Paul D. “Mike” Stroop, Class of 1954
Founder of the USNA Alumni Association RV Chapter and affectionately known as the “Godfather” of RV chapter.
Mike was born 29 June 1931 in Baltimore, Maryland. As a Navy junior he traveled with his family to various military bases and, in 1949, graduated from Punahou High School in Honolulu, Hawaii, where he is still known to his classmates as ‘the diver’.
After physically being stretched by some of his new classmates in order to meet minimum height requirements, Mike was sworn in as a Midshipman, U. S. Navy, entering the U. S. Naval Academy with the Class of 1954. Upon graduation, he chose submarine service and performed duties in USS Cubera (SS 347) and USS Redfin (SS 272). Shore duty at Cape Canaveral, Florida followed, where Mike worked with the Navy’s missile programs. In 1963 he left active duty to join Pan American World Airways, subsequently joining Bendix/Allied Signal Corporation where he continued with their space program until he retired in the late ’90s to enjoy RV travel.
At a Vermont campground in October 1997 Mike met a fellow USNA RVer, Jim Roberts ’59 who just happened to be wearing a USNA sweatshirt. Inspired by this chance meeting, Mike returned to Annapolis and petitioned the USNA Alumni Association to form an RV chapter. The proposed chapter would serve the needs of alumni who had taken to the open road as a life style and could not attend regular meetings of area-based chapters. Alumni Association Trustees approved Mike’s idea and the RV Chapter was authorized in 1999. A well-attended initial Come Around was held at Monte Sano State Park in Huntsville, Alabama 15-18 April 1999. Mike elected to assume the Secretary-Treasurer position and other board members volunteers were Terry Sutherland ’54, Jim Roberts ’59, Royal Connell ’70, and Jim Connors ’74. Jim Roberts volunteered to be President and Terry Sutherland volunteered to be the chapter’s liaison with Shipmate Magazine.
Mike departed 5/29/2013.