It is with great sadness to announce that Jonathan Jones passed away after a long battle with cancer. Jonathan was Commander of the New York Commandery from 2002-2005, but his mark on the New York Commandery was much more. In 2014, Jonathan moved to Philadelphia and brought the Philadelphoia/Delaware County Commandery back to a vibrant life. His memorial service will be held in Philadelphia on Saturday, 16 March.
Welcome to the New York Commandery of the Naval Order of the United States. The New York Commandery hosts a number of educational and social events throughout the year, and builds comradery between its companions in support of the naval services. Membership in the Naval Order is by invitation only. If you have an interest, join us at one of our events.
To encourage research and writing on naval and maritime subjects, preserve documents, portraits and other records of prominent figures deeds and memories of our naval and maritime history, and through fellowship of our members advance the Naval Order's unselfish service and worthy aims for the security and enduring well-being of our country. To foster, among all American citizens, informed interest in the Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Merchant Marine, with the understanding that their efficiency is essential to national security and that readiness to make victory in war certain and speedy will deter aggression and minimize dangers to world peace.
Time: Reception 1130 hrs, Lunch 1200 hrs
Speaker: Captain David L Lersch
United States Coast Guard, Retired
The Disappearance of the Linda E
Capt Lersch served for 28 years in the United States Coast Guard. Starting as an Ensign at the Captain of the Port office in New London and serving in Gulf of Mexico, Atlantic, Mississippi River, and Great Lakes ports, his varied assignments focused on maritime safety, security, commercial ship inspection, environmental response, maritime personnel/casualty investigations, and navigation safety. In the pre and post 9/11 period, Capt Lersch was Deputy Associate Director for Maritime Security, reporting to the Secretary of Transportation. Working with U.S. Congressional staff and agency experts, he contributed to determining national maritime security priorities.
Following a one year financial and policy assignment at Coast Guard Headquarters, Capt Lersch proceeded to Jacksonville, Florida to combine Coast Guard commands leading to the creation of Sector Jacksonville. In 2004, Capt Lersch achieved the highlight of his career as Sector Commander Jacksonville, responsible for all Coast Guard operations in north Florida.
His presentation will recount one of his most memorable marine casualty investigations: the disappearance of the commercial fishing vessel Linda E on Lake Michigan in December 1998. He will recap the course of events that brought together both the mystery of the CFV and its crew of three and the year and a half long investigation into that tragedy. The investigation was especially demanding given that the Linda E and her crew disappeared on a sunny calm and cool day, without any emergency call or debris. The case caught the national media attention with extensive reporting and drew criticism of Coast Guard policy pertaining to the extent of statutorily required investigations.
Capt Lersch, now a member of the New York Commandery, lives with his wife, Lynne, in Waterford, CT and is active in local civic, conservation and environmental organizations, including serving as a Commissioner of the Town of Waterford’s Wetlands and Conservation Commission and as President of the Waterford Land Trust. His son, Kyle, works in the maritime industry as Third Mate on a drilling ship in the Gulf of Mexico.
Please note that at this time, the system only accepts individual payments, so if paying for 3, you must make 3 individual payments.
CAPT Howard Freiburger, USN (Ret)
"And any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction:
I served in the United States Navy.” - John Fitzgerald Kennedy, US Navy Lieutenant & 35th President of the United States
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