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March was fun!

Updated: Apr 25, 2019

March 2019

Namesake Visit On the 14th we had a reception at the Epping Forest Yacht Club for the final Namesake Visit from the CO of the USS Jacksonville (SSN-699), CDR David Vehon, and Chief of the Boat CMC Jorge Lara. Jacksonville Council adopted the boat in May 1981 when it was commissioned and visited Naval Station Mayport in Jacksonville. More than 50 members and guests attended, including former USS Jacksonville CO, CDR John Yarbro, USN Retired, and Jax Council member and Plank Owner Stephen Jorgensen, who served on the original crew. Several other council members had visited and sailed aboard the boat in Mayport, FL and Pearl Harbor, HI. The boat has been decommissioned in the shipyard in Bremerton, WA.

Adoption Ceremony A tour and lunch inside the Mission Control Station of the Unmanned Patrol Squadron VUP-19 was a real treat for our members and guests. On the 22nd we conducted an official Adoption Ceremony for the US Navy’s only Unmanned Patrol Squadron, VUP-19. The CO, CDR John LeVoy introduced council President Bill Cousins who presented a framed Certificate of Adoption with VUP-19 and Jax Council challenge coins attached. The squadron is conducting unmanned maritime patrols in the Pacific region while operating the aircraft from Jacksonville.

Finding the Lost French Fleet Lunch and an informative presentation were enjoyed by over 40 members and guests at the NAS Jax Officers Club on the 28th. Guest speaker Chuck Meide, Lead Marine Archaeologist for the St Augustine Lighthouse and Museum presented the “Discovery of the Lost French Fleet” that vanished in a storm off the Florida coast in September 1565. The French fleet was attacked by the Spanish, at Fort Caroline in what is now Jacksonville. As the French fleet pursued the Spanish southward, they were caught in a hurricane, blown south and sank. The ships lay undiscovered for over 450 years until recently. Quite an interesting piece of First Coast maritime history.

Programs Former council President JB Renninger is serving as VP Programs and is aggressively filling our program calendar with interesting and fun events. We are planning several “hands-on” tours, luncheons, dinners, mixers, and other fun events, so watch your email and check this website for invitations. The next few months will be very busy with several events already scheduled, including a tour of the Blount Island Marine Corps facility, and a weekend in Pensacola.

Your membership, participation and support of our council is highly valued, and we urge you to continue your membership and invite your friends, relatives and colleagues to join.

Let’s have fun this year, while we grow our council!

Bill Cousins President


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