2012 NDA Reunion

Navy Divers Association

REUNION CONCLUSION update -- 05-26-2012

The 2012 NDA, HCU-1, SEALAB Reunion was the most well attended reunion since the first HCU-1 Reunion in Las Vegas, NV, at Palace Station Resort & Casino some 20 years ago. We registered more than 110 divers and support personnel. Many were accompanied by their spouses/significant others, offspring and friends. It's very hard to get a definte number, but I would say, conservatively, we had over 162 in total who attended.

The banquet/auction was well attended and the pictures are up for viewing. I have a lot to write and will continue during the next week, but I wanted to get the pictures up for you all.

Dave Peterson wrote up the minutes to the NDA Meeting that was held Tuesday, May 8, 2012, at the Baymont Hotel In Bremerton, WA, and they are posted below.

Navy Divers Association Meeting Minutes --  May 8, 2012

President Dave Peterson opened the meeting at 0925 at the Baymont Inn & Suites, Bremerton, WA with a majority of divers attending the 10th reunion present.

Larry Stokes took the floor to make a presentation where he stated that the primary reason that we have had the reunions and their success was that David Ball has done the lion’s share of the work year after year.  He indicated that he was able to obtain a Mark V helmet for $4,000 and that Bruce Banks would contribute $1,000 towards along with $2,000 from Ceil Ball if the NDA would contribute $1,000.   Bill Boyce moved and Jon Nelson seconded for the NDA to contribute $1,000 towards the purchase of the Mark V helmet for David Ball.  PASSED UNANIMOUSILY

Larry Stokes asked for a motion for David Ball and Dave Peterson to continue as the officers of the Association.   PASSED UNANIMOUSILY

Comments were made that in the future a larger hospitality suite would be nice.

David Ball reported that the Association had subsidized part of the bust trip to DIT and part of the cost of the banquet.  He had also used $1,000 to purchase the mugs that were given away to the registrants.  The hospitality suite is running close to breaking even.

David is working on getting 501c3 status so that we can receive corporate donations.  He is working on a scholarship fund that would be available to the children, grandchildren and great children of Navy Divers.  To start the goal would be to have three $1,000 scholarships given out each year.  It would not be need based but academics would play a part.  Bruce Banks moved and Rick Wolvin seconded that NDA create a scholarship fund and that to start 3 or 4 divers from the San Diego area form the committee to administer the scholarship.  PASSED UNANIMOUSILY    Dick Bird, Rick Wolvin, Don Ferguson, and Mert Weltzien volunteered to be members of the scholarship committee.

David Ball opened discussion concerning the location for the next reunion by stating that the Master Divers have their reunion in the off years in Panama City, FL, and that they welcome all Navy Divers.  There is a group that has a Diver’s Recall in the Norfolk area annually and the ARS/ASR group has their reunion on the East Coast and they have not shown any interest in having their reunion with us such as the WWII Salvage Divers, HCU ONE and SEALAB have.  Location of previous reunions has been:

94 – Las Vegas, NV               96 – Laughlin, NV                  98 - Laughlin, NV
00 – Laughlin, NV                  02 – Las Vegas, NV               04 – Charleston, NC
06 – San Diego, CA                08 – Laughlin, NV                  10 – San Diego, CA
12 – Bremerton, WA

Five locations were proposed for the next reunion:

Las Vegas/Laughlin   ---   Chicago   ---   Branson   ---   San Diego   ---   Charleston

The group was unanimous in keeping the date in May as it has been for previous reunions.
A motion was made to keep all the reunions west of the Mississippi.  PASSED WITH 2 OPPOSED

A motion was made to keep the reunions every other year.  PASSED UNANIMOUSILY

Larry Stokes spent some time going over the procedures for the auction after the dinner.

There was considerable discussion about how to get the word out to more Navy Divers.  David Ball reported that he has 500+ names on his e-mail distribution lists that he sends info out to.  Others indicated that they include links to the NDA website on their e-mails.  Others indicated that there was a need to pass the word on to others personally.  It was strongly suggested that for the next reunion everyone present call at least three others encouraging them to attend the 2014 NDA Reunion.

Meeting adjourned at 1030.

Signed, Dave Peterson, President

From the Treasurer:

We currently have $22,397.79 in the bank with outstanding obligations from the Reunion charged to our NDA credit card approximating $2,000.00.  This leaves us approximately $20,397.00 in our account to be split as follows:

Of the $20, 397.00:
$3.400 was donated at the auction for the scholarship
$3,000 was voted on at the meeting as the limit to match
So, our scholarship fund has $6,400.00
The NDA Account has approx. $13,997

I will do a complete reconciliation and publish financials in approximately two months.

We did very well in the Hospitality Suite again this year. The honor system is alive and well...at least for Navy Divers. We recovered $1,044.00 from the bucket and spent $1,081.22 for refreshments and snacks. Not bad to only lose $37.22 over four days. Leftover refreshments, snacks, etc. were givem to anyone who asked to take home.

Signed, David Ball, Secretary/Treasurer

REUNION UPDATE -- 04-24-2012


  • Monday, 05/07 -- 1100 to 1400 -- Reception hosted by DIT at DIT
    • 0900 - Bus Departure from the Baymont Inn & Suites -- Catch the 0945 Ferry to Seattle. After lunch at DIT, the bus will depart about 1400 and arrive back at the hotel around 1630.
  • Tuesday, 05/08 -- 0930 -- Bi-annual meeting -- Baymont Inn & Suites
  • Wednesday, 05/09 -- 0930 -- Bus departs from the Baymont for the Naval Undersea Museum at Keyport.
    • If we have enough interest, we may stop at Whiskey Creek Steakhouse for lunch on the return to the Baymont
  • Wednesday, 05/09 -- Buffet and Auction
    • 1700 - 1800 -- Social hour and Preview of Auction Items
    • 1800 - 1820 -- Opening remarks & Tolling of the Bells for the Departed
    • 1820 - 1845 -- Introduction of Distinguised Guests
    • 1845 -- Approximately -- Call to dinner
    • 1945 -- Approximately -- Live auction -- Larry Stokes, Auctioneer

AUCTION ITEMS - PARTIAL LIST - Will add to as we receive
MK V Monument Statuette  --  http://www.markvmonument.org/
Large Cross Stitch of a MK V Helmet  --  two years invested in this project
One week stay at Bruce Banks' Condo in Jaco, Costa Rica
USS Kittiwake ASR-13 - Plaque
Diving School Logo – ice blue – etched ( coaster size)
Wine Stopper with MDV Diver
Green Marble Paperweight with Gold MDV logo
Keepsake Wood Box w/ Master Chief MDV and MDV (We Dive the World Over ( 8x11)
Crystal Clear Glass with US Navy Logo in an LCD Base (8x8 ¼”)
Oil on canvas -- USS Bustard ARS 38
Oil on canvas  --  MK V diver chasing mermaid
Oil on canvas  --  Two MK V divers ascending on the stage
MK V Deep Sea Dress – Size 1 – well used
MK V Dive knife w/ sheath
EOD Plaque
Royal Australian Navy Plaque
Subic Bay – SRF – Brass - 4”
Brass anchor
DDS MK2 MOD 0 – Brass - 4”
USN Deep Sea – We Dive the World Over - Brass – 5”
EDU – Brass – 4”
MK V Dive Knife Wood Holder
Brass Bell
USN Coral Shoes – 1 pair
Books & Manuals – various
HCU-1 Medical Supply Box
Signed copy – “Take A Stand – Author – Mike Cattolico, LCDR, USN, Ret.
Stained Glass - Diving Scene by Walt Mazzone
Two Framed Prints - Diving Art - Numbered & Signed by Mark Cleveland
One Unframed Print - Diving Art - Numbered & Signed by Mark Cleveland
Jack Brown mask - still in the box
Aqualung - Comshelf XIV Single Hose Regulator - Never used
Brass Ash Tray with DO/MDV Emblem

Reunion Update -- 04-20-2012

IMPORTANTToday, April 20, 2012, is the last day to reserve a room at the Baymont Inn & Suites at the Reunion rate of $78 a night. It may also be the last day to get a room at the Baymont as the property is filling up.

AUCTION ITEMS - Don't forget to keep digging up those old items you have had laying around your ranch for 50 years and bring for the auction. Later today, I will be listing a partial list of items we have received or have been promised for auction on Wednesday night at our combined dinner buffet and auction.

EVENT REGISTRATION - Also, please make your reservations for the events you are planning on attending. No money is necessary at this point. I can collect at Registration. It is VERY IMPORTANT you make your reservations so I will be able to better plan for the events. Just shoot me an email or complete the reservation form and email or fax to me.Thnak you all and see you in a couple of weeks.

Reunion Update -- 04-15-2012

2012 NDA, HCU-1, SEALAB Reunion Registration Form -- For those of you who have not yet been able to complete a Registration Form for the reunion, blank Registration Forms are available for you to complete by clicking on Registration Form

When signing up for events on the Registration form, please indicate which events you will be attending and how many will be attending each event.

I would appreciate and encourage anyone who has not yet registered, and will be attending, to please complete a Registration form and email or mail to me.

Reunion Update -- 03-12-2012

I just signed the contract for the Wednesday, 05-09-2012, dinner menu. It is as follows:

Chef Carved Prime Rib w/ Horseradish

Chicken Breast w/ Fresh Mozzarella, Roma Tomato & Basil

NW Salmon w/ Dill Aioli

Spring Mix Salad w/ Fresh Blueberries, Gorgonzola, Almonds and a Balsamic Vinaigrette

New Red Potatoes w/ Herb Butter

Assorted Rolls & Butter

Coffee, Tea, etc.


Berry Short Cake

Cheese Cake

Chocolate Loven Spoonful Cake

All this for $45

The meal will be a buffet style feast, as we have done in the previous reunions, and there will be ample food available for you to enjoy all three entrees and then some.

The fund raiser auction will be held immediately following the meal.

Reunion Update -- 02-19-2012

The major revisions made to this 2/19/2012 update are in the SCHEDULED EVENTS and AUCTION areas. Also added a hotel registration cut-off date to the Baymont Inn & Suites information.

2012 10th Bi-Annual NDA Reunion


5640 Kitsap Way
Bremerton, WA 98312
MAY 6 - 10, 2012


To date the following groups will be in attendance.

Navy Divers Association - NDA
Harbor Clearance Unit ONE (HCU-1) Vietnam Association
SEA LAB – Man-In-The Sea Program

Reunion Cost

There is NO REGISTRATION FEE to attend the NDA Reunion. In other words – ADMISSION IS FREE.

Your only expenses you should expect to incur are:

Drinks / snacks in which you indulge in the Hospitality Suite – honor system

Travel expense - Lodging - Meals

Activities you decide upon

Baymont Inn & Suites Information

The Reservation Block is NOW OPEN for Reservations under “NAVY DIVERS REUNION” -- Room rates: $78 per night. Telephone 360-377-7666 to make your reservations. The property will honor this rate for two days before and two days after the reunion dates.

DO NOT MAKE YOUR RESERVATIONS USING EITHER THE INTERNET OR THE TOLL FREE NUMBER LISTED ON THE INTERNET. To get the Group Rate, you must use the 360-377-7666 direct line. Verify you are getting the Group Rate.

The cutoff date for reservations at the above $78 per night rate is April 20, 2012.

Baymont Inn & Suites Hotel Bremerton offers 155 newly renovated and spacious guest rooms designed to accommodate your likes.

Each room is equipped with:

32” Flat Screen TV

Cable TV

Premium Bedding

Coffee Maker and mini coffee packets

Mini Refrigerator


Iron & Ironing Board

Hair Dryer

Desk & Executive chair

Chair & Ottoman


Voice Mail & Wake Up Service

High Speed Internet & Ethernet Cable

100% Smoke Free

Service/Amenities in Some Rooms:

Handicapped Rooms

In-Bath Whirlpool

Phone for Hearing Impaired

Turn Down Service

Room Sizes Available:

2 Queen Beds with view

Single King Bed with View

Suite with 1 King and 2 Queen Beds with view

Single King Suite with view

Single Queen with view

Single King Bed

2 Queen Beds

Baymont Inn & Suites Bremerton also offers an elegant lobby where you can sit back, relax and enjoy scenic views while sitting by the fireplace and enjoying a hot chocolate, hot cider, cocktail or beer of your choice.

Airport Shuttle

There is a shuttle from SeaTac Airport to the Baymont Inn & Suites. Go to the following website for information on arrival and departure times from both the airport and the Hotel. http://www.kitsapairporter.com/ Read the schedule thoroughly because there are some discounts.

I've asked Tom Hodgins to look into this more thoroughly and will pass along the information as I receive it either by email or newsletter.

RV Parking and Hookups

The Baymont Inn & Suites has some areas in the lower parking lot where campers could be used, but the elevator from that level is turned off and you would have to use the stairs to get up to the property. There are, however, two or three spaces in the upper lot where someone could park. You would not, however, have any hook ups or dump station.

Larry stokes informed me the other day that he has plenty of room for dry camping at his place in Port Orchard, WA. He has one dump station and one full hook up and can arrange several power plug ins. Larry’s property at 8398 Spring Creek Road, Port Orchard, WA 98366, is 11 miles and approximately 14 minutes from the Baymont Inn & Suites. Larry's number is 360-710-2925.

There are also several websites you can go to to check out RV Parks. Not being an RVer, I am not that proficient in finding the best websites to go to for information. I did, however, find this one http://www.rvparkreviews.com/regions/Washington/Bremerton.html that will give you some info on the Bremerton area.


We will run this reunion exactly as we have in the past.

Hospitality Suite: We will have our usual hospitality suite where the property allows us to bring in our own beer, wine, liquor, soft drinks, etc. We may also bring in our own snacks, (i.e., pretzels, chips, nuts, etc.).

The hospitality suite, as we have done in the past, will run on the honor system where we put out a can and participants donate based on what drinks or snacks they believe they consume.

Sunday: Check-in, complete the registration sign-in sheet if you haven't already done so. Hospitality suite will be open at 3:00 P.M.

Pre-registration sheets have been sent out. The Pre-registration sheet is for attendee information and to sign up for the events. If you wish, you may send your payments for all events to me via snail mail for the events you wish to attend. The Pre-registration sheets should be completed and either emailed or snail-mailed to me at 3804 Wildwood Road, San Diego, CA 92107-3750.

IMPORTANT: The only money I need before April 15, 2012, is the bus fee ($15) if you plan on riding the bus to attend the Monday reception at DIT. This is important as I need to hire the buses. The reception is no cost to you.

Once these sheets are complete, you only have to check in at our table at the Baymont after you arrive to let us know you are there.

During your on-site Registration (if you have not already pre-registered), you may also sign up for the Tuesday meeting, the Naval Undersea Museum tour, and the Wednesday night Buffet.

Monday: Hospitality Suite will be open all day. Continue check-in for those that didn’t yesterday. We will have an afternoon no-cost-to-you "get acquainted” reception at DIT.

If you are taking the bus to the reception at DIT, you MUST PRE-REGISTER and PRE-PAY before April 15, 2012.

The reception is sponsored by the Divers Institute of Technology (DIT) http://www.diversinstitute.edu/ at their facility in Seattle. The menu is still being planned, but we are tentatively looking at having a cookout with hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken wings, etc. and various liquid refreshments. Bruce Banks may even throw in a few Dungeness Crabs. We are also looking at a picture taking session where attendees may again dress in the old MK V and have their picture taken as well as tour the facility and view on-going student training.

These Monday receptions are scheduled to get everyone together to meet, greet, have a little fun, find out who is attending, and make plans with each other for the rest of the week. Only this time, we are trying to make it a little more interesting for you all.

Tuesday: Hospitality Suite will be open all day. Our bi-annual business meeting will be held at 0900 today due to scheduling the Naval Undersea Museum tour on Wednesday. The purpose of this business meeting is to discuss the location of the next reunion, whether or not we want to go to annual reunions or stick with the current two year plan. We also need to discuss changes in leadership, the website, newsletters, funds, items NDA is currently selling, etc. We currently have approximately $8,000 in our bank account and need to discuss what we want to do with the funds.

The remainder of today is a free day for all. Larry Stokes and Tom Hodgins are still working on drawing up a list of possible events we can send out to you all and get some feed back as to whether or not enough are interested before setting up one or more of these events.

We are still looking at a harbor cruise and golf. I will get the list out to all of you in the couple of weeks so I can get some feedback and, if we get enough interest, schedule an event or two.

Wednesday: Hospitality Suite will be open all day.

As was approved at the 2010 Reunion, I used some of the funds to purchase additional Challenge Coins, NDA/HCU-1 T-Shirts and Divers ball caps and we have a good inventory. Sales are still constant and generate a few bucks for the treasury. We, of course will have these items for sale at the reunion. A recent purchase was a U.S NAVY SATURATION DIVER ball cap.

We will hold our banquet in the evening. We are planning on the usual buffet style sit down meal followed by our fund raising auction. I am still finalizing the menu and will be certain to have chicken, salmon and beef as our entrees. I should have something out to you by April 1, 2012.


The auction will follow the dinner and, will again be headed up by Larry Stokes as Auctioneer extraordinaire with his beautiful wife, Shirley, handing the collections.

This auction is our main fund raiser for the NDA. We always need items for this auction. So please continue cleaning out your attics, garages, etc. and dig up anything you think will sell…no matter for how much or how little. Every little bit helps.

Gary Holtz dug up several diving related items and shipped them to my place. I've looked his donations over and am certain they will do very well for us at the auction. One item in particular -- a very will tuned ship's bell -- should bring considerable attention. Incidentally, we will be using this bell during our "Tolling of the Bells" ceremony for those divers and diver support personnel who have passed away during the past two years.

We accept pretty much anything for the auction. Some of our ladies have made beautiful comforters, shawls, etc. for past auctions and I am hoping many will do so again for this one.

In the past Larry has auctioned off a deep sea dress, a jacket with a MK V on the back, scuba tanks, diving knives, dive bags, an underwater torch, various dive books and journals and the list goes on and on. So, you all get the idea. Start cleaning the old homestead and find something for which Larry can get us a few bucks.

Rick Armstrong CWO-5, Ret., has graciously offered to commission a piece of artwork specifically for the reunion and donate it for our auction. You can see some of Rick’s beautiful work at www.deepseadiveart.com You can also go to this link on our NDA website under links. If you would like to have Rick commission a design specifically for you, go to [email protected]

Fortunately, some lucky couple(s) may again have the opportunity to bid on a one week stay at Bruce Banks’ luxury condo close to Jaco, Costa Rica (the west coast). Ceil and I, Bobby & Becky Moore, and Gad & Marjorie Hitchcock bid on the condo at the 2008 auction and spent a couple of weeks in Costa Rica. In 2010 Bruce donated two weeks -- one week each to two separate bidders. Dave & Sue Peterson were the lucky bidders on one and Tom Hodgins & Don Ferguson got the second week. So hopefully, Bruce will provide a lucky bidder or bidders the opportunity to spend a week in his luxury condo. Bruce continues to study the possibility of donating again.

NOTE - We recently purchased MK V Statuette #273 from the MK V Monument Project www.markvmonument.org and will either auction or raffle off. We have not yet decided. But, this is your last chance to buy one of these beautiful and extremely well-detailed statuettes. Only 300 of these have been built - there will be no more and the Project has either sold or accounted for all 300 statuettes. You can see the list of those who have purchased these collector's items by going to the Replica Sales tab. Think it over. This is an important piece that played a huge part in your history.

Thursday: Hospitality Suite will be opened until 11:00 A.M. This is check-out day.

As I mentioned earlier, the Baymont has graciously extended the low rate to two days before the reunion and two days after. So, if you all want to hang around for a couple of days after the reunion, the Baymont has made it economical for you to do so.

History of the NDA / HCU-1 Reunions

A few thoughts about the reunion. The original reunion was held in Las Vegas in 1994 as the HARBOR CLEARANCE UNIT ONE – VIETNAM (HCU-1) reunion. After several reunions the group decided to open the reunions to ALL Navy Divers and Support Personnel as the number of HCU ONE vets was a finite number that was slowly decreasing. The intention of the current reunion format is to make it possible for shipmates to get together to renew old friendships. There is plenty of opportunity for mini-reunions and the swapping of Sea Stories that get better every year. Attendance is open to ALL NAVY DIVERS, ALL HCU ONE vets, and more importantly ALL DIVER SUPPORT PERSONNEL (who made and continue to make it possible for the diver’s to complete their missions), their spouses and friends.

Also, don't forget to checkout the HCU-1 website on which Jack Faessler has posted info on past reunions as well as all the HCU-1 Command Histories Dave Peterson researched several years ago. You can reach it by going to the website at: http://www.seastory.us/hcu1/