Gertrude check


  Issue/Date 20130715



P O. Box 465, Silverdale, WA 98383-0465




Sunday, 21 July 2013 07:24:44 AM


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

July Meeting Features Speaker Lt Christianson, USS Ohio .... WWII Sub History Videos Here....Nat Scholarship Winners Here

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July General Meeting, Tuesday, July16, 1900 At FRA 29

(Posted 7-13-2013)


The monthly membership meeting of the Bremerton Base will be this Tuesday.

We are fortunate to have as our speaker, our newest member, Lt Britta Christainson, USS Ohio.


Lieutenant Britta Christianson was born in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin on 12 March 1982 to Terry and Linda Christianson. In May 2004, she graduated and commissioned from the University of Wisconsin with a BA in International Relations and Political Science.

In January 2005, LT Christianson reported to Naval Air Station Pensacola Florida as a student Naval Flight Officer. She was selected for E2-C Hawkeyes and reported to the Fleet Replacement Squadron VAW-120 in Norfolk, Virginia. She earned her wings in June 2007 however, she then decided to laterally transfer to the Supply Corps.

In March 2008 LT Christianson reported to Naval Supply Corps School, Athens Georgia. Upon completion of Basic Qualification Course she attended Supply Officer Department Head Course and received orders to USS FORREST SHERMAN (DDG 98).

While onboard USS FORREST SHERMAN, LT Christianson served for two and a half years as the Supply Officer. While there completed a BALTOPs deployment and a deployment to the Gulf of Aden in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. She also completed a Supply Management Certification with the score of Outstanding and received the Blue "E". While on FORREST SHERMAN she also served as the HELO Control Officer and the Boarding Officer for the ship's Visit Board Search and Seizure (VBSS) team. Upon completion of her tour onboard she volunteered for a GSA in Afghanistan.

In January 2011 LT Christianson reported to Expeditionary Combat Readiness Center for training with the Army prior to being forward deployed to Afghanistan. She was assigned to Forward Operating Base Camp Eggers in Kabul, Afghanistan. As the Afghan National Police (ANP) Fuels Officer for NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan/Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan she managed a $90M budget and procured the country's fuel for the ANP. While in Afghanistan she received word that she was selected for the Women in Submarines program and upon her return from Afghanistan in August she reported to Sub Base Groton, Connecticut.

She attended Submarine Officer Basic Course and graduated in November 2011she reported to USS OHIO (SSGN 726) (GOLD) as the Supply Officer immediately after. She has completed 3 full deployments, two Voyage Repair Periods, and one MMP on board OHIO. On board OHIO she has completed a Supply Management Inspection and received an overall grade of At Standards. She is the first woman to be qualified in Submarines and Diving Officer of the Watch. She is currently the only women standing mission DOOW.
Officers or enlisted or both, it would difficult to achieve what she has in eight years./ed

Bremerton Base Takes Back the Traveling Dolphins
(Posted 7-13-2013

This past Thursday, under the leadership of VCDR Steve Corcoran, Bremerton Base showed up with their Pirate Raiding Crew and enjoyed an informative meeting with South Sound Base Brothers.  Of course we outnumbered them, but the percentage of our members (283) and those that showed, 8, 3%; while 7 of their 36 members, 19%, shows that although we showed with more members, they were the winners in % of show ups.  Just a thought.  But we brought home the dolphins!

South Sounders had a good ship's store on display and some snacks available.  We appreciated their hospitality.

Past National Commander Pat Householder was on hand and spoke about 10 minutes explaining the USSVI/Groton Base fiasco, the disciplinary action taken and his view it effect on the USSVI.  Pat, respected by all, gave calm, as usual, view.

2013 Firworks Sale

(Posted 7-08-2013)

On Thursday, June 27th, Bremerton Subvets kicked off a very busy Independence Day schedule. About 50 active duty, ex and retired subvets and their family members were involved from 27 June through 5 July.

The activities started with the annual opening of the Subvets Fireworks Stand led by manager Mike Sullivan and his assistant, Mike Friend, who was learning the ropes as next year’s manager. This duty is known as “hell” week as these two gents were essentially on duty for 24/7. Preliminary report indicates the base will be able to meet our operational and charitable needs for another year as this event the base’s major funding source.

On Saturday, July 1, Bremerton Subvets participated in Port Orchard’s annual Fathoms of Fun’s parade. Although less than an expected turn out, we drew an active duty subvet, Joe Hanisko (Jimmy Carter) who carried the colors in his Navy uniform. We won first place in the military entry category.

On the 4th of July, the base marched in their favorite parade, the Bainbridge Island Grand Old Fourth of July Parade. Again we had active duty Subvets marching, some, members of the base.


2013 Bainbridge Island Grand Old Fourth of July Parade!
(Posted 7-05-2013)






A Success!





Participation in Fathoms O’ Fun’s 46th Grand Parade Lower Than Normal

But a Grand Feed at Ralph & Rose Marie's Afterward

(Updated 7-5-2013)

About 8 or 9 members showed up on a beautiful evening in Port Orchard to participate in this  annual parade. 


John C, Congrats on Oly Base 2nd place prize!

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Monthly Meetings
3rd Tue, 1900

 at FRA 29
521 National Ave, Bremerton, WA

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FLASH-01: John Carcioppolo Findings by Special Committee
Submitted by: T. Michael Bircumshaw on 7/9/2013

 It is regrettable that the recent situation at Groton Base has been made into a circus of controversy.
  John Carcioppolo became the center of attention in an investigation of the Groton Base, Groton Base Clubhouse and Bar due to rather extreme financial difficulties that have brought the whole of USSVI into sharp focus with the IRS. Due to delays and lack of cooperation in responding to questions asked of the Groton Base Commander and Treasurer, under the terms of the Bylaws, Article VI, Section 18, a Disciplinary Committee was convened to investigate the situation comprised of three Region Directors with considerable experience, two of whom are Joe Negri Awardees and also past or current Base Commanders, plus one past District Commander of the Year.
  Ten individuals were interviewed in Groton, including John Carcioppolo. They are not identified in the report, but John C knows who they are.
  Instead of appealing the judgment of the Disciplinary Committee to the full board, John C resigned and then it was taken public by John C and the entire situation was subjected to becoming viral with self serving accusations and mis-representations directed at the national organization and the national officers.
  As a result of the actions taken by John Carcioppolo and others within USSVI, I have written an expanded explanation and am presenting a summary of the Disciplinary Committee’s findings. They may be found at the following links:







Hello all,
     I just wanted to take a moment to reflect on the past few weeks. It has been busy!  We do have a great base. Our members step up when needed. First, we had the Fathoms of Fun parade in Port Orchard. It was a beautiful night and we took first place in the military category. I thank all of those who attended and Ralph and Rose Marie Harris for the awesome after parade get together at their home. They put out a great spread of food and beverages and a nice atmosphere in their back yard. It is a fun time. All are welcome. Remember for next year.

Next was the fireworks sales at our stand on Kitsap Way in Bremerton. Fireworks Chairman Mike Sullivan and his relief, Mike Friend, did an outstanding job this year. This is our major fundraiser of the year, and the support we receive from our members is awesome. For those of you that supported the watchbill, or just showed up to support the sales, I thank you. I was there on the 3rd and 4th, and I understand it is not easy doing the customer service with a smile for hours on end. I met two members of our base for the first time. Phil and "Lefty", I thank you for your time in the booth. Jim, Red, Sam, Joel, Dick, Nola, Joe,Dennis and all the others, I give you my thanks. If I forgot anyone, I am sorry.You all did a great job. Watching Dennis Nardone run the till on the 4th was a thing of magic.

     The parade on Bainbridge Island was rewarding. They do appreciate us. If we participate in one parade all year, I vote for this one. The people of the Island do appreciate us, and welcome us with salutes and "Thank you, or Thank you for your service". John Gardner deserves an "atta boy" for being our parade chairman. Thanks John!!.
    At our next meeting we will have a guest speaker from the U.S.S.Ohio. Stand by for more info. Be sure to attend. It should be a good event.
     On a final note, the Pirate Posse will head South to the South Sound Base on Thursday, July 11th to retrieve the Traveling Dolphins. All hands are welcome to join this fun event. We will meet at the Lowe's in Port Orchard between 1700-1730. I welcome all Base members to join this convoy. We usually car pool to make it easier.
      As always, if there is anything I can be of assistance with, please feel free to contact me. It is a pleasure serving you all as your Vice Commander. Enjoy the remainder of summer.

Steve Corcoran
P.O. Box 6216
Silverdale, WA 98315
Cell (360) 471-2704


Biannual Base Officer Elections on the Horizon

(Posted 6-23-2013)

Nomination Chairman Dutch Kaiser reports the following members in good standing have been

Commander:  Jim DeMott,  Stephen Corcoran
Vice Commander:  Wayne Peterson,  Stephen Corcoran
Secretary:  Wayne Sieckowski



Section 1. The Chairman of the Nominating Committee shall conduct the nominations for the

five elected offices.


Section 2. The chairman of the Nominating Committee shall call for nominations of eligible candidates for

the five elected offices to all members on or before August 30. Nominations shall be submitted by

any member in good standing on or before October 30, to the Chairman of the Nominating

Committee, but only if such nominations are accompanied by consent of the nominee that he will accept the nomination and serve if elected and he must be a member in good standing. Upon

receipt of all nominations, the Chairman of the Nominating Committee shall have published the

names, in alphabetical order, of all candidates properly nominated, at least thirty days prior to the

date of elections. Additional nominations, when called for, shall be made from the floor, on the

day of the election, and shall be accepted upon the oral or written consent of the nominee that he

accepts the nomination and will serve if elected. Elections will normally be held at the business

meeting in November. The new officers shall be installed during the month of January. (Amd

10-19-10 & 10-18-11)


Section 3. All elections shall be by secret ballot vote of the members in good standing.


Published: Thursday, July 4, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Pearl Harbor survivor, 97, will serve as grand marshal in Edmonds
By Gale Fiege, Herald Writer

Ervin Schmidt steps out of the doorway of his Everett apartment, which he has decorated for the nation's big celebration. Schmidt, 97, a Pearl Harbor survivor and VFW member for 65 years, is grand marshal for this year's Edmonds July 4th parade.

Ervin Schmidt steps out of the doorway of his Everett apartment, which he has decorated for the nation's big celebration. Schmidt, 97, a Pearl Harbor survivor and VFW member for 65 years, is grand marshal for this year's Edmonds July 4th parade.

EDMONDS -- Ervin Schmidt is a patriotic man who served in the Navy in the first battle of World War II, and what was one of the last. He doesn't hide the thrill he expects today at noon when he serves as the grand marshal of the Independence Day parade in Edmonds.

It likely will be the last time he wears his prized "digger" or bush hat, which honors the U.S. Navy's allies from Australia and New Zealand in the Pacific during World War II. He also plans to wear a vest decorated with his Navy medals, ribbons, pins and patches from all the veterans groups to which he belongs.

Schmidt, at age 97, is one of the few remaining survivors of the surprise Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. It's a day he remembers with remarkable clarity, unsettling sorrow and deep thankfulness for his life.

War should never be glorified, he said, but its history must be kept alive.

"Or we'll never learn how to avoid war. The Lord can't help us get rid of war," Schmidt said. "If people weren't so greedy, we could settle things without war."

Schmidt is a 65-year member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8870 in Edmonds. For many years, he's talked to school groups around the county, helping young people get a better picture of the history he can share.

More than 2,400 sailors were killed at Pearl Harbor and about 84,000 survived. Today fewer than 1,000 of those survivors are still alive. "Our numbers are plummeting," Schmidt said.

At age 7, Schmidt emigrated with his family from Germany through Ellis Island and on to Wisconsin. When he landed in the hospital last month with a prostate problem, a nurse noticed that he was born in Germany. She spoke to Schmidt in German and he responded right back in his native language.

As a young man, Schmidt served three years in the Civilian Conservation Corps in Wisconsin. The corps gave him a sense of duty, he said, and so he joined the Navy at age 24.

"I knew the United States would be involved shortly in the war in Europe and in the Pacific," Schmidt said. "I thought we should be prepared."

Schmidt proudly displays his class photo from 1940 when he completed basic training at the Naval Training Station at Great Lakes, Ill. He then was assigned to the warship USS California. On the morning of the Japanese attack, it was docked on battleship row at Pearl Harbor.

Shortly before 8 a.m., Schmidt was still in his bunk several levels below deck. He and a buddy planned a shore-leave outing to Waikiki Beach that day. Instead, the California was hit by torpedo fire and one of his bunkmates was killed by the blast.

"We knew then that our war with Japan had started," he said.

Schmidt and 26 of his fellow sailors tried to make it to their battle stations, but, overcome by smoke and fumes from the ship's oil tankers, they passed out. After a second torpedo strike, the ship began to list and the captain ordered his crew to abandon ship. Schmidt didn't hear the order. Had other shipmates not discovered Schmidt and his group and pulled them to fresh air on the main deck, they likely would have drowned, he said.

"So guys were diving into the water to swim to shore," Schmidt said. "I noticed three young sailors who were shaken and confused. They admitted they couldn't swim. I decided to stay with them. Instead of panicking, we went below to get some ammunition to fight back."

The men went below deck in the dark, carried up a heavy wood box filled with shells and climbed up to the anti-aircraft gun above the ship's bridge. "We found energy for this task that we didn't know we had," Schmidt said. "We fired at as many Japanese bombers as we could."

Schmidt and the three younger men were rescued after the bombing had stopped and before the battleship sank. (Three months later the USS California was raised and went to Bremerton for repairs and refitting.)

In the confusion of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Schmidt was listed as killed in action. Six weeks after his family held a memorial service for him, they learned that Schmidt had survived and was serving aboard the USS Chicago. The Chicago was in the Coral Sea backing up Australian and New Zealand forces in fierce fighting there. One night they buried nearly 40 sailors at sea.

When the Chicago was sunk off the Solomon Islands, Schmidt swam away. He was rescued by a destroyer and sent back to San Diego where he then volunteered for duty as a radio and sonar operator aboard the submarine USS Saury, which later sank nine Japanese ships. Near the end of the war, Petty Officer 1st Class Schmidt served as a radioman on the submarine USS Torsk, working among the mine fields laid at the bottom of Tokyo Bay and the Sea of Japan.

At one point, Schmidt remembered, the Torsk surfaced to pick up seven survivors of a Japanese ship the submarine had destroyed.

"The youngest was only 14 years old," Schmidt said, his voice cracking. "We fed them, clothed them and took care of them until the war ended 30 days later."

On the Torsk, Schmidt participated in the final Navy battles of World War II. The Torsk crew sunk four Japanese ships, the last one as the U.S. bombed Nagasaki and Hiroshima, and the Japanese surrendered.

Schmidt and his wife, June, moved to Washington state after the war, living for a time in a rustic shack on Lake Serene and eventually settling in Mountlake Terrace, where their four children attended school and where they worshipped at First Baptist Church.

Schmidt, who worked as a barber before joining the Navy, and June ran their own beauty shops for a time and he worked as a sales representative for Paris Beauty Supply in Seattle. After retirement, they visited Pearl Harbor. Later they lived in Edmonds before moving to south Everett before June's death earlier this year.

The members of Post 8870 were proud to honor Schmidt as their nomination to serve as grand marshal for today's "Edmonds Kind of Fourth" parade, said fellow VFW member Ron Clyborne.

"We recognize Erv's great service to our grateful nation," Clyborne said. "We think the world of him. He is amazing."

Erv is member of the /Bremerton, /Seattle and South Sound Bases


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