Tuesday, June 24, 2014


I am pleased and honored to announce my candidacy for National Secretary. This decision was made only after careful consideration and with confidence that I have the knowledge and ability to fulfill the duties of this office.

I qualified on USS Redfish in 1962 and served on USS Tecumseh as forward IC and Reactor Operator from 1963-1968.  After my honorable discharge I obtained Nuclear Regulatory Commission Reactor and Senior Reactor Operator Licenses on SEFOR Experimental Reactor and on both Nuclear Units at Arkansas Nuclear One Power Plant in Russellville, Ar.  I served as Manager of Planning and Scheduling of Maintenance activities and Manager of Refueling Outages on both ANO Power Plants.  As Manager I had the responsibility of ensuring that all Nuclear Regulatory Commission documentation was accurate and completed in a timely manner.

I am a charter member of Razorback Base in Arkansas.  I have served as Base Vice Commander for 4 years, Base Commander for 4 years and Central Region District One Commander for five years. I have been active in restoration of USS Razorback and have participated in 5 Burial at Sea Ceremonies on Razorback. I also have served as the USSVCF Memorials chairman for the past 6 years.  My wife, Barbara and I have attended all National Conventions since 1993, with the exception of two, and will continue to do so in the future, and were the co-chairpersons of the 2006 National Convention in Little Rock, Arkansas.

I will do my best to perform the duties of National Secretary in a professional and timely manner.

Feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns

Ray Wewers
Central Region District One Commander




Thursday, June 19, 2014

Bernerd J. Flanagan USS Sennet 408

Hi my name is Rebecca I'm the Granddaughter of Bernerd J. Flanagan who was on the Sennet 408 from 47-51 I know his nickname was "Goon" & well he has Cancer and is terminal the doctors informed us a couple months ago that he might have a year but could go sooner & I've been trying to track down old pictures of him from his navy days & maybe find guys he was on the Subs with to get some fun stories & things for him he hadn't left the house very much over the years so he didn't really go to the reunion's & after everything the doctors said & with his tumors he honestly doesn't leave the house at all anymore & since I know this will be his last year with us I wanted to make this special for him and the family. I found 2 pictures on the website but just figured I would email some people to see if they knew of anyone else I could contact. I understand if you can't help at all I just figured it was worth a shot I love my grandpa very much & love hearing stories about when he was on the Submarines, & My sisters & I are going to miss him greatly when he's gone Were just very grateful that we have been blessed to have him in our lives so far. I thank you for taking the time to read this no matter how things turn out I greatly appreciate everything.



Rebecca H.


Joseph P. Belmont USS Sennet 1946-1948

Joe Belmont passed away June 2nd. No need to send any more updates.


Joe served aboard Sennet as a S1c during the years 1946-1948.

Joseph P. Belmont Family

574 S. Canvasback Way

Meridian, ID   83642

Robert Dean Boyer

Robert Dean Boyer, 85, of Charleston, South Carolina, husband of Camilla Carpenter Boyer entered into eternal rest on Saturday, June 14, 2014. Robert was born May 7, 1929 in Danville, Pennsylvania, son of the late Samuel Boyer and Mary Ann Pollock Boyer. Bob retired from the U.S. Navy after 20 years of service as a First Class Petty Officer, serving on numerous ships and submarines. Following retirement, he was employed by MUSC Physical Plant for 23 years and retired as a Construction Supervisor. He was a former member of the Fleet Reserve, Mason's, Parents and Guardians Association, and the Order of the Eastern Star. Bob loved to swim and worked as a lifeguard during his off time from his Navy duties and taught numerous life saving classes. He was tasked by General Sweany to train life guards for all USARFANT installations. He taught swimming in his backyard pool for 22 years, instructing more than 1,000 children how to swim. Bob loved to travel in his RV and visited 49 states and toured throughout Canada. He was an avid model railroader. Bob was very involved with his grandchildren and loved them dearly. He was very instrumental in the establishment of the first kindergarten for pre-school mentally retarded children in 1964. He is survived by his wife of 59 1/2 years, Camilla Boyer of Charleston, SC; three daughters, Katrina L. Boyer of Summerville, SC, Sherry Boyer Knight (John) of Charleston, SC, DeeDee Boyer Jordan (Stan)of West Union, WV; brother, Jim Boyer of Reading, PA; four grandchildren, Brandi Mae Jordan Ludwig (Alex), Stanley K. Jordan, Christy A. Knight, John Z. Knight. His Funeral Service will be held Thursday, June 19, 2014 in J. Henry Stuhr Inc., West Ashley Chapel, 3360 Glenn McConnell Parkway at 11:00 a.m. Interment to follow in Live Oak Memorial Gardens with Military Honors. The family will receive friends Wednesday in Stuhr's West Ashley Chapel from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Memorials may be made to Parents and Guardians Association of the Coastal Center, 9995 Miles Jamison Road, Summerville, SC 29485; Charleston Animal Society 2455 Remount Road, North Charleston, SC 29406 or Ashley River Baptist Church, 1101 Savannah Highway, Charleston, SC 29407. A memorial message may be sent to the family by visiting our website at www.jhenrystuhr.com. Visit our guestbook at www.legacy.com/obituaries/ Charleston Published in Charleston Post & Courier on June 18, 2014


Bob served aboard Sennet as a CS2 during the years 1961-1963.


Monday, June 16, 2014

Roy Lawton Eternal Patrol

Please add the name of Roy E. Lawton, proud member of the Sea Fox Assoc. to your list of those on final patrol. Roy passed away June, 11, 2014 after a long battle with cancer. Of all his 20 years in the Navy none were more thrilling to him than his time spent aboard the Sea Fox. Unhappily after he acquired his degree in Electrical Engineering and finished OCS he was deemed too old for submarines----a supreme disappointment! But we were all proud to be a Navy family. Our large family was with him constantly for the last 10 weeks of his life caring for his every need. I can’t thank our 6 children and their spouses enough for all the sacrifices they made to care for him round the clock. Roy was aboard the USS Sea Fox 1953-55.


Judith Lawton



Eternal Patrol

I have one consolation that lives with me today.

That God is near to him, in his own special way.

So God in all Your mercy, keep near Thyself the soul,

Of every Submariner, still on his final patrol.


Lord, this departed shipmate with Dolphins on his chest

Is part of an outfit known as the best.

Make him welcome and take him by the hand.

You'll find without a doubt he was the best in all the land.


So, heavenly Father add his name to the roll

Of our departed shipmates still on patrol.

Let them know that we who survive

Will always keep their memories alive.





Submarine National Scholarship

NEWS-01: 2014 USSVI Scholarship Donation list to date Submitted by: Paul Orstad - Scholarship Chairman on 6/11/2014

Shipmates, I have posted the latest Donation list for the USSVI "Sub Vets" Scholarship Program.  Several bases have been doing well to support the scholarship fund and you make me very proud.

We also named a new scholarship in Memory of WWII subvet Robert "Robbie" Robertson.  There is also a list of all the donors for the Robert "Robbie" Robertson Memorial Scholarship and also for the Tim VeArd Memorial Scholarship.

In addition, we added back the USS Sennet Reunion Association's Memorial Scholarship.

Also, we had several donations for Cal Council, Marblehead Base, the Gilbert "Gil" Shaddock Memorial scholarship, USS Sennet Reunion Assoc. and USS Tunny Assoc. shipmates on Patrol.

Lastly we also have two shipmates who were honored by their friends.

Honoring our shipmates going on Eternal Patrol by investing in the children of submariners is what the Sub Vet Scholarship Program is all about

I will be, hopefully, finishing the this year scholarships this next week and I will get the word out shortly thereafter.

We had 79 candidates, 38 in each group (high school & college) with an equal amount in each group.  The Scholarship board will make final approval shortly.

The link to the Donations report is shown here.

Thank you & Green Board

Paul Orstad,

National Scholarship chairman.




Saturday, June 14, 2014

 Celebrating 50 years of USSVI

Submitted by: Michael Bircumshaw Natl Cdr on 6/9/2014


On the 24th of May 2014, to the day exactly 50 years since the official launching of USSVI, we honored the creation of our organization with the dedication of a historical plaque now forever enshrined in the Navy Memorial in Washington DC.

Officially dedicated, the USSVI plaque is now displayed in the Naval Memorial Foundation building in Washington, DC.

It is to be noted that the USSVI plaque is on the obverse side of a rotating panel on which is mounted the WWII Sub Vets plaque that was initiated and completed by Charley Scurvy Brown (recently deceased) a WWII Submariner Stew Burner, whom I was privileged to know and in fact spoke with him on the day (13 May 2014) he went on Eternal Patrol.  His last words to me were, Please dont forget us.  I promised him that we would not ever forget.

There were about 100 shipmates and guests in attendance and I was honored to read the history of USSVI as written by Peter Koester.  I will admit that I had trouble reading about the Thresher SSN 593, which was one of the primary motivating factors in Joe Negris desire to form USSVI.  I lost one of my best friends, Laird Heiser MM1 (SS) and the shipmate I went to SINS school with in 1961,Roger Van Pelt, who took the SINS job on the Thresher so I could go the USS Scamp SSN-588.

Sincere congratulations to everyone involved in the celebration, from Al Singleman NJVC, who organized it and made it happen to Paul Halle, Director of the Memorial, to RADM Fritz Rogge of OPNAV and RADM Walker, who always improves the quality of personnel in attendance, wherever he shows up.

The parade on Monday was a hoot.  I rode with Pete Koester in his jeep with no top, which allowed me the opportunity to stand in a precarious manner for the entire parade, not know or ever having seen the King wave, I went ahead and used the Queen wave for the duration of the ride.

Four bases had floats in the parade, Columbus Base, Rhode Island Base, Marblehead Base and Nathan Green Base.

Most of us wandered around the museums and memorials.  The WWII memorial was particularly impressive and to tell the truth, Not only myself, but everyone that I spoke to within our group had a great time and USSVI was very well represented by the marchers and the Bases who pulled the floats and sounded those Klaxons.



NEWS-02: Chicago TV:  Crash Dive Base: Chicago Memorial Submitted by: Office on 6/11/2014


Vice Commander Steve Benicke of the U.S.S. Chicago base for the U.S. Submarine Veterans and Vice Commander of the Crash Dive Base, Frank Voznak spoke about their efforts for a submarine memorial project for the city of Chicago.


Go to the link...







COVERT SAILORS - Submariner Sea Stories

NOW AVAILABLE in  Kindle or Paperback editions:

Hey there, sailor –  

     I am a Life Member of USSVI and belong to Groton Base, Carolina Piedmont Base and am commissioning Chaplain of Nathanael Greene Base. I have published my book entitled, “COVERT SAILORS – Submariner Sea Stories” by Jim Schenk, for sale from amazon.com. As promised, a portion of the royalties will be donated to USSVI.   If you answered my email in the past from xboatsailor@yahoo.com then you should be ready to order and enjoy it now, because you are in there.  Well, some gave, and some did not.  Anyone desiring to be included in Volume Two may send their submissions to the above email and be sure to include SUBMARINE BOOK in the Subject Line as insurance that it does not go to Auto Dump. 

 Download the Kindle-version for use with: 
FREE Kindle Applications for your PC, 
the Amazon Kindle, 
Kindle Cloud Reader, 
and Mac, 
iPod touch, 
and Windows phones and tablets. 

     This endeavor, more or less, reads like an underwater version of McHale's Navy; not recommended for Skimmers or Civilians unless they use the Glossary in the Appendix. As you are reading this book, your wife will say to you, "What's so funny?" and you can choose to tell her, .........or not, but please, do pass the word. 

     The 5”x8”paperback issue is now available at 672 pages in easy-to-read larger print.  It can be purchased at createspace.com for $23.35 or at amazon.com for $21.23.  I had no say in the cost of the paperback, but the Kindle book is now at $5.00 upon my insistence.  Enjoy the read…I await your critique. 

     God bless you and your family, ….Jim. 


Thursday, June 5, 2014

D-Day Midget Submarine at Sword Beach

Five days before June 5th – the original date for D-Day – two X-boats sailed from Hayling Island, Hampshire. Each midget submarine had a crew of five men on board. It would be their task to guide in the British landing craft at Sword Beach. The fear was that the landing craft might drift towards rocks that skirted the specific landing points at Sword and it was the task on the submarine crews to ensure the landing craft stayed on course. To read the full article go to http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/miget_submarines_d_day.htm

D-Day; World War II

The USS Nevada, a battleship that played a key role in naval gun support, was the only battleship to make it out of its moorings at Pearl Harbor. Though heavily damaged, it not only was repaired in time to help at D-Day, but returned to support the Iwo Jima and Okinawa invasions

Monday, June 2, 2014

Jim Salter, Associated Press, May 25

Serving aboard an American submarine was one of the most dangerous assignments in World War II, with nearly 1 in 5 crew members losing their lives somewhere in the ocean depths.

Paul Wittmer of suburban St. Louis has spent years working to ensure that those men - more than 3,600 sailors - are remembered, including a book that has been years in the making.

Wittmer, a submarine veteran who turned 90 last week, has conducted research for eight years at the National Archives at St. Louis, which houses millions of military personnel records. He compiled biographical information on every man lost aboard a submarine during the war. The research fills six volumes.

The painstaking effort even helped correct history. The Navy previously listed 3,505 submarine officers and sailors lost on 52 subs downed during World War II. Wittmer calculated a larger number - 3,628.

The duty was highly risky, Wittmer said, and about 20,000 men volunteered.

"When you go on a patrol, you are essentially alone," Wittmer said. "You didn't have any support group, and you went deep into the enemy harbor. You rescued people. You plotted enemy mine fields. That was a very nasty business."

Wittmer has been active in submarine veteran organizations, helping to get monuments erected to honor the dead. For years, he wanted to compile their life history in a book, but much of the personnel information wasn't available to the public. Wittmer tried Freedom of Information requests, but to no avail.

In 2007, the government made public personnel records for all veterans discharged as of 1945, the end of World War II.

"Mr. Wittmer was right there at the door waiting for us," said Whitney Mahar, the archives' research room manager, who says 10 to 20 people show up each day to do research. "He's very persistent, very serious about his research and what he's trying to accomplish."

Wittmer poured through thousands of documents, compiling information such as the name of each veteran, his date of birth and birthplace, parents' names, service dates and dates - or approximate dates - of death. In some cases, he was able to find photos of the men, who came from all across America.

Wittmer, who grew up in New York City, joined the Navy in 1942. Curiosity led him to enlist on a submarine.

"They had the best diesel engines, and I wanted to know about diesel engines," he said. "I actually learned quite a bit - how to operate them and take them apart and put them back together again."

After the war, Wittmer worked as an engineer in New Jersey and Connecticut. He moved the family to St. Louis in 1978 to work at Ferguson Machine Co.

Five years earlier, a fire at the archives destroyed records of thousands of servicemen, including about 80 percent of Army personnel discharged between 1912 to 1960 and countless Air Force personnel discharged from 1947 to 1964.

Fortunately for Wittmer and families of submarine veterans, the Navy records were intact.

The latest edition of Wittmer's self-published, six-volume set of the hardbound books, "United States Submarine Men Lost During World War II," was published earlier this year. It is co-authored with Charles Hinman, curator of the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum in Hawaii.

The set is available for $300. Wittmer said the information in the books will not be posted on the Internet. Wittmer has sold 11 sets and donated one to the records center. He would like to get one in every state library and archive.

It wasn't easy, he said, but it needed to be done.

"It was labor-intensive," Wittmer said. "It was the equivalent of a 40-hour week job at my personal expense. But it was a labor of love, really."

Sunday, June 1, 2014

USS Sennet Gerald Clark


It is sad to report that Shipmate Gerald Clark departed on Eternal Patrol this afternoon (5/23).

Gerald served aboard Sennet during the years ‘65-‘67 as a TM3(SS).


I have one consolation that lives with me today.

That God is near to them, in his own special way.

So God in all Your mercy, keep near Thyself the soul,

Of every Submariner, still on his final patrol.


Lord, this departed shipmate with Dolphins on his chest

is part of an outfit known as the best.

Make him welcome and take him by the hand.

You'll find without a doubt he was the best in all the land.


So, heavenly Father add his name to the roll

of our departed shipmates still on patrol.

Let them know that we who survive

will always keep their memories alive.


Gerald Clark Family