Tag Archives: United States Navy

Onetime Navy Tech Glenn Dean Is At Home With Modern Appliances

by Alexis Ann and John Stratton

Just in your mind, take a look around your house. There’s a lot surrounding you that you take for granted, that your mind skips over as commonplace, all those shiny “servants” waiting at the ready for your wishes. Yes, all those many tasks that you now have done for you by machines, clever devices that we call “appliances.”

Presiding over this recent domestic revolution are inventors, manufacturers, distributors, sellers, and…the service technicians who keep the systems operating.

When Glenn Dean, a 17-year old from Pittsburgh, signed on for Navy submarine duty in 1968, he did not know that in a scant four decades he’d be president of Coogan-Gildersleeve Appliances, a prosperous and respected appliance retail outlet, with many hundreds of trusting customers and some 30 lines of devices to make life at home comfortable, safe, and attractive.  But that’s what happened.

Glenn volunteered for the Silent Service back in ’68. He soon received training as an interior communications technician, duty which included—for clearly Navy reasons— maintaining the washers and dryers aboard submarines, in addition to tuning up the  host of ultra-high-tech instruments which tell sailors where the boat’s headed and how it’s running.

Of course, everyone on board has to know many other jobs, but Glenn was a bit prepared for the washer-dryer duty because his uncle Al had been an appliance repairman and installer for the landmark Gimbels department store in Pittsburgh. Al had taken Glenn under his wing for several years after Glenn’s father passed away, and taught young Glenn some hands-on technology in the field.

So, here at the Base in Groton—when Glenn was busy acclimating himself to his brand-new submarine, USS Bergall, SSN-667, an EB-built Sturgeon-class boat launched in 1968 that was noted more for speed than roominess—he was learning a lot about complex instrumentation as well as washer-dryers. But learn he did, and received his silver dolphins as a member of the pre-commissioning and commissioning team. The vessel was at sea during much of the cold war, with antisubmarine stealth missions demanding the full measure of the ship’s motto: “Invisible, Invulnerable, Invincible.” Tough and interesting duty, recalls Glenn.

When Glenn completed his years of service in the Navy, he had some familiarity with life in southeastern Connecticut. He was ready to settle down to life on the surface around here, leaving behind a lot of his life in Pittsburgh—except for remaining a staunch Steelers fan!
After a stint at Stanley Works, in 1976 he signed on with Ed Coogan and Andy Gildersleeve at their appliance division on Route 1 in Mystic; he was their first serviceman, handling four product lines. He plunged into that opportunity too, taking many night-school classes, refrigeration courses at Norwich Tech, and personnel-management programs at Thames Valley.  Early on, his shoreside life included acquaintance with young C.J. Lewis of Mystic, who he married back then. They have two children, Stacey and Katie.

The dedicated work over the years added up to a big positive. When original owners Ed and Andy retired years ago, Glenn became the Coogan-Gildersleeve president. He’s remained true to their business traditions of sound business practice, superior service, good people, and thorough product knowledge. From the four brands that he started with 37 years ago, he and five service technicians now handle more than 30 products from their home base on Greenmanville Avenue, Route 27, in Mystic. And, as you might imagine, he’s Vet-friendly when it comes to hiring and sales.  He’s been there.

Though products change, says Glenn, one key principle stands out:  “It’s our commitment to helping our community and doing a good job for our customers.”

Go Navy!

USS Toledo Returns From Deployment

by Lt. Cmdr. Jennifer Cragg

With cheers from family and friends rocking the piers in New London, the Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Toledo (SSN 769) returned home to the Naval Submarine Base on October 12, following a nearly seven-month deployment.

When the ship left March 23, USS Toledo deployed to the European Command Area of Responsibility to supporting national security interests and maritime security operations.

“Your crew demonstrated outstanding determination, agility, and resiliency. Furthermore, Toledo‘s unflinching ability to respond to emergent tasking was the true test of a well-prepared high-performance warship, you set the example for the fleet,” said Vice Adm. Michael Connor, commander, Submarine Forces Atlantic in a naval message praising USS Toledo for its achievements. “A grateful nation is thankful for the sacrifices made by the crew and families of Toledo.”

Cmdr. Sam Geiger, the submarine’s commanding officer, reflected on successfully returning one day prior to the Navy’s 237th birthday.

“Returning a day prior to the Navy’s birthday is a wonderful way to celebrate and recognize the Navy’s sustained commitment to our nation’s defense,” said Geiger. “Naval Submarine Base New London is filled with fellow submariners who all understand and have accomplished real-world operations like we did aboard USS Toledo. I could not be prouder of my sailors’ performance.”

Geiger also added that while deployed his sailors performed superbly. “The crew performed as I expected them to, superbly. All submariners learn early on to rely on each other and my sailors did just that every day,” said Geiger, who was looking forward to his crew having some well-deserved time off. “We have been home for a total of five days in the past eight months—and nothing is like being home.”

Family members have looked forward to the return.

“We are all so happy to have our sailors on the USS Toledo home safe. While they were far from our arms during this deployment they were never far from our hearts and our prayers. We are very proud of the entire crew on the job that they have done and will continue to do for our country,” said Priscilla Picerno, ombudsman for the vessel.

Some sailors were selected to be first in line to greet their family members. Chief Electronics Technician (SS) Daryl Escano greeted his five-year old son, Daniel; while Machinist’s Mate 2nd Class (SS) Matthew Anderson greeted his fiancee, Hallie Kay.

“He just turned five and doesn’t realize how special his task was,” said Sharon Escano. “When I found out that my son was selected I was overjoyed for him to have this unique opportunity to greet his father.”

During the deployment a total of five babies were born. Two recent arrivals will greet their fathers for the first time. Logistics Specialist 1st Class (SS) Daniel Edwards greeted his son Jaxson, and Chief Machinist’s Mate (SS) Robert Ekwall greeted his son Keegan.

USS Toledo, commissioned Feb. 24, 1995, is the second U.S. warship named for the people of the northwestern Ohio city. The first was a Baltimore-class heavy cruiser. Submarine Toledo has a complement of 139 officers and enlisted crew.

For more news from Commander Submarine Group 2, visit: www.navy.mil/local/Subgru2/.

For more photos, visit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/comsubgru2/sets/72157631753897712/.

James M. Mosley Graduates at 78

by Anne Pappalardo

Anyone who has a chance to meet and talk to James M. Mosley, would like to ask him for two things, about his secret for remaining active during retirement, and his autograph.

James, 78, received a Bachelor of General Studies with concentrations in Social Science and Biology from Eastern CT State University on May 18. One of 13 children, James was born on August 12, 1929 and raised in Homestead, PA. After graduating from high school, he enlisted in the US Navy because of a lack of available jobs in the area.

He was trained as a Navy medical corpsman and stationed at various naval bases throughout the US, including the Naval Submarine Base in Groton. In 1956 he became the first African American to attend the submarine medical technician school in Groton, where he graduated first in the class. He was also the first African American medical corpsman to attend and graduate from the Navy’s nuclear power school in Groton. During his career as a medical corpsman, James was assigned to tours of duty on the repair ship USS Cadmus, and on the submarines USS Volador, USS Skipjack and USS Thomas Edison.

By the time he retired from the Navy in 1968, James achieved the rank of senior chief hospital corpsman. Shortly after, he started working at Electric Boat in Groton. He retired in 1991 after 24 years with the company.

James was profiled in the 2005 book, “Black Submariners in the United States Navy, 1940 to 1975,” by Glenn Knoblock, who encouraged James to pen his autobiography. During his life, James had the opportunity to meet Rosa Parks, John F. Kennedy, and Thurgood Marshall.

James and his wife, Lillie, were married for 31 years before she died of a stroke in 1985. During his career with the Navy, the family relocated according to his assignments until they bought a home in Waterford, where he still resides. He has been married to his second wife, Gloria, for 20 years. James, who lost a son and stepson, speaks proudly of his remaining four children and two stepchildren.

James remains active during retirement. He enjoys gardening and traveling with Gloria. He is a member of a legislative political action team that is currently focusing on preserving veterans’ benefits. He visits the Groton Subase whenever he has the chance and enjoys joining in on pick-up basketball games with Navy recruits.

James has no plans to slow down. He plans to take a year off to write his autobiography, and the following year to begin graduate studies in molecular biology or African-American history.