Presidents Annual Report November 2020
Good evening shipmates
It’s a little over a year since our 5th USS Paul F. Foster reunion, and my first full year as your President, a title and honor I don’t take lightly, I am constantly questioning myself about the direction I should be leading you, this job is a lot different than my day job of managing a large Hydroelectric power plant lol, I started this letter a couple of months ago but then I had a hardware failure and lost what I started, so I had to start over and while doing that I decided to change the purpose of this letter, it was going to be the typical Presidents letter, telling you about the state of the Association and begging you to pay your annual Association dues, I am still going update you on the state of the Association, and I am still going beg you for money, but then I have something very important to ask of you.
The boring stuff, where I beg for money.
As the former President, Lou Prevost (current Secretary) had a personal mission to get funding and create a new and improved website, if you have visited that new Website I think you will agree he accomplished his mission and he can be very proud of his work on the Website, sadly we still need a Webmaster but Lou and myself muddle through keeping it updated as best we can, Websites are expensive, very expensive, you might ask what we do with your donations? Well this Website takes a fair share of that money. And any changes to the Website itself have to contracted out and its very expensive work, if you have skills as a Webmaster and want to help, please send us an email. We really only require some parttime help to make occasional changes to the website, or even hosting the website if you are able to donate that service.
We are working on adding some more functionality to the Website, hoping to add a dedicated page for Lifetime Members, better instructions on how to become a Lifetime member and honoring those that have made that commitment.
Speaking of Lifetime members, we have two Lifetime members now, if you are interested, the minimum donation for a Lifetime membership is $500.00
We continually try to add items to the store, but again that takes money, so the more money we can raise the more items we can stock, we hear your requests for a REAL USS Paul F Foster DD-964 ballcap and we are working on it, but be aware, it will be expensive and its not likely we can make any money selling them and shipping them to you, but we will try to bring some the next reunion to sell at a better price without shipping. Yes, everything is about money, I will be mentioning money several more times in this letter lol
Your store purchases are very much appreciated, those monies are used to fund more items, you may not be aware, but many items in the store are initially funded by board members with personal money as generous donations, (see, I mentioned money again), I want to personally thank those board members for there generosity.
We have slowly built up a good balance in our bank accounts, enough that reunions are easier to manage now, you may not be aware but the deposits for first few reunions were funded by board members with personal credit cards, (see, I mentioned money again) your donations are important for us to survive, we now have enough bank funds that we have an Association credit card to use for reunion deposits, a huge burden taken off board members.
Well, since I had been working on collecting history all along, I appointed myself the ships official historian, this is a personal passion of mine, I just love collecting and sharing the Foster history and everything about our journeys on her. At the 2019 reunion I brought one 3 ring binder to share, I saw everyone’s enjoyment reading that book and knew I had to do better, we now have 3 large history books to bring to all future reunions, one book for each of Fosters homeports,
We also purchased a couple of original Foster cruise books, and I borrowed the rest from some great shipmates, and we sent them all out to a professional cruise book scanning company and got digital copies of all Foster cruise books, these digital copies are for sale in the ships store to help raise money for reunions, we also printed copies of all Foster cruise books to bring to future reunions for everyone to enjoy looking at, now you don’t need to bring your priceless original books, leave them safe at home. Please thank shipmates David Brunkhorst, Felix Alvarado, Meg Costa, Jason Smith, and Joel Resendez for trusting me with there original cruise books to copy, BZ shipmates.
Our relationship with the US Navy:
As some of you are aware, Capt. Andrew Hoffman relieved Capt. Ray Acevedo as commanding officer of Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme Division (NSWC PHD) June 30 2020, what does this mean for us?, this does happen every few years with Navy commands, and this one is no different, what it does mean is that the great relationship we had built up with Capt. Ray Acevedo is gone, now we must start building a relationship with Capt. Andrew Hoffman and we will soon.
Another set back has been CPVID-19, this has changed everything, including our plans, if you were at the 2019 reunion, you heard the discussions about a Foster veterans cruise, all discussions about that have been put on hold until the base and the test ship are open to us again, the change of command also affects the veteran cruise because Capt. Ray Acevedo was very open to the idea, I have not had a chance to discuss this with Capt. Andrew Hoffman but we will soon.
I have been in steady contact with the test ship crew and she is still working and still getting underway for testing, she was even testing COVID cleaning methods for the Navy, we don’t know for sure what a possible veterans cruise might look like, but its doubtful they could safely accommodate 100 riders, I think it will be a smallish group, maybe chosen by lottery, that get to ride on a day trip, out to the test range and back, it has to be a non-firing event where someone else is paying for the fuel, it takes a lot of fuel to take her to sea, and whoever is paying for the fuel will be calling the shots on how many guests can be accommodated, the mission comes first, always, if we can get past the first veterans cruise and everyone behaves then maybe we could arrange others, so over a period of time many Foster children might get to sail on her again, BUT no promises at this time, you will just have to be patient for now. Be aware that only those physically able to evacuate the ship during an emergency via small boat or helicopter will be able to participate. Just how it has to be.
The next reunion date:
Every 3 years is the schedule, so 2022 sometime is the plan, but the Foster is going in for a major overhaul and dry docking about then, so we have to work on that with the Navy,
March 2023 is the 20th anniversary of Fosters decommissioning and that date appeals to me but its just an idea for now.
This is getting long, but I must thank all the other board members that volunteer to work hundreds of hours on this Association, without Oneal, Lou, and Jon, none of this would happen, some of these folks have been doing this for over ten years. Jon Powell especially, he has been on the board since the beginning.
Finally, my special request, since September 2019, I have sent several letters to former and current Secretary of the Navy’s, requesting that he name a new Destroyer USS Paul F Foster, sadly my efforts have not produced any results, so I am asking, no begging that each of you to write to the Secretary of the Navy requesting that he name a new Destroyer USS Paul F Foster, only two future Destroyers remain unnamed so the need is urgent.
I will include a sample letter below, the Secretary of the Navy’s address in on the sample letter, change it anyway you want, please fix my grammar and spelling
David L. Klein
GSM1 1987 to 1993
USS Paul F. Foster Association
The sample letter below, edit as you please.
Office of the Secretary of the Navy
1000 Navy Pentagon, Room 4D652
Washington, DC 20350
The Honorable Kenneth J. Braithwaite
We honorable members of the USS Paul F Foster Association, the united voice of thousands of proud sailors that served on the mighty warship USS Paul F Foster DD-964, from the plank owners that took her to sea for the first time, the first Spruance class to deploy, to the sailors who took her to war on January 17th 1991 when she launched the first Tomahawk cruise missile from the Persian Gulf to start Operation Desert Storm, and later earned her crew a Combat Action Ribbon (CAR), to the sailors that answered a distress call in July 1994 from the Honduran Tug Glorious City that was on fire and sinking in the North Arabian Gulf, twenty three Foster sailors risked their lives to save other sailors they had never met, there is no greater duty at sea than helping another mariner in distress, to her decommissioning crew who sailed her to a port visit in China on her last deployment in 2003.
We honorable veterans of the USS Paul F. Foster DD-964 respectfully request that you name the next available United States Navy Destroyer, USS Paul f. Foster in honor of Medal of Honor, Navy Cross, and Distinguished Service Medal recipient Paul Fredrick Foster. Lieutenant Commander Foster was the first person to receive all three of the Navy's highest awards, quite possibly the only person to receive all three of the Navy’s highest awards.
Paul Frederick Foster was born on March 25, 1889 in Wichita, Kansas. He received a senatorial appointment from the State of Idaho to the U.S. Naval Academy. Following graduation in 1911, he served in the armored cruiser Washington and the battleship Utah as a midshipman and, in March 1912, was commissioned as an Ensign. On 21-22 April 1914, Foster participated at the intervention at Vera Cruz, Mexico, leading his landing company with skill and courage. For his "distinguished conduct in battle", he was awarded the Medal of Honor. After submarine instruction on board USS Prairie, he reported on board USS G-4. In March 1915, Foster was promoted to Lieutenant Junior Grade and, in early 1916, was placed in command of G-4. Relocating to Ireland in December 1917, he was assigned to the submarine tender Bushnell in Bantry Bay, Ireland. Foster was temporarily promoted to Lieutenant in May 1918. While serving in Irish waters, he took command of the submarine L-2. Lieutenant Foster was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for his role in the sinking of the German submarine UB-65 off the Irish coast on 10 July 1918.
Paul Frederick Foster received a promotion to Lieutenant Commander and had shore duty as a Tactical Instructor with Submarine Division 2 at New London, Connecticut. In June 1920, he was briefly assigned to the new battleship Tennessee, then transferred to the minelayer San Francisco for six months as her Executive Officer. In July 1921, Foster reported for duty as the Officer in Charge of the Navy Recruiting Bureau in New York City. As the principal Navy liaison with the city's newspapers and magazines, he organized the first Navy radio programs and new reels. In December 1921, he was promoted to Lieutenant Commander. In early 1924, he became the Engineering Officer of the new light cruiser Trenton. On 20 October 1924, Foster saved lives of several crewmen when one of the ship's turrets exploded and caught fire. For his "extraordinary heroism" in that incident, he was awarded the Navy Cross. Lieutenant Commander Foster thus became the first person to receive all three of the Navy's highest awards. In July 1927, he returned to New York City for service with the Third Naval District, and in March 1929, resigned from the regular Navy and entered the Naval Reserve.
Recalled to active duty during World War II, Foster was promoted to Captain and assigned to the Logistics Plans Division of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations. He was later the Assistant Naval Inspector General and a member of the Navy Manpower Survey Board. He retired with the rank of Vice Admiral in December 1946. After some time in the private sector, Foster joined the Atomic Energy Commission in June 1954 as a special assistant, becoming its General Manager four years later. In 1959, President Dwight D. Eisenhower appointed him to the International Atomic Energy Agency, in Vienna, Austria, with the rank of Ambassador, and he served in that position until 1961. Paul F. Foster died on 30 January 1972 at Virginia Beach, Virginia and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia.
The United States Navy needs another mighty warship named USS Paul F. Foster, in honor of Medal of Honor recipient Vice Admiral Paul Fredrick Foster.
(Your Name and return address)