2022 Annual Spring Letter to the USNA Class of 1956

Our 65th plus one year reunion April 20 to 23 was held at the Annapolis Crowne Plaza Hotel. We had a total of 122 attendees: 43 classmates, 30 wives, 7 widows and 43 guests (mostly our kids and grandkids, and the officers of our Link in the Chain Class of ‘06). Covid diminished the totals when we were forced to delay reunion from 2021, and 10 classmates who registered cancelled for medical reasons.


A tip of the cap to Bud Alexander
who contributed to the following reunion summary:


On Thursday, we enjoyed a luncheon in the elegant, new Akerson Tower at the Navy- Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. Superintendent VADM Sean Buck ’83 described the significant steps made to keep the Academy open and operating during the coronavirus pandemic. As examples of the impact, know that the whole Second Battalion wing was converted to a covid isolation ward, and a signification number of midshipmen were temporarily quartered at St. John’s College, which was itself closed.


The Commandant of Midshipmen, the Academic Dean, the Director of Athletics and the head of Cyber Security Studies each updated us on current and new developments in the curriculum and activities.


On Friday, we attended a Memorial Service at the Chapel that "honored and celebrated the lives of those who have gone before us.” The service included comments from six classmates who spoke in memory of classmates from their battalion and closed with memorial comments from classmate Bob Shumaker. The memorial program provided a listing of our 440 deceased classmates. In the afternoon, we attended the Dress Parade on Worden Field — all 36 companies of midshipmen passed in review. As an honor to our great Class of ’56, the superintendent invited class chair Jim Van Metre to join him and a Marine general in taking the review. That evening we enjoyed a dinner banquet at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. During dinner, Doug and Judi Hayman were recognized for their decades of service to the Class.


On Saturday, we were bussed into the Yard and updated on the changes including the new Terwilliger Center for student athletes, an addition to Rickets Hall that celebrates the history and tradition of Navy athletics as well as a visit to the expanded Midshipmen’s store. After lunch in Dahlgren Hall some toured the Visitors Center, walked the yard, visited the Rotunda and Memorial Hall and attended the women’s Army Navy Lacrosse game (my first experience with women’s lacrosse) that unfortunately was won by Army. (The men played at West Point and Navy won that game.) That evening, we enjoyed the final get together and dinner back at the hotel. Then Sunday was a return home, for us to St. Petersburg, FL.


Max Baldwin also wrote a complimentary review. It is too long to include in this letter, but I expect he or Doug would send you a copy if they were asked Secretary Doug will also send upon request the list of names of those who came.



Our class treasury with no outstanding obligations now stands at $14,387. As previously reported, we had $28,791 as of our spring letter last year.

The depletion almost entirely results from costs of the reunion which included reduced registration fees to encourage the attendance of children and grandchildren.


Parkinson’s Discussion Groups 

The Alumni Association has sent all class presidents a letter describing a discussion group established by the Class of 1965 for classmates to share ideas for coping with Parkinson’s disease, that is evidently so helpful that they are suggesting that other classes might have members who would be interested in forming such a group. Contacts in the Class of ’65 were named who would be glad to provide further information.

A quick survey was made by our company reps who found two of our classmates who said they would join such a group and identified two more as being possible. That may not be a large enough group for the purpose, and we mention this in case there are some more who might be interested who have not been found. If you are, please contact Doug.



Report of fundraising of AA and Foundation Center

The center is expected to be completed for use well before the end of 2023. We ’56 exceeded our goal of $250K, contributions from 59 donors totaling $275,182 to date, which will result in our recognition with placement on the Center grounds of a monument with our class crest mounted singularly on it.


As found in the 2021 Donor Report available at usna.com>Shipmate, ‘56 has the highest participation rate, 36.21%, and third highest total gift amount, $290,598, among the classes of the 1950s. The fundraising campaign will continue to run to the end of this year. The building promises to be a fine place for a class gathering. We will secure a date for a mini-reunion, possibly as soon as 2024 and keep you posted.



Recognition on behalf of the class  


At the reunion grand banquet Jim presented to Doug and Judi Hayman, in recognition of their support to the class, a handsome desk lamp and framed citation that reads as follows: “Given with enduring affection and heartfelt thanks for your decades of leadership and support of our classmates and our wives and widows by providing clear, detailed and consistent administration of all class activities throughout the years which has kept us bonded together as a great Naval Academy class.”


2022 Homecoming October 29   

The alumni at Ginger Cove have a long tradition of staging a dinner banquet on the Friday evening prior to the homecoming football game. If you reside out of the Baltimore-Washington-Annapolis area but plan to be there on October 28 and would like to join us at the banquet, please contact Jim or Doug closer to the date.


For your convenience we are enclosing the current lists of company reps and Executive Committee members, including new Reps George Connolly and Jim Bruso for the Fifteenth and Twentieth Companies. Thanks to George and Jim for volunteering. The reps’ most important duty is keeping contact with company mates, now about ten per company more or less, and roughly the same number of widows. Everyone can help by letting your rep know when your mailing address, email, or phone information changes.


On behalf of your Executive Committee, we thank all of you who were able to attend our 65+1 reunion, and who made it a genuinely memorable and enjoyable event. Please stay well and stay safe.


Jim Van Metre                               Doug Hayman

Co-chair USNA Class of 1956      Secretary, USNA Class of 1956

Current List of Company Reps, 18 June 2022


  1. First, Bud Alexander 727-299-9550, budalex@tampabay.rr.com
  2. Second, Alex Morris 941-378-5598, alex.morris@1956.usna.com
  3. Third, Bob Shumaker 703-764-9258, rhshumaker@cox.net
  4. Fourth, Chip Honsinger 540-463-3145, honsinger57@comcast.net
  5. Fifth, Jack Clay 404-580-9623, jpclay@bellsouth.net
  6. Sixth, Max Baldwin 912-713-8880, maxbaldwin1@gmail.com
  7. Seventh, Ned Roberts 951-659-9734, rnproberts@aol.com
  8. Eighth, David Carré 757-217-2342, carre1252@gmail.com
  9. Ninth, Roy Gulick 904-284-2296, roygulick@aol.com
  10. Tenth, Jim Murtland 760-741-8686, jimmurtland@aol.com
  11.  Eleventh, Ken Godstrey 301-792-2017, kengodstrey@comcast.net
  12. Twelfth, Don Kennedy 949-584-7389, donekennedy1956@gmail.com
  13.  Thirteenth, Dick Levendoski 410-721-6513, rski1571@aol.com
  14.  Fourteenth, Hal Moore 321-639-8659, hmoore34@cfl.rr.com
  15.  Fifteenth, George Connolly 717-697-7645, gbconnolly17@verizon.net
  16.  Sixteenth, Scott Chester 860-434-0579, scottachester@yahoo.com
  17.  Seventeenth, Joe Doebler 508-901-1046, jodoebler@comcast.net
  18.  Eighteenth, Angus McEachen 910-235-0335, admpbm58@gmail.com
  19. Nineteenth, PJ Wilson 703-421-2888, pjwilson5@verizon.net
  20. Twentieth, Jim Bruso 253-840-9373, jwbusna56@gmail.com
  21. Twenty-first, Jay Ransom 904-595-5395, jransom155@aol.com
  22. Twenty-second, Roger Betts 941-706-2594, rbetts10@comcast.net
  23. Twenty-third, Worth Hobbs 412-963-6316, worthobbs@aol.com
  24.  Twenty-fourth, John Bauman 510-769-5432, johnbauman@usa.net



Class Executive Committee

Email addresses above except for those shown below


Co-Chairmen: George Mushalko & Jim Van Metre              jimvanm@aol.com 

Secretary/Database Manager: Doug Hayman dfhayman@comcast.net 

Treasurer: Hoppy Hohenstein twofps@aol.com

Shipmate Correspondent: Pete Fitzwilliam petefitzwm@aol.com 

Widows Advisor: Nancy Henry hoss656@aol.com

This website is a repository of current and historic class information--history, archival data, class activities, social events, reunions, class directory kept current, all obituaries, class organization, widows, survivors actions. etc.—not available elsewhere in its totality-- preserving the legacy of the Class of 1956.  With Shipmate and 56USNA group mailings promotes class cohesion and participation. It is open to classmates (grads and non-grads), wives, widows, families, and other interested parties, expanding its use and thus the class legacy.   We made this website easy to use by dividing it into just 6 links (major sections), each of which, upon selection, has drop down menus for sub-sections of interest.  To make the site even better and keep it current we encourage users to submit ideas for additions or changes or updates.   About us—see class history.