Friday, December 16, 2011

Baxter Bulletin Dec 13th.
Loyal Huston & Mel Smith, USSVI Twin Lakes Base, Mountain Home, AR
Gifts they received.
Many school teachers & their students greeted them at the airport on their return trip. The veterans received many letters of "thanks" from lots students that brought tears of joy to the Veterans.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

December 7th will be the 70th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attacks. This is a solemn occasion where we remember the loss of life that catapulted us into WWII. The attached is a PowerPoint that depicts the timeline of the attacks. This was their September 11th, read it and remember those who were affected that day. There will be many ceremonies taking place this week - try to go to one and thank a WWII vet.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

ATTENTION SHIPMATES! Your Assistance Is Requested This letter will serve as a request for your assistance in helping me continue and complete an endeavor to commemorate our time as Submariners. As I am sure you will all agree the time spent in the Submarine Service was without a doubt one of the highlights of our time on this Earth. Despite the long hours, family separations, danger, stress and confined spaces, its hard not to look back fondly at our time in the “boats”. Part of that fondness and respect is knowing that what we were doing was important. For you “elder” submariners it was fighting an enemy that had attacked our country and was determined on world domination. For us Cold Warriors it was knowing that we were the front lines in the battle to contain the spread of Communism and provide the world with a better alternative. And today's Submariners find themselves in a very different fight, that involving the global fight against terrorism. But even more motivating than all of this was the thrill and uniqueness of being part of that submarine crew. What kept bringing us back to the hardships of sea duty was that internal gratification of being part of an elite group of sailors. Sailors who, more than in any other discipline, had to rely upon each other for their lives. You had to have complete and unadulterated confidence that when you went to your rack for a few hours sleep, that those shipmates on watch literally held your life in their hands. I for one always slept soundly, if not for long, knowing the finest shipmates in the Navy stood the watch. I have always felt it was important to get the story of our submariners out to the public. Clearly I am not alone in that respect as over the last 10 years or so an increasing number of books have materialized with accounts of the magnificent activities of our submarines and the men who manned them. Admittedly these have been written by Submarine heroes and experts from their unique perspective. These books cover the innumerable heroic activities of our submarines from the Civil War to today, again very important information that the American public has not been privy to previously from the ”Silent Service”. What hasn’t been adequately addressed is the more personal side of our time in submarines. That is the gist of my efforts. To meet that goal I would like to get as much input as possible from the submarine community and its veterans to make that happen. My goal is to gather and publish those “ sea stories” unique to the Submarine Service that we all have experienced on patrol and deployment. How often have we thought of those times we sent a young seaman searching the boat with a request chit for some “relative bearing grease” or 600 feet of “waterline”. Therefore I hereby humbly ask that you pass this request along to your members so that they may submit their memories and stories of their time in submarines. This can include sea stories, personal anecdotes, family grams or just any fond memory that portrays the personal side of the submarine force. Please include name and boat so that proper acknowledgement can be made. My intention is to have these stories published to put a more personal face on a force that until recently has reveled in its anonymity. It’s important that we get this story out especially as we continue to lose those aging submarine heroes of World War II whose stories would otherwise be lost forever. Your assistance in this effort is greatly appreciated. As a career submarine officer myself I greatly look forward to your inputs in this both personal and professional endeavor. Thank you in advance for your consideration. Very Respectfully, Thomas Sousa LCDR USN (Ret.) SSBN 610 (G), SSBN 601 (G), SS 567, SSBN 733(B), T-AGM 22 LCDR Thomas Sousa 109 Bel Aire Drive Indian Harbour Beach, FL. 32937

Monday, November 28, 2011

November 27th, on BookTV, I watched and listen very careful to this wonderful writer Don Keith of several submarine books. His latest is Undersea Warrior about Commander Morton and the USS Submarine Wahoo. I would love to read it. Check his website at

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Day Japan Bombed OregonBy: Norm GoyerSeptember 9, 1942, the I-25 class Japanese submarine was cruising in an easterly direction raising its periscope occasionally as it neared the United States Coastline. Japan had attacked Pearl Harbor less than a year ago and the Captain of the attack submarine knew that Americans were watching their coast line for ships and aircraft that might attack our country. Dawn was approaching; the first rays of the sun were flickering off the periscopes lens. Their mission; attack the west coast with incendiary bombs in hopes of starting a devastating forest fire. If this test run were successful, Japan had hopes of using their huge submarine fleet to attack the eastern end of the Panama Canal to slow down shipping from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The Japanese Navy had a large number of I-400 submarines under construction. Each capable of carrying three aircraft. Pilot Chief Warrant Officer Nobuo Fujita and his crewman Petty Officer Shoji Okuda were making last minute checks of their charts making sure they matched those of the submarine's navigator.The only plane ever to drop a bomb on the United States during WWII was this submarine based Glen.September 9, 1942: Nebraska forestry student Keith V. Johnson was on duty atop a forest fire lookout tower between Gold Beach and Brookings Oregon . Keith had memorized the silhouettes of Japanese long distance bombers and those of our own aircraft. He felt confident that he could spot and identify, friend or foe, almost immediately. It was cold on the coast this September morning , and quiet. The residents of the area were still in bed or preparing to head for work. Lumber was a large part of the industry in Brookings, just a few miles north of the California Oregon state lines. The aircraft carried two incendiary 168 pound bombs and a crew of two.Aboard the submarine the Captain's voice boomed over the PA system, Prepare to surface, aircrew report to your stations, wait for the open hatch signal During training runs several subs were lost when hangar door were opened too soon and sea water rushed into the hangars and sank the boat with all hands lost. You could hear the change of sound as the bow of the I-25 broke from the depths, nosed over for its run on the surface. A loud bell signaled the All Clear. The crew assigned to the single engine Yokosuki E14Ys float equipped observation and light attack aircraft sprang into action. They rolled the plane out its hangar built next to the conning tower. The wings and tail were unfolded, and several 176 pound incendiary bombs were attached to the hard points under the wings. This was a small two passenger float plane with a nine cylinder 340 hp radial engine. It was full daylight when the Captain ordered the aircraft to be placed on the catapult. Warrant Officer Fujita started the engine, let it warm up, checked the magnetos and oil pressure. There was a slight breeze blowing and the seas were calm. A perfect day to attack the United States of America . When the gauges were in the green the pilot signaled and the catapult launched the aircraft. After a short climb to altitude the pilot turned on a heading for the Oregon coast. The Glen was launched via catapult from a I-25 class Japanese submarine.Johnson was sweeping the horizon but could see nothing, he went back to his duties as a forestry agent which was searching for any signs of a forest fire. The morning moved on. Every few minutes he would scan low, medium and high but nothing caught his eye.The small Japanese float plane had climbed to several thousand feet of altitude for better visibility and to get above the coastal fog. The pilot had calculated land fall in a few minutes and right on schedule he could see the breakers flashing white as they hit the Oregon shores.Johnson was about to put his binoculars down when something flashed in the sun just above the fog bank. It was unusual because in the past all air traffic had been flying up and down the coast, not aiming into the coast.The pilot of the aircraft checked his course and alerted his observer to be on the lookout for a fire tower which was on the edge of the wooded area where they were supposed to drop their bombs. These airplanes carried very little fuel and all flights were in and out without any loitering. The plane reached the shore line and the pilot made a course correction 20 degrees to the north. The huge trees were easy to spot and certainly easy to hit with the bombs. The fog was very wispy by this time.Warrant Officer Fujita is shown with his Yokosuka E14Y (Glen) float plane prior to his flight.Johnson watched in awe as the small floatplane with a red meat ball on the wings flew overhead, the plane was not a bomber and there was no way that it could have flown across the Pacific, Johnson could not understand what was happening. He locked onto the plane and followed it as it headed inland.The pilot activated the release locks so that when he could pickled the bombs they would release. His instructions were simple, fly at 500 feet, drop the bombs into the trees and circle once to see if they had started any fires and then head back to the submarine.Johnson could see the two bombs under the wing of the plane and knew that they would be dropped. He grabbed his communications radio and called the Forest Fire Headquarters informing them of what he was watching unfold.The bombs tumbled from the small seaplane and impacted the forests, the pilot circled once and spotted fire around the impact point. He executed an 180 degree turn and headed back to the submarine. There was no air activity, the skies were clear. The small float plane lined up with the surfaced submarine and landed gently on the ocean, then taxied to the sub. A long boom swung out from the stern. His crewman caught the cable and hooked it into the pickup attached to the roll over cage between the cockpits. The plane was swung onto the deck, The plane's crew folded the wings and tail, pushed it into its hangar and secured the water tight doors. The I-25 submerged and headed back to Japan .This event, which caused no damage, marked the only time during World War II that an enemy plane had dropped bombs on the United States mainland. What the Japanese didn't count on was coastal fog, mist and heavy doses of rain made the forests so wet they simply would not catch fire.This Memorial Plaque is located in Brookings , Oregon at the site of the 1942 bombing. Fifty years later the Japanese pilot, who survived the war, would return to Oregon to help dedicate a historical plaque at the exact spot where his two bombs had impacted. The elderly pilot then donated his ceremonial sword as a gesture of peace and closure of the bombing of Oregon in 1942. Submitted by Robert Lents.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Charles “Skip” Blain was born in Springfield, Massachusetts on May 22, 1940. He was the first born to a family of four boys. His father was in the Navy while he was growing up which allowed the family an opportunity to live in a variety of cities around the United States and abroad. One of his many homes included living at the Navy Base at Pearl Harbor when Skip was eight years old.Skip enlisted in the Navy in June, 1960 where he served his country for the next twenty years. He retired in July, 1980 with the rank of Command Master Chief. His last post was on the submarine, USS Permit SSN594. Skip’s dedication to serving his country was seen years later when he became a member of the American Legion Post 15 Honor Guard. As a member of the Honor Guard he helped with both the Public Information Center and to perform funerals at Tahoma National Cemetery for our beloved veterans.Skip was known for his generous spirit. He went out of his way to help other people. He volunteered at friends and neighbors houses, equine rescue, his church and was always willing to go wherever he was needed. It brought him joy to bring others joy.Skip loved his wife, Anna Marie, but Jasper and Doggie, his dogs came in a very close second. He spent hours with his dogs taking them for walks, rides in the car and letting them assist him with home improvement chores. Skip adopted animals that were hurt or just needed shelter. He had two dogs, two cats, wounded pigeons, chickens, rabbits and ducks. Of course Anna Marie added her horses that he came to care for and even built a barn for them.He spent hours fixing and puttering around the house. He enjoyed building and improving the land around the house.Skip is survived by his wife Anna Marie. They married on September 7, 2011 after having lived together for 22 years. He also has three brothers, Robert and William from Florida and Peter from Texas. Skip spent the later part of this summer traveling around the United States visiting his brothers and extended family.A committal service will be held 3 PM, Friday, November 18, 2011 at Tahoma National Cemetery. Friends are invited to meet at Flintoft’s Funeral Home, 540 East Sunset Way, Issaquah at 2 PM to join in a procession (lead by the Patriotic Guards) to Tahoma National Cemetery or meet the family at Tahoma. Immediately following the service you are invited to join the family at American Legion Kent, WA Post 15 25406 97TH PL S KENT, WA 98031. American Legion is for those 21 and over.As an expression of sympathy, memorial contributions may be sent to support the Post 15 Honor Guard. Please make checks payable to TNC Support Group. Mail checks to Tahoma National Cemetery 18600 SE 240th St. Kent, WA 98042. Patrick Householder USSVI Past National Commander 2008-2010 Decklog Boats and Crews Manager Our Purpose "To perpetuate the memory of our shipmates who gave their lives in the pursuit of duties while serving their country. That their dedication, deeds and supreme sacrifice be a constant source of motivation toward greater accomplishments. Pledge loyalty and patriotism to the United States of America and it’s Constitution.”

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I, Gene Dick put in 22 years in the Navy I rode Boats for over 10 Years, Medregal, Piper, Seafox. Before I went to Boats, I was on the U.S.S. Oklahoma at Pearl Harbor. I sank inside the Okie when the Japs sunk her tied up, out board of the Nevada. I didn’t get out until she was on the bottom for over four hours. got a Purple Heart for that trip. I have Published my first book, Portholes To Life, which contains that story. I am in the middle of writing my second book, Submarine Duty, dedicated to WWII Submarine Sailors. Anyone who want to may get “Portholes To Life” on I would send autographed copies, but that would cost to damned much for us old goats. With Respect to old shipmates, Gene “Doc” Dick
NEWS-02: Current Information Regarding DD-214.---------------------------------------------------------DD-214 Please pass on to other vets and families of vets on their last patrol.It's official; DD-214s are NOW Online.The National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) has provided the following website for veterans to gain access to their DD-214sonline: may be particularly helpful when a veteran needs a copy of his DD-214 for employment purposes. NPRC is working to make it easier for veterans with computers and Internet access to obtain copies of documents from their military files.Military veterans and the next of kin of deceased former military members may now use a new online military personnel records system to request documents.Other individuals with a need for documents must still complete the Standard Form 180, which can be downloaded from the online web site. Because the requester will be asked to supply all information essential for NPRC to process the request, delays that normally occur when NPRC has to ask veterans for additional information will be minimized. The new web-based application was designed to provide better service on these requests by eliminating the records centers mailroom and processing time.Please pass this information on to former military personnel you may know and their dependents

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I am sorry in copying and positing some words were omitted. To read all click on Our dear friend sailed to the shores of heaven. Lawrence "Larry" Noker will be missed.
Mr. Lawrence "Larry" Noker Mr. Lawrence "Larry" NokerMay 4, 1924 - October 25, 2011 Lawrence E. “Larry” Noker, age 87, of Mountain Home, Arkansas, passed away Tuesday, October 25, 2011, in Mountain Home.Larry was born May 4, 1924, in DuBois, Pennsylvania, to Joseph and Anna Bregenzer Noker. He was the second youngest of eleven children, nine of whom preceded him in death. Mr. Noker graduated from St. Catherine’s High School in DuBois, Pennsylvania in 1942. In December 1943, he joined the U.S. Navy, and while completing basic training he attended the electrician school at Purdue University. Larry served during in the World War II South Pacific submarine fleet aboard the USS Pampanito from March, 1944 until his honorable discharge in May, 1945. Upon returning home from the war he met Ellen L. Montgomery, and they were married on September 4, 1947.He began his career as an electrician with the B&O Railroad. In 1957, he changed careers when he joined Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. During his 22 years with Metropolitan, he received numerous sales, leadership and distinguished service awards until his retirement in 1978. Larry then moved to the Phoenix, Arizona area until 1987 when he and his wife relocated to Mountain Home, Arkansas after vacationing there.Larry was a lifelong volunteer for his church family and local community. He was a 50-year member of the Brighton Volunteer Fire Department of Tonawanda, New York; a member of St. Peter the Fisherman Catholic Church where he served as a Eucharistic Adorer and usher, was president of the Holy Name Society, Grand Knight of the Fisherman Council Knights of Columbus and Faithful Navigator of the Reverend Henry Chinery Assembly Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus. He was also a member of the U.S. Submarine Veterans. Larry gave of his time and resources to help others in need, which gave him great joy.He is survived by his devoted wife of over 64 years, Ellen L. Noker; a son: Michael E. (Sarah) Noker: Cameron, Texas; two daughters: Patricia Noker: Birmingham, Alabama, and Ellen (Perry) Eekhoff: Kanawha, Iowa; a sister: Pauline Thomas: Silver Spring, Maryland; four grandchildren and an extended family of numerous cousins, nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; five brothers and four sisters.Visitation will be from Noon-9:00 P.M. Thursday, October 27, 2011, at Roller Funeral Home with the family receiving friends from 6-8:00 P.M. A Vigil Service will be at 7:00 P.M. Thursday in the Roller Chapel with Deacon Robert Crawford officiating. The Funeral Mass will be 10:00 A.M. Friday at St. Peter the Fisherman Catholic Church with Reverend Stan Swiderski as celebrant. Entombment will be in Baxter Memorial Gardens with Ozark V.F.W. #3246 and the U.S. Navy providing military honors.Memorials may be made St. Peter the Fisherman Catholic Church Building Fund or Hospice of the Ozarks Hospice House.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Joseph Shaw posted in Brotherhood of the Phin. Joseph Shaw 10:41am Sep 13 On 13 June 1923, Captain Ernest J. King, Commander, Submarine Division Three (later Fleet Admiral and Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet, during World War II), suggested to the Secretary of the Navy (Bureau of Navigation) that a distinguishing device for qualified submariners be adopted. He submitted a pen-and-ink sketch of his own showing a shield mounted on the beam ends of a submarine, with dolphins forward of, and abaft, the conning tower. The suggestion was strongly endorsed by Commander Submarine Division Atlantic.Over the next several months the Bureau of Navigation (now known as BUPERS) solicited additional designs from several sources. Some combined a submarine with a shark motif. Others showed submarines and dolphins, and still others used a shield design. A Philadelphia firm, which had done work for the Navy in the field of United States Naval Academy class rings, was approached by the Bureau of Navigation with the request that it design a suitable badge. Two designs were submitted by the firm, but these were ultimately combined into a single design. It was a bow view of a submarine, proceeding on the surface, with bow planes rigged for diving, flanked by dolphins (not the mammal, but the Mahi-mahi, commonly known as the dolphin fish) in a horizontal position with their heads resting on the upper edge of the bow planes.Today a similar design is used: a dolphin flanking the bow and conning tower of a submarine. On 20 March 1924, the Chief of the Bureau of Navigation recommended to the Secretary of the Navy that the design be adopted. The recommendation was accepted by Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., Acting Secretary of the Navy. His acceptance is dated March 1924.Originally, the submarine insignia was to be worn by officers and men qualified in submarine duty only when attached to submarine units or submarine command organizations. The right to wear the pin was revoked if the service member transferred to a non-submarine billet. In 1941 the Uniform Regulations were modified to permit a service member to wear the submarine insignia for the duration of his career, once so authorized.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

NORTH CAROLINA SUBVETS: Each issue of the ALL CLEAR newsletter official journal of North Carolina Subvets is posted at USSVI TARHEEL BASE, Commander is Gordon Banks

Friday, September 2, 2011

Go to and check out the Springfield Convention. There are over 500 attending - you may find some former shipmates. Kirk Smith

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Holding Each Elephant’s Tail: An Anthology of Veterans’ Poetry and Prose The Missouri Warrior Writers Project, in partnership with the Missouri Humanities Council, is pleased to announce a contest and call for submissions for its national anthology of writing by veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq about their wartime experience. This experience includes deployments and those who have never been deployed. Transition back into civilian life is also a topic of interest for this anthology. The contest will award 250.00 each to the top entries in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. All entries will be considered for publication in the anthology. There is no entry fee. Guidelines are listed below: Prose limited to 5000 words. Up to 3 poems (max 5 pages). Submissions that exceed these limits will be disqualified.  Deadline December 30, 2011. Winners will be announced by April 1, 2012.  There is no entry fee for submission, but submissions must be limited to one per person per genera  Manuscripts must be submitted electronically as a Microsoft Word document. (Save with a *.doc extension). Please combine all poems into one document and use first poem as title. Send to: Put your name and contact information on the first page of your submission document and nowhere else within the manuscript. -Please include a brief (75 words or less) bio with your submission. Work previously published will be considered, but new work is preferred. Simultaneous submissions are permitted, but we ask that you notify us immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere. (This will avoid potentially awkward situations.) -Southeast Missouri State University Press acquires first-time North American rights for previously unpublished work. After publication, all rights revert to the author and the work may be reprinted as long as appropriate acknowledgement to the anthology is made. All entries will be considered for publication.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

MORE SUBMARINE REUNIONS: USS TRUMPETFISH (SS-425) 8/23/ to 8/29/2011 Branson, MO USS SPINAX (SS-489) 8/29/ to 9/2/2011 Branson, Missouri USS TECUMSEH (SSBN-628) 9/5 to9/11/2011 Branson, MO USS RAZORBACK (SS-270) 9/12/ to 9/16/2011 North Little Rock USS REDFISH (SS-395) 9/12 to 9/16/2011 North Little Rock USSS RONQUIL (SS-396) 9/12 to 9/16/2011 North Little Rock

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

SUBMARINE BOAT REUNIONS - USS Bugara (SS-331) September 5-11 Springfield, Missouri USS Carbonero (SS-337) September 5-11 Springfield, Missouri USS Lapon (SS-260) September 8-11 Springfield, MO USS Lapon (SSN-661) Sept 8-11 Springfield, MO USS Raton (SS-27o) Sept 7-11, Branson, MO USS Haddo (SS-255) Sept 9-26 Bridgeton, MO I will list more after the storm.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Great video of a Spontaneous Victory Parade in Honolulu in 1945. Take a look at this video-absolutely fabulous! Notice the cars and jeeps, youth. The guys in khaki (gray probably Coast Guard) shirts and black ties are Navy officers or chiefs. The rest are Army or Marine. How young they all were to do what they did. This guy really captured a moment in history! (You can listen to Jimmy Durante singing "I'll be Seeing You" in the background, too) This is a super video of a time past - we need to remember and be THANKFUL. Check out the color fidelity. It's not bad for 1945. Nothing will ever compare with Kodachrome film. Click here for the video:

Thursday, August 4, 2011

GOD CREATED SUBMARINES Prayers for our military families. Several submarine veterans or their wives are having health problems who are members of the Twin Lakes Submarine Base, Mountain Home, AR. We must keep them in our prayers.

Friday, July 29, 2011

USS Submarine Veterans Inc & USS Submarine Veterans of WWII National Convention Springfield, Missouri September 5-11. Should you be interested in what is happening on a daily basis at the convention, go to the web site below - at the top of the page is a banner, and click on the plan of the day Kirk Smith

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I was very disappointed with "Ice Wars" Sunday night on CNN. It was only on about ten minutes -only a teaser.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

'ICE WAR' heating up the arctic U.S. NAVY Sunday night on CNN at 8 p,m. ET. "The Arctic is now seeing naval and military activities it hasn't seen since the Cold War" quote from CNN website.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

THE HUNLEY COOL VIDEO: Recovered Civil War Submarine Rotated, June 27, 2011 NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Scientists at the Warren Lasch Conservation Center completed the rotation of the Hunley on Thursday. The world’s first successful combat submarine has rested on her side at a 45-degree angle since she was lost in 1864. The sub was recovered from the ocean floor in that exact position in 2000 and has remained that way, until now. After a challenging and risky few days, the 7-ton, 40-foot vessel will now be able to undergo complete preservation treatment, officials said. The team spent two years planning the rotation and tested various simulations in advance on a 3D model. Officials said the process was at times slow and tedious and sometimes nerve-racking. It took 3 days in all to complete the rotation. At one point, they said the bow started to dip too much toward the ground and scientists had to make modifications to get the submarine level again. Officials said they anticipated the potential of this occurring though had hoped it would not affect the rotation. Also, a laser monitoring system – critical to detecting any potential warping or damage that scientists were desperately trying to avoid – had to be adjusted one morning, causing a delay of a few hours for rotation work to start. Scientists will now remove the straps and overhead truss that have safely held the Hunley since it was taken from the ocean. Link to video:

Saturday, July 2, 2011

(c) Photo by Mary Nida Smith

Thursday, June 30, 2011

NEWS Release Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs 1501 West Maryland Avenue North Little Rock, Arkansas 72120 For Immediate Release June 28, 2011 Contact: Kendall Thornton, Veteran Designation to Appear on Arkansas Driver’s License LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Arkansas veterans will now have proof of military service on their driver’s license or identification card, beginning July 1, through a controlled statewide implementation of the new driver’s license design. The word “Veteran” will be placed below the individual’s picture on the updated format. The designation was created by “The Nick Bacon Remembrance Act” in memory of the former Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs director and Congressional Medal of Honor recipient who passed away in 2010. The bill was introduced by State Representative John Charles Edwards through the efforts of Veterans' Commissioner Tom Thomas of Searcy. According to Representative Edwards, the designation will serve an important purpose, “It is not unusual for some of our new veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan to come home dealing with issues such -MORE- as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. In the event law enforcement or medical providers come in contact with such veteran, they can clearly be identified for any necessary assistance.” Edwards also said that veterans will be able to take advantage of discounts offered by local merchants without showing discharge papers. Another positive, taxpayers will not have to bear the expense of the identification. “The state’s driver’s license was already in the process of being redesigned,” said Edwards, “Therefore, the Department of Finance and Administration was easily able to create a space for the designation.” The designation will be no additional cost for first time driver’s license applicants and driver’s license renewals. If a veteran chooses to add the designation before their renewal date, they may obtain a duplicate license for $10. The cost of an identification card and duplicate identification card is $5. Proof of service must be established by presenting a personal DD 214 form. All 134 local revenue offices will be issuing the new formats with the designation by the end of July, 2011. Visit for more information. The mission of the Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs is to provide assistance to veterans and their dependents in acquiring state and federal benefits to which they are entitled to by virtue of their service to this country. For more information, visit

Friday, June 17, 2011

USS SNOOK BASE FLOAT This is the float that the Snook Base will be using in parades in the Rogers area. I asked Pete to explain how it was made. It is one dimensional. Cut from a very strong material used for signage. Will be mounting it higher on the trailer with banners on both sides. Chairs on the trailer for us to sit on. Donated totally free by a local sign company. Will be bringing it to Branson in Nov. Also, will be in the Bella Vista 4th of July parade Submitted by Kirk Smith
This is an interesting article about the Walter Hydrogen-Peroxide Submarine Propulsion System that was developed during WWII by the Germans. Kirk Smith

Sunday, June 12, 2011

I have been informed by the grandson of Edward Bielaus (Sea Fox 44-46 – MM) has sailed on Eternal Patrol on 6/9/2011. I have requested contact address from the grandson and will have it when received. Sailor, Rest your Oars. God Bless you and thank you for your service. Respectfully, George

Friday, June 10, 2011

We received notice from Lon Schmidt & Ken Henry that former Sea Fox crewman Billy R. Smith, CS, 44-45, of Lincoln, CA sailed on Eternal Patrol on 6/3/2011. Sailor, Rest Your Oars. God Bless and thank you for your service. Respectfully, George

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

MILITARY WRITERS DONATE TO VETERANS MUSEUMS Greetings Ms. Smith, I was just cataloging a book entitled “Submarine Art” by Steve Petreshock, which was put together for the 55th National Convention of the SVWWII in 2009. While doing research on this book I came across your blog and your book “Submarine Stories of World War II.” I am curious to know if I can obtain a copy for the Wisconsin Veterans Museum Library. I saw a note on one of your websites saying it was sold out, but I thought I’d check and see just in case you had some more published. I think your book would be an excellent addition to the WVM library. Please let me know if there are any copies available. Thank you for your time and effort in collecting these stories! Sincerely, Amy O'Shea Librarian Wisconsin Veterans Museum Research Center 30 W. Mifflin St, Suite 300 Madison, WI 53703 608-261-5408

Monday, June 6, 2011

USS SEA FOX Article about 2011 reunion sent by Joel a few days ago. I’m a little behind here! Many thanks to Joel for the hard work he demonstrated to insure that the 2011 reunion was another success! 2013 Reunion: George Long (58-64) and his wife Betty will be the hosts of our 2013 reunion to be held in Las Vegas, NV!!! Details will be forthcoming down the line a bit. Many thanks to George & Betty for agreeing to host our next reunion. All the best, George Arnold

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Friday, May 27, 2011

> Shipmates:> > The work is progressing along on the Cold War Museum Covert Submarine> Operations exhibit and it is slated to be dedicated on Jun 18th 2011 at the> Washington Navy Yard. All are invited and the details to follow.> > Many of our fellow Submariners have stepped forward to join us in completing> the display so that it looks like it is a sea with us. Some cleaning and> preparation has been left to the SubVets to put our mark on the display. We> still have some openings if you would like to join us? Link to the museum is> below.> > >> > > Our schedule is:> > > Week of 6/6> > 6/4 – 6/12 – Field Day window for SubVets to clean exhibit components> > 6/4 Saturday 0900 to 1500> 6/6 Monday 0900 to 1500> 6/7 Tuesday 0900 to 1500> 6/8 Wednesday 0900 to 1500> 6/9 Thursday 0900 to 1500> 6/10 Friday 0900 to 1500> > Parking will be arranged> > Please RSVP> > > Bud Cunnally ETC (SS) Retired> > > 9747 Cheshire Ridge Circle> Manassas, VA 20110>> Home Phone: 703-393-9808> Cell 571-224-8719

Sunday, May 8, 2011


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Curtis Grant, Twin Lakes Submarine Base was invited to be in the COTTER FESTIVAL PARADE Saturday May 7th. The parade forms at 0900 at Melba and Harding streets. He will be driving his pickup with flags, magnetic signs and banner for the Submarine Veterans. All submarine veterans are encouraged to ride along.
Twin Lakes Submarine Base Picnic 010 Bob Lents book
Twin Lakes Submarine Base picnic is scheduled for May 21. Bob Lents has informed me that his Honor Flight is also on that day. I intend to be at the Springfield Airport to greet him and the rest of the flight when they return. That will probably be around 2200 (10:00 PM for anyone who does not remember military time). I will be at the picnic also. Submitted by Curtis Grant

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Missing For Decades, World War II Sub's Lost Bell Surfaces By Kate Wiltrout, The Virginian-Pilot, April 26, 2011 Rhonda Savage was always curious about the brass submarine bell. Inscribed "U.S.S. Triton," it was the centerpiece of a handmade, glass-topped end table in a relative's home near Reno, Nev. Visitors weren't supposed to ring it, but sometimes they couldn't help themselves. The shiny artifact beckoned. Thanks to Savage's curiosity, the 14-inch diameter bell - technically government property, missing for more than four decades - is once again in proper hands. An Internet search Savage did last month turned up a 2-year-old Virginian-Pilot story about the missing Triton bell and the efforts of former crew members to find it. Within days, Savage, who lives in Bakersfield, Calif., had gotten in touch with Harold Weston in Virginia Beach. Weston, 79, is a retired master chief petty officer who served as chief of the boat on the second Triton, a nuclear-powered sub that in 1960 became the first submerged vessel to circumnavigate the Earth. He had been searching for the bell for years. It had special significance because it came from an earlier submarine named Triton that was sunk by the Japanese in the Pacific Ocean in March 1943, with 74 crewmen aboard. The first Triton didn't have its original bell when it sank. According to lore, the U.S. Navy removed them all after the attack on Pearl Harbor. That lessened the risk of a bell accidentally ringing and giving away the sub's position to enemy ships. That made the bell a powerful symbol for Weston's Cold War crew. When the nuclear submarine reached the vicinity of the Admiralty Islands, near where the first Triton likely was sunk, the crew fired three water slugs, simulating live torpedoes, in salute. They tolled the original bell, now with the second Triton, to honor the Triton sailors who never came home. Jeanine Allen, who was 3 years old in 1943 when her father died aboard the Triton, has long wanted to see the bell. She's certain her father, who was a chief torpedoman's mate, touched the bell many times during his service aboard the submarine. She wanted to touch it, too. Reading about Allen, Savage knew she had to get the bell back to the Navy. She contacted Weston and told him retrieving it might be tricky. Its owner, a former Navy reservist who served aboard a submarine tender in the 1960s, might not be willing to part with it. And she didn't want him to know she was the one who'd revealed the bell's location. Weston didn't care how the man had come into possession of the bell; he just wanted it back. So he and a retired admiral who'd once served on the Triton drafted a letter to Savage's contact. We know you have the bell, they wrote. It's government property. Please return it so it can be displayed in the Triton barracks at Great Lakes Naval Station in Illinois. The man agreed to give up the bell. On Saturday, Robert Rawlins, a former Triton commanding officer, drove from his Northern California home to the outskirts of Reno to retrieve the bell. He will hold it until next year's Triton reunion, then ensure it's displayed at Great Lakes, where enlisted sailors go through boot camp. "The opportunity these people will have to actually see the bell for the first time, and to be able to touch a piece of history, is just an amazing thing," Savage said. "You can't really put it into words; there's going to be so much emotion. I'm just glad it's going to be going home, and it's going to be in the right hands." Weston couldn't be happier. He hopes Savage will attend next year's reunion as an honored guest. And he can't wait to watch Allen finally rest her fingers on the same cold brass that her father touched decades ago. "My efforts were for her," Weston said. Submitted by Kirk Smith

Thursday, April 21, 2011

(c) Photo by Mary Nida Smith The Easter Lily is a native of the southern islands of Japan. A WWI soldier, Louis Houghton, brought a suitcase full back to the South coast of Oregon in 1919. For many, the beautiful trumpet-shaped white flowers symbolize purity, virtue,innocence, hope and life - the spiritual essence of Easter. Hope for peace and innocence lives saved. Prayers for all military men and women and their famlies.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

There are 67 pages at this site with 16 pix/page - I'm sure you'll be able to find 1 or more pix of your boat / boats

Thursday, April 14, 2011

EB: Submarines Can Be ''Stretched'' To Boost Firepower By Jennifer McDermott, The Day, April 13, 2011 Electric Boat says it can add more missile tubes to Virginia-class submarines without compromising speed or stealth. EB has been working on a concept for a "stretch Virginia" to boost firepower. The task was to figure out whether the subs could be lengthened by about 90 feet to accommodate triple the number of Tomahawk missiles they now carry, and to launch the weapons of the future, including unmanned undersea vehicles. Preliminary estimates say the modification could cost up to $500 million per ship, adding roughly 20 percent to the cost of an attack submarine. Two years ago the Navy asked EB to work on the project, which is not an official Navy program at this point. After completing the initial engineering work the company found that it can be done, according to John Holmander, the vice president who manages the Virginia-class program. Company officials are discussing the concept at the Navy League's three-day Sea-Air-Space Exposition that began Monday in Maryland. U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District, plans to advocate for research and design money for the Navy in the fiscal 2012 budget, some of which could be used to further develop the concept. But fully funding a new program would be an uphill battle, given the federal government's fiscal woes. The Navy's Submarine Force will lose about 60 percent of its undersea firepower in the late 2020s with the retirement of its four guided-missile subs, capable of carrying up to 154 Tomahawk missiles. This is happening at the same time that the number of attack submarines in the fleet is dropping because of the retiring of the aging members of the Los Angeles-class subs. The first "stretch" Virginia could be the sub that EB starts building in 2019, which would be commissioned close to the time that the first guided-missile sub retires. On the most recent Virginia-class subs, two large-diameter missile tubes located forward of the sail can launch six Tomahawk cruise missiles each. The subs also carry torpedoes. Extending the submarine to 471 feet would make room for a module near the middle with four additional tubes capable of launching seven missiles each. That would be a 230 percent jump in the number of Tomahawks that can be launched quickly, from 12 to 40. These stretched subs would still fit in the docks at EB, which at one time held Ohio-class submarines 560 feet long. The four new missile tubes would be more than 7 feet in diameter. "This opens the door to many, many other game-changing applications," Rear Adm. Richard P. Breckenridge, deputy director of the Submarine Warfare Division, said in an interview. The stretch Virginia ranks third in the Submarine Force's priorities, Breckenridge said. Topping the list is the program to replace the current fleet of Ohio-class, or Trident, submarines, followed by finding ways to mitigate the dip in the number of attack submarines as the aging subs of the Los Angeles class retire. If the Navy had a more robust budget, it would pay for the capability "without hesitation," he said. The Navy is looking to the Defense Department to see if funds could be available to proceed with the stretch Virginia concept, Breckenridge said. Peter W. Singer, director of the 21st Century Defense Initiative and a senior fellow in foreign policy at the Brookings Institution, said the stretch Virginia seeks to answer a key problem that the Navy faces, the crunch in the number of submarines overall and the limits in the number of missiles they can deploy. Both problems look to be worsening in the future, he added. "The Navy is going to face a series of tough decisions budgetwise. But all things being equal, it's a program we have to give serious consideration towards," Singer said Tuesday. The USS Florida was one of the three U.S. submarines that launched Tomahawk missiles into Libya last month to support a no-fly zone. One of the fleet's four guided-missile submarines, the Florida launched a majority of its Tomahawk missiles, Breckenridge said. Typically guided-missile submarines deploy with 105 missiles, he added. "The Navy would've needed eight other attack subs in theater to do what that one ship, Florida, did," he said. While the economy and the budget "will not tolerate" building a new class of guided-missile submarines, Breckenridge said the stretch Virginia solution offers a more affordable way for the Navy to get a "strategically important capability." It gives the Navy flexibility to distribute more missiles on submarines in more locations, rather than concentrating them on the guided-missile submarines, he added. Courtney said the fact that Congress still plans to pay for two Virginia-class submarines this year instead of one, despite immense pressure for spending cuts, bodes well for the future of the stretch Virginia concept. "If you're going to make that investment, you obviously want to concentrate the return to the greatest extent possible," he said Tuesday. "And stretching the missile capacity, I think, makes sense." Submitted by Kirk Smith

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Sent: Friday, April 08, 2011 10:36 PM Subject: American Submariner Article, 2011 No. 1 From the National President of SubVettes: Dear ladies, The most recent American Submariner magazine article about SubVettes included a poem re: Pearly Gates. Please note that I did not submit it to the magazine and neither did I put in the incorrect listing of officers. I don't know how these items got in there. My article in its entirety as submitted is attached. Would the Base Presidents please forward the correct article to their members. Also note that Sally Milano is our Historian and not Meredith as listed. Also, Patti Lynn is not the chaplain and that position is open with any requests for chaplain activities be reported directly to me in the meantime. So that you will get the correct info, I feel it is important to forward the correct information. Also, our webmaster has been contacted several times to update our website but he is involved in a major internet auction to raise funds for the restoration of the sub in Galveston, TX. Hopefully, soon, it will be updated. Thank you for your assistance in getting the proper info to your ladies. Sandra Butcher, National President, SubVettes

Saturday, April 2, 2011

This is strong medicine. It brings home just some of the unimaginable sacrifices that have been made since the birth of our nation to keep us free and to preserve the America that we all grew up in and love so much. This striking example of American patriotism and sacrifice reminds us of the tremendous price paid to be the great America that we have been and yet appear to be in the process of turning away from. I don’t care about your politics…I care about my kids and grandkids, and the nation they are set to inherit. I hope they never forget what made this a great nation and a great people. I’m afraid too many today don’t understand.This is devoted to anyone who has worn the uniform. Good luck and God bless you all.
  • Burial at Sea
by Lt. Col. George Goodson, USMC (Ret)In my 76th year, the events of my life appear to me, from time to time, as a series of vignettes. Some were significant; most were trivial.War is the seminal event in the life of everyone that has endured it. Though I fought in Korea and the Dominican Republic and was wounded there, Vietnam was my war.Now 42 years have passed and, thankfully, I rarely think of those days in Cambodia, Laos, and the panhandle of North Vietnam where small teams of Americans and Montangards fought much larger elements of the North Vietnamese Army. Instead I see vignettes: some exotic, some mundane:*The smell of Nuc Mam.*The heat, dust, and humidity.*The blue exhaust of cycles clogging the streets.*Elephants moving silently through the tall grass.*Hard eyes behind the servile smiles of the villagers.*Standing on a mountain in Laos and hearing a tiger roar.*A young girl squeezing my hand as my medic delivered her baby.*The flowing Ao Dais of the young women biking down Tran Hung Dao.*
  • My two years as Casualty Notification Officer in North Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland.It was late 1967. I had just returned after 18 months in Vietnam. Casualties were increasing. I moved my family from Indianapolis to Norfolk, rented a house, enrolled my children in their fifth or sixth new school, and bought a second car.A week later, I put on my uniform and drove 10 miles to Little Creek, Virginia. I hesitated before entering my new office. Appearance is important to career Marines. I was no longer, if ever, a poster Marine. I had returned from my third tour in Vietnam only 30 days before. At 5'9", I now weighed 128 pounds - 37 pounds below my normal weight. My uniforms fit ludicrously, my skin was yellow from malaria medication, and I think I had a twitch or two.I straightened my shoulders, walked into the office, looked at the nameplate on a Staff Sergeant's desk and said, "Sergeant Jolly, I'm Lieutenant Colonel Goodson.
  • Here are my orders and my Qualification Jacket."Sergeant Jolly stood, looked carefully at me, took my orders, stuck out his hand; we shook and he asked, "How long were you there, Colonel?" I replied "18 months this time." Jolly breathed, "You must be a slow learner, Colonel." I smiled.Jolly said, "Colonel, I'll show you to your office and bring in the Sergeant Major. I said, "No, let's just go straight to his office." Jolly nodded, hesitated, and lowered his voice, "Colonel, the Sergeant Major. He's been in this job two years. He's packed pretty tight. I'm worried about him." I nodded.Jolly escorted me into the Sergeant Major's office. "Sergeant Major, this is Colonel Goodson, the new Commanding Officer." The Sergeant Major stood, extended his hand and said, "Good to see you again, Colonel." I responded, "Hello Walt, how are you?" Jolly looked at me, raised an eyebrow, walked out, and closed the door.I sat down with the Sergeant Major. We had the obligatory cup of coffee and talked about mutual acquaintances. Walt's stress was palpable. Finally, I said, "Walt, what the hell's wrong?" He turned his chair, looked out the window and said, "George, you're going to wish you were back in Nam before you leave here. I've been in the Marine Corps since 1939. I was in the Pacific 36 months, Korea for 14 months, and Vietnam for 12 months. Now I come here to bury these kids. I'm putting my letter in. I can't take it anymore." I said, "OK Walt. If that's what you want, I'll endorse your request for retirement and do what I can to push it through Headquarters Marine Corps."Sergeant Major Walt Xxxxx retired 12 weeks later. He had been a good Marine for 28 years, but he had seen too much death and too much suffering. He was used up.
  • Over the next 16 months, I made 28 death notifications, conducted 28 military funerals, and made 30 notifications to the families of Marines that were severely wounded or missing in action. Most of the details of those casualty notifications have now, thankfully, faded from memory. Four, however, remain.MY FIRST NOTIFICATIONMy third or fourth day in Norfolk, I was notified of the death of a 19 year old Marine. This notification came by telephone from Headquarters Marine Corps. The information detailed:*Name, rank, and serial number.*Name, address, and phone number of next of kin.*Date of and limited details about the Marine's death.*Approximate date the body would arrive at the Norfolk Naval Air Station.*A strong recommendation on whether the casket should be opened or closed.The boy's family lived over the border in North Carolina, about 60 miles away. I drove there in a Marine Corps staff car. Crossing the state line into North Carolina, I stopped at a small country store/service station/Post Office. I went in to ask directions.Three people were in the store. A man and woman approached the small Post Office window. The man held a package. The store owner walked up and addressed them by name, "Hello John. Good morning Mrs. Cooper."I was stunned. My casualty's next-of-kin's name was John Cooper!I hesitated, then stepped forward and said, "I beg your pardon. Are you Mr. and Mrs. John Cooper of (address)?The father looked at me - I was in uniform - and then, shaking, bent at the waist, he vomited. His wife looked horrified at him and then at me. Understanding came into her eyes and she collapsed in slow motion. I think I caught her before she hit the floor.The owner took a bottle of whiskey out of a drawer and handed it to Mr. Cooper who drank. I answered their questions for a few minutes.
  • Then I drove them home in my staff car. The store owner locked the store and followed in their truck. We stayed an hour or so until the family began arriving.I returned the store owner to his business. He thanked me and said, "Mister, I wouldn't have your job for a million dollars." I shook his hand and said; "Neither would I."I vaguely remember the drive back to Norfolk. Violating about five Marine Corps regulations, I drove the staff car straight to my house. I sat with my family while they ate dinner, went into the den, closed the door, and sat there all night, alone.My Marines steered clear of me for days.
  • I had made my first death notification.THE FUNERALSWeeks passed with more notifications and more funerals. I borrowed Marines from the local Marine Corps Reserve and taught them to conduct a military funeral: how to carry a casket, how to fire the volleys and how to fold the flag.When I presented the flag to the mother, wife, or father, I always said, "All Marines share in your grief." I had been instructed to say, "On behalf of a grateful nation...." I didn't think the nation was grateful, so I didn't say that.Sometimes, my emotions got the best of me and I couldn't speak. When that happened, I just handed them the flag and touched a shoulder. They would look at me and nod.
  • Once a mother said to me, "I'm so sorry you have this terrible job." My eyes filled with tears and I leaned over and kissed her.ANOTHER NOTIFICATION Six weeks after my first notification, I had another. This was a young PFC. I drove to his mother's house. As always, I was in uniform and driving a Marine Corps staff car. I parked in front of the house, took a deep breath, and walked towards the house. Suddenly the door flew open, a middle-aged woman rushed out. She looked at me and ran across the yard, screaming "NO! NO! NO! NO!"I hesitated. Neighbors came out. I ran to her, grabbed her, and whispered stupid things to reassure her. She collapsed. I picked her up and carried her into the house. Eight or nine neighbors followed. Ten or fifteen minutes later, the father came in followed by ambulance personnel. I have no recollection of leaving.The funeral took place about two weeks later. We went through the drill. The mother never looked at me. The father looked at me once and shook his head sadly.
  • ANOTHER NOTIFICATION One morning, as I walked in the office, the phone was ringing. Sergeant Jolly held the phone up and said, "You've got another one, Colonel." I nodded, walked into my office, picked up the phone, took notes, thanked the officer making the call, I have no idea why, and hung up. Jolly, who had listened, came in with a special Telephone Directory that translates telephone numbers into the person's address and place of employment.The father of this casualty was a Longshoreman. He lived a mile from my office. I called the Longshoreman's Union Office and asked for the Business Manager. He answered the phone, I told him who I was, and asked for the father's schedule.The Business Manager asked, "Is it his son?" I said nothing. After a moment, he said, in a low voice, "Tom is at home today." I said, "Don't call him. I'll take care of that." The Business Manager said, "Aye, Aye Sir," and then explained, "Tom and I were Marines in WWII."I got in my staff car and drove to the house. I was in uniform. I knocked and a woman in her early forties answered the door. I saw instantly that she was clueless. I asked, "Is Mr. Smith home?" She smiled pleasantly and responded, "Yes, but he's eating breakfast now. Can you come back later?" I said, "I'm sorry. It's important. I need to see him now."She nodded, stepped back into the beach house and said, "Tom, it's for you."A moment later, a ruddy man in his late forties, appeared at the door. He looked at me, turned absolutely pale, steadied himself, and said, "Jesus Christ man, he's only been there three weeks!"
  • Months passed. More notifications and more funerals. Then one day while I was running, Sergeant Jolly stepped outside the building and gave a loud whistle, two fingers in his mouth....... I never could do that..... and held an imaginary phone to his ear.Another call from Headquarters Marine Corps. I took notes, said, "Got it." and hung up. I had stopped saying "Thank You" long ago.Jolly, "Where?"Me, "Eastern Shore of Maryland. The father is a retired Chief Petty Officer. His brother will accompany the body back from Vietnam ...."Jolly shook his head slowly, straightened, and then said, "This time of day, it'll take three hours to get there and back. I'll call the Naval Air Station and borrow a helicopter. And I'll have Captain Tolliver get one of his men to meet you and drive you to the Chief's home."He did, and 40 minutes later, I was knocking on the father's door. He opened the door, looked at me, then looked at the Marine standing at parade rest beside the car, and asked, "Which one of my boys was it, Colonel?"I stayed a couple of hours, gave him all the information, my office and home phone number and told him to call me, anytime.He called me that evening about 2300 (11:00PM). "I've gone through my boy's papers and found his will. He asked to be buried at sea. Can you make that happen?" I said, "Yes I can, Chief. I can and I will."My wife who had been listening said, "Can you do that?" I told her, "I have no idea. But I'm going to break my ass trying."I called Lieutenant General Alpha Bowser, Commanding General, Fleet Marine Force Atlantic, at home about 2330, explained the situation, and asked, "General, can you get me a quick appointment with the Admiral at Atlantic Fleet Headquarters?" General Bowser said, "George, you be there tomorrow at 0900. He will see you."I was and the Admiral did. He said coldly, "How can the Navy help the Marine Corps, Colonel." I told him the story. He turned to his Chief of Staff and said, "Which is the sharpest destroyer in port?" The Chief of Staff responded with a name.The Admiral called the ship, "Captain, you're going to do a burial at sea. You'll report to a Marine Lieutenant Colonel Goodson until this mission is completed..."He hung up, looked at me, and said, "The next time you need a ship, Colonel, call me. You don't have to sic Al Bowser on my ass." I responded, "Aye Aye, Sir" and got the hell out of his office.I went to the ship and met with the Captain, Executive Officer, and the Senior Chief. Sergeant Jolly and I trained the ship's crew for four days. Then Jolly raised a question none of us had thought of.
  • He said, "These government caskets are air tight. How do we keep it from floating?"All the high priced help including me sat there looking dumb. Then the Senior Chief stood and said, "Come on Jolly. I know a bar where the retired guys from World War II hang out."They returned a couple of hours later, slightly the worse for wear, and said, "It's simple; we cut four 12" holes in the outer shell of the casket on each side and insert 300 lbs of lead in the foot end of the casket. We can handle that, no sweat."The day arrived. The ship and the sailors looked razor sharp. General Bowser, the Admiral, a US Senator, and a Navy Band were on board. The sealed casket was brought aboard and taken below for modification. The ship got underway to the 12-fathom depth.The sun was hot. The ocean flat. The casket was brought aft and placed on a catafalque. The Chaplain spoke. The volleys were fired. The flag was removed, folded, and I gave it to the father. The band played "Eternal Father Strong to Save." The casket was raised slightly at the head and it slid into the sea.The heavy casket plunged straight down about six feet. The incoming water collided with the air pockets in the outer shell. The casket stopped abruptly, rose straight out of the water about three feet, stopped, and slowly slipped back into the sea. The air bubbles rising from the sinking casket sparkled in the sunlight as the casket disappeared from sight forever....
  • The next morning I called a personal friend, Lieutenant General Oscar Peatross, at Headquarters Marine Corps and said, "General, get me out of here. I can't take this anymore." I was transferred two weeks later.I was a good Marine but, after 17 years, I had seen too much death and too much suffering. I was used up.Vacating the house, my family and I drove to the office in a two-car convoy. I said my goodbyes. Sergeant Jolly walked out with me. He waved at my family, looked at me with tears in his eyes, came to attention, saluted, and said, "Well Done, Colonel. Well Done."I felt as if I had received the Medal of Honor!'A veteran is someone who, at one point, wrote a blank check made payable to 'The United States of America' for an amount of 'up to and including their life.'That is Honor, and there are way too many people in this country who no longer understand it.'I am honored to pass this on and I hope you feel that way too. I want to say "Thank you" for your service to every Veteran who reads this. God bless you.Semper Fi
  • I wish this would would have copied & pasted the way Joyce Larimore, Fleet Reserve Commader of Mountain Home sent it.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Cousins Lead Libya Attack By Noah Shachtman,, March 21, 2011 When the U.S. military wanted to take out Moammar Gadhafi’s air defense systems, it unleashed a barrage of 122 Tomahawk cruise missiles. But these munitions aren’t like most others in the American arsenal. Smart, maneuverable, able to see its surroundings and shift to new targets in mid-flight, the newest Tomahawks are closer to the unmanned planes flying over Afghanistan than to the weapons they fire. In some ways, the Tomahawk is the drone’s suicidal cousin: a robotic aircraft, packed with explosives, that has no intention of ever coming home. When officers get ready to shoot off a Tomahawk, “they are basically planning a flight for a little airplane,” one Navy official tells Danger Room. “It’s got stubby little wings — but is is an unmanned aerial vehicle.” The next-gen Tomahawks — known as “Block IVs” — start their flights out just like other missiles, launched from ships or subs. But after 12 seconds of flight, things change. The Tomahawk starts to fly horizontally, skimming above the ocean at a height of less than 50 feet to avoid enemy radar. GPS waypoints keep the missile on track, until it makes landfall. Then, a Tercom (Terrain Contour Matching) system kicks in. too. Using a radar altimeter, the Tomahawk Tercom checks its height. Then it matches that altitude against a database of satellite and overhead imagery, to make sure the missile is headed in the right direction and at the right height. Once the Tomahawk’s target is in sight, the missile can dart in for the attack. A Digital Scene-Mapping Area Correlator (“dee-smack” in military jargon) matches a stored picture of the target to the missile’s last sight, to make sure the two match. Or, the missile can wait a while. The Tomahawk’s controller can give it a new route, telling the Tomahawk to circle around in the air, lingering until an enemy pops up its head. Then comes the strike. Last May, the Tomahawk demonstrated a new move, as Sam LaGrone from Jane’s Defence Weekly reported at the time. The Los Angeles-class submarine USS Cheyenne fired off a Block IV at a target in the Mojave Desert. Meanwhile, a team from Naval Special Warfare Group 3 shot a second set of co-ordinates to the Tomahawk’s controllers in Japan, nearly 5,000 miles away. They reprogrammed the missile via satellite, and sent the Tomahawk crashing into a new target. (In an earlier test (.pdf), special operations forces were able to use the pictures taken from a handheld Raven drone to direct its bigger, more destructive relative to its end.) Cruise missiles have been around in one form or another since World War II, and Tomahawks have been schwacking American enemies since the days of Desert Storm. Some earlier models had nuclear warheads. Others (still in service) employ cluster-bombs, much to the chagrin of human rights groups, who hate how the minimunitions can linger on a battlefield long after a war is over. From the outside, the Block IVs look much like their predecessors: a little over 20 feet long, and about 3,300 pounds. Like the older models, they’re still expensive, too — at about $1.1 million a pop, the initial assault on Libya chewed through $134 million in missile costs alone. They can fly for about two hours or 1,000 miles, whichever comes first. But that could radically change, if an experimental Air Force program pans out. The X-51a aircraft is designed to test technologies for a next-gen cruise missile — one that would fly at six times the speed of sound. Which means tomorrow’s cruise missiles could be like suicidal, smart, and more than eight times faster than today’s Tomahawks. Generator Fails On U.S. Submarine By Andrea Shalal-Esa, Reuters, March 21, 2011 (Reuters) - The machine that produces fresh air aboard the USS New Hampshire submarine failed during a mission under the vast ice cap of the Arctic Ocean last week, prompting the submarine to use an alternate oxygen candle system instead. Hamilton Sundstrand, a unit of United Technologies Corp (UTX.N), is sending a representative to a temporary ice camp to investigate the problem with the oxygen generator, said Navy Commander John McGunnigle, captain of the nuclear-powered Virginia-class submarine. Daniel Coulom, a spokesman for Hamilton Sundstrand, confirmed late Monday that company staff would travel to the ship to help repair the oxygen generator, but said it was too early to speculate on what caused the problem. McGunnigle told Reuters he had spoken with the company shortly after the submarine surfaced on Sunday afternoon in a small area of open water surrounded by ice sheets. The ship is in the Arctic to participate in a month of military exercises with another submarine, the USS Connecticut. The emergency system that is now producing oxygen for the submarine's 130-plus crew burns chemical candles in a closed metal cylinder that vents to an air-circulating system. McGunnigle said the system was safe and crew members carefully monitored its use, but he acknowledged that it was the same kind of equipment that caused a fire and explosion on board the British submarine Tireless during a similar Arctic exercise in 2007, killing two sailors. Lieutenant Jason Revitzer, the ship's supply officer, said the ship had well over 600 oxygen candles on board, which would allow it to continue using the alternate system until it got back to its home port in Groton, Connecticut. "Good thing we packed that many," Revitzer said. McGunnigle said there were several other issues with the ship during the Arctic operations, including condensation caused by the temperature difference between the frigid water outside and warmer temperatures inside. For now, the crew has rigged sheets of plastic to catch any condensation drips and route them away from sensitive electronic equipment. The ship's air conditioning system, which keeps the sophisticated electronic equipment on board from overheating, also failed after its ascent to the surface, but the ship's crew was able to reset that system later. The USS New Hampshire, built by General Dynamics Corp (GD.N), is the fifth Virginia-class U.S. submarine, weighs 7,800 tons and measures 377 feet long, about the length of a football field. It entered service in October 2008. The ship cost about $2.4 billion to build, McGunnigle said, calling it one of the most complex machines ever built. Powered by small nuclear reactors, Virginia-class submarines can carry 38 different weapons, including Mark 48 Advanced Capability torpedoes, advanced mobile mines, unmanned underwater vehicles and Tomahawk land-attack missiles like those fired on Libya this past week. Virginia-class submarines were designed to have a minimal Arctic capability, including a strengthened sail that allows the ship to surface through thin ice without damage. On Saturday the ship had surfaced through nearly a foot of ice to evacuate a sailor stricken with appendicitis, but no damage was reported. Before any Arctic deployment, ships like the New Hampshire, are outfitted with special upward-facing sonar sensors that provide data on the ice sheets and keels above, as well as a special camera that provides video images of the ice overhead. The ships also have an acoustic top sounder system that measures ice draft and ice thickness. Submitted by Kirk Smith

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Sea Fox (SS402) brick recently installed at the Veterans Memorial Park in Olathe, KS. This brick was purchased by the association. To see photos click on the USS Sea Fox website on my blogroll. There will be a ceremony at the park in April of this year to dedicate not only our brick, but bricks for each of our lost submarines of all eras. The exact date and time of the service has yet to be determine. This is a project of the Topeka-Jefferson City USSVI base. It is the second project undertaken by the base at the Memorial Park. The first one was a very nice marble bench honoring submarine veterans of all eras. All the best. Geo.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Friday, March 18, 2011

USS DRUM SS228 Mobile AL Twin Lakes Submarine Base, Mountain Home, Arkansas meets March 22 at the Elks at noon for lunch and meeting.

Friday, March 4, 2011

This Day in History: 1942 - USS PERCH (SS-176) and LCDR D. A. Hurt surfaced thirty miles northwest of Soerabaja, Java, N.E.I. on the evening of 1 March 1942. Two enemy destroyers attacked and drove her down with a string of depth charges which caused her to bottom at 135 feet. Several more depth charge attacks caused extensive damage and flooding throughout the boat. After repairs, PERCH surfaced at two o'clock in the morning only to be again driven down by the enemy destroyers. The loss of oil and air from damaged ballast tanks convinced the enemy that PERCH was breaking up and they went on to look for other kills, allowing PERCH to surface. The crew made all possible repairs with the submarine's decks awash and only one engine in commission. During the early morning of 3 March, a test dive was made with almost fatal results. Expert handling and good luck enabled her to surface from that dive only to be attacked by two enemy cruisers and three destroyers. When the enemy shells commenced to straddle, the commanding officer ordered all hands on deck. With all possible hull openings open, PERCH made her last dive and ended her second patrol. The entire crew was captured by a Japanese destroyer. Of the fifty-four men and five officers only six, who died of malnutrition in Japanese prisoner-of-war camps, were unable to return to their country to enjoy the victory for which they had fought so valiantly. She was the fifth U.S. submarine loss of World War II. 60 crew were taken POW, 6 men later died as POWs but none were lost with PERCH that day. PERCH received one battle star for World War II service. Submitted by Kirk Smith

Monday, February 28, 2011

REGIONAL CONVENTIONS: The South East Regional April 5-6, 2011 in Ocean City, Maryland at Dunes Manor Hotel. Contact Yost at 301-253-5531 South West Regional April 10-14, 2011 in Laughlin, Nevada at the Aquarius Casino Resort -reservation call 1800-662-5825 National Convention 2011, September 5-11, combined WWII & USSVI, at Springfield, Mo., at University Plaza Hotel & Convention Center 1-417-864-7333,back up hotel, Clarion Hotel 1-800-756-7318

Friday, February 25, 2011

VETERANS NATIONAL PERSONNEL RECORDS CENTER. Veterans can now request a copy of their DD214 electronically through the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC). The process takes between 10 and 14 business days. Veterans can also request their military records electronically! Log on at: Military veterans and the next of kin of the deceased former military members may now use this on-line military personnel records system to request documents. Other individuals must use the standard form 180, which can be downloaded from the website. For more information about requesting military or VA records call 1.314.801.0800

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

USS GREENEVILLE Man Responsible Bears Guilt By William Cole, Honolulu Star Advertiser, 7 February 2011 Ten years ago Wednesday, the USS Greeneville was impressing 16 civilian guests south of Oahu with some of the capabilities of a U.S. nuclear-powered submarine. On the surface, there was open-air time with the Greeneville's gregarious, cigar-smoking captain, Cmdr. Scott Waddle, as the sub powered through the waves. Underwater there were steep ascents and descents -- "angles and dangles" in Navy jargon, at one point reaching a classified depth below 800 feet -- as well as high-speed turns. And finally, there was the demonstration of an emergency main ballast tank blow, an action that forces 4,500 pounds per square inch of air into ballast tanks, causing the 6,900-ton submarine to breach the surface like a humpback whale. On Feb. 9, 2001, the Greeneville, longer than a football field, rocketed upward from a depth of 400 feet, its crew not knowing it was on a collision course with a Japanese high school fishing training vessel, the Ehime Maru. What came at 1:43 p.m. was unthinkable: The submarine hit the Japanese ship. The Greeneville's steel rudder -- reinforced to punch through Arctic ice -- cut through the underbelly of the 190-foot Ehime Maru. The Japanese vessel sank in five minutes nine miles south of Diamond Head. Twenty-six on board survived, but nine others -- including four high school students -- perished. Never in U.S. Navy history had a collision between a nuclear submarine and a civilian vessel killed so many people. "I'm fully aware there's a lot of pain and anguish, and I know from my perspective I'll never be able to get forgiveness from the Japanese families for the losses they suffered," Waddle said last week by phone from his home in Cary, N.C. Memorial Set For Wednesday Waddle was not tried at court-martial, but he was found guilty at an "admiral's mast" of dereliction of duty and negligent hazarding of a vessel. He was allowed to retire with full benefits after 20 years in the Navy. He was accused of cutting corners, marginalizing key crew members and rushing through procedures leading up to the sinking. On Wednesday the Ehime Maru Memorial Association will hold a service from 1:30 to 3 p.m. at Kakaako Waterfront Park, where there is a memorial to the loss. Seven of the nine families who lost a family member are expected to attend, along with Ehime prefecture Gov. Tokihiro Nakamura, Uwajima City Mayor Hirohisa Ishibashi, Uwajima Fisheries High School Principal Kanji Nogami and other officials, the memorial association said. Waddle apologized to the families at least four times -- once in Japan in late 2002 to relatives of 17-year-old Yusuke Terata, whose body was the final recovery made by the Navy. Waddle still lives with the details that caused so much pain, relating how Terata's roommate, Takeshi Mizuguchi, also 17, was never found. "Yusuke clung onto the foremast crying out to Takeshi Mizuguchi and also to Jun Nakata, his instructor, and he (Nakata) wasn't about to leave either one of them, and all three perished," Waddle said. The sinking was a public relations disaster for Waddle, the Navy and the United States. The events of that day commanded international news for months to come and led to permanent changes in how the U.S. submarine force trains. President George W. Bush apologized on national television as Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori immediately requested that the sunken vessel be raised. The families of the dead bitterly criticized Waddle for his actions. The Navy spent $60 million to recover the Ehime Maru and eight of nine missing crew, $11.47 million for compensation to Ehime prefecture, $16.5 million to compensate families and $2 million to repair the Greeneville. Waddle, the man at the center of it all, is now a somewhat overweight and graying 51-year-old involved in consulting, executive coaching and public speaking. A listing with the Premiere Speakers Bureau says Waddle's fee is $7,500 to $10,000 and that his speech topic is "Failure is not final." In a book he wrote after the incident titled "The Right Thing," Waddle, then 41, recalled watching helplessly and in horror through the periscope as the stern of the Ehime Maru listed, the bow came out of the water, the ship stood vertical for a moment and then it disappeared beneath the waves. As some crew members clambered into life rafts and others flailed wildly in the water, diesel fuel burning their eyes, Waddle said, he tried to maneuver the Greeneville closer, but the bobbing sub created huge swells that threatened to swamp the rafts. The 6- to 8-foot swells made it too dangerous to dive off or climb aboard the sub, he said, and the Greeneville had to leave rescue efforts to the Coast Guard. The Greeneville was kept out all night partly as a public relations ploy intended to give the impression the sub was involved in search-and-rescue efforts, but in truth the seas were too rough to get anyone on or off that night, Waddle said. Word of the Ehime Maru sinking spread quickly -- a news helicopter was on the scene shortly after the collision -- and Waddle said a large Japanese fishing vessel almost identical to the Ehime Maru cut in front of the Greeneville as it headed in the next day. News reporters were camped out on his lawn. Waddle said in his book that he was fired Feb. 10 as captain of the Greeneville, and he saw "20 years of hard work" in the Navy slip away. His own personal hell grew deeper and darker that night, when he could not sleep and was reviewing the accident over and over in his head. He said he briefly considered using a ceremonial Russian officer's dagger to kill his 13-year-old daughter, Ashley; his wife, Jill; and himself. "It would be so easy to take that dagger, I thought, and go upstairs and put Ashley down and then take care of Jill, and then myself," Waddle wrote. "Then our family wouldn't have to endure any more of this ugliness and pain." Failures Precede Fatal Collision Before the sinking, Waddle was riding high. A religious Texan who graduated from the Naval Academy in 1981, Waddle took command of the Greeneville in 1999. In November of that year, the sub became the epitome of U.S.-Japanese cooperation when it took part in a rescue exercise southwest of Molokai with the Japanese submarine Hayashio. The Greeneville was the go-to submarine for special missions, and its list of visitors included Tipper Gore and movie producer James Cameron. According to testimony from the Court of Inquiry convened after the collision, Waddle was a charismatic and professional naval officer who was "self-confident in his own abilities and quick to take advantage of opportunities to make his command, the Navy, and himself look good." Greeneville's sole mission on Feb. 9 was to conduct the "distinguished visitor" trip for the 16 civilians -- referred to by retired Navy Adm. Richard Macke as "high-rolling CEOs" -- despite guidelines that submarines conduct the outings only during training. Some of those visitors' hands were on submarine controls during maneuvers, with crew member's hands over theirs. The Court of Inquiry found Waddle "inappropriately disposed" to entertaining the guests, while there was an "artificial urgency" created by the commander to complete the afternoon's events with the sub running late for a 2 p.m. return to "Papa Hotel," a rendezvous southeast of the entrance to Pearl Harbor. Two Key Failures Preceded The Collision. The sub's fire control system had shown the Ehime Maru, designated as sonar contact Sierra 13, as being 8.5 miles away. But high-speed turns could make sonar displays look like "spaghetti," with ship contacts fading in and out, according to testimony. As the Greeneville ascended for a periscope look prior to the "emergency deep" and ballast blow, Fire Control Technician of the Watch Patrick Seacrest entered an updated location for Sierra 13 showing a range of 2.2 miles on an approaching course. But Seacrest told the Court of Inquiry he felt rushed and did not note the change in range. A periscope search of at least three minutes is required on the surface. As soon as the officer of the deck started a visual sweep, Waddle interrupted him and took over the periscope, the Navy said. A white haze was present and Waddle saw nothing, stating, "I hold no visual contacts in high power," but the submarine was at periscope depth for only 66 seconds before he ordered "emergency deep," records state. Seacrest testified that he then noted Sierra 13 closing on the Greeneville, but since he had heard Waddle and the officer of the deck state no visual contacts, he assumed the range information was incorrect, and he "out-spotted" Sierra 13's range to five miles. By the time the Greeneville had descended to 400 feet for the emergency blow, the Ehime Maru was less than a half-mile away. Had Waddle conducted a longer periscope search as required, he would have seen the Ehime Maru, the Court of Inquiry found. Waddle has alternately reserved for himself and shared the blame for the sinking, saying in his 2002 book, "Nine people are dead because of me," but also stating that the Court of Inquiry had decided he would be a "sacrificial lamb." Speaking in October at Suffield Academy, a prestigious New England boarding school, Waddle said, "It's tough to live with. It's tough to know that I was part of an event that took the lives of loved ones. Somebody's family somewhere was adversely impacted because of our crew's negligence, the team that I led." He still questions why Seacrest did not speak up about the Ehime Maru's closing distance. Seacrest and a handful of other crew members received admonishments. As the 10th anniversary of the Ehime Maru sinking approaches, Capt. Jeff Breslau, a spokesman for the U.S. Pacific Fleet, said in a statement, "We are still saddened over the loss of life from the collision between our submarine and Ehime Maru, and use this anniversary to pause and reflect on our responsibilities that have resulted from this tragedy. The Navy worked hard to meet our obligation to act in the interests of the victims' families, to pursue the facts behind the accident earnestly, and to ensure the lessons from the collision are used to prevent tragedies of this nature from happening again." The Navy said there have been improvements in the procedures used to prepare for periscope depth and surfacing operations and improvements to sensors used. The command qualification process has become more rigorous, including a graded demonstration of the ability to safely conduct periscope depth and surfacing operations, officials said. Submarines are required to practice the "emergency main ballast blows" at least once a year, and the Pacific Fleet Submarine Force has "re-emphasized" with commanders the need for a thorough search of the surfacing area. Accident Changes Policy, Training Since the Ehime Maru accident, Defense Department policy has been changed to prohibit civilian visitors from operating any equipment when that operation could cause an increased safety risk, and visitors are not permitted to sit at the controls or operate equipment with the exception of one periscope -- but only while the other periscope is manned by a qualified officer of the deck. At the Submarine Learning Center in Groton, Conn., meanwhile, students in the officer advanced course complete a case study of the Greeneville incident that includes a detailed account of the collision and the events that led up to it as well as the Greeneville's actions following the event. Internal U.S. State Department memos showed that while many Japanese were unhappy that Waddle and other officers were not brought to court-martial, the difficult task of raising the Ehime Maru from a depth of 2,000 feet was appreciated. The $60 million recovery involved the use of remotely operated vehicles to place lifting plates so the Ehime Maru could be moved to 115 feet of water about a mile off Honolulu Airport for diver access. The ship later was later sunk at a "final resting site" 12 miles south of Barbers Point in more than 6,000 feet of water. While unusual, the collision was not unprecedented. On April 9, 1981, the Pearl Harbor-based submarine USS George Washington surfaced under a Japanese freighter, the Nissho Maru, in the East China Sea. Thirteen Japanese crewmen were rescued but two were lost at sea. Back to Top

Sunday, February 13, 2011

HAPPY SAFE VALENTINE'S DAY! with love for our county. To our men and women serving our country, our hearts are filled with gratitude. To the wives and children of service people, our hearts are filled with love for what you do at home waiting and supporting your love ones. Happy Valentine's Day Everyday!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Memories Remembered, from my childhood by Jeanie Lankford Duffy
Our own Jeanie Duffey, associate member and wife
of association member Grady Duffey (Sea Fox 49-51)
has written a book! See the link below. Congratulations, Jeanie. This is a real accomplishment. All the best. Geo.
This was submitted by George Arnold.
Congratulations Jeanie - Mary Nida Smith, Sea Fox associate member

Monday, January 24, 2011


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

USS SEAFOX REUNION Be sure and check out the 2011 Reunion site for the updated schedule of events provided by our coordinator, Joel Greenberg. While you are there, have a look at the Grand Prize and information about it. All the best Geo.

Friday, January 14, 2011

GULFPORT, MISS. The Armed Forces Retirement Home has been rebuild after being destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Check out their website for great pictures.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Robert(Bob) Lents' story is published in this book or can be found at your local library or bookstore. Bob's story hit front page December 27, 2010 of The Baxter Bulletin and once before on June 22, 2004. I am proud to call him my friend. The color of the cover didn't copy correct.