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:

Vacant                                                   Gary Parks




Ships Store Manager:                             Chaplain:

Bill Miller                                               Keith Totsch                                      



Membership Committee:                       Reunion 2023 Co-Chairman:

 (Vacant)                                                Ron Geevese

     (No Email)

     Bill Miller




Audit Committee:

Bill Miller

Ron Pervere

 (One Vacancy)



PING Editor / Web Site Manager:

Jerry Jackson


From Ellen and me, we wish all of you the best for all the upcoming holidays, so I should say Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas and all the best to you for a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!!  Most of all, please try to remain safe and healthy.  We are all valuable in our own way to many others, family and friends alike. 


For the many of you who did not attend our last reunion in Pittsburgh, you missed a great time.  While our attendance was quite disappointing, we did a lot and visited a lot and genuinely owe Bill Miller a great deal of thanks for organizing it all on his own.  Our trip to Shanksville and the site of Flight 93 was inspiring and one everyone should take.  The National Parks System has done a great job displaying this memorial, from the visitor’s center to viewing the site itself is wonderfully done.  Wednesday’s trip around, through and atop Pittsburgh was outstanding and our tour guide gave us information that was very interesting at the least.  Riding the Incline 800’ above the Ohio River was beautiful and from atop the hill we had an outstanding view of the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers as they meet and form the Ohio.  Lunch, shopping and touring all day really got us in touch with the City of Pittsburgh in a way everyone should do.  Thanks again, Bill, for all your hard work organizing this reunion.


As I said, our attendance was quite disappointing.  I’m sure some of our members still aren’t traveling due to COVID and possibly that hurt attendance.  Others surely had many other reasons for not attending.  We only had 10 association members attend; with friends and family the total at the Thursday banquet was 28.  We have roughly 300 dues paying members and only 10 made it to Pittsburgh.  We were quite honored by the attendance of Jim Owens (RAO’s nephew and closest surviving relative) and his family.   I only wish we, as an organization, could have represented ourselves a little better than we did.  Our next reunion will be 2023 in Cleveland; I hope, after all the hard work that will go into making this a quality event, that more members will decide to attend. 


There were a couple of key pieces of business that we addressed at our business meeting Thursday morning which were unanimously passed.  First, we discussed our budget and what it cost to keep this organization afloat throughout the year.  Our biggest expense is printing and postage for the Ping.  Practically everyone receives the Ping via email, but about 30 members still prefer to have it printed and mailed.  For those members who want it printed and mailed, beginning January 1, 2022, there will be a $5 surcharge on their dues to partially cover that cost. 


Nobody wanted to take on the position of the organization’s Historian, which for the greatest part is keeping and storing all the memorabilia we have accumulated over the years.  All these items, including every Ping from first to last, have been copied, photographed and documented on computer and copied to several flash drives that are in the possession of the organization’s officers.   Therefore, we asked Mr. Jim Owens, RAO’s closest survivor,  if he would like to keep any of the items that were from the ship and to pass them down to his heirs.  So, Mr. Owens agreed and now is in the possession of all items that our former Historians were keeping.  If any of those items were personal to you, such as cruise books, pictures, etc., and you would like them returned to you, please contact Bill Miller and he can put you in touch with Jim Owens and we will see that they are returned.  If anyone has donated an item that was originally part of the ship, then we ask that the particular item remain with the Owens family.


All the best to each of you and enjoy your holidays.  Don’t forget to order those Christmas items from the Ship’s Store, which are on sale now.





            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!