5 June 2009
Hi Paul,

Thank you for your kind and sensitive response. Yes I do remember speaking with you a few years ago. I know my dad spent some time stationed on one of the 5 inch mounts as a mount captain as I know you did. I recall him saying 
that he also was on a 40mm and in one of the lower handling rooms for the 5 inch guns.

I remember him telling me the story of the surface action you all had one night and many other combat experiences that you shared. I brought him to the
Nimitz Pacific War Museum in Fredericksburg Texas about 6 years ago where
he gave an oral history to the museum regarding his experiences on the
Oakland. Subsequent to his transfer from the Oakland he also served aboard
the USS Benner (DD807) in the Pacific during 1945 as a GM1c.

I was always proud of my dad but never so much as I am today. Tom Brokaw refers to your generation as "The Greatest Generation" and I think him correct on this. I admire you all as true heroes and patriots. I thank you again for your outstanding service to our country and to the extraordinary job you have done with this Web site. I pray that your good work continues as I visit your sites from time to time and am always moved by what I see and read. It brings me a sense of warmth and peace.

You are a wonderful man and I consider it an honor to converse with you. I hope you are in good health and that you have many more years in your endeavors.

Best regards to you and your family.



This young man was the first to contact me as a relative of a crew member.

5 November 1996
Dear Paul

I'm not sure you know how wonderful your page is, and how much it has meant  to my father. Through your page, he was able to contact his two best friends in  the Navy, and they've been talking nonstop ever since. They had lost hope of
ever talking to each other ever again, and through your wonderful work, they've  been reunited. You have truly done something wonderful here.My father sends
his most heartfelt thanks to you. I'd like to thank you also for completing your  web page of Oakland. I've been going through her history, and a whole new  understand of what my father experienced, indeed, what the Navy experienced  during WWII. You are now a historian, and your work will be referenced by  people for years to come. God Bless you, keep up the good work. Thanks you  again, Paul.

Sincerely, Beau Allen Pacheco

April 1997

Dear Paul,

I visited the page again today, and again, I'm so impressed with what you have  done here. You have made history come alive for me. The history of the war, the  history of my father, and in a way, a history of where I came from. I would never  have had the chance to see any of this were it not for your sterling efforts. God  and your work.

Most sincerely, Beau Pacheco

Dear Mr. Henriott,

Just wanted to let you know my father (Frederick R. Kirschman) is now deceased  (1984) for your roster update. He never talked much about the time he spent in  the Navy during WWII. I wish he would have. I would be very interested now.  Your web site has a lot of interesting information about the USS Oakland. It was  an emotional (and proud) moment for me to see his name on the roster. I'm
sure he would have been thrilled at seeing the web site.

I finally got the chance to spend some time and view the complete home page. An excellent job and an outstanding tribute to a proud ship and the men who sailed
and fought on her. Thank you again. My only hope is that one of my father's shipmates remembers him and can fill us in on what happened during that time period. I also wonder when he left the Oakland. I know he was discharged in
1946. Again thanks.

William Kirschman


I see you have won a few more awards since I last looked at the Home Page (my  favorite one). Its really a work of art. I just showed the page to David (8), Daniel  (6) and Lisa (4), his grandchildren. It is a shame that he could not see them ( I
was a late starter) but wonderful that they can see him on the computer. Thanks  again Paul. I only wish that they had someone to do the same for the Perkins  (DD  377). Will write again from time to time and maybe contact your nephew at  the Academy. If you ever come down this way stop by. It would be a real  pleasure to meet you.


Dear Mr. Henriott:

Your page on the USS OAKLAND is truly outstanding. Your hard work and  dedication to detail are evident and greatly appreciated. My father-in-law, Louis  L.  FAIVRE, served aboard OAKLAND in 1944 and '45 and possibly as far back  as 1943. He was an RM; RM3rd, I believe. I noticed that his name is missing
from you decklog and wonder if you would be so kind to add it? I'll confirm the  3rd class and dates in the near future. Thank you again for all the time you are  devoting to keeping our history alive and personal!


Max West

Hi Paul,

Have been through all of the web as of 11-21-96. It is outstanding I was able to
go to each year and review the time that I went aboard and the place that we
went with the wife, she could not believe the amount of time that you have spent  in putting it all together. I have some buddies that were on other ships with the  Com-Des Fleet when we were around Guam, and they are enjoying the web.
Also a couple Marines that were in China when were there. A lot of good will  come out. You must be proud. I am going to review my albums for a couple of  shots maybe could be used. I will continue to search as I know you will be adding  more. Have a good Day.

Alfred M Greenway

Thanks for your Web Page!

My daughter in Berkeley,CA. came upon your web page and "sicced" me on to it.  I am really not cyber safe. I enjoyed the page and the memories that it brought  back. I was the Chaplain who joined the ship mid-year of 1946. Most memorable  event was the time spent in Shanghai and Tsingtoa. I had never seen notice of an  OAKLAND reunion until this past year. My wife and I went to Reunion XIII and  enjoyed the time spent with shipmates. Most of those in attendance were war
time or even "plank-owner" shipmates, but there were a few who were aboard in  my time. Commander Rohde was most kind in his introduction of what to expect  in Denver. I have had a number of communications from him before and after the  reunion. That gathering was the impetus for me to contact some of those whose  addresses were available to me and to share with Robert Radcliffe, Capt, CHC,  USN, (Ret.) who had been a lifetime associate and we had never discussed our  times on the OAKLAND.

I stayed in the Navy, retiring in 1972, after 27 years, the last seven of them with  the Marines. I appreciated your Web page and am grateful my daughter brought it  to my attention.

Captain George L. Martin, CHC,USN (Ret.)

Dear Paul,

A great web sight. It bring's back a lot of memories for me. My second cousin  Orville Hanson was a crew member, and a plank owner of the Oakland. Many  times we talked on the phone about is war stories. He also sent me many pictures  of the oakland along with the battle history of "his" ship. I would always look  forward to his visits back here in Minnesota. He always had another story to tell.
I will pass your sight info on to my collector friends. I collect WW2 memorbelia.

Neil Hansen

I just wanted to say thank you again. My grandfather really enjoyed your sight
and I enjoyed reading it with him. We were both very impressed with the work  and quality that is evident in your sight. Thank you again.

Shawn A. Gauthier Grandson of S1C Arthur Gauthier

Dear Mr.Henriott,

Thank you for your nice letter! And thanks for all the work you've put in on the  web pages -- I know they mean a lot to my father, and I'm sure they mean a lot
to other retirees, too. I especially appreciated the page on the Oakland, since 
after I read it I was able to (sort of intelligently) discuss the Oakland with my

dad,  and heard stories that I had never heard before! If it hadn't been for the web  site, I would have missed out on a lot of family history. The last time they visited  here, we went to see the model of the Oakland that's in the Port Authority, went  out and looked at the mast that's in Jack London Square, and then turned around  and (almost literally) stumbled over the anchor of the Orilkany, the ship my dad was on when I was born.

I can't imagine how you find the time to keep all those web pages up to date, but  thank you sincerely for all the effort you've put into them.

Mary Martin Rivas (daughter of Captain Martin)

Dear Paul

Good gosh, you are something else. I go to your web site almost every day and  there Is something new nearly time I bring it up. I am sorry that more living men  of the Oakland dont have computers and are on line the merry christmas pages
are Beautiful and the music is great. Do you have the e-mail addresses of some of
the one That are on line I wish I knew one tenth as much about computers you
do. Keep up the Good work. God bless.


Dear Paul

It has been a while. I spend a lot of time on the oakland web site. I have several  friends on the net (not shipmates) and I sent them the web site address of the  Oakland. They all think it is beautiful. They all love the music. I am now in touch  with Bob Cole. Paul, keep up the good work. God bless.


Hello Mr.Henriott,

You have put together such a wonderful web page. It is informative, easy to read,  moving, and entertaining. Thank you so much for bringing your past to life for  me. My uncle, John Warren Waldron, served on the Oakland from November  through Bremerton. I think he was a cook and loaded ammo of some kind. I've  done some researching into my family genealogy, but I can't seem to shake uncle  John. I never knew him. He died at age 27 in 1953 when my mother was still a  small girl. No one talked about him much, except to say he was a really nice guy.
I guess I'm hooked now because I've spent the last year trying to find out as
much as possible about a shy but good student, who quit high school a month  before graduation, joined the Navy, served his country on the Oakland, worked  as a cook after the war and died with no one able to describe him. The Oakland  home page has really helped me get a feel for his time at sea. Especially your  narratives and humor section. I've spoken with a few of John's shipmates, no one  remembers him. I live in Virginia and I've been to the National Archives.
I recently sent copes of several of the Oakland's official war diaries to Tony  Casseaux. Still, I don't know if my Grandma's memory that he was a cook, etc..,  is correct. Do you Know or do you kow of anyone who might know which  division John was in, what his duties were, which shipmates he would have  worked along side of, etc.? I would greatly appreciate any help you could give  me. This means a lot to me. I can be contacted at (703) 924-1760 or or

Brenda Pressnall 6230 Walkers croft Way Alexandria, Va 22315

My father RL COle was on the USS Oakland during WW II. I met the admiral  when I was 13 living in Sherman, Texas in 1961. We attended the same church. I  remember my father telling my brother that the next time he mets an admiral, he'll  be saluting. My brother enlisted in the navy at age 18 and retired February the  year his ship the USS Wisconsin went to the Persian Gulf. What a wonder home  page. Dad really is enjoying it and communicating his shipmates.

Donna Cole

Dear Paul,

I don't remember if you were at the Gloucester Ma. reunion or not, but anyway, I  suggested that it would be nice, and appropriate, if the members authorized the
ordering of a Memorial Plaque for Admiral Phillips Crypt at the Mausoleum in  Sherman, Texas where he is entombed. The expenditure was authorized at the  Nashville meeting, but I did not find out about it until some time later.

When I did find out that the expenditure had been approved, I made  arrangements  for a Monument Company in the Sherman, Texas area to order a  Bronze Plaque and mount it on his Crypt.

The task was completed just before Memorial day last year and I have been since  then trying to get a suitable photo for a permanent record. The task has been  completed and am enclosing a copy of the photo. Thought you might possibily be  able to make room for it on your USS Oakland net.

Have also enclosed a photo of the Mausoleum where he is emtombed. The  Mausoleum looks nice from the outside, but it is very cold, dark and dreary on
the inside, almost like a dungeon.

I had the good fortune to become acquainted with the Admiral in civilian life. I
had a Geophysical crew in Sherman in the early 60's and saw the Admiral  frequently. I was there a good part of a year. My family would see and visit with  him nearly every Sunday in church as he was a member of the Episcopal church  in Sherman where we attended. He was a fine man and well thought of resident
of Sherman. Our son almost worshipped him, and he may have been enfluential
in our son making a career of the Navy. Our son is a retired Chief Damage  Control  officer, now living in Pascagoualla, Mississippi. The reason for  Mississippi, he  came back from Hawaii to help recommission the USS  Wisconsin,He liked the  area so well that when he retired, he decided to stay
there. He is now serving as  the Engineer on-board one of the Off-Shore supply  boats that services the  Off-shore drilling rigs and Platforms in the Gulf Coast
area. On duty 28 days and  off 14. Much better duty than in the Navy.

If we can be of any assistance, more photos, or what-ever, please let me know, I  plan on bringing the negatives to Arizona, in case someone wants a copy.

God Bless and take care.

Yours truly,

Robert L. Cole

Dear Paul,

I'm John LaFalce from Mesa, Arizona. Since I am totally computer illiterate, this  is being E-mailed to you by my daughter Diane Wells.

Two incredible things happened to me today.

1. I got a call from Dave Rohde about Don and Reggie. He called me just before I  left my house to go to my daughter's house for a visit. I brought with me all of the  information you had sent to me last December about the Internet, not knowing  (and with great amazement) I was going to see the E-mail Dave sent you giving  the very same information about the auto accident.
2. It is inconceivable that anyone, even with help, could have given such a  voluminous amount of information about the Oakland and the detailed accounts  of  the war as you have done. I commend you for such an incredible  accomplishment.

I'll be keeping in touch with Don and Reggie. We're hopeful that  they will indeed  be well soon again and will be able to be with us at our reunion in October.

Many thanks to you for all the hours you have spent on behalf of the USS  Oakland.


John LaFalce

Hi! My name's Donna, and my dad served on the Oakland during WWII. With all  the concern over Iraq, my husband and I have been fielding lots of questions
from our 10-year-old son about wars. One thing led to another, and before I

knew it, we had gotten the picture of the Oakland out and started trying to  decipher the ribbons and stars at the bottom of the photograph. I'm afraid I  couldn't tell him much, since my dad died in 1989, and he I never really discussed  his War experiences much. I think I remember him saying the crew was involved  in several major battles. Anyway, his name was Bill Hoare (his grandson is named  Billy, of course), and he was a water tender 2nd class. I'd really appreciate any  help you could give me with more information. The links to sites listed aren't  coming up on my server. I don't know if the server is temporarily down (I'll keep  trying), but I'd also really enjoy hearing from anyone from the crew. Thanks!

Dear Mr.Henriott,

Hooray! The server was temporarily down. Today I spend a couple of hours  reading the pages, and I'm nowhere near done! What a tremendous work you've  created! I can't thank you enough for giving me answers to questions I've had for  years.

Also, not only is your site one to be appreciated by those who have a direct link
to the history of the Oakland...I plan to see if our history teachers would be  interested in using it as part of our WWII curriculum. (I'm a librarian in our local  high school.) Thank you again, and if you do run into anyone who personally  knew my dad, I'd very much appreciate it if they'd E- Mail me.

Bless you! Donna Leet (daughter of Bill Hoare, WT2c)

Paul,thank you so much for the gift of your time. It's obvious that you have  brought a lot of pleasure to some former crewmembers and their families (mine  included). My father, BMCM Lou Sackman, would have loved it. His service on  board the OAKLAND was a very important highlight in his life, and although he  did not speak often of military action (loose lips sink ships), he did speak fondly
of the comraderie he enjoyed. May the good will and happiness you have brought  to others be returned to you in full. Thanks.

Cheryl Sackman Cullison

Sun,12 Apr 1998

HAPPY EASTER God bless you and all the men who served on the  U.S.S.OAKLAND. May we never forget those who gave their lives, their
families, and those who have proceeded us to the great beyond. Thank you for  providing former crew members with such a great service.

Adrian W. Smith

12 Jun 1998

CWO Henriott,

Your website is absolutely incredible. It really is a completely heart driven
patriotic effort. EXCELLENT EXCELLENT EXCELLENT. Everything, from  the campaign pages to the memorial for the Marine COL. (I remembered the God  awful story from Time magazine when it happened). I have visited the site three  times now and I will sign the guest book! Thanks for a wonderful tribute to those  who served with honor, integrity, guts and patriotism. Thank you for the MIA  memorials also.


Mark Crawford

Feb 27, 1998

MR. Henriott,

I feel like a fool!! you have done a great job on your website!! I wish I would of  have reviewed it further before sending my initial E-Mail. I was so excited to see  something about the ship my father served on. My father is still alive and doing  well. During his tour of duty, I am not sure exactly what he did but I do
remember he played in a band on board the ship -specifically a drummer!  He has
a picture of himself and a band playing while others watch. If I come across it, I  will scan and forward to you. 

If you could tell me where to find additional lists of crew so I could print it out
and show him his name in print, I would greatly appreciate it!! If his name is not  listed, I can forward correct information to you for the records.

Best Regards,

Thomas A Cerreto 

Wed, 24 Jun 1998

Dear Sir,

Unfortunately, my father passed away on 5/1/98 due to complications from open  heart surgery. It was a complete shocker to everyone involved. Prior to his  passing, I did show him some of the items from your website. He was very  impressed and was going to take the pictures and descriptions of the ship to some  of his military buddies that he used to have breakfast with once a month.
However, I dont think he ever was able to do it.

He did tell me he was on board from 46-49. He was a Yeoman 1st class rank and  he certainly loved the Oakland. The band he played in was a swing band. He was  a drummer and continued playing up until his passing. He played with the John  Kenndy orchestra out of Bucyrus Ohio for over 25 years. He was quite the  showman!

I know he appreciated seeing the pictures and descriptions from the ship. You  brought back some very good memories for him and I know he was impressed. I  appreciated reading some history about the vessel he was on. It was very  interesting seeing and reading about the ship he was on during those navy years.

Thanks for doing what you have done. I hope you continue bringing joy to some  of those old sailors out there. Sorry it took so long for me to respond.

Best Regards and God speed.

Tom Cerreto 

Mon, 23 Nov 1998

Dear Paul,

We were telling some of our family about the USS Oakland and we decided to  give them all the web site. We went to it first because we hadn't been to it in quite  a while and we were just overwhelmed with the audio and color. It is truly a
fitting tribute to not only the ship but to all the men who served on her and thank  you for the time and expertise you put into it. We see that this is new so we just  wanted to encourage you.

Your shipmate, Jack Rager and Jane

Sun 1-3-99

My father Donald Pissini served on the USS Oakland in the 3rd division--40mm  Gun Division from 1943 through 1946. I thought I'd see if I could find any
history of the Ship on the internet and did I ever find some. My father is visiting  from Florida--I live in Columbus, OH. I am in the process of printing almost the  entire site for him. He is not too adept at running the PC. He is interested in  attending the Year 2000 reunion in Orlando. You can e-mail me with any more  information or send it directly to him at 2984 SAVANNAH WAY #205,  MELBOURNE, FL 32935. THIS IS ONE OF THE most complete websites I  have visited. My father and I thank you for your effort in setting up and updating  this site.


Dan and Donald Pissini 

Dear Sir,

I am writing to thank you for this site on the USS Oakland. I have been looking  for information on my father, Owen J. Killoran served on the Oakland from it's  commisioning until his honorable discharge in October of 1945. He passed away 6  months before I was born, so the only information I have on him has been passed  down from my family. My mother passed away this last September, so finding  your site is a great addition to my heritage. If anyone has any additional  information or pictures of my dad during his tour it would be greatly appreciated.
I can be reached at my email address, or my mailing address is: Owen K.
Killoran,  6248 Matthew Circle, Burlington, Kentucky 41005

Thanks again,

Owen Killoran

Dear Sir,

Your website is a real God send to my brothers, sisters and myself, we have been  searching for information on the Oakland for some time now, that search has  intensified with the passing of our mother this last September, not much was  known about our Dad and his time in the service, not even to her, He passed
away in 1952 when we were very small children. We are the children of Owen J.  (Pete) Killoran, apparently a plank owner and served on the Oakland from 1943  through 1945. We just recently found the ships itinery and mapped it out on a
map of the south Pacific, also we correlated the time line of the Oakland to 40  some odd letters he wrote to his cousin Skippy from 1942 through 1945, which  she just recently delivered the originals to us. Amazing to see a young North  Dakota farm boy turn into a man through his writings. I quess we're interested in  obtaining a complete ship's roster, and any information on shipmates that knew  him and are still with us, especially in our geographical area, Eastern North
Dakota (Buffalo, Arthur, Fingal & Fargo). Any info you could provide would be  greatly appreciated. I just spent several hours on your site and no doubtedly will  spend several more.

Thank You!!

Mike Killoran P.O. Box 203 Arthur, ND 58006-0098


I can't tell you how happy I was when I located your website for the Oakland.
My father Stephen J Sandwell served aboard her throughout the war. I have  always been interested in that time of his life, and what he and all the othervets
did for this country. He never talked much about the war even when I persisted  with questions as every little kid does. I'm so proud of what he and the other  sailors and soldiers did in that war. Dad died in 1980. Since then I have been  longing to meet or talk with some of his buddies on the Oakland to offer my  thanks and gratitude to them for what they did in the war. It is something I never  really expressed to my father and I feel I owe it to him to acknowledge what his  generation did for America and the world. What better way than to reminisce with  his buddies and thank them for their contributions.

What he served with. I have names but addresses that are 50years old. As part of  your research, were you able to obtain current addressees? If so, how can I
access them. Is there a link from your site, or do you have a source that I can

Again I thank you for developing the web site, and I'm sure I will be a frequent  visitor.

Bill Sandal

October 08, 2000

Dear Mr.Surbeck...I amsorry that I am emailing you so close to the reunion, but I  had put your note away for "safekeeping" and just recently found it. I am Wilmer  Wolf's(Ensign, I believe his rank was) daughter and I thought that you might like
a note that you could pass along to the other ship members concerning my father.  He died in August 1961 of a massive heart attack - his first and only one. He was  mother and myself in Allentown, Pennsylvania, where we were visiting with my  grandfather. My dad stopped to change a flat tire and had the attack while doing  so on Interstate 83 in Maryland. I was only 8 at the time, so I don't have a lot of  memories of him. Unfortunately, I was never able to talk with him about his  service in WWII. I remember his taking me to the cemetery in Allentown, Pa.  were he is now buried and he showed me the rows and rows of flags that were
for soldiers who had died in WWII. But that is all I ever remember his telling me about.I know a little from my mom - who is 85 and still living in Baltimore (where you sent the reunion notice). I have a book on the USS Oakland, apparently from a celebration day that the city of Oakland had for the ship. I believe I remember my mom talking about my father having been a communications officer?....I do know there is a picture of the guys crossing the equator, I believe, and my dad
has his head shaved. Was that some sort of ceremony? After the war, he stayed
in the Navy in the reserves; went to law school and was still in the reserves when  he died. He was working for Social Security at the time of his death. I was  wondering if you might pass along my email address and my  mailing address:
Mary Ann Roesler
597 Brightwood Road
Millersville, Maryland 21108
so that if anyone remembers my dad and might know any info about his wartime  service or any stories about him, that they might take a moment and write to me.
I would love to hear any info,as I was so young when he died and there are so  many things that I wish that I could have asked him. Plus I know so little of my  dad and I would love to hear from any of the guys  I have always wanted to
know what it was like to have served in the Pacific Fleet. Was the Oakland in  much combat? Where was it in combat?....Whatever happened to the ship?  I  would like to be able to tell my children about him. Unfortunately, both of their  grandfathers had died before they were born and they do ask about them. I truly  hope that someone attending the reunion might remember my dad and be able to  help fill in some of the blanks. Thank you so much for your time and your having  sent the letter to my mom's address. I wish you all awonderful reunion and I hope  it finds you all in good health. Thank you for passing along my request.

Yours truly,

Mary Ann Wolf Roesler

This Web Page was created by and
is maintained by Paul D. Henriott
Last updated 30 March 2005