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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 Seawolf

Lest we forget to perpetuate the memory of our shipmates who gave their lives in the pursuit of their duties while serving their country. . .
79 years ago, on Oct. 3, 1944, the USS Seawolf (SS‑197), sailed off into history on her final and eternal patrol.
In October 1944, The US Seventh Fleet task group was attacked. The four friendly submarines in the vicinity were twice ordered to give their positions, but Seawolf did not respond. A US carrier plane then sighted a submarine diving; it dropped two bombs, although in a safety zone for American submarines. An escort sped to the area to initiate sound contact, but received only unrecognizable dot and dash signals. The escort attacked with hedgehogs, setting off underwater explosions, which caused floating debris to surface. The USS Seawolf was never seen or heard from again. After the war, examination of Japanese data showed no record of an attack at that time and in that location. It is therefore presumed that Seawolf was sunk, but no identification was ever found.
100 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.

USS Pompano

Lest we forget to perpetuate the memory of our shipmates who gave their lives in the pursuit of their duties while serving their country. . .
80 years ago, on Sept. 25, 1943, the USS Pompano (SS‑181), sailed off into history on her final and eternal patrol.
Pompano was sunk (between Sept 17 and Oct 5) with the loss of 77 men while on her 7th war patrol. Possibly lost on Sept 17, 1943. Japanese records show that a submarine was sunk in her patrol area on 17 September by air & depth charge attack off the Aomori Prefecture near Shiriya Zaki. Before being lost, she sank two enemy cargo ships. The exact cause of her loss remains unknown, but she probably was sunk by the air/sea attack above or fell victim to a mine on or after 9/25/1943. This boat's last recorded ship (Taiko Maru) sunk happened on Sept 25th, so she probably hit a mine on or after that date but before Oct 5th, when she was scheduled back at Midway.
77 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.

September 2023 Carlton Clarke model photos


Perch Base Submarine Veterans (USSVI) member Carlton Clarke created an awesome model of the USS Nautilus (SSN-571) that was placed on display during the Awards Ceremony at the 2023 USSVI National Convention in Tucson, AZ.
See more photos of Carlton's model HERE.

2023 USSVI National Convention photos

August 28 - September 2, 2023
About 35 Perch Base Submarine Veterans and family members attended the 2023 USSVI National Convention in Tucson, AZ. As co-sponsors with the Tucson Base, we not only attended, but participated in planning and staffing support.
The photo, above shows Jan & Vic VanHorn leading a line dancing instruction session. See more photos and activities HERE.
In addition to these photos on our base webpage, the Convention Committee has posted additional photos at this LINK. It is unclear how long these additional photos will remain available on the link.

Birthday Ball

The photo above shows Pearl Harbor survivor, Jack Holder, who passed away earlier this year at age 101, cutting the cake at the 2021 Navy Birthday Ball cake with an officer's sabre, celebrating the 246th birthday of the US Navy.
Four Perch Base Members attended that celebration.
This year's Birthday Ball will be held at the Marriott Phoenix Chandler Hotel on October 14th. Follow this LINK to learn more and sign up for this year's Birthday Ball.

Thanks to Perch Base Life Member Glenn Posniack who pointed out the availability of a little known ASU scholarship at our August monthly meeting. Glenn discussed the Spouses of Military Veterans Tuition Scholarship. This award ensures tuition and fees are covered for ASU students who are pursuing an undergraduate degree and are married to an honorably discharged veteran of the United States Armed Forces.
Read more about this scholarship from the Pat Tillman Veterans Center on the ASU Website HERE.

August 2023 Karen Emmett Memorial Service

Our condolences to Life Member, Holland Club Member and Past Base Commander Chuck Emmett. Chuck's wife, Karen, passed away on July 2, 2023.
Her memorial service was held at the Salvation Army Center Chapel in Surprise, AZ.
View more details and pictures HERE.

July 2023 Prescott Parade Photos

Perch Base took the USS Phoenix float up to Prescott, Arizona on July 1st, 2023, for the Prescott Frontier Days® Parade. The parade had many entries and a very large crowd to watch the parade. We were in the parade with Gudgeon Base. Tucson Base also was there with their USS Tucson (SSN-770) submarine float. Members and family rode or walked in the parade from the 3 bases!
As shown in the photo, Perch Base member Doc Dawkins towed our USS Phoenix (SSN-702) float with his patriotic truck.
Also shown in this photo is Carl Miner who walked the entire parade route in his dress blues uniform!
The 2023 Parade Theme was "DANCES WITH BULLS."
After the parade, we had a BBQ lunch at Sherry and Tom Warner's home in Prescott Valley.
View more event pictures HERE.

Emil Joseph Schoonejans, TM2(SS)

WWII Veteran Emil Joseph Schoonejans, TM2(SS) ETERNAL PATROL
World War 2 submarine veteran, Holland Club member and Perch Base Life member Emil Joseph Schoonejans passed onto Eternal Patrol June 1, 2023, at age 98. Our condolences to his children Lynn, Laura and Mitch, and grandchild Coral (Jon) Sololowski.
Emil was born February 24, 1925, in West Hoboken, New Jersey. He joined the U.S. Navy in 1943 at age 16, and immediately went to work on submarine relief crews. He was later assigned as crew on the USS Burrfish (SS‑312) and earned the War Patrol medal for participation in the Burrfish's 4th, 5th and 6th War Patrols in the South Pacific. He returned to Pearl Harbor from the Burrfish's final War Patrol and then rode the Burrfish to Portsmouth Navy Yard for a major overhaul, arriving June 19. 1945.
Emil then left the Navy on February 1, 1946.
Read more and see more pictures, including a video interview with Emil, HERE.
Your Brothers of the 'Phin Have the Watch.
Fair Winds and Following Seas, Shipmate.

Eternal Patrol Dolphins

June 2018 Perch Base Birthday Photos

Then USSVI National Commander Charles Marin, presents the Perch Base its Charter to Jim Newman and Frank Rumbaugh -- Commander and Vice Commander -- of the Base on Sept. 23, 1995. The date of the charter, and Base "birthday," is June 20, 1995.

May 2023 Memorial Day Photos

Perch Base USSVI participated in the Memorial Day Ceremonies at the National Cemetery of Arizona, including Tolling of the Boats, on Monday, May 29, 2023.
Carl Miner and Dan Marks placed the wreaths for the Submarine Veterans of WW2 and the Perch Base Submarine Veterans at the Memorial Day ceremony. Governor Joy and Howard Doyle conducted the Tolling of the Boats ceremony. The following photos are from the both the Memorial Day Ceremony and the Tolling of the Boats.
View more details and pictures HERE.

USSVI logo

The United States Submarine Veterans, Inc., USSVI, was chartered 59 years ago on May 24, 1964.

May 2023 General Meeting Painting Presentation

Perch Base Submarine Veterans (USSVI) Base Commander, George Woods, presented a painting of the USS Phoenix (SSN-702) with the WW2 light cruiser USS Phoenix (CL-46) in the background to the Dillon's BBQ Restaurant Manager, Fernando Fernandez, during the Base meeting on May 13, 2023.
The painting will be hung in our meeting room for as long as we continue meeting there.
The painting was provided by Holland Club & Life Member Bob (Bob da COB) Saenz, QMCM(SS) (ret), who was formerly the Chief of the Boat (COB) aboard the USS Phoenix (SSN-702).
The painting was from an exhibit when the City of Phoenix adopted the USS Phoenix (SSN-702) on March 19, 1989.
Come to our next meeting to see where the painting was hung!

2023 Western Region Roundup group photo

The Western Region Roundup was held in Sacramento, CA from April 27 – 29, 2023.
Perch Base members attending the Roundup were George & Alice Woods, Don & Marcia Unser and Dan Marks
Dan Marks is both the Perch Base webmaster AND the Western Region Roundup webmaster. Rather than duplicating the information on both websites, here is a link to the photos and descriptions of the event on the Western Region Roundup website.

CDR Royce Pettit

Royce qualified in submarines on the USS Barracuda (was K-1) (SSK-1) in 1953 and was a CDR when he left the Navy.
Royce E. Pettit Jr. of Phoenix, AZ, formerly of Reynolds, IL, passed peacefully on April 17th. He was born on February 1, 1928 and was the eldest child of Royce E. Pettit and Dorothy Clarke Waite Pettit.
Foregoing his senior year of high school in Reynolds, he attended a military prep school. Royce attended the U.S. Naval Academy from which he graduated in 1950. His specialty was as a submariner and anti-submarine warfare specialist. Upon graduation he served on the destroyer USS Perry as the ASW officer. He then spent time at the submarine school in New London CT, upon graduation there he was assigned to his first submarine USS K-1 then the USS Picuda. In 1956-1958 he was in charge of the Naval ROTC at the University of Louisville. He was then assigned to the submarines USS Tang followed by the USS Ronquil. In November 1959, he married his wife Odile Simats whom he met in Vancouver, Canada during shore leave. From 1961-1963 he was seconded to the Royal Australian Navy as an ASW instructor. He then became the commanding officer of the USS Baya. Moving to Hawaii he was on the staff of the USN ASW Force, Pacific. Royce then moved to the East Coast to become the ASW officer on CV-18 USS Wasp. Moving to West Germany in 1969 he was the information officer for Joint Defense Headquarters Europe. His last duty station was as Executive Officer for Great Lakes Naval Training Center. While there he earned his MBA in business management from Roosevelt University. Royce retired from the Navy as a Commander in June 1976.
Read more and see more pictures HERE.
Your Brothers of the 'Phin Have the Watch.
Fair Winds and Following Seas, Shipmate.

Eternal Patrol Dolphins

CDR Harry Ellis

Perch Base Holland Club Member and Life Member CDR Harry B. Ellis, USN (ret), 87, passed away February 14, 2020. Harry was born August 26, 1927, and joined the Navy, serving in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. Harry joined Perch Base USSVI in August 2000.
Perch Base officers had been trying unsuccessfully to make contact with Harry, but the assisted living facility where he was living would not allow access during the COVID lockdown period and would not discuss his status. Sadly, it was not until we discovered the location of his inurnment, with his wife, Marjory, in the National Cemetery of Arizona (Section F7, Row B, Site 25) that we learned he had passed onto Eternal Patrol.
Harry's first submarine assignment was when he reported to the USS Raton (SSR‑270). He later qualified and served on the USS Sea Devil (SS‑400) in 1953 and again in 1960 as its Commanding Officer. Harry also commanded the USS Tilefish (SS‑307) in 1960.
Your Brothers of the 'Phin Have the Watch.
Fair Winds and Following Seas, Shipmate.

Eternal Patrol Dolphins

Capt. Dick Noreika

Perch Base Holland Club Member and Life Member Capt. Richard John Noreika, USN (Retired), 85, passed away April 5, 2023, after a long battle with Alzheimer's and dementia. Richard was born May 25, 1937. Richard earned a degree in engineering from the United States Naval Academy, Class of '59, 3rd Company. Richard proudly served his country as an officer in the U.S. Navy for 26 years. He had a distinguished naval career serving on the destroyer the USS Bailey and many submarines including the USS Patrick Henry, USS Tinosa, USS Batfish (as the executive officer), USS Kamehameha (as the commanding officer), and the USS Michigan Trident submarine (as the commanding officer). Richard was assigned sea duty for every Navy assignment from the time he graduated from the Naval Academy in 1959, until he took command of the Trident Refit Facility in Bangor, Wash. in 1982. He spent over seven years underwater and was away from his family over 65 percent of the time. Richard's last duty of assignment was at the Pentagon as head of electronics in Washington, D.C. Richard's individual accomplishments are too numerous to mention here. Richard was very proud to have served in the U.S. Navy, and his family was just as proud of him. Richard's only regret was that it was a difficult life for his family.
Dick will be inurned at the Naval Academy Columbarium in Annapolis, Md., in a family service at a later date.
Read more and see more pictures HERE.
Your Brothers of the 'Phin Have the Watch.
Fair Winds and Following Seas, Shipmate.

Eternal Patrol Dolphins

April 2023 Cold War Memorial Photos

Perch Base Submarine Veterans (USSVI) participated in the USS Phoenix (SSN-702) Cold War Monument Concept Reveal on the "Submarine Force Birthday," Tuesday, April 11, 2023 at the Steele Indian School Park in Phoenix, Arizona. The purpose of the event was to reveal a large sign to kickoff the (hopefully) final fundraising drive.
Several Perch Base members rode the USS Phoenix (SSN-702) including Ed Henry, Chuck Luna, Jim Ratte and Bob Saenz. Ed was present at this ceremony.
Perch Base supported the reveal by bringing our float, a 1/15th scale model of the USS Phoenix.
Speakers included Capt. Pete Lumianski (ret), the Executive Director of the USS Phoenix (SSN-702) Cold War Foundation; Col. Wanda Wright (ret), Former Dirctor of the Arizona Department of Veterans' Services; and Laura Pastor, Phoenix City Council Member, District 4.
Free refreshments were provided by Port of Subs. A fundraiser night will be held by participating Arizona Port of Subs locations on Tuesday, April 18th, 2023, from 2:00 PM to closing. 15% of all purchases will be donated to the USS Phoenix (SSN-702) Cold War Memorial.
See more photos from the Cold War Memorial Big Reveal HERE.

John Phillip Holland Photo

The “Submarine Force Birthday” is April 11. Holland VI was purchased by the U.S. government for the sum of $150,000 on 11 April 1900 from John Phillip Holland's Holland Torpedo Boat Company. She was considered to be the first truly successful craft of her type. Holland VI was modified after her christening, and was renamed USS Holland (SS-1) when she was commissioned. The United States Government soon ordered more submarines from Holland's company, which became the Electric Boat company. These boats were to be known as the Plunger class. These became America's first fleet of underwater naval vessels.
Some Submariners consider April 11 to be "Wear Your Dolphins to Work Day."

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.

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

In coordination with the Presidential proclamation, Governor Hobbs has ordered flags at all state buildings be lowered to half-staff immediately until sunset on day of interment, as a mark of respect for the memory of Senator Dianne Feinstein, who passed away Thursday night.
Once a date for interment is set, we will send out a notification.
Individuals, businesses, and other organizations are encouraged to join in this tribute.

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.