Sunday, January 3, 2016


U.S. SUBMARINE VETERANS GROTON BASE  Shared from their Facebook page.
Jack Gallimore, Base Chaplain,
It is my sad duty to inform you of the passing of a Shipmate.
Ernest V. Plantz, LT. USN (ret) age 95 of Gales Ferry passed away on Saturday, December 19, 2015 at his residence. He was born in Spring Hill, VA. Ernie was the loving son of Everett and Nancy (Hill) Plantz.
After completing high school, Ernie joined the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) where he learned many useful skills. In July 1940 he enlisted in the United States Navy on July 23, 1940 in at Richmond, VA and went to recruit training in Norfolk, Va. He then reported to his first duty assignment, the battleship USS NEW MEXICO (BB-40) which was undergoing refit in San Francisco, Cali
In March 1941, Ernie responded to an appeal for volunteers for the submarine service and reported to the submarine USS PERCH (SS-176), stationed in the Philippines, eight months before the attack on Pearl Harbor. Ernie qualified in submarines in 1941on the PERCH.
He and his shipmates were on the scene in Manila Bay during the Japanese attack that began World War II for the United States. Ernie made two war patrols on the PERCH, and it was on the second patrol that the PERCH, so badly damaged from a severe depth-charging, had to be scuttled. Ernie and his shipmates were subsequently captured by Japanese naval forces and began what would become 1,297 days in a Japanese Prisoner of War Camp on Makassar, Cellebes.
He was liberated September 17, 1945 weighing just 80 pounds - he would spend 10 months in a Navy hospital recuperating from illness and injuries before returned to duty when he was fit again.
He also served on the USS TAUTOG (SS-199), USS DIABLO (SS-479) and USS SPIKEFISH (SS-404). He was a EMC(SS) prior to receiving his Commission.
Ernie served in the Navy until 1970, when he retired at the rank of lieutenant as director of advanced engineering at the Naval Submarine School in Groton.
He is the recipient of a POW Medal, a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart; and one of the first inductees to the Connecticut Veterans Hall of Fame.
Ernie was a life member of the U S. Submarine Veterans Inc. (USSVI) Groton Base since 1997, and he was also a dual member of the USSVI Perch Base and US Submarine Veterans of WWII. He was extremely proud that he was a distinguished member of the USSVI Holland Club, an honor for those submariners that were "Qualified in Submarines" for 50 years or more as well as the first Groton Base Life Member (since March 2015).
In addition to these formal associations, Ernie loved to do service work. He shared his experiences with local schoolchildren at veterans events, inspired the next generation of submariners at Submarine School graduations, and presided at several Submarine Birthday Balls as the oldest qualified officer in attendance.
Ernie loved to garden; his dahlias won prizes at agricultural fairs, and his orchids are still in bloom in his greenhouse. His vegetables were the pride of the neighborhood, and although his bee hives and swarms caused a raised eye or two, his delicious honey soothed many previously doubting neighbors.
Though proud of his military service, community involvement and skill with growing things, Ernie was most proud of his five children and 10 great-grandchildren; he loved them dearly.
Besides Caroline, his devoted and loving wife of 50 years, he is survived by his daughter, Linda (Ross) and husband, John, of Norridgewock, Maine, and granddaughters Kathryn and Rachel; by his daughter Nancy (Grant) and husband, Andrew, of New London, and grandchildren, James, William Lillian, Hannah, Summer and Hattie; by his son, William and his partner, Elizabeth Kirsch, of Lebanon, and grandson Jesse; by his daughter, Elizabeth and her partner, Teresa Spillane, of Natick, Mass., and grandson Owen; and by his son, David, of Roslindale, Mass. In addition, Ernie leaves behind his sister, Norma (Mulford) of Tempe, Ariz.
Ernie was predeceased by his parents; his brother, Clifford; and his sister, Garnet; and by his first wife, Carolyn (Howard) Plantz.
Visiting hours will be from 3 to 6 p.m. Friday, January 8, at the Byles-Groton Memorial Home, 310 Thames Street, Groton.
The Honor Detail will muster at 1745 at the Byles-Groton Memorial Home, 310 Thames Street, Groton, CT. We will go on at 1800 on January 8, 2016. Uniform should be black trousers, white (Long sleeve) shirt, the Honor Detail tie (if you have one), black shoes, vest, and hat. Individual SUBVETS members will man the casket watch.
A celebration of life will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 9, at the Noank Baptist Church, 18 Cathedral Heights, Noank. Interment with military honors will be in Elm Grove Cemetery, Mystic. Members of the Honor Detail who wish to meet the casket as it is brought into the church (Noank Baptist Church) should be there by 0900 or even a bit earlier on Saturday, January 9. The Honor Detail service is slightly different than normal, ... We will participate very near the beginning of the church service. We will not meet the family as we normally do.
"There is a port of no return, where ships may ride at anchor for a little space.
And then some starless night the cable slips, leaving only an eddy at the mooring place.
Gulls veer no longer, Sailor rest your oar.
No tangled wreckage will be washed ashore.”
Hand Salute
LT Ernest V. Plantz . . . Rest your oar.
Ready Two!

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