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You’ve heard the old joke about the drunk looking for his car keys under the streetlight after closing time, I suppose.

Somewhat sober guy asks the drunk, “Whatcha doing?”

“Lost my keys…”

“Where’d ya lose ‘em?” the sober one asks.

“Over there by my car”, the drunk replies.

Curious, the sober guy continues, “Why are you looking for them over here under the street lamp then?”

Says the drunk, “Because the light is better over here!”

Seems some of us aren’t too different from the drunk, even if we are sober. There are currently four of us committed to tracking down missing shipmates and if you visit the site occasionally you can follow our efforts as we update the Missing Shipmate List under Quarters. Mark Gray, author of the original missing shipmate spreadsheet, Terry Fessner, myself, and an eager new hand to the search, Chris Watson, dedicate many hours of our spare time locating and contacting shipmates who served on the Bates, but whose current whereabouts is unknown.

We track all that activity on the Missing Shipmates list. We have been looking in the dark corners everywhere for signs of those we served with or just know were assigned to the Bates. USSVI records, boat related websites, obituaries and Social Security Death indexes, God forbid, social media sites, asking our favorite uncle Google, etc. Hours upon hours of fruitless phone calls and emails, rewarded every few months by finally connecting with an old shipmate.

The subsequent phone reunion is great, and usually results in an hour or more just catching up, and the important part, convincing them to register on the www.ssn-680.org website so we can keep their current contact info on file. Most importantly, we want to share the wealth and make it easy for others to reconnect with them as well, so registering on the site is ultimate goal.

A few months back someone suggested I scan the two Facebook Bates groups, USS William H. Bates, and SSN-680 for potential missing shipmates. It would be easy they said. It would go fast, they said.

Well, to be honest, I initially dismissed the suggestion because I know we regularly search Facebook for the MSL, and I couldn’t imagine that we’d find anybody in the Facebook groups that wasn’t aware of the Association website and hadn’t registered.

Well, I was wrong. Wrong in a big way. A few weeks ago I decided to bounce the Facebook Bates groups member lists against our MSL, and got the shock of my life.

I discovered exactly sixty, that’s six-zero, missing shipmates that are currently members of one of the two or both the Facebook groups but are not registered with the ssn-680.org website.

Of course, it wasn’t easy, and it wasn’t fast. It took nearly forty hours to go through each profile, bounce it off the MSL, resolve the discrepancies, and update the MSL with my findings, and that didn’t count contacting any of those not registered. But it was worth it. Those sixty represent nearly five percent of the total number of men who served on the Bates during her thirty year lifetime.

So here’s the list, and here’s the deal. If your name is on the list below, (which is maintained at QUARTERS >> MISSING SHIPMATES >> MISSING SHIPMATES LOCATED ON FACEBOOK) you are invited and encouraged to take a few minutes, visit the www.ssn-680.org website, and register using the tab on the right hand edge of your browser window.

Eric Andrew

Dustin Bohard

Michael Brand

Bill Brewer

A. Brown

Albert Brown

Michael Buck

Deric Camarigg

Jeremy Chapman

Mike Clawson

James Crumbliss

Robert Dick

David Dozier

Tim Ellis

Paul Fanning

D. Freyne

Steven Gonzalez

Joel Graves

Steve Hanson

Steven Hedlund

Robert Heringer

Rick Humes

Kevin Inglett

Joseph Jones

Keith Keller

John Klega

Destry Knapp

Kevin Krepps

Jack (Todd) Lambert

Stephen Leon

Jeremy Long

James W. Maier

Johnnie E. Martin

Derone Martin

Jose Olmeda

Brian Osgood

Guss G. Pappas

Hugo Partida

Troy Pickens

Henry L. Price

Bland Quattlebaum

Charles Ramage

Timothy Ray

Carl Regalado

Mark Rowe

??? Ruge

Ryan Rybarczyk

Stew Schaal

Phillip Siebels

Brian Snider

Phillip Stevens

Jeffrey Stratton

Dwayne Struble

Eland Tell

Charles Tobias

Corey Van Den Hoek

Jonathan Vega

Billy Welty

David Woody

Andrew Young

 

Your email, phone numbers, and street address will not be posted on the site to protect your privacy, but registered members can use your user profile to contact you directly without us revealing your email address. We do take your privacy seriously.

You benefit by getting on the Association mailing list, which nets you about one of our Familygram newsletters a month, when I’m really motivated. You get a place to post sea stories, your own photos of ship and crew, and a forum for discussing everything from reunions to past deployments, knowing that what you post is only visible to other registered users. You get a chance to reconnect with old friends and shipmates, and understand why we refer to our Silent Service as a brotherhood. Finally, you are part of the creation of a living history of one of the finest Cold War fast-attack submarines that ever sailed and contributing to a legacy we can leave our children and our children’s children.

For the rest of you, keep your user profile up-to-date, especially your email address, and for the names on this list that you recognize, encourage them to join us by registering with the www.ssn-680.org website. All of us will benefit.

It turns out, there’s a lot to be found when you spend a few minutes searching under the streetlight. Must be the light is better over here!

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Watch, Quarter, and Station Bill

© 2018 Brad Williamson
and/or the
U.S.S William H. Bates Association
or respective image owners
 
All Rights Reserved
 
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