“You know a POTTER man?”, he said.
“Yes, we've been emailing for a while now,” I said.
“Well, who is it?”, from Don.
“His name is Francis Rieber”, says I.
“BONES!?! You know Bones Rieber?”
As it turns out, he and Fran had met on the STEPHEN POTTER and became fast friends, both having survived the sinking of their ships from the same destroyer squadron. They had not seen each other or spoken in over 70 years. I hooked them up via email and they began corresponding again. Later, in late June of 2016 Don and his family were traveling and stopped in to a STEPHEN POTTER reunion. There, Bones and “Spiggot” Fawcett were reunited for the first time since 1945. Both men were happy to see one another, and I wrote a blog story about that on July 6th of 2016 with a photo of the men together from the reunion. Don called me as soon as they got home from the trip, so very excited and happy to have seen Bones again. I was happy to be a part of getting these guys back together.
I met Don, his wife Carol and daughter Janet in person in Groton, Connecticut at the 2014 STRONG reunion. We had a wonderful week and he got to meet and speak with Jim Merriman, the only other survivor from the DD 467 attending. Don also got the opportunity to speak with Stephen Harding, who was writing The Castaway's War at the time. We had a wonderful week and I was so pleased to be able to meet him and his family.
See the link below for the obituary and details. Feel free to send condolences and love to the family.
Rest well and in peace, Don.