The way it all began…
Al Liftman (1951-52) and his wife, Marcia held the first ship’s reunion in Newport, Rhode Island in the fall of 1989. The idea for starting a USS Lloyd Thomas reunion association began when Al retired in 1985 and searched in vain for news of a USS Lloyd Thomas reunion.
He then attempted to locate some of his shipmates who had served in the 1951-52 period, and who might be interested in holding a reunion. After receiving a few replies, including one from a shipmate who had served in another period, it was decided to organize a reunion of all shipmates who had served aboard the ship.
Al continued to serve as the president of the Reunion Association, and Bob Scherrer (1950-55) acted as treasurer for the next five reunions. At the Orlando Reunion in 1998, Al retired as President of the Reunion Association after having served for 10 years. Bob Scherrer took over the helm, and Jack Malady (1951-54) replaced Bob as Treasurer. At the Charleston Reunion in 2012, Scott Sheffer (1971-72) and Mike Balog (1969-72) agreed to assume the duties of reunion lead and treasurer respectively.
At the close of each reunion, shipmates and their wives attend a business meeting where the site for the next annual reunion is selected. Any member can volunteer to host a reunion in his home area. We have plank owners from the Commissioning of the ship on March 21, 1947 in attendance, along with members of the Decommissioning Crew from October 12, 1972 and all years in between.
The Reunions Association has no annual dues, but relies on donations from the membership to meet operating expenses. All that is required to be a member is to provide your contact information, and to respond to correspondence from the Association.