USS Harry S. Truman Wins First Capt. Tushar Tembe CVN Invitational


Sailors assigned to USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) won the Tembe Cup during the first Capt. Tushar Tembe CVN Invitational golf tournament at Naval Air Station Oceana Nov. 10.

The tournament and top prize were named for Capt. Tushar R. Tembe, who died suddenly Nov. 8 after collapsing at Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) where Truman is currently undergoing a docking planned incremental availability.

Truman Sailors played against teams from USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), and USS Enterprise (CVN 65).

The tournament was not originally planned for Tembe, said Aviation Ordnanceman 1st Class Jeffery Crawford, leading petty officer of Truman’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) department.

“Capt. Tembe came up with the idea for this tournament,” said Crawford. “He was involved in every last detail of planning this event, and that’s why we decided to name it for him.”

Before Sailors hit the green, they had a moment of silence for Tembe and his family.

“Personally, this is a huge loss. He was my golf buddy … my Navy buddy,” said Capt. William C. Hamilton Jr., commanding officer of Enterprise, and close friend of Tembe. “We played golf together all over the world for the past 16 years. I’ll never swing another club now without thinking about him.”

Hamilton said his friendship with Tembe began in 1995 when they served as department heads with Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 83.

“As time marched on, we stayed in touch with each other and were both eventually selected to command aircraft carriers,” said Hamilton. “For the Navy, they lost an aircraft carrier commander. There are only 11 of us in the fleet, and that’s what we have to recover from.”

After Tembe’s death, commanders from the east coast carriers decided to continue with the tournament in Tembe’s honor, said Hamilton.

“This was the most appropriate thing to do,” said Hamilton. “He planned this for us, and he would be so upset if we didn’t play. We’re here to honor him and I am proud to be here.”

For Aviation Electronics Technician 1st Class Scott Rossi, who is assigned to Truman’s Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Department, Tembe’s memory inspired him and his team to do well.

“We played inspired golf today,” said Rossi. “Working with and knowing Capt. Tembe made a big impact on me, and I was thinking of him all day as were my teammates and, probably, everyone out here today. This was a great way to pay tribute to our beloved commanding officer and have camaraderie.”

Tembe checked aboard Truman in July 2011 and assumed command in August. Previously, he served as commanding officer of Austin-class amphibious transport dock USS Nashville (LPD 13) and Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 87. Tembe also served as executive officer aboard Eisenhower and as Chief of Staff at the U.S. Joint Forces Command in Norfolk, Va.

“He was a true officer and a true gentleman and a great shipmate who I had the honor of serving with,” said Rossi. “Today, I played golf for him.”

Naval Today Staff , November 15, 2011