Two Bell Ceremony in remembrance of those
Shipmates that have received orders to serve
on the Staff of the Supreme Commander.
Shipmate Duane "Robbie" Robertson
Shipmate Robert J. Shanley
Please remember our troops overseas in
Iraq and Afghanistan.
To report a passing of a Shipmate please Contact Us .
Robert J. Shanley USN (Ret)
April 24, 1926 - January 16, 2021
Shipmate Shanley was a FRA Member of 48 years. He was in the Navy from January 1944 to September 1967 and served on the following ships and submarines: USS Barnwell APA-132, USS Sea Owl SS-405, USS Dace SS-247, USS Salem CA-139, USS Northampton CC-1, USS Frank Knox DDR-742, and USS Proteus AS-19.
For his full obituary please see the link below:
Navy Memorial’s Navy Log:
The Two Bell Ceremony. When executed properly, the Fleet Reserve Association’s “Two-Bell Ceremony” is dramatic testimony to humility, dignity, reverence and honor. It fulfills the promise of our preamble – “our reverence for the memory of our departed shipmates.”
Unfortunately, there is no written documentation or knowledge that clearly identifies the origin of this beloved ritual except that it is unique and ours alone. In researching naval history back to the time of Britain’s Lord Nelson we can find no record of a memorial ceremony using the ship’s bell. Our current elder statesmen credit several deceased shipmates as being largely responsible for the originating and refinement of the ritual. But it is clear the sounding of two bells is the “time,” or the “moment,” to pause and reflect on our shipmates who are now serving on the staff of the Supreme Commander.
In days past, “two bells” marked the end of the routine day aboard ship. It was time for “Tattoo” and soon “Taps” would sound throughout the ship. Certainly, this is a most appropriate time to honor our departed shipmates.
Those familiar with one of the greatest stories of the sea, “The Ancient Mariner,” will remember that he/she found safe passage in narrow waters by listening to the bell on the marking buoy. That bobbing marking buoy sounds much like the tolling of a bell for a funeral dirge, solemn, reverent and mournful.
Since the beginning of recorded time, men of the sea have been guided and impressed by the sounding of the ship’s bell. In our “Two Bell Ceremony,” the tolling of the bell and the spoken word can and should be combined to execute a ritual that contributes to and strengthens the bond that exists amongst all shipmates of the Fleet Reserve Association.
Chief Petty Officer
Duane “Robbie” Robertson USN (Ret)
January 12, 1924 - February 1, 2021
Shipmate Robertson was a FRA Life Member of 63 years. He was a World War II Navy veteran who survived the sinking of the USS Yorktown during the Battle of Midway. After retiring as a Radioman Chief Petty Officer in 1960, he was a NASA Communication Specialist at Goddard Space Flight Center. He served as President of the Fleet Reserve Association East Coast Region during the 1981-1982 FRA Year.
Shipmate Robertson’s USS Yorktown experience was documented in a three part article written by Branch 182 President Keith Kaider, which was published in the 2015 June, July and August issues of the FRA Today magazine. These FRAToday issues can be obtained by going to the following link:
Navy Memorial’s Navy Log: