

Like many of his classmates, Tom served in the USN during World War II and
studied at the Naval Academy Prep School before entering USNA in June 1946.
He graduated in June 1950 and was commissioned in the U.S. Air Force. He
served primarily at McDill AFB, Tampa, FL where he met and married his lovely
wife, Ima Jean White.

He left the service in 1954 and went to Louisville, KY, where he was born and
raised, to work for Kentucky Home Mutual Life. He left that company in 1960
and joined Lincoln National Life, Ft. Wayne, IN. While in that employ, he
became one of the first in the insurance industry to obtain the title,
Certified Life Underwriter (CLU).

In 1972 he joined Pacific Mutual Life Insurance Company in Dallas, Texas. Tom
was an eminently successful businessman, attaining the position of Regional
Vice President while with Pacific Mutual Life. He retired in 1992.

Tom was an avid golfer and consistently involved in civic affairs in his
community and his church. Among his civic contributions, which were many, he
qualified and served as an Emergency Medical Technician for the local fire
department. He also served on the Utilities Commission of his community. A
pillar of his church, he also served as Chairman, Finance Committee.

Tom was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather. He took great pleasure in
his grandfathering role in the family. He is survived by his wife, Ima Jean,
his daughters Chris and Nancy, son Ted and six grandchildren


ALTAVISTA, Va. Bernard Bell Lane, 72, died Monday, Feb. 5, 2001, at his home.

He was the husband of Minnie Bassett Lane. Born Nov. 23, 1928, in Lynchburg, Va., he was a son of the late Edward H. Lane Sr. and Myrtle Bell Lane. He grew up in Altavista, attending the elementary school until entering Randolph Macon Academy, Front Royal, Va. He entered the U.S. Naval Academy graduating in June 1950, with a commission of second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force. Following marriage, he served in Saudi Arabia and later returned to the family business in Altavista in January 1954. He retired as chairman of the board of the Lane Company on March 12, 1987.

He was a lifelong member of Lane Memorial United Methodist Church, previously Broad Street Methodist Episcopal, where he had served as a Sunday school teacher. Mr. Lane was involved in church affairs at the local and state level, most recently serving as a trustee of the United Methodist Foundation of Virginia.

In 1957, he and his wife established the Minnie and Bernard Lane Foundation, which serves a wide variety of causes both local and international, emphasizing Christian relief and development, education, etc. Following his retirement from the Lane Company, Mr. Lane traveled extensively as a director and chairman of the board of several charities, the emphasis of which is meeting basic human needs and spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ.

He served on the boards of the Virginia Port Authority, Food for the Hungry, Inc., Project Concern International, and the Commission of Urological Research of Duke University Medical Center. He also served as a trustee of Randolph Macon Academy, Front Royal, Va., for 17 years and on various state boards and commissions.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by three sons, William Ritter Lane and wife, Kathleen of Newport News, Va., Douglas Bassett Lane and wife, Susan of Lynchburg, Va., and Bernard Bell Lane Jr. and wife, Lellen of San Antonio, Texas; one daughter, Lucy Lane Corwin and husband, Ted of Hickory; one brother, Edward H. Lane Jr. of Moneta; and 14 grandchildren. Mr. Lane was the guardian to his wifes cousin, Ann Matthews Lee.

He was preceded in death by two brothers, John Haden Lane and Landon Bell Lane.


BREWER DIXON, JR., of Mt. Dora, FL, passed away on 20 November 2000. He was 72 years old. Born on 27 September 1928, he was the son of the late Brewer and Corinne Bailey Dixon of Talladega, AL.

He was a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy Class of 1950, commissioned in the Air Force. He was assigned to the Strategic Air Command, and flew reconnaisance flights over the Soviet Union in the 1950's. After leaving the Air Force, he pursued private business in California and Florida.

Brewer is survived by two daughters, Constance Dixon Thomas of Palm Beach, FL, and Margaret Katherine Dixon of Sausalito, CA; and two grandchildren, Corinne Davenport Thomas and David JohnThomas IV of Palm Beach, FL. He is also survived by two brothers, Dr. James Kelly Dixon II of Greenville, SC, and Cassius Bailey Dixon of Clinton, SC.


Henry P. Kilroy of Pinehurst, NC, died suddenly on Friday, 29 September 2000. He was 72 years old.
A Mass of Resurrection was held at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Pinehurst on 3 October 2000, with Father Robert Diegleman officiating.
Mr. Kilroy was a 1950 graduate of the Naval Academy and received his master's degree at MIT.
He served as a captain in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War.
He was a business executive in the computer industry and was co-founder of Datamedic Corporation of New York.
He and his wife of 50 years, Marilyn, moved to Pinehurst five years ago.
He was a member of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church and volunteered much of his time in the community.
Surviving are his wife, Marilyn: four children, Mary C. McNamara of Washington. D.C.., KathleenVacanti of Angola, NY, F. Joseph Kilroy of Gillette, NJ, and Henry G. Kilroy of Port Jefferson, NY: sister, Jayne Doherty of Williamsburg, VA; and 13 grandchildren.


Dr. Harry H. Howren Jr., a retired obstetrician and gynecologist who practiced in Richmond, Va., for 35 years, departed this life on December 12, 2000.

He was born in Norfolk, Va., August 14, 1926, son of Margaret and Harry Howren, both deceased. He attended Mary High School in Norfolk, Va., Thomas Jefferson High School in Richmond, Va., and was graduated in 1943 from Bullis Prep School in Silver Spring, Md. He entered the United States Naval Academy but was granted a medical discharge in less than one year. He then attended University of North Carolina from 1945 to 1948. He was accepted into the School of Medicine, Medical College of Virginia in 1948 and received his Doctor of Medicine degree in 1952. He attended the School of Aviation Medical late 1953 to 1954, Pensacola, Fla. then transferred to Naval Air Station, Jacksonville, Fla. as flight surgeon for the Carrier Air Group 16. He took his training in obstetrics and gynecology at Medical College of Virginia, 1957 to 1960. He continued his service in the US Navy as naval flight surgeon and was granted an honorable discharge, attaining the rank of commander, June 30, 1975.

Dr. Howren was a past member of the Hudnall Ware Jr. Society, the Richmond Academy of Medicine, the Medical Society of Va. and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. He was presently a member of the American Medical Association. In addition, he was a life member of The Retired Officers Association.

He is survived by one brother, Judge Donald R. Howren, of Richmond, Va.; one son, Harry H. Howren III, Glen Allen, Va.; four daughters, Cynthia Flowers and Leigh Howren of Richmond, Va., Kimberly Grimes of Farmville, Va. and Anne Lanehart of Powhatan, Va.; three sons-in-law, Scott Flowers, Tommy Grimes, and Jesse Lanehart; and one daughter-in-law, Rosebud Howren. In addition, 17 grandchildren, one nephew and two nieces. In addition, he is survived by Rosemary Howren, the wonderful mother of his children. Donations may be made to the American Cancer Society.


William Harvey Ayres Jr., 74, a retired Navy captain who commanded a submarine, two submarine divisions and a tactical communications staff, died of amyloidosis Sept. 12 at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital in Rockville.

Capt. Ayres, who lived in Rockville, was a native of East Orange, N.J. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis in 1950, six years after he enlisted in the Navy. He also studied communications at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif.

Part of his 30-year career as a commissioned officer was a stint as commander of the Pomodon, a submarine that underwent extensive upgrades and was said to be the most advanced underwater vessel of its time. After commanding a Navy station in Australia and two submarine divisions, he became chief of staff of the joint tactical communications at Fort Monmouth, N.J.

He retired from the Navy in 1980 and settled in the Washington area. He then worked for 10 years for Tracor Inc.'s offices in Rockville and Alexandria as a program manager supporting submarine combat system trainers.

His military decorations included the Meritorious Service Medal.

Survivors include his wife of 49 years, Suzanne Ayres of Rockville; four sons, William H. Ayres III of Sunbury, England, Robert Ayres of Port Saint Lucie, Fla., and John Ayres and Keith Ayres, both of San Diego; a sister; and five grandchildren.


Roger Minor Freeman, Jr., age 73, a graduate of the United States Naval Academy Class of 1950, passed away August 29, 2000. He was born March 30, 1927 in Richmond, Virginia to Roger Minor Sr.and Lona Estelle Martin Freeman. After Roger graduated from the Naval Academy, he served in the Air Force for six years. He then worked as an engineer for G.E., Honeywell and Control Data. He was an active member of the Crescent Society, an organization formed by retirees. Roger's passion in life was his art. Many friends are recipients of his artistic talents. He is survived by his wife of fifty years, Lou Freeman; daughter, Deborah Lee Freeman, Marston Mills, Mass.; son, Tom Freeman and wife Vicki, Bethany, OK; grandchildren, Brett, Cory, Kevin, Kyle, and Kara.

Lloyd E. Harrison

Lloyd E. Harrison died on 16 October 2000 at his home in Fairbank, CA. His wife of fifty years, Dolores, was with him. Lloyd was born in Midland, TX on 15 December 1927. At age 16 he enlisted in the Navy and received his appointment to the Naval Academy a year later. He met his future wife, Dolores Helen Ryder of Baltimore, MD, and shortly after his graduation they were married.

In 1950 he volunteered for service in the Air Force to satisfy that service's need for officers. He attempted flight training in Sherman, TX, but washed out due to air sickness. After a short stint as a training officr for Air Force recruits at Lackland AFB in San Antonio, TX, he was sent to Biloxi, MS, and then Albuquerque, NM for training in the nuclear weapons field. His training ended in 1952 and for the next three years he was the officer in charge of the proper maintenance and preparation of the nuclear weapons capability of his squadron at Spokane, WA. During that stretch of time from 1952 to 1955 he and his wife had four children - Francis, Daniel, Michael and Mary.

By 1955 the Air Force was in need of officers with advanced systems engineering training and they pre-empted a forthcoming overseas assignment and sent Lloyd to MIT for two years. Upon graduation he was transferred to the ballistic missile offices in Los Angeles, CA, which dealt with the then-new and revolutionary way of delivering nuclear weapons on enemy forces - the THOR Ballistic Missile Program. Next, he was the man initially responsible for modifying the Atlas ICBM into a booster capable of sending a man safely into space - Projrct Mercury. He received a  commendation from the Air Force for this accomplishment and shortly thereafter, in 1960, he left the Air Force as a captain.

For the next 27 years he worked for Hughes Aircraft Company in Culver City, CA in project and programs management positions on a variety of fascinating and demanding tasks. He participated in studies on ballistic missile defense precursers to the Strategic Defense Initiative's missile intercept system. He became involved in the domestic communication satellite endeavors, first running several satellite contract proposals, then serving as an assistant program manager on the Intelsat IV commercial synchronous satellite project. He then was appointed Hughe's program manager for the free world's first domestic communications satellite; Canada's Anik satellite; and then on to the United State's first communication satellite built for Western Union. He also headed the Third World's first satellite communication system. Palapa, for Indonesia. He retired from Hughes in 1987 at age 59.

Throughout his life, Lloyd loved the mountains and the deserts of the American West. He was fascinated by its topography and its history. He frequently took his family camping and it was there that he most profoundly connected with his children. Upon his retirement, Lloyd was able to indulge his other love - the study of American military history and his study is filled wih books on this topic.

The 13 years from his retirement to his death were precious years that Lloyd and his wife were able to devote to each other. His children and grandchildren came to know him and to love him. It was only in the last three weeks of his life that Lloyd's physical and mental vigor was compromised. Lloyd is survived by his wife, Dolores; sons Frank and Dan, and by his daughter, Mary.


(Editor's Note: I leave it to Fox News to remain balanced. My concern, for our country, causes me to publish here, occasionally, information which backs my belief that our way of life is fast disappearing, and may go the route of Nazi Germany in the Thirties. In the name of Patriotism, I welcome comment. As of 8/13/09, I have heard favorably from Bob Monroe, and no others. Jack Akin)        603-526-6431 

Posted 9/14/09: (By an English Teacher, from Bob Gillen)

This should make everyone think, be you Democrat, Republican or Independent

>From a California school teacher - - -

"As you listen to the news about the student protests over illegal
immigration, there are some things that you should be aware of:

I am in charge of the English-as-a-second-language department at a
large southern California high school which is designated a Title 1
school, meaning that its students average lower socioeconomic
and income levels

Most of the schools you are hearing about, South Gate High, Bell
Gardens, Huntington Park, etc., where these students are protesting,
are also Title 1 schools.

Title 1 schools are on the free breakfast and free lunch program. When
I say free breakfast, I'm not talking a glass of milk and roll -- but
a full breakfast and cereal bar with fruits and juices that would make
a Marriott proud. The waste of this food is monumental, with trays and
trays of it being dumped in the trash uneaten.

I estimate that well over 50% of these students are obese or at least
moderately overweight. About 75% or more DO have cell phones. The
school also provides day care centers for the unwed teenage pregnant
girls (some as young as 13) so they can attend class without the
inconvenience of having to arrange for babysitters or having family
watch their kids.

I was ordered to spend $700,000 on my department or risk losing
funding for the upcoming year even though there was little need for
anything; my budget was already substantial. I ended up buying new
computers for the computer learning center, half of which, one month
later, have been carved with graffiti by the appreciative students who
obviously feel humbled and grateful to have a free education in
America ..

I have had to intervene several times for young and substitute
teachers whose classes consist of many illegal immigrant students,
here in the country less then 3 months, who raised so much hell with
the female teachers, calling them "Putas"(whores) and throwing things,
that the teachers were in tears.

Free medical, free education, free food, day care
etc., etc, etc.  Is it any wonder they feel entitled to not only be in
this country but to demand rights, privileges and entitlements?

To those who want to point out how much these illegal immigrants
contribute to our society because they LIKE their gardener and
housekeeper and they like to pay less for tomatoes: spend some time in
the real world of illegal immigration and see the TRUE costs.

Higher insurance, medical facilities closing, higher medical costs,
more crime, lower standards of education in our schools, overcrowding,
new diseases etc., etc, etc. For me, I'll pay more for tomatoes.

Americans, We need to wake up.

It does, however, have everything to do with culture: It involves an
American third-world culture that does not value education, that
accepts children getting pregnant and dropping out of school by 15 and
that refuses to assimilate, and an American culture that has become so
weak and worried about"politicalcorrectness" that we don't have the
will to do anything about it.

If this makes your blood boil, as it did mine, forward this to
everyone you know.

CHEAP LABOR? Isn't that what the whole immigration issue is about?

Business doesn't want to pay a decent wage.

Consumers don't want expensive produce.

Government will tell you Americans don't want the jobs.

But the bottom line is cheap labor. The phrase "cheap labor" is a
myth, a farce, and a lie. There is no such thing as "cheap labor."

Take, for example, an illegal alien with a wife and five children. He
takes a job for
$5.00 or 6.00/hour. At that wage, with six dependents, he pays no
income tax, yet at the end of the year, if he files an Income Tax
Return, he gets an "earned income credit" of up to $3,200 free.

He qualifies for Section 8 housing and subsidized rent.

He qualifies for food stamps.

He qualifies for free (no deductible, no co-pay) health care.

His children get free breakfasts and lunches at school.

He requires bilingual teachers and books.

He qualifies for relief from high energy bills.

If they are, or become, aged, blind or disabled, they qualify for SSI.
If qualified for SSI they can qualify forMedicare .   All of this is
at (our) taxpayer's expense.

He doesn't worry about car insurance, life insurance, or homeowners insurance.

Taxpayers provide Spanish language signs, bulletins and printed material.

He and his family receive the equivalent of $20.00 to $30.00/hour in benefits.

Working Americans
are lucky to have $5.00 or $6..00/hour left after paying their bills and his.

Cheap labor? YEAH RIGHT!





Posted 9/06/09: (Classmate Comments)


As always, you are right " on the mark". I am uneasy about the nuclear 
posture with this Administration, but hope that strong voices like 
your's prevail. I applaud your efforts.


Bob F.

Bob et al: Absolutely superb. Factual, no punches pulled (e,g hard hitting) and a great service to our country. Hopefully, it will be a catalyst to get the Congress back on track before we lose it all--of course, needing a small miracle to get those uninformed buffoons in tune with reality.

Fortisimo !!!  Enough to fill editorials for the next year.

It would, however, be helpful to get the likes of Kissinger, Schultz, Brent Scowcroft, (Gates and maybe even the former President Clinton), etc. refer to it with their own version of the same thing in their words--or better yet:"I couldn't have said it better!" 

Idly, I wonder what Gen James Jones thinks about it? Squirming?

Thanks,  Dick

Posted 9/07/09: (A Must Read, by and from Bob Monroe)

Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.

Published: 1 September 2009
Air & Space Power Journal - Fall 2009

ASPJ Wings

Senior Leader Perspectives

A Perfect Storm over Nuclear Weapons

VADM Robert R. Monroe, USN, Retired

America faces a critical decision point in history. The nuclear deterrent that kept us safe for the past half century has deteriorated to the point of near failure, and we face a confluence of dangers—a “perfect storm”—that threatens our very existence as a nation. Our nuclear perfect storm is far more complex and dangerous than the meteorological perfect storm of 1991, which added this term to our vocabulary. Ours has been building for two decades since the Cold War ended, and today we are engulfed in the convergence of five immense challenges:

• Rapidly increasing nuclear threats of new and different types

• A lapsed and totally out-of-date strategy of nuclear deterrence

• An old, virtually irrelevant, and dying nuclear-weapons capability

• Unchecked nuclear proliferation on the verge of triggering a cascade

• Ill-advised and dangerous disarmament proposals designed to implement the vision of “a world without nuclear weapons”

Our overarching need, of course, is to meet all the interlocked challenges effectively. This article addresses each of these five and then suggests an integrated approach whereby national leadership can realize a successful outcome for all.

Nuclear Threats

Nuclear-weapon threats to the United States and its allies have steadily increased over the past 20 years, but because they’re so different from the global thermonuclear threat of the Cold War, they have gone virtually unnoticed. Russia tops the list. First, it is still the only nation capable of destroying the United States. Second, Russia must increase its nuclear-weapons capability, as this is the only reason for its being considered a superpower. Third, over the past decade, the Russians have changed their military strategy to one based on the early use of nuclear weapons in all military conflicts, large or small. Fourth, they have preserved thousands of Cold War–era tactical nuclear weapons—a force unmatched by any Western power. Fifth, they have a robust, active industrial base for producing nuclear weapons. Sixth, for two decades, they have focused on researching, developing, testing, designing, and producing advanced, highly usable nuclear weapons: very low yield, radiation intensive, and relatively “clean” but still immensely destructive. Seventh, they plan to deploy tactical nuclear weapons in several ways, including the launching of cruise missiles from submarines. The US-Russian nuclear arms-control treaty now being negotiated to replace the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START I) covers none of these tactical nuclear weapons. Finally, Russia is modernizing its strategic nuclear forces.

China poses a different type of nuclear threat. Chinese leaders recognize that they have now become a global, rather than regional, economic power. To advance to true superpower status, China must become a global military power as well. Thus, it has embarked upon a huge strategic-modernization program, ranging from space warfare and cyberwar capabilities to aircraft carriers and—most notably—nuclear weapons. The latter include greater numbers of advanced, high-yield strategic missiles with increased range to reach US targets, as well as nuclear antiship missiles. An early Chinese objective calls for gaining full access to the Pacific through control of Taiwan, doing so peaceably if possible but through force if necessary. Since the United States has aligned itself to oppose such an action militarily, China intends to make any US action so extremely costly that we will opt for international pressure rather than armed combat.

Pakistan possesses nuclear weapons, and it is modernizing them. Its political situation is so unstable that those 100-odd weapons could soon fall into the hands of Islamic fundamentalists, for many of whom America is the principal target. North Korea and Iran are rogue states, well on their way to becoming nuclear-weapon powers, and, to date, the world has chosen not to stop them. The North Koreans have already conducted two nuclear-weapon tests, and if they successfully begin production of capable weapons, they would probably sell them to any state or organization able to pay. Iran may have a year or two to go before production, but once that occurs, it could very well transfer weapons to terrorist organizations (e.g., ­Hezbollah, Hamas, and al-Qaeda) for proxy attacks on the West.

Finally, in addition to remaining aware of the above specific threats, we must also fully prepare for the unknowable nature of the future. With startling speed, friends can become enemies; hostile forces can take over supportive nuclear-weapon states; major US vulnerabilities may occur unexpectedly; advanced weapons can present us with totally new threats; adversaries may form unanticipated alliances, greatly raising threat levels; and so on.

In sum, nuclear weapons exist, and they aren’t going away—ever. There are tens of thousands of them in the world today. More states have them than ever before. Over half the world’s population lives in states that possess nuclear weapons. Every such state in the world—with the sole exception of the United States—is modernizing its arsenal. Rogue states and terrorist organizations worldwide seek them unceasingly. On the research-and-development front, “fourth-generation” nuclear weapons loom just around the corner. Most importantly, basic nuclear-weapons technology—well known and available everywhere on the earth—will continually advance and never disappear. Consequently, small groups with modest technical qualifications can produce nuclear weapons that work well.

Given the great number of different threats from these weapons, the probability of our actually confronting some of them is quite high. Any such attack carries huge consequences—world changing. Thus, we urgently need a new, relevant US strategy of nuclear deterrence—and it must hedge on the side of strength.

Nuclear Deterrence

Unfortunately, all is not well with US nuclear deterrence. Initially, let’s speak of deterrence in general, for it has been a powerful tool since prehistory. Deterrence is based upon fear. We alter the behavior of an adversary by threatening him. First we tell the leadership that taking a specific action, or failing to do so, will produce intolerable consequences for them. Then we convince the adversary, by reinforcing actions, that we have the capability and the will to carry out our threat. Deterrence has proven a highly effective control mechanism since people arrived on the earth. Historically, successful completion of a difficult negotiation on any major issue has always required a threat of force in the background. The greatest benefit of deterrence is the high probability of achieving our objective without resorting to violence.

Nuclear deterrence has been with us since the dawn of the nuclear era. It works! We’re all here today because it works. During the 40-plus years of the Cold War—the most deadly confrontation of superpowers in history—nuclear deterrence worked flawlessly. Those decades saw hundreds of major crises and dozens of “hot” wars; yet, the poised readiness of thousands of nuclear weapons, fine tuned to destroy the Soviets’ most valued assets, was completely effective in preventing the use of a single nuclear weapon. But to keep deterrence working during those years, we had to redesign our nuclear weapons continually to meet changing conditions, threats, strategy, technology, Soviet leadership, and so on. Our nuclear deterrence brought about the end of the Soviet Union and the defeat of communism without violence.

Now fast-forward to the twenty-first century. Deterrence is nowhere to be found. What happened? The standard answer declares that no one can deter terrorists. On the contrary, we can deter them (but that’s a topic for another day), and, more to the point, we should aim our nuclear deterrence at rogue states—today’s most likely source of nuclear weapons for terrorists. We can most definitely deter those states.

So, “what happened?” amounts to a number of things. We didn’t identify our enemy correctly; we didn’t make the tough intellectual effort to recast our nuclear-deterrence strategy to meet this new threat; we didn’t have the firmness to design, test, and build several types of new counterproliferation weapons; we convinced ourselves that it was inappropriate to threaten other nations; and—most importantly—we didn’t engage the American people in a continuing national debate on nuclear deterrence, a debate as intensive as that maintained during the Cold War.

What form would nuclear deterrence take today? If we had prepared properly, it would develop like this. First, we identify our target—let’s say, Iran—and issue this declaratory statement: “If you do not demolish your facilities for producing nuclear weapons, we will do it with military force, to prevent proliferation.” We offer no deadlines, amplification, or negotiation. Note that we never refer to our use or nonuse of nuclear weapons. Proper preparation would have attracted strong bipartisan support for the statement. Prior national debate would have produced public consensus on deterrence. This unanimity is vital in showing national will.

We then commence a continuing stream of powerful (and expensive) reinforcing actions, with both conventional and nuclear forces. With conventional forces, these actions—all highly publicized— include accelerated development of improved weapons specialized for this mission, visible weapons testing, rapid modification or procurement of these weapons, construction of mirror-image Iranian target arrays at our test ranges, intensive training with live weapons against these targets (shown on prime-time television), focused counterproliferation exercises, announced deployments, increased readiness, elevated worldwide alert levels, and so on.

Where do nuclear weapons come in? Because they’re so all-powerful, devastating, and unique—a force that the adversary cannot withstand—nuclear weapons represent the real power in our deterrence. They provide a fearsome, credible backdrop for our conventional forces. Our reinforcing measures with nuclear weapons include immediate resumption of testing nuclear weapons underground as well as accelerated design, testing, and production of new nuclear weapons with very low yield, great accuracy, reduced collateral damage, and increased security and controllability. We tailor individual designs for earth penetration, reduced residual radiation, and so on—all with much publicity, visibility, training, and exercises. The intensity of reinforcing actions cannot be overemphasized. Think back to the Cold War. The design and production of every nuclear weapon and every delivery vehicle (missile, aircraft, and submarine), as well as the assembly of large military forces that man and operate them, should be considered as reinforcing actions, to demonstrate national capability.

If we used deterrence in this manner today, Iran would abandon its nuclear-weapons programs without our firing a shot. Note that without the above-­mentioned preparation, we could still make the declaratory statement and carry out the same reinforcing actions—which would probably not convince Iran that we would carry out our threat. In this case, we should conduct a single, very powerful conventional strike (earlier rather than later) against only one target—say, the Natanz enrichment facility. Immediately there­after we should invite Iran to the negotiating table, at which our carrots should carry the day.

Deterrence is highly case-specific. That is, we must precisely shape any attempt to deter an adversary by holding at risk his most valued assets, and it must be totally credible under current US and world conditions. A deterrent approach that works against adversary “A” won’t work against adversary “B”; moreover, one that works against adversary “A” today won’t work against him in three years.

But US nuclear deterrence doesn’t exist today. Although it represents the strongest element of US foreign policy and national security strategy, we’ve dropped it from our tool kit. Our strategists, diplomats, and military don’t understand it, and we’ve taken none of the necessary preparatory actions to make it credible. Some of these actions concern the nuclear-weapons arsenal we need to back up deterrence.

Our Failing
Nuclear-Weapons Capability

US nuclear-weapons capability is in near-terminal condition: neglected, deteriorated, and dying. In the 1970s and ’80s, it was the strongest the world had ever seen. What happened?

Briefly, in the euphoria over the Cold War’s end, with the perceived absence of serious threats and a vision of peace for the foreseeable future, the United States took a number of unilateral nuclear-disarmament actions (e.g., a moratorium on the testing of nuclear weapons, a law prohibiting the design of low-yield nuclear weapons, and signing of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty [CTBT]). Today it’s clear that we vastly overshot the mark.

New adversaries quickly appeared: rogue states, failed or failing states, terrorist organizations based in sanctuary states, and powerful groups with the potential to take over weak states. Many adversaries have no greater desire than to kill Americans and destroy our society—and they’re eager to die in the process. They are also absolutely determined to acquire nuclear weapons in order to kill more of us. So our rosy vision of the future was off the mark. We repealed the design law after a decade of terrible injury to our nuclear labs, and the Senate denied ratification of the CTBT by a wide margin; however, the test moratorium continues, and it has done incalculable damage.

For almost 50 years, testing represented the hub of the nuclear-weapons wheel—“ground truth.” It was the way we pursued science, trained designers, validated designs, certified warheads, found problems, identified fixes, verified solutions, integrated the Department of Defense (DOD) and predecessors of the National Nuclear Security Administration into a tight-knit user-producer community, and the way we hardened key DOD weapons systems to survive the effects of nuclear weapons. With the hub gone, the remainder of the wheel isn’t of much use.

And our mistakes continued—probably the second greatest being our belief that any US nuclear-weapons activity would undercut our nonproliferation policy. The exact opposite is true. A strong US nuclear deterrent acts as a powerful force to prevent proliferation. Unfortunately, United Nations (UN) stewards of nonproliferation progressively changed the objective of the “global nonproliferation regime” from preventing proliferation to nuclear disarmament. Accepting this, the US Congress, over the past decade, has denied all of the executive branch’s nuclear initiatives: advanced-concepts research, the modern pit facility (the plutonium trigger), enhanced test readiness, the robust nuclear earth penetrator, and the reliable replacement warhead.

Today, nuclear threat levels are high, and the dangers diverse and even more challenging; yet US nuclear-weapons capability is close to total failure. We have undergone a two-decade, unannounced “nuclear freeze,” taking us well on the way to unilateral nuclear disarmament:

• Our nuclear deterrent doesn’t deter. Our stockpile consists of Cold War “massive retaliation” weapons, ­irrelevant against current adversaries, and the test moratorium denies us the capability to design new, appropriate, and credible counter­proliferation weapons.

• The absence of nuclear testing seriously reduces our confidence in the reliability and performance of existing nuclear weapons because of ageing, radiation damage, deteriorated parts, replacements with untested parts, and so on.

• In this age of terrorism, our nuclear weapons must incorporate the very best in safety, security, and controllability, but we cannot do this without nuclear testing. Most warhead designs do not contain all of the available security systems, and we have not developed improved systems because we have no prospect for testing them.

• From the dawn of the nuclear era, no nuclear-warhead design has ever entered the stockpile without having the pit certified through nuclear testing—until last year. We’re now in the very unwise process of sidestepping this bedrock policy.

• Lab scientists, designers, engineers, and test personnel with test experience are almost gone. Those left can be counted on one hand. Morale is low. The luster of a nuclear-weapons career has diminished to the point that it impairs the recruiting of high-potential individuals. Furthermore, effective training of the new generation is just not possible without nuclear testing.

• For 17 years, our nuclear-weapon scientists have been prevented from pursuing a robust advanced-concepts research program. In this era of rapidly advancing technology, the test moratorium has denied us knowledge of “what’s possible?” and an understanding of new threats we may face.

• The crown jewels of America’s ­nuclear-weapons capability are not our warheads, weapons, or stockpile but our designers of nuclear weapons! We depend totally upon the judgment of designers to resolve every question, issue, or unknown regarding the effectiveness and reliability of each weapon. And designers learn their trade by testing, without which we’ll have the blind leading the blind.

• The inability to test undermines American science. For centuries, employment of the “scientific method,” with testing as its central element, has been responsible for mankind’s scientific and techno­logical advances. We define a problem or unknown; develop a hypothesis for its solution; design a test of the hypothesis; predict test results; run the test; compare actual results to those predicted; adjust the hypothesis based upon test differences; and repeat the process. We cannot do this without testing. In a field as important as nuclear weapons, our scientists must not be denied use of the scientific method.

• Much of our nuclear-weapons infrastructure (laboratories, test facilities, production plants, etc.) is antique and deteriorated. The heart of the nuclear-weapons business—the production of plutonium pits (triggers)—no longer exists. The Rocky Flats plant closed 20 years ago, and every attempt to build a modern pit facility has been stopped.

• Similarly, the DOD has disassembled its nuclear-weapons capability by closing offices, reassigning specialists, and terminating functions. Few young officers today seek advanced degrees in nuclear physics or engineering, and few become nuclear-weapons specialists. Little attention is given to strategic thinking about nuclear weapons; development of tactics; strategy games involving nuclear weapons; and military exercises featuring nuclear warfare.

• Without nuclear testing, survivability of the DOD’s conventional and nuclear systems remains largely unproven. Scientific research into the effects of nuclear weapons has atrophied, and we now have little capability to test US systems against these effects.

• This situation is possibly best summarized by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who recently stated that “no one has designed a new nuclear weapon in the United States since the 1980s, and no one has built a new one since the early 1990s. . . . The United States is the only declared nuclear power that is neither modernizing its nuclear arsenal nor has the capability to produce a new nuclear warhead.”1 Each of the three processes involved (designing, testing, and producing) is a performance art; each requires a highly specialized team; and the teams have to work closely together. It will take many years of actual performance to relearn how to do it effectively.

Most of these degradations result primarily from the absence of testing, and most of them cannot be corrected without the resumption of testing. So let’s look next at the world of nonproliferation, which caused the test bans and moratoria.

The Failure of Nuclear Nonproliferation

The proliferation of nuclear weapons is a threat like no other, and America has led the effort to prevent it from the start. The Baruch Plan and President Eisenhower’s Atoms for Peace were notable beginnings. In the 1960s, the United States actively negotiated the Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), seeking to prevent proliferation by limiting nuclear weapons to the existing five “nuclear-weapon states” (United States, United Kingdom, Soviet Union, China, and France—the five permanent members of the UN Security Council). In 1970 43 states signed the NPT, including the United States. Five signed as nuclear-weapon states, and the rest as non-nuclear-weapon states, as did all later signatories.

The NPT places no restrictions on the five nuclear-weapon states regarding developing, testing, producing, and deploying new nuclear weapons in any variety or numbers—and every signatory agreed to this. Currently 189 (of the 193) states have signed the NPT, and there are still only five approved nuclear-weapon states. The NPT represents the cornerstone of the prevention of global proliferation.

During the Cold War (which continued for the first two decades of the NPT’s life), relatively little proliferation occurred, primarily because the tens of thousands of instantly ready US and Soviet nuclear weapons made acquiring them seem rather pointless. Eighteen nations started down the nuclear-weapons road, and all stopped.

The problems with the NPT occurred once the Cold War ended. Groups of states, activist organizations, arms controllers, antinuclear organizations, and so on, have piggybacked their objective—nuclear disarmament—onto “nonproliferation,” effectively hijacking the term. They didn’t change the treaty itself; they just claim that it requires nuclear disarmament, which it does not.

Over the years, the UN, General Assembly, Conference on Disarmament, large blocs of states, and countless nongovernment organizations have totally shifted the NPT’s focus from preventing proliferation to nuclear disarmament. Thus, for the past 20 years, the world has sought to force the United States (the soft touch) to move faster toward unilateral nuclear disarmament and has given little attention to preventing rogue states from acquiring nuclear weapons. Consequently, the NPT failed to stop first Pakistan, then North Korea, and now Iran from going nuclear. Clearly, nonproliferation—as practiced today—is ineffective, dying.

If North Korea solidifies its nuclear-weapons status, it’s likely that other neighboring states (e.g., Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan) will opt to go nuclear in self-defense. If Iran produces nuclear weapons, the same will probably occur with Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and other Mideast states. These two regional nodes of proliferation will likely trigger global proliferation among both developed nations (which can make the move very quickly) and undeveloped ones (some 40 of which have already made early moves toward nuclear power, many probably regarding it as a preparatory step). This appalling prospect has caused some individuals and groups to grasp, in desperation, for the impossible—“a world without nuclear weapons.”

A World without
Nuclear Weapons

Sensing the likelihood of a global cascade of proliferation, two and a half years ago, four notable elder statesmen—George Shultz, Henry Kissinger, Bill Perry, and Sam Nunn—proposed the international objective of a world without nuclear weapons. They stated that they did not know how to get there, but they proposed a series of major nuclear-­disarmament actions that should be taken (mostly by the United States) to stimulate other nations to follow suit.

Of course, arms controllers, disarmers, and the entire global nonproliferation regime seized upon this vision with delight, holding conferences, planning initiatives, forming alliances, writing articles, and reshaping other related movements into this one. A parallel inter­national program, Global Zero, came into being. Recently, President Obama has publicly committed his administration to a world without nuclear weapons.

In the resulting euphoria and enthusiasm, no one is asking searching questions. We must ask—and answer—them before taking any action in such a huge and daunting endeavor:

• Is a world without nuclear weapons possible? Surely, we must answer this one before we start taking major actions that may have serious downsides or that may be irreversible.

• Is a world without nuclear weapons desirable? Regulation and enforcement have always proven essential in a civilized society.

• What dangers would we expose ourselves to? Our nuclear deterrent has kept us safe for half a century.

• If we achieved a world without nuclear weapons, how would we stay there? Basic nuclear-weapons technology is well understood worldwide.

• How would we verify compliance? It appears impossible.

• Since proliferation increased during the exact period when the United States was in a nuclear freeze, refraining from design and production of nuclear weapons and making draconian reductions in our stockpile, why should we believe that our making further reductions will stop proliferation? It seems clear that weakness is not the way to win the nonproliferation game.

• Is it not unwise for a nation to set an objective it does not know how to reach? Major commitments of time, people, and money may turn out to have been counterproductive.

• Do we have more effective alternatives for preventing proliferation? Simple enforcement of nonproliferation seems obvious.

Without addressing these questions, the Obama administration is moving forward rapidly with a large number of proposals to implement this vision of nuclear disarmament. Three in particular, planned for this year, are quite dangerous. First, ratifying the CTBT would condemn us permanently into living with irrelevant nuclear weapons as well as inexperienced nuclear-weapons scientists and engineers. Second, making major reductions in the number of weapons in our stockpile is unwise. We’re still in the process of implementing the huge Moscow Treaty reductions by 2012, and we should stabilize there until our still-in-planning “responsive infrastructure” is in place to compensate for the reductions. Third, permanently canceling the reliable-replacement-warhead program—the only modernization program attempted by the United States in two decades—is extremely unwise. We’ve committed five years to preliminary development of this warhead, essential both to reconstituting the human capital of our industrial base and to extending the life of our overage weapons.

Historically, efforts to ban weapons have been unblemished by success. We would do well to examine the records carefully before launching such an ambitious undertaking. One of the most recent attempts is also one of the most instructive—the Kellogg-Briand Pact to outlaw war as an instrument of national policy, signed in 1928. Virtually all the major nations of the world subsequently subscribed to it. This occurred as these same nations prepared for World War II, the most destructive war in history, leaving over 60 million dead.

An ill-conceived initiative, “a world without nuclear weapons” cannot succeed. Rather, it would expose us to imminent real-world threats, prevent the urgently needed rebuilding of our decayed nuclear-weapons capability, and fail to stop the impending cascade of proliferation.

Path to a Successful Future

We can survive this perfect storm and secure a safe future by taking the following five major steps, appearing in priority order.

Forget about a World without Nuclear Weapons

Starting with the physicians’ guide “first, do no harm” (although it may damage a few egos), we must drop the “world without nuclear weapons” objective and cancel the three ill-advised 2009 proposals designed to kick it off (listed above). We cannot realize this objective, however visionary and desirable, and these three early actions would do incalculable damage to our nation.

Stop Nuclear Proliferation

We must stop nuclear proliferation, the principal threat facing our nation—now. If we can hold the line at eight states with nuclear weapons, the world may, with luck, be able to manage the nuclear-weapons challenge for the long-range future.

North Korea’s and Iran’s nuclear ambitions, along with the world’s weakness in handling this challenge over two decades, caused the current proliferation crisis. Now we are truly in extremis. If these two states succeed in going into production with nuclear weapons, proliferation will cascade. Many, many states will have them; terrorists will obtain them; they will see frequent use; and we will live in a world of nuclear horror and chaos from which there is no return.

We can avoid this only by stopping North Korea and Iran now—by military force, if necessary. This is an absolutely essential step, and we must take it. Actually, the cascade has already started, in a subvisibility manner, in anticipation that no one will stop the two rogues. We should first attempt deterrence, although without the years of preparation, it may well prove unsuccessful. But if we must use force, the cost of stopping these two rogue-state proliferators now will amount to only a tiny fraction of the future cost of not stopping them.

When the first of these states is forced to roll back its nuclear-weapons program, this action will create a whole new world. Nonproliferation will be alive and well. Once again, deterrence will be recognized as effective. Nations of the world will no longer feel threatened by nuclear aggression. We can achieve nonproliferation only by stopping proliferators.

Then we must convince the world of three realities. First, nonproliferation requires enforcement! There must be a cop on the beat. Ideally, this would become a collegial responsibility of the five NPT-approved nuclear-weapon states—and the world may eventually evolve to this point. But for now, the United States must take the lead, supported by those willing to help—hopefully, one or more of the other nuclear-weapon states. Second, nuclear weapons are of indispensable value. They ended the most destructive war in history, saving millions of lives. For almost half a century, they prevented a vastly more destructive war. Today, the presence of nuclear weapons in some hands acts as a damper on their use by others. For generations to come, having nuclear weapons in the hands of large, responsible states offers the only hope for the world. Third, the true beneficiaries of the NPT’s inequality are not the five nuclear-weapon states, who shoulder a heavy burden, but the 180-odd non-nuclear-weapon states. The NPT protects them from threats by aggressive nuclear-armed neighbors.

Reestablish Nuclear Deterrence

For two decades, America has forgotten about deterrence, our most powerful foreign policy and national security tool. We must recover it and totally recast our nuclear-deterrence strategy to face current realities. The following five examples illustrate the immense scope of change needed to reach a new model of deterrence. In the Cold War, our objective was to deter the launch of nuclear weapons against us and our allies. Now, our primary objective must be to deter the acquisition of nuclear weapons by rogue states and proliferators. In the Cold War, we threatened retaliation. Now, to avoid immense damage, we must threaten preemption. In the Cold War, we threatened to use nuclear weapons. Now, we should threaten to use military force. In the Cold War, we threatened to target leadership, military forces, and nuclear weapons. Now, we should target, for example, facilities that produce nuclear weapons. In the Cold War, we considered our strike the onset of war. Now, we should consider our strike an element of the negotiating process.

Rebuild Our Nuclear-Weapons Capability

We must repair the widespread damage of a two-decade nuclear freeze. The president must issue a firm, clear statement to the effect that an effective, safe, secure, and reliable nuclear deterrent is essential to America’s security, and that we will maintain it with the highest priority. We must then immediately repair the widespread damage by taking the following actions:

• Reestablish the reliable replacement warhead as a vital program to rebuild human capital and begin modernization.

• Initiate a national debate to inform the American people of the issues discussed in this article, leading to the strong public consensus and bipartisan majorities needed to carry the program through decades of recovery.

• Reestablish a continuing, robust research and development program in all fields contributing to advanced nuclear weapons.

• Terminate our unilateral test moratorium, leave the CTBT unratified, and establish the international understanding that the CTBT does not apply to the five NPT-approved ­nuclear-weapon states.

• Revitalize the DOD’s nuclear-­weapons organizations and programs, recommencing the establishment of military requirements for new nuclear weapons to return credibility to our nuclear deterrence.

• Design, test, and produce new nuclear weapons needed for all national deterrence missions.

• Modernize our nuclear-weapons infrastructure to produce a smaller, less costly, more efficient enterprise, giving top emphasis to pit production.

• Revitalize the DOD’s programs on the effects of nuclear weapons, including underground testing, to ensure nuclear survivability of vital military and civil systems.

Pursue Responsible Arms Control

In a proliferation-free world, we must lead the eight nations possessing nuclear weapons into a continuing series of verified reductions, with the goals of maintaining stability and ensuring that the five NPT-approved nuclear-weapon states have the nuclear capability to maintain order.

In sum, the five steps outlined above should successfully respond to the five challenges of our nuclear perfect storm, reestablishing our essential nuclear deterrent and creating an effective global program to prevent proliferation.


1. Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates (speech to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Washington, DC, 28 October 2008), 1305 (accessed 9 June 2009).


VADM Robert R. Monroe, USN, Retired

VADM Robert R. Monroe, USN, Retired Vice Admiral Monroe (BS, US Naval Academy; MA, Stanford University) is a self-employed national security consultant. Admiral Monroe enlisted in the Navy during World War II, and in 1946 he entered the Naval Academy from the fleet. Commissioned in 1950, he served in destroyers, minesweepers, cruisers, and amphibious assault ships, including three commands at sea. He subsequently served in flag rank for 11 years, including (as vice admiral) positions as director of the Defense Nuclear Agency and director of Navy Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation. His Navy career spanned the Cold War as well as the Korean and Vietnam conflicts. Retiring from the Navy after 38 years, he joined Bechtel, a large, worldwide, high-technology engineering, construction, and management firm, serving successively as business line manager, vice president, senior vice president, partner, and senior counselor for 22 years. He currently serves or has recently served as a member of numerous advisory boards for the Department of Defense, Department of State, Department of Energy, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and other government and private organizations. Admiral Monroe frequently authors papers on nuclear-weapons issues.


The conclusions and opinions expressed in this document are those of the author cultivated in the freedom of expression, academic environment of Air University. They do not reflect the official position of the U.S. Government, Department of Defense, the United States Air Force or the Air University

Posted  9/15/09: (From Bob Monroe)



GREAT NEWS!  Ray Engle has agreed to be the Class of 1950's new E-mail

As I believe most of you are aware, Jerry Coleman -- who's done the job
SPECTACULARLY for some 25 years -- has health issues which necessitated his
giving up the job in late June.  Phil Ryan generously accepted the challenge
of temporarily maintaining this vital communications capability for a month
or two, until the right classmate could be found as Jerry's successor.

In the days to come Ray will be taking over the helm.  As you'll recall, Ray
and his wife Claire managed our fabulous 55th reunion in Hawaii, and now
we'll have the same team keeping our class e-mail communications abreast of
the rapidly advancing changing internet world.

Some four years ago the Engles relocated from Hawaii to Medford, Oregon; so
now with our Corresponding Secretary in California, our Webmaster in New
Hampshire, and our E-mail Manager in Oregon, 50's out in front of the pack
in using the mushrooming electronics capability to decentralize class
management functions!   

The objective is to make e-mail an effective, immediate, reliable
communications system to meet important Class of 1950 needs, such as
preparation for our 60th reunion next April.

Some of the key challenges are:  Outreach efforts to bring more classmates
into our class listing; procedures to catch e-mail address changes
immediately; seamless integration with Alumni Association listings to enable
real-time, automatic matching; incorporation of other existing Class of 1950
databases (e.g., Larry Hawkins' superb listing, Kneebasher's extensive
contacts, local luncheon group nets, present and past reunion managers'
listings, classmates' personal nets, etc.); in cases of classmates' deaths,
procedures for accommodating widows' wishes regarding future
listing/non-listing; frequent distribution of complete updated class e-mail
address lists to all classmates; etc.  

Ray will need lots of help from all of us, and I know everyone will do all
they can to assist him in becoming familiar with procedures, existing
resources, NAAA&F e-mail processes, etc.  He'll also need a backup (for
extended trips, etc.) and an Annapolis sidekick for face-to-face work with
NAAA&F.  With our assistance Ray can give Daryle Tripp some effective
communications support in the run-up to our 60th.


Copy to Bill Diehl by mail.

All the best,

Bob Monroe


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