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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 Herring

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 June 1, 1944, the USS Herring (SS‑233) sailed off into history on her final and eternal patrol with 83 men lost.
On her eighth war patrol, Herring headed for the Kurile Islands patrol area. She later rendezvoused with Barb (SS‑220) and then was never heard from or seen again. Japanese records prove that she sank two merchant ships at anchor in Matsuwa Island on the morning of 1 June 1944. In a counter-attack, enemy shore batteries scored two direct hits on the submarine's conning tower and "bubbles covered an area about 5 meters wide, and heavy oil covered an area of approximately 15 miles."
Your Brothers of the 'Phin Have the Watch.
Fair Winds and Following Seas, Shipmates.

Eternal Patrol Dolphins

Visit the Perch Base Eternal Patrol page.

Veterans Crisis Line

Are you a Veteran in crisis or concerned about one?
Connect with the Veterans Crisis Line to reach caring, qualified responders with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Many of them are Veterans themselves. It is confidential and available every day, 24/7.
Click on the picture, above, to go to the VETERANS CRISIS LINE.

May 2023 Memorial Day Photos

Perch Base USSVI participated in the Memorial Day Ceremonies at the National Cemetery of Arizona, including Tolling of the Boats, on Monday, May 29, 2023.
Carl Miner and Dan Marks placed the wreaths for the Submarine Veterans of WW2 and the Perch Base Submarine Veterans at the Memorial Day ceremony. Governor Joy and Howard Doyle conducted the Tolling of the Boats ceremony. The following photos are from the both the Memorial Day Ceremony and the Tolling of the Boats.
View more details and pictures HERE.

USSVI logo

The United States Submarine Veterans, Inc., USSVI, was chartered 59 years ago on May 24, 1964.

May 2023 General Meeting Painting Presentation

Perch Base Submarine Veterans (USSVI) Base Commander, George Woods, presented a painting of the USS Phoenix (SSN-702) with the WW2 light cruiser USS Phoenix (CL-46) in the background to the Dillon's BBQ Restaurant Manager, Fernando Fernandez, during the Base meeting on May 13, 2023.
The painting will be hung in our meeting room for as long as we continue meeting there.
The painting was provided by Holland Club & Life Member Bob (Bob da COB) Saenz, QMCM(SS) (ret), who was formerly the Chief of the Boat (COB) aboard the USS Phoenix (SSN-702).
The painting was from an exhibit when the City of Phoenix adopted the USS Phoenix (SSN-702) on March 19, 1989.
Come to our next meeting to see where the painting was hung!

2023 Western Region Roundup group photo

The Western Region Roundup was held in Sacramento, CA from April 27 – 29, 2023.
Perch Base members attending the Roundup were George & Alice Woods, Don & Marcia Unser and Dan Marks
Dan Marks is both the Perch Base webmaster AND the Western Region Roundup webmaster. Rather than duplicating the information on both websites, here is a link to the photos and descriptions of the event on the Western Region Roundup website.

CDR Royce Pettit

Royce qualified in submarines on the USS Barracuda (was K-1) (SSK-1) in 1953 and was a CDR when he left the Navy.
Royce E. Pettit Jr. of Phoenix, AZ, formerly of Reynolds, IL, passed peacefully on April 17th. He was born on February 1, 1928 and was the eldest child of Royce E. Pettit and Dorothy Clarke Waite Pettit.
Foregoing his senior year of high school in Reynolds, he attended a military prep school. Royce attended the U.S. Naval Academy from which he graduated in 1950. His specialty was as a submariner and anti-submarine warfare specialist. Upon graduation he served on the destroyer USS Perry as the ASW officer. He then spent time at the submarine school in New London CT, upon graduation there he was assigned to his first submarine USS K-1 then the USS Picuda. In 1956-1958 he was in charge of the Naval ROTC at the University of Louisville. He was then assigned to the submarines USS Tang followed by the USS Ronquil. In November 1959, he married his wife Odile Simats whom he met in Vancouver, Canada during shore leave. From 1961-1963 he was seconded to the Royal Australian Navy as an ASW instructor. He then became the commanding officer of the USS Baya. Moving to Hawaii he was on the staff of the USN ASW Force, Pacific. Royce then moved to the East Coast to become the ASW officer on CV-18 USS Wasp. Moving to West Germany in 1969 he was the information officer for Joint Defense Headquarters Europe. His last duty station was as Executive Officer for Great Lakes Naval Training Center. While there he earned his MBA in business management from Roosevelt University. Royce retired from the Navy as a Commander in June 1976.
Read more and see more pictures HERE.
Your Brothers of the 'Phin Have the Watch.
Fair Winds and Following Seas, Shipmate.

Eternal Patrol Dolphins

CDR Harry Ellis

Perch Base Holland Club Member and Life Member CDR Harry B. Ellis, USN (ret), 87, passed away February 14, 2020. Harry was born August 26, 1927, and joined the Navy, serving in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. Harry joined Perch Base USSVI in August 2000.
Perch Base officers had been trying unsuccessfully to make contact with Harry, but the assisted living facility where he was living would not allow access during the COVID lockdown period and would not discuss his status. Sadly, it was not until we discovered the location of his inurnment, with his wife, Marjory, in the National Cemetery of Arizona (Section F7, Row B, Site 25) that we learned he had passed onto Eternal Patrol.
Harry's first submarine assignment was when he reported to the USS Raton (SSR‑270). He later qualified and served on the USS Sea Devil (SS‑400) in 1953 and again in 1960 as its Commanding Officer. Harry also commanded the USS Tilefish (SS‑307) in 1960.
Your Brothers of the 'Phin Have the Watch.
Fair Winds and Following Seas, Shipmate.

Eternal Patrol Dolphins

Capt. Dick Noreika

Perch Base Holland Club Member and Life Member Capt. Richard John Noreika, USN (Retired), 85, passed away April 5, 2023, after a long battle with Alzheimer's and dementia. Richard was born May 25, 1937. Richard earned a degree in engineering from the United States Naval Academy, Class of '59, 3rd Company. Richard proudly served his country as an officer in the U.S. Navy for 26 years. He had a distinguished naval career serving on the destroyer the USS Bailey and many submarines including the USS Patrick Henry, USS Tinosa, USS Batfish (as the executive officer), USS Kamehameha (as the commanding officer), and the USS Michigan Trident submarine (as the commanding officer). Richard was assigned sea duty for every Navy assignment from the time he graduated from the Naval Academy in 1959, until he took command of the Trident Refit Facility in Bangor, Wash. in 1982. He spent over seven years underwater and was away from his family over 65 percent of the time. Richard's last duty of assignment was at the Pentagon as head of electronics in Washington, D.C. Richard's individual accomplishments are too numerous to mention here. Richard was very proud to have served in the U.S. Navy, and his family was just as proud of him. Richard's only regret was that it was a difficult life for his family.
Dick will be inurned at the Naval Academy Columbarium in Annapolis, Md., in a family service at a later date.
Read more and see more pictures HERE.
Your Brothers of the 'Phin Have the Watch.
Fair Winds and Following Seas, Shipmate.

Eternal Patrol Dolphins

April 2023 Cold War Memorial Photos

Perch Base Submarine Veterans (USSVI) participated in the USS Phoenix (SSN-702) Cold War Monument Concept Reveal on the "Submarine Force Birthday," Tuesday, April 11, 2023 at the Steele Indian School Park in Phoenix, Arizona. The purpose of the event was to reveal a large sign to kickoff the (hopefully) final fundraising drive.
Several Perch Base members rode the USS Phoenix (SSN-702) including Ed Henry, Chuck Luna, Jim Ratte and Bob Saenz. Ed was present at this ceremony.
Perch Base supported the reveal by bringing our float, a 1/15th scale model of the USS Phoenix.
Speakers included Capt. Pete Lumianski (ret), the Executive Director of the USS Phoenix (SSN-702) Cold War Foundation; Col. Wanda Wright (ret), Former Dirctor of the Arizona Department of Veterans' Services; and Laura Pastor, Phoenix City Council Member, District 4.
Free refreshments were provided by Port of Subs. A fundraiser night will be held by participating Arizona Port of Subs locations on Tuesday, April 18th, 2023, from 2:00 PM to closing. 15% of all purchases will be donated to the USS Phoenix (SSN-702) Cold War Memorial.
See more photos from the Cold War Memorial Big Reveal HERE.

John Phillip Holland Photo

The “Submarine Force Birthday” is April 11. Holland VI was purchased by the U.S. government for the sum of $150,000 on 11 April 1900 from John Phillip Holland's Holland Torpedo Boat Company. She was considered to be the first truly successful craft of her type. Holland VI was modified after her christening, and was renamed USS Holland (SS-1) when she was commissioned. The United States Government soon ordered more submarines from Holland's company, which became the Electric Boat company. These boats were to be known as the Plunger class. These became America's first fleet of underwater naval vessels.
Some Submariners consider April 11 to be "Wear Your Dolphins to Work Day."

2023 Picnic

After 50 years, I finally found that 30 feet of "chow line" that my sea daddy sent me for before I qualified.
Perch Base held its Annual Picnic meeting on Saturday, April 8, 2023. This was the first picnic at the Paloma Community Park in Peoria, AZ, instead of the White Tanks Park in Waddell and it was a great change.
The "duty chef," Stan Reinhold cooked the burgers and hotdogs. Our Perch Base Chief of the Boat (COB,) Don Robertson also "mess cranked" for Stan. Special thanks to both Stan and Don for their contribution to the success of the picnic.
Read more and see more photos from the picnic HERE.

Commander, Submarine Force, video

The Commander, Submarine Force has issued a new video. It is a short watch, only about 2 minutes, but enjoyable.
View the video HERE.
View other videos linked from our Perch Base website HERE.

March 2023 Sea Chanters Concert

The US Navy Sea Chanters performed in the Phoenix, AZ, area at the Goodyear, AZ, Civic Center on March 28, 2023.
The Navy Band Sea Chanters are the United States Navy's official chorus. The ensemble performed a variety of music including traditional choral music, sea chanteys, patriotic fare, opera, Broadway and contemporary music.
Read more and see more photos from their performance HERE.

March 2023 General Meeting

Perch Base Submarine Veterans (USSVI) had a guest speaker, Steve Momsen, the nephew of Admiral Charles “Swede” Momsen, and installed George Woods as Base Commander during the March 11, 2023 General Meeting.
Read more and see more photos from the meeting HERE.

2023 USSVI National Convention Logo

August 28 - September 2, 2023
As co-sponsors of the 2023 USSVI National Convention in Tucson with the Tucson Base, we are not only encouraging attendance, but also participation in a number of volunteer support activities.
Follow this LINK to the 2023 USSVI National Convention website.
The volunteer activities are listed HERE. To volunteer, contact Joe Trotter, our base liaison at

2023 Scholarships

Congratulations to the three children and grandchildren of Perch Base members who each received scholarships during the February 8, 2023, Board of Directors meeting.
At the following general meeting on February 11, 2023, Howard Doyle's grandaughter Mia was present to receive her scholarship.
Mia is a senior in high school, a straight "A" student for the last 12½ years, co-captain of the swim team, participated in the state swim meets all 4 years, and set the school record in the backstroke this year. Mia accepted the scholarship award and thanked the Perch Base for the award. She plans to use the award toward her college tuition at the University of Hawaii at Hilo where she will be majoring in biology with plans to go on to medical school to become a doctor.
Two other children and grandchildren of Perch Base members were also selected to receive scholarships, but could not be present at the meeting on February 11, 2023.
Chris Urness' son Kaden and George Woods' granddaughter Kara Woods also received scholarship awards. Kara is in her second year at the State University of Binghamton (New York) and then plans to go to the University of Syracuse to also pursue a medical degree. They will receive their awards at a later date.
View more pictures HERE

February 2023 Laveen Parade Photos

Eleven Perch Base members participated on February 4, 2023, in the 22nd Annual Laveen Community Parade.
This year's theme was "Here We Grow!"
Our Perch Base entry was awarded the Second 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.
Based on current events, I asked if Mayor Kate's balloon was really a Chinese spy balloon. They showed me the "Made in USA" label!
View more details and pictures HERE.

January 2023 Annual Awards Banquet Photos

Perch Base Submarine Veterans (USSVI) held its Annual Awards Banquet on 1/21/2023 at the Pebble Creek Clubhouse, Goodyear, AZ.
Congratulatlions to our Chief of the Boat (COB) Don Robertson, who was awarded the 2022 "Sailor of the Year" Award.
Our guest speaker was Admiral Vernon Clark (ret). Admiral Clark was the 27th Chief of Naval Operations."
Holland Club Inductions were performed for Warner Howard Doyle, Governor C. Joy and Stanley N. Reinhold upon achieving 50 years as Qualified in Submarines.
View more details and pictures HERE.

Michael Olsen, QM2(SS)

A Memorial Service was be held on January 16, 2023 at 10:00 AM at the Salvation Army North West Valley Corps. For those who previously reviewed the Eternal Patrol Notice, it has now been expanded to include the Memorial Service.
Perch Base Holland Club Member and Life Member Michael Olsen, QM2(SS) went on Eternal Patrol on December 8, 2022. Sadly, we just recently participated in a memorial service upon the passing of Mike's wife of 63 years, Ruth, on November 26, 2021. Our sympathy to his family Sven (Skip) Olsen, Dennise Fadler (Randolph), Michelle Hinson (H. Douglas), and James Olsen; eight grandchildren: Erin Olsen, Michael Fadler (Aline), Séan Olsen, Jacob Hinson, Emmalee Hinson, Christien Fadler, Kathleen Fadler Bishop (Tyrone), and Scott Olsen; and four great-grandchildren: William Olsen, Grayson Hinson, Violet Hinson, and Thatcher Hinson.
Mike joined the Navy in October 1956, and was discharged as a Quartermaster Second Class, QM2(SS) in February 1962, after serving on four submarines: the USS Rasher (SSR‑269), USS Seawolf (SSN‑575), USS Corsair (AGSS‑435) and the USS Pomfret (SS‑391)
Mike joined the United States Submarine Service Veterans, Inc. (USSVI) on September 1, 2003, at the Base 51 in Las Vegas, Nevada, then later moved to Surprise, Arizona and joined our Perch Base on February 8, 2014.
To no surprise, Mike became our Base Chaplain in November 2015. He could be counted on to visit ill members, conduct Eternal Patrol services, provide counselling to families and help members to obtain benefits. Mike was so committed to his role as Chaplain, he became the Chaplain at the Maricopa County Jail for the Veteran's unit. Even after he turned over the Base Chaplain role in October 2017, he still routinely would lead invocations and benedictions when the new Chaplain was not present. Mike routinely attended meetings and was a Base Operations Supporter donating monies or efforts to allow for Base operations while keeping our dues low and avoid raising money through member labor as most other organizations do.
View more details HERE.
Your Brothers of the 'Phin Have the Watch.
Fair Winds and Following Seas, Shipmate.

Eternal Patrol Dolphins

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 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

Come and visit, LIKE and FOLLOW our new Facebook Page, USSVI Perch Base Arizona.
Building a successful Social Media network for any organization is no longer a "we’ll think about it" topic. Today, it is a MUST DO for all nonprofit organizations, including United States Submarine Veterans, Inc. (USSVI) and its Bases. It is critical if we want to expand our membership growth and communicate our unique mission story in an effective and cost-effective manner.

We Trained For This Photo

With all the recent activity and cancellations as a result of the Corona Virus, this speaks for itself!

Membership map

The image, above, shows that we have members all over metropolitan Phoenix. Left-click on the image for a larger view. If you are a Perch Base member and would like to consider carpooling, you are willing to pickup another member, or you need a ride to meetings or events, send an email to the webmaster at
The Board of Directors will attempt to match you with another nearby member who has similarly asked to carpool, or is willing to pickup another member. The Board will then provide the name, email, and phone number to the interested members that can then get in touch with each other to make specific arrangements. We are not publicly posting names or personal information to maintain privacy.
Keep in mind that if you wait until the last minute to request a match-up for a particular event, we may not be able to respond in time.

Map to Dillon's Restaurant

We meet the second Saturday of every month at 1200 hours (noon if you’ve been out a while) at Dillon's Restaurant, 20585 North 59th Ave, Glendale, AZ 85308-6821 (Left-click address, or the map above, for a Google map to Dillon's.) Come at 1100 for time to "socialize."
NOTE: Check our SAILING ORDERS page before "dropping in" on a meeting!

USS Finback rescuing George H.W. Bush USS Finback rescuing George H.W. Bush

In the upper picture, above, the crew of the USS Finback (SS-230) rescues downed pilot, Lieutenant Bush of Torpedo Squadron 51 on September 2, 1944 after Japanese antiaircraft defense shot down his torpedo bomber between the northeastern end of Minami Jima and the southern tip of Chichi Jima. (Left-click the picture to enlarge.)
In the bottom picture, Rescued pilots and the crew and officers of the Finback. Lt. (jg) George Herbert Walker Bush is second from the left in the front row.
Bush, and 4 other rescued aviators remained on the Finback as "guests" while she tracked and attacked convoys, endured depth charges from Japanese escort ships, and sank two ships (an oiler and small cargo ship). The five ended their stay on the Finback on Midway Island on September 29, after 29 days aboard the submarine (and crossing the international date line).
Read more about how the submarine service performed "Lifeguard Duty" during WW2 in the National Archives HERE.

Click video to START.

The Loss of the Perch

View Loss of the Perch video

Click HERE to select another video.


US Flag at half staff

When should I fly the American Flag at half staff?

Check out the Arizona Half Staff Notification web site.

65 U.S. Submarines never returned to port. Click on Eternal Patrol and see pictures and stories of the "boats" that remain at sea . . . forever, on eternal patrol.

Need to reach us or have a question?

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USSVI Creed:

"To perpetuate the memory of our shipmates who gave their lives in the pursuit of their duties while serving their country. That their dedication, deeds and supreme sacrifice be a constant source of motivation toward greater accomplishments. Pledge loyalty and patriotism to the United States of America and its Constitution.

In addition to perpetuating the memory of departed shipmates, we shall provide a way for all Submariners to gather for the mutual benefit and enjoyment. Our common heritage as Submariners shall be strengthened by camaraderie. We support a strong U.S. Submarine Force.

The organization will engage in various projects and deeds that will bring about the perpetual remembrance of those shipmates who have given the supreme sacrifice. The organization will also endeavor to educate all third parties it comes in contact with about the services our submarine brothers performed and how their sacrifices made possible the freedom and lifestyle we enjoy today."

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We honor those submariners
who have never
returned to port
and remain on
Eternal Patrol

Link to boats on Eternal Patrol

Click on the picture, above,
to see those boats on
"Eternal Patrol"

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Officer Dolphins

WE are an organization with but one simple requirement to join
— have you ever worn Dolphins?
(been designated, "Qualified in Submarines.")

All of us have served their country
in the Silent Service

Enlisted Dolphins


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Because we are the "SILENT SERVICE," many people are unaware of the services our submarine Brothers of the 'Phin performed in the Korean and Vietnam Wars. Thirty submarines served in the Korean War, as detailed on the Korean War Educator website *. Sixty-six submarines served in the Vietnam War, as detailed in a letter from United States Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus. Also check out the related SubVet_News-2019-030 regarding Agent Orange exposure by Blue Water veterans.

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Click here for the Submarine Glossary

Click on the Blackboard for a Complete Glossary of Submarine, Naval and Nautical Terms

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Click on this sentence, or the photo, below, to see how the float was constructed

Pictures showing how the float was constructed

To honor those who currently serve, and those who went before us, we built this float that we use in parades and static displays. The float is a 1/15 scale model of the nuclear powered submarine USS Phoenix (SSN-702,) named after our city. The Phoenix was a Los Angeles-class submarine that was 362 feet long and, on the surface, had 32 feet of the ship under water.
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.