The Elusive Navy Book

The Elusive Navy Book

This book is still avoiding my finding it. Again, as I have stated before, I have searched for my Navy Boot Camp book for more than 20-25 years since I lost it back in the mid 1980’s. I actually search on a DAILY basis for this book and photo of my company in boot camp. I search eBay, I search Abe’s Books of New York, I have called and talked to the National Archives and commissioned a search for other boot camp members.  And although the search from the National Archives was successful, the only information they could provide me was the names of those in my boot camp company, but no other information as to their location or city of origin. I have found a few of the members of my company, but either they don’t know where their books are at, or they just don’t respond. Regardless, I am still unsuccessful in finding them.

Even going through Facebook has proved futile in my attempts to locate this book. It also does not help that very few people have landline phones anymore, so calling them on a phone is almost impossible. In other words, in some ways it’s easier to find people, but other ways it’s more difficult to contact them. It’s very frustrating.

Now, I am trying this tactic. I am mailing them through the USPS in the hopes I get some response. From the 60 guys in my company, I feel I have a pretty good address on at least 26 of them. So I am sending out 26 letters in the hopes that maybe ONE or TWO people will respond to my request. Otherwise, I will continue to be at the mercy of eBay and the book finders for a copy to come onto the market. Who knows, maybe this intense endeavor will pay off and I’ll find “The Elusive Navy Book”.

Here’s a copy of the letter I have sent.

Hello Former Boot Camp Buddy,

I’ll try to make this short so as to not waste your time. I’m looking for former members of my Navy boot camp company that attended Great Lakes Recruit Training Center in the summer of 1973. I have lost BOTH my Navy Company Book which is called, “The Keel” (sometimes this book was referred to the boot camp yearbook). Basically, this is the book with the photos of everyone in the company and also some pictures of the company in everyday life. I am also looking for the GROUP photo of our company as that was lost too. If you have either of these items, I will foot ALL COSTS in getting them reproduced. I have found a company to have this done digitally (which does not affect the original book or photo).


The book is a hardback 9”x12” book with a white cover and gold emblem on the front.

I have already contacted several members that were in our boot camp company (and still maintain contact with them) as well as information on some of them that have since passed on if you’re interested in knowing about some of the “guys”. I have approximately 15-20 Polaroids we took during our time in boot camp and could possibly have photos of you to share. I can also share some additional information I have about our company and Great Lakes in general.

To make sure YOU and I were in the same company, I offer the following information:

  • Great Lakes Recruit Training Center
  • Great Lakes, IL
  • 22nd Battalion, Company 73-192
  • Commenced Training:  June 12, 1973  (It could be June 11, 1973)
  • Completed Training:  August 8, 1973
  • Company Commander:   Hambrick
  • Asst. Company Commander:   Atz
  • Recruit Petty Officer in Charge:  Steve Knauf
  • Asst, Recruit Petty Officer in Charge:  Philip Wensko
  • Company Clerk:  Howard Johnson

OK…so there it is. No cost to you. I will provide your original materials back to you, and include digital copies to you.

If you were in my company, please take the time to LOOK for your book and photo… respond even if you no longer have the book or company photo. If for no other reason than to say hello. Thank you for your service, and it was definitely a great pleasure to serve with all of those in my company, those short 2 months made us all who we are today. SALUTE!

The BEST way to contact me INITIALLY is to either email me, or text me. You can also send me regular mail or call me, although if you call…leave a message, as I try not to answer phone calls from unknown callers…but you can still call. But DO CONTACT ME!!  I am on FACEBOOK and you can find me there too.

Wallace (Wally) Jarratt

Searcy, AR  72143

Phone:  501-xxx-xxxx


IMPORTANT: Again, I will reimburse any and all costs to reproduce both the book and the photo.

Author: Wally

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