Sunday, November 12, 2017

November 2017 Meeting Reminder

The next Seattle Base meeting is this coming Wednesday, November 15, 2017. 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.

This is the last business meeting of 2017 and will be a good chance to turn in your registration form for our annual Holiday Luncheon, which will be at the Cascade Club at Trilogy at Redmond Ridge on Sunday, December 10. The registration form for the event can be found at this link and it is included in the most recent newsletter. Remember, the number of spaces available will be only 65 people, so you’ll want to reserve your place as soon as you can.
It will also be a good time to pick up your 2018 USSVI calendar. This year’s calendar features submarines of the Pacific Fleet and includes some great photos of submarines in the Puget Sound area. Calendars are available from the Base Storekeeper for $10.95. Be sure to get your copy before they are gone.

Finally, it is time for annual members to renew their membership. If you haven't already taken care of this, then the coming meeting would be great time to care of it.

2017 Auburn Veterans Day Parade Photos

It was a cool, cloudy Saturday for the 52nd annual Auburn Veterans Day Parade. The rain showers came and went, but the rain stopped once the parade was ready to start.
Submarine Veteran Group photo
The crowd was enthusiastic as ever and everyone seemed to enjoy the parade. Our turnout was a little lighter than normal, with members from Seattle Base, Bremerton Base, and Silent Service Motorcycle Club showing up. Even with the lighter turnout, it was a good time and great to see all the veterans out for the parade.

Here are some photos from the event.
We had a little bit of a walk to get to the staging area
There was time for pre-parade chatter
We were joined by Color Guard members from Bangor Submarine Base
Silent Service Motorcycle Club
We took some time to talk with the other veterans
And took some time to tell a few sea stories


WWII SubVet Paul Christofferson had flyers to hand out that talked about the new submarine USS Washington
The parade kicked off with a C-17 flyover
The leading Color Guard for the parade
Bremerton Base getting ready to move out
Seattle Base ready to go
Seattle Base float on the move
Doug Abrams brought along his pickup
A view of the Bonefish float from inside the parade
Looking back the the Seattle float
Auburn's Thank You Veterans banner
Seattle Base member, and former USSVI National Commander, says "Thanks for coming out and we hope to see you next year!"


Sunday, November 5, 2017

2017 Auburn Veterans Day Parade Reminder

The Auburn Veterans Day parade is on Saturday, November 11. This year Seattle Base, Bremerton Base, and the Silent Service Motorcycle Club will be participating in the parade. We will meet near the junction of Main and K Streets in Auburn. Please arrive between 10 – 10:30. The parade will start at 11:00.
Active duty submariners at the 2016 Auburn parade
There is free parking in the transit garage by the train depot at A Street and 2nd Street. You can see more about other parade and Veterans Day events on the City of Auburn website.
Parade route information (click to enlarge)
If you can't make it to Auburn, don't forget that Tahoma National Cemetery will also have a Veterans Day Ceremony starting at 11:00 at the flagpole assembly area.

We hope to see you at one of these events. 

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

November - December 2017 Dolphin Brotherhood Posted

The November – December 2017 issue of the Dolphin Brotherhood has been posted to the Seattle Base website.
Submarine Veteran Group photo from the 2016 Auburn Veterans Day Parade
This issue has information about the upcoming Auburn Veterans Day Parade, the registration form for the Seattle Base December Holiday Luncheon, and the usual submarine related articles.

Hardcopies will be mailed out later this week.

I hope you all enjoy the newsletter. As always, remember to check back here for base updates and other articles of interest.

We hope to see you at the Auburn parade!

Dave Schueler
Seattle USSVI Base Newsletter Editor

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Eternal Patrol: Ron B Thody

Seattle Base member Ron Thody departed on Eternal Patrol on October 13, 2017.
Unfortunately, we do not have a photo of Ron. So we are using a 1955 photo of Ron's qualification boat, USS Spinax
Ron was born on April 12, 1933 and joined the U.S. Navy in 1950. He qualified on USS Spinax (SS-489) in 1952 and was a SN(SS) when he left the Navy in 1954.

A Celebration of Life service will be held at the Edmonds Yacht Club on November 12, 2017 at 1 PM.

Sailor, Rest Your Oar

Sunday, October 22, 2017

October 2017 Meeting Notes

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

After the introductions, Ric Hedman was inducted into the Holland Club. The Holland Club is named after John P. Holland, designer of the first US Navy submarine. It is an exclusive group within the US Submarine Veterans organization, where the core requirement for eligibility is the designation “qualified in submarines” for a minimum of fifty years.
Congratulations to Ric!
He also showed off the new Holland Club challenge coin.
Holland Club challenger coin front

Holland Club challenger coin back

Old and New Business:

December Holiday Luncheon – Our annual Holiday Luncheon will be at the Cascade Club at Trilogy at Redmond Ridge on Sunday, December 10. The registration form for the event can be found at this link and it will be included in the next newsletter. Remember, the number of spaces available will be only 65 people, so be sure get your registration form to Jim Harper as soon as possible.

Auburn Veterans Day Parade – Seattle Base, Bremerton Base, and the Silent Service Motorcycle Club will be participating in the Auburn Veterans Day Parade on Saturday, November 11. We will meet near the junction of Main and K Streets in Auburn. There is free parking at the transit center. Please arrive between 10 – 10:30. The parade will start at 11:00. You can see more about other parade and Veterans Day events on the City of Auburn website. Additional information will be posted on the blog and newsletter.

Veterans Day at Tahoma National Cemetery – If you can’t make it to Auburn, you can consider going to the Tahoma National Cemetery for their Veterans Day ceremony. It will start at 11:00.

Seattle Base Elections – The nominations committee turned in their recommendations for Seattle Base officers for our January elections. Here is the list of officer nominees:
  • Base Commander – Ric Hedman 
  • Sr Vice Commander – Larry Abbott 
  • Jr Vice Commander – Earl Greening 
  • Secretary – shared by Bill Giese and Lois Mezek 
  • Treasurer – Jim Harper 
Committee Chairs:
  • Chief of the Boat – Ralph Sterley 
  • Membership – Kerry Ryan 
  • Base Chaplin – Andrea Geisler 
  • Storekeeper – Ralph Sterley 
  • Webmaster – Steve Shelton 
  • Newsletter Editor – Dave Schueler 
If you would like to throw your hat in the ring or nominate someone for a position, please contact Larry Abbott or Kerry Ryan with the information.

October Program:
The October program was a presentation by Greg Emerson on life during the American Revolution and how young Americans helped change the world. Greg is the Color Guard Captain for the Cascade Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution and was dressed as a colonial militiaman for the presentation.
Greg Emerson
Greg started off by talking about life in the colonies in the 1770’s and how most Americans lived outside of cities. He talked about general trade and commence in the colonies. He then continued with information on why the British imposed taxes on the colonies, the formation of the Continental Congress to address the taxes, and the declaration of independence by the colonies.
Greg showing a replica Continental dollar
With the revolution underway, Greg talked about how families participated in the war, with many families following the fathers to war. He also covered the uniforms and weapons used by both sides.
Greg showing a Continental Army uniform
Greg finished up by recounting stories of young people that helped out during the revolution, including Sybil Ludington, Andrew Jackson, John Quincy Adams, and Alexander Milliner.

The presentation was an interesting and enjoyable look back at early America history.

Binnacle List:
• Tim Floersch is still recovering from his back surgery and hopes to be at the next meeting.

We hope to see you at the next meeting!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Eternal Patrol: Pierre Bruneau

Seattle Base member Pierre Bruneau departed on Eternal Patrol on August 29, 2017.
Pierre was born in Wenatchee, Washington, but he also lived in Milwaukee, Chicago, Seattle, Silverdale and finally settled in Redmond, where his family owned the Skyline Chicken Ranch. Pierre attended Central Kitsap High School in Silverdale, Nathan Hale High School in Milwaukee, Lincoln High School in Seattle, and Lake Washington High School in Kirkland.

Pierre enlisted in the Naval Reserve in 1947 and served his country a total of twelve years. He was a submariner, serving on seven submarines, and very proud of his military contribution. He developed his superb upholstery skills at Lynch Furniture in Seattle, worked for Boeing - earning numerous awards and accolades, sold and repaired mimeograph machines and other office equipment for Olympic Distributors, began his own firm, Bruneau Upholstery and finally returned to Boeing where he retired as a senior supervisor.

He married Bernadine Porter in 1949 - a marriage lasting sixty-four years until her passing in 2013. They had two children and are both survived by Edmond Bruneau and Renee (Bruneau) Colleran. He was also blessed with five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren who loved him very much.

Pierre loved fishing, square dancing, puzzles, games and magic. He adored the RV life, sharing with Bernie many adventures and travels, including wintering in Arizona. A private memorial was held in Bothell on October 8. Contributions in his honor can be made to the American Heart Association.

Sailor, Rest Your Oar

Saturday, October 14, 2017

October 2017 Meeting Reminder

The next Seattle Base meeting is this coming Wednesday, October 18, 2017. 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 will be covering information on the upcoming Auburn Veterans Day Parade (along with other Veterans Day events) and the Seattle Base Holiday luncheon.

Our program will be a presentation on life during the American Revolution by Greg Emerson of the Cascade Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution.
A photo of Greg Emerson and past Base Commander Dick Gonzales from Greg's last presentation to Seattle Base
Greg previously gave us a presentation on spies during the American Revolution. Greg is a second generation US Navy veteran who has served 21-years and aboard 11 different ships, including the Submarine Tenders USS Howard W. Gilmore (AS 16), USS Emory S. Land (AS 39), USS Hunley (AS 31) and USS L.Y. Spear (AS 36), as well as the Floating Drydock USS Alamogordo (ARDM 2). He finished his career aboard the Nimitz class Aircraft Carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70); traveling around the world twice and the recipient of 18 decorations, including the Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist “Silver Cutlasses”, Navy and Marine Corps Combat Action Ribbon and Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal. Veteran of the first Gulf War, Operation Desert: Fox and Operation Southern Watch.
While serving aboard USS Nassau (LHA 4), he supported important diplomatic operations for President George H.W. Bush, receiving a Letter of Commendation from the White House Communications Agency. One-third of his career with the Navy was spent in the intelligence community, support tactical, theater and strategic intelligence operations. As a naval analyst, he has published articles in Sea Power Magazine, Proceedings, the official publication of the U.S. Navy War College and several international naval publications.
He has traveled to over 20 counties in Europe, Asia and the Pacific, including Russia in 2004 and Ukraine in 2011.
He is a member of the Cascade Centennial Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution, where he is the Color Guard Captain and Scouting Programs Coordinator. He has verified the lineage to two Patriots of the America’s war for independence, one served with Colonel Daniel Boone in the Kentucky frontier of the war and helped to rescue his daughter from the Cherokee Indians.
He is married for 16-years to the former Sharon Elsabeth Fish of Moraga, CA and the father of two wonderful children: Olivia and Christian.

We hope to see you at the meeting!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Seattle Base 2017 Holiday Luncheon Registration

The Seattle Base USSVI Holiday Luncheon is set for Sunday, December 10, 2017 at the Trilogy at Redmond Cascade Club in Redmond WA. It is a great end of year event for all submarine veterans and associates. We are confident this venue will present an opportunity for our shipmates, spouses, and guests to catch up on past year’s events, trade stories, and make plans for 2018.
The Cascade Club at Trilogy at Redmond
The registration form for the event can be found at this link. We will have some copies at the next Seattle Base meeting and it will be included in the next newsletter.

Remember, the number of spaces available will be only 65 people, so be sure get your registration form to Jim Harper as soon as possible.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

USS Washington (SSN-787) Commissioning

USS Washington (SSN-787) will be commissioned this Saturday, October 7, 2017 at Pier 12 Norfolk Naval Station, Norfolk VA. The ceremony starts at 8:00 am PDT (11:00 am EDT) and will be streamed live on the Navy Live website.

Bremerton Base has arranged a large screen viewing of the ceremony at McClouds Grillhouse at 2901 Perry Avenue, Bremerton. If you are interested in attending, be sure to go to Gertrude Check for updated information about the viewing.

SSN-787 is the ninth ship to bear the name Washington (the first six were named in honor of George Washington and last three in honor of the state of Washington) and is the fourteenth Virginia Class submarine. The commissioning ceremony is one of the most important traditional ceremonial milestones in the life of the ship. It represents the acceptance of the ship by the United States Navy and her entry into the active fleet.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

September 2017 Meeting Notes

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

Old and New Business: 
2017 Tolling the Boats Ceremony – Before we started the main business meeting, Commander Al Smith thanked and praised Lois Mezek for all the work she did to put together and run the Tolling of the Boats ceremony held last month in Kirkland.

December Holiday Luncheon – Dick Gonzalez reported that a new location has been reserved for our December luncheon. Trilogy at Redmond Ridge will be our new location. Unfortunately, because we had to apply so late, we have to change the date to Sunday, December 12. The price is expected to be around $48.00 a person for a buffet style lunch. But will be firmed up when Dick is able to go to Trilogy and gather all the information for the event. We will have more information and applications the Seattle Base blog soon, along with directions on how to get there. The number of spaces available will be only 65 people, so be sure get your reservations to Jim Harper as soon as possible.

Seattle Base Float Home – We now have moorage for our float. DeFord Cochrane, who did our program in July and is a neighbor of Base Commander Al Smith, has agreed to let us store our float on his property in Kent. The canopy is erected and we now can do some much-needed work on it. There will be some painting and a little electrical work to be performed before the next parade. Be looking for an e-mail to let you know when you can help.

Auburn Veterans Day Parade – Once again, Seattle Base will be marching in the Auburn Veterans Day Parade on Saturday, November 11. The organizational meetings are starting and we will provide more information when we receive it.

USSVI Charitable Fund Hurricane Relief – USSVI National is working very hard on a plan to allow donations for fellow submariners that need help due to hurricanes and floods. They want to make sure it is going to the correct places. More info to follow when they have this worked out.

Upcoming Base Elections – We are taking nominations for Seattle Base officers for our January elections. Larry Abbott and Kerry Ryan have been appointed to the nominations committee, so please contact them to submit candidates for the offices.

Good of the Order:
Congratulations to Judy Watson, base supporter and wife of former Base Commander Keith Watson, who was honored with a Lifetime Award from the city of Black Diamond at this year’s Labor Day Parade.
We received a certificate from The Submarine Sailors Association of Australia for our donation to their Heritage Trail project.

Earl Greening gave a report on the Salmon for Soldiers fishing derby the base donated to. It was held in August and Earl was one of the people who had a boat and provided transportation for some veterans. Once again, a 16-foot boat, trailer and outboard was given away as a prize. A fishing trip to Alaska and a tuna fishing trip in Westport were some of the other prizes. A barbeque lunch was provided after everyone returned back to shore. There will also be a golf tournament to be held the 30th of September.

Binnacle List: 
  • Bill Lightfoot has an infection in his arm. 
  • Tim Floersch has had back surgery to relieve pain in his leg. 

Our next meeting will feature a presentation by Greg Emerson of the Cascade Centennial Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution. We hope to see the you there!

Monday, September 18, 2017

September 2017 Meeting Reminder

The next Seattle Base meeting is this coming Wednesday, September 20, 2017. 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 should be back in the main meeting room this month. We’ll get a recap of the Tolling the Boats ceremony and have an opportunity to discuss upcoming events and activities. We hope to see you there!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The Grey Ghost: Examining the Future of USS Clamagore

Editor's Note: Here is a nice article from All Hands magazine about the Clamagore and her possible fate.
by Megan Schuller, All Hands Magazine Aug 30, 2017
An American flag flies above the charcoal, Cold-War era submarine, USS Clamagore (SS-343). The sub idly sits, sun-faded in the Charleston, South Carolina harbor as saltwater eats at it, causing orange rust and corrosion.

Inside the narrow steel haven, Patriot's Point Naval & Maritime Museum volunteer and Navy veteran Sid Busch stands as the captain of this retired vessel. The Clamagore is, for Busch, more than a giant steel tube. Inside a time capsule of days past, memories drift on his mind like a cool breeze as waves lap on a humid afternoon against the submarine in the harbor. More than a longtime friend, she is among the only family Busch has left. He even goes in early to pick up trash before the tourists show up to view the Clamagore - named after the blue parrot fish, found on coral reefs in shallow water.

"Sometimes I'll be sitting on the battery and have flashbacks to 50 years ago," Busch said, reflecting on his service days. He is 70 years old with a chiseled jaw, a retired Navy senior chief and an experienced runner who has run more than 200 marathons.

Busch served on the Clamagore from 1969 to 1972 as a sonar technician. He's been volunteering at Patriots Point, near downtown Charleston, for the past 10 years, giving tours of the boat he first boarded when he was 19. These days, he often incorporates personal stories into his detailed and impassioned tours. But Busch's days aboard his beloved Clamagore could be numbered.

The 320-foot submarine, which has called Patriots Point home since 1979, could become an artificial reef off the Florida coast. To remain a floating museum, she needs an expensive restoration, one that could cost about $6 million, according to Chris Hauff, a Patriots Point spokesman, and the lack of financial resources to fix the Clamagore may one day sink the vessel.

Two Navy ships at the maritime museum, USS Yorktown (CV 10) and USS Laffey (DD 724), also require repairs and maintenance that are deemed a higher priority. Museum officials are looking into the possibility of reefing - in other words, sinking - the Clamagore so that she becomes a permanent underwater museum, Hauff said.
"With our budget of a couple million, we can't do all three of the ships. The USS Yorktown needs $40 million worth of work and for us - that's what people come to see," Hauff said. "It comes down to a business decision: Where do we put money when we have it?"

Although Clamagore is registered as a national historic landmark, even that can't save her. According to documents from a Palm Beach County Commissioners meeting in January 2016, the submarine can receive approval to become scuttled (deliberately sunk) as an artificial reef by the Naval Sea Systems Command through the Section 106 historical review process, which requires federal agencies to consider the effects of their actions on historic properties. It further dictates that documentation, such as war diaries, deck logs and operation reports, be taken off an historic vessel like the Clamagore. These records would then be transferred to the National Archives and Records Administration.

Recent reports suggest the Clamagore will wait in the harbor for at least a year while the Navy decides if it will approve the plans.

The Grey Ghost
The diesel-powered Clamagore was commissioned following World War II to patrol the Caribbean and North Atlantic during the Cold War. Nicknamed the "Grey Ghost" of the Florida coast during her service, she is now the last submarine with the Balao-class GUPPY III upgrade. This improved the submerged speed, maneuverability, battery capacity and overall performance of the Clamagore.

After decommissioning the submarine in 1975, the Navy donated her to the state of South Carolina, and Patriot's Point was given the responsibility for the Grey Ghost's maintenance and upkeep. Those costs are now unsustainable.

According to Hauff, Patriots Point contracted Artificial Reefs International, a Miami-based firm that creates reefs for economic development and environmental benefits by sinking ships, to find a reef suitable for the Clamagore. Palm Beach County, Florida, officials agreed to the project and put aside a million dollars toward reefing the Clamagore off the coast of Jupiter, Florida.

"People could enjoy the history of the ship, just from a different way," Hauff said.
Reefed submarines and ships serve as underwater tourist attractions, allowing experienced scuba divers and tourists to dive and explore with guides.

If the Clamagore is reefed, sponges, coral and barnacles will attach themselves and colonize the vessel over time, and an array of fish species will take over not long after it sinks. Joe Weatherby, senior project manager of Artificial Reefs International-USS Clamagore said reefed vessels provide marine life with protection from predators, breeding opportunities and food sources while also offering economic opportunities for scuba diving and fishing industries.

Bill Cogar, executive director of the Historic Naval Ships Association, a nonprofit that helps preserve and market historic ships across the world, supports a responsible and accountable way to reef the Clamagore. He contended that the submarine, having run her life's course, would remain a functional object, and noted that the equipment removed from the submarine could be distributed to other vessels of Clamagore's class.

Fate, Hope & Clarity
For Busch, the Clamagore is still worth saving, however: "These submarines had personalities. I guess it's because when you came on a submarine, you had to learn it backwards and forwards. ... Each submarine developed their own unique personality. The synchronicity to how they rode on the surface - they started to be more like a living entity then just a metal tube."

He's not the only one who wants to see her restored rather than reefed. The main hope appears to lie within the USS Clamagore SS-343 Restoration and Maintenance Association, which has been working to relocate the submarine to a land berth. That way, it could still serve as a submarine museum and memorial for future generations, according to Rick Wise, secretary of CRAMA and retired Navy senior chief.

"We are not trying to do anything that has not been done before," Wise said. "It reduces the maintenance cost quite a bit."

He explained that CRAMA is trying to get a letter of intent from the South Carolina state legislature. Between that and a number of corporations interested in saving the Clamagore, he believes CRAMA could raise enough capital to store the submarine in a shipyard temporarily. Then the team would evaluate the damage, make the necessary preservation repairs and purchase land to permanently house the Clamagore.
"We're not giving up," Wise said optimistically. "We're submarine Sailors, we don't give up until we're on the bottom and we've blown all the air we can."

Still, the Clamagore's fate and the destiny of two lifelong friends remain uncertain. If and when she leaves Patriot's Point, Busch plans to stop volunteering at the maritime museum. He feels he would no longer be needed and that it would be too difficult to return once she is gone.

"I always tell people, she kept me safe, she got me home. It's my turn to save her, and, unfortunately, I couldn't do a good enough job at it," Busch said, his words rinsed with emotion. "It's going to be a dark day for me when she finally leaves. I plan to show up just to see her towed out."

For now, the Clamagore rests at a secluded far end of Patriots Point's concrete dock - perhaps spending her final months in South Carolina as museum ship before the Grey Ghost of the Florida coast permanently returns to the waters she once patrolled.

Monday, September 4, 2017

September - October 2017 Dolphin Brotherhood Posted

The September – October 2017 issue of the Dolphin Brotherhood has been posted to the Seattle Base website.
Memorial Wreath from the 2017 Tolling the Boats Ceremony
This issue has photos from the Kirkland Independence Day Parade, the Seattle Base Tolling the Boats Ceremony and the usual submarine related articles.

Hardcopies will be mailed out later this week. I hope you all enjoy the newsletter.

Remember to check back here for base updates and other articles of interest. Please note that the Dolphin Brotherhood archives link is no longer working and the link on the blog doesn’t go anywhere right now. I’m shifting the archives to a new location.

Dave Schueler
Seattle USSVI Base Newsletter Editor

Sunday, September 3, 2017

USSVI Charitable Fund - Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund

USS Cavalla (SS-244) at Seawolf Park in Galveston TX (not far from Houston)
The USSVI Charitable Fund is establishing a special Brotherhood Fund USSVI members that has suffered damage from Hurricane Harvey.

Currently, we do not know how many of our members have sustained damage from the hurricane and subsequent flooding, but we are pretty sure that there will be more than we would want to see.

All bases and individuals are asked to give serious consideration to contributing money to this cause. Please inform your members that they can contribute to this fund to help our fellow shipmates.

Once all the elements of the fund are set up in the Brotherhood Fund, The Charitable Fund President will send out an e-mail letting us know how to contribute.

Thanks you all who contribute to this worthy cause for our shipmates.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

2017 Tolling the Boats Ceremony

Seattle USSVI Base held our annual Tolling the Boats  ceremony on August 19, 2017 at the Kirkland Marina Park Pavilion. It turned out to be a clear and warm day, just perfect for the outdoor ceremony.
The Tolling Ceremony banner, welcoming the public to the event
This year we had a few light refreshments (snacks and cake) and some social time before the ceremony
A close up of one of the cakes
Grabbing some snacks
Lynda Shelton cutting the cakes
World War II veteran Fred Ennslin and his wife Josie
World War II veterans Bill Lightfoot and Ralph Sterley
Seattle Base Chaplin Andrea Geisler and Don Ulmer
Thanks to Diane, Lynn, Lynda, and Judy for helping with the food
As usual, the Seattle Base float drew the attention of people in the park and a number of them stopped by the pavilion to ask questions.
A few people passing-by stop to ask questions
The Tolling the Boats Ceremony is a memorial service to honor our lost submarine brothers who made the supreme sacrifice while performing their duties with valor, integrity, and courage. This ceremony is a fundamental part our creed as members of U.S. Submarine Veterans, "To perpetuate the memory of our shipmates who gave their lives in pursuit of their duties while serving their country."

The Honor Guard from VFW Post 2995 was on hand to 'Present the Colors' and provide other honors for the ceremony.
Presenting the Colors
After which, our World War II veterans were piped aboard and escorted to their seats. As were the wives of the World War II vets and widows of submariners.
Our honored World War II Veterans
Submarine wives and widows are seated
Seattle Base Commander Al Smith provided welcomed everyone and provided some opening remarks.
Seattle Base Commander Al Smith with opening remarks
Kami McGrath was on-hand to provide music for the ceremony
Past-Base Commander Steve Shelton remembered our shipmates that have departed on Eternal Patrol in the past two years and then explained the history and significance of the Tolling the Boats ceremony. Past-Base Commander Ric Hedman then read the poem "Toll the Bell", which led to the reading of the lost boats by Steve and Ric.
Steve Shelton explaining the purpose of the Tolling ceremony
Ric Hedman reads the poem by Flecther Pratt
Steve and Ric take turns reading the names of lost U.S. Navy submarines
While Ralph Sterley rings the bell for each lost boat and crew
When the reading was complete, World War II submarine veteran Ralph Sterley laid the memorial wreath to honor all the lost submariners and the VFW Honor Guard provided a gun salute and played Taps.
Ralph placing the memorial wreath
VFW Honor Guard firing the rifle salute
VFW bugler playing Taps
That concluded our ceremony for another year. Thanks to all that attended. Special thanks to Lois Mezek and all those who helped this year's Tolling the Boats ceremony a success.