Sunday, November 27, 2011

2011 Tahoma Veterans' Day Ceremony Photos

Here are some photos from the 2011 Veterans' Day ceremony at Tahoma National Cemetery. Thanks to Steve Shelton for passing along the photos.
SubVet flag bearers (L to R) Keith Watson, Ralph Sterley, Pat Householder, and Karl 'Dutch' Krompholz
Flag bearers seated during the program
WWII Submarine Veteran Robbie Robertson
WWII Submarine Veteran and Seattle Base COB Ralph Sterley
Seattle Base member Lois Mezek
USSVI plaque on the Memorial Walk
USSVI group photo (L to R) Steve Shelton, Karl 'Dutch' Krompholz, Pat Householder, Keith Watson, Jerry Jonason, and Sam Ronnie
WWII Submarine Veteran Ervin Schmidt and his wife June join the group for lunch after the program
Just a few 'Old Salts' swapping sea stories

Saturday, November 19, 2011

November Meeting Notes

There was a lot going on at the November meeting. We started out with the Tolling of the Boats for November and December (the November meeting is the last meeting of the year. The Holiday Luncheon replaces our monthly meeting.) and, after introductions, got right into business. Here is the important information that was shared during the meeting.

USSVI Naval Memorial Plaque Fund: USSVI is taking donations to place a plaque at the Naval Memorial in Washington D.C. The plaque will cost around $10,000 and will be dedicated in 2014, for the 50th anniversary of USSVI. Seattle Base will provide matching funds, up to $250, for donation by base members. Donations to the fund are tax deductible. Just give your donation to Treasurer Jim Harper and he will provide you with a form for your taxes.

USSVI has announced they will provide up to $5000.00 in matching funds for base donations to this project. They are also making this a Base Challenge, with the Base that raises the most funds getting $100.00 of USSVI Store items.
The USSVI plaque design for the Naval Memorial
Seattle Base Elections: Seattle Base elections will be held in January. Steve Shelton is in charge of the Nominating Committee. If you are interesting running for one of the base officer positions, please contact Steve.

National Elections: Nominations are open for the 2012 USSVI National Election. The positions open for nomination are: National Commander, National Senior Vice Commander, National Junior Vice Commander, National Secretary, National Treasurer, NE Region Director, SE Region Director, Central Region Director, Western Region Director. Nominations must be received by Patrick Householder, Nomination Committee Chair on or by April 30th 2012. The nominations can be sent by email at or by mail at 25003 SE 146th St, Issaquah WA 98027. You can also contact Pat if you have any questions about eligibility requirements, officer duties, and other nomination related questions.

Information from the Base Treasurer: During the Treasurer's Report, Jim Harper reminded us that USSVI is now an official War Veterans organization, so donations to USSVI (including those made to USSVI programs like Boat Sponsorship) and the Seattle Base (including the Base Booster Fund) are tax deductible. If you want to make a donation to the base, Jim can give you the right form so you can claim it on your taxes.

Jim also let us know that Chase Bank told him that they are not charging checking account fees for veterans or veteran businesses. If you have an account with Chase, be sure to talk with your local representative to see about getting the fees removed from your account.

Holland Club Donations: Last month Holland Club members were asked to donate $1 to help with organization costs. In November, Seattle Base voted to cover the donation for each Seattle Base Holland Club member this year and in the future.

Membership Renewals: We want to remind you that annual dues for your National USSVI and Seattle Base membership are due at the end of the year. Be sure to take care of this as soon as possible. You don't want to end up on the DINK list! Contact Doug Abramson (tel: 360-652-9709), Art Thompson (tel: 425-745-2223), or Jim Harper (tel: 425-357-6485) if you have questions or to take care of your dues.

Base Raffle: Due to the success of our last raffle, we have decided to do another. We will once again raffle off a submarine cut-away plaque; the winner has their choice of submarine class (Gato, Balao, Tench, Sturgeon, or Lafayette) and it can be customized with the appropriate boat name. Additionally, there will be a runner-up prize of a set of submarine coasters; the winner can choose a set of Fleet boat gauges or Dolphins.

The drawing will be held at the our Holiday Luncheon on December 17th and tickets will be sold at the luncheon. You don't have to be a member of Seattle Base to participate in the raffle and you do not need to be present at the luncheon to win. Ticket are $5 each. If you would like to purchase tickets, contact Jim Harper (tel: 425-357-6485, e-mail:

Upcoming Events
2011 Seattle Base Holiday Luncheon - Our annual luncheon will be at The Seattle Yacht Club on December 17th. The cost this year will be $44 per person. You can find the registration form in the November-December newsletter or at this link. Please get your registration form in by December 7.

November Program
For November, Keith Watson presented a program on the attack on Pearl Harbor that brought the United States into World War II. In addition to the attack by Japanese carrier planes, Keith covered the attacks by the five Japanese midget submarines. Keith also focused on the experiences of Seattle Base member Ervin Schmidt, who was on the battleship USS California during the attack (Note: Ric Hedman recently recorded an interview with Ervin about his wartime experiences and posted the videos to YouTube. We will post the interviews in a future blog entry).

After talking about the December 7 attack, Keith provided some information about a lesser known disaster at Pearl Harbor, the West Loch Disaster. Finally, Keith told us about the link between the disaster and the December 7 attack. During the salvage operations from the disaster, equipment and wreckage was taken out of the West Loch and dumped about 3 miles south of the island. An investigation of the dumping area found what is believed to be the fifth Japanese midget submarine from the Pearl Harbor attack. It is thought that the submarine was abandoned in the West Loch after the attack and then dredged up with the wreckage after the West Lock Disaster.

It was an interesting program providing information about some little known historical events.

Binnacle List
Andrea Geisler is recovering from an eye surgery. She had a corneal graft.

Robbie Robertson is dealing with prostate cancer.

Bruce Fisher is dealing with diabetic neuropathy of his foot.

Bob Morris is recovering from prostate surgery. He was at the November meeting and said he is doing much better.

Ric Hedman is dealing with a ruptured disc.

Kerry Ryan is recovering from a puncture that happened during a recent colonoscopy exam.

Doug Abramson's wife Connie has been diagnosed with lung scarring.

Pierre Bruno's wife Beradine is recovering from a fractured backbone.

2011 Auburn Veterans' Day Parade Photos

Here are a photos from the Auburn Veterans' Day Parade. It was a great day for a parade. Thanks to Keith Watson for providing the photos!

Seattle Base and Silent Service Motorcycle Club members
Bremerton Base and South Sound Base members
The Bonefish float
Seattle Base parade organizer Ric Hedman with the Seattle Base float
Seattle Base member Barry Morgan with Katzu
Terri and Robbie Roberston and Loma Taylor in the limo
Paul and Brittney Hager towing the Seattle Base float
A C-17 flyby starts the parade
Pat Householder and Tim Floersch carry the SubVet banner with Jerry Jonason
View of the SubVet marchers from the float
A view of the crowd from the float

Ric Hedman took a short video of the pre-parade preparations. If the embeded version below doesn't work click this link to see the video.Once the video is running, you can click on the Full Screen icon (the four arrows on the lower right) to expand the picture.

Monday, November 14, 2011

November Meeting Announcement


We will have our last meeting of 2011 this coming Wednesday, November 16. We combine the November and December meetings, skipping a separate December meeting, because of the Joint Submarine Veterans of WWII/USSVI Holiday Luncheon on December 17th.

You can get a registration form with more detail in the November-December issue of "The Dolphin Brotherhood" newsletter or at this link. There will also be information about the luncheon at the meeting.

Don’t forget to purchase your raffle tickets for the wood submarine plaque. The drawing will be held at the Holiday Luncheon.
The presentation for the meeting will look at the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, including the attack by Japanese submarines, and the 67th anniversary of a different disaster at Pearl Harbor, known as the West Loch Disaster. You might not have heard about this 1944 catastrophe, but you can find out the details at the November meeting.

Hope to see you there!

Keith Watson
Commander Seattle Base USSVI

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Reminder: Tahoma National Cemetery Veterans' Day Event


We wanted to remind you that Seattle Base will be showing the flag at the Tahoma National Cemetery Veterans’ Day event this Friday, November 11, 2011. The ceremony starts at 11AM and you should get there early to obtain parking.

This year’s guest speakers are: Ron Cheich, VA Director of Business Process Improvement Services and Joe LaBoie, USN (Ret).

Tahoma National Cemetery is located at 18600 SE 240th, Kent WA 98042, phone 425-413-9614. Be prepared to be impressed with the hundreds of flags in memory of those who served.

We will take a group photo by the Carillon Bell Tower following the ceremony. We are also planning to meet with the rest of the shipmates for lunch at "Gloria’s Restaurant" located at: 23220 Maple Valley Road SE (Highway 169), Maple Valley 98038 425-432-6880.

Hope to see you their!

Keith Watson
Commander Seattle Base USSVI

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Eternal Patrol: Charles "Skip" Blain

Seattle Base Member Charles "Skip" Blain, TMCM(SS) Ret. of Issaquah departed on Eternal Patrol October 19, 2011. Skip qualified aboard USS Sea Fox in 1961. He served aboard USS Spinax, USS Clamagore, USS Razorback, USS Plunger and was COB aboard USS Permit before retiring in 1980.

Charles "Skip" Blain was born in Springfield, Massachusetts on May 22, 1940. He was the first born to a family of four boys. His father was in the Navy while he was growing, up which allowed the family an opportunity to live in a variety of cities around the United States and abroad. One of his many homes included living at the Navy Base at Pearl Harbor when Skip was eight years old.

Skip enlisted in the Navy in June, 1960 where he served his country for the next twenty years. He retired in July, 1980 with the rank of Command Master Chief. His last post was on the submarine, USS Permit. Skip’s dedication to serving his country was seen years later when he became a member of the American Legion Post 15 Honor Guard. As a member of the Honor Guard he helped at the Public Information Center and with funerals at Tahoma National Cemetery for our beloved veterans.

Skip was known for his generous spirit. He went out of his way to help other people. He volunteered at friend's and neighbor's houses, equine rescue, his church and was always willing to go wherever he was needed. It brought him joy to bring others joy.

Skip loved his wife, Anna Marie, but Jasper and Doggie, his dogs came in a very close second. He spent hours with his dogs taking them for walks, rides in the car and letting them assist him with home improvement chores. Skip adopted animals that were hurt or just needed shelter. He had two dogs, two cats, wounded pigeons, chickens, rabbits and ducks. Of course Anna Marie added her horses that he came to care for and even built a barn for them.

He spent hours fixing and puttering around the house. He enjoyed building and improving the land around the house.

Skip is survived by his wife Anna Marie. They married on September 7, 2011 after having lived together for 22 years. He also has three brothers, Robert and William from Florida and Peter from Texas. Skip spent the later part of this summer traveling around the United States visiting his brothers and extended family.

A committal service will be held at 3 PM on Friday, November 18, 2011 at Tahoma National Cemetery. Friends are invited to meet at Flintoft’s Funeral Home, 540 East Sunset Way, Issaquah at 2 PM to join in a procession (lead by the Patriotic Guards) to Tahoma National Cemetery or meet the family at Tahoma.

Immediately following the service you are invited to join the family at American Legion Post 15 in Kent (25406 97TH PL S KENT, WA 98031). The American Legion is for those 21 and over.

As an expression of sympathy, memorial contributions may be sent to support the Post 15 Honor Guard. Please make checks payable to TNC Support Group. Checks can be mailed to:
          Tahoma National Cemetery
          18600 SE 240th St.
          Kent, WA 98042

Sailor, Rest Your Oar.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Reminder - Auburn Veterans' Day Parade

Don't forget that Seattle Base is participating in the Auburn Veterans Day parade on Saturday, November 5. We will be joining members of the Silent Service Motorcycle Club, Bremerton Base, The Navy Band Northwest, and active duty members from Bangor. In addition to the Bonefish and Seattle Base floats, there will be a couple cars for people to ride in.
Hopefully the weather will be nicer than 2010!

If you want to march or ride in the parade, please meet around 10:00 AM at the staging area on L St. SE.

There is plenty of parking available at the parking garage on 2nd St. in Auburn, near the Transit Center on the map below (click on the map and the click Show Original to enlarge it. The map is also on the Auburn website). Portable restrooms will be located at East Main and the I, J, K, and L Street intersections. There will also be portable restrooms at the ‘Mural Parking Lot’ at the corner of Main and B Street NE. City Hall will also be open for public restroom use, from 9:30am – 2:00pm.
Auburn Veteran's Day Parade Route and meeting locations (click to enlarge)

Additionally, you might want to attend some of the other activities in Auburn during the Veterans Day Observance, including the American Legion Breakfast, the Veterans Day Remembrance Ceremony, the Static Display, Veterans Day Luncheon, the VFW Post #1741 Open House and the Veterans Day Marching Band Competition! Visit the city's website for complete event information and maps –

A complete list of street closures and detour routes in available HERE.

We hope to see you there!