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Our Perch Base logo

Arizona Submarine Veterans
Perch Base
Phoenix, AZ
United States Submariners

USSVI logo

Click on the logo or these words to go to the United States Submariners home page.

Upcoming Events (Click Link For More Details)
USS Kete

Lest we forget to perpetuate the memory of our shipmates who gave their lives in the pursuit of their duties while serving their country. . .
77 years ago, on March 20, 1945, the USS Kete (SS‑369), sailed off into history on her final and eternal patrol.
Her loss remains a mystery. She was returning to Midway from her patrol area near Colnett Strait.
87 men were lost.
Your Brothers of the 'Phin Have the Watch.
Fair Winds and Following Seas, Shipmates.

Eternal Patrol Dolphins

Visit the Perch Base Eternal Patrol page.

Veterans Crisis Line

Are you a Veteran in crisis or concerned about one?
Connect with the Veterans Crisis Line to reach caring, qualified responders with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Many of them are Veterans themselves. It is confidential and available every day, 24/7.
Click on the picture, above, to go to the VETERANS CRISIS LINE.

March 2023 General Meeting

Perch Base Submarine Veterans (USSVI) had a guest speaker, Steve Momsen, the nephew of Admiral Charles “Swede” Momsen, and installed George Woods as Base Commander during the March 11, 2023 General Meeting.
Read more and see more photos from the meeting HERE.

Big Sign Reveal

USS Phoenix (SSN-702) Cold War Museum Monument Project
You are cordially invited to attend a BIG SIGN media reveal in Steele Indian School Park on Tuesday, April 11, 2023 from 10 to 11 AM!!
We have permission to hang a very large (two City busses long!) sign in Steele Indian School Park downtown as part of a promotion to build a Cold War Museum Monument in Steele Indian School Park. The monument will use as its centerpiece 65 tons of salvaged parts from the nuclear-powered USS Phoenix (SSN-702), a Los Angeles Class fast attack submarine.
Read more about the event in our Sailing Orders HERE

2023 Western Region Roundup Logo

The Western Region Roundup is to be held in Sacramento, CA from April 27 – 29, 2023.
Details are on the Western Region Roundup website.
Here's some pictures from last year's Western Regional Roundup in Reno, NV.
View the "Plan of the Day" and the current list of "Who Is Coming"

2023 USSVI National Convention Logo

August 28 - September 2, 2023
As co-sponsors of the 2023 USSVI National Convention in Tucson with the Tucson Base, we are not only encouraging attendance, but also participation in a number of volunteer support activities.
Follow this LINK to the 2023 USSVI National Convention website.
The volunteer activities are listed HERE. To volunteer, contact Joe Trotter, our base liaison at

2023 Scholarships

Congratulations to the three children and grandchildren of Perch Base members who each received scholarships during the February 8, 2023, Board of Directors meeting.
At the following general meeting on February 11, 2023, Howard Doyle's grandaughter Mia was present to receive her scholarship.
Mia is a senior in high school, a straight "A" student for the last 12½ years, co-captain of the swim team, participated in the state swim meets all 4 years, and set the school record in the backstroke this year. Mia accepted the scholarship award and thanked the Perch Base for the award. She plans to use the award toward her college tuition at the University of Hawaii at Hilo where she will be majoring in biology with plans to go on to medical school to become a doctor.
Two other children and grandchildren of Perch Base members were also selected to receive scholarships, but could not be present at the meeting on February 11, 2023.
Chris Urness' son Kaden and George Woods' granddaughter Kara Woods also received scholarship awards. Kara is in her second year at the State University of Binghamton (New York) and then plans to go to the University of Syracuse to also pursue a medical degree. They will receive their awards at a later date.
View more pictures HERE

February 2023 Laveen Parade Photos

Eleven Perch Base members participated on February 4, 2023, in the 22nd Annual Laveen Community Parade.
This year's theme was "Here We Grow!"
Our Perch Base entry was awarded the Second Place (Motor Vehicle Group) trophy!
The crowds along the side of the parade route expressed their appreciation of our service as our float went by.
Based on current events, I asked if Mayor Kate's balloon was really a Chinese spy balloon. They showed me the "Made in USA" label!
View more details and pictures HERE.

January 2023 Annual Awards Banquet Photos

Perch Base Submarine Veterans (USSVI) held its Annual Awards Banquet on 1/21/2023 at the Pebble Creek Clubhouse, Goodyear, AZ.
Congratulatlions to our Chief of the Boat (COB) Don Robertson, who was awarded the 2022 "Sailor of the Year" Award.
Our guest speaker was Admiral Vernon Clark (ret). Admiral Clark was the 27th Chief of Naval Operations."
Holland Club Inductions were performed for Warner Howard Doyle, Governor C. Joy and Stanley N. Reinhold upon achieving 50 years as Qualified in Submarines.
View more details and pictures HERE.

Michael Olsen, QM2(SS)

A Memorial Service was be held on January 16, 2023 at 10:00 AM at the Salvation Army North West Valley Corps. For those who previously reviewed the Eternal Patrol Notice, it has now been expanded to include the Memorial Service.
Perch Base Holland Club Member and Life Member Michael Olsen, QM2(SS) went on Eternal Patrol on December 8, 2022. Sadly, we just recently participated in a memorial service upon the passing of Mike's wife of 63 years, Ruth, on November 26, 2021. Our sympathy to his family Sven (Skip) Olsen, Dennise Fadler (Randolph), Michelle Hinson (H. Douglas), and James Olsen; eight grandchildren: Erin Olsen, Michael Fadler (Aline), Séan Olsen, Jacob Hinson, Emmalee Hinson, Christien Fadler, Kathleen Fadler Bishop (Tyrone), and Scott Olsen; and four great-grandchildren: William Olsen, Grayson Hinson, Violet Hinson, and Thatcher Hinson.
Mike joined the Navy in October 1956, and was discharged as a Quartermaster Second Class, QM2(SS) in February 1962, after serving on four submarines: the USS Rasher (SSR‑269), USS Seawolf (SSN‑575), USS Corsair (AGSS‑435) and the USS Pomfret (SS‑391)
Mike joined the United States Submarine Service Veterans, Inc. (USSVI) on September 1, 2003, at the Base 51 in Las Vegas, Nevada, then later moved to Surprise, Arizona and joined our Perch Base on February 8, 2014.
To no surprise, Mike became our Base Chaplain in November 2015. He could be counted on to visit ill members, conduct Eternal Patrol services, provide counselling to families and help members to obtain benefits. Mike was so committed to his role as Chaplain, he became the Chaplain at the Maricopa County Jail for the Veteran's unit. Even after he turned over the Base Chaplain role in October 2017, he still routinely would lead invocations and benedictions when the new Chaplain was not present. Mike routinely attended meetings and was a Base Operations Supporter donating monies or efforts to allow for Base operations while keeping our dues low and avoid raising money through member labor as most other organizations do.
View more details HERE.
Your Brothers of the 'Phin Have the Watch.
Fair Winds and Following Seas, Shipmate.

Eternal Patrol Dolphins

Dave Wickline physical fitness presentation photos


Perch Base Holland Club and Life Member Dave Wickline gave a physical fitness presentation at our monthly meeting on January 14, 2023.
Dave's presentation included discussion of exercise, proper diet and techniques for pain control.
Dave noted that his presentation was based on observation of our older Perch Base members and how we can improve our lifestyle. This is directly in line with our USSVI Creed to provide a way for all Submariners to gather for the mutual benefit.
View more pictures HERE.

Ed Schafer CWO2(SS)

Perch Base Holland Club Member Edward L. Schafer, III, CWO2(SS) (ret) went on Eternal Patrol on October 1, 2022. Our sympathy Ed's wife Sandy. We also extend our condolences to Ed's Grandson Brody. Several Perch Base members participated in Brody's Eagle Scout Court of Honor on May 14, 2022.
Ed joined the Navy in 1958, was assigned to the USS Becuna (SS-319) in 1966, and Qualified in Submarines the same year on the Becuna. In 1969, Ed was transferred to the USS James K. Polk (SSBN-645) as an Instrumentation and Control Technician First Class, IC1(SS). Ed retired from the Navy as a Chief Warrant Officer (CWO2) in 1978.
Ed joined our Perch Base United States Submarine Service Veterans, Inc. (USSVI) on July 17, 2014 when he transferred from the Farragut Base in Post Falls, Idaho. Ed was our Base Chaplain in 2015. He also was a Perch Base Operation Supporter, donating extra money to help offset our operating costs.
View more details HERE.
Your Brothers of the 'Phin Have the Watch.
Fair Winds and Following Seas, Shipmate.

Eternal Patrol Dolphins

Jim Andrews Christmas decoration

Jim Andrews is getting in the spirit of Christmas. How about you?

Ronald Zomok EN1(SS) (ret)

Perch Base Holland Club Member and Life Member Ronald J. Zomok, EN1(SS) (ret) went on Eternal Patrol on November 26, 2022. Our sympathy to his wife of 62 years, Marilou, his children Bud his wife Lorraine, Rhonda (Nolan) her husband George, his Grandson's Joshua his wife Danielle, Vincent his fiancé Erika, and Great Grandchildren Averie, Aisley and Colt. Ronald is also survived by his older sister Theresa.
Ronald joined the Navy in 1956 and retired in 1973, serving on three submarines. He served as an Engineman (EN). Ronald was assigned to his first boat, the USS Tang (SS-563) in 1959. He qualified on the Tang in 1960 and had advanced to the rank of EN2(SS) prior to being assigned to his second boat, USS Skate (SSN-578) about 1962. He then was assigned to the USS Entemedor (SS-340) from 1963 to 1965.
Ronald Zomok joined Perch Base on December 26, 2003, and was inducted into the Holland Club in 2010 after being qualified for 50 years. He was also consistently a "base booster."
A funeral mass was held Tuesday Dec. 20, 2022, at the St. Joachim and St. Anne Parish in Sun City, AZ.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks you donate to the Dementia Foundation or St Vincent De Paul
View more pictures HERE.
Your Brothers of the 'Phin Have the Watch.
Fair Winds and Following Seas, Shipmate.

Eternal Patrol Dolphins

December 2022 Pearl Harbor Day Photos

Six Perch Base members and their guests attended the Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day event on 12/07/2022 at the Wesley Bolin Plaza by the Arizona State Capitol to place wreaths during the ceremony.
We placed two wreaths. One for the WW2 Submarine Veterans and one for Perch Base.
Credit (and thanks!) to Chris Gahan & George Woods for input and photos on this page.
View more pictures HERE.

2022 USS Arizona (SSN-803) Keel Laying Ceremony photos


Five Perch Base members attended the USS Arizona (SSN-803) Keel Laying Ceremony on December 7, 2022 at the Gilbert (AZ) Public Safety Training Facility. The "real" ceremony was held at the General Dynamics Electric Boat Shipyard at Quonset Point, Rhode Island, and transmitted via ZOOM to the Gilbert Public Safety facility. (apologies, in advance, because photos of a ZOOM call broadcast to a large screen lack clarity!)
The "star" of the show was the USS Arizona (SSN-803) sponsor, Ms. Nikki Stratton. Nikki's grandfather, Don Stratton, was a survivor of the USS Arizona (BB-39) following the Pearl Harbor attack on December 7, 1941. Sadly, Don passed on February 15, 2020. At that time, Don was one of only 3 survivors; the remaining two, Lou Conter & Ken Potts participated in the ZOOM call. It was at Don's funeral that the Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly asked Nikki to be the USS Arizona (SSN-803) sponsor, a role commonly reserved for wives of Presidents.
In keeping with maritime tradition, the initials of the ship's sponsor are welded onto a steel plate that will be incorporated into the ship as it is built. The welding is usually performed by a welder, but in this case, Nikki (who learned how to weld!) performed part of the initials herself.
Other Arizonans present at Quonset Point for the Keel Laying Ceremony included Gilbert Mayor Honorable Brigette Peterson, Gilbert Veterans Advisory Board Liaison Pamela Rinesmith and Bill Spence. Bill retired as a Lieutenant Commander Nuclear Engineering Officer, served on seven submarines and two aircraft carriers and is actively involved in the Gilbert veteran's community. Gilbert, AZ, is the city sponsor for the USS Arizona (SSN-803).
View more pictures HERE.

Boat Sponsorship Program patch

The purpose of the Boat Sponsorship Program (BSP) is to make the active duty submarine force members aware of USSVI and provide them with information about our activities through sponsorship of the American Submariner to the various Submarine related organizations. After all, these force members represent the future core membership of USSVI.
Perch Base is a sponsor, but did you know that individual members may sponsor each Fast Attack Submarine and/or each crew of the Boomers? Magazines are also sent to VA hospitals, NROTC units, schools and other places. The cost is $30 per year for a total of 12 magazines (three each of the four annual volumes.)
Our Perch Base Holland Club & Life Member Jack Messersmith is the USSVI BSP Program Manager. Let’s make Jack proud. Check your copy of the American Submariner to sign up for the program.

Happy Thanksgiving

Bringing back memories?
Happy Thanksgiving from your Webmaster to our Perch Base members and their families, and all those presently serving under the ocean blue!

Chief Randy Trouerbach

Chief Randy Trouerbach, RMC(SS) USN (Ret.) passed on to Eternal Patrol on October 13, 2022.
Chief Trouerbach served aboard the USS Lafayette, SSBN-616. Chief Randy was not a Perch Base member, but joined the Navy during the Vietnam war and served during the Gulf wars. Starting as a radioman on the Lafayette from 1971 to 1975, he moved up in rank to Chief Petty Officer.
Services with Military Honors were held on Friday, November 18, 2022 at 2:30 PM at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona.
View pictures of the services with Military Honors HERE.
Your Brothers of the 'Phin Have the Watch.
Fair Winds and Following Seas, Shipmate.

Eternal Patrol Dolphins

2022 Phoenix Veterans Day Photos

Fourteen Perch Base members took the USS Phoenix float to the Phoenix, Arizona, Veterans Day Parade on Thursday, November 11, 2022.
We staged the float at the Firestone Complete Auto Care at 241 W Osborn Rd (Thanks for letting us use your store lot) and then rode the float to the parade starting point.
ATTABOY to Marcus Hensley! Literally at the last minute as we were fetching the "People Trailer" in the morning, we had a problem with the hitch on the tow vehicle. Marcus dropped what he was doing in the Firestone Complete Auto Care lot, drove to the "People Trailer" parking area and brought the trailer. Many of our members probably would have been left behind if we didn't have the trailer available.
This year’s parade theme was "Liberty, Honor, and Sacrifice."
Organizers anticipated 15 marching units, 2,500 marchers, 10 floats in the parade and 45,000 spectators along the parade route. Seven Veteran Grand Marshals, represented each era of military service from World War II to Afghanistan. View more pictures HERE.

2022 Gilbert Veterans Day Photos

Three Perch Base members attended the 2022 Town of Gilbert, AZ Veterans Day Ceremony on November 10, 2022, at the Gilbert Regional Park.
Although we did not display the USS Phoenix (SSN-702), the USS Arizona Legacy Foundation for the future submarine USS Arizona (SSN-803) had a display table at the ceremony. There will be Keel Laying Viewing Ceremony (via ZOOM) at the Town of Gilbert Public Safety Training Facility on December 7, 2022. The ceremony included a Keynote speech by Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Major General Patrick Brady (ret). Major General (then Major Brady) flew over 2,000 combat missions in Vietnam and evacuated more than 5,000 wounded.
View more pictures HERE.

New Facebook Page

Come and visit, LIKE and FOLLOW our new Facebook Page, USSVI Perch Base Arizona.
Building a successful Social Media network for any organization is no longer a "we’ll think about it" topic. Today, it is a MUST DO for all nonprofit organizations, including United States Submarine Veterans, Inc. (USSVI) and its Bases. It is critical if we want to expand our membership growth and communicate our unique mission story in an effective and cost-effective manner.

We Trained For This Photo

With all the recent activity and cancellations as a result of the Corona Virus, this speaks for itself!

Membership map

The image, above, shows that we have members all over metropolitan Phoenix. Left-click on the image for a larger view. If you are a Perch Base member and would like to consider carpooling, you are willing to pickup another member, or you need a ride to meetings or events, send an email to the webmaster at
The Board of Directors will attempt to match you with another nearby member who has similarly asked to carpool, or is willing to pickup another member. The Board will then provide the name, email, and phone number to the interested members that can then get in touch with each other to make specific arrangements. We are not publicly posting names or personal information to maintain privacy.
Keep in mind that if you wait until the last minute to request a match-up for a particular event, we may not be able to respond in time.

Map to Dillon's Restaurant

We meet the second Saturday of every month at 1200 hours (noon if you’ve been out a while) at Dillon's Restaurant, 20585 North 59th Ave, Glendale, AZ 85308-6821 (Left-click address, or the map above, for a Google map to Dillon's.) Come at 1100 for time to "socialize."
NOTE: Check our SAILING ORDERS page before "dropping in" on a meeting!

USS Finback rescuing George H.W. Bush USS Finback rescuing George H.W. Bush

In the upper picture, above, the crew of the USS Finback (SS-230) rescues downed pilot, Lieutenant Bush of Torpedo Squadron 51 on September 2, 1944 after Japanese antiaircraft defense shot down his torpedo bomber between the northeastern end of Minami Jima and the southern tip of Chichi Jima. (Left-click the picture to enlarge.)
In the bottom picture, Rescued pilots and the crew and officers of the Finback. Lt. (jg) George Herbert Walker Bush is second from the left in the front row.
Bush, and 4 other rescued aviators remained on the Finback as "guests" while she tracked and attacked convoys, endured depth charges from Japanese escort ships, and sank two ships (an oiler and small cargo ship). The five ended their stay on the Finback on Midway Island on September 29, after 29 days aboard the submarine (and crossing the international date line).
Read more about how the submarine service performed "Lifeguard Duty" during WW2 in the National Archives HERE.

Click video to START.

The Loss of the Perch

View Loss of the Perch video

Click HERE to select another video.


US Flag at half staff

When should I fly the American Flag at half staff?

Check out the Arizona Half Staff Notification web site.

65 U.S. Submarines never returned to port. Click on Eternal Patrol and see pictures and stories of the "boats" that remain at sea . . . forever, on eternal patrol.

Need to reach us or have a question?

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USSVI Creed:

"To perpetuate the memory of our shipmates who gave their lives in the pursuit of their duties while serving their country. That their dedication, deeds and supreme sacrifice be a constant source of motivation toward greater accomplishments. Pledge loyalty and patriotism to the United States of America and its Constitution.

In addition to perpetuating the memory of departed shipmates, we shall provide a way for all Submariners to gather for the mutual benefit and enjoyment. Our common heritage as Submariners shall be strengthened by camaraderie. We support a strong U.S. Submarine Force.

The organization will engage in various projects and deeds that will bring about the perpetual remembrance of those shipmates who have given the supreme sacrifice. The organization will also endeavor to educate all third parties it comes in contact with about the services our submarine brothers performed and how their sacrifices made possible the freedom and lifestyle we enjoy today."

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We honor those submariners
who have never
returned to port
and remain on
Eternal Patrol

Link to boats on Eternal Patrol

Click on the picture, above,
to see those boats on
"Eternal Patrol"

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Officer Dolphins

WE are an organization with but one simple requirement to join
— have you ever worn Dolphins?
(been designated, "Qualified in Submarines.")

All of us have served their country
in the Silent Service

Enlisted Dolphins


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Because we are the "SILENT SERVICE," many people are unaware of the services our submarine Brothers of the 'Phin performed in the Korean and Vietnam Wars. Thirty submarines served in the Korean War, as detailed on the Korean War Educator website *. Sixty-six submarines served in the Vietnam War, as detailed in a letter from United States Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus. Also check out the related SubVet_News-2019-030 regarding Agent Orange exposure by Blue Water veterans.

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Click here for the Submarine Glossary

Click on the Blackboard for a Complete Glossary of Submarine, Naval and Nautical Terms

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Click on this sentence, or the photo, below, to see how the float was constructed

Pictures showing how the float was constructed

To honor those who currently serve, and those who went before us, we built this float that we use in parades and static displays. The float is a 1/15 scale model of the nuclear powered submarine USS Phoenix (SSN-702,) named after our city. The Phoenix was a Los Angeles-class submarine that was 362 feet long and, on the surface, had 32 feet of the ship under water.
If you would like us to bring the USS Phoenix to your parade or event, contact our Event Coordinator.

Need a description of the Perch Base float, a scale model of the USS Phoenix (SSN-702)?
Click on the document icon, below, to get the approved and authentic script suitable for parades or other public events.

Refer the event organizers to Float-Announcer-Script.pdf

Script suitable for parades or other public events.

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Click here for the Submarine Glossary

Click here for a complete historical listing of all the classes of submarines.