Wednesday, October 31, 2012

November - December Newsletter Posted

The November - December issue of the Dolphin Brotherhood has been posted to the Seattle Base website.

This issue has information about the Auburn Veteran's Day parade, a 2012 USSVI Convention report from Pat Householder, and the registration form for this year's Joint SubVets WWII and USSVI Holiday Luncheon, along with the usual base news, upcoming events, and other submarine related articles.

You can also download a copy of the Holiday Luncheon registration form by clicking this link

Hardcopies of the newsletter will go out shortly. I hope you all enjoy it.

As always, don't forget to check back here 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

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Binnacle List: Robert Harris

Robert, Bob, Harris a Seattle Base Plankowner and Holland Club member, has been admitted to the Emerald Hills Rehabilitation & Skilled Nursing Home in Lynnwood.

He has been diagnosed with Parkinsons, Alzheimers, and Cancer (melanoma that started in his arm, moved to his arm pits, and he now has tumors on each hip and pituitary gland.).

Bob's family has been advised he has from 4 to 6 months left.

Please keep Bob and his Family in your thoughts and prayers. If you would like to send Bob a card, visit him or call, send me an email and I will send you the information.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Submarines in History

On October 26, 1963,the first submerged launching of the Navy’s A-3 Polaris Missile was successfully made by the gold crew of the USS Andrew Jackson (SSBN-619), from a point some 30 miles off Cape Canaveral, Florida. A practice warhead was hurled over 2,000 miles down the Atlantic Missile Range to land on target. The A-3 Missile, with a range of 2,500 nautical miles, added 1,000 miles to the reach of the Polaris missile system.

As we think about the events of the Cuban Missile Crisis from 50 years ago, we would be remiss if we didn't remember the Soviet submarines involved in that action. Recent the PBS program Secrets of the Dead aired a program on one of these submarines.

Set over four hours on October 27, 1962, during the tensest moments of the Cuban Missile Crisis, this program tells the powerful story of Vasili Arkhipov and Soviet submarine B-59. With most of the action set in a claustrophobic submarine running out of air, “The Man Who Saved the World” combines tense drama with eyewitness accounts and expert testimony about some of the most critical events in the Cold War. You can click on the Full Screen icon in the lower right corner to expand the video. If the embedded video isn't working, go to this link to watch the program.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

October Meeting Notes

We started the meeting with the Tolling of the Boats for October, birthday wishes for our members, introductions and officer reports. Since this is the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis, we were asked to say a little about where we were in October 1962 when introducing ourselves. It was pretty interesting to hear about what we were doing 50 years ago.

Then Western Region Director John Mansfield made a couple presentations for the USSVI Memorial Plaque Program. Jr. Vice Commander Tim Floersch was presented with a plaque for his donation to the program and Seattle Base received a 14" x 14" canvas reproduction of the plaque.
Base Commander Doug Abramson accepts the canvas version of the plaque from Western Region Director John Mansfield
John Mansfield presents Tim Floersch with his appreciation plaque

Important November Meeting Change - Because the November meeting was scheduled for the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, we have shifted the meeting to the second Wednesday of the month, November 14. Be sure to mark this change on your calendar.

Membership Dues - If you are on the annual membership plan, it is time to look at paying your dues. Please contact Jim Harper to pay your dues or if you have questions.

Seattle Base Elections - Base elections are coming up in January. Our base needs men like you to stand for the necessary positions to keep the base running, and we want to invite you to throw your name in the ring for one of the Base Officer positions. Even if you aren’t ready to be a Base Officer, you can still help out as one of the committee chairs or appointed officers for the base. Committee chairs and appointed officers are really needed to handle the necessary base functions that make our base valuable to us all. Please consider stepping up for an officer or committee position.

Kaps4Kids on Tacoma TV - Western Region Director John Mansfield was on Tacoma TV on Thursday October 18 explaining the USSVI Kaps4Kids program. The show segment is embedded below (if it doesn't work, you can go to this link.)

2013 Calendars - The USSVI 2013 calendars are available. The calendar, titled "The Victors", honors the World War II U.S. submariners and their boats. You get your copy from the Seattle Base ship's store or you can order your copy directly from the USSVI National Storekeeper.

Upcoming Events
Auburn Veterans Day Parade – The parade is scheduled for Saturday, November 10 at 11:00. we will have our base float at the parade. You can meet us near the transit center parking garage at 10:00 or at the staging area near L St. and Main St. at 10:30. The next issue of the newsletter will have more information and a map.

Veterans Day at Tahoma National Cemetery - The annual Veterans Day ceremony will be on Sunday November 11.

Holiday Luncheon - We will have our annual Holiday Luncheon at the Seattle Yacht Club on Saturday, December 15. Be sure to mark the date on your calendar. It is always a fun time and this will probably be the last year we will be at the Seattle Yacht Club. The registration form will be in the next issue of the newsletter or you can download a copy by clicking this link.

October Presentation 
Col (ret.) Dick Iversen talking with Seattle Base.
This month's presentation was by retired USAF Colonel Dick Iversen. Dick flew a number of different aircraft for the USAF, including the F-4 Phantom, B-52, B-1, and F-111 bombers, along with AC-119K gunships in Vietnam.
A painting of an AC-199K in action (from the AC-199 Gunships website)
He has also been involved in the program to re-engine the remaining B-52H aircraft still in the USAF inventory. Dick started off his presentation with a discussion about the re-engine project, then showed a short video on the AC-119K and then talked about his own experiences flying the AC-119K over southeast Asia. Dick shared some really interesting stories about his own career and his missions over Vietnam. It was a great presentation on one of the lesser known aspects of the Vietnam War.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

October Meeting Reminder

The next Seattle Base meeting is this coming Wednesday, October 17, 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.
This month's program is by retired Air Force Colonel Dick "Iver" Iversen. He will give us a quick update on repowering B-52 bombers and then will show his program on flying gunships in Vietnam. I have seen this and it is very, very good. Dick also flew Air Force One for President Clinton.
Additionally, Western Region Director John Mansfield will present Seattle Base with a Letter of Appreciation from National Commander Mike Bircumshaw for the $559 in donations made by our base and base members to the USSVI Naval Memorial Plaque program. The base will also receive a framed 14"x14" canvas reproduction of the plaque to be dedicated at the Navy Memorial in Washington DC in 2014. Our own Tim Floersch will receive a letter and smaller plaque for his $150 donation.

Please come and enjoy our program and awards.

Doug Abramson
Base Commander, USSVI Seattle Base

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Navy Birthday Celebration Reminder

VFW Post 2995, the post where we hold our monthly meetings, is planning a dinner to celebrate the Navy's Birthday on October 13 and they have invited us to join them.

The dinner lasts from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM and costs $12 per person. The dinner menu is ham, mashed potatoes, mixed vegetables, and cake for desert. Be prepared to sing Anchors Aweigh!

If you are interested in attending, please contact the VFW post or email Karl 'Dutch' Krompholz know so he can let them know. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

2012 USSVI Convention Report

Here is a short update on the 2012 USSVI National Convention and the closing of the Submarine Veterans of World War II as a national organization. Thanks to Pat Householder for providing the reports and John Carcioppolo for the photos.

2012 National Convention in Norfolk a Rousing Success 
Norfolk Convention patch

Close to 1,200 submariners of all eras and their mates attended the 2012 Convention in Norfolk this year. There was a moving “Tolling the Boats ceremony on the fantail of the Battleship Wisconsin, as well as submarine and ashore facility tours, dinner cruises, trips to Historic Williamsburg, and a lot of shipmate to shipmate yarn spinning and sharing sea stories in the hospitality room adjacent to the Vendor spaces.
Tolling ceremony on the battleship Wisconsin
Sea Stories in the Hospitality Room
Bittersweet was the final meetings and closure of the Submarine Veterans of World War II, but to the credit of the 62 SVWWII members in attendance, they went out with style, wit and grace.

The new USSVI officers were announced at the Business Meeting and were then duly sworn by Rich Nelson, National Parliamentarian.
USSVI Officers being sworn in
Nat Cdr: Michael Bircumshaw, NSVC Carl Schmidt, NJVC Al Singleman, Nat Sec Tom Conlon, Nat Treas Richard McPherson, Immed Past NC Pat Householder, Region Directors Mike Naughton (NE), Dick Kanning (SE), Wayne Standerfer (Central), John Mansfield (West) and Vic Van Horn, Natl Dist Cdr of the year. Outgoing officers Jon Jaques, John Markiewicz, Paul Orstad, Bill Andrea, Jim Dunn and George Petershaugen were recognized and thanked for their service to USSVI.

End of an era - Submarine Veterans of WWII disbands 

The National SVWWII organization, established in 1955 to honor WWII SubVets and remember the submarine men lost in WWII, formally closed its national organization at the joint USSVI-SVWWII Convention in Norfolk this year.
Walter "Gus" Kraus at the closing ceremony
Walter "Gus" Kraus, final President of SVWWII, said the WWII sub veterans considered themselves a unique group and that uniqueness forged a strong bond. The end of the organization, he said, also represents the "end of an era where we were able to get together and blow our own horn, remembering the circumstances under which we fought."

"There are memorials all over this country they've built," said retired Vice Adm. Al Konetzni, who has long been close with the World War II veterans even though he is not of that era. "These guys started in 1955 doing this for their buddies, so they would not be forgotten. It's a wonderful story of self-image. They said, 'Hey, we're going to do it, and we will do it.'"

"They will never be forgotten, ever, ever, ever," said Konetzni, a former deputy commander of U.S. Fleet Forces Command and the U.S. Atlantic Fleet. "They gave us our traditions and our spirit. They were our leaders." (Shown here in picture with the Australian Naval Attaché and Ret ADM Mark Kenny.

Of the remaining 2,146 WWII members, due to the passage of time and the ravages of age, only 62 were able to attend. 1,102 of these WWII men are also members of USSVI. Each of the SVWWII Chapters has the option to continue meeting as a local 'sub club' and all World War II Submariners are always welcome to attend USSVI meetings in their area.

The photos below show the WWII Subvets who attended the 2012 Closing Ceremony for SVWWII in Norfolk, VA.