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.
GROUNDING OF USS WEISS (APD-135) AND OTHER UNPLEASANT EVENTS
AT BUCKNER BAY, OKINAWA, 26-27 JULY 1964
Racquet and Tennis Club
370 Park Avenue
(between 52nd & 53rd Streets)
New York City
"On 26 July 1964 USS Weiss (APD-135), a converted WWII Destroyer Escort, went hard aground on a coral reef in Buckner Bay, Okinawa, Japan, the victim of an unpredicted typhoon. A member of Amphibious Squadron 5 assigned to Task Force 76, she was among the entire Task Force anchored near White Beach in the Bay the previous day in preparation for a large landing exercise planned for 27 July. Not only did Weiss go uncontrollably aground, their squadron flagship, USS George Clymer (APA-25) ran broadside into the Admiral's flagship, USS Eldorado (AGC-11), in an attempt to get to sea after dragging anchor. The next morning, USS Tawasa(ATF-92), assigned to retrieve Weiss, ran aground while approaching Weiss. COMSEVENTHFLT, preoccupied with the recent Maddox-Turner Joy Incident in the Gulf of Tonkin, was not happy. The 3 June Commandery luncheon speaker, CAPT Vance Morrison, USN (Ret.), was Operations Officer and OOD in Weiss at the time."
Captain Vance H. Morrison, U.S. Navy (retired), was born August 25, 1938, in New London, Connecticut, the son of a U.S. Navy submarine commanding officer. He was a U.S. Supreme Court Page from 1952 to 1956, graduated from Capitol Page School, and upon graduation from the University of Virginia in 1962, he received a commission as Ensign in the U. S. Navy through the NROTC.
His first assignment was in USS Herbert J. Thomas (DDR-833), homeported in Long Beach, California. He was ordered to USS Weiss (APD-135) in 1964, participating in deployments to the South China Sea along the South Vietnamese coast. Following duty under instruction for Chinese Mandarin at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California, in 1967 he was assigned to U.S. Naval Security Group Activity, Hakata, Japan, where he participated in six missions at sea as a Submarine Cryptologic Direct Support Officer as well serving ashore as Operations and then Executive Officer.
Following career training, his next sea assignment was to USS Reeves(DLG/CG-24) during her deployment to the Gulf of Tonkin as Northern Search and Rescue (SAR) ship off the coast of' North Vietnam. A tour with the Joint Staff, Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Command (J-2), followed in 1971. He reported to USS Somers (DDG-34), also homeported in Pearl Harbor, for duty as Executive Officer in 1975 and completed his tour during her deployment to the Western Pacific in 1977. His next assignment was ashore at the Pentagon as Antisubmarine Warfare (ASW) Intelligence / Weapons Staff Assistant in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations. From 1981 to 1983, he served as Commanding Officer, USS Francis Hammond(FF-1067), operating from Yokosuka, Japan. He then was assigned to the Post Command Course at the Naval War College, Newport. R.I., followed by General Purpose Forces Branch Head in the Strategy, Plans and Policy Division of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations. In 1984, he was assigned as Commanding Officer, USS Richmond K. Turner (CG-20), homeported in Charleston, South Carolina. In Turner he made a deployment to the Mediterranean Sea, participating in Libyan combat operations.
After training with the Defense Intelligence Agency and State Department's Foreign Service, he served as U.S. Naval Attaché to Beijing, China, and observed events leading to the brutal Chinese Army suppression of demonstrators at Tiananmen Square in 1989. His final Navy assignment was as Assistant to the Chief of Naval Operations for Joint Matters as Senior Navy Joint Planner. Captain Morrison retired from the Navy on 1 January 1992, and provided systems engineering and technical assistance to Navy space systems and the National Reconnaissance Office as a member of the Technical Staff of AT&T Corporation, retiring finally in 2007. He brought to publication by the Naval Institute Press in 2012 a book started by his late friend, Bruce Swanson, entitled “A Plain Sailorman in China – CDR I.V. Gillis, USN.”
He received a Master's Degree from the University of Southern California, and a Bachelor's Degree from the University of Virginia. His decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit (two awards), and other military awards as well as the National Reconnaissance Office's Medal of Meritorious Performance for his service to that office as a civilian contractor following his retirement from the Navy. He was an Elder in Mount Vernon Presbyterian Church, and a member of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers, Navy Cryptologic Veterans Association, Surface Navy Association, and the National Model Railroad Association. He was Commander General (president) of the Naval Order of the United States from 2013 to 2015. Captain Morrison was married to the late Liberty Anne Paterson of Alexandria, Virginia, resided since 2017 in Springfield, Virginia, and is survived by three married children, Douglas, Robert and Katherine, and six grandchildren.
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