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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 Amberjack

USS AMBERJACK (SS‑219)
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 Feb. 16, 1943, the USS Amberjack (SS‑219), sailed off into history on her final and eternal patrol.
She was probably sunk by Japanese destroyers near Rabaul. Reports conflict with the loss of the USS Grampus, both missing in the same area.
72 men were lost.
SAILORS, REST YOUR OAR! YOUR WATCH HAS ENDED.
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

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.

February 2024 Laveen Parade Photos

LAVEEN COMMUNITY PARADE
Seven Perch Base members participated on February 3, 2024, in the 23rd Annual Laveen Community Parade.
This year's theme was "The Future is Now!"
Our Perch Base entry was awarded the Third Place (Motor Vehicle Group) trophy!
The crowds along the side of the parade route expressed their appreciation of our service as our float went by.
View more details and pictures HERE.

Anthem Veterans Memorial on 01/30/2024

Déjà vu all over again
"Déjà vu all over again" is a quote (a.k.a, "Yogi-ism") from the great philosopher and baseball player Yogi Berra.
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 (sometimes January 31 in a leap year).
According to Jim Martin, the Anthem Veterans Memorial chief engineer, the Anthem Veterans Memorial was designed to align correctly within plus or minus 12 seconds to compensate for pole wandering and seasonal slowing of the earth’s rotation. Learn more about Jim's engineering of the Memorial on the Anthem Community Council website. Jim Martin was also the engineer for the Arizona Silent Service Memorial (ASSM) in Wesley Bolin Plaza.
I then took a ride to the Anthem Veterans Memorial and took this picture. Perch Base member Carlton Clarke was also present for the solar alignment.
Did you miss it? Stop by next year at the Anthem Veterans Memorial on January 30, 2025 at 11:40:42 AM! (plus or minus 12 seconds)

January 2023 Military Vehicle Collector Club (MCCC) Show photos

ARIZONA MILITARY VEHICLE SHOW
Perch Base Submarine Veterans (USSVI) set up a static display of the USS Phoenix (SSN-702) float and several tables at the Military Vehicle Collector Club (MVCC) Arizona Military Vehicle Show at the Peoria Sports Complex in Peoria, AZ, on January 26 - 28, 2024. In addition to "showing off" the USS Phoenix, our participation in the event was to promote the USS Phoenix (SSN-702) Cold War Museum Monument at the Steele Indian School Park in Phoenix, Arizona and the Arizona Silent Service Memorial (ASSM) in Wesley Bolin Plaza.
Special thanks to 3 Navy Sea Cadets who visited our display on Saturday morning, 01/27/24. They wiped down the USS Phoenix (field day!) In appreciation of their work, Joe Trotter gave each of them a Perch Base challenge coin. They were really impressed with their gift.
View more details and pictures HERE.

January 2024 ASSM Memorial Brick Paver Installation Photos

BRAVO ZULU JOE TROTTER!
Perch Base Submarine Veterans (USSVI) Life Member and Treasurer Joe Trotter gave a presentation on January 23, 2024, to the Naval Order of the United States Sea Services History Society.
Joe discussed submarine life in the 1970's.
Bravo Zulu to Joe for supporting our Creed to ". . . 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."

January 2024 ASSM Memorial Brick Paver Installation Photos

ASSM MEMORIAL BRICK PAVER INSTALLATION
Perch Base Submarine Veterans (USSVI) Joe Trotter and Dan Marks installed four new ASSM Memorial Brick Pavers on January 17, 2024 at the Arizona Silent Service Memorial (ASSM) in Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza in front of the Arizona State Capital building.
Joe Trotter is the Treasurer and a Board Member of the ASSM Foundation Committee, a 501(c)3 Organization, as well as Treasurer of Perch Base Submarine Veterans USSVI. Dan Marks is the Perch Base Webmaster.
Thank you for the generosity of those that bought new ASSM Memorial Brick Pavers, which support the upkeep of the ASSM Memorial:
Bob Saenz: 8" X 8" brick
Tim Haueter: 4" X 8" brick
Kelly & Jill McLaughlin: 4" X 8" brick
Barry Wyatt & Marriah L. Dobbins: 4" X 8" brick
It may not seem like a lot of work, but it took Joe and Dan about 2 hours to pry out old (blank) bricks, prepare the underlying surface, and install the new ASSM Memorial Brick Pavers.
View more details and pictures HERE.

January 2024 Annual Awards Banquet Photos

ANNUAL AWARDS BANQUET
Perch Base Submarine Veterans (USSVI) held its Annual Awards Banquet on 1/13/2024 at the Pebble Creek Clubhouse in Goodyear, AZ. Congratulatlions to our Communications Officer and MidWatch Editor, Chris Gahan, who was awarded the 2023 "Sailor of the Year" Award.
The Keynote Speaker was Rear Admiral Michael E. McLaughlin (ret). At the time of his retirement, Admiral McLaughlin was the Commander, Submarine Group TWO, comprising the 25 attack submarines on the East Coast and associated 4,000 men and women. Earlier in his career, he commanded the submarine USS LA JOLLA (SSN‑701)
Holland Club Inductions were performed for Gerald Benham, Christopher Gahan, John Mammetti, Charles Tobias, upon achieving 50 years as Qualified in Submarines.
View more details and pictures HERE.

December 2023 Pearl Harbor Day Photos

PEARL HARBOR REMEMBRANCE DAY:
Two Perch Base members, Vice Commander Carl Miner and Event Coordinator David Heighway presented wreaths at the Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day event on 12/09/2023 at the Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza by the Arizona State Capitol. We placed two wreaths. Carl Miner placed one for the WW2 Submarine Veterans and David Heighway placed the other for Perch Base.
Credit (and thanks!) to David Heighway for taking photos.
View more pictures HERE.

Current Newsletter

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

Richard (Dick) A. Bernier, ICI(SS)

DICK BERNIER ETERNAL PATROL
Perch Base Holland Club and Life Member Richard (Dick) A. Bernier, ICI(SS), passed away Sunday, December 17, 2023.
Our condolences to his wife, Robbie, and nephew, John Langston.
Dick joined the Navy in 1958 and left in 1965. He served and qualified on submarines on the USS Irex (SS‑482) in 1960. He also served on the USS Lafayette (SSBN‑616) and the USS Nautilus (SSN‑571) then left the Navy in 1965 as an ICI(SS)
Dick had been a member of Perch Base USSVI since July 13, 2001.
Services were held Thursday, December 28, 2023, at the Palm Valley Funeral Home.
Read more and see more pictures HERE.
SAILOR, REST YOUR OAR! YOUR WATCH HAS ENDED.
Your Brothers of the 'Phin Have the Watch.
Fair Winds and Following Seas, Shipmate.

Eternal Patrol Dolphins

Bill Monk

BILL MONK ETERNAL PATROL
William H. Monk Jr., 79, passed away Monday, Nov. 27, 2023, in San Antonio, Texas.
He was born Jan. 5, 1944, in Dallas. After graduation from high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving as a proud submariner. He belonged to many military groups. The Holland Club, U.S.S Ethan Allen (SSBN-608), Perch Base, USSVI in Phoenix, AZ, P.C. Stryker Base, USSVI in San Antonio, Texas, and many more. He loved his career in the Navy. Following his Naval career, he worked at General Dynamics in Groton, Conn., then at Procter & Gamble in Mahoopany.
Our condolences to his daughter, Irene L. Monk Walters; granddaughter, Brianna K. Boyle; sister, Susan Nutche; and many nieces and nephews.
Read more and see more pictures HERE.
SAILOR, REST YOUR OAR! YOUR WATCH HAS ENDED.
Your Brothers of the 'Phin Have the Watch.
Fair Winds and Following Seas, Shipmate.

Eternal Patrol Dolphins

A.J. Kovac presents the life success story of Del Webb and also the Del Webb Sun Cities Museum.

12/09/2023 MEETING PRESENTATION
Perch Base Submarine Veterans (USSVI) had a guest speaker, Al "A.J." Kovac, from the Del Webb Sun Cities Museum at the December 9, 2023 Perch Base General Meeting.
A.J. discussed the life success story of Del Webb and also the Del Webb Sun Cities Museum located at
10801 Oakmont Drive, Sun City, AZ 85351
(Left-click address, above, for a Google map to the Del Webb Sun Cities Museum.)
Thank you to A.J. Kovac for the interesting presentation. It seemed clear that many Perch Base members live close to the museum, but didn't know it was there. As is the case with many submariners, we have traveled around the world, but say we were never there!
View more pictures HERE.

2023 USS Arizona Legacy Foundation Photos

USS ARIZONA LEGACY FOUNDATION
The USS Arizona Legacy Foundation supports the commissioning of the fourth U.S. Navy vessel in American history to bear the name Arizona, our vision is to honor, expand, and nurture the memory of the USS Arizona battleship BB-39 while forging the future legacy of the USS Arizona Virginia-class fast attack submarine SSN-803.
The photo above shows our Perch Base Life Member & Treasurer, Joe Trotter, giving a presentation to 4th graders at the Islands Elementary school library in Gilbert with Maura Mackowski. Maura, who holds a Ph.D. in history, is a research historian currently residing in Gilbert, Arizona. Among other books, Maura authored the book Life in Space
This was sponsored by the Gilbert, Arizona Veterans Advisory Board who is making presentations at many local schools.

2023 Phoenix Veterans Day Photos

PHOENIX VETERANS DAY
Twenty three Perch Base members and family took the USS Phoenix float to the 27th Annual Phoenix Veterans Day Parade presented by the non-profit Honoring America’s Veterans (HAV) on November 11th, 2023.
We staged the float at the Firestone Complete Auto Care at 241 W Osborn Rd (Thanks for letting us use your store lot) and then rode the float to the parade starting point.
This year’s parade theme was "Never Forget, Forever Honor."
Organizers anticipated 45,000 spectators along the parade route. Seven Veteran Grand Marshals, represented each era of military service from World War II to Afghanistan.
View more pictures HERE.

2023 Sierra Verde Elementary Veteran Appreciation Photos

SIERRA VERDE STEAM SCHOOL
Perch Base took the USS Phoenix float to the Sierra Verde Elementary School for a static display on Thursday, November 9, 2023.
Sierra Verde, a Science, Technology, Engineering And Math (STEAM) 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 pictures HERE.

November 2023 USAA 5K Run photos

USAA 5K RUN STATIC DISPLAY
Seven Perch Base Submarine Veterans (USSVI) set up a static display of the USS Phoenix (SSN-702) float and several tables at the USAA 5K Run in Phoenix, AZ, on November 4, 2023. The USS Phoenix (SSN-702) float was on the 5K running course and the display tables were at the starting point, along with other veteran organizations and causes.
The photo shows Missile Tech (Carl Miner) at work. Missile Tech's hammer is not visible in the photo.
See more pictures and discussion HERE.

Nancy Nelson

NANCY NELSON MEMORIAL SERVICE
Eight Perch Base members and family attended the Memorial Service for Nancy Nelson. Nancy, who was a Perch Base SubVette, was the wife of Perch Base Holland Club Member Jim (Nellie) Nelson who previously departed on Eternal Patrol on August 15, 2020.
Our condolences to her son Brent, who is also a Qualified Submariner, and the rest of the family.
Nancy was proud of the fact that she was the daughter of a Submariner, wife of a Submariner, sister of a Submariner, and mother of a Submariner.
Jim (Nellie) 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.
See more pictures HERE.

Lt. Wayne Anton "Brad" Braastad, USN (ret)

LT BRAD BRAASTAD ETERNAL PATROL
Perch Base Holland Club Member and Life Member Lt. Wayne Anton "Brad" Braastad, USN (Retired) passed away September 24, 2023, at the age of 101. Our condolences to Brad's wife, Stella, and children, Barbara, Wayne, Marilyn and Ruthie.
Born in Minneapolis, Minn on July 7, 1922, Brad was a deeply religious man, husband, father and WWII naval leader.
Although a resident of Tucson, AZ, Brad became a member of Perch Base in Phoenix, AZ, in our early years, then chartered the Tucson Base USSVI and was the first Tucson Base Commander on January 1, 2004.
Services have been held.
Read more and see more pictures HERE.
SAILOR, REST YOUR OAR! YOUR WATCH HAS ENDED.
Your Brothers of the 'Phin Have the Watch.
Fair Winds and Following Seas, Shipmate.

Eternal Patrol Dolphins

September 2023 Carlton Clarke model photos

BRAVO ZULU
CARLTON CLARKE MODEL

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.

Boat Sponsorship Program patch

BOAT SPONSORSHIP PROGRAM
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

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

WANT TO CARPOOL?
NEED A RIDE?
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

JOIN US AT A MEETING.
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

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

Governor Katie Hobbs has ordered flags at all state buildings to be lowered to half-staff from sunrise to sunset on February 14, 2024 and on the day of interment, in honor of U.S. Marine Sergeant Alec Langen, who was one of the casualties of the February 6 helicopter crash during a training flight in California.
Sgt. Langen was assigned to the Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 361 "Flying Tigers", Marine Aircraft Group 16, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing and was based at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California.
According to the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, Alec Langen enlisted in the Marine Corps on September 14, 2017, and was promoted to the rank of Sergeant on October 1, 2022. His decorations include the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and two Sea Service Deployment Ribbons.
Governor Hobbs issued the following statement:
"It is with great sorrow that we learned that Sergeant Alec Langen, of Chandler, was one of the five Marines killed during a training flight in California. We lift up his family, especially his wife Casey and his parents, Steven and Caryn Langen, and mourn alongside them for the loss of this talented and selfless young man, who spent his life in service to others."
We will further communicate the date of interment once set.
Individuals, businesses, and other organizations are encouraged to join in this tribute.

Governor Katie Hobbs has ordered flags at all state buildings to be lowered to half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Monday, February 26, 2024 for the interment of U.S. Marine Sergeant Alec Langen, who was one of the casualties of the February 6 helicopter crash during a training flight in California.
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?
communications@perch-base.org

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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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IF YOU'VE EARNED THESE...

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

...WE WANT YOU!

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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.

QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS FOR THE WEBMASTER?  EMAIL webmaster@perch-base.org