Sunday, February 22, 2015

February 2015 Meeting Notes

We started off the February meeting with Tolling the Boats lost in February, followed by birthday wishes for our members, officer reports, and introductions.

Old and New Business:
Brisbane Submarine Memorial – The US Submarine Memorial at New Farm Wharf in Brisbane, Australia was discussed (you can read more about it at this blog link). The memorial is working to raise additional funds to install three permanently lit flagpoles (one each for the U.S., Australian, UK flags). The USSVI Charitable Foundation – Memorial Fund has donated $1,000 toward the cause. A motion was made, and passed, for the Seattle Base to donate $100 to support this memorial. Several members also volunteered to make additional individual contributions.

VFW Open House – The VFW Post 2995 is holding an open house on Saturday February 28, 2015 2PM to 12AM. John Roberts will be our primary representative for USSVI to explain our organization to visitors and hopefully to unaffiliated submarine veterans as well.

Seattle Base Fund Raising – Fund raising was briefly discussed, most specifically about displaying the boat float in front of Bass Pro Shop in similar fashion to what we do at Cabelas. Doug Abramson and Pat Householder visited the store and secured their agreement to have us set up in a similar fashion to what we do at Cabelas. Now we need to set a time certain to move ahead on this.

February Program:
The February program was a presentation by Jeff Hunnicutt, Director of VA Puget Sound Health Care System Volunteer Affairs. Jeff oversees approximately 1,000 volunteers and explained how the PSHCS functions and the vital role the volunteers play in supporting the veteran clientele. For more information about this program and how you can get involved, visit

Good of the Order:
Tim Floersch reported that the Missing in America project will have a motorcycle procession to Tahoma National Cemetery to provide escort and honors to 29 inurned and unclaimed remains of Veterans recovered from various Funeral Homes in the area.

Steve Shelton reminded us that we have signed up for July 1, 2, and 3rd for the Smokey Point Rest Stop this year. We also have the Cruisin’ Colby event on Memorial Day weekend, which we will be participating in again.

Lois Mezek will be accepting worn out flags to be disposed of on June 14th, which is Flag Day. If you have an old flag that is ready for retirement, please bring it to a meeting.

Binnacle List:
  • Jay K Davis remains in an assisted living facility and is still in rehab from his stroke.
  • New member Bill Lambright (USS Redfish) has entered Hospice care due to advancing cancer.
  • We are checking on the status of Horton Smith, since he has not been in touch with the group recently.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

February 2015 Meeting Reminder

The next Seattle Base meeting is this coming Wednesday, February 18. We will meet at VFW Post #2995 (4330 148th Ave N.E., Redmond WA 98052). Social hour starts at 6 PM with business meeting at 7PM.

Our guest speaker this month is Jeff Honeycutt, Director of Volunteer Services for the Puget Sound Healthcare System. Jeff has served the VA system for over thirty years and has distinguished himself a tireless worker and advocate for vets.
Puget Sound Veterans Facillities

Jeff has the responsibility for managing hundreds of volunteers at the American Lake facility in Tacoma and the Seattle VA hospital.

Jeff will provide an overview of his responsibilities and offer some insights to the system.

I am sure you will enjoy meeting Jeff so be sure to attend if you can.

Dick Gonzalez
Seattle Base Commander

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Submariners’ Walk Heritage Trail

Plaque for the Submariners Walk Heritage Trail
The Submariners Walk Heritage Trail is located at New Farm on the Brisbane River in Brisbane, Australia, where the US Navy's Task Force 42/72 was located during World War 2 is dedicated to the memory of Submariners of all nations who have given their service, and in many cases their lives, to the defense of freedom and the protection of Australia.

The video below provides a short overview of the trail. Once you start the video, you can click the icon in the lower right to expand it to full screen view.

The US Submarine Base was located in New Farm during WW2 in an area which is now public parkland. In cooperation with the Brisbane City Council the Submarine Association Australia Queensland Inc. has established an interpretive walk to tell the community the story of submariners and submarines, their crucial role in defending Australia during all wars and the people who served and those who gave their lives.

The Submariners Walk Heritage Trail was officially opened by Her Excellency the Governor of Queensland, Ms Penelope Wensley AC, on Saturday 23 March 2013.

The community is free to walk along the 600 meters called 'Submariners Walk' and to stop and reflect on the past. On display are a series of plaques and submarine shaped benches that tell the story of submarine events during WW1 to WW2 and to the current day.
Submarine bench
Submariners' Walk is divided up into several sections. As you come off Hasting Street, 'Submariners Walk' honors the 5 American submarines that were lost with all hands from New Farm - USS Triton, USS Amberjack, USS Argonaut, USS Grampus and USS Seawolf. Plaques are placed at these steps that lead down towards the river front.
USS Triton plaque
USS Amberjack and USS Argonaut plaque

USS Seawolf and USS Grampus plaque
Plaque honoring US submarines that operated from Brisbane
The next section honors Australia's first Naval loss in 1914, HMAS AE1, still missing somewhere off Rabaul in Papua New Guinea and HMAS AE2’s sinking in the Dardanelles in 1915 where plaques and a submarine bench tell their stories.
HMAS AE1 plaque
HMAS AE2 plaque
As you meander along the river front the next section honors the X and XE Craft Miniature Submarines partially manned by RAN personnel. A plaque tells their story and there is also a submarine bench.

The next section honors the US Navy's Gato Class submarines and the repair ships USS Fulton, USS Griffin and USS Sperry. These Submarine Tenders were based at New Farm during the war and maintained the submarines. They are commemorated with a plaque and a submarine bench.
Submarine Tender plaque
As you approach the Beeston Street end, where existing plaques for USS Peto and The Engine Room already proudly stand, the Submarine Association Australia Queensland Inc. have placed other plaques and submarine shaped benches telling the story of the Australian Odin Class, J Class, K Class, Oberon Class and Collins Class submarines along with the British 4th Submarine Flotilla. Other plaques honor the Australian Submariners who received Honors and Awards during WW1 and WW2.

The Submariners Prayer plaque remembers those Australian Submariners who are on Eternal Patrol from 1914 to the present day.
Plaque honoring Australian Submariners on Eternal Patrol
By having these stories told it is envisaged that there will be greater public awareness about the important role Submariners played whilst defending our Nation during all conflicts.

You can see more photos of the Submariners' Walk at this link (thanks to Harry Haxton for sharing the images) and a special thank to the Queensland Branch of Submarines Association Australia for sharing information about the trail. .