Deceased Crew Members

LT Commander John (J.J.) Reed, XO from 5/71-6/72, passed away February 23, 2023. Mr. Reed attended our 2009 Washington, D.C. reunion and the United States Navy Memorial ceremony to dedicate our USS Washtenaw County plaque. JJ just missed inclusion in Washtenaw's 1972 Cruise Book!

Gary R. Williamson, LtJG 3/71-8/73, passed away November 19, 2021. Gary attended many of our reunions over the years, and always urged and was ready to help anyone with obtaining VA medical and other benefits. He often took on the very emotional, ceremonial job of presenting the Missing Man Table during our banquets, and will be greatly missed! Gary appears on page 5 of Washtenaw's 1972 Cruise Book.

Lionel Edward Johnson, PO3 7/64-8/66, passed away on Monday, August 2, 2021 at his home in McAlester, Oklahoma. Lionel served in the United States Navy and the Oklahoma National Guard for many years and retired from the McAlester, OK Army Ammunition Plant. His obituary can be read here.

Barry J. Wissinger, DK1 (Washtenaw service dates not known, but he appears in the 1972 cruise book), passed away May 18, 2021. Barry can be found on page 6 of Washtenaw's 1972 Cruise Book

Edward Sardey, RM2 (retired RM1) 4/71-10/72, passed away March, 2021 from cancer. Ed attended our San Diego reunion in 2006! He can be found on page 16 of Washtenaw's 1972 Cruise Book

Paul E. Roberge, YN1 70-73, passed away December 28, 2020. Paul attended multiple reunions, including our first in 2002, and was a co-host of our 2009 Washington, D.C. reunion. He was one of the so-called volunteer crew who made the Haiphong Harbor sweep for mines in 1973, but stated at our Washington D.C. ship's plaque dedication that "we were not volunteers"! Paul's photo appears on page 16 of Washtenaw's 1972 Cruise Book

Captain Brian Edward Sheffield, served as Washtenaw's Executive Officer at the rank of Lieutenant 4/1972-1973, passed away December 15, 2020. Brian's photo appears on page 4 of Washtenaw's 1972 Cruise Book (and maybe elsewhere in the book). His obituary can be read here!

Nicholas (Nick) Motto, QM3 10/68 to 12/69, passed October 20th, 2020 from a heart attack. Nick and wife Patti attended many of our reunions over the years, and Nick became our official Association Photographer in recent years. In addition, in 2019 he stepped up to become our Association Secretary! Nick's crewmates and association members will surely miss his reunion attendance and many contributions to our association. His favorite charity was the Disabled American Veterans organization, and it has been requested that, in lieu of flowers, donations go to the DAV.

Danny Cronn, EM2 3/71-3/72, passed away August 9, 2020 from COVID-19.

Augustus (Gus) Alegado, EN1 May 1965-May 1968, passed away on March 1st, 2020. Gus and Mary Alegado have attended most every Washtenaw reunion beginning with our San Diego reunion in 2006. Gus and Mary even co-hosted our 2010 Sacramento reunion. He will be missed, especially out on the dance floor!

Captain James (Jim) H. Burpo, commanding officer of USS Washtenaw County (at the rank of Lt. Commander) 1968-1969, passed August 5, 2019 near his home in Lawton, Oklahoma. Captain Burpo and wife Sue attended several USS Washtenaw County reunions over the years, and surely will be missed. Jim's extensive military career and life can be found in his obituary here.

Edward Forrester, BM 69-71, passed away May 12, 2019 in Missouri.

Tom Harrawood, rank and rate unknown, served 1961-1964, passed away Tuesday, March 12, 2019 in Leslie, Missouri. Tom's obituary can be read here.

Everett L. Warren, BT2 4/59-7/63, passed away January 31, 2019 in southern California.

Reyes L. Vega, FN 9/69-9/71, passed away January 8, 2019. Reyes and companion Connie attended our Sacramento, San Antonio and Kissimmee reunions and will be missed! View Reyes' obituary here.

Richard James (Jim) Bigelow, EN3 71-73, passed away September 25, 2018. Jim's obituary may be read here. Jim attended several USS Washtenaw County reunions, and will be missed!

Charles H. Stevens, BM1 68-72, passed away May 7, 2018. Charlie, along with Jay Brown, hosted our first USS Washtenaw County reunion in Pigeon Forge, TN, which has turned into an annual event we've held ever since! Charlie was one of our favorite Bosn's, dancer's, and the life of the party at each reunion he and wife, Jeanette, attended. His obituary may be read here and here.

Melvin C. Vineyard, Gunnery Officer 6/72-73, passed away January 7, 2018. Mel helped host our 2009 Washington, DC reunion, and attended other reunions. He was instrumental in having Washtenaw's official Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal and Vietnam Service Medal battle star count updated to reflect the 17 campaigns in which she participated during the Vietnam War. He also initiated the funding and display of our USS Washtenaw County plaque dedicated at the United States Navy Memorial in Washington, DC during our 2009 reunion. Mel's obituary may be read here.

Larry James, SN 5/65-10/67, passed away on November 10, 2017 in Ohio. Larry's obituary may be read here.

Danny Ray Cable, BM3 1/68-9/69, passed away September 14, 2017 after suffering from lupus for several years. Danny and wife Barbara attended our first reunion in Tennessee and both New Orleans reunions. His obituary may be read here.

Leo A. Pariseau, SA-CS3 1963-1966, passed away May 9, 2017 in Jacksonville, Florida.

Lars Runquist, EN3 63-64, died 10/20/2016.

William Dennis (Denny) Groves, Ltjg 1962-64 (retired as Captain) passed away June 1, 2016. Denny served as Gunnery Officer aboard Washtenaw. His obituary may be read here.

Herman Anderson, BMSN 1/65-1/67, passed away ??? 2016. Herman lived in Bryant, Arkansas.

Michael J. Redding, BM3 1969-1972, passed away May 3, 2016 due to cancer. Mike attended several reunions, the last one being our 2015 Charleston, SC reunion. His karaoke voice will be missed by all!

Jack L. Thompson, FT 1955, passed away December 2, 2015. Jack served in the Navy during the Korean War and is interred in the National Cemetery in Canton, Georgia. His obituary can be read here.

Michael Blackwell, YN3 3/71-2/73, passed away October 26, 2015 due to complications during heart bypass surgery. Mike attended both New Orleans reunions and our recent Charleston, South Carolina reunion. His obituary can be read here.

Edwin (Ernie) Durr, EN2 68-69, passed away September 3, 2015 after losing control of his motorcycle. Ernie served his country well with 40 years of military service, retiring from the Naval Reserves in 2008 with the rank of Command Master Chief. He served fellow veterans from the Vietnam war era and on through the last day of his life, as his motorcyle accident occured while on his way home from serving in an honor guard for a fellow veteran's funeral. Ernie also served as co host, along with his brother Harold, in hosting our 2008 reunion in Santa Fe. Needless to say, he will be missed by everyone! Ernie's obituary can be read here.

Jay S. Brown, YN3 2/71-2/72, passed away June 17, 2015 due to pancreatic cancer. In the 1990's Jay mailed postcards to all the former USS Washtenaw County crew members he could find, suggesting a reunion. In 2002 Jay and Charlie Stevens organized our first ever ship's crew reunion. He created and maintained an ever growing list of former crew members, and served as a board member of our organization, the USS Washtenaw County Veterans Association after helping to create it. He will be missed by all! Jay's obituary can be read here.

James E. Blakemore Sr, EN1 1/60-5/60, passed away March 18, 2015. James retired with the rank of Lieutenant Commander after 28 years in the United States Navy and served bravely in the Korean and Vietnam Wars.

Captain Alfred Dillon, Commanding Officer (Lt Commander at the time) of USS Washtenaw County 1966-1968, passed away September 9th, 2014 after fighting a long battle with agent orange induced cancers. It was an honor to have served under Captain Dillon when I first reported aboard, and he became a great friend in recent years. Al served as the first president of the USS Washtenaw County Veterans Association, and hosted our San Diego reunion in 2006.

Ray E.Johnson, RD2 68-70, passed away August 12, 2014. Ray's obituary can be read here.

Billy Parrott, ???, passed away April 7, 2014 from mesothelioma.

John Montagne, BT1 66 - 70, passed away February 4, 2014 from cancer. John attended several Washtenaw reunions over the years, and will be missed. His obituary can be read here.

Calvin P. McBroom, FT2 55-56, passed away January 21, 2014.

Robert Watson, BMSN 1/67-1/69, passed away December 3, 2013. Bob's obituary can be read here.

Don (Doc) Hoyt, HM1 February 1968 - 1969, passed away Nov 30, 2013 from colon cancer.

Larry Groff, SN 1970, passed away on Oct. 29, 2013 of esophageal cancer.

James Riddick (Jim) Marks, Lt 12/63-11/65, passed away September 6, 2013.

Edmund Ellis, Commanding Officer of Washtenaw July 1960 - September 1962, retired at the rank of Captain, died August 2013. His obituary can be read here.

Austin E. Rush, GM3 53-55, died 6/7/2013.

Dallas D. Salyer, SN 53-55, passed away May 29,2013

Richard Nolan, QMCM (SW) 62-65/67-70, passed away April 13, 2013 in Silverdale Washington. Rich was one of the longest serving crew members to have served aboard USS Washtenaw County!

Kenneth D. Yates, SN 1/64-10/66, passed away April 5, 2013 in Yreka, Ca.

Robert W. Schmidt, BT3 10/29/1953 to 6/3/1955, plank owner, passed away February 26, 2013 from complications due to cancer. Enjoy this short message from his son.

Richard DeBerry, YN1 June 1968 to August 1970, passed away from lung cancer on October 30, 2012. Richard worked for the VA for 20 years in Colorado, Oregon and then at Bay Pines in Tampa, Florida, which is where he was living when he passed away.

Michael D. Bird, Officer, 62-65, was killed by a falling tree uprooted in a wind storm July 18, 2012 in Loogootee, Indiana. Michael's obituary can be read here.

Mark A. Peschier, GMG3 12/1970-12/1972, passed away January 25, 2012 in Lafayette, Louisiana. Mark attended our very first reunion in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee in 2002. Click the link to read Mark's Legacy obituary.

Daniel Herchenroder, BM3 55-58 plank owner, passed away on January 1, 2012.

Alfred Ketchen, Ltjg 1953-54, plank owner, passed away September 30, 2011.

T. Keith Long, LTJG, died 2/26/2011.

Jack Lynwood Miller, YN3 68 died 2011.

Herbert Paulstich, SN ?, passed away 8/22/2010.

Johnny Baker, EN1 69-70, passed away August 3rd 2011. Johnny's obituary can be read here.

Jesse Lee Damron, SN 1954-1957, served as a coxswain and helmsman, passed away July 30th 2011 In Jasper, Alabama at the age of 75. Jesse also served aboard Walworth County, LST-1164.

John R. Smith, ???? ????, passed away 6/15/2011

Edsel J. Van Leuven, ???? ????, passed away April 25, 2011

Howard Smith, EM1 9/1958-1/1962, passed away October 27, 2010. Howard's obituary can be read here.

Donald Lee "Pete" Williams,EN2 64-65, died October 9, 2010 following injuries received in a motor vehicle accident.

Thomas Edwin Myers, GMG3 1972, passed away October 3, 2010. Tom also served in two other branches of the armed forces, and can be found in the '72 cruise book.

Gene Leroy Besel, BMSN? 1970 to 1973, passed away July 22, 2010 due to natural causes.

Burton Gloyden Stewart, Jr., LTJG 8/55-8/57, died Saturday, July 24, 2010 of an asbestos related cancer.

Al Weatherill, EN2 67-69, passed away June 29, 2010. Al attended many of our reunions, including the first one in Pigeon Forge, TN., and will be missed by many shipmates and friends! Al's obituary.

Myron Dolgin, CSSN (10/29/53-1/4/54), plank owner, died 12 January 2008, Boca Raton, FL, aged 77. Source: Social Security Death Index.

James (Jim) Ivey, BM3 4/65-10/66, passed away on February 20,2010.

Bill Kirk, ???, passed away in April, 2009 due to liver cancer while waiting for a transplant.

Gerald (Jerry) Maloy, RM1 69-72, passed away March 2, 2009. We were honored to have Jerry attend our first two reunions, and he certainly will be missed!

Dan Gray, EM3 68-69, died 6/13/2008.

Steven Osinek, BMSN 62-63?, passed away a few years ago - date not known - 200?. Steve lived in the Sacramento, California area.

George Read, FN 62-64, passed away recently - date not known - 200?. George lived in Scottsdale, AZ.

Commander Kenneth Gustafson (USN RET), LST 1166 QMSN and plank owner 53-54 passed away September 18, 2008

Gasper W. Ingui, PO1 12/57, passed away 11/1/07 in an auto accident

Commander A.C. Lassiter Jr., Washtenaw's captain 58-59, passed away July 28,2007. CDR Lassiter also served as CO of USS Maddox (DD-731), taking command three weeks after she was involved in the Gulf of Tonkin incident. He went on to serve as Commodore of LANSHIPRON 9 09/1965-11/1967.

Robert Kubiszewski, Executive Officer 57-59, passed away on July 16, 2006 from heart valve problems.

Jeff Lourigan, ???, passed away in April 2006 from complications associated with diabetes.

John Carl, RDSN 5/70-4/71, passed away November, 2004

Larry Korup, PN2 62-65?, passed away in 2004 from non hodgkins lymphoma more than likely due to agent orange.

Lt. Gary Palmer, Washtenaw's Supply Officer 66-68, passed away recently (2004?)

Lt. Commander Roger C. Smallwood, Washtenaw's captain 69-70, passed away May 13, 2004. Please click on the link to read his obituary. The family has requested that anyone with photos of Captain Smallwood taken during his service aboard Washtenaw please contact Kevin at

Commander Frederick M. Wissing, Washtenaw's Engineering Officer 65-67, passed away January 15, 2002. Fred's obituary from his alma mater, Saint Ignatius High School, can be read here.

W. L. Trahan, EMC 72?, passed away - date not known.

Gene Hamby, Plank owner 53-56, passed away in 2002.

Richard Parker, ?, passed away in 2002.

Alan B. Harvey Jr., Lt. Commander and Washtenaw's first Executive Officer 53-55. Passed away in 2001.

Harold Hill, ENC 69-72, died 2000?

James Philip Newmeyer, FTG3 71-73, passed away February 18, 1999

Bill Hill, EMC ?, died 1990's?

Fred Smith, EN 67-68, passed away on January 30, 1999 from lung cancer. Fred's family can be reached at 2104 E. Elm Street, Enid, Oklahoma - 73701.

Lawrence Larson, EM1 68?-?, died 1999?

Don R. Mack, PN1 1972?, passed away September 12,1994

Frank Clark, Lt. Commander and ship's captain 70-72, died August 18, 1994. He retired at the rank of Captain in 1984, and his obituary can be found here.

Bob Stewart, GMGC ??, passed away April 19, 1992.

Norman Eckhardt, GMG1 69-72, died ?

Charles Gore, GMG3 ?, died ?

Joe Okeefe, ?, died ?

Rich Carle, ???, died 1976

James C. Mullis III, EN3 72-?, died September, 1974 in a car accident.

SM3 Wayne DePonte, SM 70-72, died August 1972 in Hawaii.

Patrick Delaney, SH3 67-68, died April, 1968 in Thailand while on R&R.

Jim Moshier, RD2, early 60's - was killed in Vietnam June 11, 1967 when his helicopter was shot down. Jim left the Navy when his enlistment was up, but he ended up joining the Marine Corps in 1966. He was sent to Viet Nam, and was listed as MIA/presumed KIA until 2007 when his body was identified after being returned home in 2005. His obituary and story can be read here. His Virtual Wall listing can be found here, here, and details of his loss can be found here.

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