Scholarship Night This Tuesday, 18 May at the FRA
Bremerton Base will presents 6, $1000 scholarship checks
this Tuesday evening (at 7PM) to deserving children or
grandchildren of local submarine veterans (active,ex,ret).
Bremerton Base Members Disguised as Pirates Take
Traveling Dolphins Home
Last Evening, Thursday, June 13th, 5 members of
Bremerton Base, led by VC Steve Corcoran,
disguised themselves as pirates and captured their
coveted traveling dolphins from the Olympic Peninsula
Base weak force of 8 base members.
The Oly Base a put together a very nice custom carrying
case for the dolphins. Of course it had their
patch sewed on to it. They also had made a couple
nice quotes under a pair of gold and silver dolphins on
the back of the dolphins. It was a fine job.
Welcome Aboard a New Member:
Ethan Allen, Will Rogers, George Washington Carver,
William H Bates)
Groton Base SitRep from National Commander T. Michael
June 8, 2013, 11:52 PM
Today I am disappointed that
I must inform you that an
ongoing situation at the
Groton Base made it
mandatory for me form a
Disciplinary Committee to
look into financial problems
at the Groton Base. The
Disciplinary Committee work
is still in progress.
By way of background, the
Groton Base Commander sent a
letter to all Base Members
in January announcing a
"grave and serious matter."
He stated that the Club
operated by the Base had
incurred a $16 thousand loss
in 2012. He also stated
that an additional amount
was owed to the IRS in the
form of fines and penalties
due to improper withholding
for the Club?s employees.
To cover the losses, he
asked for tax deductible
As a Life Member of the
Groton Base (as well as many
others), I received a copy
of that letter. The letter
content caused me certain
concern with the potential
implications for all of
USSVI, not just Groton . I
asked our National
subsequently our National
Treasurer, to look into the
correspondence offered to
assist in any way to help
remedy the situation. The
response to that inquiry was
defensive and maintained
that this was a "Groton"
problem and "Groton" had
taken care of it. Rest
assured that at any time
that the IRS becomes
involved in any USSVI Base
it is a grave USSVI National
concern. In summary, here
is what they have found thus
* Although the Groton
Base Commander has
repeatedly stated that the
Club was a corporation,
separate from USSVI, and
also that it was a
"for-profit" corporation we
found that the Club is not a
Even if it were separate,
however, it is not
understood why he would
think that donations to
solve financial problems
with a for-profit
corporation could be tax
* Comments about the
Club being a ?separate
corporation? had been
forcefully stated in the
past by the Base Commander.
For these many years we have
presumed that he, as Base
Commander and therefore CEO,
knew exactly the nature of
the business being conducted
at Groton Base as he
frequently stated, so his
assertions were not
questioned. In view of the
deepening questions on the
situation, he was asked for
copies of the Club?s
corporate documents. Within
a week, the Base Commander
acknowledged that the Club
was not a separate
* Discovery in the
investigation has provided
us with the information to
be found on the Groton Base
Liquor Permit which states
that the ?Backer? of the
Club is "United States
Submarine Veterans, Inc."
Under Connecticut state
liquor law, the "Backer" is
totally responsible for the
financial and legal
liability of the business.
Why is that? It is because
the building has been and
continues to be in the name
of USSVI. USSVI is the
"legal entity" corporation
that we all are a part of.
The Base is part of USSVI,
not separate from us, and
does not separately hold
title. In other words,
USSVI is ultimately
responsible for the Club,
and problems with the Club?s
finances could have
implications to the whole of
all knew by mid-April this
year that there was no
separate corporation, yet at
that time the Chairman of
the Club?s Board of Trustees
signed a Connecticut form
where he falsely identified
himself as an authorized
representative of USSVI.
Both he and the Base
Commander knew that they
were not authorized to sign
documents legally binding on
USSVI. They should have
asked National for such
authority, but for whatever
reason they did not. They
signed the document, in
violation of our
Constitution that prohibits
a Base or un-authorized
person from obligating USSVI.
* We also looked into
the IRS problems with the
Club. Back in 2009, the
Club's employees began to be
paid minimum wage plus tips,
instead of tips only, and
appropriate withholding for
the employees had to be
done. Errors were made in
calculations, however, and
the IRS began sending
Notices to the Base about
the errors, demanding
payments of the deficits,
plus fines and penalties.
None of this was reported to
* Copies of the IRS
Notices were requested from
Groton Base, but were
delayed for reasons known
only to Groton Base. When
some were provided, one IRS
Notice, "Intent to Levy,"
threatened to seize USSVI
property if the amount due
was not paid or IRS
contacted by a specific
date, and that date had
already passed 7-days
* At one point our
National Treasurer requested
documents as part of the
Groton Base End of Year
report, as it is now
apparent that the income and
expenditures of the Bar
must be included. The
Treasurer was told by the
Base Treasurer to ?Talk to
our Attorney.? The Base
Commander stated that he had
directed the Base
Treasurer?s actions. These
actions were contrary to our
Bylaws that require
submittal of appropriate EOY
To add to the defensiveness
of the Groton Base attitude,
the Groton Base had hired an
attorney. Rather than to
suggest possible options to
USSVI being the Backer for
the Groton Club, as had been
requested, the attorney was
apparently authorized by the
Base/Base Leadership to get
between the Groton Treasurer
and our National Treasurer,
essentially to defend Groton
Base/Base Leadership against
We all take this situation
very seriously. Problems
with any base can have
serious repercussions to our
whole organization. Since
Groton Base was our first
Base and is home to so much
of our history, any
corrective action must take
extra care to preserve the
best of USSVI, eliminate the
source of problems, and
establish a long term path
that eliminates the
possibility of a repeat of
The current status is that
the Disciplinary Committee
has met with and interviewed
various persons associated
with the Groton Base and has
received some additional
documentation regarding the
financial situation with the
Groton Base. The
report to me and to the
USSVI Board of Directors is
expected soon. I will let
the Membership know of the
Base Preps for Annual Fireworks Sale Continue
(27 Jun - 4
Fire Works Manager Mike Sullivan, with his
relief, Mike Friend, continue to prepare for the
annual Fireworks Sales to be held road side in front of
QFC on Kitsap Way in Bremerton from 27 Jun to 4 Jul.
This is our major annual money maker for base operations
which include charitable ventures.
Right now, we need to fill out the sales staff for the
http://gertrude-check.org/2013WB.pdf Once you
look over the watch bill, call
(360-275-3638) with your choices of times on
the watch bill.
Story of USS R-12
Thanks to Ric Hedman of Seattle Base, A project
to produce a documentary film about the loss and location of
the hulk of the USS R-12 recently came to the attention of
your USSVI Board of Directors. As you know, it is the
primary purpose of USSVI to "Perpetuate the memory of our
shipmates who gave heir lives in the pursuit of their duties
while serving their country."
This project seems a natural fit for our interests and
purposes, so your Board voted to pledge $ 1,000 towards the
completion of this mission.
The board endorses and encourages ALL bases and members to
join with us in also pledging financial support towards
completion of this project. A unique factor in this request
is that we are asking you to 'PLEDGE' your support now. They
need to raise $ 89,000.00 by June 30, and your pledgewill
convert into a donation ONLY if this goal is reached by that
Your participation via Kickstarter will enable them to
complete the documentary "Twice Forgotten". Our collective
participation will help empower them to finally tell the
story of the USS R-12 Submarine's tragic sinking, the
families left without any information and the quest to solve
the mysteries that have been unanswered after all this time.
The history books are wrong, it is time to do things right!
How does it work:
1. Go to
2. Click the Green BACK THIS PROJECT button
3. Choose your support level and click the CONTINUE button
4. Complete the Log-in information and enter info for AMAZON
When complete you will get a email notification thanking you
for the pledge. At the end of the pledge drive on June 30,
the donor list will be reviewed by us so that USSVI gets
recognition for all our collective donations. This
project will only be funded and your pledge converted to a
donation ONLY if at least $89,000 is pledged by Sunday Jun
30. $20,400 has been
pledged as of the date of this message.
Overview: The WW-II submarine USS R-12 sank off the coast of
Key West, Florida at midday on June 12, 1943. She took 40
American sailors and 2 Brazilian officers to their grave at
600 ft on the ocean floor. They have been missing for nearly
70 years until found in 2010 by a team of explorers working
with state of the art technology and fascinated by R-12's
story and the mystery.
Since USS R-12 was discovered in late 2010 the team has put
forth a herculean effort to locate the family members of the
entombed, research government and historical files and
launch a major expedition to film and document the sub in
its final resting place at 100 fathoms in the Straights of
Florida. The documenting of the data and family information
amission to resolve the mystery of the sinking while
bringing closure to thef amilies, recognition to the entombed
men of R-12 and raise awareness of alost and forgotten crew
to a young generation of people.
The team continues to work under Navy permits and needs to
return to site for filming underwater in the summer of 2013.
They have been assembling a documentary of our findings,
interviews, underwater robotic technology, exclusive
underwater footage of the submarine in her final resting
place and have been on a quest to solve the mystery of her
sinking. This is an
important and significant discovery and we are dedicated to
sharing it with the public. These entombed servicemen deserve
to be acknowledged today (70years later) as any of our lost
and missing military would deserve if their remains were
found seventy years from now.
USS R-12 is the sixth WWII US submarine to be found of the
fifty-two missingand the only US Sub to sink within the
continental United States.
Pride Runs Deep,
T. Michael Bircumshaw
3rd Tue, 1900
at FRA 29
521 National Ave, Bremerton, WA
Click Date to Show Event Calendar
Click Date to Show Event
image web page/refresh to run movie
Ervin Schmidt named Grand Marshal of Edmonds 4th of July
Pearl Harbor survivor witnessed the beginning and end of
World War II
The Edmonds Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce
Veteran Ervin Schmidt as the 2013 Grand Marshal of “An
Edmonds Kind of Fourth” Parade.
Erv, as his friends call him, is a highly decorated Naval
veteran, and has been a member of the Veterans of Foreign
Wars for 65 years.
He lives in Edmonds and is a member of VFW Post # 8870 in
Schmidt was a 25-year-old barber from Marshfield, Wisconsin
when he enlisted in the United State Navy in August of 1940.
After completing basic training, Schmidt was assigned to the
battleship USS California. In December of 1941, the USS
California was docked in what has become known as
“battleship row” at Pearl Harbor, Honolulu, Hawaii.
When the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor occurred at a few
minutes before 8 a.m., on Dec. 7, 1941, Schmidt was asleep
in his bunk several levels below the main deck when the
first of two torpedoes struck the California.
One of Schmidt’s bunkmates was killed instantly by the
blast. Dazed by the attack, Schmidt and several shipmates
tried to make their way to their battle stations.
They were overcome by smoke and fumes on the second deck,
and survived only because shipmates carried them to the main
deck where the fresh air revived them.
After a second torpedo struck, the ship began to list and
the Captain issued the order to abandon ship.
Schmidt was on the main deck and chose to remain on the ship
with three of his shipmates, who could not swim. They were
the only remaining personnel on the ship, and they manned a
50 cal. anti-aircraft gun to fire at the attacking Japanese
Late in the afternoon, Schmidt and his three friends were
evacuated and shortly thereafter, the USS California sunk.
Of the 1500 men assigned to the USS California, over 200 of
them were killed in the attack.
In the confusion that resulted in the aftermath of the
attack on Pearl Harbor, Schmidt was listed as Killed in
Action, and his family was so notified. Six weeks after his
family held a funeral service for him, they learned that he
had, indeed, survived the attack.
Three days after the attack, Schmidt was reassigned to a
heavy cruiser, the USS Chicago. On May 7 and 8, 1942, the
USS Chicago participated in the Battle of the Coral Sea,
which proved to be a turning point in the War in the
After several months of patrolling off the Australian coast,
the Chicago was assigned to transport portions of the 1st
Marine Division to Guadalcanal.
These Marines participated in the landing on the beach on
August 7-8, 1942.
During the battle, the Chicago was struck by two enemy
torpedoes. Fortunately for Schmidt, the torpedo that struck
his ship directly below his bunk, did not explode, but the
second torpedo caused significant damage to the ship.
When repairs were completed, the USS Chicago returned to the
Coral Sea in late January 1943.
On January 29, 1943, the Chicago sustained severe battle
damage and once again, Schmidt heard the command to abandon
This was the second ship on which he served that was sunk.
Following his second sinking, Schmidt returned to San Diego
where he volunteered for duty on a submarine.
He was assigned to the USS Saury as a radio and sonar
operator. During his five patrols on the Saury, a total of 9
Japanese ships were sunk, and Schmidt and his crewmates
survived numerous depth charge attacks and a ramming by a
Japanese light cruiser.
In a scene right out of a Hollywood movie, the Saury was
forced to lie on the bottom of the ocean at a depth of 200
After the enemy had left the area, the submarine was able to
surface the next morning and return to Pearl Harbor for
He was now assigned to another submarine, the USS Torsk,
which conducted patrols against enemy shipping, first in
Tokyo Bay and then the Sea of Japan.
On August 11 and then on August 13, 1945, the Torsk sank two
Japanese Naval ships, which were the last two ships sunk by
the US Navy in World War II. On August 14, 1945, hostilities
in the South Pacific ended.
Schmidt’s submarine returned to New London, Connecticut in
October 1945 where he was reunited with his wife and members
of his family.
He served in the Navy for one more year before he was
discharged in December, 1946.
He served three years in combat in the South Pacific and has
the distinction of serving in combat at the outset of WW II
and during the last naval action of WW II.
He is a highly decorated Naval veteran, and has been a
member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars for 65 years.
Schmidt lives in Edmonds and is a member of VFW Post # 8870.
The members of Post # 8870 are proud to honor and recognize
Schmidt’s service to our grateful nation.
Erv, 98, is a USSVI Bremerton Base Life member.
Nominations for Bremerton Base Elected Officers Are Open Submitted
by Nominations Committee Chairman Dutch Kaiser
Members in good standing and state that they are willing
to serve if elected can be nominated. See Bylaws
The election will be held at the November business meeting.