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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.

More details
      ★       Monthly Meeting - March 14 - at Dillon's.       ★       MidWatch deadline - Friday - March 20.       ★       Western Regional Roundup - March 22-27 - in Laughlin, NV.       ★      
USS Grayback

Lest we forget to perpetuate the memory of our shipmates who gave their lives in the pursuit of their duties while serving their country. . .
75 years ago, on Feb. 26, 1944, the USS Grayback (SS-208), sailed off into history on her final and eternal patrol.
Grayback’s tenth patrol, her most successful in terms of tonnage sunk, was also to be her last. From captured Japanese records the submarine's last few days can be pieced together. Heading home through the East China Sea, on 27 February Grayback used her last two torpedoes to sink the freighter Ceylon Maru. That same day, a Japanese carrier-based plane spotted a submarine on the surface in the East China Sea and attacked. According to Japanese reports the submarine "exploded and sank immediately," but antisubmarine craft were called in to depth-charge the area, clearly marked by a trail of air bubbles, until at last a heavy oil slick swelled to the surface. Grayback had ended her last patrol, one which cost the enemy some 21,594 tons of shipping.
80 men were lost.
"Sailors, rest your oars, we have the watch."
Visit the Perch Base Eternal Patrol page.

February 2020 USS Bugara painting presentation

USS Bugara
"Change of Command"

Perch Base Submarine Veterans (USSVI) Webmaster and Life Member Dan Marks presented a painting to Chuck Bishop of the USS Bugara (SS-331), his qual boat, on February 7, 2020.
I guess you could call it a "Change of Command" ceremony.
Dan won the painting as the high (and only) bidder at the live auction during the Western Regional Roundup in Laughlin, NV, in March, 2019. Upon the discovery that Chuck, a Life Member at the White Mountain Base, qualified on the USS Bugara in 1961, Dan offered the painting to Chuck, who was honored to "give it a good home."
Read more and see more pictures HERE.

2020 Laveen Parade photos

Laveen Parade
Eleven Perch Base members participated on February 1, 2020 in the 20th Annual Laveen Community Parade.
This picture displays some of the Perch Base members posed with the Parade Grand Marshals from the Laveen Lions Club.
This year's theme was "Getting Stronger Every Day."
64 entries participated in the parade. The base was awarded First Place in the Motor Vehicle Group.
See more pictures HERE.

Anthem Veterans Memorial on 01/31/2020

Déjà vu all over again
When was the last time you used a sextant? The Perch Base Life Member & Webmaster, Dan Marks, was frustrated that he never gets to see the Anthem Veterans Memorial when it is lined up with the Great Seal every November 11 at 11:11:11 AM because we are always participating in the Phoenix Veterans Day Parade when the solar alignment occurs.
But have you ever considered that the same solar alignment repeats for any solar position twice a year, except the summer and winter solstices? So the Webmaster put on his Quartermaster hat (he happens to be a nuke ET) and determined the sun’s azimuth and elevation at 11:11:11 AM on Veterans Day, then went to the astronomical tables and determined the other date to achieve the same solar position is January 30th at approximately 11:40 AM (January 31 in a leap year).
Read more and see more pictures HERE.

ASSM construction photos

ASSM Construction
At long last construction of the Arizona Silent Service Memorial (ASSM) is finally underway. The trapezoidal base and surfacing submarine modules are being built off site and will be transported to the memorial site for installation and finishing when the construction site at Wesley Bolin Plaza is ready.
The ASSM Foundation Committee had a site meeting with Sunland Asphalt & Const., and, Neil Urban from the Arizona Department of Administration on January 24, 2020. We reviewed our site plans which are 95% complete and Neil provided us some excellent feedback and we should be able to finetune our final plans and submit them to the state within the next two weeks. Once this is done, Neil said they should be able to turn it around and give us approval within two weeks. As soon as the ADOA gives us their approval, we want to have a Groundbreaking Ceremony. We must apply for a permit for this and all future events, which all need to be approved by the ADOA. All bureaucratic red tape but very necessary for the process.
Read more and see more pictures HERE.

January 2020 Annual Awards Banquet Photos

Annual Awards Banquet
What happens to a styrofoam cup when you take it from sea level down to 16,400 feet below sea level? Les Parsons, CDR (ret), was the Keynote Speaker for our Annual Awards Banquet on January 11, 2020. He spoke of his experiences as Officer-In-Charge (OIC) of the deep submersible Trieste II.
Also, congratulations to Chuck Luna who received the "Sailor of the Year" award.
View more awards and pictures HERE.

Chuck Luna visits Pearl Harbor

Chuck Luna Visits Pearl Harbor
Perch Base USSVI Communications Officer Chuck Luna visited the Pearl Harbor Historic Sites with his wife, Laura, and mother-in-law, Gladys, over Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day 2019.
Chuck is also our Perch Base Newsletter Editor and Historian.
Generally, the photos include the USS Arizona (BB-39) Memorial, the USS Missouri (BB-36) Memorial, the USS Bowfin (SS-287), and the Pacific Aviation Museum.
Although the USS Bowfin submarine was open for tours, the Bowfin museum was closed. They are adding to it and when it reopens next year it will be the "Pacific Fleet Submarine Museum," not just the about the Bowfin.
View the pictures HERE.

Kenneth Meeks

Kenneth Meeks
Perch Base Member Ken Meeks, MMCS(SS) unexpectedly departed on Eternal Patrol on the evening of Friday, December 6, 2019.
Our condolences to his wife, Soon Young, his daughter, April, his son, Will, and the rest of the family.
The funeral chapel service was held at the Heritage Funeral Chapel at 12:30 PM on Tuesday, December 17 and burial service followed at 2:00 PM at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona.
View the Eternal Patrol Notice HERE.
Your Brothers of the 'Phin Have the Watch.
Fair Winds and Following Seas, Shipmate.

Eternal Patrol Dolphins

December 2019 Pearl Harbor Day Photos

Perch Base attended the Pearl Harbor Day event on 12/07/2019 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.
View the pictures HERE.

Jim Andrews Christmas decoration

'Tis The Season
Our Membership Chairman, Jim Andrews, is getting in the spirit of Christmas. How about you?

Don and Marcia Unser in China

Welcome Home!
Perch Base Life Member and Holland Club Member Don Unser and his wife, Marcia, recently returned from a tour of China. Note the Great Wall in the background of the picture.
Some of us joined the Navy and saw the world. The Unsers are on a second go-around.
They say they had a great time, but shied away from some occasional strange food and although there were some "normal" toilets, they weren't impressed with the common squatty potties. If you ever go to China, remember to carry your own toilet paper!
Don is our Perch Base Events Coordinator and Marcia is our Base Secretary.

2019 Phoenix Vets Day Photos

Phoenix Veterans Day
Perch Base took the USS Phoenix float to the Phoenix, Arizona, Veterans Day Parade on Monday, November 11, 2019.
Bill and Carl still fit in their dress blues!
CAPT Pete Lumianski, USN(ret), one of the USS PHOENIX COLD WAR MONUMENT Board of Directors, "enlisted" a handful of teens to walk with us along the parade route and hand out flyers to install the USS Phoenix Sail and Rudder in the Steele Indian School Park.
View more details and pictures HERE.

2019 Black Canyon City Veterans Day Photos

Do We Have A Prayer? . . . YES!
Perch Base took the USS Phoenix float to the Black Canyon City Veterans Day Parade on Saturday, November 9, 2019.
Along the way, we stopped for pie and coffee at the Rock Springs Cafe. These GENTLEMEN from the Freedom Biker Outreach Motorcycle Ministry saw our group of Submarine Veterans and asked if they could say a prayer over us!
View more details and pictures at the Cafe and the Parade HERE.

2019 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 9, 2019.
18 members and family participated!
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.

2019 Prince of Peace Veteran's Day celebration and luncheon photos

Prince of Peace
The Prince of Peace Church in the Our Lady of Lourdes Parish held a Veteran's Day celebration and luncheon on 11/06/2019.
Perch Base Life Member and Membership Chairman Jim Andrews and his wife Marcie are members of the parish. Thanks to Jim and Marcie for the photos.
The Guest Speaker was Perch Base Life Member and Holland Club member Jim Denzien. Jim is also the USSVI Western Division Director. Jim spoke about his deep submergence experience on the Trieste II (DSV‑1).
View more pictures HERE.

2019 Sierra Verde Elementary Veteran Appreciation Photos

Sierra Verde Elementary School
Perch Base took the USS Phoenix float to the Sierra Verde Elementary School for a static display on Friday, November 8, 2019.
Sierra Verde, a Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) school, conducted a Veterans Appreciation Day program.
They fed us breakfast then held an assembly to show their appreciation for Veterans and their patriotism. They really treated us like VIPs!
View more details and pictures at the school HERE.

2019 Gilbert Veterans Day Photos

Gilbert Veterans Day
Several Perch Base members attended the 2019 Town of Gilbert, AZ Veterans Day Ceremony on November 7, 2019, at the Gilbert Municipal Center.
Davy Jones is always trying to sign up new members, in this case, Miss Gilbert 2020, Danielle Skranak, but it turned out she is not Submarine Qualified. Nevertheless, Davy Jones signed up a new member, Charles Tobias. Welcome, Charles.
They say, "There's no such thing as a free lunch," but local restaurants fed us, too!
View more details and pictures HERE.

USS Pogy (SSN-647) Reunion

Chris Urness at the Pogy Reunion
Perch Base USSVI Member Chris Urness attended the USS Pogy (SSN-647) Reunion on October 3-6, 2019 in Baltimore, MD.
Chris is also the Vice Chairman & Secretary of the Arizona Silent Service Memorial (ASSM) Foundation Committee.
His 15 year old son, Kaden Urness, came with him and after the reunion, they stayed in Washington, DC, for another 5 nights and toured pretty much every site they have.
Chris qualified in 1996 on the USS Pogy and was on board from 1996 to 1999. The USS Pogy Reunion included a tour of the USS Torsk SS-423 (in Baltimore harbor), a visit to the USS Thresher Memorial at Arlington, a trip to Washington DC to the Cold War Museum (at the Navy Yard), and placing a wreath at the Vietnam Memorial.
Best-selling author, Rick Campbell, was the Reunion guest speaker. Rick gave everyone in attendance a FREE, signed copy of his book "The Trident Deception".
See more pictures HERE.

USS Mariano G. Vallejo (SSBN-658) Sail Dedication

Howard Doyle Back To His Roots
Perch Base USSVI Base Commander and Life Member Howard Doyle attended the USS Vallejo (SSBN-658) Memorial dedication on October 24, 25 and 26, 2019.
The Mare Island Historic Park Foundation hosted the celebration to commemorate the sail of the Mariano G. Vallejo.
The Vallejo was one of the "41 FOR FREEDOM" that protected us during the Cold War. The goal of the 41 for Freedom was to create a credible, survivable sea-based deterrent to the possibility of nuclear war as quickly as possible. The Mare Island Naval Ship Yard (MINSY) built 11 of the 41 boats, including the Mariano G. Vallejo SSBN 658. She was a SHOWBOAT! The MGV was celebrated by the City of Vallejo from the lay down of her keel in July 1964 through her launch in October 1965. The Chamber of Commerce donated money for an especially nice silver service for the wardroom, many enhancements were incorporated into her construction, and the story told by Submarine Squadron Commanders is that if a dignitary requested a submarine tour, and the Vallejo was in port, she was the automatic choice.
Howard qualified on the Vallejo in 1973, so both Howard and the Vallejo were "returning to their roots" for this event.
See more pictures HERE.

Luke AFB Retiree Appreciation Day 10/26/2019

Luke AFB Retiree Appreciation Day
Perch Base USSVI and other Armed Forces retirees attended the Luke AFB Retiree Appreciation Day on October 26, 2019.
Activities included up-close tours of an F16 & F35 with their pilots and crews, demonstrations by the Security Force and their dogs, legal aide by the Judge Advocate, immunizations, food and more.
How long do you suppose it has been since Perch Base Holland Club and Life member Davy Jones stood a topside watch? It looks just like yesterday!
Davy sent me an email that he thinks he may have 3 new submariners to join Perch Base from this Retiree event. I wonder if he persuaded them with this machine gun. "Yes Senior Chief, I'll volunteer for your work party."

Dishes from the Deep cover page

"Dishes From the Deep,"
Perch Base published a 140 page Perch Base cookbook titled, "Dishes From the Deep," vintage 1996, as a base fundraiser. Thanks to Layne Moss who provided a copy.
The recipes taste as good today as they did 23 years ago!
View the cookbook and read more about the cookbook's history HERE.

Veterans Heritage Project logo

Veterans Heritage Project
Perch Base member Dick Noreika, Capt. USN (ret) encourages any submariners, but especially diesel boat sailors, to register for the Veterans Heritage Project. Many or our older sub sailors are sadly going on eternal patrol with stories that will be lost forever.
Contact Dick to get registered by emailing him at dicdic@msn.com, or snail mail to P.O. Box 5272, Carefree, AZ 85377-5272.
Students in the Veterans Heritage Project (formerly Arizona Heritage Project) from chapter schools have conducted nearly 1,000 interviews with veterans from World War I to Afghanistan. An important reason to collect these narratives is to preserve them for future generations with the Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress in Washington DC, which has collected over 85,000 stories to date.

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 webmaster@perch-base.org.
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."

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.