Thursday, October 31, 2013


                                                             USS Sennet SS-408

                    Post 2013 Reunion Newsletter

October 12,2013

Well Shipmates, the 2013 All Hands Reunion is now in the history books. We had 82 people at our banquet. Entertainment during the banquet was by the “Plantation Singers”. They sang songs and spirituals from the plantation days. They did an outstanding job and everyone enjoyed it from what I heard and saw.


The Dinner Cruise had 78 of our people which was great also. Food was excellent and the harbor water seemed like we were on a mill pond. Beautiful weather for the entire Reunion. As I always say… Nothing can be finer than to be in Carolina……


The golf tournament and Ladies Luncheon were well attended. At the Ladies Luncheon Sharon arranged to have 2 ladies come in and demonstrate the making of “Sweet Grass” baskets. They had comp leted baskets on display and for purchase. We raffled off one of the baskets during the banquet.


David Hardy conducted our Memorial Service for ALL of our Shipmates on Eternal Patrol. We have 456 Shipmates, that we know of, on Eternal Patrol, 29 of those since our 2011 Reunion. They are: Arch Blevins, Joe Burney, Tom Burns, Ed Corack, Walt Danzieri, Ted Darby, Santo Daversa, Dusty Dohm, Wayne Donaldson, Ed Figas, James Gray, Gerald Hanson, Pappy Henderson, Ned Henry, Wayne Hilton, Bill Hovey, Rich Hrovat, Jack Kaselack, Dick Krauk, Joe McDevitt, Bob Naess, Henry Ohlmann, Frenchie Remillard, Bill Rudolph, Charlie Rutherford, Franz Schultheis, Ed Sweeny, Bob Tift, Noel Williams and just this past week Ron Maietta. I know there are more that we don’t have record of and we included them in our memorial also.


The business meeting was conducted following a short break after the Memorial Service. During this meeting, as always, we nominated and elected our next 2015 reunion location. Myrtle Beach, SC and Panama City Beach, FL were nominated. Myrtle Beach was elected in a close race. Only 2 vote difference.

I will be looking at what is available in Myrtle Beach around the middle of next year,2014. If you have any suggestions and/or ideas, pass them along and we’ll look into them. More than likely the 2015 Reunion will be held the end of September, first of October as we did for this past reunion. Prices are usually much better for us at that time and it is still warm enough to take in the beach activities. As soon as I get a handle on it I’ll be rattling your cages to let you know the details.


I’ll be restocking the Ship’s Store very soon with Golf Shirts, T-Shirts, and hats. I do have on hand Sennet challenge coins $10ea, Sennet Jacket patches $8ea and some Sennet Coffee Mugs $3ea. The cost of shirts will be determined when I order new ones.

I do have on hand an over stock of Gold Dolphin Golf Shirts, T-Shirts and hats. These I have put ON SALE 50% OFF. Keep in mind, ALL proceeds and donations go directly into our Reunion Fund.


Remember to check our website, . Jim Vernon will be sending Stan Pollard, our WebMaster, pictures he took during the reunion as is Carl Albury. Any others that would like to have Stan post pictures you took, contact Stan. If you don’t see pictures you have sent in keep checking the site as Stan refreshes the pictures often.

We ( Jim, Carl & I ) are going to try and make up a CD of pictures. Don’t know the cost right now of the CD, but, give us a few weeks then contact me by email, phone or snail mail.


In closing, Sharon and I want to thank each and everyone that attended this past reunion and donated to the gift given to us. We really do appreciate it very much…THANK YOU!!!

Again, thanks again Shipmates. Stay well and be safe



Ralph Luther                                  

PO Box 864                                    

Summerville, SC 29484-0864


Sunday, October 27, 2013

US Submarine Veterans Inc Dues

NEWS-02: It is that time once again!

Submitted by: T. Michael Bircumshaw on 10/10/2013


Every year about this time the organization, from Bases all the way to National are looking to stay in business and the way to do that is to collect those DUES.  Now is a really good time to launch that Sea Daddy Program you haven't quite gotten around to.  It works.  You will be surprised how many more Shipmates RE-UP if somebody will just talk to them.  Tell them about the benefits of USSVI and the Charitable Foundation and how important it is to remember our Shipmates, all of them that are here and all who have gone.  Share a Sea Story and talk about the Boats  that you were both on.  You probably know Shipmates and can share that too.  The DUES for National are really cheap, about the cost of half a lunch, 20 bucks.  December 31 is the deadline, let's make it happen, with a smile please.





National Board of Directors BOD

NEWS-01: National Board activity September 2013 Submitted by: T. Michael Bircumshaw on 10/1/2013



A heads up on what the National Board of Directors BOD has been doing is as follows.

But first a message in behalf of our reason for being here:


The US Submarines lost in the month of October are:

USS Seawolf (SS-197)  Lost with all hands (82 crew and 17 U.S. Army) on 3 October 1944 when it was mistaken for a Japanese submarine and sunk by friendly destroyers just north of Morotai, Republic of the Philippines.


USS S-44 (SS-155) Lost on 7 October 1943 with the loss of 54 men when it was sunk by surface craft off Paramushiru, Kuriles.  2 men survived and were taken prisoner.


USS Wahoo (SS-238)   Lost with all hands (80 men) during a Japanese air and surface attack on 11 October 1943 in La Perouse Strait off northern Japan.


USS Dorado (SS-248)  Lost with all hands (76 men) by an Air Attack on 12 October 1943 in the SW Atlantic.


USS Darter (SS-227)   Lost on 24 October 1944 when it became grounded on Bombay Shoal off Palawan then was destroyed. All the crew were rescued by USS Dace.


USS Shark (SS-314) Lost with all hands (90 men) on 24 October 1944 when it was sunk by Japanese surface craft in the channel midway between Hainan and Bashi Channel.


USS Tang (SS-306) Lost with 78 men on 25 October 1944 when it was sunk by her own torpedo in the north end of the Formosa Strait.  Nine of the crew were taken prisoner and survived the war.  Her Commanding Officer, Richard OKane, received the Congressional Medal of Honor.


USS Escolar (SS-294) Lost with all hands (82 men) by possible Japanese Mine in the Yellow Sea off China on 17 October 1944.


USS O-5 (SS-66) Lost on 29 October 1923 with the loss of 3 men when it was sunk after a collision with the SS Ababgarez (owned by the United Fruit company) off the Panama Canal.  Torpedomans Mate 2d Class (SS) Henry Berault received the Congressional Medal of Honor for his heroic actions.


September BOD business:

The Smokey Mountain Base proposed the adoption of the Polaris Military Tartan as the officialTartan of USSVI.  After much discussing and cussing, the Polaris Military Tartan was approved by the BOD as the USSVI official Tartan.  Now all we need is for the Smokey Mountain Base to write up a nice article explaining how it came into existence  in the first place and submit some photos of one of our hairy legged shipmates in full regalia, in living color of course.


The BOD approved an additional $8,000.00 for the operating costs of the national office (contract payments for the office manager) to allow for  the additional 4 months in this (once in a USSVI lifetime) 16 month budget.

The BOD has determined that the annual midterm meeting will be held in Dallas Texas from the 10-12 of March 2014.  For those of you with midterm business items please get them submitted early enough  for us to consider them.

The following items were opened and discussed but will remain in Old Business for the October online BOD meeting:

1.            National organization funding.

2.            Long Range Planning.  To identify the items of major significance for our Long Range Planning is to nail down 3 primary directions:

A.            Fund Raising

B.            Member Recruiting

C.            Member Retention

Everything else is collateral and or secondary to keeping us healthy and progressing in our purpose and reason for existing

3.            This is related to national funding and is the continuing discussion of the 2014, 50th anniversary memorial coin.  Be ready to get the dozen you will want for family and friends.  In fact give it to them with a copy of the new 2014 USSVI calendar.  Everybody needs to know what fine Sub Vet day it is.

If I missed anything Im sure someone will remind me in a most gentle way and I will pass it on.

Have a safe and sane Halloween and brush well after all of that Trick or Treating I know you will all be doing.

Thanks for your service and thanks for being a Sub Vet.










Monday, October 21, 2013


Rick Becker
12:29pm Oct 1
From the Shellback Group

238 years of Navy Tradition unhampered by Progress died today

Death of Navy Tradition By Lt. Cmdr. Thomas Sousa (ret.)

An obituary for Navy Tradition (USN, retired)— 1775-2013: In a press release from Washing­ton D. C., the Navy Department an­nounced the death of Navy Tradition today after a long illness.

Navy Tradition was born into a world of turmoil and revolution in 1775. Starting with nothing as a child, Navy Tradition evolved to be­come an essential part of the most powerful Navy the world had ever seen. He was present when James Lawrence ordered “Don’t give up the ship” as he lay mortally wound­ed on the deck of the Chesapeake. He witnessed cannon balls bounc­ing off the copper-shielded sides of the USS Constitution, “Old Iron­sides.”

He fought pirates off the Barbary Coast and suffered with his ship­mates on the battleship Arizona during the attack at Pearl Harbor. He fought his way across the Pacif­ic with Nimitz and saw MacArthur fulfill his promise to return to the Philippines. Navy Tradition was there when sailors fought bravely to save the frigate Stark after it was hit by a cruise missile and wit­nessed the launch of Tomahawk missiles from the battleship Mis­souri at the outset of Desert Storm.

Through all the strife, good times and bad, Navy Tradition was there to support his shipmates and give a balance to the misery that some­times accompanied a life at sea. Be the nation at peace or at war, Navy Tradition made sure that we al­ways remembered we were sailors.

He made sure that promotions were celebrated with an appropri­ate “wetting down”; crows, dol­phins and wings were tacked on as a sign of respect from those already so celebrated; chiefs were promot­ed in solemn ceremony after being “initiated” by their fellow brethren; and only those worthy were al­lowed to earn the title “shellback.”

But in his later years, Navy Tra­dition was unable to fight the can­cer of political correctness. He tired as his beloved Navy went from providing rations of rum to its sail­ors to conducting Breathalyzer tests on the brow. He weakened as he saw “Going into harm’s way” turn into “Cover your backside,” and as “Wooden ships and iron men” morphed into “U.S. Navy, Inc.”

A lifelong friend of Navy Tradi­tion recalled a crossing-the-equa­tor ceremony during World War II: “ I had to eat a cherry out of the belly button of the fattest sailor on the ship. It was disgusting. But for that few minutes, it took our minds off the war and to this day it is one of my greatest memories.”

In lieu of flowers, the family of Navy Tradition has asked that all sailors who have earned their shellback and drunk their dol­phins; who remember sore arms from where their crows were tacked on and were sent on a search for “relative bearing grease” or a length of “water line”; who’ve been through chiefs’ initiation or an­swered ship’s call in a bar fight in some exotic port of call, to raise a toast one more time and remember Navy Tradition in his youth and grandeur.

Fair winds and following seas, Shipmate. You will be missed.
Death of Navy Tradition By Lt. Cmdr. Thomas Sousa (ret.)








Sunday, October 20, 2013


Subject: TJC Tolling Ceremony at Branson Mo



TJC Base will be performing a public Tolling of the Boats at Branson Mo on 9 November 2013.

Time is 1900, at the Branson Landing. 

 We have obtained discounted rates at the Ramada Branson Hotel and Resort, phone # 417-334-1000, of $49.95/night. Just mention USSVI to receive the rate.

 Most of you are probably familiar with Branson, it's a very veteran friendly town. Their annual veteran's week is 5-11 November,during which many shows are discounted for veterans.

This link will give more info, hope to see you all there.

                                                                                                                                       Ed Irwin

                                                                                                                               2013 Branson POC  TJC Base

Monday, October 14, 2013


This has several boats in it: USS Perch AGSS 313, USS Raton AGSS 270

After this ends, there are some more clips on different boats



     This is a good one.  Brings back many old memories.  You might relate to it unless, of course, you were 3rd crank on the CSS Hunley like Primo.




Thursday, October 10, 2013



We used to go to the Officers Club or NCO Club Stag Bar on Friday afternoons to drink, smoke and swap lies with our comrades. Think about this when you read the rest of the letter below.


What happened to our Air Force/Marines/Army/Navy/CG... (or Military)? Drinking became frowned on. Smoking caused cancer and could "harm you." Stag bars became seen as 'sexist'. Gradually, our men quit patronizing their clubs because what happened in the club became fodder for a performance report. It was the same thing at the Airman's Club and the NCO and/or Top 3 clubs. Now we don't have separate clubs for the ranks. Instead we have something called All Ranks Clubs or community clubs. They're open to men and women of all ranks....from airman basic to general officer. Still, no one is there. Gee, I wonder why.


The recent brilliant thought out of Washington was that the operators ("pilots?") flying remote aircraft in combat areas from their plush desk at duty stations in Nevada or Arizona should draw the same combat pay as those real world pilots actually on board a plane in a hostile environment. More politically correct logic? They say that remote vehicle operators are subject to the same stress levels as the combat pilot actually flying in combat. -----'re bull-shitting me, right !!!???


Now that I've primed you a little, read on. There are many who will agree with these sentiments, but they apply to more than just fighter pilots. Unfortunately, the ones with the guts to speak up or push for what they believe in are beaten down by the "system."


"Unfortunately there is a lot of truth in the following text - supposedly, Secretary Gates had a force beating the bushes to learn who wrote this.... Where have all the fighter pilots gone? Good Question.


Here is a rant from a retired fighter pilot that is worth reading: It is rumored that our current Secretary of Defense recently asked the question, "Where are all the dynamic leaders of the past?" I can only assume, if that is true, that he was referring to Robin Olds, Jimmy Doolittle, Patton, Ike, Boyington, Nimitz, etc.? Well, I've got the answer:


They were fired before they made Major! Our nation doesn't want those kinds of leaders anymore. Squadron commanders don't run squadrons and wing commanders don't run wings. They are managed by higher ranking dildos with other esoteric goals in mind. Can you imagine someone today looking for a LEADER to execute that Doolittle Raid and suggesting that it be given to a dare-devil boozer - his only attributes: he had the respect of his men, an awesome ability to fly, and the organizational skills to put it all together? If someone told me there was a chance in hell of selecting that man today, I would tell them they were either a liar or dumber than shit.


I find it ironic that the Air Force put Brigadier General Robin Olds on the cover of the company rag last month.

While it made me extremely proud to see his face, he wouldn't make it across any base in America (or overseas) without ten enlisted folks telling him to zip up his flight suit, get rid of the cigarette, and shave his mustache off.

I have a feeling that his response would be predictable and for that crime he would probably get a trip home and an Article 15.


We have lost the war on rugged individualism and that, unfortunately, is what fighter pilots want to follow; not because they have to but because they respect leaders of that ilk. We've all run across that leader that made us proud to follow him because you wanted to be like him and make a difference. The individual who you would drag your testicles through glass for rather than disappoint him.

We better wake the hell up!


 We're asking our young men and women to go to really shitty places; some with unbearable climates, never have a drink, have little or no contact with the opposite sex, not look at magazines of a suggestive nature of any type, and adhere to ridiculous regs that require you to tuck your shirt into your PT uniform on the way to the porta-shitter at night, in a blinding dust storm, because it's a uniform.


These people we're sending to combat are some of the brightest I've met but they are looking for a little sanity, which they will only find on the outside if we don't get a friggin' clue. You can't continue asking people to live for months or years at a time acting like nuns and priests. Hell, even they get to have a beer. Who are we afraid of offending? The guys that already hate us enough to

strap C-4 to their own bodies and walk into a crowd of us? Think about it.


I'm extremely proud of our young men and women who continue to serve. I'm also very in tune with what they are considering for the future and I've got news for whoever sits in the White House, Congress, and our so-called military leaders. Much talent has and will continue to hemorrhage from our services, because wanna-be warriors are tired of fighting on two fronts - - one with our enemies, another against our lack of common sense.

Take it or leave it....that's just the way it is, no. if's, and's, or but's

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Charie Marin

NEWS-01: Charlie MarinDeparting

Submitted by: T. Michael Bircumshaw on 10/7/2013



It is with a heavy heart and great sadness that I report the passing of a dear friend and great shipmatePast National Commander, YNCM (SS) Charlie Marin.

Charlie received his final orders on the 6th of October 2013.  He was 86 years young.  His lovely and devoted wife, Lee, is doing as well as possible and is comforted by her sons at home in this time of family sorrow.

I will provide further details as they become available.  One more of the good guys is gone.




Sunday, October 6, 2013


CDR Porterfield, Sea Fox as Lt. in 1950, sailed on Eternal Patrol on

30 Sep 2013.

Sailor, Rest your Oars. God Bless and thank you for your service.


Information received from Pat Householder and

Lenover Bill <    (his nephew (RMCSS)).










Friday, October 4, 2013


TRICARE Statement About Government Shutdown


On October 1, 2013, the Defense Health Agency issued the following

"We know that those who rely on the Military Health System (MHS) are
concerned about how the government shutdown might impact their health care.

While we can't predict the exact consequences of a shutdown on every part of
our MHS, we will likely see some impact on the delivery of health care
services within our military hospitals and clinics. Inpatient, acute and
emergency outpatient care in our medical and dental facilities will
continue, as will private sector care under TRICARE. Local hospital and
clinic commanders will need to implement the required adjustments to
available medical services while ensuring that the quality of care and
safety of patients remain intact. Patients should contact their hospital or
clinic to confirm previously scheduled routine appointments. Patients
needing to schedule new routine appointments might experience delays.

For TRICARE beneficiaries using providers in the private sector, little or
no effect is anticipated at this time.

The MHS leadership - comprised of the assistant secretary of defense for
Health Affairs, the director of the Defense Health Agency, and the surgeons
general of the military departments - are closely monitoring the impact of a
government shutdown on the health services provided to our 9.6 million

Please also be aware that during the government shutdown, TRICARE will not
be able to process or pay TRICARE travel claims for the TRICARE Prime
<>  or the
Combat-Related Specialty Care
<>  travel
benefits. You may still file your travel claim. TRICARE will review claims
for eligibility and process them once the government shutdown ends.

If you have questions about your benefits, please contact your regional
contractor (below) or the appropriate contractor (i.e. pharmacy, dental,
etc.). Visit the Contact Us <>  page
for a complete list of toll-free numbers.

NORTH REGION - Health Net Federal Services; SOUTH REGION - Humana Military,
a division of Humana Government Business; WEST REGION  - UnitedHealthcare
Military & Veterans; OVERSEAS     - International SOS

North Region

.         Health Net Federal Services


.         1-877-TRICARE (1-877-874-2273)

South Region

.         Humana Military, a division of Humana Government Business

. <>

.         1-800-444-5445

West Region

.         UnitedHealthcare Military & Veterans


.         1-877-988-WEST (1-877-988-9378)


.         International SOS


.         Country-Specific Toll-Free Numbers

SOURCE:  TRICARE News Release at

Thursday, October 3, 2013


Date: 10/2/2013




NEWS-01: American Submariner Editor position open Submitted by: Pat Householder on 10/2/2013


Continuing personal and family medical issues have sadly led to the resignation of Gordon Palmer as Editor of American Submariner magazine and this call for another Sub Vet with good writing skills and a interest to serve our shipmates by continuing to produce our quarterly magazine.


The ideal candidate will be retired with editorial and/or publishing experience and have a familarity with the Adobe InDesign program.


(InDesign is a professional desktop publishing application we use to produce AMERICAN SUBMARINER magazine.)


Please contact Michael Bircumshaw for more information on this position at or 951-308-6479.