Thursday, September 29, 2016

September 2016 Meeting Notes

We began the September meeting with Tolling the Boats lost in August and September, followed by birthday wishes for our members, introductions, and the officer reports.

Old and New Business 
Smokey Point Event - Steve Shelton gave us a short recap of the event and let us know we received over $700 in donations during the event. You can see some photos from the event at this blog post.

Black Diamond Labor Day Parade – Keith Watson gave us a recap of the Black Diamond parade (you can see a few photos here) and let us know the float has a new diving alarm.

Salmon for Soldiers Thanks – Earl Greening read a Thank You letter from the Salmon for Soldiers event and told us all about the dinner and giveaways they had.

USSVI National Convention – Ric Hedman provided a quick overview of the USSVI National Convention in Reno.

Base Officers – We reminded that Seattle Base still needs someone to step forward for the Sr. Vice Commander position, the Tolling ceremony coordinator, and Kaps for Kids coordinator. John Roberts was holding all these positions, but is moving to Texas. These are important positions and you will not only have support from current base officers, but also from past base officers and other members.

Auburn Veterans Day Parade – The Auburn parade will be on Saturday, November 5. We are working on nominating a World War II veteran as the parade Grand Marshall and Western District 4 Commander Al Durkee has been invited to ride in the Commander’s Car for the parade. As such the Submarine Veterans units will be at the front of the parade. It will be a crowded event, so please plan to arrive at the staging point (still to be announced) by 10 AM. The parade will kick off at 11 AM sharp. There is free parking on the day of the parade in the Transit Center Garage just off "A" street at the west end of town. We will have more information about the parade as we get closer to the event.

Holland Club Inductions – This year Seattle Base added four new members to the Holland Club. Al Smith, Roy Rasmussen, Tim Floersch, and Carol Burlingame. Al was the only inductee in attendance and received his patch and certificate in person. The other inductees will get their patches and certificates by mail.
Al Smith receives his Holland Club patch and certificate from Keith Watson
September Program 
Steve Vermillion talking about his medevac experience during the Vietnam War
Our speaker for September was Steve Vermillion. Steve also brought along Tom, one of the crew chiefs from his service time. Steve was the aircraft commander of an unarmed Dustoff medical evacuation helicopter in Vietnam from January 1969 to January 1970. He has 1,127 hours of combat time with 1,450 missions that saved 2,210 Soldiers.

Steve began the presentation covering the history of medevac helicopters, starting with Korea and moving to Vietnam. He talked about the lessons learned from early efforts and how those lessons set the stage for helicopter evacuation in Vietnam. He then talked about the early Aeromedical work in Vietnam, starting in 1964, going up to when he arrived at his base in Na Trang, Vietnam.

Steve talked about the conditions at his base, showing photos of the facilities, and the different mission they went on. Steve talked about how the average mission lasted around 55 minutes from take-off to return to base. He talked about the normal landing missions, where the helicopter landed and loaded casualties, and hoist missions, where the helicopter had to hover and raise casualties using a winch. The hoist missions were the most dangerous for the helicopter and crew due to the chance of overheating the engine and because they were exposed to potential enemy fire.

After talking through mission basics, Steve played a recording from one of his missions. It was night hoist mission in an area where the enemy presence was unknown. It was really interesting to hear the radio calls and periodically Steve would stop the recording and explain what was happening.
During Vietnam War the Dustoff medical evacuation team evacuated over 900,000 patients; over 3,000 crewmen flew Dustoff missions and approximately one-third of those crewmen becoming casualties themselves. It was an interesting program on an aspect of the Vietnam War that you don’t often hear about.
Tom and Steve receive certificates from Base Commander Al Smith

Saturday, September 17, 2016

September 2016 Meeting Reminder

The next Seattle Base meeting is this coming Wednesday, September 21, 2016. 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 7 PM.

It has been a couple months since our last meeting, so we will cover what has happened since the last meeting and talk about upcoming events.

Our guest speaker for the September meeting will be Steve Vermillion. Steve was the aircraft commander of an unarmed Dustoff medical evacuation helicopter in Vietnam during 1969. He has 1127 hours of combat time with 1450 missions that saved 2210 Soldiers.
Steve Vermillion with his helicopter "Hover Lover" in 1969

We hope to see you there!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Black Diamond Parade Photos

Here are a few photos from last week's Black Diamond Labor Day parade.
Thanks to everyone that turned out for the event!
Seattle Base SubVets
The float all ready to go
Lining up for the parade
Silent Service Motorcycle Club following the float

Thursday, September 1, 2016

September - October 2016 Dolphin Brotherhood Posted

The September – October issue of the Dolphin Brotherhood has been posted to the Seattle Base website.

This issue has recaps of the Seattle Base July events, a short Thank You article for John Roberts (our departing Sr. Vice Commander, who is moving to Austin), along with the usual submarine related articles.

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

Don't forget about the Black Diamond Labor Days event this weekend and the parade on Monday.

As always, remember 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