Monthly Archives: June 2013

In Memory: John Cole, Author and Publisher of the Calversion

A very sad post tonight, and over a month late (as I just received the news), in reference to the passing of John Cole on May 17th, 2013. By John’s efforts over the past 30+ years he built a community of 700+ people around the USS Calvert through his newsletters the Calversion and his work in organizing and running annual reunions across the United States. He will be missed by shipmates, former crew members, and family members of the men who served on the Calvert.

John typed each individual Calversion using his trusty typewriter and in-fact had purchased a new machine just last year to keep up his work. His use of a computer was limited to visits to his local library.

Here are a few recent articles regarding John’s great work for his community of Kenyon MN and his work in other avenues during his life:

John will be missed by so many people.


Exercise Backpack – WEST PAC ’64

In early 1964 (late-Feb into early-March) the Calvert participated in Exercise Backpack. Thanks to Charlie V. who commented on an earlier post (here) which shed light on the Calvert’s participation in this exercise during West Pac ’64.

A quick search of the web resulted in the following information on this exercise (note: this was an exercise, not an “operation” in the military sense of the word, i.e, an operation takes place in a combat situation):

Wikipedia entry for USS Windham County, LST-1170: “Backpack,” was a joint American-Taiwanese practice amphibious assault which took place at Che Cheng, Taiwan, in the late-February (1964) to early-March (1964) timeframe.

Beatrice Daily Sun – March 11, 1964: Backpack was a coordinated U.S. – Nationalist Chinese amphibious exercise conducted off the coast of Taiwan. Backpack was an exercise to test the amphibious capabilities and readiness of the forces of the Seventh Fleet and the Nationalist Chinese Navy. Prior to the assault, aircraft of the Seventh Fleet “softened” the beach defense. In addition, support ships conducted anti-submarine warfare exercises and the area surrounding the beachhead was cleared of obstructions and mines. “Backpack” was similar to exercises conducted periodically of the Seventh Fleet with SEATO and other allied nations in the Far East to improve proficiency in coordinated amphibious warfare operations and to maintain working relationships with allied nations.