12, 1998 |
New Jersey Commision Members
following are brief biographical sketches of the members of the
New Jersey Battleship Commission:
Walter E. Olkowski
Walter E. Olkowski, 71, of Bridgewater, was a member of the first
crew to man the USS New Jersey during World War II. He is now
a member and past president of the Battleship New Jersey Museum
Society and the USS New Jersey Veterans Inc., reunion group,
which numbers about 1,300.
An engineering technician who attended Newark
College of Engineering and Rutgers University, New Brunswick,
he formerly worked at Princeton University and for the Department
of the Army.
He is chairman of the commission's historical
acquisition of artifacts and research committee, which is assisting
in the collection of memorabilia from families and other military
ships or facilities for the future battleship museum.
He recently helped secure 16-inch dummy projectiles
for the ship's 16-inch guns from a Navy ordnance depot in Indiana.
They are being donated by the Navy, which saves the commission
$35,000, but the Battleship Foundation will pay to lease rail
cars and transport them to a weapons facility in Earle, Monmouth
Eugene Simko of Middletown is a professor and master's program
director at Monmouth University.
He is an avid scale modeler and World War
II history buff who has visited the USS New Jersey. He is a commissioned
officer in the U.S. Army Inactive Reserves.
He said he became a commissioner in 1994 after
meeting Assemblyman Joseph Azzolina, R-Monmouth, chairman of
the commission, at a Monmouth County Historical Association meeting.
"I told him my Dad, who was from Trenton, saw the New Jersey
at Pearl Harbor during World War II and went aboard her,"
As the Department of Environmental Protection liaison to the
commission, Paul Taylor is not a voting member but provides input
and attends most meetings.
Taylor, 51, of Wall Township, Monmouth County,
is the DEP supervisor of the Office of Historic Sites and a former
naval officer who has been a state employee for 19 years.
He volunteered to serve on the commission
and was named seven years ago as liaison.
"I was born in Jersey City, but that
doesn't prejudice me one way or another."
Some may have been focusing on New York Harbor,
but I was very, very impressed with the Camden proposal,"
Gloria Patrizio is a retired teacher, singer and poet from Middletown
who is an original member of the commission. She was appointed
in 1980 by then-Gov. Brendan T. Byrne about four years after
she joined the Battleship New Jersey Museum Society.
She has written a poem about the battleship.
She also penned poems about the Statue of Liberty and the Bald
Eagle, both of which are in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington,
Daniel Byles of Nutley is a retired corporate lawyer appointed
to the commission in 1996. He is a Navy veteran of World War
II who spent four years at sea in all theaters of the war aboard
Merchant Marine ships.
William F. Faherty Jr.
William Faherty of Hackettstown is one of the most well-known
commissioners in state circles. He is a retired banker who has
served in various posts under six governors since Gov. Richard
J. Hughes first appointed him assistant commissioner of banking
Gov. Whitman appointed him to the commission
in 1995. He also is a director of the Delta Dental Plan and Hackettstown
Hugo Pfaltz Jr.
Hugo Pfaltz Jr. of Summit is a lawyer and former state assemblyman
from 1967 to 1971. He is a partner in the law firm of Pfaltz
and Woller of Summit and has been a director of the Elizabethtown
He also is a Navy veteran of the Korean Conflict,
retiring from the Navy Reserve as a lieutenant in 1962. Gov.
Thomas Kean appointed him to the commission in 1986.
Rear Adm. George Reider
Retired Rear Adm. George Reider of Scotch Plains is a civil engineer
and consultant who began his career in the Construction Battalions
of the Navy during World War II.
For the battleship project, he has done environmental
and docking studies. He was appointed to the commission in 1994.
Thomas J. Gorman
Thomas Gorman of Lincroft in Middletown Township is a retired
Navy commander who is vice chairman of the New Jersey Battleship
Commission. After retiring from the military, he founded the
Marine Academy of Science and Technology in Sandy Hook, Monmouth
County, a secondary school dedicated to marine biology and oceanography.
While assigned to the U.S. Maritime Administration,
he coordinated the first major towing-at-sea conference, which
culminated in the first publication of a naval manual for sea
After meeting Azzolina at a Battleship Museum
Society meeting, he became a commission member in 1984 and helped
work out the contract and timetable for towing the ship from
Washington State through the Panama Canal to New Jersey.
Joseph Dyer of Pennsville is the newest member of the commission
and the only one from South Jersey. He is a former Republican
freeholder and administrator in Salem County and a Navy veteran
of the Korean Conflict.
He said he was appointed to the commission
as a result of an inquiry he made to the state after he saw the
USS New Jersey in Bremerton, Wash., in 1997 alongside the USS
Missouri, during his own ship's reunion of former crew members.
He said he discovered there were no battleship
commission representatives from South Jersey. He was appointed
by Gov. Christie Whitman in March.
During World War II he was a radarman aboard
the aircraft carrier USS Philippine Sea.
Stuart Chalkley of Piscataway, Middlesex County, is an artist
and member of the Battleship New Jersey Museum Society appointed
to the commission in 1994.
He is the battleship commissioner who designed
the commemorative motor vehicle license plate of the ship that
went on sale in 1996.
Sales of the plate are generating millions
of dollars in donations to bring the ship back to New Jersey
for a permanent home as a museum.
Joseph E. Gonzales Jr.
Joseph Gonzales Jr. of Princeton has been president of the New
Jersey Business and Industry Association since 1996 and has been
active in Republican politics.
He has been on the commission since 1994.
Leon Morrison of Fort Lee, Bergen County, is a retired oil refinery
engineer who is a past president of the Battleship New Jersey
Museum Society. He also is a member of the USS New Jersey Veterans
Gov. Tom Kean appointed him in 1987.