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Gertrude Check:  Before political correctness, a universal navy term for requesting an underwater telephone check with another boat or skimmer.

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Base Meetings are on the 3rd Tue of the month (except Aug & Dec), starting sharply at 1900, at the FRA Branch #29 Facility, 521 National Ave, Bremerton WA (MAP)

USSVI Bremerton Base, P.O. Box 465, Silverdale, WA 98383-0465

Issue/date: 20120220


Saturday, February 18, 2012 04:13 PM


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Updated 2-18-2012 MARDI GRAS NITE: The February meeting will celebrate Fat Tuesday with a New Orleans style feed. The Eboard and friends will provide pots of Cajun delicacies. Come early and bring your cast iron stomachs, parade beads and hurricane glasses.  Slow cooker starts at 1815, Tues, 21 Feb followed by monthly meeting with speaker, our treasurer, Dennis Nardone, former Master Chief Photographer, qualified in submarines, and retired CWO4.

2-20-2012 New Gertrude Check Web  Under Construction Its about time! Way last year I queried a few of my shipmates about changing the format/design of the site.  After showing them an incomplete sample I got pros & cons which were about evenly divided.  Not really much response so I put it on hold until early this year, and decided to go ahead with a design for a "new" format following the lead of on-line newspapers, which are updated when new or updated "tales" are reported. So I give all a chance to offer "constructive" criticism which I love.  Corrections to my errors/mistakes do not offend me for I do not have a proof reader, except for a couple guys that do when reading it, which I appreciate.

It is hard to make a website that works with all computer screen pixel formats, browsers etc.  So I try to shoot for the middle. As the world of the internet changes, and the computers seem to be settling out to notebook size (ultra thin) for everyday use with no installed disk drive and smaller hard drives, so do the website designers to compensate for those changes.  So onward and upward, I hope.

I have created a new format for the "Home" page, The Officers' page, Boosters page, and Subvet News.  Please feel free to comment./ Red at

2-15-2012  Subvet News

Date: 2/14/2012
To: Distribution List


Submitted by: James A Fox on 2/9/2012

For the past ten years a post-cold war submarine has been selected for induction into the Submarine ‘Hall of Fame’ at the Submarine Learning Facility on Naval Station Norfolk. Previously recognized submarines include USS NAUTILUS (SSN 571), USS ALBACORE (SS 569), USS GROWLER (SS 577) and USS TRITON (SSGN 586).

This year USS BATFISH (SSN 681) will be recognized for her contribution to the end of the cold war. In 1978 BATFISH trailed a Soviet ballistic missile submarine for 50 days, undetected. This top secret mission, code named Operation Evening Star, was declassified for the submarine centennial in 2000 and was the subject of a Smithsonian magazine article and included in the exhibit at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, DC.

Former BATFISH crewmembers – from this mission as well as prior and later – are invited to attend the SubVets memorial on 24 May at the Submarine Learning Center during which BATFISH will be recognized and inducted into the Submarine ‘Hall of Fame.’

Contact STSCS(SS) Robert Blythe at (757) 445-7894 or by e-mail at for additional details and base access.

NEWS-02: Your 2012 Meritorious Award Nominations requested
Submitted by: Office on 2/13/2012
This Award is presented to the Member or Base that most exemplifies the Motto, "Pride Runs Deep," who, by the efforts and involvement of a Member or Base, participates in local veterans affairs, parades, school activities, and presentations to Civic, legislative, Veterans, patriotic and other organizations, which promote the concept of Honor, Duty, Pride, and shows the history and lore of the US Navy Submarine Force to the general public and community at large.

Some examples may be Library displays, Community Bulletin Boards, Schools, and items that appear in print and/or electronic media, Press Releases, Public/Community Service Announcements, etc,

This Award may be presented to a Base, Group, or an individual member of USSVI.

A Nomination may be made by any Member and submitted to the Awards Chairman John Stanford at

NEWS-03: Your 2012 Joe Negri Shipmate of the Year Nominations Requested
Submitted by: Office on 2/13/2012
The "Joe Negri" Award is awarded to a individual Member who, by his personal individual efforts and participation during the preceding years contributed the most to the advancement and embodiment of the USSVI Creed and Agenda, and by his dedicated service and support to our USSVI organization and his fellow Submarine Veteran Brothers exemplifies the meaning and spirit of the word, "Shipmate.”

Any member may submit a nomination for this award. Your nomination and justification should be sent to John Stanford at

NEWS-04: Your Nomination for the 2012 Silver Anchor Award is requested
Submitted by: office on 2/13/2012
The Silver Anchor Award is presented to a USSVI Member in recognition of efforts to support one of the primary objectives of our Creed… to provide a way for all submariners to gather for their mutual benefit and enjoyment.

This Award recognizes the member’s volunteer support for meetings, projects and events, including work to recruit new Members and to retain the current membership of the base.

This Award will be presented to individual USSVI Members only.

All Members may submit nominations, which should be sent to John Stanford, National Awards Chairman at

CHARITABLE-01: Announcing the Theodore "Ted" Taylor Memorial Scholarship Fund
Submitted by: Pat Householder on 2/14/2012
Long time USSVI member Theodore Charles “Ted” Taylor departed this life on Eternal Patrol, September 4, 2011 at home in Renton, WA, with no regrets or dreams unfulfilled.

Ted joined the Navy in 1946 and became qualified in submarines aboard the USS Carbonero in 1948. He also served aboard USS Cusk (1947), USS Tiru (1948-49),USS Cabezon (1950), USS Entemedor (1950-51), USS Flying Fish (1952-53), USS Sarda (1953-56), USS Amberjack (1956), USS Jack (1957-58), USS Compass Island (1958), USS Observation Island (1958) and USS Abraham Lincoln (1960-63).

Ted was a Electronics Technician Senior Chief (SS) when he left the Navy in 1966.

Always ready to help others, Ted spent countless volunteer hours at the Seattle Veterans Administration hospital offering comfort and cheer to the hospitalized veterans there.

Following Ted’s passing in 2011, because of his lifelong commitment to helping others, his wife Loma determined to honor his memory by setting up this memorial scholarship to be given in his name, and a $5,000.00 gift was made on behalf of Eleanor Van Slyke in appreciation for all the help Ted and Loma provided in helping to manage her affairs for almost 40 years.

Ted was well known and loved throughout USSVI and SVWWII, and his friends and shipmates are invited to contribute to this scholarship to be awarded in the name of "Taylor the Sailor" (as Ted referred to himself) so that his name is not forgotten and good works in his name are continued on.

If you can, please send your gift to USSVCF and mark your contribution for the Ted Taylor Memorial Scholarship Fund, PO Box 3870, Silverdale WA 98383.

2-2-2012  The 2012 Lt William “Willie” Spoon Memorial Scholarship Program is in progress. Eight $1000.00 scholarships will be awarded to high school seniors & college students who are children or grandchildren of local submarine parents, grandparents or members of the Bremerton Base. The awards will be made at the June 19th General Membership Meeting. Applications are available at the National Office in Silverdale (open 6-to noon weekdays) or by contacting Scholarship Chair John Gardner via e-mail at Applications must be submitted by 5 May 2012.

Also the annual Lt William “Willie” Spoon Memorial Scholarship raffle is underway and members should receive their tickets soon. SELL EM! The Grand prize is $300 and will by drawn on June 19th. Other prizes will also be drawn during the following week.

1-30-2012 Dolphin Scholarship Foundation
Dolphin Scholarship Foundation currently sponsors 127 students, who each receive an annual scholarship of $3,400. Each recipient may potentially receive a total of $13,600 for up to eight semesters of undergraduate study. The number of new awards granted each year is determined by graduation/attrition of current Dolphin Scholars and donations. Dolphin Scholarship Foundation is proud to have awarded over eight million dollars to more than 1,000 students attending universities and colleges through the United States.

Completed applications and all required documents must be on premises by March 15.

For more information see:

Dolphin Scholarship Foundation Calendars are available for order at:


1-28-2012 Annual Award Nominations Base Commanders and POC's, please give this the widest distribution within your Bases. Also, if you've had changes in POC's, please let me know so I can change my email lists.


I hope you all had a great entry into the New Year and are ready to move forward in 2012.

I speak to you here tonight.....oops, wrong speech.....

Within our organization there are members who give tirelessly of their time, talents and often, own funds, to create interesting, fruitful and memorable activities that will benefit everyone at the National, District and Base levels.

One of the ways we can recognize those efforts is through the award program.

We had nice awards for a Base and a few Newsletters last year in District 4 but I know the potential is out there for more.

One of the most significant ways to honor those who help with these successes is by making recommendations and submitting nominations for awards in a timely manner.

There is an "Awards Handbook" on the website, giving details on each award, suggested criteria for them and lists of those who've won them in the past.

Every member has the right to submit a nomination for any award. I'd like to encourage everyone, specially Base Commanders, to take the time necessary to 'bone up' on the award process and submit recommendations for those who are doing exemplary work within your district or base.

Award nominations are due by April 30th, 2012.
Newsletter of the Year submissions are due by May 15th, 2012.
Contact information for whom and where to submit nominations is also on the website

I will be submitting nominations for a few awards concerned with Bases and Base Commanders, but you know who does what within your Base better than I.

So, make the effort and give recognition where it is deserved. Let's get a few more awards for our District and the Western region.

I have had the honor to judge award competitions in the past and know for a fact that there are members in District 4 that could easily have beaten out those who received them last year. Make your voice heard and at the same time honor those who sacrifice time with their families and other activities to make meetings productive, enjoyable and worthy of their time.


John Mansfield
Western District 4 Commander
253 202 6433 (Cell)
360 569 0507 ( cell coverage)


updated 1-21-2012  Remote Operated Vehicles (ROV).  Canceled due to school closures preventing preparation.  Will be rescheduled. You are invited to observe a remote operated vehicle (ROV) demonstration at the Olympic High School pool on ????????,  from ???????????.   The Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)  class, consisting of 30 students and 15 ROVs will put on the show. The pool is very warm so if you want to watch the kids displaying their ROV's, dress accordingly. Life member Dennis Wendt will assist in this demonstration.


1-21-2012 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), Briggs and Langeliers.


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 gifts for other occasions.  All the Park information you may want to know about the Park and an order form are online. (And the donation is IRS deductable.)


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)




The following Members are recognized for their generous donations to the Base General Fund.
Rig for Dive Periscope Depth

Battle Stations

Deep Submergence Unit Citation
$1 - $19.99 $20.00 - $29.99

$30.00 - $49.99

$50.00 - $99.00 $100.00 +





George Schaefer

Tudor Davis

Anonymous-WWII Vet

Updated: Jan 4, 2012. Thanks Shipmates


Soup Down: Fri, Feb 24,  1130
*Azteca, 5060 State Highway 303 NE, Bremerton

Join the Fun, click for Images

Complete Schedule linked here

Ltr of 2011 appreciation/request for 2012 gift certificate


Gertrude Check
Founder & Editor



Other News of Interest to Submariners



South Korea, US to stage anti-sub drill in Yellow Sea, February 16

SEOUL: The US and South Korean navies will stage a joint anti-submarine drill in the Yellow Sea next week to guard against potential attacks by North Korea, Seoul's defence ministry said Thursday.

The drill from February 20-24 will involve a number of submarines and warships from both countries, a ministry spokesman told AFP without elaborating.

JoongAng Ilbo newspaper said the drill would involve some 20 craft including two Aegis ships from the US and one from South Korea, as well as Lynx helicopters and P3-C anti-submarine surveillance aircraft.

Citing an unidentified Seoul military official, it said the exercise would be the largest anti-submarine joint drill carried out by the allies.

The two countries staged a joint anti-submarine drill in September 2010, months after Seoul accused Pyongyang of torpedoing a warship with the loss of 46 lives in the Yellow Sea in March 2010.
The North denied it sank the ship. But in November that year it shelled a border island, killing four South Koreans.

The upcoming drill, to precede two other major joint exercises, comes at a sensitive time in the North which is undergoing a power transition.

Pyongyang has taken a hostile tone towards Seoul since Kim Jong-Un, the youngest son of the late leader Kim Jong-Il, took over following the death of his father last December.

The Key Resolve drill between the South and the US will start on February 27 and continue until March 9. Separately, a joint air, ground and naval field training exercise known as Foal Eagle will be held from March 1 to April 30.

North Korea has denounced the exercises as warmongering.


Last Gasp of USS Trout SS 566

To those who have served on a Navy Ship, the ship takes on a life of her own. She has a personality which, while it is unique to each crew member, makes her as much a real person as most of the shipmates who served with her. To see a noble lady reduced to all the dignity of a gutted catfish is almost more than a sailor can bear. I cannot say more.

Former Crew Member Sends


"I saw the picture of her "...last gasp..." in the GERTRUDE CHECK and was --- once again --- heartsick that a boat that was in such beautiful shape was reduced to scrap! San Diego Maritime Museum passed up a chance to get her --- instead they opted for that damned Russian Foxtrot that's sitting down there and for the USS DOLPHIN which is no more a representative of the Fast Attack Class (or any class for that matter) than the Foxtrot is. Sickening! We were trying to get something together up here in Tri-Cities to get her --- even had a tug and tow arranged who would bring her up the Columbia for the cost of the fuel, etc., etc., etc. Our application had just been sent off when the Navy - suddenly and, for no known good reason, pulled her off the memorial list and sold her for scrap. I've got pictures of her (85 in all) from Captain Jay Crumbie, who went aboard her in Key West in 2005 and, I wish to state unequivocally here that that boat was in pristine shape except for "scabbing" topside on the metal deck and some work needed on her topside. I'll send that to you if you wish. She was a great boat. I served aboard her from 1971 to 1976 - made two WestPacs on her. She was a hot runner and loved by the crews who manned her.

I am nominally in charge of the USS TROUT (SS566/202) ASSOCIATION as well as organizing the biennial reunions. We have one coming up in Charleston in May of 2013. I'm trying real hard to get everyone associated with TROUT to get to this Reunion because it may well be the last hurrah for the old girl and her crews. Most of the guys who served in her are in their late 60's - 70's and, 80's. You know how that goes." Steve "Willie" Wilson


"Unfortunately, the scrapping has done took place. It was at ESCO Marine in Brownsville, TX. That particular picture was taken in - I believe - Feb. or Mar. of '10 but, I'm not for sure. All I know is that one damned good boat is gone. All that's left are the USS TANG(SS-563) and the USS GUDGEON(SS-567) and they're in Turkey. The GUDGEON is their museum boat. If they ever decide to get rid of them, I'm hoping we'll hear in time to try and get them "back home".  Steve "Willie" Wilson

Updated Saturday, February 18, 2012


Report: Russian Sub Had Nukes During December Fire
AP, February 13

MOSCOW — A fire at a drydocked Russian nuclear submarine in December could have sparked a radiation disaster because it was carrying nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles and other weapons, despite official statements to the contrary, a Russian news magazine reported Monday.

The respected Kommersant Vlast said the fire aboard the Yekaterinburg could have triggered powerful explosions that would have destroyed the submarine and scattered radioactive material around a large area.

When the fire erupted on Dec. 29, Russia's Defense Ministry said all weapons had been unloaded before the submarine was moved to a drydock for repairs at the Roslyakovo shipyard in the Murmansk region.

The ministry declined immediate comment on the magazine's claim.

It took hundreds of emergency workers more than 20 hours to extinguish the massive blaze that shot orange flames up to 66 feet (20 meters) into the air. The Defense Ministry said an unspecified number of crew members remained inside the sub during the fire and that seven crewmen were hospitalized after inhaling carbon monoxide fumes from the blaze.

The fire, which authorities later blamed on a breach in safety regulations, erupted at wooden scaffolding around the sub and quickly engulfed the vessel's rubber-coated outer hull.

With the sub's hydraulic systems incapacitated, the crew had to manually remove heavy torpedoes from tubes in the bow to prevent them from exploding as temperatures were rising quickly.
The magazine said that an explosion of torpedoes, each carrying 660 pounds (300 kilograms) of TNT would likely have destroyed the bow and could have triggered a blast of nuclear-tipped missiles in the midsection and the vessel's two nuclear reactors.

"Russia was a step away from the largest catastrophe since Chernobyl," Komersant Vlast said, referring to the 1986 explosion at a nuclear power plant in then-Soviet Ukraine.

The magazine said that weapons are normally removed from submarines before repairs, but the navy wanted to save time on a lengthy procedure to unload the missiles and torpedoes. It said the repairs were supposed to be relatively minor and the Northern Fleet wanted the Yekaterinburg to be quickly back to service.

Damage to submarine has senator "worried" about naval defence
The Vancover Sun, February 13

OTTAWA — Liberal Senator Colin Kenny said Monday he is "worried" about Canada's naval defence as he pondered new photos uncovered by CBC that show extensive damage to the submarine HMCS Corner Brook which hit bottom last June.

"Having the capacity to protect Canada underwater with submarines is fundamental to our defence. It's an absolute necessity," he said. "I'm worried right now. None of the boats we have are capable of doing the job."

According to Kenny, several photos of the HMCS Corner Brook show "a very significant inverted triangular hole in the bow of the boat" about 10 metres high and eight metres wide.
It appears that the submarine struck a rock when it hit the ocean floor off Vancouver Island, he said, but noted it was difficult to tell the "substance of the accident."

"It's very very unusual for a submarine to hit bottom of ocean and to damage itself," Kenny said. "I'm concerned that the credibility of the Royal Canadian Navy's submarine program is being put in jeopardy."
After a Dec. 2011 investigation, the Royal Canadian Navy's Board of Inquiry cited "human error" that caused the submarine to strike the southeastern wall of British Columbia's Zuciarte Channel.
After the inquiry, the ship's commanding officer was removed from command and reassigned to a position ashore. The investigation also said inadequate training and inexperience contributed to the incident.

The navy has pledged to amend its submarine training manuals, training and navigation practices.

Kenny said the "shortage of people who can operate the boats" is worrisome, adding that none of Canada's four submarines are certified and weaponized this year.

Meanwhile, the Department of National Defence said Canada's submarine fleet "will achieve full operational capability in 2013; at which point Canada will have three of four submarines continuously available for operations."

"A high readiness submarine will be available in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans," said Lt. Mark Fifield in an email.

"The watertight integrity of the submarine remained intact and at no time were the crew in danger after the grounding incident," he said of HMCS Corner Brook.

A determination of the full extent of the damage and related repairs will be made during the ship's maintenance period, beginning in 2013.



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