News From Fort Schuyler

May 23, 2003 - Volume 7, No. 19

FAIR WINDS AND FOLLOWING SEAS - The Commanding Officer of the Naval Science Department, CDR ALLEN STUBBLEFIELD, writes: "I complete my 3-year tour on May 30, en route to a NATO sea squadron tour, currently embarked on HMS CORNWALL (F99), out of Plymouth, UK. I leave with a tremendous respect and admiration for Maritime and hope I've helped in some small way here. CAPT [HOWARD] STONE [Class of 1979] reports in July, and MAJ EVANS (the NROTC XO) will carry the reins in the interim." [Fort Schuyler certainly benefitted from Allen's leadership, common sense, and wise counsel. Thanks and good luck.]

CAPT Stone, a new subscriber to NFFS, writes: "I'm currently Director of Engineering at Afloat Training Group Pacific in San Diego. I can't tell how impressed I've been with all the good things happening at Fort Schuyler and how excited I am to have this opportunity to bear a hand with the good work." [Welcome aboard.]

NUMBERS - For those who asked, here are some more numbers for last week's graduation. First, those provided by Principal Clerk, MARGUERITE O'BRIEN: There were 31 engine and 27 deck licenses awarded to the 74 undergraduates who actually received their degrees, another 36 undergraduates participated in the ceremony, 7 had already graduated in January, and 29 will be graduating in August. Second, CDR Stubblefield writes that: "We commissioned 15 this past week, including 10 from Maritime. Of the Maritime grads, 5 went into the Navy Reserves with the Merchant Marine Individual Ready Reserve Group (MMIRRG), and 5 went active duty Navy (3 Surface Warfare, 2 Naval Flight Officers.) There are 3 more, all MMIRRG, who expect to complete their commissioning requirements by August."

LIFERS - Congratulations to faculty recently granted tenure: THOMAS GYVES , RICHARD BURKE, Class of 1972 (Engineering); ERIC JOHANSSON (Marine Transportation); KATHY OLSZEWSKI (Science); and CONSTANTIA CONSTANTINOU (Library) [Thanks to Jane B. Fitzpatrick, Luce Library, for this update.]

NAVAL NEWS - CDR Stubblefield writes that he has "...received email from LTJG JAMES SORDI [Class of 2001 and former Regimental Commander] who is now onboard USS BENFOLD (DDG65) as the Main Propulsion Officer despite his Deck license. He was aboard the USS HIGGINS during the latest war with Iraq and helped fire 31 Tomahawk missiles during the war. James will also have a Maritime grad, ENS ROBERT BRIGGS [Class of 2003], as a shipmate on BENFOLD when ENS Briggs reports later this month."

YOU CAN BOOK ON IT - "Fort Schuyler Press has a new publication, 'Elinor Wyllys', a novel by Susan Fenimore Cooper, James' daughter", writes Dr. KAREN MARKOE. She continues, "RICHARD MAGEE of our Humanities Department edited and wrote a lengthy introduction to the book....It is a very attractive 591 pages and sells for $19.95 plus $3.95 shipping and handling (and only 50 cents handling cost of each additional copy.) Checks can be made out to 'Fort Schuyler Press' and sent to the Humanities Department, SUNY Maritime College, 6 Pennyfield Ave., Bronx, New York 10465." [An amazing price for a solid read.]

SOME WENT ON TO OTHER ENDEAVORS - Over the years NFFS has followed up on folks who left Maritime before graduating for various reasons: change in career goals, financial, health, academics, disciplinary action, family concerns, or the regimental system, to name a few. There have been items about Maryknoll Father, JIM HUVANE, who entered with the class of 1964; broadcaster GERALDO RIVERA, who would have graduated in 1965; and Lutheran minister, JAMES McKINLEY, who became president of the Seafarers & International House.

Now FRANK J. CHOLOSKI, Class of 1995, has sent an update about JOHN FLEMING, a cadet who would have graduated in his class. In a e-mail entitled "Article on the death of a former Domer," Frank attached an article from the 19 May issue of the New York Post ,"MTA Case 'Mob Slay,'" which connected the unsolved murder of a John Fleming in 1999 to a plumbing contractor currently being investigated for Mafia ties as part of a probe into Metropolitan Transportation Authority contracts. Fleming's death was described as a classic mob rubout in typical tabloid style by the Post: "Fleming's body was found on 62nd Street in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, in February 1999, stuffed in the trunk of his car, with two bullet holes in his head."

While NFFS does not have independent corroboration that this is the same John Fleming, Frank seems sure of his man, writing: "I do remember like it was yesterday when we were in Indoc '91. We were in the Pork Chop Platoon for heavyset guys. He even got yelled at for eating a cookie...If I remember [correctly], I read on the website in the SST '01 or '02 log that his ashes were scattered in the sea. I was curious then what had happened to him and what caused him to die. Now I have the answer." Frank concludes, "...the moral of the story is that you never know what may happen to you in life and what can happen if you get involved with the wrong people." [Let's hope the Brooklyn DA gets his man.]

REUBEN JAMES - There were several responses to last week's item on the USS REUBEN JAMES. For example, ROD McFADDEN, Class of 1975, noted that: "Her successor, FFG 57, played a large role in Tom Clancy's 'Red Storm Rising'. She also played a large role in developing our NROTC Commanding Officer!" To which CDR. Stubblefield added: "...I was a plank owner on USS REUBEN JAMES (FFG 57), the 3rd ship to carry the name, from March 1986 to October 1988. We located a group of former REUBEN JAMES sailors who survived the U-Boat sinking on October 31, 1941, and were able to have 11 attend the ship's commissioning in March 1986 in Long Beach, CA. It was very inspiring to hear their stories and have them pass on the REUBEN JAMES spirit to us."

YOU BET I'M GOING BACK TO SEA - If you served in the Merchant Marine during the 2nd World War you can add your name to the 'Crew List' that is being compiled for permanent display at the American Merchant Marine Museum at Kings Point and deposited at the Library of Congress. "If you or a family member was a Mariner during World War II, we invite you to SIGN ON and make sure your name and service are not forgotten." For more information, including an application form and cost information, check the museum's web site at

SIX STEP PROGRAM - Here are new instructions for Naval Reservists with 16X5 designators for reaching the MMR home page, courtesy of Rod McFadden: "1) Go to 2) Click "Login" on upper right hand corner of screen and enter your login information to access the private website. 3) On the right side of the web page, click on "Commander, Naval Reserve Forces Command." 4) ENSURE that the Naval Reserve FORCES COMMAND web site comes up and NOT on the Commander Naval Reserve Force page! Both pages look the same except for the title at the very top of the page. 5) Click the "Manpower & Personnel" tab of the Naval Reserve FORCES COMMAND website. 6) In the blue status line directly below that tabs, you will see the "Merchant Marine" link, click on it."

"- OR - You can email your personnel information, especially your Name, Rank, PEBD, and *email* to the Program Manager: and he will add you to the distribution list."