Every now and then, as the seasons flow by, one gets the opportunity to bring to others of the Class of '51 family facts not widely known by the '51 family at large.
Recently this Shipmate scribe had the opportunity to bring to the “family” some unusual and very poignant facts pertaining to Tom Trout, Class of 1951 Company 14. We had a pithy local news article and some pics to aid us in bringing this story to the “51 family” (click on the Now Hear This page on this site for the article itself). The help of Tom Feil, motivated in part by having two grandchildren – one boy “mid” class of 2020 and a granddaughter “mid” class of 2021 – was just icing on the cake. It is really a great story, is still available on this website, and will be in the Shipmate.
So, that brought to mind that others of the '51 family might have something useful to share. We “scribes" need interesting short stories to aid in keeping both the web site and the Shipmate Class Column interesting. Here is another little update on another of the Classmates (i.e., family member) who has done yeoman work for the Class in overseeing the gifting to the alma mater in the various class remembrance projects the Class has supported.
Guy Shaffer came from Westfield, New Jersey, and, via USNA Class of 1951, became a career submarine officer following a short stint in surface cruisers. He had the distinction of being one of the first six to attend the Nuclear Power School which led to being on the third commissioned nuclear submarine – Skate (SSN 578). His tour on the Skate led to other firsts: under the Arctic Ice Pack voyages and first break through the ice/surface at the north pole to see what was up there, Designer and then Director of the first Nuclear Propulsion Maintenance Training Facility at Sub School (New London, Connecticut), and Executive Officer of Theodore Roosevelt (SSBN 600). In 1965, as Lieutenant Commander, Guy reported to Quincy, Massachusetts and began a tour of 54 months as PCO and CO of the GREENLING (SSN 614). The tour on GREENLING was one of special operations accomplishments that need a submariner to explain, in order to ensure understanding of the significance of another number of firsts.
The remainder of Guy’s naval career can be inadequately, but nonetheless summed up as being “in charge” of submarine “developments.” He carried his firsts over to becoming really expert in contract management. This expertise was to some degree responsible for his earning his Stars as Rear Admiral in 1976. On retirement in 1981, Guy worked for the service he loved in government contracts and developments in the defense industry for RCA Corporation and then for Martin Marietta Aero & Naval Systems Company, retiring from the latter in 1992 as its Chief Engineer.
In recent years, Guy has been the Class of 1951 Fundraiser, and we owe him thanks for the outstanding job he's done. As our USNA graduation 70th anniversary approaches in 2021, our class Board of Directors is challenging us to fund the “WHO WILL I BECOME?” exhibit in the new PHYSICAL MISSION CENTER, Ricketts Hall, USNA. “1951, SECOND TO NONE” will rise to this challenge. You should have received Guy’s Annual Fundraiser newsletter in early November. Please join in this final thrust to be Second to None for our 70th in 2021.
Finally, and known only to a few, is Guy Shaffer’s contribution to our Navy Hymn, Eternal Father Strong to Save. With the following lyrics, Guy wrote an additional stanza to honor our families and especially our wives. It is sung occasionally at the U.S. Naval Academy Chapel.
OH LORD, GUARD THOSE WHO SERVE ALONE,
TO KEEP OUR FAMILIES SAFE AT HOME,
LOOK WELL ON THOSE WHOM WE DO ASK,
TO UNDERTAKE THIS HEAVY TASK,
AND WHEN TO YOU THEY DO RETURN,
GIVE THEM THE HONOR THEY HAVE EARNED.
BEAT ARMY! Da Prez
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