U.S.S. California
DLGN-36 / CGN-36
The Golden Grizzly
In The Beginning, Memories of a Plank Owner

USS California's Executive Officers

Anyone with information about the men who were the California's Executive Officers, please email Me with their names, dates served, and biographies and pictures if possible.

XO #1: Commander Edwin M. Baldwin


Commander Edwin M. Baldwin, USN, graduated from the United States Naval Academy in June 1958. His initial duty assignment was the USS BASILONE (DD 824) where he served as communications officer and operations officer.
In July 1961, Commander Baldwin began the operations analysis circiculum at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California, where he received a master's degree in June 1963.
In May 1964, after additional studies at Monterey, Commander Baldwin began his nuclear power career at the Nuclear Power School, Bainbridge, Maryland. In june 1965, after completing qualifications at the nuclear power prototype in West Milton, New York, he reported to USS ENTERPRISE (CVN 65) where he became the Reactor Controls Assistant.
Commander Baldwin was next transferred in December 1967 to the A1W nuclear power prototype at Idaho Falls, Idaho. At A1W Commander Baldwin served as the Senior Evaluation Officer of the Plant Performance Evaluation Activity.
In January 1971, Commander Baldwin departed Idaho to begin a period of instruction in preparation for his present duties, which included schools in Newport, Rhode Islan, and Norfolk, Virginia, as well as four months aboard USS DEWEY (DLG 14).
Commander Baldwin lists Marshfield, Wisconsin as his home. Mrs. Baldwin, the former Miss Joan Kordecki, is from Des Plaines, Illinois. They have three children, Susan, David, and Jennifer.


Information from the USS TRUXTUN home page.
Captain Baldwin commanded USS ELMER MONTGOMERY (FF-1082) from March 1976 to December 1976. In February 1977 he reported to the staff of Commander, Naval Surface Force, Pacific in San Diego, serving as Force Nuclear Propulsion Officer. He assumed command of USS TRUXTUN (CGN-35) from 23 February 1979 to 16 January 1981.

XO #2: Commander Triggs

?-23 February 1976

XO #3: Commander Chase

23 February 1976-July 1978

Commander Chase was born in Rutland, Vermont on 23 February 1939 and attended schools there until receiving an appointment to the Naval Academy.
After graduation from the Naval Academy in 1961, he reported to USS DAVIS (DD-937) in Newport as Gunnery Assistant and Second Division Officer. In November of 1962, he attended the U.S. Naval Destroyer School, graduating in May of 1963. From June of 1963 until July of 1964 he served as Engineering Officer of USS MITSCHER (DL-2). In August of that year Commander Chase entered the Nuclear Power Program, attending basic school at Bainbridge, Maryland and prototype training at D1G at West Milton, New York.
November of 1965 found the Chases traveling to the West coast to assume duty as Prospective Engineer Officer of USS SCHOFIELD (DEG-3). This was followed by a tour as Operations Officer in USS LYNDE McCORMIC (DDG-8) from Fegruary 1967 until November 1968. A tour as Damage Control Assistant in USS BRAINBRIDGE (DLGN-25) followed until June of 1971, when Commander Chase was ordered to the Naval Post Graduate School in Monterey. He received his masters degree in operations research in September 1973, and reported aboard USS KING (DLG-10) as Executive Officer. After placing KING out of commission for modernization in April 1974, he reported to the Staff Of Commander Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet for duty as Maintenance Manager for USS ENTERPRISE and USS RANGER, and additional duty on the staff of Commander Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet.
Commander Chase is married to the former Lorna Brown of Rutland, Vermont. They have two children: Catherine and Richard Brian.

XO #4: Commander Pollack

July 1978-November 1979

Contributed by Captain Charles J. Smith
Commander Pollock was commissioned an Ensign in 1965 through the NROTC program at the University of Minnesota. He remained at the University of Minnesota Graduate School until 1967 obtaining a Master of Science degree in Mathematics immediately followed by one year of nuclear power training.

He served in USS TRUXTUN (CGN-35) from 1968-1971, first as Damage Control Assistant, and then as Main Propulsion Assistant. From 1971-1794, he was assigned as Assistant Engineer Officer in the precommissioning unit of USS CALIFORNIA (CGN-36) during her construction at Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company. Following six months of Surfance Warfare Officer Department Head School in Newport, RI, Commander Pollock returned to USS TRUXTUN (CGN-35) and served as Engineer Officer from June 1975 - May 1978.

He then returned to USS CALIFORNIA (CGN- 36) as Executive Officer in July 1978. He was transferred in December 1979 to Washington, DC to serve as Surface Nuclear Power Officer Placement Branch Head at Naval Military Personnel Command.

Commander Pollock is married to the former Barbara Craig of Bloomington, Minnesota.

Contributed by Captain Charles J. Smith

XO #5: Commander Neil M. Brennan

November 1979-May 1982

LCDR. Neil M. Brennan was born in Annapolis Maryland, on November 18, 1944. He attended the United States Naval Academy and was graduated in 1966 with a degree in Naval Science and was commissioned Ensign, USN.

After completing nuclear power training, LCDR. Brennan served aboard USS BAINBRIDGE (DLGN 25) from 1968 to 1970 as Auxiliaries Officer and later as Damage Control Assistant. After completing the Department Head Course at the Naval Destroyer School, he served on USS RICH (DD 820) as Weapons Officer in 1971 and 1972. In August of 1972 he reported for duty at the Naval Academy as the Fourth Company Officer. He returned to sea duty in October of 1975 as Electrical Officer on USS LONG BEACH (CGN 9).

LCDR. Brennan served on the Staff, Commander Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, from January 1978 to July 1979 as a member of the Nuclear Propulsion Mobile Training Team and as Maintenance Manger for USS ENTERPRISE (CVN 65).

LCDR. Brannan reported aboard USS CALIFORNIA in November 1979, when he relieved CDR. Pollock as Executive Officer.

He has been awarded the National Defense Medal, Seas Service Deployment Ribbon, Vietnam Service Medal, Battle Effiency Award, and the Naval Expeditionary Medal.

LCDR. Brennan is married to the former Jane Young from Thomasville, North Carolina. They have four Children: Neil, Kara, Jason, and Stacey


After leaving the California, Commander Brennan then reported for duty at the Naval Military Personnel Command as Head, Surface Nuclear Power Officer Branch and Surface Nuclear Power Program Manager until February 1985.
Captain Brennan commanded USS BARNEY (DDG 6) from May 1985 to June 1987. He was then assigned to the staff, Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet as Commanding Officer, Surface Nuclear Propulsion Mobile Training Team until 1989 and then as Assistant Chief of Staff for Manpower and Personnel until October 1990. He assumed command of USS TEXAS (CGN 39) on 26 June 1991 until Her decommissioning on 16 July 1993.
Captain Brennan' s personal awards include the Legion of Merit, Navy Commendation Medal, and Meritorious Service Medal with Gold Star in lieu of second award.
Captain Brennan is married to the former Jane Young from Thomasville, North Carolina. They have four children: Neil, an ensign in the Navy, Kara, Jason, and Stacey.

XO #6: Commander Eric Stein

May 1982-April 1984

Photo Contributed by:John Foottit , March 1, 2000
Article Contributed by: Robert Learner , March 24, 1999

XO #7: Commander George Beida

April 1984-March 1986

The son of Edward and Felicia Bieda, Commander Bieda was born at Nanticoke, Pennsylvania. An Air Force junior, he grew up in the Washington DC area and attended high school in Waipahu, Hawaii, where he graduated in 1965. Four years later, he was commissioned as an Ensign, U.S. Navy after having received a bachelor's degree in Engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy.
The following year he attended the US Naval Postgraduate School where he completed a master's degree in Oceanography in 1970. That same year he attended the Nuclear Power School at Mare Island, California, before attending AIW prototype training in 1971 at Idaho Falls, Idaho.
Later in 1971 he reported aboard the USS TRUXTON (CGN 35) where he served as Auxiliaries and Electrical Division Officer for two years. He then served two years on the USS ENTERPRISE (CVN 65) completing his tour as Chemistry and Radiological Controls Officer there in 1976. For the next two years he was Nuclear Cruiser Material Officer for COMNAVSURFPAC in San Diego, California.
He left that position in 1978 to attend the Destroyer Department Head training course at Newport, Rhode Island, before returning to the USS ENTERPRISE in 1979 as Main Propulsion Assistant. His last tour of duty before reporting aboard the CALIFORNIA as Executive Officer on April 17, 1984 was at CINCPACFLT, Honolulu, where he served on the Nuclear Propulsion Examining Board between 1981 and 1983.
In addition to nine medals relating to his Vietnam War service, Commander Bieda holds the Meritorious Service medal, the Navy Commendation medal and the Navy Achievement medal.
He is married to his high school sweetheart, the former Ester Joy Cayetano, the daughter of David and Fely Cayetano of Ewa Beach, Hawaii. They have two sons, Edward and David.

Contributor: Eric Tennant, August 29, 1997

XO#8 LTCDR William J. Woerman II

March 1986-December 1988

Lieutenant Commander William J. Woerman, II was born in Portsmouth, Virginia and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. After attending Roger Bacon High School, he graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology in 1972. Upon Completion of Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island, he was commissioned as Ensign in the United States Navy.
After completing Nuclear Power School in Mare Island, California, and prototype training in Idaho Falls, Idaho, LCDR Woerman reported to the USS ENTERPRISE (CVN-65) where he served as the Chemistry and Radiological Controls Officer. In July 1976 he left the ENTERPRISE and reported to the USS BAINBRIDGE (CGN-25) where he served as Combat Information Center Officer and Main Propulsion Assistant.
In August 1981 he reported to the NROTC Unit at the University of Washington where he taught Navigation and Tactics. Two years later he was assigned to the USS LONG BEACH (CGN-9) as the Damage Control Assistant. Following that tour, he was assigned to the staff of the Commander in Chief, U. S. Pacific Fleet where he served on the Nuclear Propulsion Examining Board.
He reported to the USS CALIFORNIA (CGN-36) as Executive Officer in March 1986. LCDR Woerman is selected for Commander. LCDR Woerman's decorations include two Navy Commendation Medals, a Meritorious Unit Commendation, two Battle "E's", and the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal. He is married to the former Theresa Maria Nessi of Oakland, California. They have three children, Anna, Sarah, and Joseph.

Contributor: Eric Tennant, September 9, 1997

XO#9 Commander Gary J. Bunevitch

December 1988-?

Commander Gary J. Bunevitch enlisted in the United States Navy in 1968 and served as Electronics Technician until his selection to the Naval Enlisted Scientific Education Program (NESEP). In 1973, he was awarded a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University and was subsequently commissioned as a Naval Officer. Following his initial Nuclear Power Training, Commander Bunevitch was assigned to the precommissioning crew of USS NIMITZ (CVN-68), where he served as the M-Division Officer until 1977. Subsequent tours include duties as Staff Instructor, Senior Officer Material Readiness Course; Operations Officer, USS MILLER (FF-1091); Nuclear Propulsion Mobile Training Team (Atlantic); Reactor Controls Assistant, USS CARL VINSON (CVN-70); and Executive Officer, Nuclear Power Training Unit, Ballston Spa, New York. Commander Bunevitch assumed duties as Executive Officer, USS CALIFORNIA (CGN-36) in December 1988.
Commander Bunevitch is married to the former Margaret "Maggie" Evans of Saratoga Springs, New York. They have one daughter, Marci Ann, and make their home in Alameda, California.

XO #10: Commander James T. Fry

?-January 1991

XO #11: Commander Carl Williams

January 1991-August 1992

XO #12: Commander Joseph Bruce Hamilton III

? - ?

XO #13: Commander Steven Morehead

? - ?

Contributed by:OS1 (SW/AW) Paul S McCann, November, 2008

Commander Steven Emory Morehead, USN, a native of Huntington Beach, California, graduated from the University of California at Los Angeles in June 1980 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering. Following graduations, he was commissioned an Ensign and reported for duty at the Naval Nuclear Power School in Orlando, Florida and subsequently to the Nuclear Power Training Unit in Idaho Falls, Idaho,

Upon completion of nuclear power training, Ensign Morehead was ordered to USS Enterprise (CVN 65) for duty as Auxiliaries Division Officer. In August 1984, Lieutenant Morehead reported to USS Connolly (DD 979) for duty first as Combat Information Center Officer and then as Navigator. During these tours he qualified to be an Engineer Officer in nuclear powered surface ships and as a Surface Warfare Officer.

In June1986, Lieutenant Morehead reported for duty as a student at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California where he earned a Master of Science Degree in Oceanography and Meteorology.

In May 1989, after completing the Department Head Course at the Surface Warfare Officer's School, Lieutenant Commander Morehead reported to USS Fletcher (DD 992) for duty as her Combat Systems Officer. Following this he served in USS Acudia (AD 42) as the Radiological Controls Officer where he supervised the inactivation of her Nuclear Support Facility.

Following a year at the US Army Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, Commander Morehead reported to USS California (CGN 36) for duty as her Executive Officer.

Commander Morehead's decorations and awards include the Navy Commendation Medal, the Navy Unit Commendation, the Humanitarian Service Medal, the Southwest Asia Service Medal with two stars, the Kuwait Liberation Medal, and various other campaign medals.

To view this file with pictures in the submitted .pdf form, please click HERE

Contributor: John Gould

XO #14: Commander James Murdoch


Commander James A. Murdoch was born in New Haven, Connecticut in 1958 and attended high school in Northeast Harbor, Maine. He was commissioned in 1980 through the NROTC program at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) where he received a degree in Mechanical Engineering.
Following Nuclear Propulsion training and Surface Warfare Officers' School, he served in USS Virginia (CGN 38) as Communications Officer and Electrical Officer. He then reported to the staff of the Naval Nuclear Power School, Officer Department as instructor and then Assistant Director. He served as Operations Officer in USS Capodanno (FF 1093) and Engineer Officer in USS California (CGN 36) from 1989 through 1992, a tour which saw the ship underway for the fleet exercise PACEX 89 and concluded with two years in Nuclear Refueling Overhaul.
After a tour as Junior Member, CINCLANTFLT Nuclear Propulsion Examining Board, he returned to CALIFORNIA as Executive Officer in May 1995. Commander Murdoch transferred to the Navy War College in October just prior to the California pulling into Melbourne, Australia.
His personal awards include the Meritorious Service Medal and the Navy Commendation Medal.

Contributor: John Gould

XO #15: LCDR Mark Hellstern

?-March 8, 1998

Lieutenant Commander Mark J. Hellstern was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1983 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Marine Engineering. During 1983-84, he completed gas turbine research at David Taylor Research and Development Center Annapolis, MD and Nuclear Power Training in Orlando, FL and West Milton, NY.
LCDR Hellstern's initial sea duty assignments were on USS NIMITZ (CVN 68), where he served as Reactor Electrical Division Officer and Reactor Training Assistant through two Mediterranean deployments, and USS BIDDLE (CG 34), where he served as Missile Battery Officer during the initial operational testing of the New Threat Upgrade (NTU) combat system and one Mediterranean deployment.
In July 1989, he attended the Navy PostGraduate School in Monterey, CA, and completed a Masters of Science in Physics with Distinction. His thesis on the subject of measuring the divergence of particle beams using optical transition radiation earned the Surface Warfare Technology Award for Excellence.
After graduation, LCDR Hellstern coordinated the completion of a 24-month Complex Overhaul and participated in preparing the ship from sea trials to deployment. Following completion of Surface Warfare Officer School Department Head Course, LCDR Hellstern was assigned to USS OLDENDORF (DD 972) as Operations Officer. During this tour, he participated in Exercise Eager Sentry, several US Central Command Tomahawk exercises, a Western Pacific Deployment, and several Joint Fleet exercises. LCDR Hellstern's most recent assignment was at Air Command and Staff College, where he graduated with Distinction and was instrumental in writing one of the white papers for the Air Force 2025 Study, a futuristic assessment of warfighting requirements in the 21st century.
Among his various awards, LCDR Hellstern wears the Navy Commendation (Gold Star in Lieu of 3rd award) and Navy Achievement Medal (with Gold Star).
LCDR Hellstern is married to the former Janet Blanchette of Waltham, Mass. LCDR and Mrs. Hellstern have one son, Clark Xavier.


March 8, 1998-?

Lieutenant Commander Rogers was born in Boise, Idaho in June 1963. Growing up in Moscow, Idaho, he graduated from the University of Idaho in 1985 with a Bachelor of science degree in Civil Engineering. During 1986 he attended Nuclear Power Training in Orlando, Florida and Idaho Falls, Idaho.
Lieutenant Commander Rogers' initial sea duty assignment was in USS NIMITZ (CVN 68) where he served as 'E' Division Officer and Reactor Training Assistant. In March 1991, he was assigned as an instructor at the Naval Nuclear Power Training Unit in Idaho Falls, Idaho, where he served as the Staff Training Group Officer and Operations Officer.
Following completion of the Surface Warfare Officer Department Head Course, Lieutenant Commander Rogers was assigned to USS INGRAHAM FFG 61) as Combat Systems Officer. Onboard INGRAHAM, he made the 1995 Arabian Gulf deployment, participating in operation VIGILENT SENTINAL. In July 1996, Lieutenant Commander Rogers was assigned to USS CARL VINSON (CVN 70) as the Reactor Electrical Assistant. During this tour he deployed to the Arabian Gulf participating in operation DESERT STRIKE.

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