Historical Reunion, Help Needed – Decommissioned US Naval Base in Barbados

NavFac-InsigniaMy name is Jamal Haynes, I’m a Fire Officer here in Barbados and also part of the Reunion Committee for the decommissioned US Naval Base in Barbados. The base was built by the Construction Battalions (Seabees) of the United States Navy at Harrison’s Point, St. Lucy.

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Naval Facility Barbados was commissioned 1 October 1957. One of the many underwater listening stations that were part of the Sound Surveillance System (SOSUS) which were used to track Soviet submarines and was decommissioned on 31 March 1979.

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The Officers and personnel stationed there have a great love and fond memories of the island, even though most have not returned since their tour of duty was over. As you can imagine, most are well into retirement and would love to return to Barbados.

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A reunion has been scheduled for early June 2011 and The Barbados Beach Club has offered a great rate for the group to stay there. Among the activities planned; A tour back to the Naval Base and by request, a BBQ with location to be determined.

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With the help of Retired Officers, facebook.com, MCB7 naval newsletter and an online blog, we have been making contact to get the word out about the reunion. Now for the part where your help is needed. There was also local civilian personnel at the base that we would like to get in contact with, to let them know of the reunion and also to keep them up-to-date.

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For more information, feel free to contact me. Thank you in advance for taking the time to read this email and for all help rendered.

Regards
Jamal Haynes
NavFac Barbados Reunion Committee

29 Responses

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  1. I was contacted by Chuck & Laura Farmer, Lt Farmer was XO during my tour of duty at Barbados from Jan 70 to Jul 73

    I was the Teletype and Crypto repairman during my tour there.

    I would love to attend a reunion in Barbados next year. What can I do to help.

    The Co’s name during most of my stay there was Cdr Martin. I understand he lives near Jacksonville, Fl

    Let me know how I can help.

  2. I sent on your info to Mr Haynes who’s organising the celebration, he should be in touch shortly.

  3. Greetings John,

    http://www.military.com
    ” ANNOUNCING REUNION OF ALL PERSONNEL AND DEPENDENTS STATIONED AT THE US NAVAL FACILITY, BARBADOS 1957 – 1979. THE REUNION WILL TAKE PLACE IN BARBADOS 2 – 8 JUNE 2011. VISIT THE “NAVFAC BARBADOS REUNION” SITE ON FACEBOOK.COM FOR MOST CURRENT DETAILS.”

    please follow link, http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=310630185646&ref=ts

  4. I lived in Barbados from 1963-1965 when my dad was stationed at the Naval Facility as a corpsman. His name was Stephen “Dutch” Leonard. Not sure I remember many of the families that were stationed there when we were but maybe some of you recall him. I am thinking about this reuninion and looking for more information. Thanks.

    Karl

  5. My husband, Richard R. Gagnon, RMCS, was stationed on NAVFAC in Barbados from 1967 – 1969. It was by far our best duty station. Our boys, Mike and Martin Gagnon, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Would love to communicate with some of our friends from that time. Richard passed away in 1996, but Barbados will always be very special to us.

  6. MCB7 1955 1958

  7. To Joan Gagnon Blanchard; I was stationed there in 1968-69 as a PC and worked with Larry Roe and Doug Philips. I remember your husband Richard. I still keep in touch with and see Tony Scandiffio (who ran the club) and Richard Veit(who was an RM). Have great memories of my time in Barbados. One of my favorite characters there was Chief Miller who was one hell of a funny guy. Sorry to hear of Richards passing. I live in Manhattan and recently retired. Please let me know if you have been in touch with any other people who served there in that time period.
    All the best, John

  8. I was stationed there from January of 67 to September of 68. Worked in the power station standing watch on the 5 diesel genereator sets. 3 Cats and 2 Whites. I was 21 years old and had a great time there.

  9. my name is Martin Turner, and i was stationed there with MCB 7 c-company in 1957 I am currently trying to search for other people who were there then. and am trying to find out what defoliant was used to knock down the vegetation to clear the land for the construction site. I Have come down Type 2 sugar diabetes which could possibly be related to the defoliant chemical that was used. I’ve got a lot of pleasant memories from that beautiful Island, and also the great snorkeling i use to do off the point and the longusta (rock lobster) we used to catch, Mmmm! They were good.

  10. My name is Howard Lucas. I was stationed at NavFac Barbadosm Sonarman Oceanographer 3rd class with Pro Pay, 1958-1960, played on the basketball team coached by Ens. Anthony Taratino. My sea daddy was Juggeroo Conners. Many fine memories and lots of stories. A great adventure for a 19-20 year old lad.

  11. MY NAME IS SAMMY FRANK. SOG3, WAS THERE FROM 1962 TILL JUNE 1964. OLDEST SON WAS BORN AT MRE STOUTS MID WIFE HOME. MANY FOND MEMORIES. LIVED IN THE NIGHTMARE BEACH HOUSE, AND GROUTON VIEW.. ALSO RENTED AN ENGLISH FLAT FROM THE TUCKERS, AND THE CO, CMDR MCPHERSON LIVED DOWN THEM STREET. PLAYED ON ALL STAR FAST PITCH SOFTBALL TEAM IN TOURNAMENT IN PUERTO RICO IN 63 AND 64.

  12. Another reunion is being planned for the first quarter of 2014, email me for more information.

    navfacbarbados@live.com

  13. I was there 1978 2 yr tour but only had 1 yr do to the closer of it had a great time the best tour I did in the navy was called pizza joe made 3rd class did not get passed that 3 rd class I was messed about at times in the navy was cheated out my pention too o well the times were good there its good to see the web page and see the things and did the things as the rest did merry x mass and new yr to all the navfac and ot and c b eetc.

  14. My name is Jeri Shufelt, (Garza, Anderson). I was SK2 from 1977-decomissioning in 1979. I joined in the last reunion in 2010, and must say, anyone who is thinking about going: PLAN ON JOINING US. We had a terrific time. It felt like returning home. So much has changed, yet the people and the feeling are still the same. Jamal is an excellent host/guide/friend. Please, seriously think about joining us.

  15. I served with LT FARMER and CAPT MARTIN as their YEOMAN. Also worked with two fine civilian ladies while running the post office and other admin duties. I also am the designer of the current flying fish NAVFAC Barbados emblem. When I left Barbados, I came back to the states and got married and proceeded to Saigon, Vietnam and worked with MACV. Became one of the first 250 Legalmen in the NAVY. Barbados was my best duty station ever and I left a lot of friends and memories there.

  16. I received my orders to be assigned to “NavFac Barbados” after being stationed at Naval District Washington as the District Special Services Officer for two years. I went through the required school in Key West and received my “sponsor package”. To those of you who don’t know…….a sponsor is your contact at your new facility to help things such as being picked up when you arrive at the airport, providing information about the base and housing. I think it would be fair to say that “maybe”, my assigned sponsor (officer at NavFac Barbados)knew of my pending arrival and chose not to provide the assistance that sponsors normally do.
    I was fortunate enough to have met a “local” when I arrived at Sandridge Apt Hotel who was nice enough to give me a ride to the naval base to report for duty. I still have unpleasant memories of how the other officers at NavFac Barbados made me feel sooooooooooo unwelcomed at the facility and the beautiful island of Barbados. To those officer (1975-1977)I am sorry that you did not allow yourselves to know me…because of the color of my skin.

  17. I would be interested in information about the reunion in 2014. I was stationed in Barbados in 1964-1965 as a radioman.

  18. My name is Bob Wilson. I was stationed there from Nov 67 – Sep 69. I was a Sonarman and worked out of the “T” building. I was also in a rock band called the Table of Contents along with Bill Bradley, Preston Courtney, Bill Enis and the drummer’s last name was Williams. We played for several base parties as well as opened for the Merrymen on several occasions. Chief Gagnon was our “band manager”. I would like to know if you have any information on the former band members or if any have attended a re-union. One of our CO’s was Commander Hacker. I was there with my wife Madelyn and our daughter Coleen was born there.

  19. I will not be able to attend the reunion next month, but would love to hear from old friends. I was stationed there from November 1976 until June 1978 as an OT. Lovely Island – great time!!

  20. I was stationed at NAVFAC Barbados from Jan78-Mar79 as an OT. Helped to pack the base up but left shortly before it was decommissioned. Returned to the island May 93, brought back many good memories. Met alot of great people during my tour there. Sad to see the condition of the base now.

  21. I WAS STATIONED AT THE U.S. NAVAL BASE IN 1963-1965 AS CHIEF HOSPITAL CORPSMAN ( AND FOR A WHILE ALSO CHIEF MASTER AT ARMS) ALONG WITH MY FAMILY I LOVED THE DUTY. (NAMED THE CLUB….”RATSKELLAR”} HAVE MANY FOND MEMORIES OF MY TIME IN BARBADOS. SADLY, I HAVE LOST CONTACTS WITH THE MANY FRIENDS I HAD WHILE STATIONED THERE. THIS I REGRET, BUT NOT THE MEMORIES.

  22. I was an OT2 when I left there, stationed from 1975 to 78. Lived at Bleak House along with Scott Gammon and Carl Damuth. Also at another house in St Lucy with Jim Arnold. Friends with a SeaBee Tom (Leroy) Price and his wife Mary Jane who where stationed there too. I loved my tour of duty there, such great memories. Went back to see the base in 1992, could not believe the condition it was in. Would love to come back again though, and see the beautiful island.

  23. This is Ann Harding, i lived in Barbados from 1964-1970 and was requesting infromation about Thomas Sitone, Tom Able, and Edward Wagner, all 3 were stationed there since i was there. Any infromation would be helpful, reply back here or my email soapykoolaid@gmail.com

  24. Greetings to you, i’m only now reading about this reunion at the Naval base in St. Lucy Barbados. my uncle was stationed there from 1968 to 1972. I was very young then but he told me lots of great stories about everything that went on at the base without compromising any secrets of course. His name was Harold Chandler but i;m not sure what rank he held here but I later heard that he was a Commanding Officer aboard the USS Franklin Roosevelt.
    please contact me if it’s not too late and I’ll be glad to share lots of great stories with you.

  25. My name is Tom Gallagher. I was a storekeeper 2nd class in Barbados from May 1970 to Aug 1972. I am pretty sure I remember a Chief Petty officer named Harold Chandler.

  26. I landed at the base after rowing the atlantic with my cousin Don. The folks were very good to us. I particularly remember al and kay past, ron reil,jack peeples, don alderman, jack kinnamon, jerry O’Connor. we landed march 26th 1971. I would like to thank all those kind people for looking after us.are any of them still around ?

  27. Hi, my name is Joseph Dixon and I was a RM when I came to Barbados in 1977. Picked up by two guys, one in an orange Chevy Vega and all i recall was ones name being David Crocket who was a CB.
    I became fast friends with Smitty, Pizza Joe Marsiglia who came to the island after me. So many great times there on the island and I haven’t been back since I left in 1979. I’ve sent a message to Tony Sackreiter who was there with us but I long to reconnect with all those who where there.
    I can be reached on Facebook under my name and (chozn4service)

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