Thursday, April 28, 2011

May-June Issue of The Dolphin Brotherhood Posted

The May-June 2011 issue of The Dolphin Brotherhood has been posted on the Seattle Base website.

This issue has the story about the carillon tower at Tahoma National Cemetery that base member Robbie Robertson helped put in place, a preview of our May meeting, information about our base raffle, along with the usual base news, upcoming events, and other submarine related articles.
Tahoma Carillon Tower (from Hearld.Net)
Hardcopies should go out in the mail shortly. I hope you all enjoy it.

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

I also want to remind everyone about Don Ulmer's presentation on Saturday, April 30 at the Keyport Naval Undersea Museum (click on the picture below for a larger view).

Dave Schueler
USSVI Seattle Base Newsletter Editor

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Notes from the April Meeting

Here is some information from our April meeting.

111th Submarine Force Birthday: We celebrated the 111th birthday of the US Submarine Force with a little cake (thanks to Keith and Judy Watson for bringing the cake)
Submarine birthday cake featuring USS Holland and USS Virginia

Upcoming Events:
Presentation at the Naval Undersea Museum in Keyport - On April 30 at 2:00 PM, base member Don Ulmer will be giving a talk and show film from USS Springer's (SS-414) rescue of airmen from a downed B-29 during WWII. This is a great presentation and definitely worth a trip to Keyport. (Click on picture below to see a full size version of the announcement.)
 May Meeting Presentation - Our May meeting, set for May 18, will feature a presentation by Seattle Base Life member and Holland Club member, Captain Angus McDonald. He will discuss a book he authored on the sinking of USS Scorpion (SSN-589) in 1968. It should be an interesting presentation.

Armed Forces Day Parade - Seattle Base and the Silent Service Motorcycle Club will participate in the Bremerton Armed Forces Day Parade. The parade is on Saturday, May 21 and attendees should be there around 9:00 AM, with the parade starting at 10:00. We will have more information as the date gets closer.

Memorial Day Events - Doug Abramson, Jim Harper, and Bill Giese will be participating in the upcoming "Cruizin' To Colby" car show on Memorial Day, Monday, May 30. We hope to have our submarine float there. Also, we will be participating in the Tahoma National Cemetery Memorial Day service.

Smokey Point Rest Stop Event - This is set for June 10, 11, 12, and 13 at the Smokey Point (North) rest stop. Steve Shelton has the sign-up board ready. We hope that you will sign up for a shift during the four-day event. If you can't take on a shift, you can still help out by providing cookies and other snacks. Please contact Steve to volunteer or for more information.

Tolling of the Boat Ceremony - The ceremony is set for August 20 at the Kirkland Pavilion. We are planning on a picnic before the ceremony and hope to have the Navy Band in attendance. Be sure to mark the date on your calendar!

2011 Christmas Luncheon - We have reserved the Seattle Yacht Club on Saturday, December 17 for our luncheon. It is still pretty early to be thinking about this, but it is never to early to mark it on your calendar.

Base Raffle:
Seattle Base is launching a new raffle opportunity. The raffle prize is a highly detailed, three-dimensional, submarine cutaway plaque. The winner can choose the submarine class displayed on the plaque, the current options are a Gato (SS-212), Balao (SS-285), Tench (SS-417), or Lafayette (SSBN-616). Raffle tickets cost $5 and the drawing will be held at the Tolling of the Boats Ceremony on Saturday, August 20. You do not need to be present to win, so be sure to pass this information along to anyone that might be interested in one of these beautiful cutaways. (Click on the photo to see a larger view)
Gato cutaway
Lafayette cutaway
Base member Robbie Robertson was recently featured in a story about his work to install a carillon tower at Tahoma National Cemetery, you can read the article at this link (we'll also get a copy into the next newsletter).

As many of you know, our Chief of the Boat Ted Taylor was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer. Bob Opple wanted to encourage us to contact Ted Taylor. Ted is still at home putting all of his affairs in order and would really appreciate hearing from all of his USSVI friends.

April Presentations:
Makayla Wilson with Base Commander Keith Watson
Loyalty Day: Lois Mezek and her grand-daughter Makayla Wilson gave a presentation on Loyalty Day, which falls on May 1st. Lois explained the purpose and origins of Loyalty Day. Makayla presented the US flag (with a little help from Sam Ronnie) and conducted a folding ceremony. After that Makayla gave a short speech about patriotism and loyalty, and why they are important today. Everyone enjoyed the presentation.

Don Ulmer talking with John Mckeon (they are probably talking about secret Naval Academy stuff)
McKeon Financial Services: John McKeon and Jennie Cooney of McKeon Financial provided the program for the evening. Jennie served in the Navy, married a submariner, and currently is the Marketing Director and Office Manager for McKeon Financial. John is a graduate of the US Naval Academy and qualified on USS Olympia (SSN-717). John provided a little background about himself, his time in the submarine service, and how that affected his outlook on the business world. John talked about his transition from the Navy to civilian life in the insurance business and his move to his own financial service. John also talked about his philosophy for business and how he handles his current work. John's primary goal in his business is to help people do things that they can't do for themselves. John's business specializes in financial planning and services, including: retirement income planning, 401K/IRA rollovers, stock market alternatives, and long term care insurance. John sponsors a lot of seminars to help you determine the best course you can take in your own investments and planning. After the program, John and Jennie held a drawing for some coffee mugs and wine glasses. If you are looking for financial information, we hope you will give John a call. McKeon Financial is located in Marysville at 1507 172nd St NE, Suite 201. You can also call the office at 360-652-4244 or 1-877-785-8781.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

April Meeting Announcement


Our next meeting will be on Wednesday, April 20th. We will be celebrating the anniversary of the United States Submarine Service. 111 years ago the Silent Service was established and we will have a cake to commemorate the occasion.
USS Holland (from The Naval History Blog)

Our speaker for the meeting will be John E. McKeon, a fellow Submariner serving on USS Olympia (SSN-717), who will speak on retirement investments. John sees investments differently than many financial planners because his Marysville business - McKeon Financial - specializes in investors who are retired or nearing retirement. John takes a different approach than many financial planners. It's called active, tactical money management. These investments tend to be more responsive to ever-changing conditions, offer liquidity, and tend to provide less volatility, and more steady, consistent growth. Some of these strategies are designed to make money even in a down market. This should be a very interesting presentation.

We will also have a presentation from our member Lois Mezek and guest Makayla Wilson concerning Loyalty Day. Loyalty Day is May 1, 2011 and the program will enlighten us as to the history, purpose, and Proclamation of Loyalty Day.

Come and join us as we celebrate our United States Submarine Service's Birthday and preview Loyalty Day.

Keith Watson
Commander Seattle Base USSVI

Saturday, April 16, 2011

2011 Joint National USSVI and Submarine Veterans of WWII Convention

The Ozark-Runner Base (USSVI) and the City of Springfield, Missouri invite you to join us for the 2011 Joint National Convention of the USSVI and of the U.S. Submarine Veterans of WWII. The Convention will run from Monday, September 5 to Sunday, September 11, 2011 in Springfield.

The Convention Chairman is Ron Athey, TMC (SS) USN Ret. You can contact Ron by phone at: 1-417-763-0935, or by e-mail at:

The USS Lapon (SSN 661) Sail and Submarine Memorial and Nathanael Greene (SSBN 636) Memorial are located in Springfield. The local Veterans of the American Legion, VFW, and FRA are also looking forward to welcoming you.

Additionally, the Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) is looking forward to helping you with information and answering any of your questions regarding this area. Please feel free to contact them, they can be reached at 1-800-678-8767 or

Our “Home Port” for the convention is the University Plaza Hotel and Convention Center (1-417-864-7333 or Alternate “berthing” is available at the Clarion Hotel (1-800-756-7318, 1-714-883-6550 or or at the Doubletree Hotel, A Hilton Hotel, (1-800-222-tree; 1-417-831-3131). Rooms are $99 per night and parking is complimentary.

For more information, please visit the convention website at

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Loss of USS Thresher

USS Thresher (Naval Historical Center)
 On April 10, 1963 USS Thresher (SSN-593) lost while conducting post-overhaul sea trials about 200 miles off the coast of Cape Cod. Thresher was accompanied by the submarine rescue ship USS Skylark (ASR-20) on the morning of April 10 when she started deep-diving tests. As Thresher neared her test depth, Skylark received garbled communications over underwater telephone indicating "...minor difficulties, have positive up-angle, attempting to blow." When Skylark received no further communication, surface observers gradually realized Thresher had sunk. Publicly it took some days to announce that all 129 officers, crewmen, and military and civilian technicians aboard were lost with the submarine.

The Navy’s investigation concluded that while Thresher was operating at test depth, a leak had developed at a silver-brazed joint in an engine room seawater system; water from the leak may have short-circuited electrical equipment, causing cascading casualties. She sank in approximately 8,400 feet of water. The SUBSAFE program was initiated as a result of this accident.
Thresher insignia (Naval Historical Center)
Thresher was the first of a new class of submarine designed for optimum performance of sonar and weapons systems, but after her loss the class was referred to as the Permit (SSN-594) class.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Submariners film from Naval History and Heritage Command

Those of you that frequent YouTube probably already know about the Naval History and Heritage Command channel. But for those of you who don't, you might want to head over and have a look at some of the videos they have posted. The channel has videos covering all aspects of US Navy and Marine Corps history, from the early sail days up through Operation Desert Storm, and the Naval History and Heritage Command usually uploads new ones every few weeks.

To keep this entry submarine related, below I've embedded the three parts of the 1967 documentary "The Submariners", which follows the crew of the nuclear attack submarine USS Shark (SSN-591) on a training mission. I'm sure a few of you will notice some errors and inconsistencies in the film, but overall it is a pretty good film. I hope you enjoy it and don't forget you can click on the Full Screen button to view the video on the full screen.

Part 1 introduces crew members at home before deployment, and shows the departure of the Shark from port. The direct link to the video is: Part 1 The Submariners.

Part 2 explains how sonar works, gives a brief history of Navy submarines, and shows a target tracking drill and preparations to fire a torpedo. The direct link to the video is: Part 2 The Submariners

Part 3 concludes the training exercise, as the submarine patiently hunts an elusive target. The direct link to the video is: Part 3 The Submariners.