On behalf of the entire IUSS CAESAR Alumni Association, I wish to extend our heartfelt condolences to you and your family on the death of your father, Rae LeSesne. Although I never had the privilege of meeting or working with him I have heard only the highest praise of his fine character. Few people have achieved the position of respect and esteem which he enjoyed for so many years in the community.
And what a wonderful letter you posted here. You are a good son. Thank you for taking the time to do it. You are sure to receive many comments.
And may God continue to bless and watch over your son, PFC James LeSesne, USMC. We will keep him in our prayers as well.
CAPT USN (Ret)
I knew your father when he was on COSL staff. (I was on the staff 72-75.) We traveled to each sight at least twice a year in those days for various inspections. Some of his fondest trips seem to be when we would return to NavFac Ramey (then the name was changed to NavFac Punta Borinquen PR). Your father was a true professional and an asset to SOSUS. He will be remenbered by many and you can expect many condolences via this web site from the so called old-timers. Your father would be proud of your comments. Rae worked hard all his life - may he now rest in peace. Very respectfully, Ed Smock OTCM USN (Ret)
Thanks. He did work hard all his life. Maybe that's the key as to why he was active all the way to the end. He hated to let others fix his house. He was famous to most contractors and utility folks in the area. I felt sorry for the HVAC guys because Dad would "test them" to make sure that they "earned the right to work on my HVAC system"!
Your comment about Ramey doesn't surprise me. Not many people knew that Dad was born and raised in Puerto Rico. That may be why he loved going back to Ramey since it took him to his old homestead island, so to speak. He spoke very good English so unless he started talking in Spanish few would realize that he was bilingual. My mother, "Tiny" was from an old Puerto Rican Spanish family so in our home we spoke at least two languages and I wound up passably fluent in three others (French, Portuguese, and Russian because of my nuclear training).
Thank you for the kind words. My Dad was certainly a cranky old character who loved those far flung NavFac outposts and really cared for the young sailors that worked on the utilities. He was always mesmerized by the technology and idolized Joe Kelly and Western Electric. To his delight and pride, my brother and I both became engineers, my brother a manufacturing engineer and myself a nuclear and real-time computer systems designer. Not many people knew that for a short time while I worked for IBM I supported the team that worked on COSL computer systems. The technology and project never really met the expectations set for it, but some of the logic used there I subsequently re-used on the Space Shuttle Transport System on board real-time systems.
Now for the fun part. As I go through Dad's things, I have found 30+ roster pictures from the early 70's with name and in some cases the position title. I have scanned them and they look good.
Should I place them on the web site or package them on a compressed zip file and send them to you via email?
One of the pictures is of a dog named "Willard". I knew about Pedro and the beer drinking donkey, but I never heard Dad talk about a pooch on the COSL staff or at a NavFac!
You are most welcome.
Regarding your pics. You can send them to me with copy to our webmaster, Rick Matthews. We will take a look and either create a special photo album on this site or, if identified, parse the pics out to appropriate facility photo albums.
My e-mail address is Jim_Donovan53@yahoo.com.
Best regards, Jim
A fitting tribute to your Dad. I served with also at COSL. He was a truly fine gentleman. May god be with you and your family. Ed Dalrymple
Thanks for your post. Your name seems familiar. Where you on the Commodore's plane that got caught by Customs in Norfolk one time? My Dad laughed and laughed about that flight and how he, Stan Klock. someone named Hazelbaker, a chief (Chief Ski?)that played killer poker and some Captain had to scurry around among the wives there at the airport planning to take them home to find enough cash to pay for the import taxes for the liquor they brought back from the Caribbean!
I wasn't on plane you are thinking of Stan Kloc and Bill Hazelbaker; like your Dad were civilian tech staff members. There were a number of "skis" on the staff so not sure which one. Cheers, Ed
I was on that flight. The "ski" would have been Chief Borskiwicz (sp?) from supply. His poker partener was Chief Johnny Suggs from Admin ("they" were hard to beat at poker). The Commodore at that time was CAPT Charlie Woods (his wife called him Charlie Tuna - because he was passed over so often). Stan and Bill have since passed away. Not sure of the others.
Looking forward to seeing the pictures. Ed Smock