Yet another successful DESA Convention was held September 26-30, 2004 in Ft. Mitchell, Kentucky at the Drawbridge Inn. 323 members were registered along with 250 wives and 73 guests. 140 DE's were represented!
As in the past, and gaining in popularity, the convention was a Family Affair.
click photo for a larger view
Registration and the Ship and Ladies' Ship Stores opened bright and early Monday. The hotel lobby and hospitality rooms were full by Monday morning, hours before the official start of the convention.
Monday evening kicked off with the Early Bird gathering, attended by 421 conventioneers. DESA President Dick Ager (USS GANTNER DE 60) welcomed members and guests and introduced the keynote speaker, Tom Kimmel, Grandson of Adm. Kimmel, Commander-In-Chief Pacific Fleet at the time of Pearl Harbor.
Mr. Kimmel delivered a rousing well documented presentation attesting to his Grandfather's innocence of any wrongdoing related to the surprise attack at Pearl. Many DESA members spoke personally with Mr. Kimmel at the close of the opening event.
A Wine and Cheese reception followed the Early Bird gathering, offering shipmates and friends a time to reunite.
Tuesday was full of activity as the following events took place:
DESA Chapter Meeting
Wednesday began with the DESA Men's General Business Meeting as well as the Ladies Auxiliary General Business Meeting. The afternoon and evening offered a variety of area tours.
In a tradition going back to the earliest days of DESA, a memorial service was held Thursday morning honoring all who have died in service, especially recalling those men who served in the 16 US and 17 British DEs lost.
Like the three previous days, the Hospitality Rooms remained the gathering place for attendees, as well as ship reunions scheduled in conjunction with the convention.
Thursday evenings Banquet Dinner drew a crowd of almost 500 and provided one last opportunity for shipmates and friends to be together before the close of the convention. Through tearful eyes, there were promises by shipmates to meet again next year.
View Photos From The Convention
A Special Thanks To Al Gregg, USS Jaccard DE 355, for his assistance
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