From the Archives: Penn Staters Aboard the USS Saipan
Our most recent issue wasn’t the first time we looked at Penn Staters at sea. As pointed out to us by LCdr. Ronald L. Smith ’77, we ran a picture of several Nittany Lions aboard the USS Saipan back in our March/April 1991 issue. There were seven Penn State alums in the shot – Smith, Lt. Thomas A. Forrest ’85, LCdr. Dennis Spangler ’67, LCdr. Donald McCall ’77, Capt. Wayne Pavlischek ’79, LCdr. Don Ditko ’77, and Lt. James Granger ’85 – along with two others who were on the ship but weren’t in the picture (Capt Dale Willey ’82 and 2Lt. Michael Bodkin ’89). The group was also joined by Joe Paterno…well, kind of: they were joined by a cardboard cutout of Joe Pa.
Between the nine Penn Staters on this ship and the 15 aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt, “the Floating Lion” doesn’t just apply to the Blue Band’s trademark drill.
Bill DiFilippo, online editor