Monday, March 30, 2015

April 2015 Commander's Corner


The March meeting proved to be constructive and a positive in several ways.

First, we announced an initiative to reach out to members by implementing group events, tours, off-site meetings, etc. Our goal is to have fun, to be inclusive, and show appreciation to our membership.

Next we covered a significant issue that has been discussed during the last few meetings; our diminishing Base treasury and how best to increase the bottom line.

With this in mind we are pleased to announce that in addition to our reliable Smoky Point fundraiser we have some new opportunities. Cabela’s is providing us with an expanded schedule for meet and greet/fundraising events and the Pro Bass Shop in Tacoma has also invited us to participate in the same manner.

These events provide the opportunity to raise much-needed capitol and to continue some of the good work we do such as: contributing to youth organizations, scholarships, and our most important public awareness event, the Tolling the Boats Ceremony in Kirkland.

The bottom line is that now, and more than ever, we need your participation to support Smoky Point, and to man the float at Cabela’s and Pro Bass shops. Without your help we could lose this great opportunity and backing by these fine sponsors.

You can keep track of these important fund raising activities including other events with the Base activities schedule at the top blog.

Dick Gonzalez
Seattle Base USSVI Commander

Shipmate Spotlight: 
Jay and Miri Davis at the 2014 Holiday Luncheon
We are fortunate to enjoy a Base of 125 members stretching from south Puget Sound to the Canadian border. In my brief tenure as Base Commander I have come to know and appreciate an amazing our pool of talented and accomplished members. Why not on occasion randomly select and share a one of our shipmate’s stories with you. We would like to honor our friend and shipmate Jay K. Davis who is a staunch supporter of Seattle Base and what the USSVI stands for.

Jay Davis has enjoyed a long and remarkable career in the US Navy and to this day continues live his life to the fullest; Jay is a true American Patriot.

Jay K. Davis was commissioned as an Ensign, in the US Navy in 1951 at the NROTC program at Oregon State College. He married Miri B. Davis the very next day. Jay was then off to the Korean War. Jay had previously made a summer cruise on USS Charr (SS-328) and he immediately applied for submarine school. Not to be deterred on his sixth application he was finally accepted and attended Submarine school from January to June 1954. His first assignment was on USS Razorback (SS-394) and qualified in Gold 1955.

Jay joined Ronquil (SS-396) in 1956 and then in 1957 was assigned foreign shore duty on the CINCAFMED NATO staff in Malta with his family. Jay returned to San Diego in 1959 and reported to the USS Perch (SS-313) and as the CO put her out of commission in 1960.

Jay then reported to USS Segundo (SS-398) as the XO and deployed on a WestPac cruise, then in 1964 began a new assignment in San Francisco as District Submarine Reserve Units Coordinator.

Next Jay took over command of USS Spinax (SS-489), serving as the commanding officer and for two years that included trips to the Northwest and a very successful WestPac cruise. Jay left Spinax in 1966 to attend the Defense Language Institute in Washington DC for a total immersion (appropriate for a submariner) course in Turkish and spent the next three years as the NATO advisor at the Turkish Naval Headquarters.

Jay’s ambitious career was followed with tours in Washington with SSPO for SSBN planning and then to COMASW before retiring as Commander in 1972.

Jay spent the next twelve years with various entities focusing on Submarine related projects and systems. He sailed the Chesapeake and in the Atlantic before retiring in 1984.

Jay and Miri cruised the entire East Coast in their 42’ ketch MALGRE’ TOUT. Jay and Miri then sailed the Azores, Malta, Portugal, and the Straights of Gibraltar and for the next five years the Mediterranean.

During these wonderful cruises on MALGRE’ TOUT, Jay and Miri had the unique experience of visiting Turkey, where Jay's Turkish language skills came in handy, and seeing friends they made during Jays deployment there.

Finally, after several other destinations, in 1990 they sold their beloved MALGRE’ TOUT in Mallorca, Spain after logging more than 70,000 miles.

Jay’s astounding background includes a total of 39,450 hours deck watch standing on:
  • a 10,000 ton naval ship: Includes 2 years qualified officer of the deck and qualified as special Sea Detail Officer of the deck entering or leaving port. 
  • 2,000 hours on submarines - 8 years deck and coning tower officer, including 2 ½ years as Commanding Officer.
  • 70,000 miles on a 12.5 ton yacht. 
  • Number ocean crossings: Pacific - 10, Atlantic - 1 (by sail)
  • Hosted US and foreign guests and social strata including a Prime Minister. 
  • Currently skippering, maintaining, and teaching in large yachts. Providing cruising instruction for the NW area and provides basic ship handling for new or upgrading boat/ship owners. 

Jay earned his USCG Masters certificate and his company Davis Marine Services Company instructs new boat owners in the “School of the Boat” and how to handle yachts.

Jay and Miri, “crewing together” for 56 years, enjoy and explore the beautiful waters of Puget Sound, Canadian and San Juan Islands, and the Northwest Passage in their 40’ twin-screw power-cruiser HARMONY. As you might guess, she flies the Dolphins with great pride.

In conclusion, Jay is an active and respected member of the Meydenbauer Yacht Club in Bellevue. Thanks to Jay and his sponsorship we enjoyed a memorable holiday lunch last December. We wish him the very best and hope for his speedy and complete recovery fro his recent health issues.

Jay we are proud to call you our shipmate and from your entire membership: Bravo Zulu!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Upcoming Events and Activities


During our meeting on March18th we talked about some fundraising plans and Base outings. Here is some information on a couple upcoming items.

The first 2015 meet and greet/fundraising event at Cabela’s Tulalip store (9810 Quil Ceda Blvd, Tulalip, WA 98271) is happening this coming weekend March 28 and 29.

We will have the Seattle Base float parked at their front door and our exhibit times are from 10 am until 4 pm on both days.
Seattle Base members at a previous Cabela's event
We can use some support from the membership for manning. Ideally we’d like to have six shipmates on each day with some in the morning (9:30 AM to 1 PM) and some afternoon (1PM to 4 PM). But if you can only make it by for an hour or two, that would be great! Whatever your schedule allows is okay, we just want to see you there.

If you can make it, please email Pat Householder so he can get a rough count.

Boeing Restoration Center Tour
Our first 2015 field trip is a visit the Boeing Restoration Center at Paine Field in Everett on Saturday, April 11.

This Restoration Center is like no museum you’ve seen and is staffed by volunteers, primarily former Boeing employees. These men bring years of experience and the skills required to bring back to life almost any type of aircraft imaginable. Some volunteers have logged over 20,000 hours of dedicated service, It is a must see.
Museum of Flight Restoration Center
We plan to meet at Jimmy Jacks restaurant (13428 Hwy 99, Everett, WA 98204) for breakfast at 9am. From Jimmy Jacks we will congregate at the Boeing Restoration Center entrance at 10am (the center is just a couple miles from the restaurant). The cost of breakfast is at your expense and the Restoration Center fee is a whopping $5.00.

We have made arrangements with the Restoration Center to provide a guide for our party.

If you would like to join us for the tour, please contact Dick Gonzalez by email or phone (425-228-6327) so he can get a head count for final arrangements.

The sooner you let him know, the better. We would really like to hear from you, if possible, by the end of March. Let Dick know the number of people in your party (including yourself). Of course exceptions will be made if you need to decide later than the end of month.

We hope to see you at one or both of these events!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

March 2015 Meeting Notes

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

Because of the speaker for tonight’s meeting we tried to move quickly through the old and new business portions of the meeting.

Old and New Business: 
Seattle Base Fundraising Events and Ideas – Doug Abramson and Pat Householder are working with Cabela’s Tulalip store to organize some meet and greet/fundraising opportunities. The first will be on March 28/29 (see a separate blog post for more information), followed up by events on May 17 and sometime in August. The base float will be at the event and we will be looking for volunteers to help out.

Doug and Pat are also looking at a similar meet and greet event at the Bass Pro Shop in Tacoma. Stay tuned for more on this.

Seattle Base is also planning a raffle for a three-dimensional cutaway submarine model. We have had similar raffles in 2011. Tickets will be $5 each or 6 for $20 and the raffle drawing will be at the end of June (corrected from original post on March 31). The winner will have their choice of boats, including Balao, Tench, GUPPY III, Sturgeon, Los Angeles, and Lafayette class submarines.
A GUPPY III cutaway

Seattle Base Member Activities Ideas – We are looking into planning several base activities for the year. First up, we are looking at a tour of the Museum of Flight Restoration Center in Everett with a pre-tour breakfast at Jimmy Jacks on Saturday, April 11. Watch for an email and separate blog post for more information on this.

We would like to take a group trip to Portland to see the submarine Blueback at Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. We are looking at a trip in late July or early September. If you would be interested in this, be sure to let one of the Base Officers know.

Also, as mentioned at a previous meeting, we are also looking at alternative dates and locations for our monthly business meetings.

March Program:
Our March program was by World War II Army Air Corps veteran and French Legion of Honor recipient JW Roundhill. JW started out by reminding us of some of the similarities between submarines and airplanes, such as small, tight-knit crews and that even when part of a larger organization, you are mostly on your own. He then went on to talk about his life and experiences during World War II.
JW Roundhill
JW was born to English parents in Seattle in 1923, but when he was 10 years old the family returned to England. JW began working in an RAF factory at 16 and later transferred to the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1943. He initially worked as a liaison delivering reconnaissance photos taken by operatives in France to the 8th Air Force headquarters, but he wanted to be more involved in the war effort. So he transferred to the 379 Bomb Group as an aircraft identification instructor, but he soon volunteered to act as a replacement gunner for the B-17 bombers. As a replacement gunner, JW would be assigned to a bomber that was missing a gunner, so he didn’t spend too much time with a single crew or plane. His first mission was on February 20, 1944. His fifth mission was the first daylight raid on Berlin by American bombers on March 6, 1944. JW went on to complete 32 missions and on later missions he acted as the bomb toggler to release bombs from his plane.
A map showing the location of JW's 32 missions
In addition to stories about his actions during World War II, JW told us about a trip he had taken to France long after the war. He recounted a story about staying in Paris and meeting up with members of the French Resistance. On the same trip he had the chance to visit several of the cities that were targets of bombing missions he was on, including one that was bombed on D-Day. He talked about always wondering what happened to the target towns and how he was happy to have gotten the opportunity to see them and talk with the people there.

It is always great to hear stories from our World War II veterans and we appreciate and salute their service. After the presentation, Base Commander Dick Gonzalez presented JW with a copy of Don Ulmer's latest book and a certificate of appreciation from Seattle Base.
Base Commander Dick Gonzalez presents JW Roundhill with a book and certificate
There was also cake to share.

JW helps cut the cake
In support of the Army Air Corps, base member Patti Lynn also brought along a shadow box with medals her father earned during World War II.
Medals earned by Patti Lynn's father

Good of the Order: 

Reminder of upcoming events – Seattle Base has signed up for covering the Smokey Point Rest Stop on July 1, 2, and 3. Steve Shelton will have sign-up sheets to cover shifts soon. Also, be sure to mark August 15 on your calendars for the annual Tolling the Boats memorial ceremony.

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: Pierre Bruneau is back from his rehab and we hope to see him at our meeting soon.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

March 2015 Meeting Reminder

The next Seattle Base meeting is this coming Wednesday, March 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 March meeting will feature an outstanding speaker and member of our Greatest Generation, J.W. Roundhill. He will provide us with a unique perspective to the WWII conflict as he lived it.
379 Bomb Group patch
Here is a little taste of his story; J.W Roundhill was born to English parents in the US, but moved back to England in 1939. At the age of 16 J. W. began working at a factory producing aircraft for His Majesty's Royal Air Force. That was the beginning of a long and fascinating story, culminating with a completion of 32 missions over Europe and Germany in the US Army Air Corps 379 Bomb Group. J. W. also earned the highest honor given to a citizen by the President of France, the Order of the Legion of Honor.

J. W. Roundhill is a true American Patriot and his amazing history is too long to tell here, but if you would like to hear him speak make sure you attend on the 18th.

Dick Gonzalez
Seattle Base Commander

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Eternal Patrol: William Lambright

Seattle Base member William L "Bill" Lambright of Everett WA slipped his lines at the pier of life and departed on Eternal Patrol on March 4, 2015.
Bill served aboard USS Redfish (SS-395) 1958-1959 and qualified in 1959 [NAV ET]. He also served aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt (SSBN-600) in 1959-1961.

Bill leaves his wife Judy to mourn his passing. A sailor to the end, Bill made arrangements to be buried in his navy jumper, wearing dolphins, rate and Redfish insignia. Hand Salute, shipmate!

If you can, please make arrangements to attend his committal service at Tahoma National Cemetery near Seattle on Monday, March 9 at 9:30 AM. Sub vests or other identifying marks to show you are a Submariner brother are recommended.

Tahoma National Cemetery
18600 Southeast 240th Street
Kent, WA 98042-4868

Sailor, Rest Your Oar

Sunday, March 1, 2015

March - April Dolphin Brotherhood Posted

The March – April issue of the Dolphin Brotherhood has been posted to the Seattle Base website.

January and February were slow months at Seattle Base, so this issue has submarine related articles from the past, present, and future of the U.S submarine force, and articles about foreign submarines, along with the usual base news.
Cmdr. Wes Bringham shows off Adm. O’Kane’s personal cribbage board on USS Bremerton. Traditionally the cribbage board is carried by the oldest submarine in the fleet. You can read more about USS Bremerton's visit to its namesake city in the newsletter (photo by Kitsap Sun)
Hardcopies of the newsletter will go out this week. I hope you all enjoy it.

As a reminder, we’ve introduced a way for you to get copies of the Dolphin Brotherhood sent directly to your email inbox. If you would like to get the PDF, full-color, version of the newsletter by email, just send a message to the email address: with the subject “Subscribe” and include your name in the message. Alternatively, you can just speak with me (Dave Schueler) at a base meeting or event.

As always, don't forget to check back hers on the blog 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