The New York Commandery of the Naval Order of the United States is one of the original commanderies. Admiral of the Navy John Dewey, the hero of Manila Bay in the Spanish American War, was one of our early Commanders, with a leadership tenure of ten years. We generally meet for a luncheon on the first Monday of each month except during the summer. Our signature event is the Morison Award and the black tie dinner where we honor a book and author who has made the greatest contribution to Naval History over the past year. The dinner is usually on the first Monday of November frequently election day eve. We have a spectacular venue in the Racquet and Tennis Club on Park Avenue.
Membership consists primarily of sea service veterans: Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and U.S. Flagged Merchant Marine. Our luncheon speakers generally give a twenty minute presentation on topics of interest to veterans of the sea services. Many are authors of works of naval history and others are retired senior officers of the sea services. We are planning a first time award to Jim Hornfisher, a Morison Award winner for Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors and other compelling works of naval history. While we have not settled on a name for the award, it will honor him for his many outstanding books on the history of the sea services.
I am a Marine Corps veteran of Vietnam. I went on active duty in August 1966 at Officer Candidate School, Quantico Virginia. After commissioning in October I attended Basic School also at Quantico. In April 1968 I attended Marine Engineering school at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. In June of 1968, I shipped for Vietnam where I served thirteen months in 9th Engineer Battalion. While there I was awarded a Navy Commendation Medal with Combat “V”. I returned to Camp Lejeune on July 4 1968 and served another fifteen months with Second Engineer Battalion. I was released from active duty in October 1969. While I am not sure I felt that way at the time, I now feel privileged to have served as a Marine Officer in time of war.
Dave Simson, Commander