Tuesday, June 28, 2011

July - August Dolphin Brotherhood Posted

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

This issue has an article about finding the USS R-12, pictures from our Holland Club induction and the Smokey Point Fund Raiser, along with the usual base news, upcoming events, and other submarine related articles.
USS R-12
Hardcopies should go out in the mail this weekend. I hope you all enjoy it.

As always, don't forget to check Seattle Base Blog for base news 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.

I also want to remind everyone about the Kirkland Independence Day parade on Monday July 4th. We are planning on having our Sub float, three cars for our WW2 members, and the Silent Service Motorcycle Club at the parade. We will meet near the corner of Market St. and Central Way. The city would like us to be there no later than 10:15, since they will close down the streets in that area around 10:30. Be sure to contact any Base Officers if you have questions about the parade.

Dave Schueler
USSVI Seattle Base Newsletter Editor

Monday, June 27, 2011

Smokey Point Rest Stop Event Photos

We had a nice turnout for manning the ‘Free Coffee’ booth at the Smokey Point Rest Stop. Steve Shelton set a goal of getting $1,200 in donations for the long weekend, which we met with a little room to spare. The donations gathered are important, since they are the primary source of income for the Seattle Base, allowing us to participate in events throughout the year.

Bravo Zulu to Steve Shelton for organizing the event and a big thanks to everyone that participated. Here are some photos from the event.
Dick Gonzales and Larry Abbott
Barry Morgan, Katzu, and Ric Hedman
Bob Morris and Doug Abramson
Bob Vanderway, Jim Davis, and Art Thompson
Jay Davis and Schell Harmon
Don Ulmer
Judy and Keith Watson
Karl and Linda Peterson
Bob Opple
Dave and Lynn Schueler
Don Dufour
Robbie and Teri Robertson
Jim Harper, Art Thompson, and Karl 'Dutch' Krompholz
Larry Abbott and Steve Shelton

Monday, June 20, 2011

June Meeting Notes

During the June meeting we recapped the Bremerton Armed Forces Day parade and Memorial Day events at Tahoma National Cemetery and 'Cruzin to Colby' car show.

We also got a brief report about the Smokey Point Event from the members that took a shift at the rest stop. Keith let us know that Seattle Base took in a net of $1,006.99 in donations. Bravo Zulu to Steve Shelton and everyone that helped out.
Jim Harper, Art Thompson, and Karl 'Dutch' Krompholz at Smokey Point

Base Raffle: Seattle Base is raffling off a submarine cut-away plaque (the winner has their choice of submarine class and it can be customized with the appropriate boat name). We've sold around $400 in raffle tickets so far, but there is still time to get your tickets. Each ticket is $5 and the drawing will be held at the August 20 Tolling Ceremony. You do not need to be present to win. If you would like to purchase tickets, contact Jim Harper (tel: 425-357-6485, e-mail: kh6cn@earthlink.net).

Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall Volunteers: The Puget Sound area will have an exceptional Independence Day tribute to our Vietnam Veterans with the return of The Dignity Vietnam Memorial Wall to Bellevue's Sunset Hills Memorial Park, July 1st through July 4th.

This three-quarters scale replica of the original Memorial Wall in Washington DC will be open to the public 24 hours a day from Friday morning through Monday night. The Wall will travel north on I-5 from Vancouver, WA on June 28th with the escort of Patriot Guard Riders and others who join them. This special weekend will open with a short ceremony on Friday morning, with a main program Sunday at 1 PM, and a brief closing ceremony on Monday evening.

More than 100,000 visitors paid their respects when this Memorial Wall was at Sunset Hills Memorial Park in 2001.

Jim Weaver from VFW Post 2995 is coordinating the volunteer effort for this time of remembrance and healing. Volunteer help is needed approximately 10 hours per day. Vietnam veteran guards will be on duty throughout. Professional Grief Counselors will be available daily.

There are a variety of volunteer positions to fill, such as:
  • Placing event posters around Puget Sound establishments
  • Motorcycle escort of the Wall's arrival
  • On site computer name search & location for visitors
  • Guides to help visitors find their special name on the Wall
  • Assistance with Wall rubbing of names
  • Onsite Parking directions
  • Off site parking with bus loading & unloading
  • Greeter/program handout/answering questions
  • Name reader of the more than 58,000 names on The Wall
If you would like to honor our veterans of the Vietnam War with your assistance during this deeply moving experience, Jim would love to have you join our volunteer team. Numerous volunteers are needed from 10 AM to 8 PM each day with shifts available to suit individual needs. This is an opportunity for participation of church, civic and other organizations as well as individuals. Please send an email to Jim at: Lygus@msn.com with "Wall" in the subject line and indicate your best day/timeframe and task preference.

Camp Patriot: Base member Lois Mezick gave us a report about an upcoming event for Camp Patriot, an organization that exists to take disable veterans on outdoor adventures. Camp Patriot, in conjunction with the Seattle Seahawks, is holding a fundraising dinner and silent auction on July 9 at Qwest Field. The guest speaker for the dinner is Allen Clark, a West Point graduate who lost both legs in Vietnam. Allen will share his memoir of triumph over physical challenge and despair. Seattle Base donated $100 to the event. If you are interested in attending, you can find out more at the link http://www.seahawks.com/community/camp-patriot.html.

Upcoming Events:
Kirkland Independence Day Parade - On July 4, we are planning on marching in the parade with the float and the Silent Service Motorcycle Club. Information on when and where to meet will be coming out soon.

Tolling of the Boat Ceremony - The ceremony is set for August 20 at the Kirkland Marina Park Pavilion. We are planning on a picnic before the ceremony, with the drawing for the base raffle, and hope to have the Navy Band in attendance.

USSVI National Convention - The national convention is set for September 5 - 11 in Springfield/Branson Missouri. You can find out more information on the convention website at: www.ussvispringfieldmo.com.

Tahoma National Cemetery Veterans Day Program - This program will happen on Friday, November 11.

Auburn Veterans Day Parade - This is set for Saturday, November 12. We are planning on marching in the parade with the base float, other submariners from the region, and the Silent Service Motorcycle Club.

2011 Christmas Luncheon - We have reserved the Seattle Yacht Club on Saturday, December 17 for our luncheon.

Holland Club Inductions:
After our Old Business was completed, former USSSVI National Commander Pat Householder inducted 13 new members into the Holland Club. Click this link for the blog post on this year's inductees and photos.

June Program:
The June program was a presentation by Pat Householder of his trip to Battleship Cove in Fall River Massachusetts. Battleship Cove is home to the battleship USS Massachusetts (BB-59), destroyer USS Joseph P. Kennedy (DD-850), former East German Navy missile-corvette Hiddensee, and submarine USS Lionfish (SS-298). Pat provided a guided photo-tour of all the vessels. Pat gave his own insight on current state of the vessels and how each compared to his own service. After the photo-tour, Pat gave us a little quiz on the tour, with a winner getting a ticket for the base raffle.

Binnacle List:
Ted Taylor - Ted is still with us and would love to hear from his USSVI shipmates. You can call him at 425-228-3764.

Andrea Geisler - The treatment for her eye problem is not going as well as hoped. She thinks that she will eventually need a cornea transplant, but, hopefully, that will be in the distant future.

Robbie Robertson - Robbie is still undergoing treatment for prostate cancer. He let us all know that he has only given himself 12 more years (which I think would make him about 95).

Bruce Fisher - Bruce is still undergoing treatment for diabetic neuropathy for his foot.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

2011 Seattle Base Holland Club Induction

At the Seattle Base June meeting former USSVI National Commander Pat Householder inducted 13 new members into the Holland Club.
Seattle Base Commander Keith Watson provided a cake to welcome the new inductees. He also has a nice PowerPoint slide with each inductee's name and a picture of their qualification boat.

This year's inductees that were present at the meeting are:
John Bush - USS Growler (SSG-577)

Robert Haslan - USS Pomfret (SS-391)

Robert Lange - USS Aspro (SS-309)

Don Ross - USS Tusk (SS-426)

Art Thompson - USS Sargo (SSN-583)

Lee Trunkhill - USS Spinax (SS-489)

James Davis - USS Raton (SS-270) - He had recently switched his primary Base to the Silent Service Motorcycle Club, so Keith had to tell him that the SSMC has his patch and certificate.

Also inducted, but not at the meeting: Charles Blain - USS Sea Fox (SS-402), Gary Ness - USS Grayback (SSG-574), Kingsley Parker - USS Tang (SS-563), Don Sass - USS Bashaw (SS-241), Robert Shirer - USS Greenfish (SS-351), Ron Thody - USS Spinax (SS-489)

Bill Godfrey was also slated for induction, but unfortunately departed on Eternal Patrol on June 15.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Eternal Patrol: Bill Godfrey

Bill W. Godfrey was born September 28, 1941, and left us on Eternal Patrol June 15, 2011. He served aboard USS Redfish (SS-395) 1960-62, qualifying in submarines July 9, 1961, and also aboard USS Rock (SS-274) 1962-64. Bill was a Quartermaster 2nd Class (SS) when he left active service.

Bill and wife Christine lived in Everett WA and he was a member of the US Submarine Veterans Seattle Base.

Bill shared a LIFE magazine story and his remembrances from his first sea tour on Redfish in the May - June 2005 Dolphin Brotherhood (the story starts on page 6).

Visitation will be Wednesday, June 22, 2011 from 10:00am - 5:00pm at Purdy & Walters with Cassidy, 1702 Pacific Ave, Everett, WA 98201-4027 and the memorial service will be on Saturday, June 25, 2011 at 11:00 am at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, 2617 Cedar St, Everett, WA 98201-3137.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Providence General Foundation, P.O. Box 1067, Everett, WA 98206.

Sailor Rest your Oar.

Eternal Patrol: Victor Horgan

 Victor William Horgan, age 90, gently passed away at home surrounded by his loving family on June 13, 2011.

Vic was born in Portland Oregon, graduated Benson Technical High School in Portland, the University of Washington, Naval ROTC and submariner schools in San Diego and New London. He was assigned to the USS Segundo (SS 398) as a junior officer and made four successful WWII war patrols. He was also involved in the capture of the Japanese submarine I-401 at the end of the war. Vic shared this story with Seattle Base USSVI in November 2008. He did not enjoy the peacetime Navy and had fallen in love with his future wife, Ruth Griffin, so he moved on with his career.

Vic returned to Astoria OR, gradually taking responsibility until he was managing Sebastian Stuart’s processing plant in Astoria. Together with partners, he bought the plant and formed Ocean Foods of Astoria in 1966. Vic moved up the executive chain becoming President & CEO of all of the Ocean Beauty group of companies in Oregon, Washington and Alaska. He served on the boards of Pacific Seafood Processors Association, Alaska Seafood Marketing Association, and other industry groups. He was instrumental in negotiating the seafood processors’ position with Exxon after the oil spill in Prince William Sound. Following his retirement, Vic continued working with the seafood industry consulting with salmon fisheries in eastern Russia. Vic enjoyed seafood – eating it as well as working with it. He could taste and tell if Dungeness crab legs or salmon or halibut cheeks were not quite properly processed. He attributed eating a lot of seafood to a long and healthy life.

Vic married Ruth Griffin in 1946 and their life was very fine until Ruthie passed away. Living in Astoria they raised their children Vic Horgan, Jr., Timothy Henningsen and Jan Trenholm to be people they were very proud of. Astoria remained Vic’s heart-home even when work caused him to live in Portland and Seattle. In 2003, Vic married Mary Lee Hazel, and they enjoyed life to the full. Vic is survived by his children, Vic (Diana), Tim (Kristen) and Jan Ford (Mickey); grandchildren Amy (Bob) Lukasiewicz, Paul Horgan, Brian Ford, Stacey Ford, Meredith Horgan, Thomas Horgan and Kyle Horgan, as well as two great-grandchildren, Madison and Brady Lukasiewicz.

Vic was always a gentleman – with his family, in business, on committees and boards, in church and social occasions. His handshake and attention was sincere. He was not only very smart, he was very kind and wise. He never forgot a name and enjoyed keeping up with old friends. His faith in God had grown these last years as he enjoyed learning more about Him. He lived life well and we expect he is now enjoying a lovely water view condo in heaven with his family and friends who have preceded him.

A service in honor of Vic’s life will be held Monday, June 20th at 11:00 am at United EV Free Church, 1420 Northwest 80th Street, Seattle. A reception will follow. Please see www.funerals.coop.

In lieu of flowers, a donation in his memory to St. Vincent de Paul or a charity of your choice would be appreciated by his family.

Sailor Rest Your Oar

Sunday, June 12, 2011

June Meeting Announcement

Hi Shipmates,

The June Seattle Base USSVI meeting is set for Wednesday, June 15th . The meeting starts at 7PM, with Social Hour starting at 6PM. Location: Lake Washington VFW Post #2995 at 4330 148th Ave. N.E. Redmond 98052.

Don't forget to review the May Meeting Minutes at the base website or here.

Holland Club Induction: We will be inducting 13 of our members into the Holland Club and will be celebrating with a special cake. The “Lucky 13” include Charles Blain, John Bush, Bill Godfrey, Robert Haslan, Robert Lange, Gary Ness, King Parker, Donald Ross, Donald Sass, Robert Shirer, Ron Thody, Art Thompson and Lee Trunkhill.

Meeting Presentation: There are 132 historic ships on display in the United States, and the single largest warships afloat collection is located in Fall River MA at Battleship Cove. Patrick Householder recently visited and will take us on a visual power-point ‘tour’ of four of those historic ships, including the battleship USS Massachusetts, destroyer USS Joseph P Kennedy, submarine USS Lionfish and a former Soviet built missile-corvette, Hiddensee.
USS Lionfish at Battleship Cove
Submarine Raffle: Please remember that we are selling $5 raffle tickets for a framed and matted 3-dimensional submarine cutaway. These cutaways sell online for $ 260.00 ea and you will be proud to display one in your home. The winner gets to pick one of four submarine cutaway designs (you can have it customized with your boat name and hull number as well) and the drawing will be in August at the Tolling Ceremonies in Kirkland. We’ll miss you if you are not there, but you need not be present to win.
Balao Class Fleet Submarine (there are also Gato and Tench variations)
41 for Freedom Boomer
Smokey Point Rest Stop Project: We will get an update from Steve Shelton on how the Smokey Point Rest Stop event turned out.

Other Coming Events:
  • Vietnam Wall display July 1st thru the 4th. Bellevue Sunset Hills Memorial Park
  • Kirkland 4th of July Parade with our Sub Float.
  • Tolling of the Boats, Kirkland August 20th
  • 2011 USSVI National Convention in Springfield/Branson, Missouri September 5th thru the 11th

Thanks and I hope to see you there,

Keith Watson
Commander Seattle Base USSVI

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Infamous Toilet Paper Letter

While in Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Lt. Cmdr James W. Coe, captain of USS Skipjack (SS-184) sent a letter to the yard's Supply Officer regarding the cancellation of his requisition for toilet paper. This letter became known as the “Toilet Paper Letter.”

USS Skipjack (SS-184) near Mare Island in 1942
Here is the text of the letter:

June 11, 1942
From: Commanding Officer

To: Supply Officer, Navy Yard, Mare Island, California
Via: Commander Submarines, Southwest Pacific

Subject: Toilet Paper
Reference: (a) USS HOLLAND (5148) USS SKIPJACK req. 70-42 of 30 July 1941.
           (b) SO NYMI Canceled invoice No. 272836

Enclosure: (1) Copy of cancelled Invoice
           (2) Sample of material requested.

1. This vessel submitted a requisition for 150 rolls of toilet paper on July 30, 1941, to USS HOLLAND. The material was ordered by HOLLAND from the Supply Officer, Navy Yard, Mare Island, for delivery to USS SKIPJACK.

2. The Supply Officer, Navy Yard, Mare Island, on November 26, 1941, cancelled Mare Island Invoice No. 272836 with the stamped notation "Cancelled---cannot identify." This cancelled invoice was received by SKIPJACK on June 10, 1942.

3. During the 11 ¾ months elapsing from the time of ordering the toilet paper and the present date, the SKIPJACK personnel, despite their best efforts to await delivery of subject material, have been unable to wait on numerous occasions, and the situation is now quite acute, especially during depth charge attack by the "back-stabbers."

4. Enclosure (2) is a sample of the desired material provided for the information of the Supply Officer, Navy Yard, Mare Island. The Commanding Officer, USS SKIPJACK cannot help but wonder what is being used in Mare Island in place of this unidentifiable material, once well known to this command.

5. SKIPJACK personnel during this period have become accustomed to use of "ersatz," i.e., the vast amount of incoming non-essential paper work, and in so doing feel that the wish of the Bureau of Ships for the reduction of paper work is being complied with, thus effectively killing two birds with one stone.

6. It is believed by this command that the stamped notation "cannot identify" was possible error, and that this is simply a case of shortage of strategic war material, the SKIPJACK probably being low on the priority list.

7. In order to cooperate in our war effort at a small local sacrifice, the SKIPJACK desires no further action be taken until the end of the current war, which has created a situation aptly described as "war is hell."

J.W. Coe

And here is the rest of the story:

After writing this letter, Coe gave it to the Yeoman and told him to type it up. Once typed and upon reflection, the Yeoman went looking for help in the form of the Executive Officer (XO). The XO shared the letter with the Duty Officer and they proceeded to the captain's cabin and to ask if he really wanted it sent. His reply, "I wrote it, didn't I?"

On a side note, twelve days later J.W. Coe was awarded the Navy Cross for his actions while in command of USS S-39 (SS-144).

When the toilet paper letter reached Mare Island Supply Depot, the officer-in-charge immediately called out his men and a member of the Supply Office remembers that all officers in the Supply Department "had to stand at attention for three days because of that letter." Additionally, the letter was copied and spread throughout the fleet.

When Skipjack came in from her next patrol, captain and crew saw toilet-paper streamers blowing from the lights along the pier and pyramids of toilet paper stacked seven feet high on the dock. Two men were carrying a long dowel with toilet paper rolls on it with yards of paper streaming behind them as a band played coming up after the roll holders. Band members wore toilet paper neckties in place of their Navy neckerchiefs. The wind-section had toilet paper pushed up inside their instruments and when they blew, white streamers unfurled from trumpets and horns.

It was the custom for returning boats to be greeted at the pier with cases of fresh fruit/veggies and ice cream, but Skipjack was thereafter greeted with her own distinctive tribute; cartons and cartons of toilet paper.

The letter became famous in submarine history books and even found its way into the movie Operation Petticoat (click this link to hear how the letter sounded in the movie). A copy eventually came to rest at the Navy Supply School at Pensacola, Florida. There it still hangs on the wall under a banner that reads, "Don't let this happen to you!" The original letter is at Bowfin Museum in Hawaii.

James W. Coe was considered an able and successful submarine officer. He had previously made three war patrols as the commanding officer of S-39 and completed three patrols as Skipjack’s commanding officer. Unfortunately, Coe was lost on USS Cisco (SS-290) in September 1943. However, his humorous letter will live forever in the submarine history and serves as a reminder to all veterans of the bureaucracy that can be involved with service to one’s country.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Smokey Point Event Reminder

The Smokey Point Rest Stop event is set for June 10 - June 13 at the north-bound rest stop.
A happy crew from the 2009 event
Steve Shelton is still looking for more volunteers to help man the booth and hand out coffee and cookies. Steve would like to have two people in the booth for late nights/early mornings and the busy times are usually in mornings and late afternoons, but who knows what the weekend will bring!

It is always a good time and gives us a chance to talk with some other base members and the public.

After reviewing Steve's schedule, it looks like there are still spots open on Saturday afternoon and most of the day Sunday, and the late night shifts can always use another body. Most of the shifts on Saturday and Sunday could also use extra people.

You might want to consider making a day of things by coming out to put in a couple hours at the rest stop and then head off for one of the casinos afterwards (Tulalip and Angel of the Winds are both nearby). You can consider it your treat for a good deed. Steve says he is planning on checking out the food buffets at least once!

Remember, providing cookies and other munchies for handing out is a good alternative if you can’t be there.
This event is an important way for the base to raise donations and we can really use your help.

If you would like to help out, please contact Steve at, e-mail: sdshelton@comcast.net, or phone (206) 526-1130.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Memorial Day 2011 Recap

We had a nice day and heard a good program at Tahoma National Cemetery on Memorial Day. Turnout for the program was good and base member Robbie Robertson was honored with a plaque for all the work he has done for the cemetery, including his most recent work on getting the carillon tower installed. After the program, we gathered at the USSVI plaque for our annual photo.
It was a little sad to note the missing and damaged plaques from last Thanksgiving (click here for more about the original incident), but there is some good news on that too. The Tahoma National Cemetery Support Group, through the generosity of private citizens and local businesses, has been able to obtain enough donations to replace all the missing and damaged plaques. A local monument company is fabricating the new plaques and they are expected to be installed by the end of summer.

Things at the Cruzin to Colby car show went pretty well. Base Treasurer Jim Harper reported that the base raised $100.74 at the event.
Bill Giese and Larry Abbott with a SubVet fan

Finally, I wanted to share the Memorial Day message from the USSVI National Commander, T. Michael Bircumshaw.


Memorial Day is the most significant day of each year that touches the deepest part of our reasons for being Sub Vets. Our purpose is headlined with the words; “To perpetuate the memory of our Shipmates.”

The vast majority of those who remain on “Eternal Patrol” were lost to many of us during our lifetime. For example, my shipmate, Bud Atkins TMCM SS of the Groton Base, and I were born in the 1930s and since then 57 of our 65 honored submarines and the 3,500 valiant shipmates that rode them down from the Squalus to the Scorpion are a part of our living history. I daresay that either Bud or myself personally knew someone aboard the Stickleback, Thresher, and Scorpion, as do many of you reading this today.

Why have I chosen to make this message so very personal? Because it is about you and me. On this day I relive my feelings for one exceptionally close friend, Laird Heiser MM1 SS, serving aboard the USS Thresher (SSN-593) on that fateful April day in ‘63 and I try to imagine his loss to me and his family times the 4,000 Shipmate Submariners that we choose to never forget. I find it to be a staggering number of shipmates, souls and loved ones and I know that there are brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters and lots of grandkids, shipmates and girlfriends, who also hold memories of their Submariner in that vacant place in their heart destined to never heal.

I urge you to take this day to a new level in joy by reaching out to your living Shipmates and loved ones as you pay tribute in sad remembrance for those who have made the supreme sacrifice.

Don’t make the mistake of not having taken every opportunity to make your true feelings clear to those you care about. There is no escape for any of us, nor knowledge of when it will occur, from that eventual “Eternal Patrol”.