Sunday, March 1, 2015

March - April Dolphin Brotherhood Posted

The March – April issue of the Dolphin Brotherhood has been posted to the Seattle Base website.

January and February were slow months at Seattle Base, so this issue has submarine related articles from the past, present, and future of the U.S submarine force, and articles about foreign submarines, along with the usual base news.
Cmdr. Wes Bringham shows off Adm. O’Kane’s personal cribbage board on USS Bremerton. Traditionally the cribbage board is carried by the oldest submarine in the fleet. You can read more about USS Bremerton's visit to its namesake city in the newsletter (photo by Kitsap Sun)
Hardcopies of the newsletter will go out this week. I hope you all enjoy it.

As a reminder, we’ve introduced a way for you to get copies of the Dolphin Brotherhood sent directly to your email inbox. If you would like to get the PDF, full-color, version of the newsletter by email, just send a message to the email address: seabase_editor@yahoo.com with the subject “Subscribe” and include your name in the message. Alternatively, you can just speak with me (Dave Schueler) at a base meeting or event.

As always, don't forget to check back hers on the blog for base updates and other articles of interest. You can find old issues of the newsletter at: Dolphin Brotherhood Archives, which is also a link on the right side of the blog.

Dave Schueler
Seattle Base Newsletter Editor

Sunday, February 22, 2015

February 2015 Meeting Notes

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

Old and New Business:
Brisbane Submarine Memorial – The US Submarine Memorial at New Farm Wharf in Brisbane, Australia was discussed (you can read more about it at this blog link). The memorial is working to raise additional funds to install three permanently lit flagpoles (one each for the U.S., Australian, UK flags). The USSVI Charitable Foundation – Memorial Fund has donated $1,000 toward the cause. A motion was made, and passed, for the Seattle Base to donate $100 to support this memorial. Several members also volunteered to make additional individual contributions.

VFW Open House – The VFW Post 2995 is holding an open house on Saturday February 28, 2015 2PM to 12AM. John Roberts will be our primary representative for USSVI to explain our organization to visitors and hopefully to unaffiliated submarine veterans as well.

Seattle Base Fund Raising – Fund raising was briefly discussed, most specifically about displaying the boat float in front of Bass Pro Shop in similar fashion to what we do at Cabelas. Doug Abramson and Pat Householder visited the store and secured their agreement to have us set up in a similar fashion to what we do at Cabelas. Now we need to set a time certain to move ahead on this.

February Program:
The February program was a presentation by Jeff Hunnicutt, Director of VA Puget Sound Health Care System Volunteer Affairs. Jeff oversees approximately 1,000 volunteers and explained how the PSHCS functions and the vital role the volunteers play in supporting the veteran clientele. For more information about this program and how you can get involved, visit http://www.pugetsound.va.gov/giving/index.asp

Good of the Order:
Tim Floersch reported that the Missing in America project will have a motorcycle procession to Tahoma National Cemetery to provide escort and honors to 29 inurned and unclaimed remains of Veterans recovered from various Funeral Homes in the area.

Steve Shelton reminded us that we have signed up for July 1, 2, and 3rd for the Smokey Point Rest Stop this year. We also have the Cruisin’ Colby event on Memorial Day weekend, which we will be participating in again.

Lois Mezek will be accepting worn out flags to be disposed of on June 14th, which is Flag Day. If you have an old flag that is ready for retirement, please bring it to a meeting.

Binnacle List:
  • Jay K Davis remains in an assisted living facility and is still in rehab from his stroke.
  • New member Bill Lambright (USS Redfish) has entered Hospice care due to advancing cancer.
  • We are checking on the status of Horton Smith, since he has not been in touch with the group recently.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

February 2015 Meeting Reminder

The next Seattle Base meeting is this coming Wednesday, February 18. 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 7PM.

Our guest speaker this month is Jeff Honeycutt, Director of Volunteer Services for the Puget Sound Healthcare System. Jeff has served the VA system for over thirty years and has distinguished himself a tireless worker and advocate for vets.
Puget Sound Veterans Facillities

Jeff has the responsibility for managing hundreds of volunteers at the American Lake facility in Tacoma and the Seattle VA hospital.

Jeff will provide an overview of his responsibilities and offer some insights to the system.

I am sure you will enjoy meeting Jeff so be sure to attend if you can.

Dick Gonzalez
Seattle Base Commander

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Submariners’ Walk Heritage Trail

Plaque for the Submariners Walk Heritage Trail
The Submariners Walk Heritage Trail is located at New Farm on the Brisbane River in Brisbane, Australia, where the US Navy's Task Force 42/72 was located during World War 2 is dedicated to the memory of Submariners of all nations who have given their service, and in many cases their lives, to the defense of freedom and the protection of Australia.

The video below provides a short overview of the trail. Once you start the video, you can click the icon in the lower right to expand it to full screen view.


The US Submarine Base was located in New Farm during WW2 in an area which is now public parkland. In cooperation with the Brisbane City Council the Submarine Association Australia Queensland Inc. has established an interpretive walk to tell the community the story of submariners and submarines, their crucial role in defending Australia during all wars and the people who served and those who gave their lives.

The Submariners Walk Heritage Trail was officially opened by Her Excellency the Governor of Queensland, Ms Penelope Wensley AC, on Saturday 23 March 2013.

The community is free to walk along the 600 meters called 'Submariners Walk' and to stop and reflect on the past. On display are a series of plaques and submarine shaped benches that tell the story of submarine events during WW1 to WW2 and to the current day.
Submarine bench
Submariners' Walk is divided up into several sections. As you come off Hasting Street, 'Submariners Walk' honors the 5 American submarines that were lost with all hands from New Farm - USS Triton, USS Amberjack, USS Argonaut, USS Grampus and USS Seawolf. Plaques are placed at these steps that lead down towards the river front.
USS Triton plaque
USS Amberjack and USS Argonaut plaque

USS Seawolf and USS Grampus plaque
Plaque honoring US submarines that operated from Brisbane
The next section honors Australia's first Naval loss in 1914, HMAS AE1, still missing somewhere off Rabaul in Papua New Guinea and HMAS AE2’s sinking in the Dardanelles in 1915 where plaques and a submarine bench tell their stories.
HMAS AE1 plaque
HMAS AE2 plaque
As you meander along the river front the next section honors the X and XE Craft Miniature Submarines partially manned by RAN personnel. A plaque tells their story and there is also a submarine bench.

The next section honors the US Navy's Gato Class submarines and the repair ships USS Fulton, USS Griffin and USS Sperry. These Submarine Tenders were based at New Farm during the war and maintained the submarines. They are commemorated with a plaque and a submarine bench.
Submarine Tender plaque
As you approach the Beeston Street end, where existing plaques for USS Peto and The Engine Room already proudly stand, the Submarine Association Australia Queensland Inc. have placed other plaques and submarine shaped benches telling the story of the Australian Odin Class, J Class, K Class, Oberon Class and Collins Class submarines along with the British 4th Submarine Flotilla. Other plaques honor the Australian Submariners who received Honors and Awards during WW1 and WW2.

The Submariners Prayer plaque remembers those Australian Submariners who are on Eternal Patrol from 1914 to the present day.
Plaque honoring Australian Submariners on Eternal Patrol
By having these stories told it is envisaged that there will be greater public awareness about the important role Submariners played whilst defending our Nation during all conflicts.

You can see more photos of the Submariners' Walk at this link (thanks to Harry Haxton for sharing the images) and a special thank to the Queensland Branch of Submarines Association Australia for sharing information about the trail. .

Saturday, January 31, 2015

February 2015 Commander's Corner


Greetings,

Looking at the 2015 calendar it’s no surprise we have a full agenda in store and are ready to go, we hope you will join us for a great year.

The planned activities include fund raising, parades, Smoky Point Rest Stop event, the Tolling ceremony, annual Christmas lunch, and other events too numerous to mention. Typically they require a good deal of coordination and hard work, we are grateful to the shipmates who help make it happen.

Several of these events have imbedded costs that add up. To be candid, the rolling balance in our Base account, currently at around $3000, is on a negative curve. Specifically, the treasury has been a in a slow decline, averaging a reduction of about $612 per year or about $50 per month. Over time this is not sustainable and is the “Elephant in the Room” for our organization. For the record, we do have a special account of $5000 set aside as a rainy day fund but at best it generates a very modest return.

We raised this issue during our January meeting, but until Jim Harper actually crunched the numbers we were not fully aware of the situation.

Bottom line; perhaps we need to make some hard choices by collectively strategizing how to increase the Base account balance.

Unfortunately, and as a last resort, we might be required to reduce commitments to a few worthy causes. However, the board and Base officers shouldn’t make arbitrary decisions on these vital issues. We need all hands on deck to offer some suggestions and direction to solving this short-term issue. Please feel free to contact me, John Roberts, or Pat Householder with your suggestions. We intend to revisit this problem at the next meeting.

On a more positive note, I would like to offer our gratitude to Jim Lindley for an engaging account of World War I at our January meeting. It was very much appreciated; Jim is always welcome to return.

The guest speaker at our February meeting will be Mr. Jeffery Honeycutt, the Director of the Puget Sound Healthcare System – Volunteer Services. Jeff will be providing some insight to the vast workings of the VA system and some of the remarkable services it affords millions of veterans like you. You may find you are entitled to some benefits you may not be aware of. Be sure to invite any of your friends that are veterans too, so they can learn about their potential benefits.

Come and join us at the next meeting on February 18, we need to see you.

Dick Gonzalez
Seattle Base USSVI Commander

Sunday, January 25, 2015

January 2015 Meeting Notes

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

We also want to remind everyone that annual memberships ran out at the end of 2014 and Seattle Base and USSVI National dues for 2015 are due.

Old and New Business: 
Seattle Base Holiday Luncheon – We had a short recap of the Holiday Luncheon. Everyone seemed to enjoy the lunch and Meydenbauer Bay Yacht Club. We are hoping to return there in 2015. If you have any feedback about the lunch or venue, please feel free to pass them along to any Base officers.

Meeting Venue Changes – Base Commander Dick Gonzalez told us he has been talking with members that don’t usually come to our meetings and that many said that the location of the meeting was part of the reason they did not attend. He suggested that we consider alternative locations for some of our monthly meetings. There was general agreement that we could look into this.

Seattle Base Funding – At the last meeting we talked about ways to increase the Base membership, this month we talked a little about ways to generate additional revenue for the Base. Over the past few years the Base treasury has been decreasing at a rate of around $300 per year and we want to figure out how to reverse that trend. We talked about several different ideas and it was suggested that we talk through the issue more at a future meeting instead of having a presentation. If you have suggestion of how we can increase our revenue, please contact Base Commander Dick Gonzalez or bring them up at a future meeting.

January Program:
The program for January was a presentation by Jim Lindley on the birth of the air war during World War I. Jim is docent at the Museum of Flight, he served with the US Military Command during the Vietnam War and later as a commercial airline pilot with Northwest Airlines. He started out the presentation with a discussion of the origins of World War I and the early fighting actions. He went on to talk about the stalemate on the Western Front and the development of trench warfare. Jim then talked about how aircraft became involved in the war, starting with early observation planes and early attempts to arm aircraft leading to the development of true fighter aircraft. He talked about further aircraft developments, including improvements in engines and weapons. Jim also talked about the involvement of the United States in the air war, including the American volunteers with Lafayette Escadrille. He wrapped the presentation with a short discussion of the questions regarding what to do with airpower after the war. It was an interesting presentation on the different aspects of airpower during World War I
Base Commander Dick Gonzalez presents Jim Lindley with a certificate of appreciation for his presentation

Good of the Order: 

Steve Shelton let us know that he has the dates for this year’s Smokey Point Rest Stop Event. This year we will be at the North bound rest stop on July 1 – 3. He will have sign-up sheets available at a future meeting.

Lois Mezek told us that one of the other organizations she is part of will be disposing of worn-out flags in June. If anyone has an old U.S. flag that is ready for retirement, you can bring it to a future meeting and give it to her.

Remember that efforts to move the USS Clamagore to Knoxville Tennessee are moving forward and you can follow developments on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/friendsoftheclamagore

Saturday, January 17, 2015

January 2015 Meeting Reminder

Shipmates,

The next Seattle Base meeting is this coming Wednesday, January 21. 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 7PM.

We hope you can join us to kick off the first meeting of 2015. We expect to have a lively meeting with lots to talk about.

Our guest speaker is Mr. Jim Lindley, former President of the Cascade Chapter Sons of the American Revolution (SAR), secretary of the Washington State Chapter of the War of 1812 and docent at the Museum of Flight. Jim served and flew the US Military Command during the Vietnam War and had a distinguished career as a commercial airline pilot with Northwest Airlines. 
Camel vs. Albatros - by Roy Cross
Jim has great has a keen interest in the history of the air conflict during World War I and this will be the topic of his presentation. I know you will enjoy the company of a fine gentleman and his historical overview of World War I.

Dick Gonzalez
Seattle Base Commander