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Designed for Submariners
Shipmate Goes on Eternal Patrol
member Robert C. Welsh (MMCM(SS) ret) went on
eternal patrol on January 3, 2012. Bob qualified on
Sculpin (1969) and went on to serve in Seahorse,
Gurnard and Thomas A. Edison.
Bob's funeral is at 2:30 PM on Friday, 1/13/12 at Rill
Chapel in Port Orchard.
Obituary will be
posted when available.
"Voices of the Great War" with USSVI member & Author
/ Museum of Flight Docent Don Ulmer
Saturday, January 14, 2012 - 2:00pm
Event Type:Public Program
Location: William M. Allen Theater
Museum of Flight docent-author Don Ulmer will present
"Voices of the Great War," a true story behind his
recent novella of World War I, "Where or When." Ulmer,
captivated by this story since first hearing it
seventy-one years ago, delved into surviving journals,
letters and photos passed down by 1st Lieutenant Malcom
Gunn, Word War I aviator, and his childhood sweetheart
Marge Van Sciver. Provided by Marge’s nephew and Ulmer’s
lifelong friend, these artifacts unravel an intriguing,
bittersweet yarn. Ulmer presents ‘then and now’ photos
and spices his talk with film clips from a musical play
based on his story, "Canadiyanks," presented at the
Museum in May 2009. The Alpha Singers’ choral group of
greater Seattle skillfully renders a blend of stirring,
toe-tapping songs of World War I.
Join us at the Museum of Flight William Allen Auditorium
at 2:00 p.m. Saturday 14 January 2012. Listen to Voices
of the Great War, its timeless music, and the poignant
saga of Marge and Malcom.
This program is included with Museum admission and is
Free for members of the Museum of Flight.
HC & Life Member Succumbs
Theodore Kenneth Russell,
85 of Bremerton, WA, passed away 28 Dec 2011 at Harrison
Medical Center after struggling with pneumonia and other
pulmonary disorders. ENCM(SS) (ret) Ted qualified on
Pampanito in 1944 and participated in her 4th, 5th and
6th war patrols. He
completed a 30 year Navy career serving in Carp,
Caiman, Alexander Hamilton, Stonewall Jackson and
Ethan Allen. Sailor, rest your oar!
Per Ted's request,
no service is planned. Ted also requested he be buried
at sea. Cards and letters may be sent C/O Annetta
Varner, 1511 Carr Blvd, Bremerton WA, 98312. Read more
USSVI OFFICIAL BUSINESS: SubVet News - #2011-118
NEWS-01: Update on NS Tom Conlon
Submitted by: Alfred H Singleman Jr on 12/22/2011
Tom Conlon, our National Secretary (and a Past
National Commander/GCed), has been in the hospital for the
past two weeks with a severe infection in his foot and leg. He
has had 2 surgeries to clean out puss pockets in his foot and
leg, and this has helped to bring the infection under control.
He still has a high white blood cell count and his blood sugar
readings are high. He is on the mend, but has a long way to go.
More than likely he will not be home for Christmas, but his
spirits are good and he is improving. If you would like
to cheer him up call him
on his cell 973-493-7075 or send him a get well card to his home
address 8 Davis Ave, Harrison, NJ 07029-1502. If you have
any National Secretary items or requests please send them to
NJVC Al Singleman, Jr. Our thoughts and prayers are with Tom and
Gina during this Holiday Season.
Pride Runs deep,
Al Singleman, Jr. NJVC
'Twas the Night Before Christmas - Submarine Style!
Holiday Greetings from the U.S. Submarine Force.
(Fred Green sends)
Underway in District 4 Newsletter
Shipmates and Friends, Another year
is behind us as we enter the Christmas Season. I’m very proud
of all of You. Each Base in its own way has shown what our
organization is a about; patriotism, comradeship, community
service, spirit of achievement and fun. I visited all Bases in
District 4 and it’s been fun to watch the Traveling Dolphins
make their way from Base to Base. They are at South Sound Base
waiting to be captured. I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas
and a Healthy, Happy & Prosperous New Year in 2012.
Bremerton Base Presents Gifts to Residents of WA State
Yesterday, Tuesday, Dec 20th, four base members, L-R, Ralph
Harris, Tommy Robinson,
Don Bassler led by Chaplain Fred Borgmann,
presented a variety gifts donated by individuals, businesses and
the base to Retsil Superintendent Don Veverka (center of
image). Don was accompanied by his assistants,
Dax Dowling and Tami Reuter.
The gifts given
from the base were
and stickers, 56 books of postage stamps,
cards (15) & cards. Other gifts donated by individuals and
businesses were 7 models (ships and planes) and a lot of glue (Dennis
Wendt) and a case of playing cards courtesy of Jim DeMott
and Chips Casino.
To: Distribution List
NEWS-01: Happy holidays and a very merry Christmas..
Submitted by: T. Michael Bircumshaw on 12/21/2011
As 2011 winds down and 2012 becomes the new date we will tend to
forget to put on our checks until sometime in February, I want
to take this moment to wish you and your families the very best
of holidays and a very merry Christmas along with the hope for a
better new year. ( I also wish for all of your 2012 Resolutions
This is one more of those times that family and friends become
our focus as we look (or trust that the shopper in our family
will) for what they can find to fill those stockings and to wrap
for placement under the colorful tree standing in the front
room. In view of the belt tightening times that we live in I am
hoping that whatever does not get delivered by Santa, and those
pesky reindeer, can be found in everyone’s hearts and minds to
make it a positive and caring season.
I try to make every day one of “Thanksiving” and “Christmas”,
always wanting to give more than I receive to those I love and
care for, which includes all of my family and friends. My
shipmates all fall in there somewhere as I have brothers who
sailed with me or have served with me in Sub Vets that are truly
“family” and a multitude of friends, most of whom wear dolphins.
A special thanks to those of you who have contributed your
thoughts, ideas and efforts to help make Sub Vets as good as it
can be this past year.
Please drive safe, take care, take your meds, and temper the
salt and sugar in your lives. I would like to see you, both
healthy and happy, in Norfolk or where ever our paths may meet.
Sound Naval Museum Here are some pictures
of the special warfare section of the Puget Sound Naval Museum
that features submarines. There are interactive exhibits for
sonar and ships course. Also there is an excellent movie about
the training and mission of the Navy Seals. I don't know if our
membership is aware of these exhibits but in any case I will
send them to you for inclusion in the Gertrude Check if you
The Museum hours are:
1000 to 1600 Monday, Wednesday through Saturday and 1300 to 1600
The Museum is closed on Tuesdays until April. Reporter
Dutch Kaiser sends.
SubVet News - #2011-115
NEWS-01: Thresher Memorial
Submitted by: T. Michael Bircumshaw on 12/9/2011
Granddaughter of Charles Wiggins FTGI(SS), is organizing a
dinner for the former crew and families of those who served
aboard the USS Thresher SSN-593 to be held on the 14th of April
2012 at 4:00pm in Portsmouth, NH. She is looking for contact
information on surviving family members of the Crew and Officers
of Thresher. If you have any information or would care to know
more about the program and current status please contact
Victoria at 609-519-1707 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Members Renewed for USSVI and Bremerton Base Life Memberships:
are Mike Sullivan (Woodrow Wilson, Seawolf, ?)
Bobby Whitlow (Spikefish, Tench, Tang, Abraham
Lincoln, Amberjack) and Eugene Moore (Tautog,
Grayback, Aspro) .
Annual Holiday Party Shows the Spirit of Christmas
At the MWR facility, NBK, Bangor, the Base holiday party was
well attended by those from 2 to 89 years old. About 80 in all.
The 2 year old was Naomi Swanson, daughter of Ltjg Tim
Swanson (Maine) and his wife Jessica Swanson,
reporter for Kitsap Navy News. And the 89 year old was Don
Loughridge, WWII Subvet and Bremerton
Base HC member.
Life Base member Dennis Nardone took portrait pictures of
members and their guests upon entry to the party. He will
"develop" them and we will send them out via e-mail in about a
Opening ceremonies featured recognition of honored guests,
including Past National Cdr Pat Householder and base
founding members present, Tudor Davis (also a past
National Cdr) and Dick Litscher (also a past National
Base commander Dave Niemy introduced guest speaker, Capt
of the USS Ohio (SSGN 726B). Capt Humm gave an
inspirational address about today's submarines and sailors
comparing them to the basics of submariners' character of the
After a delicious buffet and chocolate cake dessert, Holland
Club chair Dick Litscher inducted Rodrigo "Rudy" Rimando
into the Holland Club. Rudy gave a sincere, positive
testimony of his regard for his life in the USA. This was
followed by 10, 20 and 30 year base members recognition for
their base longevity.
The base outgoing 2011 officers and incoming 2012 officers were introduced. (2012-2013
officers will be sworn in at Jan 17, 2012 general meeting.)
Outgoing commander Dave Niemy was presented a meritorious
award for his leadership in improving base operations.
Generous party goers donated nearly $400 to annual charity gift
that will be added to another $200 from the base general fund
(total, near $600) to purchase items for veterans at the Retsil
Veterans Home. Chaplain Fred Borgmann reports.
Storekeeper Ralph Harris reported $260 gross sales at the
party and reminded us he has Holland Club ties with gold or
silver dolphins for$22.
Hank Hollis can take credit for his organization of the
party, as he has done for several years.
All Pictures are
Deterrent Park Up Date
Since the October 2011 brick installation,
three sponsors have donated 4 engraved bricks to Deterrent Park.
They will be installed, with other donated bricks, in May 2012.
These sponsors are Barton, Davison and Aiello(2),
Kolbeck(2) and Briggs.
An engraved brick for a loved one that served
his/her country could be an everlasting memory. You may
want to consider one or more for Christmas presents or a gift
for other occasions. All the
information you may want to know about the Park and an
are online. (And the donation is IRS
2012 Annual National & Base Dues are Due by Dec 31, 2011
Dues schedule below.
Annual Dues are: National $20 + Base $20 = $40
Make a single check for $40 made out to USSVI Bremerton Base and
give it to the Treasurer or
mail it to PO Box 465, Silverdale, WA 98383
Life Membership Dues
are in the table below. Holland Club
members are not except from national dues, but are except
from base dues. (FYI: Generally, about age 70, a majority of
members become eligible for Holland Club membership.) As
an example, at the current annual rate of $40 National & Base
dues, it would take a member <45 years old about 19 years
to = $750 National Life & base dues. About 61 Bremerton
Base members should take a look.
Over time, dues increase, so if you have good intentions
of sticking it out, please consider a life membership, no matter
what your current age. (pay now or pay more later/GC ed)
BREMERTON BASE BOOSTERS for 2012
The following Members are recognized
for their generous donations to the Base
Updated: Jan 4,
Fri, Jan 6, 1130
Silverdale Way Northwest,
Fun, click for Images
* Ltr of 2011
appreciation/request for 2012 gift certificate
Founder & Editor
Other News of Interest to Submariners
Military to be pared, but not necessarily in Kitsap
By Ed Friedrich, Kitsap sun
BREMERTON —President Obama
and top military brass published their guidelines
Thursday to strategically cut billions of dollars from
the defense budget over the next decade. It looks like
the Northwest Navy could avoid most of the lopping......
"I think we're going to be fine," U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks
said of Puget Sound Navy bases. "The emphasis is on the
Pacific. With the problems in North Korea and China's
growing military capability and our major trade
commitments in that area, it's going to be a positive
for our area."
Guy Stitt, longtime Puget Sound Naval Bases
Association board member, thought the same thing when he
read the document. It's good for the Navy overall and
even better for the Pacific Navy....
Submarines Connecticut, Nebraska, Michigan win battle
Pearl Harbor, Hawaii —Three Bangor-based submarines
received 2011 Battle Efficiency Awards, given to one
boat per squadron for technical performance and combat
readiness. The commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet
submarine force announced the winners Jan. 1.
USS Connecticut won for Development Squadron 5
(comprising three Seawolf-class attack subs), USS
Nebraska Blue and Gold crews for Squadron 17 (six
ballistic missile subs), and USS Michigan Blue Crew for
Squadron 19 (two ballistic missile subs and two guided
Submarine Force 2011 Year In Review
COMSUBFOR Public Affairs, Dec. 31
Link to video:
China’s Noisy Subs Get Busier — And Easier To Track
Wired, December 27
The military’s latest secret assessment of China’s
rapidly modernizing submarines has good news and bad
news for the U.S. Navy. On one hand, the roughly 60
submarines in the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN)
fleet are spending more and more time on combat-ready
patrols — signaling China’s increasing naval competence
and growing seriousness about influencing the western
On the other hand, the flurry of undersea activity gives
American forces more opportunities to tail and examine
Chinese subs. And U.S. analysts discovered a silver
lining in the gathering strategic storm clouds. Chinese
submarines are a hell of a lot noisier than anyone
expected. The sound you hear is the Pacific balance of
power tipping in Washington’s favor.
As recently as 2007, China’s diesel-powered subs and a
handful of nuclear-propelled models managed just a few
patrols per year, combined. Two years before that, none
of Beijing’s undersea boats went on patrol. For years,
the majority of PLAN submarines remained tied up at
naval bases, sidelined by mechanical problems and a
shortage of adequately trained crews.
As long as the PLAN’s submarines were idle, the U.S.
Navy’s spy planes, surveillance ships and snooping subs
had few opportunities to assess China’s undersea
capabilities — and, most importantly, how much noise the
Chinese generate while submerged and moving. Navies can
use passive sonars to track submarines by the sounds
they make. The louder a vessel, the easier it is to
detect. And destroy.
With little information to go on, American intelligence
officials had to guess. In cases like that, “you guess
conservatively,” a respected U.S.-based naval analyst
tells Danger Room on the condition of anonymity. The
conservative estimates placed the latest PLAN subs
roughly a decade behind the state-of-art for Russian
submarines — and potentially 20 years behind U.S.
Now Chinese subs are patrolling more frequently. “Within
the last year or two the Chinese have begun to deploy
diesel boats more frequently into places like the
Philippines Sea,” the analyst reveals. More and better
data is flowing in from U.S. forces. With that data, the
Navy conducted a fresh assessment of PLAN submarines.
The unnamed analyst attended a classified briefing based
on the assessment.
The assessment’s biggest surprise: Leaving aside the
PLAN’s dozen imported Russian subs, new Chinese
submarines can be detected at what’s known as the “first
convergence zone,” a ring approximately 25 miles from an
undersea vessel where outward-traveling sound waves pack
During the Cold War, the U.S. Navy would arrange its own
submarines in lines where each boat was 25 miles from
the next, forming a sort of net to catch Soviet subs.
With the introduction of the latest generation of quiet
Russian diesel subs in the 1990s, the Americans thought
that convergence-zone detection was no longer possible.
But the Navy’s just discovered that China’s homemade
subs are even louder than 20-year-old Russian boats.
“Apparently they [U.S. subs] are making first
convergence zone detections and holding them,” the
Assuming the Chinese stay with their current sub
designs, American submarines should be capable of
swiftly defeating Chinese boats in any potential future
shooting war — helping clear the way for U.S. aircraft
carriers to strike Chinese land targets. Combined with a
slowdown in Chinese sub production, and the recent
doubling of America’s submarine build-rate, the noise
revelation could lead to a radical recalculation of the
Pacific balance of power.
The U.S. Navy had a comfortable technological lead over
the PLAN even before the increased Chinese sub activity
fueled the recent intelligence coup. Now that lead has
gotten even wider. And noisier.
Take A Ride On The USS Chicago
NBC Chicago, December 22
Chicago's namesake nuclear submarine has close ties to
the city. Ride along with a group of dedicated civilian
supporters as they find out what life's like beneath the
Link to video:
Navy To Launch Kamikaze Drone From Submarine
Tucson Citizen, December 26
Unmanned aerial warfare is heading underwater. The Navy
is preparing to test-launch a small, kamikaze drone from
a submarine next year, Defense Tech reports.
The Switchblade drone, essentially a self-propelled,
remotely guided missile, will be enclosed in a special
launch canister and fired from one the sub’s trash
chutes at periscope depth, Def Tech explains, citing
Aviation Week. The canister floats to the surface, where
the electric-motor, folded-wing drone launches itself.
Here’s an illustration.
The launch is planned during the biennial RIMPAC, billed
as “the world’s largest multi-national maritime
exercise,” next year in Hawaii.
The Army has used the Switchblade against Taliban
targets and will resume such attacks next year,
Bloomberg reported in October. The aircraft can be
carried in a soldier’s backpack.
The Army paid AeroVironment $4.9 million this summer for
a small initial squadron of Switchblades. More on that
Here’s how the manufacturer describes its little killer:
The Switchblade is designed to provide the warfighter
with a “magic bullet”. It can rapidly provide a
powerful, but expendable miniature flying Intelligence,
Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) package on a
Beyond Line-of-Sight (BLOS) target within minutes. This
miniature, remotely-piloted or autonomous platform can
either glide or propel itself via quiet electric
propulsion, providing real-time GPS coordinates and
video for information gathering, targeting, or
feature/object recognition. The vehicle’s small size and
quiet motor make it difficult to detect, recognize, and
track even at very close range. The Switchblade is fully
scalable and can be launched from a variety of air and
Def Tech wonders “how the Navy controls the tiny UAVs
without signals from its subs being detected.”
Defense Review, which declares itself “a big fan” of
armed drones, offers its assessment of the Switchblade.
Human Error Causes Submarine Grounding
Lookout Navy News Online (Canada), December 19
A Board of Inquiry (BOI) has found that human error was
a key contributing factor in the grounding of HMCS
Corner Brook in Nootka Sound June 4, prompting Commander
Royal Canadian Navy to relieve LCdr Paul Sutherland of
The submarine struck the south eastern wall of Zuciarte
Channel, more than 500 yards from its intended position
while the boat was conducting Submarine Officer
Continuation Training. A military BOI formed to look
into the matter, spoke to 15 witnesses prior to reaching
"The BOI concentrated on the events that happened on
board, on that day, so most [who were interviewed] were
members of the crew or riders at the time," says Capt(N)
Luc Cassivi, Deputy Commander of Canadian Fleet Pacific.
The BOI determined the submarine's technical systems did
not contribute to the incident. Submarine commanders
usually give the boat a buffer zone to allow for any
errors in equipment or ocean currents when submerged.
The established practice of recognizing what is referred
to as a "pool of errors" was not properly followed in
Female Submariner Move To Cost £3m
Defense Management, December 20
The Ministry of Defence is to spend £3m modifying
nuclear submarines to allow female submariners, Defence
Secretary Philip Hammond has confirmed.
Earlier this month Hammond announced that female
officers would be allowed to serve on the Vanguard class
nuclear submarines from late 2013, with female ratings
allowed to join from 2015.
Astute class hunter-killer submarines would be converted
to allow female officers and ratings from 2016 after a
long-standing ban was lifted.
Answering questions in Parliament this week, Hammond
said that it would cost an estimated £3m to convert
submarines to cater for female personnel.
The Defence Secretary said the money would "provide
appropriate accommodation and emergency air supplies, so
that should any female submariner be found to be
pregnant while on board, she will be able to breathe
from a discrete air supply until she can be medically
The conversion would help "enlarge the talent pool from
which the submarine service will recruit", he added
Hammond also ruled out any need to trial the change
because "the United States navy has made the change
already, and has found the arrangements to be perfectly
Also, previous concerns about women's health had been
resolved, he said.
"The only reason why women were not eligible for the
submarine service was that until recently the best
medical evidence suggested that there could be a risk to
foetal health," said Hammond. "It is now clear that that
risk does not exist."
80 New Warships To Invigorate The Navy
In Couple Of Years
MSN News (India), December 20
Mumbai, Dec 20 (PTI) The Navy is all set to get younger
with over 80 new warships, including two aircraft
carriers and nuclear submarines each, scheduled to join
Due to the scheduled inductions in next couple of years,
the average age of the fleet would come down making it a
comparatively younger force, Navy Spokesperson Commander
PVS Satish said on the sidelines of President''s Fleet
Review (PFR) here.
"The present average age of the naval fleet is around 12
to 15 years. But by the time the next PFR takes place,
the force would be younger by three to four years,"
Meanwhile, addressing the officers and sailors of Indian
Navy, President Pratibha Patil said, "The Navy, today,
is poised to achieve new milestones with the imminent
induction of the aircraft carrier Vikramaditya, the
Kolkata Class stealth destroyers, the follow-on frigates
of the Talwar Class, the indigenous ASW Corvettes and an
impressive number of submarines and aircraft."
On induction of indigenous submarines and frigates, she
said, "The launch of the nuclear submarine Arihant, and
induction of the indigenously built Shivalik Class
frigates are an reflection of the capability of our
shipyards and technological competence of our
The President today reviewed the naval might of the
country and took salute from a flotilla of 81 ships,
including four submarines and 44 aircraft of Navy and
Indian Coast Guard.
(Bill Hipp Sends)
Ford was determined that he could mass produce bombers
just as he had done with cars.
He built the Willow Run assembly plant and proved it. It
was the world's largest building under one roof.
even then FORD HAD A BETTER IDEA!
This film will absolutely blow you away - one B-24 every
ADOLF HITLER HAD NO IDEA THE U.S. WAS CAPABLE OF THIS
KIND OF THING.
There is no way he could have even guessed.
For those who live outside of Michigan , Willow Run is
near Bellville, Canton and Ypsilanti , MI
It's amazing that one B-24 (built with over 1.225
million parts) came off the assembly line every 55
Take a few minutes to watch this snapshot of history:
GC issues of the past 12 months, go to
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