Sunday, June 19, 2016

June 2016 Meeting Notes

We began the June meeting with Tolling the Boats lost in June, followed by birthday wishes for our members, introductions, and the officer reports.

 Remember that July and August are busy months, so be sure to review the Seattle Base Activities Calendar to see what is coming up.

Old and New Business 
Bangor Tour – We were reminded that the Bangor Submarine Base tour is full and that it was rescheduled for Thursday, June 30 2016 due to the change of command at the base.

Base Officers – We were also reminded that Seattle Base still needs someone to step forward for the Sr. Vice Commander position and a Tolling ceremony coordinator. John Roberts was holding both these positions, but is moving to Texas and will not be able to continue in either position. These are important positions and you will not have support from current base officers, but also past base officers and many other members.

USSVI National Elections –The latest issue of The American Submariner has the paper ballot for USSVI National elections. Please be sure to fill out your ballot and mail it in before August 10, 2016. If you prefer to fill out the ballot online, it will be available on the USSVI website after June 21. 

Seattle Base Float Diving Alarm Replacement – Jim Harper let us know that the diving alarm for the float has finally given out. We discussed purchasing a replacement, but decided to table the issue while we investigate prices and alternatives for the replacement.

Kirkland Independence Day Parade – The Kirkland parade will be on Monday July 4. The city will start closing the parade route and putting up detours around 9:30. The parade will start at 12:00 (following a Children’s parade at 11:30). We will have more information about the parade soon.

Smokey Point Event Reminder - Steve Shelton had sign-up sheets for the Smokey Point Rest Stop Event, which will happen on July 22-25 (Friday 2 PM until Monday 1:30 PM) at the southbound rest area. We can use all the volunteers we can get to help out manning the coffee both and to provide cookies or other goodies for the booth (note that donations for cookies are always welcome). The sign-up sheets will be available at the next meeting too, but contact Steve as soon as you can if you are interested in helping out.

Tolling the Boats Ceremony – The 2016 Tolling the Boats ceremony will be on August 20 at Kirkland Marina Park. We will have more information available at the next meeting.

June Program 
Bob's Razorback presentation
Our planned speaker had to cancel due to an illness and we hope to reschedule him soon. In his place Bob Opple stepped up with a short program.

Bob started off with a short recap of his recent trip across the country as part of the 2016 Run to the Wall motorcycle ride. You can see some photos from Bob’s trip on his blog and he promised to put together a presentation for the group later this year.

Bob then gave a presentation on returning the USS Razorback to the United States after she completed her service with the Turkish Navy. He started out with his involvement in kicking off the process of returning the sub. He talked about the challenges of finding a new home for the boat and getting support from the U.S. and Turkish governments. These challenges were multiplied due to issues between the U.S. and Turkish governments around the invasion of Iraq. Bob went on to talk about the trip across the Mediterranean and Atlantic. Then about the extra work needed to transport the sub up the Mississippi and on the Little Rock, Arkansas. Razorback now resides at the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum with the Pearl Harbor survivor tug USS Hoga, giving visitors a view of the start and end of World War 2. The museum also has memorials for USS Snook (SS-279) and USS Scorpion (SSN-589).

Special thanks to Bob for providing a great presentation on short notice.

Good of the Order 
The B-Girls (Barbel, Bonefish, and Blueback) Reunion is tentatively planned for May 10 – 14, 2017 in Mobile Alabama at the Holiday Inn Downtown in the historic district.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

June 2016 Meeting Reminder

The next Seattle Base meeting is this coming Wednesday, June 15, 2016. We will meet at VFW Post #2995 (4330 148th Ave N.E., Redmond WA 98052). Social hour starts at 6 PM with business meeting at 7 PM.

Our guest speaker will be Mark Holmes. We know you will want to hear from this amazing gentleman who has a keen love of oceanography and submarines.

Mark served on the USS Current (ARS-22) from 1960-3 and had some remarkable experiences that influenced his life’s work. In June 1960 he participated in the raising one of the five Japanese midget subs that participated in the attack on Pearl Harbor.

While in the reserves he graduated in the School of Oceanography and is now a Professor Emeritus at the University of Washington and “College of the Environment” and “School of Oceanography”.
Sea Cliff being raised out the water by her support ship
In his teaching career he has made dives on the DSV-3 Turtle and DSV-4 Sea Cliff to depths of 3,000 meters (10,826 feet).

We know you will enjoy and appreciate his vast knowledge of submersibles and oceanography in general.

Don’t miss this meeting and please bring a friend or prospective member.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

June Updates

With Summer getting underway, here are a few updates from Seattle Base and local area.
Bangor Tour Full
Dick Gonzalez reports that the Bangor tour is full and no additional applications can be accepted. It should be a fun trip.

National Office Manager Looking for a Member to Assist 
USSVI National Office Manager Fred Borgmann is in search of a volunteer to to spend 2 hours a week at his office in Silverdale. The job is for mailing out letters to members for various reasons (such as new membership cards, thank you notes, etc.) under Fred's guidance. It is rewarding and keeps you up to date on current events. If you are interested in helping out, please contact Fred telephone: 360-337-2978 and email:

Bangor Flag Retirement Ceremony 
An invitation to attend the Trident Training Facility's Flag Day Ceremony at Deterrent Park on Monday, June 13th at 1300 has been extended to Submarine Veterans. They have plenty of flags to retire but would love to have as many guests as possible. Please contact Chief Parker if you are interested or have any questions.
ETC Parker
Flag Day Ceremony POC
Trident Training Facility Bangor

Western Region Director Elections 
The USSVI elections are coming up later this year and Jim Denzien, Sr., asked us to post his candidacy announcement for the for Western Regional Director position. Please take a few moements to read through it.
If you’re in Western District 1, I hope you already know me. I’m Jim Denzien, District Commander since September 2013. If you don’t know me, I’m asking for your support and your vote to move up to Western Region Director in this year’s election.

So what would I do as your Regional Director? I have learned how to support our members. This means listening to my shipmates and having the knowledge on how to work with the USSVI National organization to get their problems solved.

So, in addition to my service as a District Commander, what experience and background would I bring to the job as your Regional Director?

I joined USSVI in 2001 as one of the founding members of South Florida Base in Boynton Beach, FL. After moving to Arizona in 2003, I joined Perch Base in Phoenix and was elected Base Treasurer. Soon after I became a Life Member of USSVI. When some of our Base members who lived far north of the Phoenix area needed relief from the long travel for meetings and events, I joined with others in forming a new Base, Gudgeon, in Prescott Valley, AZ. I’m proud to be plank owner there too.

With Perch Base, I have served the members in various positions including Secretary, Treasurer and Vice Commander culminating in being Base Commander of Perch Base for four years. I have been honored as the Perch Base Member of the Year in 2007 and received the National Robert Link Award in 2014.

What will my shipmates of the Western Region get if I’m elected? First and foremost, I will provide first class representation for all members of the Western Region at the National level. I will firmly support USSVI’s Constitution and Bylaws and support our National officers in conducting the business of USSVI. I will always be available to the District Commanders in the Western Region for guidance as required in the performance of their duties.

But most important, I am a firm believer in communication in plain straight forward language between the National level and each USSVI member. That would be my number one job; your voice in running your organization, United States Submarine Veterans, Inc.

James R. (Jim) Denzien, Sr.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Memorial Day honors those who lost their lives while in the military service. Additionally, it marks the start of summer and vacation season.

Here are a couple events Seattle Base USSVI is attending.

A great photo of the Tahoma National Cemetery with Mount Rainier in the background
Memorial Day Remembrance Ceremony at Tahoma National Cemetery. The ceremony is on Monday, May 30 and starts at 1 PM. We would like to have four flag bearers as color guard participants. Remember that parking is limited.

Tahoma National Cemetery (click here for a map and directions)
18600 SE 240th St
Kent, WA 98042

Cruzin to Colby Car Show The Seattle Base float will be at the Cruzin to Colby car show in Everett WA all day on Monday, May 30. Be sure to stop off and say hi while you’re enjoying the vintage cars. There are events planned for Sunday and Monday, check the Seattle Rod-tiques website (event calendar) for a list of events and photos from past shows.

We hope to see you at one or both of these events!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Bangor Submarine Base Tour Update

The visit to the Bangor Submarine Base has be rescheduled due to a change of command at the base. The trip is now set for Thursday, June 30 2016.
If you have already submitted their roster (CSG-9) form and check and still plan to participate on the new date of June 30th no change or notification is needed. Should the date be unacceptable please contact Dick Gonzalez and he will remove your name from the master list and refund your check. This will open up a slot or two for someone else. If you have not yet submitted your form and check the new cutoff date for submitting your CSG-9 roster from to me will be June 7th. Keep in mind 36 slots are available in total and we only a half dozen or so still open.

For those of you that are interested in going on the tour, but haven’t filled out the paperwork, go to this link to find the documents for the tour. While looking at the documents take special care to the following information.
  1. Carefully read the "USSVI Seattle Base Tour" document, paying particular attention to the Requirements section on page 2.
  2. Print, fill out, and retain the "Privacy Act Statement" and "Request to Tour Wavier" documents. Bring these documents along with you to give to the Public Affairs Officer at Keyport on the morning of June 16th. Do not mail them to Dick! 
  3. Print, fill out the “CSG-9 Submarine Tour Roster" and send that with your check for $12.00 per person to Dick Gonzalez (make checks out to Dick). Please print carefully and legibly. Dick will consolidate the information into a single document for the Navy in order to run background checks. If Dick gets the last four numbers your Social Security Number incorrect, you will be denied access to the base! Needless to say he doesn't want to be focus of an angry shipmate! 
  4. On June 30 remember to bring your ID. A passport, birth certificate, photo ID such as an enhanced driver’s license are all acceptable. A bank card or club membership card will not work. If you’re bring along an underage guest, remember they also need and ID. A photocopy of birth a certificate and additional student ID card from school will facilitate faster check in time. 
  5. Finally, remember the deadline for accepting your applications is June 7. 
Remember the rule: it will be on a first come first served bases although Dick will keep your name and date received in the event someone cancels.

If you have other questions, please contact Dick Gonzalez by phone: 425-228-6327 or email:

Sunday, May 22, 2016

May 2016 Meeting Notes

We began the May meeting with Tolling the Boats lost in May, followed by a remembrance of Horton Smith. The we sent birthday wishes for our members, introduced everyone, and heard the officer reports.

Old and New Business Base 
Bangor Tour - The visit to the Bangor Submarine Base has be rescheduled due to a scheduling issue with the Navy. The trip is now set for Thursday, June 30 2016. All the other information remains the same. If you are interested in going on the trip, contact Dick Gonzalez and check back here on the Seattle Base blog for updated information.

Membership Committee Update - Chairmen Kerry Ryan gave an update on his ideas for improving membership recruiting. His ideas include: providing event cards that members can hand out to prospective members and contacting local area weekly newspapers to do short pieces on USSVI and to interview members. Suggestions were made to contact local public radio stations for interviews and to piggy-back on the events at Bangor Submarine Base with Bremerton USSVI Base. Kerry is interested in hearing other suggestions too. So if you have ideas for improving member recruiting and retention, please contact Kerry.

Smokey Point Event Reminder - Steve Shelton reminded us that the Smokey Point Rest Stop Event is planned for July 22-25 (Friday 2 PM until Monday 1:30 PM). He asked everyone to check their availability and said he would have sign-up sheets soon.

May Program
The program for May was by local maritime author Dick Blumenthal. He started off with a short description of his background and interests. He then took questions from the group on Puget Sound maritime names and their origins. After answering a number of questions, Dick gave a short overview of the exploring expeditions in the Puget Sound area. He covered the Spanish, British, and American explorations into the region and how they mapped and named the region. He also including some information on traders in the area and interaction between the expeditions and local tribes. Dick then fielded more questions from the group. It was an interesting look at the maritime history of the area, along with how some of the places in Puget Sound got their names. 
Base Commander Al Smith thanks Dick Blumenthal for the presentation. You can see an early map of Puget Sound on the wall behind them.
Good of the Order 
The Tahoma National Cemetery will be having their Memorial Day Ceremony at 1:00 PM on Monday, May 30.

The Seattle Base float will be at the Cruzin to Colby event near Hewitt and Wetmore Streets in Everett on Monday, May 30.

The B-Girls (Barbel, Bonefish, and Blueback) Reunion is tentatively planned for May 10 – 14, 2017 in Mobile Alabama at the Holiday Inn Downtown in the historic district.

Binnacle List: Ric Hedman is recovering from bypass surgery

Saturday, May 14, 2016

May 2016 Meeting Reminder

The next Seattle Base meeting is this coming Wednesday, May 18, 2016. We will meet at VFW Post #2995 (4330 148th Ave N.E., Redmond WA 98052). Social hour starts at 6 PM with business meeting at 7 PM.

In addition to our normal business meeting, we will be joined by Puget Sound maritime historian and author, Richard Blumenthal.
One of Richard's books
Richard is a return guest speaker, last joining us April 2014, and will provide an intriguing glimpse of our historical inland waters and the early explorers who marveled at the rich diversity and breathtaking views of the waters now known as “Puget Sound.”

Richard’s well-researched books record our rich maritime history and chronicle the expeditions of early explorers like George Vancouver, William Broughton, and Charles Wilkes. You can find books by Richard at the Inland Waters Publishing website. Richard loves to sail Puget Sound and is a member of the Meydenbauer Yacht Club and shipmate of our own Jay Davis.

We hope to see you there!