The 25th Annual Reunion for the USS Little Rock Association was hosted last week in beautiful Warwick-Providence, RI. Members of the association gathered at the Crowne Plaza Warwick where the reunion kicked off on Wednesday, July 13th with registration and a Welcome Party in the Hospitality Room that evening.
The next morning, attendees of the reunion boarded the buses and departed for a tour of Newport, RI. The day began with an audio tour of the historic Marble House, home of Mr. and Mrs. William K. Vanderbilt. Built in the 1890’s by New York architect Richard Morris Hunt, this magnificent home and Chinese Tea house is the pinnacle of Gilded Age mansions. Following the tour of Marble House, members of the USS Little Rock association enjoyed lunch at the Brick Marketplace, many opting for some famous New England fish and chips or clam chowder at one of the local pubs. Following lunch, folks enjoyed a lively driving tour of Newport which included sights such as Bellevue Avenue and the spectacular coastline Ocean Drive.
On Friday, attendees had the opportunity to go on a unique tour to the Surface Warfare Officers School (SWOS) on the Newport Naval Base. Once on base, participants were able to enter the LCS-9 simulator room where they used a 3 dimensional setting with voice control and realistic sound controls to experience taking the ship in and out of the channel. After the exhilarating experience of using the LCS-9 simulator, attendees made a stop at the Naval War College Museum. Exhibits here focus on the history of naval warfare and the naval heritage of the Narragansett Bay.
The Memorial Service was held on Saturday morning at Battleship Cove in Fall River, MA onboard the USS Massachusetts. The association honored those lost with a ceremonial reading of names, a wreath laying, a gun salute, and the playing of “Taps”. Following the Memorial Service, members of the USS Little Rock Reunion made their way to the Ward Room where they enjoyed a catered deli lunch complete with home-made potato chips, potato salad, fresh fruit, and cookies. Following lunch, folks were able to tour the decks of the USS Massachusetts, otherwise known as the “Big Mamie.”
That evening the reunion wrapped up with a Reception and a delicious Banquet Dinner. Attendees dinned on meals of Roast Prime Rib of Beef Au Jus, Chicken Breast with Sage and Apple Stuffing, and Baked New England Scrod with Lemon Herb Butter. After dinner concluded, the association handed out several awards including the President’s Award, awarded to Steven Chase, and four awards for the four members who have attended every reunion since the founding of the organization. Awards weren’t the only thing won, the association also raffled off three 50/50 prizes and a handmade riffle donated by a member of the association, Jerry Tylla. The night came to end with everyone on the dance floor enjoying songs from the 40s, 50s, and 60s.
Next year, the USS Little Rock hopes to return to Buffalo, NY, where their ship is located. Armed Forces Reunions has had the privilege of planning reunions for the USS Little Rock Association for the previous 25 years! View the full photo album on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ArmedForcesReunions/.