Friday, April 27, 2012

April Meeting Notes

We started the April meeting with the reading the Tolling of the Boats for April, a special remembrance of Tom Rice, who departed on Eternal Patrol on April 10, followed by birthday wishes for our members.

We went through the introductions, Officer Reports, and old business quickly, so that we could get to the Holland Club Inductions and evening program.
Holland Club Inductions
This year we inducted eight members into the Holland Club.
Base Commander Doug Abramson introduces the 2012 Holland Club inductees
This year's inductees that were present at the meeting were: David Baylor - USS Redfish (SS-395), Mike Bennett - USS Perch (SS-313), Pat Householder - USS Chopper (SS-342), Tom Oliver - USS Diablo (SS-479), and Sam Ronnie - USS Harder (SS-568).

As each man was presented with his certificate and patch, he was asked to recount some memories from his first boat and qualifications. It was fun to hear the old stories and share in their remembrances.
David Baylor remembers qualifying on Redfish
Mike Bennett talks about going into the Navy
Pat Householder remembers his first boat
Tom Oliver recounts his qualification remembrances
Sam Ronnie receives his Holland Club certificate (the photo of him remembering his qualifications didn't turn out)
Also inducted, but not at the meeting: Wayne Barger - USS Rasher (SS-269), Jerry Jonason - USS Spinax (SS-489), Toby Warson - USS Patrick Henry (SSBN-599)

Upcoming Events 
Bremerton Armed Forces Day Parade - The 64th annual Bremerton Armed Forces Day parade will be held on Saturday, May 19. Seattle Base is planning on participating in the parade with our float. We should have more details about when and where to meet soon.

Smokey Point Rest Stop Event - This year the Base drew July 9 and 11, a mid-week timeslot, for manning the coffee booth at the Smokey Point rest stop. We will be manning the coffee booth starting around 1:00 pm on the 9th and go until mid-day on the 11th. Once again, Steve Shelton will be heading up the effort to man the booth. He will have more information and a sign-up sheet at future meetings.

Lockwood Chapter Picnic - The Submarine Veterans of World War II Lockwood Chapter is having a picnic at VFW Post 2995 on Wednesday August 8 from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Everyone is invited to attend.

Navy Birthday at VFW Post - VFW Post 2995 is planning on having a dinner to celebrate the Navy's Birthday on October 13 and they have invited us to join them. We will have more information about event as it gets closer.

April Program 
In honor of the establishment of the U.S. Navy submarine force, Ric Hedman gave a presentation on John Holland and the Navy's first submarine USS Holland. Ric covered the early history of the Holland Company and some of John Holland's early submarine designs, which led to the building of the USS Holland. Ric talked about the construction of the submarine and the early sea trails. He also covered the later history of USS Holland up to it scrapping in 1913 and talked about the absorption of the Holland Company into the Electric Boat Company. Throughout the program Ric show pictures of the submarine and its designer/builder, all of which can be seen on the Through the Looking Glass potion of Ric's PigBoats.Com website. It was an enjoyable presentation with lots of good information and pictures.

Binnacle List 

Chris Opple, Bob Opple's wife, has been diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer and is now undergoing chemotherapy.

Don Ulmer had shoulder replacement and, after arriving home, feel down the stairs and had spent some time in the hospital. He is now recovering at home.

Bruce Fisher suffered ventricular fibrillation in March and had a defibrillator inserted in his chest. He is recovery from that while caring for his wife Linda, who is suffering from a terminal heart condition.

Connie Abramson's, Doug's wife, has been diagnosed with lung scarring and carries oxygen for when she has trouble breathing.

Karl 'Dutch' Krompholz is recovering from knee replacement surgery and his grandson Colby Peltz is recovering from spinal fusion surgery.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

April Meeting Reminder


We will be having the next Seattle Base meeting this coming Wednesday, April 18, at VFW Post #2995 (4330 148th Ave N.E., Redmond WA 98052). Social hour starts at 6 PM with business meeting at 7PM. Don't forget to review the previous meeting minutes, you can find them here on the blog or on the Seattle Base website, just click the Minutes button on the left.
A postcard image of USS Holland (SS-1)
On tap is the induction of new Holland Club members and a program by Ric Hedman on John Holland and his submarine. We will have a short meeting to allow for our great program.

I hope to see a good turnout for this important event.

Doug Abramson
Commander, Seattle Base USSVI

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Eternal Patrol: Tom Rice

Tom Rice at the 2011 Tolling of the Boats Ceremony
Thomas G Rice, 96, of Everett Washington departed on Eternal Patrol on April 10, 2012. Tom was a member of the Holland Club, USSVI Seattle Base and SVWWII Lockwood Chapter. Tom joined the USN in 1934 and earned his dolphins aboard USS S-23 in 1935. He served aboard nine submarines in a career that ran 31 years long and retired a mustang LCDR.

In terms of longevity of qualification, Tom was tied for second place within USSVI, the shipmate in first place being Frank Kimball (1932) of USSVI Hawkbill Base. Charlie Odom of SVWWII, USSVI Smoky Mountain and Volunteer Bases (1935) remains in second place for longevity.

Hand Salute, Shipmate! You were a kind and gentle man, and a pioneer of the submarine force. You will be missed, shipmate, and we will keep your memory alive.

Sailor, Rest Your Oar. 

Monday, April 9, 2012

U.S. Submarine Force Birthday and Wear Your Dolphins to Work Day

Wednesday April 11 is the 212th birthday of the U.S submarine force, it is also "Wear Your Dolphins to Work Day." A day on which we encourage every submarine qualified individual to proudly wear their dolphins on their civilian shirt while at work. The goal is to raise awareness on the service you provided.

This idea was the brainchild of "Dennis", a retired COB who served on boomers. You can read his story and rationale on his original site of this same domain, head on over to the Wayback Machine and read his story. Here's a snippet from his old web site that explains the rationale behind the initiative...

If we can have a "take your daughter to work day", why not have a "Wear your Dolphins to work day"? Earning Dolphins must be at least as hard a having a baby, right? So why are we hiding our achievement?" We were in the "Silent Service", not the "Hide it like we are ashamed Service". I know some sea lawyer is thinking that we aren't supposed to wear uniform insignia with civvies, but we're SUBMARINERS! We wore beards when the rest of the Navy was clean shaven! We wore Nikes as uniform of the day at sea. We hit golf balls off the bow at the North Pole! We wore civilian clothes on watch for half-way day. We have friends with names like "Warhead"! If we can take pictures from inside Russian harbors, we can damn well wear our fish with civvies one day a year. Why not do it to celebrate the Submariner Force Birthday, April 11th?

I hope you'll join me in wearing your Dolphins on Wednesday.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

USSVI Virtual Submarine Museum

USSVI has established an online "virtual" submarine museum with photos of submarines and submarine memorabilia. There are also links to submarine related videos on the front page. 

The virtual museum is on Facebook, but you don't have to belong to Facebook to go to the museum and view the photos and links posted there (you only need a Facebook account if you want to post something to the museum page).

Just click the USSVI Virtual Museum link here to go to the front page (I've also added a link under the Links section on the right side of the page). You can also go directly to the Photos section.

Be sure to check back often, since the photos and links get updated regularly.

Binnacle List Update: Don Ulmer

Editor's Note: Earlier this week Carol Ulmer provided a short update on Don's condition. Thanks to all that contacted Don and Carol with good wishes.

Don at the 2011 Tolling of the Boats Ceremony

Don's had a rough couple of weeks and I want to bring you up to date on his condition and to explain why he is incommunicado.

He had a serious fall down a flight of stairs in our home on March 22nd and spent 5 days in ICU, then transferred to CCU for another 3 days. We are very thankful for the excellent medical care Don received while at Overlake Hospital.

Last Saturday (March 31) he was discharged and moved to a rehab/care facility in Bellevue where the focus will be on physical and occupational therapy to restore him to full mobility. He is inspired because he must walk Monica down the aisle in June!

Thank you for all the good wishes, emails, cards, and phone calls.

Will keep you posted.