USS Dennis - DE-405

Vernon Howard and Beatrice May Rader Kennedy

(click pictures to enlarge)




Lt. Vernon Kennedy served on the USS Dennis.

Vernon and his delightful wife Bea.

He wrote the Navy for the USS Dennis plans 
and over a year's time, built an exact replica.

1946 .. young marrieds in Alaska


Vernon Kennedy and Don Dennis


Gracious and fun hosts!
Thank you so much!








Lt. Kennedy is an incredible artist.  There are over 500 pieces in the inlaid wood picture at the left.    He builds tiny sleds (top left picture) and built the perfect replica of the USS Dennis, with working parts!














      Pictures by Ann Dennis
Courtesy of Lt. Vernon Kennedy 


Vernon Howard Kennedy (1925-2011)

Vernon Howard Kennedy, 85, passed away May 23, 2011. He was born in Marysville, Utah on July 10, 1925, to Howard and Melba Kennedy, six months later they moved to EIy, Nev.

Vern served in the Navy on the U.S.S. Dennis - D.E. 405 from December 1942 through July 1946. He saw extensive action in the South Pacific, and was on his way to Tokyo when the war ended.

Vern met Beatrice Rader in 1946 in Las Vegas. Vern led the way to Fairbanks in May1947, with Bea arriving in June. They were married in Fairbanks, in the Territory of Alaska, on July 30, 1947, at the Federal Building. Their first home was above the Manor Tea Room on 10th and Cushman, and they have since resided in Fairbanks in the home they bought in 1968. Their son Jeffrey was born April 10, 1951.

Vern worked as a gandy dancer laying railroad track from Ladd Field (now Fort Wainwright) to 26 Mile Richardson Highway (now Eielson Air Force Base). In 1949, he was sponsored by Jack Fricke as an apprentice for Plumbers & Steamfitters Local 375. He worked more than 50 years for Western Mechanical, retiring in 1996 as a superintendent. Some of the many projects Vern worked on were the Federal Building, the hospital, and buildings at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Vern had no patience for fishing, but loved to hunt moose and caribou. He loved to see the beautiful Alaska outdoors, and enjoyed going for rides to look at all the buildings he worked on during construction. The Kennedy home was always open to visitors, and when friends stopped by, Vern would keep them spellbound by his stories of action in the South Pacific during his time in the Navy. In his spare time, he used the gift he had in his hands for wood working, carvings and ceramics, and created many beautiful items for his wife and son.

Vern and Bea were members of Congregation Or HaTzafon. Vern helped remodel the synagogue and built the ark to house the Torah. He was a retired member of Local 375, and a member of the Fraternal Order of Elks, where Vern and Bea started monthly dances many years ago for people with disabilities. These dances continue to this day. Vern and Bea also started a social club for children with disabilities, which became the Tanana Valley chapter of Special Olympics and were active for many years ensuring there were activities for disabled children and adults in this area.

Vern was preceded in death by his parents Howard and Melba Kennedy, brothers Jim and Mickey and sister Helen.

Vern is survived by his loving wife Bea and his son, Jeffrey Kennedy of Fairbanks, brothers Craig Kennedy and Fred Kennedy, of Las Vegas, and many nieces and nephews.

A memorial service is being planned for July.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Tanana Valley Special Olympics or your favorite charity.

From the Fairbanks Daily News Miner

Beatrice M. Kennedy Obituary

Beatrice May Kennedy, the matriarch of the Jewish community passed away May 20, 2016. Bea was born in Roselle, New Jersey, to Philip and Rae Rader on Jan. 23, 1925, the youngest of seven children. The family relocated to Las Vegas.

In 1946, Bea met her husband-to-be, Vern Kennedy, who had just returned from serving in the Navy on the U.S.S. Dennis. Vern left for Fairbanks in May 1947 and soon sent Bea an airline ticket. She arrived in Fairbanks in June 1947. Housing was all but non-existent, but Eva McGowan, the hostess of Fairbanks, convinced the two sisters who owned the Manor Tea Room to allow Bea to stay for one night.

The next morning, Bea and Vern were married in the Federal Building. A reception followed at the Manor Tea Room (10th and Cushman). They lived there for one year and then moved to the Cheechako Hotel (12th and Noble). JoAnne Sweet said Bea loved to camp and fish on the Chatanika River with her family who also resided at the hotel. The two families remained friends throughout the years.

Her son, Jeffrey, was born in April 1951 with Down Syndrome. In the 1970s, Bea was one of a group of parents with special needs children who started the Star Club to have activities such as dancing, crafts and refreshments. As the young adults aged, they realized they would need more activities and functions, so Bea and the others led the way to organize a Special Olympics chapter.

In the '50s and '60s, if anyone asked a question regarding the Jewish community, the real live telephone operators routed the call to Bea's number. Bea was a great friend, terrific cook and hostess. Anyone who needed a place to go for holiday meals would be welcome in Bea's home. If you've walked through her door, your signature is recorded in one of her many guest books. Bea loved her family, her friends, especially babies; flowers, geese, birds (except for pigeons) and all wildlife.

Bea had a special relationship with her neighbor, Bob Weinberg. He will tell you she was like a sibling, mother and grandmother to him. Listening to them teasing one another was priceless. He was always looking out for her. Many days he would cook her breakfast, make dinner and check on her throughout the day. He'd be there to take her to the doctors or to the hair salon, and he was her Mr. Fixit.

Jay Ramras also had a special relationship with Bea. She knew him from birth. They had a special bond like grandson and grandmother. He often visited her, especially on Sundays, bringing her delicious treats from Pike's. Her favorite was chocolate mousse. When out of town, Jay would often call her.

Bea's newest friends and caretakers were a group of terrific ladies. They would dance and sing with her, "1-2-3 cha-cha-cha." She loved it and showed her big smile and wonderful laugh. Many thanks for the excellent care given by Sheryl Jenkins, Marilyn Joseph, Youngmi Chafin, Trish Johnston and her other caregivers.

Bea was preceded in death by her husband, Vern, and son, Jeffrey; her parents and six siblings. She will be missed by all her many nieces and nephews in New Jersey, Montana, California, Nevada and other places across the country as well as many of us throughout Alaska.

There will be a memorial service led by Rabbi Matt Eisenberg at 11 a.m. Friday, Aug. 5, at Or HaTzafon, the synagogue on Aurora Drive, followed by a luncheon from noon to 2 p.m. at Pike's Waterfront Hotel in the Binkley Room.

Donations in Bea's memory can be made to Or HaTzafon, P.O. Box 74863 Fairbanks, AK 99707 or to Special Olympics, P.O. Box 82425 Fairbanks, AK 99708.

Published in Daily News-Miner from July 31 to Aug. 3, 2016


Photo by Todd Dennis
Bea Kennedy and the replica of the USS Dennis


BACK:  USS Dennis

Pictures USS Dennis DE 405

USS Dennis
(See USS Dennis on Facebook also)


USS Fogg


Delbert W. Miller


 USS Fogg Di Milla  Photos  

DE-405, Cafferty Scrapbook



Baguio POW Camp, Philippines

Omori POW Camp

USS Fogg Honor Roll


EM2/c Harold M. Compton, USS Fogg, DE-57      

WWII Diary

ZERO by C. Davis Fogg


Letter to Carleton Fogg
by Susan Lane Fuss

USS Fogg Ship's Log
 1943 to 1945








USS Dennis


Pearl Harbor

1 February 1942 Final Battle Dennis/Fogg

St. Lo 

Edward Cafferty's  DE405
Scrapbook Photos  

| 1
| 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 |
9 | 10 | 11 | 12 |


 Christening Box/Plaque
Jeff Von Holten


Christening Letters

"Dusty" Kleiss on Fogg/Dennis
 Final Flight

Rescue at sea

Blackburn Photos
Men Who Served
Roster - DE405
Dusty_Kleiss'_book DE 405  Reunions Vernon Kennedy Misc Pictures Crossing The
H.G. Kelly

Otis Dennis Pict  
 Letters Page 1
e 1


Otis Dennis Pictures
and Letters Page 2


Otis' Last
 Letter Home
Legacy Join-Up,
Sea of Thunder
by Evan Thomas

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