Does this look familiar? It’s a Familygram, and the primary mechanism by which we communicate with all of our shipmates through the website. This year, Familygrams have been sent on 4 JAN, 16 MAR, and 7 APR.

If you are seeing these in your email, then all is good. If not, and our mailer suggests that as many as 2/3s of you are not, then there are a few things that you need to do.

First, keep your email address current by updating your profile on the website. If your address is not current, we can’t email you. Complicated, right?

Second, check your junk/spam folder. Your email program may be dumping these for one reason or another, but it’s the next thing to check.

Finally, add “*ssn-680.org” and “*ssn680.org” to your White List. Note the asterisks - this makes sure that any email from the site is automatically kept in your inbox regardless of other filters.

There is a lot happening regarding REGROUPEX 17 coming up in 4 months and 20 days on 1 SEP 17 in Orlando, and we want to keep you up-to-date with the Familygram.

In the meantime, there is an archive on the website here: QUARTERDECK >> SHIP’S OFFICE >> FAMILYGRAM ARCHIVES. The system automatically archives all Familygrams that are sent. You can check here to review back issues.

So, if you aren’t seeing these emails in your inbox, straighten it out! Feel free to contact me if you have specific questions.


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April 7th, 4 months and 25 days, less than 5 months until REGROUPEX 17.

Work continues at a frantic pace. Here is what we know.

Steve Snyder is leading the charge in contacting active members on the dink list (there were almost 90 at last count) whose email addresses are no longer valid. We want them to know about the reunion too, so this a valuable and rewarding effort. Any assistance he could get would be appreciated.

Ron Squiers has been working the event schedule. He has determined, regrettably, that there are no boats scheduled for port calls nearby that we had hoped to be able to tour. That may change at the last minute, but in the meantime, he continues to identify group activities that might be of interest to all.

Julie and Jim Benjamin have assumed responsibility as Reception Coordinators. They will be preparing nametags/badges and arranging the welcoming protocol for all attendees.

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It's not Pattaya Beach, but the 2017 reunion is on!


WHERE: Orlando, FL.


1. Click Here to Update Your Reunion Plans!

You will have to be logged in to the website.

2. Click Here to Reserve Your Hotel Room!

If you haven't reserved your room, now's the time! Rooms at the beautiful Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel & Resort are $105/night using the group code GRPUSSVI.

3. Click Here to Register for the USSVI Convention.

We are benefiting from their group room rate, so sign up and support the USSVI. Join the USSVI, if you aren't already a member, and register for the convention as well.

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As promised, here is a plea for help...er...I mean...uh...a list of responsibilities that we collectively need to address in order to successfully pull off REGROUPEX 17. Somebody, either me or you, has to execute these activities for others to enjoy the privilege of sitting around trading sea stories, memories, and bad jokes with shipmates from decades past, which, interestingly enough, turns out to be a lot of fun!

These positions/responsibilities form the core of the REGROUPEX 17 Planning Committee, for lack of a more glamorous name. If you want to have some input into REGROUPEX 17, taking on one or more of these responsibilities guarantees it! Stepping up here gives you a voice in most of the decisions made regarding REGROUPEX 17, so if you want in, just say so. An email to me (use the Contact Us link on any page of the website) or Private Message (through my User Profile) to me will add your name to the list.

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Tempus fugit, in case no one has noticed. Last time I checked my watch it was New Years, now it’s the end of February. That puts me behind schedule, which, fortunately or unfortunately, is a place I’m familiar with. Of course, it’s also where I do my best work, so there’s that, at least.

According to the countdown clock on the www.ssn-680.org website, we are only 6 months, 5 days, and 4 hours from the kickoff of REGROUPEX 17 in Orlando, FL. Which turns out to be just barely enough time to make this reunion a success, if all of us jump in and get going right now!

So here is what YOU need to do.

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Tuesday afternoon, not unlike the 1968 Moody Blues hit by the same name, I find myself at my desk, with the registration application of our 550th ssn-680.org member, Albert Plourde, III.

Al was a Quartermaster during the 77 to 81 time frame, and our 480th shipmate! He currently hails from Middletown, CT. Welcome Aboard, Al!

I’ll seize this opportunity to remind each of you that anybody that hasn't located a former shipmate not currently registered on the site and convinced them to sign up is dink, so get busy and get hot tracking down your old friends. This site exists to help Bates shipmates reconnect. Most of us here would testify that you won’t regret it.

Feel free to use the Quarters >> Missing Shipmates or Quarters >> Missing Shipmates >> Missing Shipmates Contacted lists to see what clues someone else has uncovered to help you in your search.

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As self-appointed Chief Archivist and Master Historian for the U.S.S. William H. Bates (OK, I made up the title too!) I can attest that we have spent significant energy debating the timeline of the Bates in the Scuttlebutt. Sometimes it seems we are no closer to nailing it down than when we started, which is becoming more of a concern as our memories fade and we join the queue to shuffle off this mortal coil.

I’m driving hard to complete two separate activities that will help capture and preserve our collective Bates history.

I have discovered that access is available to monthly officer and crew rosters as well as the Deck Log for the life of the ship through the Naval Archives. This will not only help nail down our Master Sailing List, but help solidify the documentation of the unclassified ship’s movement. In itself, this is a big project, and comes at a cost. The Archives charge for printing, microfilm copying, and access, which requires the researcher to know exactly what they are looking for. Daunting, but on my list of projects to pursue. More on this later.

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REGROUPEX 17 Countdown

Current Watchsection

Watch, Quarter, and Station Bill

© 2017 Brad Williamson
and/or the
U.S.S William H. Bates Association
or respective image owners
All Rights Reserved
Permission is granted for not-for-profit reproduction of text and images under the condition that all attribution as to owner and source is included,
and additionally, when republished electronically, a link to is provided.

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