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This newsletter is nearly complete, needing three picture. Stay tuned. Ed.

                                                 HELENA NEWS  *  VOLUME 2  *  JUNE 2006
From The
The main project to report for this Newsletter
is the selection of the location for the 2007
Reunion. First, we asked in two Newsletters for
your suggestions for a location, and we received
less than a 10% reply, of which Las Vegas and
Helena were the top two out of a total reply of
28. Second, we considered location, facilities, and
most important, the cost. The location for 2007
will be Las Vegas, after considering those factors
plus others. But the main reason for these
Reunions is to get together with shipmates and
meet new ones. The other project is contacting
those members who have drooped from the
Muster because of non-payment of dues. I'm
happy to report that 15 have rejoined so far.
Please drop by and say Hello to me and my wife
Bob Kern
Ahoy Shipmates:
Sitting at my desk I realize I have come full circle
from being the CA-75 (1954-57) printer to
becoming the editor of the Helena Organization
Newsletter. I have fond memories of gathering the
information for our ships monthly newsletter.
Composing it on my Varityper, cutting a stencil,
making a plate and printing it on our new Multilith
press. Today, my daughter has designed a new
logo and layout for our newsletter on our
computer which will then be put on a disk and
delivered to or emailed to a printer. Technology
has come a LONG way! We would love to
increase the number of pages which we can do
as we receive your stories and photos. So
please, dig around in your drawers and old photo
album (please send photos (JPEG) or text files to
me. Looking forward to meeting at the Las Vegas
reunion in 2007.
Wm. Gale Udell
37679 Medjool Ave.
Palm Desert, CA 92211
We are in the process of compiling the
2007 USS Helena Muster. If there has
been any changes in your; address,
telephone, area code, or e-mail since
the last Muster was published, please
send them to . . . . . . . . . . . .
Bob Kern
582 W. Clark Street
Upland, CA 91784
(909) 949-6559
2006-2007 Officers

Bob Kern, President
Matt Slovensky, Vice President East
Lou Bacca, Vice President West
Paul Weisenberger, Vice President CL50
Bill Bunker, Senior advisor
Dick Renbarger, Master at Arms

Page 1


December 7, 1941 dawned rather cool for Hawaii, but,
I thought, after breakfast I may as well clean up and go
ashore to wander around. But, shortly before 8
O-clock, the volume of noise of aircraft in the area
enticed me to look out the porthole to see what it
was all about. There, to my surprise was a plane
pulling up from a torpedo run, and the wings had
red balls painted on the underside! It's Japanese,
I shouted, We're being attacked! My companion
chiefs crowded around to see through that same
porthole, jamming me tighter into the bulkhead.
That plane dropped something, I said. But it was
too late. That torpedo hit and my face was thoroughly
splashed with fuel oil. Turning around I found I had
been deserted. All the curious viewers were long
gone, heading for higher ground. I rushed to
topside and from the Air-Castle I saw the flag being
raised. Good, I said. We're showing our colors.
Then a plane passed over spraying the deck with
machine-gun bullets. It looked just like scenes in the
movies, as wooden splinters splashed from the teak
wood deck. By then the ship had a very bad list to port.
Abandon Ship! was the word announced. The
Starboard Gunwale was quite high, the water surface,
way down below. The underside of the ship showed sea
growth and large intake openings. Well better slide for
life, it would be dangerous to try to walk down. So I sat
and slid, hoping to avoid those intake openings. Made
it OK. I hit the water with a great splash then headed
for Ford Island. On the way, a young man hollered, I can't
swim! Hang on, I said, I'm going that way. We
made it ok and found a ditch that had been dug for
sewer installation. We used that ditch as a trench, to
protect us from the bombs that were falling all around
us. My poor ship, the USS Utah, was strictly upside
down by that time. People were still walking on her
bottom, and we could still hear sounds of from someone
trapped inside. From somewhere, metal cutting torches
appeared and a hole was cut into the ships bottom,
while bombs were still falling.I left the trench before
seeing the results of the torch cutting. Someone had
gained access into a magazine on Ford Island, and I
was supplied with a 45 automatic and two boxes of
ammunition. Let the Japs come, I'll get a few at least!
But everything was calm, where'd they all go? The
world was trigger-happy that night, bullets flying all
over for no reason. I didn't get to fire a single
shot. Within the week, I was assigned to the USS
New Orleans (CA32). She was a mess, all torn up,
undergoing overhaul. We put her back together in
short time and back into the main conflict. Later, in
1942, the New Orleans was badly damaged loosing
the entire bow and #1 turret, in another attempt to
stop the Tokyo Express from supplying Japanese
forces to Guadalcanal. At that time I was transferred
to the USS Helena (CL 50).
The Helena was a gallant ship, took part in 13
engagements before the Japanese torpedoes sent her
to the bottom on July 5th 1943. She too was trying to
stop the Tokyo Express. I was rescued by a US
Destroyer, the USS Radford. Guess the Navy Dept.
figured I was a Jinx by that time. They sent me to the
Navel Gun Factory in Washington DC for duty.
The war ended later, I had been assigned by then to
the USS Canberra (CA70). The rest of my navy tour
was far less noteworthy, including such ships as the
USS Thompson (DMS33), and the USS Yorktown (CVA10).
Story submitted by a descendant. If anyone knew Chief
Sarwine please contact submitter via e-mail:
Web Site
Check it out!

Modern Military Terms:

Engage the Enemy means "to blow something up"

Surgical Strike means "to blow up something small"

Decapitate means "to blow up their leaders"

Collateral Damage means "to accidentally blow up
something of theirs"

Friendly Fire means "to accidentally blow up
something of ours"

Target of Opportunity means "to blow up
something on a whim"

An Asset is "something that can be blown up"

Page 2

Mail Call

My name is Debra Smith. My Uncle (Dad's
brother) was aboard the USS Helena (CL-50)
during WWII and was listed as missing in action
after the battle at Kula Golf. I am hoping to make
contact with someone that knew my Uncle aboard
the Helena. His name is Donald La Bolle, his rate
was MoMM2c.
Thank You,
Debra Smith (907) 746-2544

I would be interested in a cruise book for the USS
Helena (CA-75) for the year 1948.
Mr. Morris Ostroff
1107-1 Walnut Ave.
Hopwood, PA 15445-2140

I would like to contact the party that informed the
News Letter of the passing of Charlie Cioffi who
was on the Helena (CL-50). I have photos of him
in Boot Camp in Newport RI circa 1040. Also
pictures of us in Honolulu in 1941. I would like to
send the photos to his family. The last I saw
Charlie was the day before the December 7th. We
were on liberty the day before. He suffered burns
that day while on Messager Watch on the
Quarter Deck and was hospitalized. I hope
someone can help me. Thank You. 18367 5th Ave.
Jamestown, CA 95327
(209) 984-5640


(To protect individual privacy,
addresses, telephone numbers
and email addresses are not included.
To obtain this information, please contact
our president or secretary.)

Freeborn, Kenneth W.        CA-75

Voyles, Robert P.           CA-75

Martin, George E.           CA-75

Walker, Charlie             CA-75


Dodson, Kenneth             CA-75
Shanahan, Ward A.           CA-75 

Do you recognize any of these former shipmates?
Give them a "Welcome Aboard" call.

Ship Store

Blue baseball cap with silhouette of

CL50 or CA 75 $15.00 Supply of large CA 75 jacket patches, "Proud and Fearless" $15.00 USS Helena Organization Decal $ 2.00 USS Helena license plate frame $10.00 each or $15.00 for a set CA 75 photo of ship $15.00 Order Ship's store items from: Lou Bacca 6822 Silverbeach Circle Huntington Beach, CA 92648 Make checks payable to USS Helena Organization

Page 3


Naval Base Point Loma, CA (Jan. 10, 2006) - The
crew of the floating dry-dock, ARCO (ARDM-5)
use mooring lines to pull the Los Angles-class
fast attack nuclear submarine USS Helena (SSN
725) into the dry-dock. Helena is entering dry-
dock for routine scheduled maintenance. U. S
Navy photo by Journalist Seaman Jpseph
Caballero (Released)


Fuller, Richard L.

Reiber, Francia H.

Marak, Ronald C.

Allen, Clarence M.

Lampley, Donald

Matthews, Bobby G.

Williams, Richard A.

Eubanks, Charles H.

Peterson, Robert F.

Knowles, Richard A.

Penta, Richard

Barber, Buford

Nault, Joseph E.

Morano, John R.

Valentine, Aubrey

McClelland, James A.

Myers, George B.


Koerner, Capt., Osborne S.P      CL50
Baginski, Chester T.             CL50
Vanderhoofven, Franklin L.       CL50
Henline Gene                     CL50
Cullen, Edward M.                CL50
Vorce, Bruce                     CL50
Hauser, Gordon L.                CA75
Hushbeck, Charlie                CA75
Christopher, Frank J.            CA75
Finn, Walter R.                  CA75
Blake, Robert F.                 CA75
White, Robert J.                 CA75
Walters, Raymond C.              CA75
King, CAPT. David L G.           CL50

Page 4. Last Page

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