Members Help Keep Base in Excellent Financial Condition
(Posted December 9, 2016)
Shown to the right are the names of members that have
made monetary donations to the base in 2016. These donations
have kept the base in a stable condition since the base dropped the
annual fireworks sale last year.
current state of the base treasury can be viewed in your most recent
issue of the Puget Soundings Newsletter on page 28.
The donors' names for the past 6 years can be viewed
Pearl Harbor ceremony carries on without survivors
By Ed Friedrich of the Kitsap Sun
Wednesday's Pearl Harbor ceremony at Keyport included the
parade of colors.
LARRY STEAGALL / KITSAP SUN
KEYPORT — The number of service members who survived both the
attacks on Pearl Harbor and old age is rapidly diminishing. A stark
realization occurred Wednesday when no survivors participated in
Naval Undersea Warfare Center's remembrance ceremony.
Roy Carter and Bob Rains, both of Sequim, and Lloyd Valnes, of
Bremerton, had planned to make their annual appearances but weren't
able to attend.
"It's sad and kind of empty to not have any of them here," Naval
Undersea Warfare Center spokeswoman Wendy Miles said.
But not unexpected.
Wednesday was the 75th anniversary of Japan's Dec. 7 raid that
killed 2,403 and thrust the United States into World War II.
Survivors are in their 90s. The national Pearl Harbor Survivors
Association disbanded five years ago after dropping from 30,000
members to fewer than 3,000. Now there could be as little as 300.
Only two remain in Kitsap County — Valnes and Henry Meyer, of Port
Orchard. A moment of silence was observed Wednesday for Frank
Mattausch and Maynard "Rocky" Hoffman, both of Bremerton, who passed
away this year.
Though Valnes wasn't present Wednesday, he was well represented.
Thirteen family members sat in the front rows of Naval Undersea
Museum's Jack Murdock Auditorium. Bremerton Navy League President
Tim Katona presented Valnes' grandson, Ronn Goodnough, with a flag
that flew over the USS Arizona. The battleship sank, killing 1,177
sailors and Marines. Many of them remain entombed in the wreckage,
and a memorial now straddles it.
"It was an honor to be here and represent my grandfather," said
Goodnough, 41, of Tracyton. "He was a great influence in my life."
Valnes' battleship, USS California, was the first vessel struck by
the Japanese that Sunday morning. It took two torpedoes to the port
side, listed and began flooding. Valnes watched from alongside, in
the captain's gig with three other sailors.
"He said: 'There was nothing we could do. We just watched and drank
our coffee,'" daughter Linda Goodnough, of Silverdale, said. "It
probably felt surreal to him."
Valnes, then 20, initially was confused whether it was real or
Americans practicing. Then he saw the low-flying pilots' faces and
the rising suns on the wings.
Sailors were blown or jumped into the water, which was topped by
burning oil. Valnes' gig team ferried the men to shore. Later he was
sent with a lantern to a 10-foot-tall buoy to guide a ship after
dark. The ship never arrived nor did his ride. He stayed out on the
harbor until 8 a.m. the next day before being fetched. That day he
lost 105 shipmates.
Pearl Harbor was just the opening chapter for Valnes, who lives in
Bremerton with wife Elaine. The California sank, was refloated,
patched, sailed to Bremerton's Puget Sound Navy Yard for major
repairs and joined the war. Valnes was with the ship for six years
and in the Navy for 20. He worked for another 22 years as a civilian
at Bangor and Keyport.
"He never has made a big deal about Pearl Harbor at all," Linda
Goodnough said. "That happened then, and you move on with your life.
The attack itself wasn't the worst he saw during the course of the
war. He had kamikaze pilots flying into the ships, all kinds of
crazy and gruesome things happening."
During the ceremony, Cmdr. Carlos Cintron, Keyport's executive
officer, and Lt. Shannon Shaw co-narrated a video of the attack. The
Keyport Singers harmonized the national anthem, Navy Band Northwest
played "Taps" for all those who died and everybody in the packed
auditorium sang "America the Beautiful."
The Japanese made many strategic errors, including not going after
American submarines, aircraft carriers and fuel reserves.
"But one mistake in particular stood out," Shaw said. "Our enemy
underestimated the will and capability of our people. It was not
just a day of infamy. It was also a day of discovery. It hurt us,
yes, but it also made us stronger."