The Burke Chapter of the Association of the United States Navy (AUSN) held its 30th Annual Mess Night at the historic Larchmont Yacht Club, on January 19, 2018. The Chapter is named in honor of Ensign James F. Burke, Jr. a naval aviator who was killed in action in Vietnam in 1967. He left behind a wife and a daughter who was born five months after his death.
Colonel Reed Bonadonna USMC (Ret) was the principal speaker. His book Soldiers and Civilization, How the Profession of Arms Thought and Fought the Modern World into Existence received the Admiral David Glasgow Farragut Book Award sponsored by the Burke Chapter.
Rear Admiral Rosen presented a New York Naval Militia Sailing Trophy to Commodore Carl Olsson of the Larchmont Yacht Club. The Chapter held a presidential election and Captain Frank Goldszer was elected president by proclamation. He replaced Captain Tom Dufficy who had held the post for the past 30 years. Captain Dufficy gratefully accepted the plaudits bestowed upon him.
The Burke Chapter Mess has a tradition of inviting as guests Cadets/Midshipmen from SUNY Maritime and the US Merchant Marine Academy and their escort officers. The young folks and the members of the Mess always enjoy each other. The Burke Chapter once again authorized the funding of the Vice Admiral Andrew P. O’Rourke scholarship administered by the AUSN.
Navy Mess Nights are formal dinners that find their origins in the feasts of Viking warriors who mourned their dead and celebrated their victories. Mess Nights are full of tradition, history and comradery.