The USS Irex SS-482: Family-Gram No. 1

Care of Fleet Post Office
New York, N.Y.

15 July 1961

From: Commanding Officer, USS IREX (SS-482)
To: The Wives and Families of all IREX Personnel


The time is fast approaching when your husbands and sons are to make a short trip under my command. l am sure that most of you are well aware of this and have planned for the day. If you receive this “Family-Gram” your IREX sailor will be going with us.

There are several very important things which should be discussed prior to our deployment. Firstly, l have every intention of writing regular “Family-Grams” to the families. There sometimes is a tendency for families to wonder what father or son is doing, why and when. We will try to keep you up to date on this.

Currently, suffice it to say we are going away for a trip. Plans for this trip have now been underway for several months. In fact many of you know this well. Now is the time when clothes are cleaned, buttons sewed on, and extra gear obtained. Your husband or son must have all his equipment ready. Besides what we call a full sea bag, he will need extra toothpaste, shaving cream, a needle and thread, buttons, writing paper, and a book of air mail stamps. He will also need a couple of good paperback books. Not the least of what should be given him is a list of what you would like to have if and when we get into a foreign port. I would like to strongly suggest you provide a list of sizes not only for yourself but also children, sisters, brothers, or father. This will help when we are in port and also assure that any presents are the correct size. Be sure to include your glove sizes and sweater size. Also if you like a certain color put it on the list. Several wives in New London have seen presents from overseas and have general ideas what they want. I would certainly “hint” on the list and state what you would prefer and what you do not want.

Above are a few ideas what we will need from you. Now what does the average man leave behind? Every wife is now screaming MONEY. This is fine but everyone realizes this MONEY is really your husbands pay. We have urged for many months that adequate allotments to the families be registered. Please ask how much you are to get by allotment. In addition, there probably will be advance pay for all hands. This is real fine except if you draw advance pay then you do not get paid again until the advance is paid off. Therefore wife, if husband leaves extra money don't spend it all at once because there won't be more right away. Also don't count on mail service. If you think that he will be able to mail money regularly, you are wrong, for each time I have gone overseas someone always has lost a letter or been unable to get to the post office. Please do not count on getting money through the mail. In addition, please get the keys to the car and house.

I have strongly urged each man to make a will. I would appreciate any help possible from the wives on this. In all my trips nothing has ever happened but someday we all go and when we do it is much easier on the wife or parent if the man leaves a will. Also dear wife; where is your marriage certificate and the children's birth certificates? If something happens you may need many copies of each certificate. These papers plus car insurance, car registration and house insurance should be carefully locked up and put away.

After we depart someone of the dependents is going to have some trouble. It always happens and these people wonder what to do. This situation clearly breaks into two categories as follows:

There are sometimes problems which arise among dependents which are best discussed with a woman. If you feel this is the case or you are not sure what to do, please feel free to call Mrs. Apthorp.

Other than New London area:

We are allowed to give emergency leave in case of a death or serious illness in the immediate family. I have always tried to interpret this definition as liberally as possible. But again the operating condition the ship is under also plays a very definite part in this decision. If an unfortunate incident should occur, please notify your nearest American Red Cross Chapter and request them to notify the ship and ask for the serviceman to be granted emergency leave.

All mail to the ship should be sent airmail and addressed to your husband or son as follows:

John J. Jones, SN
C/o Fleet Post Office
New York, N. Y.

The telegraphic address of the ship is as follows:

John J. Jones, SN
C/o U.S. Naval Communications Station
Washington 25, D. C.

I hope that the above information will be useful to you and that if you have any problems you will feel free to write me.



Commanding Officer
Care of Fleet Post Office
New York, N, Y.

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