U. S. S.  Salamonie
(AO-26)
The U.S.S. Salamonie served her country from 1941 until 1968. This site is dedicated to her memory and to the memory of her officers and enlisted men.
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Cold War Certificate

     If you served anytime between the end of World War II and the end of the Cold War period (2 September 1945 - 26 December 1991) you are eligible to receive this special certificate from the Department of Defense. It is an 8 1/2" x 11" certificate signed by the Secretary of Defense and is suitable for framing. Send the application with  a copy of proof of service (DD Form 214 or equivalent) to the address on the form. Allow 10-12 months for receipt.
Download application in Microsoft Word Format
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     The USS Salamonie Museum was officially dedicated and a sneak preview conducted on Saturday, May 1, 2004.  Attended by about 20 former crew members and their spouses, it was a tremendous success.
          A visit to the Knight Bergman Center would make a nice Sunday afternoon trip, don't you think? The Center is located at the intersection of 2nd and Nancy Streets.
     The USS Salamonie Museum will be officially open to the public during the Salamonie Summer Festival this summer over the 4th of July weekend. Plan a visit!
The Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, created by Executive Order 10977 on December 4, 1961, is awarded to those veterans who served overseas in times of crisis and actual combat. The number of operations covered by this medal varies, depending on which article you read or which website you visit. The dates shown on our page come from The Institute of Heraldry, which is the agency which actually designs and distributes the medals.
     To obtain the medal, complete Standard Form (SF) 180 and mail to:
Bureau of Naval Personnel Liaison Office
Room 5409
9700 Page Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63132-5100
(Click Old Sal to enlarge)
The Old Rascals Will Remember
by Bob "Dex" Armstrong

"...I have a place in the continuous chain that is the history of  the U.S. Navy. I was a part of that history."
Thus begins this stirring tribute to the Navy uniform.
Confused about the newest Campaign Medals? Visit the Campaign Medals page of the Indiana Veterans' Service Officers' Association.
     In late August, early September 1958, the USS Salamonie was part of Task Force 88, conducting tests of the affects of high-altitude detonation of nuclear weapons. Were you aboard the Salamonie at that time? Check out this article to see what you need to do if you've noticed health problems which could be related to exposure to radiation.
    Over its 27 years of service, the USS Salamonie earned many awards, citations and ribbons. Click here to see the ribbons. 
Extra! Extra!  Captain Beach uniform and medals to be donated to the USS Salamonie Museum! See picture on Captain Beach page.
New Feature!
"Once I Was a Navyman"
This page was last updated on: June 20, 2014
If you served in Korea or in the territorial waters off Korea for 30 consecutive days or for 60 non-consecutive days after 28 July 1954, you may be eligible for the new Korea Defense Service Medal. You can view and print the application at 
www.huntington.in.us/county/veterans. The application includes the appropriate mailing addresses.
"The NEW and only Officially recognized web site of the USS Salamonie"
USS Salamonie Museum is now a reality!
     RADM Seiberlich, the last captain of the USS Salamonie, in an interview for The Huntington County TAB writer, Rick Beemer, gives insight into his colorful and rewarding career as a U.S. Navy and Merchant Marine officer.
     Also on this page is an article concerning the naming of Old Sal which strengthens the decision to make Warren, Indiana the site of the USS Salamonie Museum. Click here.
Navy retirees, as well as retirees from the other branches of the military can quickly locate their nearest Retired Activities Office by clicking on this link to the Indiana Veterans' Service Officers' Association page. Click here. 
Support the Troops
     The Department of Defense discourages the publishing or releasing of lists of service members currently serving overseas. Unless you know of someone who is serving, or you know someone who has a loved one serving, it may be difficult to know how to help. Here are some suggestions of how you can continue to support the troops.
THE 'SNIPES' LAMENT 
(Author Unknown)
"Now each of us from time to time, has gazed upon the sea, and watched the warships pulling out, to keep their country free. And most of us have read a book, or heard a lusty tale, about the men who sail these ships, through lightning, wind, and hail..."  Read the whole poem here.
"Non Sibi
Sed Patriae"
"Not for self,
but for country"
U.S.S. Salamonie Association President, John Lichoff, has painstakingly restored the Ship's Bell. Click here to see the various stages of the restoration. 
     The family of Henry Jaworski (43-45) has donated to the Salamonie Museum a model of the U.S.S. Salamonie made by Henry. It took him 2 years to make and is a replica of the ship during the World War II era, with four 5" guns, Sea Plane, and many other details. The model is three feet long, 4 inches wide and 12 inches tall. Click here to see the pictures.
RADM Carl J. Seiberlich, the last commanding officer of the USS Salamonie, passed away on March 24, 2006. Click here to read his obituary.
     I recently came across the attached photo in a 1960-1961 USS Little Rock (CLG-4) Cruise Book.....  there was no notation as to the ships involved, other than the hull numbers.
     In checking out AO26, and finding it was the Salamonie, it triggered a memory of something I dredged up recently regarding past CO's of the Little Rock. As it turns out, the 6th CO of the USS Little Rock (at that time designated CL-92) was none other than Richard S. Craighill, the 12th CO of the Salamonie. It shows that the Sal and the Rock had "connections" other than just fuel transfer lines!
     Here's the dates for Craighill's bio as I see it:
    CO USS Little Rock CL-92 from 01 Jul 48 to 24 Jun 49
    CO  Salamonie AO-26 from 10 Sep 53 to 04 Sep 54.
Best Regards,
Art Tilley MT-2, 1962-1963
USS Little Rock CLG-4
www.usslittlerock.org
Click photo for larger image
     Hullnumber.com recently contacted us. They have linked their web page to the USS Salamonie web site and placed an AO-26 Roster Page at their site at http://www.hullnumber.com.
     If you're intested in tracking other ships in the fleet, it's a great reference site. If you'd like to view the AO-26 Roster Page, go to http://www.HullNumber.com/AO-26.
Countless navy veterans are currently suffering from life-threatening illnesses resulting from exposure to asbestos on ships. This material was used because of its fire resistant properties, but is now recognized as a very dangerous substance.

The Mesothelioma Cancer Center is considered one of the Web’s leading resources for veterans and families affected by asbestos exposure. They are very proud of their massive navy-specific section (which can be seen at  Mesothelioma and The Navy) as well as their information on symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options for those who have been affected. Asbestos related diseases are not always recognized by the VA, and so they offer assistance to veterans -free of cost- who are applying for benefits. They have a knowledgeable, 20 year veteran on staff who will walk them through the claims process to get them the benefits they deserve.
 
Because they provide their services at no cost to veterans and families in need, the support of websites like ours is what really drives their organization.  We are proud to help by posting their link on our site and hopefully we can help save some lives!

Thanks to Briana Huffer, National Awareness Coordinator for the Mesothelioma Cancer Center, Orlando, Florida for contacting us with this information.

Mesothelioma and the Navy
 
  More Important Information For Veterans Regarding Military Asbestos Exposure

      The brave and selfless individuals who served our country during World War II and subsequent military conflicts certainly faced a number of occupational dangers. One such danger was that of exposure to asbestos while aboard military ships, such as the USS Salamonie, AO-26. Found within piping insulation, asbestos was present aboard the vast majority of military vessels during this era, and countless numbers of veterans may have been exposed without their knowledge. Previous exposure to asbestos has long been linked to the eventual development of mesothelioma cancer, a fatal disease that has no cure and has changed the lives of thousands of veterans. 
     Asbestos insulation was not considered dangerous unless it began to corrode due to the natural aging process, or if it was disturbed or damaged. If any type of damage occurred, asbestos products could become friable, releasing tiny asbestos fibers into the air and putting crewmembers at risk of inhalation. If inhaled, the tiny fibers could cling to the pleura, or lining of the lungs, for decades until an afflicted individual may begin to suffer from common mesothelioma symptoms, such as difficulty breathing or a chronic cough. 
     On average, veterans who receive a mesothelioma diagnosis are between the ages of 55 and 70, and were most likely exposed to asbestos as many as 30 years prior. Once diagnosed, mesothelioma sufferers generally lose their battle with this asbestos-related cancer in less than 2 years. 
     Any veteran who served on board the USS Salamonie or any other military ship should speak with their doctor and undergo respiratory health tests to determine whether or not they are at an increased risk of developing this disease.
     For further information about veteran asbestos exposure, please visit the Mesothelioma & Asbestos Awareness Center website: www.maacenter.org.
     Special thanks to Samantha Catalano, Public Outreach Coordinator for the 
Mesothelioma & Asbestos Awareness Center for contacting us about this site.
Lauren H asks that we add another great site informing veterans about Mesothelioma. That site is located at http://www.mesotheliomaweb.org/veterans.htm. and she says "Thanks...for making resources such as this available to our war heroes."
This comes from Paul Brinkley EM3 - 58
Yes I remember the SEABAG.
 
THIS IS ABOUT THE 'OLD NAVY' I REMEMBER..... WE KEPT OUR DRESS BLUES UNDER OUR 11/2 INCH MATTRESS TO MAKE IT LOOK PRESSED WHEN WE WENT ON LIBERTY

The Seabag

"There was a time when everything you owned had to fit in your seabag. Remember those nasty rascals? Fully packed, one of those suckers weighed more than the poor devil hauling it..."
RETIRED from the Navy, Marines or Coast Guard and are having trouble locating a Retiree Services Office or a Retired Activities Office? Check out the Navy web site for retirees, sponsored by The Center for Personal and Professional Development. Click on "Continue to this website..." then click "OK".
Why no living Medal of Honor recipients?

     WHAT’S UP: The House Armed Services Committee agreed June 16 to order a Defense Department review of why the only Medal of Honor awards since the Vietnam War have been posthumous. “We will have no more living heroes if this trend doesn’t end,” said Iraq War veteran and committee member Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Pa., a co-sponsor of the legislation that was introduced by another Iraq veteran, Rep. Duncan D. Hunter, D-Calif. Hunter ’s interest was sparked when the Medal of Honor nomination for Marine Sgt. Rafael Peralta, killed in Iraq when he fell on a grenade to protect other Marines, was downgraded to a Navy Cross. 
     WHAT’S NEXT: The study ordered by the committee, due March 31, calls for defense and service officials to review the awards process to look for unintended criteria that might explain why people who survive are overlooked for the nation’s highest valor medal. A survey of officers and noncommissioned officers also would be required to determine if there is a trend to downgrade awards and, if so, where it may start in the chain of command. The report would not necessarily lead to a review of awards already given, like Peralta’s Navy Cross, but new standards might change the view of what constitutes a heroic act in today’s military. 

Contributed,
YNCS Don Harribine, USN(ret)
U.S.S. Salamonie crew aboard the float for the
Salamonie Summer Festival Parade
on July 3, 2009 in Warren, Indiana.
Photo by Kim Beatty
A SOLDIER DIED TODAY
On Saturday, February 6, 2010, a special citation, issued by the National Headquarters of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, was presented to Lilly Nutter for her outstanding effort to provide packages to troops stationed overseas. Click here or on the picture to see the citation and some pictures of that event.
You Can Leave The Military, But It Never Really Leaves You
By Ken Burger
The Charlestown Post and Courier
Thursday, March 4, 2010
"In my 76th year, the events of my life appear to me, from time to time, as a series of vignettes. Some were significant; most were trivial..."
From "Burial At Sea" by LtCol George Goodson, USMC (Ret) 
Want a t-shirt with your Navy rating on the sleeve?

Order at http://www.hullnumber.com/Whats_Your_Rating_Sailor.php
DeeTours has relocated to Sunny Florida, (not far from Orlando).
Due to this change, the Reunion Flyer and Registration form no longer had the correct mailing address for attendees to mail in Registration forms and payments.

We have updated the Reunion 2013 page to include the updated Flyer and Registration form (now with correct mailing address)
The Collision Which Sealed the Fate of the USS Salamonie
The USS Salamonie got into a mid sea collision with the USS Wasp in 1968 (sailors on board joked that it had been stung by the Wasp). It happened in the Caribbean when the Salamonie was refueling the Wasp. During the refueling, the rudder motor malfunctioned causing the ship to turn into the Wasp. The photograph was taken by a deck hand and is little messy, but shows the Salamonie on the right side of the picture and the Wasp on the left. The elevator of the Wasp is seen smashing into the bridge of the Salamonie. The collision caused extensive damage to the bridge and deck below. The impact took out one of the radio antennas, but only bent the bulkhead of the radio room. The deck hands instituted emergency breakaway procedures, which caused span wires and black oil to fly everywhere. Fortunately, the Salamonie was not pumping high flammable JP5 at the time. While the ship sustained quite a bit of damage, no one was injured. After the crash, the ship sailed to a shipyard in East Boston, most of the crew was transferred and it was eventually decommissioned.

Contributed by:
Tom Martens
1119 Cornell Drive, Davis, CA. 95616
530-304-8557 E-mail: tmartens@tommartens.net 
Web site: http://tommartens.net
Editor, California Outdoor News Network
Editor at Large, California Fly Fisher Magazine
Member, Adjunct Faculty, University of San Francisco
Special: Updated History of the U.S.S. Salamonie Association

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