Thursday, December 29, 2016

Heroes Beneath the Waves

Photography from Books In Bloom brochure May, 2016.  Heroes Beneath the Waves: Submarine Stories of the Twentieth Century. My husband,  Chief  Sonorman Melvin T. Smith spent 16 years on several submarines and five years with  Helicopter Anti-submarine Squadron Seven .239 pages of over 30 stories, poems and other interesting information.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

USS Sennet SS-408 2017 Reunion

USS Sennet SS-408 2017 Reunion
                           October 01- 04, 2017
                 Landmark Resorts, Myrtle Beach, SC

December 18, 2016
This year has really flown by and our Reunion 2017 will be upon us in no time.
Our 2017 Sennet Reunion will be as it states above in the header. The Landmark Resorts has our room selections ready. You can call them, 800-845-0658, tell tText Box:  hem you are requesting room/s for the USS Sennet Reunion for the listing.
Pat Emmons, Landmark’s Sales Manager, and I are working on extra activities. The 2017 prices are a little slow in coming. As soon as I get them I’ll forward them to you.
I have on hand some items for sale where all proceeds go directly into the Reunion Fund. I’ve got the Golf Shirts and
T-shirts for $20-$22ea., Hats @ $12ea, coffee mugs @ $3ea., Sennet Challenge Coins @ $10ea. NEW ITEMS: Navy Blue “Hoodies”, Zipper front, 2 pockets, draw string hood, on the back is screen printed with US Submarines Veterans, Also I’ll toss in a Sennet Jacket patch for you to use as you wish. Price is $45. Also on hand are “Submarine Wife” broaches @ $10ea. Remember,ALL proceeds go to the Reunion Fund. Donations are also accepted. Make checks payable to:
USS Sennet SS-408 Reunion Fund
Mail to:
USS Sennet SS-408 Reunion
c/o Ralph Luther PO Box 864
Summerville, SC 29484-0864
Always good hearing from you, so, give me a growl on the XJA, snail mail or email. I even have moved up to texting on the cell phone. Let me know what you like, dislike, suggestions and ideas. Contact information:
Ralph & Sharon Luther
PO Box 864
Summerville, SC 29484-0864
Phone: 843-851-7064  leave message if no answer
Cell phone: 843-991-1451 leave a message or text.

CHEERS !! Ralph & Sharon

Saturday, December 17, 2016

USS SENNET SS-408 It is so sad to hear of friends relatives and/or shipmates departing, especially, this time of year.
I was informed yesterday Vernon L. Barnett EMCS (SS), departed on Eternal Patrol 12 December 2016. Senior Chief Barnett served aboard USS Sennet during the years ‘67-‘68.
Vernon L. Barnett 
Keystone Hgts., FL 32656
Received from Ralph Luther 12/17/016

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Christmas Story and Poem

Mark R. Clary's USS Sunfish (SSN-649)story "Christmas I Remember Best: Ocean depths fail to dampen spirit of Christmas," in Heroes Beneath the Waves. And a Christmas poem, "Christmas Below the Sea," by the author as her husband tried to share his experience of Christmas on submarines. Heroes Beneath the Waves: Submarine Stories of the Twentieth Century

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

USS Sennet (SS-408)

John/”Jack” Flanagan departed on Eternal Patrol 29 November 2016. Jack served aboard USS Sennet (SS-408) as an IC3(SS) during the years ‘64-‘66.
John Flanagan Family
Pahrump, NV 89048-5256

Friday, December 9, 2016

Veterans Home at Fayetteville, AR

From Pete Rathmell. Note that Bob Lents was in attendance.Kirk Smith
Dec. 7, 2016 at the Fayetteville Veterans Home with from left to
right, Steve Gray, Herb Wise, Pete Rathmell, Bob Lents [WW II
Submarine Veteran from the USS Perch who spent three and a half years in a Japanese prison camp after the Perch was severely
damaged and sunk] and Ken Spencer.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016


Suicide Prevention hotline: 800-273-8255
Veterans Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255

Saturday, November 26, 2016


Al a story and a poem in "Heroes Beneath the Waves."

Friday, November 25, 2016

Heroes Beneath the Waves.

Copied this from the Kitsap Regional Library Washington State. I am so grateful they carry my book.
Life Under the Water: Statistics & Interesting Submarine Facts1(8)
"Eternal Patrol": In Memory of the Fifty-two Submarines Lost in World War II9(9)
"Mentality in Submarines"18(3)
H.L. Hunley21(4)
"Tossing Lines: Hats Off to All Submariners" by John Steward
USS Thresher (SS-200)25(12)
Billy A. Grieves
USS Guitarro (SS-363)37(6)
James A. Davidson
USS Perch (SS-176)43(9)
Robert Wayne Lents
Marian "Turk" Turner
Samuel Ford Simpson
USS Nautilus (SF-9/SS-168)52(11)
Hank Kudzik
Jerome S. Gross
Boots Hanson
USS Scorpion (SS-278)63(10)
Gail L. Diamond
USS Sawfish (SS-276)73(5)
James E. Scott
USS S-28 (SS-133)78(3)
Melvin Tolbert Smith
USS Seal (SS-183)81(3)
Joseph T. Blanchett
USS Billfish (SS-286)84(4)
John D. Rendernick
USS Puffer (SS-268)88(7)
"Man Overboard" by O.L. Frith
Thomas Addison Metz
USS Snapper (SS-185)95(10)
Melvin Tolbert Smith
"Christmas Below the Sea"105(1)
A poem by Mary Nida Smith
USS Tullibee (SS-284)106(5)
Cliff Kuykendall
USS Blenny (SS/AGSS-324)111(6)
Howard D. Eckhart
USS Sea Cat (SS/AGSS-399)117(3)
Wayne B. Goodenow
"Thank God that I'm a Sub-Vet's Wife"120(2)
A poem by Irma Goodenow
USS Boatfish (SS-327)122(6)
William Dreher
USS Guavina (SS/SSO/AGSS/AOSS-362)128(12)
Marion Shinn
USS Tinosa (SS-283)140(10)
Loyal A. Huson
USS Torsk (SS-423)150(4)
Ervin O. Schmidt
USS Pogy (SS-266)154(12)
War Patrols
"I Went on Strike in the Navy," by Robert L. DeVore Sr.
"Mascot on Fogy (SS-266)," by Robert L. DeVore Sr.
"Last Patrol and Return of Fogy" by Robert L. DeVore Sr.
"Submarine Battle Fears," by Robert L. DeVore Sr.
USS Tunny (SS/SSG/APSS/LPSS-282)166(7)
Marvin S. Blair
"Recalling Brutal Winter Days of Old at Electric
Boat Shipyard," by John Steward
USS Sea Fox (SS-402)177(15)
Captain Norman "Red" Stein "What's a Submarine Commander Doing with the Likes of Doris Day and Mary Martin?" written by Colonel Wilcox Norman "Red" Stein
"Those Who Forget History Are Doomed to Repeat It" by Joe M. Greenberg
Jerry Foss
USS Tiru (SS-416)192(3)
"I Remember"—A Submarine Poem Story by Dick Murphy
"Submarine Career as a Spook Rider" by Curtis Grant195(6)
USS Sunfish (SSN-649)201(8)
"Christmas I Remember Best" by Mark R. Clary USS Daniel Webster (SSBN-626)/USS James Monroe (SSN-622)
"Panama Canal Transit" by Wayne "Kirk" Smith
USS Skipjack (SS-184)209(5)
The Famous "Toilet Paper" Letter
USS Raton (SS/SSR/AGSS-270)214(4)
Joe Sabol, John "Biff" Baker
"The Life of a Submarine Man," poet unknown218(2)
The Submarine Veterans of World War II220(2)
WWII Submarine Patches & Battle Flags222(4)
Typical U.S. Submarine Cutaway Showing Compartmentation226(1)
Retirees—When Can I Wear My Uniform?227(3)
About The Author239

Thursday, November 17, 2016







Monday, October 24, 2016


Monday, October 17, 2016


Twin Lakes Submarine Base presenting six volume of United States Submarine men lost during World War II to Vincent Anderson, Reference Library - Donald W. Reynolds Library Mountain Home, AR.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016


A great bunch of  World War II Submarine Veterans, who are still publishing stories. We must never forget. I thank Editor, Robert DeVore, for his help providing stories for my book Heroes Beneath the Waves: Submarine Stories of the Twentieth Century.   We have enjoyed this special magazine for years.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Donald W. Reynolds Library Book Signing

I'll be selling my book, Heroes Beneath the Waves: Submarine Stories of the Twentieth Century, Sunday, December 4, at the Donald W. Reynolds Library, Mountain Home, Arkansas.

Friday, September 16, 2016

National POW/MIA Recognition Day, 2016   
  Below Robert Lents USS PERCH  (SS-176) POW Go away party presented by the USSVI Submarine Veterans Base, Mountain Home, AR. God Bless our Military.


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Life on a Submarine -Poem

I slice through the water
Like a long sharp knife.
The ocean is my battleground,
Lonely is my life.
My best friend is Silence.
My enemy is Sound.
Pressure is always on me,
And Danger always around;
But able men are with me,
They trust me with their life.
We embrace our quiet existence
To prevent the unspeakable strife.
We speak softly with one voice;
History has taught us to keep our tongue.
Together, we patrol the world’s deep oceans,
We are silent, unseen and unsung.

© 2014
Roy M. Bowen EM2(SS)
USS James Madison SSBN627 (1967- 1971)

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Pilipino WWII Veterans

8/2008 Dedicated to The American Legion, The U.S. House of Representatives & others. With some tweaking of the lyrics by M.E. "Pinay", the original song credit belongs to Bob Dylan.

Blowin’ in the Wind

How many more Filipino U.S. WW11 veterans must die
Before we can call 'em United States own?
Yes, 'n' how many times must a Bill the House consider
Before you can call it a Law?
Yes, 'n' how many more foes must slay the Filipino veterans
Before you can say it is enough?
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind,
The answer, indeed is blowin' in the wind.

How many times must Filipino veterans fight
Before they can see the end of the war?
Yes, 'n' how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear the Filipino veterans cry?
Yes, 'n' how many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many Filipino veterans have died?
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind,
The answer, indeed is blowin' in the wind.

How many years can the Filipino veterans' plea exists
Before it's heard by y’all?
Yes, 'n' how many years can Filipino veterans complain
Before they're allowed to be right?
Yes, 'n' how many times can some politicians turn their heads,
Pretending they just do not see?
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind,
The answer, indeed is blowin' in the wind.

This website is dedicated to all soldiers of Pilipino descent who served in theUnited States military during WW11 (12/7/1941-12/31/1946). The mission of this website is to reclaim our forgotten military history and heritage in the United States Armed Forces. Special recognition is given to the 7,000 Pilipinos in the U.S. Army 1st, 2nd Filipino Infantry Regiments, 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, as well as to the additional Navy and the Merchant Marine personnel, mostly sent to liberate the Philippines, then a colonial possession of the United States from three years of Japanese occupation. Some of the Pilipino soldiers, already WW1U.S. veterans in the Hawaiian Infantry would serve again in the Korean War. Significantly, their descendants would serve not only in the Korean and Vietnamwars, but also in the current Middle East military conflicts. This only proves thatanswering the call to military duty is a gift that soldiers of Pilipino descent in every generation keeps on giving to Uncle Sam, especially during times of wars. Sadly, such loyalty was repaid by the U.S. Congress Rescission Acts of February 1946, wherein the dignity of the wartime heroic deeds of the Pilipinos was diminished by the ongoing unequal treatment of the WW11 Pilipino veterans under the laws of the United States.  

An invaluable resource for the Filipino Infantry Regiments is
the highly recommended website owned by Sgt (Ret.) Pelagio A. Valdez, created to honor SSgt Pablo S. Valdez, his father who served in both of these WW11 Filipino Inf Regts.

Meanwhile, in our website, we start with the name list of our ilipin
o WW11 veterans from their respective home state/country of military record or residence. Most of the initial listings will come from the State of Hawaii, since my first genealogical project is about Pilipinos in Hawaii

Significant listings will be added for Pilipino WW11 veterans who served in thePhilippines after they volunteered or were drafted to the US military service. They are the casualties and survivors of the Bataan Death March, POWs, Army Philippine Scouts (PS), USAFFE, Navy, Coast Guards, USMC, Merchant Marine, Guerrilla forces, Women Auxiliary Services of nurses, spies and others. Our listing will also include reactivated U.S. military units formed in 1946 (inactivated 1947) and designated as the 12th Infantry Division (PS;”new Scouts”) for duties like the occupation of Okinawa & other Japanese islands;  guard duties like the Military Police, etc. Gathering all these massive information will almost be a lifetime project, but then, such will be an insignificant task compared to what thousands of our soldiers had given all of us for the cause of freedom and liberty.Moreover, since the Philippines is the host country to the U.S. military bases, the role that the Pilipinos played in these wars that involved Asian countries like Japan, Korea & Vietnam can not and should not be ignored.

The awareness of our unique history is the responsibility of every living Pilipino. I offer you this website as a limited resource for WW11. It is my hope that my love for the Philippine history and culture overcome my lack of scholarly credential.

ALL HANDS MAGAZINE I love this site.

Fleet Reserve Assocation

Friday, September 2, 2016

Japan Surrenders 1945

Japan Sings Surrender 1945
God Bless America and God Bless our veterans.

Monday, August 22, 2016


Robert L. DeVore, USS Pogy (SS-266) shared his story of their beloved "Mascot on Pogy" in the book, "Heroes Beneath the Waves: Submarine Stories of the Twentieth Century" by Mary Nida Smith.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Gary Zenk YNC (Ret)

Gary Zenk YNC (Ret) Photo by Mary Nida Smith taken at The Dells, Oregon  during World War II Northwest Region Convention (Washington. Oregon, and Idaho).

Monday, August 1, 2016

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Friday, July 22, 2016


Ray Kuhn: Does anybody know the whereabouts of Ron Lube EN2(SS)? He rode Plunger after commissioning, early to mid 60's. I sure would like to get in touch with him.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016



"Shifty" By Chuck Yeager

Shifty volunteered for the airborne in WWII and served with Easy Company of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, part of the 101st Airborne Infantry. If you've seen Band of Brothers on HBO or the History Channel, you know Shifty. His character appears in all 10 episodes, and Shifty himself is interviewed in several of them.

I met Shifty in the Philadelphia airport several years ago. I didn't know who he was at the time. I just saw an elderly gentleman having trouble reading his ticket. I offered to help, assured him that he was at the right gate, and noticed the "Screaming Eagle," the symbol of the 101st Airborne, on his hat.
Making conversation, I asked him if he'd been in the 101st Airborne or if his son was serving. He said quietly that he had been in the 101st. I thanked him for his service, then asked him when he served, and how many jumps he made.
Quietly and humbly, he said "Well, I guess I signed up in 1941 or so, and was in until sometime in 1945 ..." at which point my heart skipped.

At that point, again, very humbly, he said "I made the 5 training jumps at Toccoa, and then jumped into Normandy .. . . do you know where Normandy is?" At this point my heart stopped.
I told him "yes, I know exactly where Normandy is, and I know what
D-Day was." At that point he said "I also made a second jump into Holland , into Arnhem ." I was standing with a genuine war hero ... and then I realized that it was June, just after the anniversary of D-Day.
I asked Shifty if he was on his way back from France , and he said "Yes... And it 's real sad because, these days, so few of the guys are left, and those that are, lots of them can't make the trip." My heart was in my throat and I didn't know what to say.
I helped Shifty get onto the plane and then realized he was back in coach while I was in First Class. I sent the flight attendant back to get him and said that I wanted to switch seats. When Shifty came forward, I got up out of the seat and told him I wanted him to have it, that I'd take his in coach.

He said "No, son, you enjoy that seat. Just knowing that there are still some who remember what we did and who still care is enough to make an old man very happy." His eyes were filling up as he said it. And mine are brimming up now as I write this.
Shifty died on Jan. l7, 2012 after fighting cancer.

There was no parade.
No big event in Staples Center ..
No wall-to-wall, back-to-back 24x7 news coverage.
No weeping fans on television.
And that's not right!

Let's give Shifty his own memorial service, on line, in our own quiet way.
Please forward this email to everyone you know. Especially to the veterans.
Rest in peace, Shifty.
Chuck Yeager, Maj. General [ret.]

P.S. I think that it is amazing how the "media" chooses our "heroes" these days...
Elvis, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston & the like.

"SHIFTY" - an incredible American hero.

Please do me a favor and pass this on so that untold
thousands can
 read it.

We owe no less to our REAL heroes.

Saturday, July 2, 2016


It's official! Thrilled to announce that Hell Below premieres in the US starting July 17 on the Smithsonian Channel at 9 pm ET/PT