USS Sylvania

Our reunion group is open for
"All Hands" of the 
USS Sylvania from 1964 to 1994, including all helicopter groups - HC-6, Det. 97 and the WW II USS Sylvania (AKA-44).

  John D. Pierce
3093 Kissing Rock SE Lowell , MI 49331
Home Phone
(616) 897-5178
Cell Phone
(517) 927-3312

Other web pages of interest are:

Thank you to Jim Petersen
for sending the images of the patch and crest in memory of his father,
CW04 R. J. "Pete" Petersen,
Plank Holder,
First Ship's Boatswain


2014 USS Sylvania Reunion
Lisle, (Lile) Illinois


Download full reunion document in .pdf here.

The 2014 USS Sylvania Reunion will be in Lisle, Illinois on September 19-21, 2014. It will be held at the Sheraton Lisle-Chicago, 3000 Warrenville Road, Lisle, Illinois 60532. Lisle is about 20 miles west of Chicago. For room reservation phone (630) 505-1000, choose number one for new reservations and ask for the USS Sylvania Reunion group room rate of $89 plus taxes. The room rate includes two buffet breakfasts per day (two people/room). The room reservation deadline is July 19, 2014. It is very important that you let me know of your interest in attend.We would really enjoy seeing you at the 2014 reunion in Lisle, Illinois September 19-21, 2014.

Post cards will be sent to over 400 of the former crew, because we do not have an email address and the remaining 800 crew members will be notified by e-mail, on our web page and as an event on our Face Book page at

Welcome to the Sylvania Reunion group - let me know when you open this e-mail or in the US Mail. If you receive more than one announcement with Registration Form, don't worry, I want to make sure everyone is notified!!! ACTION - Call in our hotel reservation to the Lisle Sheraton NOW!! Send registration form with registration fees and fees for the banquet by July 19, 2014 to John D. Pierce, 3093 Kissing Rock Lane, Lowell, MI 49331.My e-mail is:

Regular reunion activities at the hotel begin Friday noon, September 19 and ends Sunday, September 21 at noon. Our registration is at the hospitality room on the 8th floor. The Hospitality room is open noon on Friday September 19 and close at noon Sunday, September 21. This room is a general purpose meeting room and hospitality room is for socializing and R and R. Sylvania Memorabilia Think what you might have and want to being to the reunion to show off such as old navy jackets, beach towels, lighters and cruise books.

On September 19, we travel by bus to Naval Station at Great Lakes, an important advanced Navy training center. On our tour, we will see the historic buildings during a windshield tour and enjoy a delicious lunch buffet in the Port O’Call with magnificent views of Lake Michigan. We also visit the Navy Museum and stop at the Navy Exchange to purchase souvenirs. Tour is six hours long and the graduation is not included!! For children 4-10 years old, the price is $61 per person, under age 4 years old are free provided they do not take a bus seat and over age 10 and adults the prices is $65.

I will correspond with the Public Affairs Officer there to see if our reunion group could attend a graduation. If we get permission, the price would be $73 because of the extra time/bus driver for the graduation. Your tour fee will be adjusted to include the graduation. Typically, because of security and size of the facility, graduation is only for family members of the graduates. Attendance at the graduation ceremony is only determined by Great Lakes a week or two prior to the ceremony and the seating is limited.

The banquet is on Saturday evening, September 20 at 7:00 pm at the hotel banquet facilities with cash bar at 6:00pm - dress business casual for individual and group photos. During the reunion, women dress casual and a warm jacket for the season. If the weather is hot everyone may want to wear shorts. This reunion is in the fall for Chicago, so bring jackets for the bus tour and any strolling. We hold a raffle after the dinner for fun and a money maker for crew member searches. We always are asking for unique raffle items such as nautical items like artwork, books or ship models.

Rent a car - If you plan on getting out of the hotel rent a car. There is a lot shopping in the area but to travel to Naperville, IL to shop or eat, you will need a car. The hotel has a shuttle for shopping and local trips up to five miles not to O’Hare Airport. The area transit is called the Metra which has a commuter station 1.5 miles from the hotel and you can ride the hotel shuttle there. The Metra can take you to downtown. Another option to get to the reunion hotel is that you can take Amtrak to Chicago and take a Metra to Lisle stop.

Chicago offers pro sports, museums, shopping and Navy Pier. Go on line for Chicago CVB, and Lisle tourist information at for DuPage County info. Local fun is Lisle is a quaint town of Naperville, outlet shopping nearby and regional mall at Oakbrook Shopping Center. Of military interest is Contigney Park for the 1st Division Army Museum. It is a great museum from WWI through Gulf War.


Dues are $25 for the 2013 2014 time periods. We use dues to locate former crew members, update our web page and there is an annual fee for the domain name: Also, post cards and mail outs are expensive. In the past, dues payers also received the Sylvania mailing list.

Write to John Pierce for these items and please specify your shirt size and add $3 for S&H.

  1. As an operating funds maker, we have in stock the Sylvania (AFS-2) First Med Cruise T-Shirts ($16 XXL and $14 other sizes). This T-shirt is for the crew who served on the First Sylvania Cruise 25 April 1965 to 30 September 1969.
  2. Generic USS Sylvania (for all dates) golf shirts with collar and breast pocket. The inscription of USS Sylvania is over the pocket. Price $24 and XXL is $26.
  3. An USS Sylvania coffee mug with grey lettering on dark blue with the USS Sylvania (AFS-2) seal/logo and side view of Sylvania. Price is $15. Taking orders because we need a minimum order of 18.
  4. An AFS-2 ball cap - $15 done with scrambled eggs is $17.
  5. An USS Sylvania (AKA-44) WWII ball cap - $15 and with scrambled eggs is $17.

1968-69 crew with full military honors and with color guards.
Roger Johnson MM1, New Port Richey, FL. At the last reunion, it was noted that he attended a total of 15 reunions, the most reunions of anyone there.
Gene Podlenski, Master Chief Postal Clerk from Southern CA 1929-2013. He was blood donor at the nine gallon mark.
John Weinberger SN 1st Division
Frank Knapp SK1

She was towed from the James River in VA and other ships from the ghost fleet are being dismantled by International Shipbreaking Limited Port Bownsville, TX. This is occurring on the Mexican side of the Brownsville, Channel. Check out the web at www.// Also check on line for SinkEx for the target practice of USS ship; USS/USNS Mars.

We are updating the Sylvania web page at with new
reunion information. Check out the Guest Book for new crew members. Face Book - we are now on Face Book so look up the Sylvania, the crew or add your name to it.

Thanks for sending your address for our files and mail outs. If you know of other crew member who may not be on our mailing list to get information, please let them know and forward their information to me.

Sylvania Reunion Registration

Date: September 19-21, 2014
Time: Reunion Registration begins on Friday at 1:30 p.m. on Sept. 19, 2014.
Reunion Headquarters:Sheraton Lisle-Chicago, 3000 Warrenville Road, Lisle, Illinois 60532. For room reservation Phone (630) 505-1000.
Format: The three day session is a social function for shipmates and their families that will include a tour, raffle prizes and a banquet. Attendees will be former USS Sylvania (AKA-44 and AFS-2) 1964-1994 officers, crews helicopter crews and guests. This will be a great get away vacation!!
ACTION: Send registration form with registration fees and fees for the banquet by July 19, 2014 to: John D. Pierce, 3093 Kissing Rock Lane, Lowell, MI 49331.
Call in your hotel reservation to the Lisle Sheraton N O W!!
John QM3 1967-68 home ported in Naples, Italy Cell (517) 927-3312

REGISTRATION FORM to be sent to John Pierce by JULY 19, 2014

NAME_______________________________SHIP NAME________________________



PHONE NUMBER ____________________SPOUSE/GUESTS _________________

Year on
Sylvania___________ Rate/Rank________ E-mail______________________________

Kids Names_____________________________________________________________



This fee covers the cost to have a private hospitality room in the hotel
FROM Friday at noon to Sunday at noon and some raffle items. Snacks, beer and other alcoholic beverages may be brought in by attendees.

Friday, September 19 Group Bus Tour of Great Lakes Naval Training Facility
Adults and kids age 10 and over @ $65.00 x___= $_____
Saturday, September 20, 2014 REUNION BANQUET - Photo session and cash bar begins at
6:00 pm and dinner at 7:00pm - Includes buffet dinner, tax and tip.
Buffet Dinner includes: 2 meat items, salad, potatoes, vegetables coffee/tea/iced tea and desert.

Adult fee @ $34.00 x ___= $_____
Children (from 6 to 11) @ $17.50 x =____ $_____
Children under age 5 (call John P. for other arrangements)

Reunion Registration Fee, Bus tour of Great Lakes, Banquet Dinners and Dues

Check Enclosed is a check payable to John D. Pierce


Please indicate any special diet or disabled requirement

ACTION: Send pre-registration form RSVP and check by July 19, 2014 -
payable to: John D. Pierce, 3093 Kissing Rock Ln., Lowell, MI 49331 E-mail, PH (616) 897-5178, cell PH (517) 927-3312.

CANCELLATION DEADLINE: A refund will be made - If you need to cancel, you
need to contact the hotel THREE DAYS PRIOR to your arrival date for a full
refund of your deposit! Also, contact J. Pierce by September 14, 2014 for the
registration fee, banquet and Bus Tour Group Tour refund.


Send John Pierce change of an address - we are losing more than fifty people each year. We publish and mail out the Chatter to incorrect addresses because we are not notified of Change of Address which is too expensive.  Your help is needed to keep our mailing lists current. 
Please send John Pierce new addresses and E-mail addresses. 
If you should move your residence, please notify us in the future.

We took a lot of extra effort to locate crew members, plus printed and mailed 700 newsletters, but to reduce printing cost and postage we will only send the Chatter to those expressing an interest.  From now on, we will send the Chatter Newsletter  to those responding to the postcard inquiry to be sent late 2009 regarding the 2010 reunion.  During the past several years, approximately 200 people have responded to the mail out postcard announcement requesting information on the next reunion.  We will gather names, addresses and new telephone area codes of former crew members before we send out future Sylvania Chatter Newsletters to them.

Chatter Articles & News
It is up to you to furnish John Pierce information, memories and comments from our experience aboard the Sylvania for our web site or a Chatter Newsletter.  
Your help is needed!!

Information about your service
Share what you have been doing since serving on the Sylvania that you would like to include for publication in the newsletter.  Send these bits to John Pierce. We need your comments to make the Chatter Newsletter more interesting.

For more information, contact John Pierce about sending our reunion notices to your local newspapers. Only 50 percent of the names on the mailing list have phone numbers - please give us you phone number!!

D.  E-Mail and Networking
Please send in your e-mail address to add to our list.  Let us know if you want a copy of our E-Mail list.  It will not be sold to anyone.  

Let us know if you don’t want your E-Mail given out.

E.  Web Site
Also, keep checking our web site at If you have photos that you would like on our web page, please contact John Pierce.  Sign in on our guest book.  Are there other people who are looking for you?