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This Page was last updated:
11/28/2016

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I've got the 2017 reunion in New Orleans, LA booked. Would you please put this on the website so people can start planning for next year?

Yaaaaheeeeee!!!!

Y'all mark your calendars the 2017 USS Constellation reunion is booked in New Orleans, Louisiana starting Tuesday September 5th and ending Sunday September 10th 2017. So save your nickels and save your dimes come on down to New Orleans for some good times. If you don't want to be like Fats Domino in his song “Walking to New Orleans" then start saving for your transportation now! We are booked at the Crowne Plaza hotel on the corner of Canal Street and Bourbon Street in the historic French Quarters. Find out all the details at this year’s reunion in San Antonio.

Laissez Less Bon Temps Rouler!!

Thanks,

Dennis Chapman

More information coming later.

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For those of you who served aboard Constellation over the years you might have noticed hanging in the hanger bay a plaque memorializing those 50 yard workers killed in the Dec 1960 fire that happened in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
That plaque came up missing when the ship was decommissioned in 2003.

A message from the President:

New Plaque Building 92

 

Commemorative Plaque Dedication
Brooklyn Navy Yard and Center
May 2, 2016, Noon

Good afternoon, my name is Gayland Rushing, President of the USS Constellation CVA/CV-64 Association. I am a Plank Owner, having served onboard from 1961-1963, as part of the original sea worthiness crew. You ask why we are here today.
We are here to celebrate the lives of your Brooklyn Navy Shipyard family members, lost while working onboard the USS Constellation, which evolved into a part of America’s history, protecting our beloved freedoms, we all hold so dear to our hearts. Rest assured your shipyard family has never been forgotten and our wish is to honor and remember them this day and forever more.

The keel was laid in 1957 and just before her completion on Dec 19, 1960, a tragic accident occurred. A fire broke out. While many workers escaped the fire, unfortunately, fifty perished. It took several months to rebuild the ship. She was commissioned on October 27, 1961, a testament to the tenacity, grit and spirit of the men working in this shipyard. A commemorative bronze plaque, memorializing their names was created by the Navy League. That original plaque was mounted on the bulkhead hangar deck and traveled around the world for forty two years. Unfortunately, the plaque disappeared around the time the ship was decommissioned in 2003. After several years of unsuccessful investigations, the original plaque was deemed lost. But the spirit of the plaque and its’ recipients memories lived on. Something good arose from this unfortunate incident. Safety rules were updated to forbid use of wooden scaffolding in future ship building.

The USS Constellation’s motto was “spirit of the old, pride of the new”, serving in numerous conflicts around the world, the first being the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. After Cuba, her home port was changed from Jacksonville, FL to San Diego, CA. She was too large to go through the Panama Canal so she sailed around the tip of South America’s Cape Horn making many stops in the process where she and her crew became great ambassadors for America’s Navy. She hosted three Presidential visits, Lyndon Baine Johnson, Richard Milhouse Nixon and Ronald Wilson Reagan who proclaimed her to be “America’s Flagship”. Her maiden cruise was 1961-1962. She made many cruises to the Far East known as Westpac and to the Middle East known as Westpac and the Arabian Sea cruises. Her twenty first and final cruise returned to San Diego in 2003 where she was decommissioned, after forty two years’ service.

You and your families and our Navy families, were privileged to witness the achievements made by our beloved ship. What a legacy! The USS Constellation went on to become one of the most decorated and valued aircraft carriers of her time. She received at least sixteen Awards, Citations, Campaign Ribbons and Medals such as:
Presidential Unit Citation, Navy Unit Commendation, Meritorious Unit Commendation, Secretary of the Navy Letter of Commendation, Navy “E” Designation, Navy Expeditionary Service Medal, Navy Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, South East Asia Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Republic of Vietnam Unit Citation and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal and I am certain there are many more awards which I have not mentioned.

In conclusion, 2003 was a sad year for members of the USS Constellation Association, our beloved ship was removed from service and our treasured plaque was also adrift. How can we turn this negative issue into a positive issue? Three compassionate men of the USS Constellation Association, who are in attendance today, Marty Horowitz, Rich Romeo and Phil Tambasco, knew the importance of replacing this plaque. So they worked hard to come up with a plan and presented it to the Association’s Executive Board and general membership during one of our annual reunions in Arlington, VA. The plan, passed by a unanimous vote, was to fund and recreate a new plaque and GIFT it to the Brooklyn Navy Yard, memorializing shipyard workers names with a new permanently installed plaque as a reminder of the lost lives on that fateful day. From this day forward, all families will have a place to visit and perpetuate their memories. Thank you USS Constellation Association for remembering and providing this beautiful new bronze plaque today.

I thank you all for being here for this important occasion and for your attention. Thank you to the Building 92 committee for coordinating this ceremony, especially Aileen Chumard, Executive Director of Programs and Exhibits, John Coburn Vice President and Lead Architect, Andrew Gustafson Vice President Turnstile Tours, Cindy Vanderbosch President Turnstile Tours, Marie Nachsin External Affairs and Adrianne Murray Manger Visitor Services. Again, thank you for allowing me to speak today. I bid you:
Fair Winds and Smooth Seas and may
God Continue to Bless and Keep America Strong!
And now we take great pride and pleasure in presenting to this great ship yard, your
new plaque, ENJOY!

Also we have designed a coin which will be available for all to purchase, $15.00, commemorating that faithful day in "Connies" history.  These will be available at our future reunions.

Memorial_Coins

 

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Here's a link to photos of the 2015 Reunion in Washington D C.  Contact Leslie if you would like copies of any of there;

Click Here

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Parts of Connie on Ebay

Photos of the 2014 Branson Reunion

Here's a link to a fine article published December 6, 2013 in the U-T San Diego Newspaper:

http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/Dec/06/constellation-memories-sailors/?#article-copy

Important and Interesting USS Constellation Scrapping Links

USS Constellation Last Voyage Site

Voyage of the Carbon Foss

Brooklyn Navy Yard Tribute Wall


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Click Here for our 2015 Memorial List
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The USS Constellation CVA/CV 64 Association is a not-for profit organization (501 c19).
All of our membership dues and other contributions are fully tax deductible to the extent of IRS laws