USS Helena CL-50
Shipmates in Recent Years

Posted 9 April 2008.
The first picture below provided by Charlie McClelland. Shipmate Bob Kendle passed away on 9 February 2008.

Charlie McClelland CL-50 & Bob Kendle CA-75. Picture was taken in June 2005 at his home in Winesburg, OH.
We got to know him and his wife, Lucille, over the last few years. We will miss him. Charlie

Nick Santos, CL 50 "Ships Tailor" and Charlie McClelland. December 7, 1997 at the American Legion Hall in St. Petersburg, FL

"Shipmates meet again after 62 years"

Scott "Red" Thomas and Fred F. Wenzel

In January 2005, Fred Wenzel saw a familiar name among those listed in his new Helena directory. Among the names was one Scott Thomas. Mr. Thomas's address was listed as being in Washington State.
After much thought, Fred dialed the listed phone number. When the call was answered, Fred asked if this was the “Red” Thomas, formerly of Texas, who was in the navy with him on the USS Helena, CL-50, in July of 1943. Indeed, it was one and the same.
Fred made plans to fly from Michigan to the state of Washington to visit his grandson and also renew his acquaintance with Mr. Thomas. The two met after some 62 years and talked of their long ago experiences in the navy and the torpedoing of their beloved USS Helena, CL-50.

To view Fred Wenzel's story, click Here.

Deforest Ary poses in his Evansville home in November 2001 with a display of memorabilia and medals from his time in the Navy serving on the
USS Helena. Ary was injured by a torpedo blast while on the ship during the attack on Pearl Harbor and received the Purple Heart for his injuries.

Deforest "Jay" Ary, 84, passed away on 12 December 2005.

To view Deforest's story, click Here.

Walter Wendt.
His story and this picture published on February 4, 2005
by the Lakeland Times Newspaper.


The paper was established in 1891
and is located in our beautiful northwoods country.
Minocqua, Wisconsin.

James "Little Mac" McClelland
at the Helena Reunion in Nashville, Tennessee.
On the morning of December 7th, 1941,
Jim McClelland ran through his ship, the Cruiser USS Helena,
as the Japanese attacked from above.
To view Jim's story, click Here.

Lt. jg D. Binion"Bin" Cochran, CL50.
Rescued from Vella Lavella.
Picture not dated but at Helena Reunion.
To view Bin's story, click Here.

The Rescued & the Rescuers.

In the early morning hours of July 16, 1943 the USS Waters APD8 and the USS Dent APD9,
with an escort of eight destroyers , rescued 165 survivors, of the USS Helena CL50, from the Japanese Island of Vella Lavella.
In this picture, taken at the APD Reunion, in Florida, on September 22, 1995,
L to R Preston Propes (USS Dent), Ensign James Grealish, USNR, (Ret.RADM) USS Waters,
Charles McClelland, USS Helena, and Sam Glaviano, USS Dent.

In this picture is (L to R) the late Vice Admiral John Chew, USN Retired, and ex seaman Charles McClelland
enjoying a beer together at the admiral's winter home in Florida May 19, 1995.
Lt. Cmdr. John Chew, assistant gun boss, on the CL50 and McClelland survived the sinking of the CL 50
and were rescued from the Japanese Island of Vella Lavella.
Lt. Cdr. John Chew's story on page 167. "Escape from the Sea" by Bill Henderson.
Seaman First Class Charlie McClelland's story on page 33. "Escape from the Sea" by Bill Henderson.
To view Lt. Cdr. John Chew's story, click Here.
To view Charlie's story, click Here.

Nicholas Lenden, PFC USMC, taken 1995 at reunion.
His Story on page 29 "Escape from the Sea" by Henderson.
To view Nicholas's story, click Here.

Bill Bunker, President of the USS Helena Organization
at the 1995 Helena Reunion.
His Story on page 93 "Escape from the Sea" by Henderson.
To view Bill's story, click Here.

William (Bill Jim) Davis, EM1/c, CL 50, Story on Page 17 "Escape From The Sea" by Bill Henderson.
To view Bill's story, click Here.

William "Bill" C. Henderson author of the book "Escape From the Sea" at a USS Helena Reunion a few years ago (1997). His Story on page 123.
To view Bill's story, click Here.

The late Samual A. Vezina, S1c, F Divison, CL 50
(Retired Major USAF) Sam was wounded at Pearl Harbor
and, later, rescued from Vella Lavella.
Shown in photo on page 141 of Bill Henderson's book.
Picture taken in 2001.

Ensign Paul Weisenberger, CL 50, July 8, 1995.
Story on page 69 of Bill Henderson's book
"Escape from the Sea"

To view Paul's story, click here.

The late John B. Hudson, FC1c, F Divison
Helena Reunion July 6, 1995.

L to R
Bill Bunker, James's Granddaughter Katie, James Layton
To view Jim's story, click here.

The Late Ed Riley, USS Helena CL 50, "F" Divison
and his wife, Agnes, Feb. 1990 .

Bill Bunker, USS Helena CL 50
and his wife, Vonda, visiting Florida in December 1990.