Our Town Hall Meeting, for ALL USS Duluth Shipmates and deployed Marines, was held on Saturday, November 7, 2020.

The main topic of the meeting will be the location of the 2021 Reunion. The current coronavirus pandemic has reluctantly forced us to postpone the Reunion from next October, 2021 for approximately 6 months, to the spring of 2022.

There are three main reasons for the postponement:

1. The Coronavirus is hitting the older population in the country, especially those who are in a high-risk category (i.e. – medical issues) which many of us are in.

2. A vaccine might not be available prior to our reunion that is effective. We do not want to expose our members to an unnecessary risk without a vaccine that works.

3. We do not know what businesses in Mobile will still be operating in October 2021 or even Spring 2022. We have to sign contracts with hotels and other supporting businesses prior to our reunion, and we want to make sure that if we place a deposit the business will still be in operation.

Eric Daily and John Adams have been working on getting information for us, but we are only in a window of time that we are still uncertain about specific pricing and availability of services. They area’s weather is also a consideration. In October the temperature is 80 daytime and 58 nighttime. March is 72 – 50. April is 78 – 56. Plus October is in hurricane season, and this year Mobile was hit twice. We will wait until early next year to come up with dates for the Spring of 2022.

We also discussed our recent Website Conversion – Don Rowe and Dave Watson recently converted our website on Google from an older classic version to a new layout type. Google told us earlier this year that we needed to convert over to their new websites. Since our website if free on Google we had no choice to convert since they were deleting all older classic sites. The conversion went pretty well, but we did experience the site being down for about 12 hours. But it is now up and running. If anyone experiences any difficulty in using our website we ask them to contact us of their problem.

Secretary Update – Dave Watson has had to step down as Secretary for the Association, but Dave recommended Norm Malkowski take over. Norm graciously agreed to step in and take over the position. Norm and Dave are working together to complete a smooth transition of duties and information.

Battle Ensign – A question was raised about our Battle Ensign. Don Rowe gave us a brief history of Battle Ensign’s which was greatly received. He also said that in a group telephone conference call with the Deputy to the Undersecretary of the Navy that if they wanted we would provide our Battle Ensign for the Commissioning Ceremony of the USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul (LCS-21) in May 2021. We have not heard back if this is something the Navy or the ship are interested in. The ensign is currently in Duluth.

Naming another USS Duluth The subject of naming another LPD to USs Duluth came up and Don Rowe informed us that we are known around the Pentagon as a group interested in the naming of another ship USS Duluth, and specifically a new LPD. LPD-31 funding has been authorized by Congress and Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Mississippi will be building the ship. We want that ship to be named after Duluth and the Navy is fully aware of our desire for this to happen. The current Secretary of the Navy has not yet made a decision on what that ships name will be. But our presence is known, and our desires are also known. We are in a wait and see mode at the moment.

A you can see, we had a somewhat depressing message about the Reunion, and yet a very productive meeting. The turnout was low, but it is important that we get the information out to the crew. Please help us by joining in on our Town Hall meetings.