Renshaw Shipmate Notes 2004

Send an email to the webmaster, to get items posted here.


Return to current year


From: "Bruce Johnson" <>
Date: December 29, 2004 8:23:52 PM EST
To: <>
Subject: My Father
My father  Brenton Thorne was on the USS Renshaw from about 1944-1946. I believe he was a quartermaster. He had planned to attend the recent reunion in October but was diagnosed with brain cancer in September and is still very ill. Does anyone remember him or know any stories from when he was on the Renshaw?? We are creating a family history. A photo of the ship is hanging in his hospital room. Would welcome any information you might have.
Denise Thorne Johnson


From: "Richard Post" <>
Date: October 26, 2004 12:59:04 AM EDT
To: "Glenn Barbee" <>
Subject: Plaque
Reply-To: "Richard Post" <>
                    Hi Glen,
                                Just to let everyone know we seem to haveGreat Reunions,we had a wonderful time talking over old times meeting special members of the Crew and enjoying the new members who showed up hope they show up next year,my special thanks to the Crew for letting me go ahead with the Plaque.
                                I have sent a drawing to the Nimitz Foundation,which tthey have received & has been fowarded to the manufacturer for lay out,they in turn will send back a copy to the Nimitz Museum,then they will send me a copy for approval,when i get the layout & approve it iwill send you a copy for our Website if you want to put this on the website its okay,at least this will give the crew some idea of whats going on.
                        Your Shipmate
                        Richard Post


From: "Donald Wandell" <>
Date: October 25, 2004 2:55:05 PM EDT
To: "Glenn A Barbee" <>
Subject: Reunion approvial
Hello Glenn,
I just want to tell you how much I enjoyed the reunion and the pleasure it was for me to meet so many of our old shipmates again, after so many years.    I had been hearing so many good things about Glenn Barbee, I wanted to meet you, and see for myself and am happy to report you passed muster with me.. 
     It was a good feeling to see "Queenie Shindler" again  .  I did get some snapshots at the banquet Saturday night., but I now have the task of putting names with the faces.
     One thing I am sorry for is after the river tour, my wife, who has asthma, got an asthma attack and we missed the "Happy Hour"and your music, I like guitar music,although I cannot play one.
      I will be watching your website hoping  to catch any responses from from any of the old timers.
It was a pleasure meeting you, Glenn.      Don Wandell
                                                                     1943 -1945    


From: "Dick Wenzel" <>
Date: October 15, 2004 5:02:50 PM EDT
To: "Glenn Barbee" <>
Subject: Reunion 2004
Hi Glenn   
  Reunions are like Christmas, they take so long to get here, then bang they are gone in a flash! The rooms were great, breakfast on the house, free wine and beer a real plus, and how about the jitney service, like a meterless taxi at our beck and call. Many many good things to say about Portland and Oregon. Our weather could have been a little better.
  Again it was a thrill like no other to be in the midst of old and new shipmates, and to meet first timers and guests. To the committee and all who helped them give us this wonderful week-end -
  Shipmate Dick Wenzel


From: Dewald GS11 Bruce F <>
Date: August 30, 2004 2:47:31 PM EDT
To: "''" <>
Pages 22-26  Title "BILLY" by former FT Donald C. McElfresh, Dallas TX.
About FT Mk. 56 gun director gang and FTSN Billy Bruce ASHBY c. 1950-53 with good photo of RENSHAW off Korea c. 1951, on page 24.
Bruce F. De Wald DCFN/DC3/AG3
R Division 1957-59


Date: August 22, 2004 6:01:14 PM EDT
Subject: Deceased shipmate
Hi:     I recieved word that my best friend on the Renshaw passed away in July. His name is Hermann Lentz MM3 and served aboard from 1955 thru 1957. He was attached to the after engine room.I would appreciate if you would add him to the deceased list.                     Thank you      Shipmate  Eugene "Gene" Rohleder 


From: "Don McCurry" <>
Date: August 10, 2004 9:01:48 PM EDT
Subject: Re: Dorothy Renshaw Wood

It is with profound sadness that I read your note. We fondly remember the time that we spent with her and Sam when we were in St. Louis for the reunion of our ship and what a gracious and sharing person she was. She gave me several letters and news clippings from the commissioning of our ship and we will ensure that they are placed in our ships history at the Naval Historical Center in Washington, D.C.
Dave please accept our deepest sympathy and know that she is in the thoughts and prayers of all of us who sailed and fought the ship that bears your name. Please let me know if there is a charity that we may make a contribution in her name and don't hesitate to call upon us in the future.
With our deepest sympathy and prayers,
The Officers and Men of the U.S.S. Renshaw DD/DDE-499

----- Original Message -----
From: Dave Renshaw
Sent: Tuesday, August 10, 2004 7:51 PM
Subject: Dorothy Renshaw Wood
Dear Gwen and Don
I wanted to let you know that my sister, Dorothy Wood, who christened the USS Renshaw 499, died August 7,2004. She had a very rapid growing brain tumor.
Dave Renshaw


From: "Linda M. Smith Kortemeyer" <>
Date: August 1, 2004 8:21:43 PM EDT
Subject: Researching Renshaw

I recently was talking with my 82-year-old mother about my father's service during WWII.She said he was on the USS Renshaw which was hit by a torpedo and he was injured. My dad never talked about his service in the Navy, but I do know he was on a destroyer. Any chance anyone knew Harold John Harms?

Just checking to see if he was on this ship as my mom remembered. This is the first time she even remembered the ship's name and I wanted to do some research if possible. Thanks for any information you might have.

My dad died in August 1990 so we never had a chance to talk about this before he passed away. My brother Fred John Harms would like to know more about this also.

You can e-mail me at work --


Date: July 26, 2004 12:58:47 AM EDT
Subject: USS Renshaw (499) Lost crew member William T. Upton(Billy)
     I am seeking information about my uncle (Billy) who served aboard USS Renshaw. He was in the USN from the 40's through the 60's. I am not certain of his dates aboard (499) but if anyone remembers him could you please contact me with any info? He also served aboard USS  Avenge (MSO 423). He was discharged in San Francisco at Treasure Island 7-3-68 but he never made it home to Spartanburg, SC. Some info we have suggests he suffered some sort of mind or memory loss at the time of his discharge. My father , Paul is 81 years old and would love to know about  his brother's time in the USN and why he didn't make it home.Thank you for your help with any info about William T. Upton 931 47 91, HM1, USN
                                                                  Carey Upton


From: Jim R Morelock <>
Date: July 18, 2004 10:38:56 PM EDT
Subject: Donald A. Dishman

Hello Glenn,
I saw in the Kansas City Star, Kansas City Missouri where one of our shipmates has passed away. He served on the USS Renshaw from 1952-1956. I will insert his death notice in this e-mail:
Jim R. Morelock


Donald A. Dishman

Donald A. Dishman passed away June 29, 2004. Services will be at the Maple Hill Funeral Home, 9 a.m., on Friday, July 2, followed by inurnment at the Leavenworth National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions to Foundation for Shawnee Mission Medical Center.

He was born in Ainsworth, NE. Don married his love, Mina Ree Dishman, in 1955. He served in the Navy aboard the USS Renshaw, 1952-1956, during the Korean conflict. He received his BA from Union College in 1961. He was with Narco Medical Services for 31 years.

He was preceded in death by his parents and brother. He is survived by his wife, Mina Ree; his sons, Douglas Dishman, Donald Dishman, Monte Johnson; daughter, Debra Kipper; stepdaughter, Shira Sandell; brother, Dale Dishman; sisters, Fona Hall, Naomi Johnson and Norma Davis; five grandchildren and one great-grandson.

(Arrangements: MapleHill
Funeral Home, 913-831-3345)
Published in the Kansas City Star on 7/1/2004.

From: "bob koch" <>
Date: July 19, 2004 12:07:43 AM EDT
To: <>
Subject: Note for bulletin board
What was the USS Renshaw to me?
After running away from home at age 14, without success, it became apparent to me and all who knew me, that entering the military at the earliest opportunity (my 17th birthday), was in the best interest of all concerned. I was not a bad kid, i just had a longing for something better, for some path to walk, to find a better life.
Dropping out of School after my 11 year, I  entered San Diego  boot camp in July 1958. I tested well and upon graduation, I was sent to Sonar school...where-upon I found that the same lack of good study habits and discipline would serve me no better than before, and i was dropped.
I was then assigned to the fleet and to what would become a pivotal period in my life, becoming a member of the crew of The USS Renshaw. Lady of the sea and anchor in my life.
After the unique journey of crossing aboard a Fuel ship from stateside to Yakouska, Japan (a week plus of barf buckets), I crossed that gangplank, a new member of a ships crew, and in time, earned a place for myself.
Thus began my 39 months of going from a youth seeking a better life, but having no plan, nor direction of compass, to a young man with self discipline and a responsible heart. 
As a SA assigned to the deck crew, i learned  things from a  litany  of nautical terms,to the tedium of scraping paint. I evolved from a raw novice to steering the whale boat and running the captains Gig, From feeding a 3 inch gun, to rigging a tow. From a quick tied bowline on the tail of a running line, to guiding the ships helm on a stormy sea, and much-much more. 
Each new skill acquired became another building block of confidence gained through genuine and valued accomplishment. Of course, being stubborn and hardheaded  there were a few stumbles along this path, but as stern as my superiors were, they did not give up on me, and I did not give up on myself. Thus joined in a common cause to my improvement, we each did the best we could, given the material we were both stuck with.
I sought and became a striker in the radio shack, went to school, later passed fleet wide exam and became RM3.  I was Honorably discharged in June 1962.
Now in civilian life, (among other things), I was in the circus,  a professional actor, retired after a career in law enforcement, served on my local city counsel and have been blessed with a wife well beyond my deserving. I have 3 children ( my two sons serving their country also in the navy,  one during the gulf war), and have  received that most marvelous of gifts, 6 grandchildren.
All that has followed in my life has been built upon the lessons learned during my growth to adulthood as a member of a fighting ship, with a crew who served in unity of purpose, and dedication to duty. I cannot be but eternally  grateful for that time served.
The Navy was the right path and I did find a better life.

From: "EOw5" <>
Date: June 13, 2004 7:02:48 AM EDT
To: <>
Subject: email

       Hello to all you Guys out there that I served with on the Rinky Dink, Man it's been a while. I was aboard the Renshaw  right after you came back the first time from Korea, We made a Wes Pac and then "Operation Castle." This one I'll Never forget,
       Too help you Remember who The heck I am , I came aboard as a reserve for two years, Mess cooked for 18 months {This is another seastory} finially made it into the Galley, did 26 active years in the Navy, Retired  CSC, 1978. I'm the guy who had the Model "A" Ford. When I left to go back to the Mainland, I sold 100 chances for $1.00 each, My mess cook won the car. I'd sure love to hear from you, I ran around with Ogl, Mounts, Estep, Ashcraft,        
        I'm so sorry to read about All our Shipmates that has Passed on, My Prayers are with you all, God Bless each and everyone.                            

Everett Withrow 



Date: May 31, 2004 1:33:00 AM EDT
Subject: My Dad

My dad, Travis Smith of Iowa served on the USS Renshaw during World War  II. Can anyone tell me if they remember him or send me any infomation regarding his service during the war? I never got to know him very well..and I would just like to know a little something. Thank You  for your time..Clayton


It is with tremendous sorrow I tell you that my shipmate of over 50
years ago, Allison (Al) E. March, died of a heart attack about 3:30 PM
today in his home in Fort Washington, Maryland. Al and I were in the
Firecontrol gang of the USS RENSHAW, DDE-499, when she was
re-commissioned in Norfolk, Virginia on 1 June 1950.
Al was an intelligent, strong, and dedicated man in whatever endeavor he
was involved with. He leaves his wife Hallie and many children
(unfortunately I don't know the specifics on them).
His daughter, brenda, just called me; and I am still in disbelief. Al
had no history of heart problems. He had just cut the lawn and
experienced a minor pain that he thought was only shortness of breath.
He laid down, felt better and then died.
Don McElfresh



Date: April 13, 2004 8:08:59 PM EDT
Subject: E mail
Hi Glenn,  This note is from Doug and Betty Moss in Walhalla.  I retired Jan 1st and finally got around to getting a new computer.  The Email address is, EM2 aboard the Renshaw in 62, 63 and 64.  Could you please add me to the Email list.  Betty and I are looking foreward  to the Reunion in Portland.  Come up to see us sometime.
Later, Doug and Betty in SC



Date: April 13, 2004 12:02:59 AM EDT
Subject: Re: Charlie Gonzalez

Dear Glenn -  This is an email I dreaded.  My Dad Charlie Gonzalez MM2c, passed quietly and peacefully at dawn Easter morning.  I guess Jesus needed a good man to accompany him to heaven.  We have all been through so much.  My father was a strong, fierce defender  of the American dream.  He acquired much of his strength and gusto from his days aboard the Renshaw and the ties to the men he served with and deeply honored.    We are so proud of his service to his country.  We will be giving him a sailor's send-off with Taps and recieve the flag he so honorably served.  I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the support of this tremendous website.  I have made life-long friendships with my Dad's shipmates due to your efforts.  He will be buried with his wife Mary, my Mom,  and with his mother , on Thurs. April 15.  Please post so his shipmates can say a pray for him and for us.  Thank you for you continued service the the men and families of "Renshaw".    Camille Gonzalez-Gaeta


From: Moose <>
Date: April 12, 2004 4:25:10 PM EDT
Reply-To: Moose <>




From: Dick Wenzel

Sent: Monday, March 22, 2004 3:30 PM

Subject: Just talk

I hope you and yours are all well, Wenzel's and Petzes in MB doing ok. We have reunion on our minds! And, hope you do too. We visited with Petz Sat. for lunch and a silly card game that we have been playing for 10 years now. I can't say enough about how great it is being this close to an old shipmate and to be able to recall the many times, good and bad, that we shared together, and also with you. I also pray there are some of those times still to be shared.

These computers really make it easy to keep in touch, but it is sad that we do not have more small talk showing up on our web site. We must have 100 plus e-mail addresses, and so far this year only one 'hit' beyond Barbee's intro to 2004.

I don't think I mentioned to all of you, some months ago I tried to contact Roland Spinney. I was, sadly, too late, Spinney had died shortly before I reached his wife. He had retired as a peace officer in civillian life. Can you imagine Spinney as  a cop? Please add his name to the deceased list. Spinney was a member of the original crew. I have some photos taken in Seattle when we were being repaired. Some of the guys in the pix are Spinney, Geo. Faulkner, Tom Porter, McGowan, Sol Rosenson, all gone. No info on Officers shown, Noll and T.P. Burke. Others with no info, Jim Phlager, Joe Leitner, 'Snuffy' McGrath and F%*&+=@z$X it take a shower, Freddie Crawford, remember him? Shown too, Bill Geary, John Woudenberg and Me, still around.

Some of you might recall these guys, hopefully with a smile. I remember small stories about each of them, and believe me I smile about some of them and others I laugh out loud!! Just think about it men, spending months and years on that ship, like we did , we were more ' family' than family.

Next year, 2005, will mark the end of WWII (60) years. I never thought I'd live to be 60. One of the great miracles of Renshaw history was the coming together of all her crews. I feel that was a unique happening, and if it would not have occured, Renshaw Reunions would have ceased long ago. So think Portland 2004. I started this note to send to a few, but I think I will pass it on to G. Barbee, maybe he will post it on the web-site. Lemme hear from you guys, to me, or on the web, even to tell me I'm full of it, or just to go to hell !!!     

Shipmate..... Dick Wenzel


Date: January 30, 2004 12:17:13 PM EST
Subject: Hello shipmate.
Out of curiosity, I typed in "Renshaw" into a search engine and VOILA!
There it was my first ship after Radioman A School in Bainbridge, MD.
I reported aboard on January 20, 1968 as a RMSA and transferred off on January 19, 1970 as RM3. MY name is Howard A. Ahola, and I'd appreciate it if you add my name to the list of crewmembers.
   Great website. My only regret is that I did not botherr to take any pictures while stationed aboard. I guess you don't think of such things when you are a teen-age kid.   My e-mail Thanks..Howard A. Ahola RMC USN Ret.


To all Renshaw shipmates:

Happy New Year 2004. With this, we start our info notes file for the new year. Let us hear from you.

Glenn Barbee, Webmaster


Return to Home Page

Return to current year

About Renshaw | Reunion Information | E-mail List | Links
C.O. List | In Memory | Deceased Shipmates
Photo Gallery