USS Hardhead Reunion Sailors Visit SUBASE New London
GROTON, Conn. (NNS) -- Sailors who served aboard USS Hardhead (SS 365), including those who served during war patrols in World War II, the Korean War and the Cold War, gathered this weekend for their biannual reunion at Naval Submarine Base New London, Oct. 21-22. Hardhead crew members and their families have been gathering in significant numbers every two years for a reunion in various locations throughout the United States. This year's reunion was hosted by retired Master Chief Electrician's Mate (SS) Jack Gallimore, president of the USS Hardhead Alumni Association and former Chief of the Boat for USS Hardhead."We gather every two years to simply share the friendships and memories from years past and to remember those who have served and those who have passed as shipmates," said Gallimore.Capt. Frank Lowery, chief of staff, Commander, Submarine Group 2 reflected on the crew's service throughout Hardhead's 28 years of operations in remarks as part of the crew's banquet. Recounting individual sea experiences the crew had relayed to him during the weekend, Lowery credited them as heroes to the Sailors currently serving in the submarine force."Submarines have and will continue to play an invaluable role in maintaining freedom of the seas by providing ready forces, conducting effective undersea operations and warfighting, and preparing for future operations now," said Lowery.One of the reunion members who taught Lowery a valuable lesson in submarine history was Irv Roth who served aboard the submarine from 1944 to 1945 and completed four war patrols. "The 'rig for dive' lessons Irv Roth taught me regarding Hardhead's first dive in Lake Michigan in 1944 are as applicable to our current submarines as they were to the crew in 1944," said Lowery.Lowery added that today's generations of submariners stand on the shoulders of those who came before them. "The lessons you passed to us from your experiences in war and peace, on operations in shallow water, on reconnoitering and on battle space preparations are vital," said Lowery. "We take the heritage of your six war patrols and your effective ASW operations during the Cold War with us into our current and future operations as part of the design for undersea warfare. You are the foundation that makes us what we are today."Lowery likened his children's love of baseball to that of being with the members of the Hardhead reunion. "My three children used to beg me to wait at the stadium after the game, so they could watch the professional players board the bus and maybe get an autograph," said Lowery. Being here with the Hardhead crew is, for me, exactly what my kids loved about the baseball stadium."I am here in the midst of my heroes, listening to their stories, seeing their camaraderie and being near greatness," said Lowery. "I am in awe of your service and extremely humbled to have had the chance to spend this time with you. Thank you for all you gave our Nation."During the banquet, reunion members paused to remember those shipmates who have passed on sharing a symbolic toast to honor their memory. The toast was provided by retired Capt. Dave Boyd, association vice president."Let us propose a toast to their continued well-being, with the heartfelt hope that we may see them at a future reunion of our gallant ship," said Boyd. Gallimore added that the reunions are more than connecting with shipmates, but forging bonds with others that share a tie with the World War II submarine. "At this reunion, we renew old acquaintances with our USS Hardhead shipmates. We also have the opportunity to meet new friends, like our five submarine Sailors who joined us tonight from the Submarine School's Silver Dolphins, since we are all tied together by the common bond of submarine service," said Boyd.
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