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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 Capelin

Lest we forget to perpetuate the memory of our shipmates who gave their lives in the pursuit of their duties while serving their country. . .
78 years ago, on Dec. 2, 1943, the USS Capelin (SS‑289), sailed off into history on her final and eternal patrol.
Japanese records studied after the war listed an attack on a supposed United States submarine on 23 November, off Kaoe Bay, Halmahera. Evidence of an actual contact was slight, and the Japanese state that this attack was broken off. Enemy minefields are now known to have been placed in various positions along the north coast of Sulawesi (Celebes) in Capelin's area, and she may have been lost because of a mine explosion. Gone without a trace, with all her crew, Capelin remains in the list of ships lost without a known cause.
76 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.

Donald M. DeMarte

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.
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

Jack Holder

World War II veteran and Pearl Harbor survivor Jack Holder's 100th birthday is December 13, 2021. He has asked for birthday cards to celebrate his birthday.
You can send birthday cards to:
Jack Holder
C/O Darlene Tryon
PO Box 11094
Chandler, Arizona 85248
I plan to hand him a birthday card IN PERSON at the Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Ceremony on December 7th at Wesley Bolin Plaza.
I took this picture when Jack cut the cake for the Navy Birthday Ball celebrating the Navy's 246th birthday back on October 9, 2021.

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

Phoenix Veterans Day Parade
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

Gilbert Veterans Day
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.

Wreaths Across America Remembrance

Wreaths Across America Remembrance
Honor Deceased Veterans! Place a Christmas wreath on your own deceased veteran's grave, the grave of a veteran friend or the grave of a veteran who does not have anybody.
Wreath sponsorship is $15 for each wreath purchased. The Gold Star Wives of America - Phoenix Chapter - receives $5.00 from each purchase!
Thank you for your generous donation! The Perch Base has donated 4 wreaths, but individual donations are also encouraged. Follow this link to to order wreaths.
The deadline to order is November 19, 2021.

2021 Anthem Veterans Day Photos

Daisy Mountain (Anthem)
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.

October 2021 Navy Birthday Ball Photos

A request from a British Royal Navy submariner:
Hi and greetings from England, I’m a retired British Royal Navy submariner and a collector of submarine insignia and badges of the world’s navies. I’m contacting you in the hope that you can pass on my request to the members of Perch Base of The USSVI.
I’m trying to assemble a collection of metal or enamelled lapel badges of USN submarine patches or alternatively enamelled emblems of the boat’s patch that were once attached to Zippo type lighters, tie tacks, cuff links etc.(as per the picture).
He is asking if anyone has any of the below listed and are willing to part with them? I can offer to purchase if any member is will to part with then via PayPal or offer an exchange if required. Also a fellow American collector has offered the use of his address thus avoiding having to fill in any customs forms.
601, 602, 608, 610, 611, 617, 620, 622, 625, 626, 627, 633, 641, 655, 657 and 659.
571, 585, 591, 594, 603, 605, 612, 621, 638, 639, 646, 647, 653, 662, 666, 669, 672, 674, 676, 677, 680, 682, 684 and 687.
241, 242, 243, 285, 302, 303, 311,319, 328, 337, 342, 343, 347, 348, 349, 350, 352, 365, 375, 377, 381, 382, 393, 398, 400, 403, 404, 405, 406, 407, 408, 409, 410, 414, 417, 418, 420, 421, 422, 424, 425, 426, 475, 482, 483, 485, 488, 490, 524, 525 and 573.
Best regards,
Owen M. Pate.

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

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.

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

Excerpted from President Biden's Proclamation:
I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim December 7, 2021, as National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. I encourage all Americans to reflect on the courage shown by our brave warriors that day and remember their sacrifices. I ask us all to give sincere thanks and appreciation to the survivors of that unthinkable day. I urge all Federal agencies, interested organizations, groups, and individuals to fly the flag of the United States at half-staff on December 7, 2021, in honor of those American patriots who died as a result of their service at Pearl Harbor.

Also, excerpted from President Biden's second proclamation:

As a mark of respect for Robert Joseph Dole, a statesman like few in our history and a war hero among the greatest of the Greatest Generation, I hereby order, by the authority vested in me as President of the United States by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset on December 9, 2021.

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.