USS Robert A. Owens

 Shipmates Association

About Us:

The following is a list of the current officers of the Association and the members of the various committees.





President:                                             Vice President:

Larry McCoskey                                      Jack Wanko              



Secretary:                                             Treasurer:

Bobby Williams                                       Gary Parks         



Ships Store Manager:                             Chaplain:

Keith Totsch                                           Bobby Williams                   



Membership Committee:                       Reunion 2021 Chairman:

Vacant                                                   Bill Miller




Audit Committee:

John Wagner

Bill Miller

Ron Pervere




PING Editor / Web Site Manager:

Jerry Jackson


Hello to all my fellow shipmates.   This year has been a long, hard grind for us all with the continuing pandemic and all hardships that we have had to endure.  I sincerely hope that each of you have remained safe and healthy, which includes your families, too.  I often think of my grandchildren and what they will have to remember and relay to their children about the great pandemic of 2020/21 when they had to stay home and do their schoolwork on one of those old time computers!  But enough about the pandemic; I’m sure you’re as tired of hearing about it as we are.  


I want to extend my congratulations to one of our shipmates, Ed Spagnolo of Connecticut, who wrote and had published an excellent article regarding his time in the Navy in the last issue of “Tin Can Sailors”.  If you did not see it or read it, I would advise you do so.  It’s on pages 24, 25 and 37 of that issue.  On page 37 there is a large picture of the RAO underway which immediately caught my attention.  As the “Tin Can Sailor” always does, it is offering this picture from this issue for sale for $15 for an 8”x10” copy.  It can be ordered from TCS through an order form on page 36.  If you’re not a member of TCS I would strongly advise you join by contacting them at or calling (800) 223-5535.  There is a membership application in this issue.  This organization has always been good to us and always sends items to us for our reunions.


I’m really looking forward to the reunion this year in Pittsburgh.  Bill Miller is doing such a good job organizing everything to ensure we have the usual great time we always do.  I’m certainly in hopes that we have a very good attendance this year as Bill has worked so hard to make this a success.  Please see his information about the reunion in this Ping.  I know because of the pandemic it has been even more difficult for Bill to get dates and commitments from the vendors.  But he’s doing great!


Kudos to Keith Totsch for doing such a great job with the ship’s store.  Keeping a working inventory and storing same is probably the biggest job of the store.  But as a former proprietor of the store, I can tell you it’s nice to hear from so many other members when they order.  Keith informed me that he will be giving up this job in 2021 and Bill Miller has agreed to take it after the reunion.  Keith and Bill have been in touch and Keith will be bringing all store items to the reunion where a smooth transition can take place and we won’t have to pay for any shipping of stock from one member to another.  That is a huge savings for us and we thank Keith for loading all this and bringing it to Pittsburgh.  


Speaking of this year’s reunion, it’s not too early to begin thinking about where we may want to go for the next reunion scheduled for 2023.  Even if you choose not to host it, please give an opinion as to where you would like to go.  There are organizations in most cities who would make our arrangements and do things for us – which comes at an increased cost for the reunion.  So, if you would like to host one in your city, please speak up.  It’s a lot of work, planning, organizing and stress, but a job that needs to be done.  Those of us who have done it before will be glad to help you organize it.


Also, at the business meeting this year we will be taking names for nominations to the organizations executive board.  All positions are open each year.  If you would like to participate as one of the leaders of the organization, please give me your name for nomination.  


All the best to everyone, stay safe, stay healthy, observe the guidelines in your respective communities as to distancing and masks and I hope to see everyone safe and healthy at the reunion.





            Yes, I know, we’re all very tired of hearing about the Corona Virus and equally tired of all the news conferences on TV listening to our elected leaders answering a few good questions, many repeat questions and even more dumb questions.   But this is what life has given us over the past many months. I just wanted to add in this issue of the Ping that I hope all of you are heeding the advice of those experts in the field and taking all precautions to remain safe and healthy. By the time you read this I’m hoping most of the bad times will be coming to an end, but, being cautious, I’m not sure it will have. So please continue to be patient and do the right thing to keep you and your families safe. I (and I’m sure you, too) have done enough stupid things in my life that could have turned out much worse than it did. So, let’s not repeat; we may not be as lucky next time!

            From Ellen and me, all the best for a safe and healthy Spring & Summer!