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George Fitzgerald George Fitzgerald wrote on March 6, 2016 at 12:10 pm:
There is in todays Virginian Pilot A article Burden Of proof Falls on sick Vets. Go online to Virginian Pilot. Please pass it on. How did he prove that he got melanoma in Nam? How many of us are left from the Nam cruise?
gilhooly@comcast.net gilhooly@comcast.net wrote on March 4, 2016 at 4:07 pm:
One shipmate has been diagnosed with multiple melanoma and awarded a 100% disability after a long and hard fight. He is urging all shipmates who were on the westpac cruise to get tested for agent orange. I am not aware of any cases of mesothelioma caused by asbestos.
George Fitzgerald George Fitzgerald wrote on March 4, 2016 at 3:08 pm:
I was wondering for those of you who made either WEASPAC cruise do you have health problems, also for those of you who served on the Belknap, do you have Mesothelioma?
Jon Nelson OSCS(SW) Ret Jon Nelson OSCS(SW) Ret wrote on February 16, 2016 at 6:08 pm:
An old shipmate of mine, we made Chief togather at Damn Neck, Roy Hamilton, "Hambone". He was stationed on the USS Belknap when the accident took place. Have not seen Ham for years, good man.
Rita Ambrose Cook Rita Ambrose Cook wrote on December 29, 2015 at 10:28 am:
*** Ambrose, Bobby He is my dad, I'm looking for old shipmates of his. Not sure what years he was on her. I was born in San Juan in 61. Then Virginia. In 64-65 we went to Rota. In 68 we were in Norfolk. In 1970 he was transferred to Cleveland, Oh. We now live close to Nashville. If you remember him email me with Belnab for subject line. Thanks, Rita
bm1(sw) steven babcock bm1(sw) steven babcock wrote on December 9, 2015 at 10:32 pm:
Served in 93 untilled crossdeck to lasalle
BRUCE A GRAINGER BRUCE A GRAINGER wrote on November 16, 2015 at 12:27 am:
I was an ms on board the the USS BELKNAP CG-26 FROM 1980-1981 I STARTED OUT IN THE CREWS MESS, THEN PROMOTED TO THE WARDROOM,THEN I WAS PROMOTED TO THE CAPTAINS MESS ,I REMEMBER ONCE WHEN CAPTAIN ROSS HATCH FOUND OUT IT WAS MY BIRTHDAY HE HAD A LITTLE CAKE FOR ME SO WE SAT AND TALKED FOR A WHILE AND HAD SOME CAKE. I HAVE FOR YEARS MISSED ALL MY SHIPMATES UNABLE TO FIND OR CONTACT ANY OF THEM. ALSO FORGOT TO MENTION WHEN WE HAD A COOKOUT ON THE FANTAIL ON OUR WAY TO CUBA FOR WAR GAMES.WILL CLOSE TAKE CARE AND SMOOTH SAILING.
Richard A. Northcutt Richard A. Northcutt wrote on October 24, 2015 at 10:15 am:
I served on board the Belknap in the summer of 1984 during a GITMO CRUISE. Unfortunately I was injured and taken off the ship and never returned. I was assigned to the Naval Hospital at GITMO.
Ron Leininger Ron Leininger wrote on September 30, 2015 at 5:16 pm:
John DD214 says he was a hospital corpsman not a radioman.
Ron Leininger Ron Leininger wrote on September 30, 2015 at 5:06 pm:
In my search for someone who knew John Sampson, I received this back from Bob Gilhooly, John Sampson was a radioman on the Belknap. He did go on the westpac Vietnam cruise in 69-70. Go to the website and on the main page click on cruise books and select the 69-70 westpac cruise book. IF any of those radiomen on that page knows John Please contact me. Thanks, Ron Leininger
papafour papafour wrote on September 30, 2015 at 2:52 pm:
My name is Ron Leininger. I am a close friend of John David Sampson who passed away June 5th of this year from Pancreatic Cancer and other related complications. John was not tested for Agent Orange, but from all the research I have done, I am sure his sickness was due to exposure to Agent Orange. The USS Belknap is one of the ships on the list. The only date the VA will consider is December 1, 1969. I have talked to our V A Administration and they told me if I could find a shipmate who knew John, was on board with him on that date or was actually off the ship in port with him or was coming back from leave and was tested, treated or saw John do water tests on board ship and would write a letter stating the above information it would be a tremendous help in getting V A benefits for his wife Judy. I know you are having a reunion in Branson the end of October. If anyone can help, please contact me be email or cell. rleininger@woh.rr.com 937-726-5756. Please help me help one of your own. Thanks again. Ron E. Leininger Pleiku Vietnam 1967-68
John Benitez John Benitez wrote on September 7, 2015 at 2:25 pm:
John Benitez Em1 89 - 92
John Benitez John Benitez wrote on September 7, 2015 at 2:24 pm:
Was EM1 from 1989 through 1992.
Ron Leininger Ron Leininger wrote on August 23, 2015 at 8:10 pm:
I lost a good friend to cancer. John Sampson served on the USS Belknap from 1969 to 1971. John David Sampson, 68, of Jackson Center lost his battle with pancreatic cancer Friday morning, June 5, 2015, at his home. He was born in Logan County on April 25, 1947, to the late David Sampson and Anne (Ganson) Sampson-Orr, who survives in Burkburnett, Texas. A veteran of the U.S. Navy, John served his country during the Vietnam War. He was a graduate of The Ohio State University where he obtained his Bachelor of Science. He spent many years working in the medical field, both as a perfusionist and in sales. John was a member of the Jackson Center United Methodist Church and the Jackson Center American Legion – Scherer Post 493. John is survived by his wife Judy (Ludwig) Sampson, whom he married on July 5, 1968, in Jackson Center. He is also survived by children, Jeffrey (Jennifer) Sampson of Brighton, Michigan, Jennifer (Sean) McCall, of Brighton, Michigan, and Jodi (Monty) Csapo of Greenwood, Indiana; four grandchildren, Kayla, Madison, Mackenzie and Josilyn; and five siblings, Joyce Hardman, Steve Sampson, Gary Sampson, Nancy Howell and Patty Tharp. His ship was in port December 16,1969 and was subjected to Agent Orange. I lost a great friend and fellow veteran of Vietnam. John I will see you and all my other brothers on the other side of the wall. To all you others who served in Nam, Welcome Home and Thanks for your service. HONOR RESPECT REMEMBER. Vietnam Vet 1967 and 68.
gilhooly@comcast.net gilhooly@comcast.net wrote on May 9, 2015 at 3:33 pm:
Lawrence Smith is not one of our 1300 association members but one of them may know him and respond to your inquiry.
Kieran Sniadowski Kieran Sniadowski wrote on May 9, 2015 at 11:25 am:
I'm looking for BT2 L Smith, (Lawrence Eugene Smith), who served on the Belknap. He's shown in the 67-68 cruisebook, if anybody knows how I might reach him, or his family, please contact me.
Sandy Schindler Sandy Schindler wrote on March 25, 2015 at 9:19 pm:
A dear friend of mine worked on the USS Belknap in the 80's and I am forever thankful for him being a part of my life. I lost touch with him but have never forgotten him and still hold the pictures he gave me of himself and the ship close too many heart. I will always be in aww of those who serve and served for our country.
Melissa Mays Melissa Mays wrote on February 21, 2015 at 6:20 pm:
To those who served on the USS Belknap, Thank-you for your service and the sacrifices made to protect our beautiful country.
QM2 Scott Bunting USS Bordelon DD881 QM2 Scott Bunting USS Bordelon DD881 wrote on February 13, 2015 at 11:19 am:
I have a lot of pictures from being tied alongside the Belknap in Sicily November 1975
Jim Page Jim Page wrote on January 30, 2015 at 8:54 pm:
OS2 was on the recommissioning crew in 1980 until may of 1983, have a lot of great memories. A big hello to all I served with.

41 Comments to Guestbook

  1. Aaron Weissman FC2 93-95 says:

    First duty station in the Navy. I loved the “Schmoozing Cruiser”. Liberty ports all across the MED and Black Sea. Made a lot of friends I still think about till this very day.

  2. George Fitzgerald 69 - 73 says:

    I would like to see a movie made based on the Belknap Book

  3. William (Mac) McCarroll HTFN 79 - 83 says:

    Its been a long time since iv tried to contact shipmates. Getting old and sick. Shout out to HTFN Mark Lombard

  4. William (Mac) McCarroll HTFN 79 - 83 says:

    trying to get in touch with any HTS durning my years aborad her. best darn time of my life.

  5. Eric Maurice Johnson USS Bordelon says:

    I served onboard the USS Bordelon, from 1973-1977. I remember the Mediterranean cruise pretty well. GOD was there for all of us. I remember someone asking the question, ” are there any nuclear weapons on the ship. Nobody was sure. Word had it that sailors doing their job flooded the 54 inch magazine locker. I remember the sea calmed down and it started to rain. I believe the Commadore was on the USS Ricketts, however that was a take charge ship and we USS Bordelon soon followed. General quarters, general quarters, this is not a drill, all hands man your battle station. The alarms, the bell and man did we go. No practice all instincts. After yokes had been set for a while, word came through as to what had happen. My GQ station was in radio 2 across form radio central for I was an ET. Eventually I heard a hatch open and I also opened my door. LORD help us, the ships looked like they were stuck together and on fire, then they separated, the USS Kennedy moving off to the right. The Belknap was just a burning on exploding. Boom, boom one after another. I can’t help remember thinking that with all these explosions why didn’t it sink. All I could was say thank you LORD. Ricketts was Johnny on the spot moving in to fight the fire and so were we along with other ships. Our firefighting teams fired up Big Bertha (Huge Diesel Pump). I heard that it split the hose and they had to change it. We got real close to Belknap to fight the fire. We were so close I could see khaki shirts holding on to the hoses fighting the fire, and think it was the captain as well as any other officer. There was no where else to go. It was the same back aft. Both ends fighting the raging fire in the middle. We maneuvered to the other side oh the ship. Nobody slept that night. All sort of reports and rumors were coming and going. The next day We towed the Belknap to an Italian port. One person was not accounted for and they found he where he was doing work on some of his equipment. We all shared our experiences the next day in the ET shop where we worked. Our LPO was a 1st Class P.O. of the ECM rate, his name escapes me now. He was on watch in the forward ECM room in CIC. I mean plenty of equipment including a Reel-to-Reel tape recorder. He immediately started to tape all the traffic coming over the speakers. He said these words “RIGHT FULL RUDDER, RIGHT FULL RUDDER, TURN, TURN,…TOO LATE. Another amazing incident happened when towing the Belknap, a damn Russian ship flanked us along side and was gaulking at us, a little more than the distance of refueling when all of a sudden another ship, I’m thinking Ricketts came out of nowhere like John Wayne right between our ship and the Russian ship. Man, that’s what I’m talking about. We all thought that was very, very righteous.

  6. Vicki (Belknap) Feltenberger says:

    I have never served in the military but I think it is very cool to have a ship named after my family,

  7. Carolyn says:

    I just wanted to stop by and check out the site after watching Counting Cars the episode that they revealed the Memorial bike to the USS Belknap. I also wanted to thank all those who served on the USS Belknap for all you have done in keeping us safe and a special thanks to those who gave their lives.

  8. Walter Ciokajlo EN3 68 - 72 says:

    Looks like your missing page 30 to the westpack cruise book That would be R Division. Also do you have the1971- 1972 Med Cruise book? I have it.

    Wally

  9. Rick Simoneau SMSN 67 - 70 says:

    I made both Westpac cruises great ship, lots of memories. I’d like to know where Joey Mazzio Jon Seavers Haverstrm Smitty , where are these guys?

  10. Justin Bullion says:

    Writing to thank the crew and others as great- and great-great grandson of Reginald Rowan and George Eugene Belknap, respectively.

  11. Carlos W. Gourley says:

    I served aboard the USS Belknap Sept 79 to Sept 84 M-Div Aft Engine Room. Anyone who remembers me i was the one with the squeeky voice.I Retired from the Navy in 1998 MMCS (SW) Wouldl

  12. Bruce Tucker says:

    i would like to say thanks for serving and that i have you all in my prayers. We all are shipmates even though that i am retired from the Navy. May God be with you

  13. Dennis Youland says:

    IT IS MY HONOR TO BE YOUR BATH IRON WORKS TOUR GUIDE. I PERSONALLY HAVE ARRANGED FOR A COUPLE OF SPECIAL MOMENTS FOR THE CREW OF BIW’S BEST BUILT SHIP. I HAVE WORKED FOR BIW FOR MORE THAN 45 YEARS, AND LOOK FOREWARD TO THE TOUR. AND MEETING THE CREW…………DENNIS

  14. David L Ritter says:

    I served aboard the USS Belknap DLG-26 from 1968 to May of 1970. I was a second class Radioman. I have many good memories of my shipmates and the places we got to visit. I hope all my fellow radiomen and signalmen are doing great! Think of you often.

  15. Sandra Harrison says:

    My Mother in law was a Belknap therefore I found this most interesting. The episode on Counting Cars sure brought some warm feelings about the Belknap family. Thanks.

  16. Ken Woodworth says:

    It was an honor to serve on USS BELKNAP (CG 26)

  17. Glen T. Belknap says:

    Thank you for posting information about CG-26. I have wondered who she was named in honor of. I was honored to see our family coat of arms associated with the cruiser.
    Thank you to all of you who served our country aboard the USS Belknap.

  18. Earl Thorpe says:

    Want to say hi to all from our West Pac cruise 67-68 just looked at cruise book brings back a lot of memories still remember good times, remember Hong Kong Mazzio. Wish I could get together with all of you once again. Chief Brenner was a great guy, probably controlling air plane in heaven now. Haven’t talked or emailed any one except Tom Fries since then, he was in Pittsburgh then, probably like many of us retired now. Wish all a great holiday season 2014 and the rest rest of ours lifes.

  19. Terry Ste. Marie USMCR says:

    Saw the program of counts customs what a shock to see the St. Marie name
    on that Bike If anybody has any info please e-mail As We MARINES
    Say Semper Fi to our NAVY Buddys

  20. Frank w Schaefer says:

    I was stationed on the belknap in 1980 to 1983 would like to visit The ship in the summer of 2016 would that be possible

  21. vince bonderczuk says:

    was on the Belknap when it was stationed in gaeta Italy 90-93. best time in my entire career.heres a shout out to all you snipes during that period helluva job to all’

  22. Jim Page says:

    OS2 was on the recommissioning crew in 1980 until may of 1983, have a lot of great memories. A big hello to all I served with.

  23. QM2 Scott Bunting USS Bordelon DD881 says:

    I have a lot of pictures from being tied alongside the Belknap in Sicily November 1975

  24. Melissa Mays says:

    To those who served on the USS Belknap,

    Thank-you for your service and the sacrifices made to protect our beautiful country.

  25. Sandy Schindler says:

    A dear friend of mine worked on the USS Belknap in the 80’s and I am forever thankful for him being a part of my life. I lost touch with him but have never forgotten him and still hold the pictures he gave me of himself and the ship close too many heart. I will always be in aww of those who serve and served for our country.

  26. Kieran Sniadowski says:

    I’m looking for BT2 L Smith, (Lawrence Eugene Smith), who served on the Belknap. He’s shown in the 67-68 cruisebook, if anybody knows how I might reach him, or his family, please contact me.

    • gilhooly@comcast.net says:

      Lawrence Smith is not one of our 1300 association members but one of them may know him and respond to your inquiry.

  27. Ron Leininger says:

    I lost a good friend to cancer. John Sampson served on the USS Belknap from 1969 to 1971.
    John David Sampson, 68, of Jackson Center lost his battle with pancreatic cancer Friday morning, June 5, 2015, at his home.
    He was born in Logan County on April 25, 1947, to the late David Sampson and Anne (Ganson) Sampson-Orr, who survives in Burkburnett, Texas.
    A veteran of the U.S. Navy, John served his country during the Vietnam War. He was a graduate of The Ohio State University where he obtained his Bachelor of Science. He spent many years working in the medical field, both as a perfusionist and in sales. John was a member of the Jackson Center United Methodist Church and the Jackson Center American Legion – Scherer Post 493.

    John is survived by his wife Judy (Ludwig) Sampson, whom he married on July 5, 1968, in Jackson Center. He is also survived by children, Jeffrey (Jennifer) Sampson of Brighton, Michigan, Jennifer (Sean) McCall, of Brighton, Michigan, and Jodi (Monty) Csapo of Greenwood, Indiana; four grandchildren, Kayla, Madison, Mackenzie and Josilyn; and five siblings, Joyce Hardman, Steve Sampson, Gary Sampson, Nancy Howell and Patty Tharp.
    His ship was in port December 16,1969 and was subjected to Agent Orange. I lost a great friend and fellow veteran of Vietnam. John I will see you and all my other brothers on the other side of the wall. To all you others who served in Nam, Welcome Home and Thanks for your service. HONOR RESPECT REMEMBER. Vietnam Vet 1967 and 68.

  28. John Benitez says:

    Was EM1 from 1989 through 1992.

  29. John Benitez says:

    John Benitez Em1 89 – 92

  30. papafour says:

    My name is Ron Leininger. I am a close friend of John David Sampson who passed away June 5th of this year from Pancreatic Cancer and other related complications. John was not tested for Agent Orange, but from all the research I have done, I am sure his sickness was due to exposure to Agent Orange. The USS Belknap is one of the ships on the list. The only date the VA will consider is December 1, 1969. I have talked to our V A Administration and they told me if I could find a shipmate who knew John, was on board with him on that date or was actually off the ship in port with him or was coming back from leave and was tested, treated or saw John do water tests on board ship and would write a letter stating the above information it would be a tremendous help in getting V A benefits for his wife Judy.
    I know you are having a reunion in Branson the end of October. If anyone can help, please contact me be email or cell.
    rleininger@woh.rr.com 937-726-5756.
    Please help me help one of your own.
    Thanks again.
    Ron E. Leininger
    Pleiku Vietnam
    1967-68

  31. Ron Leininger says:

    In my search for someone who knew John Sampson, I received this back from Bob Gilhooly,
    John Sampson was a radioman on the Belknap. He did go on the westpac Vietnam cruise in 69-70. Go to the website and on the main page click on cruise books and select the 69-70 westpac cruise book. IF any of those radiomen on that page knows John Please contact me.
    Thanks,
    Ron Leininger

  32. Ron Leininger says:

    John DD214 says he was a hospital corpsman not a radioman.

  33. Richard A. Northcutt says:

    I served on board the Belknap in the summer of 1984 during a GITMO CRUISE. Unfortunately I was injured and taken off the ship and never returned. I was assigned to the Naval Hospital at GITMO.

  34. BRUCE A GRAINGER says:

    I was an ms on board the the USS BELKNAP CG-26 FROM 1980-1981 I STARTED OUT IN THE CREWS MESS, THEN PROMOTED TO THE WARDROOM,THEN I WAS PROMOTED TO THE CAPTAINS MESS ,I REMEMBER ONCE WHEN CAPTAIN ROSS HATCH FOUND OUT IT WAS MY BIRTHDAY HE HAD A LITTLE CAKE FOR ME SO WE SAT AND TALKED FOR A WHILE AND HAD SOME CAKE. I HAVE FOR YEARS MISSED ALL MY SHIPMATES UNABLE TO FIND OR CONTACT ANY OF THEM. ALSO FORGOT TO MENTION WHEN WE HAD A COOKOUT ON THE FANTAIL ON OUR WAY TO CUBA FOR WAR GAMES.WILL CLOSE TAKE CARE AND SMOOTH SAILING.

  35. bm1(sw) steven babcock says:

    Served in 93 untilled crossdeck to lasalle

  36. Rita Ambrose Cook says:

    *** Ambrose, Bobby

    He is my dad, I’m looking for old shipmates of his. Not sure what years he was on her. I was born in San Juan in 61. Then Virginia. In 64-65 we went to Rota. In 68 we were in Norfolk. In 1970 he was transferred to Cleveland, Oh.
    We now live close to Nashville. If you remember him email me with Belnab for subject line.

    Thanks, Rita

  37. Jon Nelson OSCS(SW) Ret says:

    An old shipmate of mine, we made Chief togather at Damn Neck, Roy Hamilton, “Hambone”. He was stationed on the USS Belknap when the accident took place. Have not seen Ham for years, good man.

  38. George Fitzgerald says:

    I was wondering for those of you who made either WEASPAC cruise do you have health problems, also for those of you who served on the Belknap, do you have Mesothelioma?

    • gilhooly@comcast.net says:

      One shipmate has been diagnosed with multiple melanoma and awarded a 100% disability after a long and hard fight. He is urging all shipmates who were on the westpac cruise to get tested for agent orange. I am not aware of any cases of mesothelioma caused by asbestos.

  39. George Fitzgerald says:

    There is in todays Virginian Pilot A article Burden Of proof Falls on sick Vets. Go online to Virginian Pilot. Please pass it on. How did he prove that he got melanoma in Nam? How many of us are left from the Nam cruise?