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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.

Latest News (Click Link For More Details)
USS Escolar

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 Oct. 17, 1944, the USS Escolar (SS‑294), sailed off into history on her final and eternal patrol.
Information supplied by the Japanese on anti-submarine attacks gives no clue as to the cause of the USS Escolar's loss, but the Yellow Sea area (where she was patrolling) was thought to have been mined. Her course as transmitted to another US submarine did not cross any known Japanese mine fields, but positions of mines laid before April 1945 are not precisely known. However, the most likely explanation for her end remains that she detonated a mine.
82 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.

October 2021 Navy Birthday Ball Photos

Happy Birthday Navy
99-year old Pearl Harbor survivor, Jack Holder, cuts the Navy Birthday Ball cake with an officer's sabre, celebrating the 246th birthday of the US Navy.
Four Perch Base Members (Base Commander George Woods, Past Commander Howard Doyle, Webmaster Dan Marks, and Brad Seidel) attended the Phoenix, AZ, Area Birthday Ball on October 9th, 2021, to celebrate the Navy's 246th birthday. The theme of the Birthday Ball was
"Honoring Cold War Veterans & Returning Navy Sailors from Deployment."
The Keynote Speaker was Rear Admiral Paula Dunn, USN.
View the Birthday Ball program and pictures HERE.

Current Newsletter

EXTRA, EXTRA! Read all about it!
The new MidWatch newsletter is published. Click HERE to read the new issue.

Jim Nelson

Jim Nelson Eternal Patrol
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

Dale Leor Skeivik

Dale Leor Skeivik Eternal Patrol
Submariner Dale Leor Skeivik, born March 13, 1958, departed on Eternal Patrol on September 25, 2021. Our condolences to his Sister, Cryptologic (administrative) Master Chief Petty Officer, Stella Reyes, CTACM, and the rest of the family.
We don't know a great deal about Dale, since he was not a member of Perch Base, but we do know that he was a crewmember on USS James Madison, SSBN-627, from 1977 to 1982, serving as a Navigation Electronics Technician (ET).
Cemetery services were conducted at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona on Thursday, 10/07/2021 at 1:00 pm. Nine Perch Base members were present and our Chaplain, Governor Joy, 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

2021 Western Region Roundup Photos

2021 Western Region Roundup
From Gene Kellar:
It is with sadness that I have to inform you that the Western Region Roundup is being rescheduled (WRR). The members of the Western Region Roundup Committee after much deliberation have decided that in the interest of safety and wellbeing of our shipmates to reschedule the 2021 Western Region Roundup.
Amid concerns over the Corona Virus (COVID-19) we are experiencing increased restrictions on social events, with no way of anticipating the future requirements.
Many of our shipmates are in the age group that is most susceptible to this virus.
It is the responsible thing to do given Corona Virus fears.
The Western Region Roundup Committee is working to establish a new date for 2022 and will announce when available.
Please be advised you must cancel your own hotel reservations.
You may let your WRR Reservation ride for next year or your fees can be refunded. Please advise via email to:

September 2021 Perch Base Williams Patriot Day Parade Photos

Williams Patriot Day Parade
Twenty-three Perch Base Members and family participated in the 2nd Annual Patriot Day Parade in Historic Downtown Williams, AZ, on Saturday, September 11, 2021. The parade theme was "WE REMEMBER" as a way to remember those injured and killed in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
The parade honored our local law enforcement, EMS and fire personnel.
Both parade participants and the audience turned out in large numbers.
View more event pictures HERE.

Ray Marshall

Ray Marshall Eternal Patrol
Perch Base Holland Club and Life Member Ray Marshall, departed on Eternal Patrol on September 10, 2021. Our condolences to his Daughter Marion, Son-in-Law Ron and the rest of the family.
ENC(SS) Raymond Marshall, a WW2 veteran who made 12 war patrols on two different boats, was 101 years old.
Ray joined the Navy in January 1939 and retired as a Chief Engineman in 1959. His first assignment was on the destroyer USS Mahan (DD‑364) from 1939 to 1940, but then was assigned to the Submarine Service in 1940. He qualified in submarines in 1941 on the USS Porpoise (SS‑172). Ray made 12 war patrols during WW2 on two different boats. He served for six war patrols on the Porpoise, leaving as a Motor Machinist Mate First Class, then six more war patrols on the USS Guavina (SS‑362) where he became a Chief Motor Machinist Mate.
After WWII, Ray served on 5 other submarines prior to his retirement in 1959. Ray was also a member of the Submarine Veterans of World War II (SVWWII).
Memorial services have not yet been announced.
View the full Eternal Patrol Notice HERE.
Your Brothers of the 'Phin Have the Watch.
Fair Winds and Following Seas, Shipmate.

Eternal Patrol Dolphins

2021 Scholarships

2021 Scholarships
Congratulations to the two children and grandchildren of Perch Base members who each received $500 scholarships during the August 14, 2021 General meeting. The Perch Base treasury provided $500 toward scholarships and the Perch Base Charitable Foundation provided the other $500 toward the scholarships.
Unfortunately, we weren't able to grant the scholarships in person this year because the recipients had already departed for school. The Scholarship recipients were Paige Urness and Kara Woods.
Paige Urness is the Daughter of Perch Base member Chris Urness. Kara Woods is the Grandaughter of our Perch Base Commander George Woods.
Subsequently, we received Thank You notes from Paige Urness and Kara Woods. View the Thank You's HERE

USSVI 2021 National Convention Photos

2021 National Convention
Several Perch Base Submarine Veterans (USSVI) and wives went to the 2021 USSVI National Convention held from August 30 through September 4, 2021, in Orlando, Florida at the Rosen Shingle Creek® Hotel, hosted by Central Florida & Snug Harbor Bases.
Thanks to Marcia Unser who sent pictures to the Webmaster.
Keep returning to the Convention wehpage as additional event photos will be added.
See more pictures HERE

Mike Keating

Mike Keating Eternal Patrol
Perch Base Holland Club and Life Member L. A. Mike Keating, departed on Eternal Patrol on July 20, 2021. Our condolences to Lois and the rest of the family.
Mike was assigned to his first boat, the USS Atule (SS‑403) for only two months in 1964, and then was re-assigned to his qual boat, USS Quillback (SS‑424). He also served on USS Amberjack (SS‑522), USS Bergall (SSN‑667) and USS Cavalla (SSN‑684).
Mike qualified in 1964 and retired as a Fire Control Technician, FTG1(SS).
One of Mike's hobbies was building models of submarines, as shown in the photo, above. Mike also built a 10-foot long model of the USS Cavalla (SSN‑684) in 2008 which was used by Perch Base in the Veteran's Day parades until the larger USS Phoenix (SSN‑702) float was placed in service.
Memorial services, including military honors, for Mike were held on Saturday, August 21, at 11:00 AM at Advantage Funeral & Cremation Services – Melcher Roses.
Interment was only with family, at their request.
View the full Eternal Patrol Notice HERE.
Your Brothers of the 'Phin Have the Watch.
Fair Winds and Following Seas, Shipmate.

Eternal Patrol Dolphins

Henry (Pappy) Yates

Henry (Pappy) Strickland Yates
Henry (Pappy) Strickland Yates, MMC(SS) was a Chief Machinist Mate (SS) on board the USS Perch (SS-176) when it was scuttled on March 3, 1942. The U.S. Navy had no knowledge of the loss and reported the USS Perch as "missing" in April 1942. About a year later, a Japanese radio broadcast (Tokyo Rose?) reported that Pappy was alive, but reported that he was in a prison camp on Shikolu Island, one of the Japanese mainland islands. One might guess that the the erroneous (or misleading) location might have been intentional to try to keep the Allies from bombing the Japanese mainland. It wasn't until after the Japanese surrender on August 14, 1945, that the Allied forces learned that he and the surviving crew were in the Makassar POW camp in Indonesia all along.
We did not know much about Chief Yates until Dan Marks, the Perch Base Webmaster, was contacted by Rich Curtis who found a box in an antique shop in Alabama that included writings by Pappy while he was a POW, describing how terribly they were treated.
The contents have been posted on this webpage dedicated to Pappy.

Ernie (The Kid) Plantz

Ernie (The Kid) Plantz
Perch Base Life and Holland Club member and SVWWII member Ernie (The Kid) Plantz (his home base was Groton Base in Groton, Connecticut) was a Seaman Electrician Striker (SS) on board the USS Perch (SS-176) when it was scuttled in 1942.
Ernie was interviewed in the book "Trial And Triumph," authored by Stephen Leal Jackson (2005, Dog Ear Publishing.)
He found himself a prisoner of the Japanese for three and a half grueling years; 1,297 days. The book details the atrocities, beatings with bats and bamboo sticks, starvation, dysentery, malaria and pellagra suffered by the POWs.
Although the book is available slightly cheaper from Amazon, I purchased my copy, signed by Ernie, online from the USS Nautilus Museum Store, figuring it was for a "good cause."
Read more about the USS Perch (SS-176) war patrols and POW survivors HERE.
Ernie (The Kid) Plantz passed on to Eternal Patrol December 19, 2015, at the age of 95. His Eternal Patrol notice is HERE.

Forrest Watson

Forrest Watson Eternal Patrol
Perch Base Holland Club and Life Member Forrest Jerome Watson, 88, passed away Tuesday, July 13, 2021.
Our condolences to his wife, Jane, and the rest of the family.
Forrest was born July 27, 1932. He joined the Navy in 1950. Forrest went to Electronics Technician school in Great Lakes from 1950-51, then on to Submarine School in New London CT in 1951. He qualified in submarines on the USS Stickleback (SS‑415) in 1952 and later also was assigned to the USS Carp (SS‑338) from 1952 to 1953, leaving the Navy as an ET2(SS) in 1953.
Forrest joined Perch Base in April 2006, and subsequently inducted into the Holland Club (50 years qualified) at our Annual Awards Banquet, Jan. 15, 2011.
Memorial services have not been announced, however discussion with family has determined that services will be in Minnesota.
View the full Eternal Patrol Notice HERE.
Your Brothers of the 'Phin Have the Watch.
Fair Winds and Following Seas, Shipmate.

Eternal Patrol Dolphins

Joe Errante

Joe Errante Eternal Patrol
Former Perch Base Member Joseph Frank Errante, departed on Eternal Patrol on June 24, 2021, at the age of 62. Our condolences to his wife, Brenda Errante and the rest of the family.
Joe was born on April 9, 1959, joined the Navy in 1979, and was assigned to USS Barb (SSN‑596) in 1982.
He qualified on the Barb in 1982 and left the Navy in 1985 as an IC1(SS).
That is when Joe came to Phoenix, AZ, as a Reactor Operator and Trainer at the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station and became a member of Perch Base from approximately 2002 through 2012.
View the full Eternal Patrol Notice HERE.
Your Brothers of the 'Phin Have the Watch.
Fair Winds and Following Seas, Shipmate.

Eternal Patrol Dolphins

July 2021 Prescott Parade Photos

Prescott Frontier Days® Parade
Perch Base took the USS Phoenix float up to Prescott, Arizona on July 3rd, 2021, 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!
The 2021 Parade Theme was "True Western Determination."
After the parade, we had a BBQ lunch at Sherry and Tom Warner's home in Prescott Valley.
View more event pictures HERE.

Perch Base USSVI Charter presentation

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.
Read more about the charter HERE.

June 2021 Holland Club Induction Ceremony photos

Perch Base Submarine Veterans (USSVI) conducted a Holland Club Induction Ceremony (50 years qualified) for Jerry Allston, Kelly Grissom, David Metje, Alan Miller, Carl Miner and Don Schafer on June 12, 2021.
Separate Holland Club Induction Ceremonies were also conducted by Jim Denzien and George Woods at the homes of Robert Hayball and Wayne Hembree who are on the Binnacle List and were unable to attend.
View more pictures HERE.

United Arizona Veterans (UAV)

Jim Denzien is our Perch Base representative to the United Arizona Veterans (UAV.) Jim is looking for an alternate.
The UAV meets monthly, and Jim stated that all future meetings through the end of 2022 will be ZOOM meetings, so little effort is required.
We haven’t had an alternate since Lou Reynolds went on Eternal Patrol.
If you are interested, or want to know more, contact Jim or one of our Base Officers.

New Facebook Page

Visit Our 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

We Trained For This!
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: Several recent meetings have been cancelled or moved due to the coronavirus. 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

Lt. (jg) George Herbert Walker 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.