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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.

Latest News (Click Link For More Details)
USS Scorpion

USS Scorpion (SSN-589)
Lest we forget to perpetuate the memory of our shipmates who gave their lives in the pursuit of their duties while serving their country. . .
54 years ago, on May 22, 1968, the USS Scorpion (SSN-589) sailed off into history on her final and eternal patrol.
USS Scorpion (SSN-589) was returning to Norfolk, VA. from a Mediterranean deployment. On May 22, 1968 she reported her position to be about 50 miles south of the Azores. Scorpion was never heard from again. The exact cause of her loss has never been determined.
99 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.

May 2022 Brody Schafer's Eagle Scout Court of Honor Photos

Four Perch Base members: Ed Schafer, Jim Denzien, Joe Trotter and Dan Marks, who were all Boy Scouts as youngsters attended Brody Schafer's Eagle Scout Court of Honor on May 14, 2022 at the Friends Church of Phoenix in Phoenix, AZ. Brody is Ed Schafer's grandson. Jim Denzien participated in the ceremony, giving Brody a certificate discussing similarities in progressing through the achievement of Eagle Scout to the qualification in submarines. Jim also discussed how Rear Admiral and Medal of Honor recipient Eugene "Lucky" Fluckey used Boy Scouts from his crew while skipper of the USS Barb (SS-220) to "sink" a train in Japan during World War 2. Perch Base members also included Joe Trotter and Dan Marks, who are both Eagle Scouts. Notice that the sentence is in the present case. Submariners don't say they WERE qualified; they say they ARE qualifed, no matter how many years have passed. Similarly, Eagle Scouts don't say they WERE Eagles, they say they ARE Eagles, no matter how many years have passed.
Congratulations to both Brody Schafer and Ed Schafer!
View more details and pictures HERE.

March 2022 Western Regional Roundup Photos

The Annual United States Submarine Veterans Western Regional Roundup was held from April 25, 2022 to April 28, 2022 at the Silver Legacy Resort and Casino in Reno, NV.
104 attendees (including some family members) were present. 14 of those attendees (including some family members) were from from Perch Base.
Activities included a several Memorabilia Auctions, numerous workshops, a movie night (Down Periscope and Run Silent, Run Deep), a luncheon, a dinner banquet, a Tolling of the Boats Ceremony, and more.
View more details and pictures 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."

April 2022 Annual Picnic Photos

Perch Base held its Annual Picnic meeting on Saturday, April 9, 2022. This was the first picnic we have been able to have since COVID set in after the 2019 picnic!
We started with the Perch Base canopy, but the gusty winds forced us to take it down. Our Perch Base Commander, George Woods opened the meeting, Don Unser, our Perch Base Events Coordinator, led the invocation and read our purpose. The Chief of the Boat, Don Robertson, tolled the bell for the Tolling of the Boats Ceremony. George Woods then welcomed the 40 Perch Base members, families and guests, including some members from Tautog Base (Casa Grande) and White Mountain Base that joined us.
View more details and pictures HERE.

2022 Convention logo

The USSVI Buffalo Base is our host for the 2022 USSVI National Convention in Buffalo, NY. The Convention will be held from 24 - 27 Aug, 2022.
Registration and the hotel room block are now available on the convention website: Read more about the 2022 Convention on our SAILING ORDERS page.

Ed Gonsowski

Ed Gonsowski Eternal Patrol
Perch Base Member Edward Gonsowski, departed on Eternal Patrol on January 7, 2022, at the age of 68. Our condolences to his family.
Ed was born on June 30, 1953. Ed joined the Navy and trained as a nuclear officer. He qualified on the USS Sunfish (SSN-649) in 1981. He left the Navy in 1982 as a Lieutenant.
That is when Ed came to Phoenix, AZ, as a Reactor Operator Trainer, Shift Technical Advisor in the Control Room, and various engineering positions at the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station and became a member of Perch Base in 2014.
Ed was interred at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona in Phoenix, in SECTION 78 SITE 2035.
View the full Eternal Patrol Notice HERE.
Your Brothers of the 'Phin Have the Watch.
Fair Winds and Following Seas, Shipmate.

Eternal Patrol Dolphins

Jack Patterson, QM1(SS) (ret)

Perch Base Holland Club member Jack Patterson, QM1(SS) USN (Ret.) passed on to Eternal Patrol on January 14, 2022.
Jack served and qualified on the USS Sea Robin (SS-407) from 1951 to 1954 and on the USS Pickerel (SS-524) in 1960.
Jack also served two tours in Vietnam and as a tugboat master.
Services with Military Honors were held on Friday, March 11, 2022 at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona. A celebration of life followed directly after the services.
View the full Eternal Patrol Notice HERE.
Your Brothers of the 'Phin Have the Watch.
Fair Winds and Following Seas, Shipmate.

Eternal Patrol Dolphins

Gene Crabb, Cdr, USN (ret)

This photo was taken at the January 24, 2015 Annual Awards Banquet when Perch Base Life and Holland Club member Gene Crabb, Cdr, USN (ret) was presented a "Quilt of Valor" by Ms. Helen Choma. Gene and his wife Suzanne left the Phoenix area to Nebraska 14 months ago so he could spend his final months with his two daughters and their families.
Gene had been the Captain of the USS Bashaw (AGSS-241) from 1966 to 1968, as well as the Executive Officer (XO) of the USS Grayback (SSG-574), a Regulus missile boat, and the USS Remora (SS-487).
Perch Base was notified by Suzanne that Gene passed on Tuesday, February 8, 2022.
His ashes will be scattered at sea at a future date.
View the full Eternal Patrol Notice HERE.
Your Brothers of the 'Phin Have the Watch.
Fair Winds and Following Seas, Shipmate.

Eternal Patrol Dolphins

2022 Laveen Parade photos

Eight Perch Base members participated on February 5, 2022 in the 21st Annual Laveen Community Parade.
We also had time to "hobnob" with the Phoenix Police Department, staging directly behind us before we rolled. No, we didn't offer bribes, but we gladly shared our stereotypical donuts with the Phoenix PD!
This year's theme was "Laveen Launches Forward!"
87 entries participated in the parade. The crowds along the side of the parade route expressed their appreciation of our service as our float went by.
See more pictures HERE.

Donald M. DeMarte

Services for Don DeMarte were held at the National Cemetery of Arizona on Tuesday January 25, 2022, at 10:00 AM.
Perch Base Associate Member and Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame recipient Don DeMarte, departed on Eternal Patrol on November 24, 2021. Our condolences to his next-of-kin Mary Lou and the rest of the family.
Donald M. DeMarte was born in Tidioute, Pennsylvania, on June 23, 1936, and passed on November 24, 2021, at the age of 85.
As stated in the Mission Statement of the Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame Society to "preserve and perpetuate the traditions of the American military and all who served in it, to undertake charitable and other projects at the state and local levels and to work with veteran’s organizations in the attainment of AVHOFS objectives, and to promote and to encourage responsible citizenship among all Americans," Don was inducted as a Hall of Fame member in 2014.
View the full Eternal Patrol Notice HERE.
Your Brothers of the 'Phin Have the Watch.
Fair Winds and Following Seas, Shipmate.

Eternal Patrol Dolphins

January 2022 Annual Awards Banquet Photos

Perch Base held its Annual Awards Banquet on January 15, 2022, at the Pebble Creek Clubhouse. Our guest speaker was Captain Vernon J. Parks, Jr (ret). Since COVID caused last year's banquet to be cancelled, there were two awards for "Sailor of the Year." The 2020 "Sailor of the Year." was Marcia Unser, Base Secretary. The 2021 "Sailor of the Year." was Joe Trotter, Base Treasurer.
Don Petty was inducted into the Holland Club for being qualifed 50 years.
John Engelmann had been previously picked and announced during the August 2021 monthly meeting as the winner of the Earlybird Contest.
View more awards and pictures HERE.

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Many people are reporting that they can’t access the USSVI website (
They have been getting errors, such as "This site can’t be reached" or "Hmmm… can't reach this page".
Their access is blocked when using Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge or Opera Browsers. Your Webmaster’s suggestion (works for me!) is to use Firefox to go to the USSVI website. If you don’t already have the Firefox browser, you can download it for free at
It will start downloading automatically.

December 2021 Pearl Harbor Day Photos

Fifteen Perch Base members and their guests attended the Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day event on 12/07/2021 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.
VIPs in attendance included The Honorable Maricopa County Superior Court Judge James "Jim" Drake as the Master of Ceremonies; Governor Doug Ducey; Arizona Department of Veterans' Services Director, Col. Wanda Wright; Jewish War Veterans National Vice Commander, Alan D. Paley; and Keynote Speaker Executive Officer, Navy Talent Acquistion Group Phoenix, Commander Kevin M. "KK" Kahl.
View the pictures HERE.

2021 Phoenix Veterans Day Photos

On Friday, November 12, 2021, Perch Base members Marcus Hensley, Chris Urness, George Woods, and Bob Gilmore presented the Arizona Silent Service Memorial (ASSM) to approximately 70 students and 10 staff members from South Pointe Middle School providing a valuable history lesson for the Submarine Force and the Memorial.
View more pictures of the South Pointe Middle School presentation HERE.

2021 Phoenix Veterans Day Photos

Fourteen Perch Base members took the USS Phoenix float to the Phoenix, Arizona, Veterans Day Parade on Thursday, November 11, 2021.
This photo includes Miss Arizona 2021, Amber Barto, and Miss Arizona's Outstanding Teen 2021, Kate Blair, who joined us for a photo.
View more details and pictures of the Phoenix Veterans Day Parade HERE.

2021 Gilbert Veterans Day Photos

Seven Perch Base members and wives attended the 2021 Town of Gilbert, AZ Veterans Day Ceremony on November 10, 2021, at the Gilbert Regional Park.
This photo includes Charles Tobias and Nikki Stratton. Nikki is the granddaughter of Don Stratton, who was a survivor of the December 7, 1941, Pearl Harbor attack on the USS Arizona, BB-39. Don passed on February 15, 2020. Nikki is the sponsor of the new submarine USS Arizona (SSN-803), a Block 5 Virginia-class submarine, authorized for construction on December 2, 2019. It will be the fourth United States Navy vessel named for the state of Arizona.
View more details and pictures of the Gilbert Veterans Ceremony HERE.

2021 Anthem Veterans Day Photos

Perch Base took the USS Phoenix float to the Daisy Mountain (Anthem, AZ) Veterans Day Parade on Saturday, November 6, 2021.
13 members and family participated!
Even before the parade started, the members of the Musical Theatre of Anthem came over to "serenade" us with a rendition of Anchors Aweigh in appreciation of our service on Veterans Day.
The parade route started at Memorial Drive adjacent to the Anthem Veterans Memorial. Each pillar represents one of the branches of the military and the sun lines up with the portals at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.
View more details and pictures of the Parade HERE.

Jim Nelson

Perch Base Holland Club Member Jim (Nellie) Nelson departed on Eternal Patrol on August 15, 2020.
Our condolences to his wife, Nancy, who was the Perch Base Subvettes President for many years, his son, Brent, who is also a Qualified Submariner, Brother-in-Law Clark Jensen, who is also a Qualified Submariner, and the rest of the family.
Jim was our Perch Base Chief of the Boat (COB) in 2001, the Base Storekeeper from 2003 to 2008, and was awarded Perch Base Sailor of the Year Award in 2007.
Memorial Services were delayed due to COVID. Cemetery services were conducted at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona on Friday, 10/08/2021 at 10:30 am. Fifteen Perch Base members and wives were present. Our Past Base Commander, Jim Denzien, presented the Eulogy and Base Commander, George Woods, presented the Eternal Patrol Certificate to the family.
View the full Eternal Patrol Notice HERE.
Your Brothers of the 'Phin Have the Watch.
Fair Winds and Following Seas, Shipmate.

Eternal Patrol Dolphins

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!

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 Life Member Vic Van Horn is the USSVI BSP Program Manager. Let’s make Vic proud. Check your copy of the American Submariner to sign up for the program.

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.

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. An anchor line separator
Click here for the Submarine Glossary

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