USS INDEPENDENCE (CV 62) Communicators enjoyed their second year reunion at Myrtle Beach, SC on 8-11 October 2004. The reunion was held at the Caravelle Golf & Family resort. During this period, crew members and their families met in the resort’s  hospitality room, received their welcome packets, and shared memories, sea stories and ideas for future reunions.


We owe a special thanks to Caravelle’s AMY, Group Sales, for making last minute changes seem near invisible to the group.  Awesome.


            Of special importance during this year’s reunion, members and their families enjoyed a seafood buffet to “die for” at the Giant Crab , attended a showcase presentation at The Carolina Opry, participated in a Communications Department dinner and associated planning meeting, and regained their sea legs by going to sea on a casino cruise ship for a day. Attending The Carolina Opry definitely made for a feel-good evening of pure, unforgettable entertainment. We took the time to do our own thing for a few hours and visited places such as Ripley’s Aquarium , Haunted Adventure and Basketville. All members gathered for a “grand slam” goodbye breakfast plus photo op and extended their best wishes to each other the morning prior to departure.


            This year’s reunion was planned and managed by Ernie McCoy. Our watch caps go off to Ernie for organizing our second year event. A special thanks from all of us, Ernie, for all the effort you put into making our 2004 Reunion a significant and memorable event. Crew members attending this year’s get-together traveled from many different locations. With regard to the communicator who traveled the farthest to attend, Dudley Newman and his family won recognition from driving all the way from San Antonio Texas.


            During the planning meeting, the location for next year’s reunion, together with ideas to boost future member participation, was discussed by all. It was decided that our 2005 Reunion will be held in Norfolk, VA during the period of 5-7 (Fri, Sat and Sun) August. The dates were chosen to facilitate families attending with school age children. Kurt Merkling was elected to organize our 2005 Reunion. Kurt will be assisted by Brad Turner to plan and execute the  event. Details and coordinating information for our 2005 Reunion will be promulgated by e-mail by Ron Phillips. During the planning process for next year’s reunion,  considerable effort will be made to encourage as many members (and their families) as possible to commit to attend. The agenda promises to be fast paced, involved, participatory and exciting for “all hands”. Stay tuned for details!


2004 Attendees

Bill and Nancy Refo

Bill and Liz Cody

Steve and Ann Chisenhall

Dudley and Louise Newman with mother and sister-in-law

Kenneth Loomer

Roy Dowell

Robert and Sharon Turner

Ernest and Marilyn Wolfe with their two sons

Jack Simpson and Jo Strouse

Mark Cheever

Johnny and Susan Lockleair with their two children

Kurt Merkling

Ron and Betty Phillips


Your Shipmate,

Kurt Merkling


Just wanted to say we had a good time in Myrtle Beach, thanks for the hard work, already looking forward to Norfolk. We just like to go places, I think we will take in Washington, DC for a couple of days before going to Norfolk. Also checked with the rental company we have used in the past in Gatlinburg, TN (2006 info) and a four bedroom four bath cabin with hot tub, fireplace, pool table in the mountains in August is presently between 275.00 and 300.00 per night. So for four couples in each cabin would be between 68.75 and 75.00 per night plus taxes and one time 30.00 cleaning fee per cabin. I thought it would be more for the Summer months that's what we pay when we go up at Thanksgiving. We love Gatlinburg and there is plenty to do.

Bill Refo


I would just like to say what a wonderful time we had at this yr's
reunion. Different people were there & new friends were made, male as
well as female. Thanks for making the arrangements. Hope to see more
people next year.

Jo Strouse


Ditto from me and Sharon. Sharon and I will be helping Kurt set up the next reunion, meanwhile, if you have ideas or suggestions please do not hesitate to pass them along. Remember, "I am from the government and I am here to help".

Shakey, please send me the address list so we can get some Christmas cards to send out to everyone.

Ernie, you did a great job at setting this reunion up and I appreciate it. We missed you and hope that you will be able to make the next one. Sharon and I will be working with Kurt to get the information out soon.

 Nice home Jack and Jo!

Brad Turner


Just got back from our jaunt on the eastern seaboard.  Looked at the pictures on the web site.  Impressive!!!!!  Looking forward to next reunion.  My son Impressed by the pictures and already harassing me about going without him.  Talk to ya later buds.  Great time!!!!!!

Dudley Newman


Ann and I had a great time at the reunion. We miss everyone we keep talking about what a good time we had.

Steve Chisenhall


 Marilyn, Ben, Tim and I enjoyed ourselves immensely. 

 Too bad we got lost with Marilyn's piloting instructions (don't let her know that - hehe) and arrived somewhat late for the feast at the Giant Crab.

 It was great seeing new/old friends and missed the ones that couldn't show from 2003 or this year.

 Please pass along that if anyone is in the Baltimore/DC area and needs a place to stay (or their own personal tour guide) they're welcomed here any time.

Ernie Wolfe