Thursday, March 31, 2016

Eternal Patrol: Gene Posel

Seattle Base Member Gene Posel departed on Eternal Patrol on March 27, 2016.
Gene was a long-time member of Seattle Base, but had been unable to attend meetings due to a back injury. Gene entered the Navy in 1953, going through boot camp in Great Lakes IL and sub school at Hunter's Point. Gene qualified in submarines on the USS Redfish (SS-395) in 1955 and was a END3(SS) when he left the Navy in 1957.

The date for funeral service has not been set yet. Gene’s family will let us know when the date, time, and location is set. Please remember Gene’s family in your thoughts and prayers.

Sailor, Rest Your Oar.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

March 2016 Meeting Notes

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

Old and New Business 
2016 Seattle Base Calendar – We are pulling together all the important dates for the 2016 Seattle Base Calendar. We have a few dates already locked in, including the Kirkland Independence Day parade on July 4, the Tolling the Boats ceremony on August 20, and the Holiday Luncheon on December 10. If you have any events, or even suggestions for event, you would like to have added to the calendar, please contact Pat Householder.

Base Officers – As many of you know, Seattle Base has been having some issues filling officer positions, especially at the upper-levels. During the March meeting Al Smith was nominated to and voted on for the position of Base Commander. Al will take over Base Commander duties at the April meeting.
Al Smith addresses the meeting after being elected
Additionally, Kerry Ryan was appointed to the position of Membership Committee Chairman. Kerry will be working on ways to improve meeting attendance and recruitment.
Dick Gonzalez (center) swearing in Kerry (left) and Al (right)
Even with these two additions, Seattle Base still needs someone to step forward for the Sr. Vice Commander position and a Tolling ceremony coordinator. These are important positions and you will not have support from current base officers, but also past base officers and many other members.

Bangor Tour – Dick Gonzalez is working on organizing a tour of Bangor submarine base, Trident Training Facility, and a submarine (based on submarine availability). The tour is planned for June 16, 2016, but screening information must be provided by May 18. The tour will be limited to around 30 people and there is a small fee for the tour and lunch. We will be posting more information about the tour shortly.

VFW Open House – VFW Post 2995 is holding an open house on Saturday, April 2. Come by and learn how the VFW and veteran organizations support and protect the rights of every veteran and their families. Stay for some great food, fun, and entertainment (click on the image below for a larger view of the flyer).

Undersea Museum Looking to Interview SSBN Submariners – The U.S. Naval Undersea Museum in Keyport is looking for submariners who served aboard ballistic missile submarines to help with a new exhibit they're developing. The exhibit tells the story of the ballistic missile program while tying in larger Cold War themes and history. To ensure a personal, human component in an exhibit that is very technology-heavy, the exhibit will include video interviews with submariners who served on SSBNs. If you are interested and willing to be interviewed, please contact the museum's curator, Mary Ryan, at or (360) 396-5517.

March Program 
The March program was a presentation by Keith Watson on World War 2 Axis technology that was incorporated into America post-war submarine designs. He started out talking about the Japanese submarines and technology, including the giant I-400 class submarines and the Kaiten min-subs. The U.S Navy studied these, along with other Japanese submarine technology, but wasn’t really interested any of it. Next Keith talked about the German technology. This included the Type XXI and Type XXIII submarines, the snorkel, improved batteries, and improved passive sonar. Keith talked about how the Soviets also received this technology and began incorporating it into their submarines, which led to the development of the Zulu, Whiskey, and Romeo class submarines. With a new “Cold War” beginning, the U.S. Navy wanted to incorporate as much of the advanced technology into the submarine force. Keith talked about all the test the Navy carried out on the Type XXI submarines to find out what worked, what didn’t work too well, and what could be improved. This information led to the GUPPY (Greater Underwater Propulsion Program) and the Tang class submarine. The GUPPY program saw the streamlining of Gato, Balao, and Tench class submarines and the incorporation of snorkels and improved batteries. The lessons learned from the Type XXI subs were also incorporated into the hull designs of the Nautilus and Skate class submarines. It was an interesting program discussing the origins of some of the submarine advancements of the 1950s and 60s.

Binnacle List
  • Judy Watson (Keith Watson’s wife) injured her wrist and was in a cast at the meeting. 
  • Av Harmon (Schell Harmon's wife) is moving into an assisted living facility. 
  • Lois Mezek is having shoulder surgery on May 5.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

March 2016 Meeting Reminder


We are pleased to announce resumption of our regular meetings and look forward to your attendance at the next Seattle Base meeting is this coming Wednesday, March 16, 2016. We will meet at VFW Post #2995 (4330 148th Ave N.E., Redmond WA 98052). Social hour starts at 6PM with business meeting at 7PM.

We have a lot of information to share with you, including nomination of new officers and some Base activities planned for this year.

We are most pleased our regular speaker Keith Watson will offer what we might describe as a “mystery.” Keith’s presentation focuses on the US Submarine Service wake-up call in 1946.

You won’t want to miss this one, so join us.

Dick Gonzalez
Seattle USSVI Base Cdr.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

March - April 2016 Dolphin Brotherhood Posted

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

It was a slow couple of months at Seattle Base, so this issue only has general announcements along with the usual submarine related articles. There is an interesting graphic showing submarines in the western Pacific by country on page 7, be sure to check it out.

Hardcopies of the newsletter are in the mail. I hope you all enjoy it.

Also, the christening ceremony for the submarine Washington will be at 8:00 AM PST Saturday, March 5, 2016 at Newport News Shipbuilding. Washington (SSN-787) is the first ship since World War II, and the only submarine, to be named after the State of Washington. The Christening Ceremony will be streamed live on the Washington Christening website

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