USS Morton Merry Christmas Family Gram December 1973

Posting on my dads Behalf, this is Tom Birkenmeyer.

I was going through some of his stuff today and came across something I don’t remember ever seeing before. My dad was a proud career Navy Man. Senior Chief BIRKENMEYER. One of the ships he was on was the USS Morton (DD-948) Sherman Class Destroyer.

In December of 1973 the U.S.S. Morton Commading officer at the time made this really cool family gram for it’s crew to send out to family. I found a copy that was addressed to his grandmother and grand father, my great grandmother Grams and great grandfather George P. Orphan.

I don’t know how many in the ships crew, hundreds or thousands, but in this family gram they put a spot light on my dad and made me well up in tears. I’m so proud of my dad. I love him and I miss him so much. I’m typing it out for you word for word from the original that was also typed but with a type writer back in those days before computers.

Check out my Dad, Senior Chief Lawrence J. BIRKENMEYER.

USS Morton Merry Christmas Family Gram December 1973

“Chief Firecontrol Technician FTGC Lawrence J. BIRKENMEYER, leading chief and supervisor for the gunnersmates… Wait! An FT leading gunnersmate?

The cry went out and as in time past, FTGC BIRKENMEYER responded. He is a conscientious man who has the ability to formulate plans and organize men and their efforts. As one of the results of his endeavors, the division has an outstanding training program and the ship has a fine shore patrol indoctrination program. It’s been said that he claims “there is no electronic casualty I can’t solve, given enough time!” This positive and aggresive attitude stands Chief Birkenmeyer in good stead with the men who works for him, and with those who know him. He has proven that with a proper attitude and good management, a division can accomplish all of it goals and commitments. This is most obvious in the succesful operation of the gunnersmates.

Chief Birkenmeyer feels it is important to talk to his men so that they will understand their respective jobs and learn the responsibilities of being a good petty officer. His key to success is proper planning and management, tampered with understanding for his men.”

Go Dad!!! I love you,


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