Return to Home Page

Elmer peters (62-65) RD2

    I was on board between 1962 and 1965 as a radarman in CIC. After my service time, I worked for several years for Raytheon, working on the Apollo Program. After that, I went to work for the USPS and retired after spending 42 years with them.

Richard Reno (69-72) EN2

    After I left Hugh Purvis I went to COSRIVRON II (PTF_25) out of Little Creek, VA. I discharged in July 1973 and found my way back to Colorado where I enrolled in Denver Automotive and Diesel College. While attending, my cousin talked me into joining the Navy Reserve.

    I married in 1974 and moved to California, where I began working at various auto dealerships as a mechanic. In the reserves I served on USS Holister DD788, Quapaw ATF-110, NAS Cubi Pt. Phillipines, Assault Craft Unit I, and OAF Atsugi, Japan. (did a total of 20 years reserve for a total 24 years). In 1978 I went to work for GTE telephone company. I attended Oxnard College earning an AA in Business, which helped me move up to a manager position. I managed several GTE garage facilities until 1993, when I took a buyout package.

    We moved back to Colorado with our 3 daughters and went to work for AutoZone. After 4 years I accepted a position with the Colorado Department of Corrections, supervising a vehicle maintenance facility at the prison in our area. Then after 14 years I retired and now am employed part-time as Automotive Instructor at Intellitec College.

    The many skill I learned while in A-Gang onboard the Purvis have benefited me my entire career. My Navy and Civilian Careers have been very rewarding and I would not change a thing. I retired from the Navy Reserve in 1994 as an EN1, with 24 years credited.

Paul R. Kietzman (67-69) YN3

    Before I left the Huey P [the day we got into Newport from the ‘nam tour] I was an “almost graduate” of Syracuse U – [the “almost” part having a great deal to do with my presence on the Hugh Purvis, in the first place] I took the LSATs in Olongapo when we were in from the gun line.  It was so F’ing hot I couldn’t lean over the answer sheet for fear of dripping sweat all over it. 

    I went to work on a construction job in blue mountain lake NY, working 9 hours five days a week and eight more on Saturdays and applied to law school.  SU gave me my last two credits for naval service and white-washed my “record”. I got a war service scholarship, which together with GI bill and the construction wages [minus beer…] paid for my first year at Albany law school. 

    Fast forward 60 years and I’m still working as a lawyer. If not for the navy and the shipmates, there’s no way I get straightened out sufficiently to get into law school – and YES, lads – I DO dabble in vehicle and traffic work for over served co-workers and ex- shipmates in the area, if need be.

(Paul R. Kietzman - Senior Counsel - NYSARC, Inc.)

Gene Sampieri (61-63) SOG2 (Rate now is STG)

    I was always playing around with electrical items around the house since I was 10. Originally I wanted to be an electrician and applied for an apprenticeship at NY Ship Building in Camden NJ. That didn't happen in time; they wanted to make me a "shipfitter"; no way! I also took a correspondence course while in high school. I joined the navy in Feb. 1959 as no real jobs were forthcoming and was "guaranteed" something in electronic technology, ending up at the Fleet Sonar School - Key West. Sonarmen had just started being their own technicians somewhere in the mis 1950's time period. My first ship was the USS McGowan - DD678 which was transferred to Spain (in Barcelona). I returned to the states on the Essex (CV9). and went aboard the Purvis as an E4 in Jan. 1961. When I left the Purvis in Feb. 1963 I was lead sonarman and E5 under Chief Tony Guida.

    Again,there were very few jobs available at that time and a friend talked me in to going to school. He also got me hired as a Pizza Baker to help defray the costs. I graduated from Temple University Community College in 1966 with an AAS/EET and was hired in to the research area of AT&T Bell Labs. (Became Lucent Bell Labs then Alcatel-Lucent and now Nokia.) I spent my whole career in research (35 years) working with some of the best and brightest people around. It was fun and rewarding. I retired in July of 2001 and started another position with a startup two weeks later. That company went under right after 9/11 and I decided to stay fully retired.

    The navy was the right choice for me and helped put me on  my career  path. I still make pizza on occasion at home for friends and family (dough and sauce from scratch, my own recipes). I married in 1970 to Allein who I met through a Bell Labs Bowling League Party in 1968, now at 48 years and counting.

Milton L. Williams (52-55) RM2

    I served on the USS Hugh Purvis (DD709) from 1952-55 as a radioman 2nd class petty officer (RM2). Upon discharge from the navy, I became a New York City Police Officer to help finance my education. While a NYC Police Officer, I completed both college and Law School in the daytime and worked a 4pm to midnight shift in the 48th precinct (the Bronx). Seven years of school (4 yrs college and 3 yrs law school) were completed in 5-1/2 years in an accelerated program.

    Upon completion of my education I held several legal positions, including the KNAPP Commission (investigating alleged police corruption), the McKay Commission on Attica (Executive Director - investigating the Attica Uprising). In 1977, I became a New York State Judge and served for 31 years.

    I sat on the following benches: Criminal Court, Supreme Court and the Appellate Division 1st Dept. From 1985 to 1993 I was in charge of all N. Y. state courts in NYC. In 2002 I served as the Presiding Justice of the Appellate Division, 1st Department. (Select for photo)

John Mielnicki (45-47) FN
When I was discharged in 1946 jobs were not plentiful so I joined the 52/20 club; $20 a week for 52 weeks. (Link to Time Article). In the interim a VA Counselor would try to find us jobs. There were jobs available but it was not what I wanted. Eventually I found employment on my own.

In 1950 I got hired by CON EDISON in their Sub Station Department. You were hired to make repairs, with another mechanic, on various types of equipment like circuit breakers, transformers, rheostats, selsyn motors used for telegraphy etc. We were known as the “Fresh GI’s” because of our training thanks to Uncle Sam. In 1961 I was asked if I would be interested in going for an interview with the System Operations Department whose function was to keep the system running on a daily basis.

My first assignment was as Emergency Foreman, assigning people to outages Lights Out,  gas leaks and whatever emergency that would impact the system and the public. My next assignment was as a District Operator Manhattan/Bronx at the Energy Control Center. Responsibilities consisted of DC and AC stations providing various voltages, 2.4kv, 13kv, 69kv, 138kv, 345kv, and assigning station operators to process feeder cables and routine field work.  Trip-outs were treated entirely different depending on the voltage, whether they were overhead or underground and what relays operated during a Trip-out. Overhead was much easier as it required a visual inspection either by walking or helicopter. Underground cables were much harder as they required station operators and field operators to go in the man-holes and outage times, depending on the fault, could vary from a couple days to a week(s).

My next assignment was as a Power Dispatcher, matching generation and purchases to the load. This was really where my navy experience blended together standing switchboard watch in the engine room and being observant of all the terminology that was being used, especially when not on watch. My navy job was as a 24hr repairman, was beneficial for this position. I was able to absorb a lot of knowledge without knowing it. Thanks to all my mentors I was able to educate myself through their knowledge. My next assignment as a System Operator, scheduling requests of equipment outages while on shift running the system which consisted of Gas, Steam and Electric. I remember my first day in this position, the Chief System Operator said he would be available but after a 1/2 hour I was on my own. I felt the seat of my pants were damp.

After the blackout of 1978 we were required to attend school in Albany, N.Y studying Power Technologies. After two years we received our associate’s degree. That was an experience, trying to remember formulas from previous schooling. After 10 years doing that I was offered the position of Interchange Coordinator.  Based on the weather and time of the year, using historical data we would predict the load, then the load versus the generation and purchases, which should be should equal. A lot depended on cable limitations and the System Operator would load the cables accordingly. Many times we would purchase low & sell high to other utilities that was a plus in loading.

After 47 years I figured it was time to retire.