Spells BEGOR




Click Commanding Officer's name for more information
Benjamin T. Brooks 1945Captain Deceased, 1999
John A. Harman 1945 - 1946 Commander Deceased, May 2008
Richard K. Margetts 1946 - 1947 Commander Deceased, July 1999
H. L. Waliszewski 1947 - 1948 Captain Deceased, date unknown
Lyle R. Hays 1948 - 1949 Commander Deceased, December 2009
William A. Walker, III 1949 - 1951 Captain Deceased, February 1996
Archie C. Kuntze 1951 - 1952 Captain Deceased, December 1980
George B. Hamilton 1952 - 1954 Captain Deceased, August 1993
Zavin Mukhalian 1954 - 1956 Captain Deceased, February 1992
Edward. A. Williams 1956 - 1957 Captain Deceased, August 2014
Phil Koehler 1957 - 1958 Lt. Commander Deceased, 2002
Francis T. Kleber 1958 - 1959 Commander Deceased, February, 2011
Sumner Gurney 1961 - 1962 Captain Deceased, 2003

LCDR Ben Brooks, 1945 Benjamin T. Brooks, 1945

Capt, USNR Ret
Born in Bayside, NY on 06/16/18
Service Dates: May 1940 - June 1978
Deceased, 1999

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LCDR John Harman, 1945 John A. Harman, 1945-1946

First USS Begor XO, second CO
1921  Born in Rochester, NY
1940  Graduate Brown University
Jun 1940  Joined Navy's V-7 program
Sep 1941  Commissioned-commenced active duty
Sep 1941- Jun 1944 USS COLE DD-155 (Left as XO)
Jun 1944- Aug 1944 LineSchool Miami, FL
Sep 1944- Oct 1945 XO USS BEGOR APD-127
Oct 1945- May 1946  CO USS BEGOR APD-127
May 1946- Jun 1947 CO USS AMICK DE-168
Jun 1947- Jun 1948 General Line School
Jun 1948- Dec 1948 Flight School,Pensacola, FL and Corpus Christi,TX
Dec 1948- Jan 1952 VP-4 and VP-1
Jan 1952- Jan 1954 Instructor Aviation Ground School, Pensacola, FL
Jan 1954- May 1954 Helicopter School, Pensacola, FL
May 1954- Jun 1955 Ops. Officer, ComFairGuam
Jun 1955- Jun 1956 Ops Officer, ComFairPhil
Jun 1956- Jan 1958 Commanding Officer Helicopter Squad 2 (HU-2)
Jan 1958- Jun 1960 OIC Navy Recruiting Eastern New England
Jun 1960- Jun 1962 Ops Officer OPTEVFOR
Jun 1962- Sep 1964 XO, NROTC Unit, Univ PA.
Sep 1964 Retired to Menlo Park, CA

Commander Harman died in May of 2008.

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Richard K. Margetts, 1946-1947

Retired CDR, deceased July 1999

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H. L. Waliszewski, 1947-1948

Retired CAPT, deceased, date unknown

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LCDR Lyle R. Hays, 1951 Lyle R. Hays, 1948-1949

      Lyle R. Hays was born January 31, 1920 in Ava, Missouri and grew up in Upland, California. He graduated from Chaffey Jr. College and was commissioned an Ensign in the US Navy in 1941.
      He served as Engineering Officer on USS PREBLE from 1941 to 1944 and was a survivor of the December 7, 1941 Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor. He served as commanding officer of USS Begor (APD-127) during 1948-49. Other assignments were commanding officer of USS GOSS and USS PERKINS, on the staff of Commander of the Pacific Fleet in San Diego, staff member of Sea Frontier Commander/Artilles Defense Command in Puerto Rico, commanding officer of USS PIEDMONT and as Executive Officer of the Administrative Command of the Naval Training Center in San Diego.
      During the Viet Nam war he was awarded a gold star for meritorious service. Commander Hays retired in 1968, following 27 years of active service.
      Following his retirement he earned a masterís degree from SDSU as well as California teaching credentials. He taught political science at Cape Girardeau Southeast Missouri University.
      CDR Hays passed away on December 5, 2009 and was buried with full military honors at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery on January 4, 2010.

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MIDN 1/C William Walker, 1940 William A. Walker, III, 1949-1951

Captain Walker was the sixth commanding officer of Begor. He was born in Milwaukee, WI on 03/27/17. He was a 1940 graduate of the Naval Academy, serving in both the Atlantic and Pacific during WW2. His first assignment was as turret officer in USS PORTLAND (CA-33). His final assignment was as Commanding Officer, Naval Station, Treasure Island for two years commencing in 1968. He retired after 30 years active service (34 yrs counting his Naval Academy time) on 30 June 1970. After retirement Captain Walker went into real estate and insurance in the San Francisco-East Bay Area. He was married to Heather Dickson, whom he met in Sydney, Australia back in 1942 while his ship, the PORTLAND, was undergoing urgent repairs following severe battle damage during the night of 12-13 November 1942 off Savo Island. They had two daughters. Captain Walker passed away in February 1996.

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Archie C. Kuntze, 1951-1952

Capt, USN Ret
Born in Sheboygan, WI on 11/12/20

Service Dates: June 1939 - April 1967

  • 1945 Served on USS Harding - awarded purple heart for injury received as result of Kamikaze attack at Okinawa.
  • 1952-53 Served on staff ComSeventhFleet (USS Iowa, USS Missouri, USS New Jersey) as gunnery, mine warfare and anti-submarine officer).
  • 1953-55 Served at USNA as XO of the Small Craft Facility.
Deceased: Dec 1980

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CDR George Hamilton, 1954 George B. Hamilton, 1952-1954

      Eighth Commanding Officer USS Begor (APD-127), with service dates of April 1952 to April 1954.
      George Hamilton enlisted in the USNR upon graduation from high school in June 1937, and received an appointment to the US Naval Academy in June 1938. With the attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese in December 1941, the class of 1942 was graduated early and he was commissioned an Ensign in the US Naval Reserve. His first duty assignment was at the Newport Recruit Training Center. He was promoted to LTJG in August 1942.
      In September 1942, LTJG Hamilton commissioned the USS PHILLIP (DD-498), and was assigned as assistant engineering officer. He was promoted to LT in October 1943 and became engineering officer serving through October 1944.
      In November 1944, he placed the USS CHEVALIER (DD-805) in commission as engineering officer and served in that capacity until WW2 wound down. He was promoted to LCDR in October 1945.
      When WW2 ended, LCDR Hamilton left active duty and was assigned to the inactive naval reserve, serving in various training billets. While on inactive reserve status, he worked as engineering manager for the Western New England area for Westinghouse Electric, living in Massachusetts. There he met and married Virginia Pomeroy in 1947.
      In the spring of 1951, LCDR Hamilton was recalled to active duty and re-commissioned the USS KIDD (DD-661), serving as Executive Officer.
      In April 1952 he took command of USS BEGOR (APD-127). This was his first command, and he served until April 1954.
      His next assignment in May 1954 was at the Navy/Marine Corps training center in Rochester as commanding officer. He was promoted to Commander in July 1954 and remained at USN/MCRTC until October 1956.
      In late October 1956 CDR Hamilton re-commissioned the USS NECHES (AO-47) as commanding officer. The NECHES was placed back in the reserve fleet in November 1957 and Hamilton took command of USS JENKINS (DDE-447) where he served until August 1959.
      From August 1959 until June 1960, CDR Hamilton served as Assistant Chief of Staff at COMFOURTEEN, then as director of tactics for COMASWFORPAC from June 1960 through September 1961. He was promoted to Captain in July 1961.
      CAPT Hamilton served as Senior Member, sub-board INSURV Pearl Harbor from September 1961 to September 1962. From October 1962 to October 1963, he served as Commander DESRON 27, the reserve DD division in San Francisco. In October 1963, he assumed command of USN/MCRTC Treasure Island, where he served until April 1965.
      After a two-year tour (May 1965 to June 1967) as Chief of Staff COMSTSFE in Yokohama, Japan, CAPT Hamilton retired to Hawaii in June 1967.
      CAPT Hamilton died in August 1993.

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LCDR Zavin Mukhalian Zavin Mukhalian, 1954-1956

Born 02/18/19 in Bridgewater, MA
Service dates: 08/42 - 07/69
Deceased February, 1992

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LCDR Edward A. Williams, 1956 Edward. A. Williams, 1956-1957

Capt, USN Ret
Born in San Diego, CA on 10/01/20
Retired CAPT, deceased July 25, 2014 in Lompoc, CA

Details on his career are on the Shipmates Memorial page.

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Philip W. Koehler, 1957-1958

Retired LCDR, deceased 2002

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LCDR Frank Kleber, 1958 Francis T. Kleber, 1958-1959

      Frank Kleber graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1944.
      His first duty assignment was on the USS West Virginia (BB-48), which was a survivor of the December 7, 1941 Japanese attack on Battleship Row in Pearl Harbor. The West Virginia, known affectionately as The WeeVee, was involved in 5 major amphibious assaults and one surface sea battle in the Philippines, Iwo Jima and Okinawa while Frank was aboard.
      During the Korean War Frank was the XO of a Destroyer which bombarded North Korean military sites and operated with the fast carrier task force executing air strikes against critical targets on the West Coast of North Korea close to the Russian border.
      While on sea duty he was commanding officer of two ships, including the Begor (which he says was his most satisfying duty assignment), a division of four ships, and a squadron of eight ships.
      In his shore duty assignments, Frank earned an M.S. in Physics with an emphasis on Nuclear Engineering Effects from the USN Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA in 1958 and took part in a nuclear weapons test at Eniweitok, Marshall Islands. Later he was Assistant For Nuclear Weapons, U.S. Atlantic Command, during the Cuban Missile Crisis in the fall of 1962 when the Russians attempted to bring nuclear missiles into Cuba.
      Frank qualified as a Spanish interpreter at the Navy language school in 1948 which led to various cryptographic duties both in Washington, DC and in Hawaii. He served as Aide to a high ranking Navy admiral who was in charge of Pearl Harbor and the Hawaiian Sea Frontier.
      An unusual shore duty tour he completed was that as Navy Technical Advisor to 20th Century-Fox Studios, Hollywood, CA for the production of the movie, "All Hands On Deck".
      After retiring as a Commander, Frank worked in various engineering positions for nuclear and aerospace companies in San Diego. In 1970, he moved his family to the Chicago area and went to work at Fermi Labs, site of the world's largest particle-accelerator. Frank earned his MBA in 1982 and retired from Fermi the same year.
      Frank's recollections of his WW II experiences can be found in the USS West Virginia Association web site at www.usswestvirginia.org/stories.htm.
      Frank and Evelyn married soon after meeting in 1952 and they have four married sons. Frank died in February, 2011. His widow, Evelyn, lives in San Diego.

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Sumner Gurney, 1961-1962

      Sumner Gurney was born on Groundhog's Day in 1927, entered the Navy in April 1944, and was commissioned Ensign, USN in June 1947, upon graduation from the Georgia School of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia. Majoring in Industrial and Electrical Engineering, he received his commission through the NROTC program of that University.
      Sumner served in various ships and stations, including Atlantic and Pacific Fleet destroyers, and as an instructor at OCS, Newport, RI. From December 1955 to July 1958, he commanded the KING COUNTY (LST-857) (later redesignated guided missile test ship AG-157). In May 1960, Sumner received his Master of Science Degree in Chemistry from the U.S. Naval Post -Graduate School, Monterey, California, and prior to being ordered to the Begor, served as Executive Officer of the destroyer Braine (DD-630). He was entitled to wear the following medals: the Navy Commendation with Combat V, American Theater, World War II Victory, Navy Occupation with European and Pacific Clasps, China Service, National Defense, Korean Theater with six stars, United Nations and Korean Presidential Unit Citation.
      Sumner assumed command of USS Begor, as her thirteenth and last CO, upon her recommissioning in November, 1961. He was married to the former Miss Barbara Jean Willi of Torrington, Wyoming and had two sons, Michael and Jeffrey. Sumner Gurney retired in the rank of Captain in 1977. He died in 2003.

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Page Last Updated: 05/13/11

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