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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 Bonefish (SS‑223)

Lest we forget to perpetuate the memory of our shipmates who gave their lives in the pursuit of their duties while serving their country. . .
79 years ago, on June 18, 1945, the USS Bonefish (SS‑223), sailed off into history on her final and eternal patrol.
While operating in a wolf pack, Bonefish requested and received permission to conduct a daylight submerged patrol of Toyama Wan, a bay farther up the Honshū coast. The boats were equipped with new mine detecting equipment. The attack group was to depart the Sea of Japan via La Perouse Strait on the night of 24 June. Bonefish did not make the scheduled pre-transit rendezvous. Japanese records reveal that a 5,488 ton cargo ship was torpedoed and sunk in Toyama Wan on 19 June and that an ensuing severe counterattack by Japanese escorts brought debris and a major oil slick to the water's surface. There can be little doubt that Bonefish was sunk in this action.
85 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.



This is an announcement from San Diego Base USSVI with details on the Memorial and Celebration of Life that will be held on Saturday, 22 June 2024 for STSCS(SS) Robert (Bob) Bissonnette, USN (Ret). Bob was a Navy Submarine League member and the Commander of the San Diego Base USSVI. He was a crewmember on USS PARCHE (SSN-683) and was an employee of the Arctic Submarine Lab at the time of his passing. Bob’s Memorial service and Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, Jun 22nd at 3:30 pm at the Mission Valley VFW 3787, 4370 Twain Ave., San Diego, CA.
RSVP to Jane Kane, Secretary, San Diego Base USSVI by phone or text to 619-602-1801 or email OR John Bissonnette phone or text to 815-913-4172 or email

Drop Zone Photo

Perch Base Submarine Veterans (USSVI) Life Members Chris Gahan, David Heighway, Carl Miner and Joe Trotter staffed a table at the 2024 Drop Zone event on June 1, 2024, held at the American Leadership Academy Applied Technologies Campus located in Mesa, AZ.
Drop Zone is a one-stop resource fair for veterans, seniors, and residents of Arizona’s 5th District. Participants had access to many valuable resources in one location: VA benefit consultations, health screenings, Taxpayer Advocacy Services, community support organizations, employment assistance, and more!
View more pictures HERE.

WWII Arizonans on Eternal Patrol Photos

The first line of the USSVI CREED is "To perpetuate the memory of our shipmates who gave their lives in the pursuit of their duties while serving their country."
Our Tolling of the Boats ceremony on Memorial Day is conducted at the Mark 18 Torpedo Monument placed by the WWII Submarine Veterans at the National Cemetery of Arizona in the Purple Heart Circle.
On the south end of the Mark 18 Torpedo Monument is a plaque of the Arizona submariners that were lost during WWII.
Follow the links, below, for a biography of each of these Arizona submariners lost during WWII:
Abad, Basil M. S2 Miami
Arney, Buford S2 Florence
Bailey, John B. TM3 Bisbee
Collom, Perry A. TM2 Somerton
Fausset, Eugene R. M3 Peoria
Gonzales, Ermino SC3 Winslow
Gregg, Ira N. CEM Phoenix
McGahan, James E. QM3 Phoenix
McGrath, Thomas P. Lt. Tucson
Orth, Louis R. SC1 Douglas
Porter, James T. MM1 Ltchfld Pk.
Rodrigues, Frank W. S1 Morenci
Rogers, Mervin M. S1 Central
Skjonsby, Verne Lt. Cmdr. Phoenix

May 2024 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 27, 2024.
Governor Joy and Howard Doyle conducted the Tolling of the Boats ceremony.
View more details and pictures HERE.

May 2024 Ray Marshall tribute banner in Gilbert, AZ.

Perch Base Submarine Veterans (USSVI) Life Member and Webmaster Dan Marks is honoring WW2 Submarine Veteran Ray Marshall, who went on Eternal Patrol on on September 10, 2021, at the age of 101 years old. Gilbert, AZ, honors Veterans by displaying Military Tribute banners in the Heritage District along Gilbert Road! Banners will be hung from May 21st to July 8th to coincide with the display periods of Memorial Day and Independence Day. Banners will be taken down on July 8th and then put back up for Veterans Day.
Ray Marshall's banner is located on the east side of Gilbert Road at the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce parking lot at 119 N Gilbert Rd.
ENC(SS) Raymond Marshall, a WW2 veteran, made 12 war patrols on two different boats. 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.
View more pictures HERE.

February 2024 Phoenix Navy Week Veterans Ceremony Photo


USSVI was chartered on May 22, 1964. May 22, 2024 will be the 60th (Diamond) Anniversary.
Celebrate the event with a patch and/or challenge coin!.
To order the anniversary patch and/or challenge coin, see our Storekeeper, John Beckett, at the next meeting or send him an email at
View more details and pictures HERE.

Guest speaker, Melinda Piña, from Honor Flight Arizona.

Perch Base Submarine Veterans (USSVI) had a guest speaker, Melinda Piña, from Honor Flight Arizona at the May 11, 2024, Perch Base General Meeting.
Melinda noted that application forms are available on their website, and also brought applications to the meeting. There are 124 Honor Flight hubs across the country. Melinda was representing Honor Flight Arizona. The cost to send a Veteran on the 3-day Honor Flight from Arizona is $1,300 and includes airfare, hotel and food, but the Veteran pays nothing. The cost is covered by donations to the 501(c)(3) organization. Guardians that accompany a Veteran pay their own way. Spouses cannot be Guardians, but other family members are encouraged. They are presently sending mainly Korean and Vietnam War Veterans between 1941 to 1975, including Cold War Veterans. The latest flight (which included our Base Commander George Woods) that just returned on May 10 had 30 Veterans. The Honor Flight Arizona usually has 5 flights in the spring and 5 flights in the fall, but intends to increase to a total of 12 per year.
Tour activities included the US Navy Memorial, Fort McHenry, the National WW2 Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the Marine Corp Memorial, Military Women’s Memorial, Maryland Museum of Military History, the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and a group picture at Fort Myer Air Force Base. George Woods was highly complementary of his Honor Flight.
View more pictures HERE.

Joe Trotter meets Nicole LaSlavic Photo

Perch Base Submarine Veterans (USSVI) Life Member and Treasurer Joe Trotter met the USS Arizona Legacy Foundation's new President and CEO, Nicole LaSlavic on Thursday, May 2, 2024.
Joe provided a general introduction to the submarine community and the USSVI.
Established in 2021, the USS Arizona Legacy Foundation is dedicated to supporting the commissioning of the fourth U.S. Navy vessel in American history to bear the name Arizona. Their vision is to honor the memory of the USS Arizona battleship BB-39 while shaping the future legacy of the USS Arizona Virginia-class fast attack submarine SSN‑803.
People can find more information about Nicole on the Foundation's webite,
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."

Mike (Chewie) Baka, MM1(SS)

Perch Base Life Member Mike (Chewie) Baka, MM1(SS), passed away onto Eternal Patrol, Friday, April 26, 2024.
Mike was surrounded by his wife, Lisa, family and friends as he took in his last breath, and exhaled, “DAMN THE TORPEDOS!!!! FOUR BELLS!!! GO AHEAD!!! FULL SPEED!!!!
Our condolences to his wife Lisa, son Keith, family and friends.
Mike joined the Navy in 1980 and left in 1986. He served and qualified on submarines on the USS Flasher (SSN‑613) in 1985. He was in the nuclear M-Div, Engineering Laboratory Technician (ELT), Ship's Quality Inspector, and Ship's Photographer on the Flasher. He also served as a staff instructor at the Nuclear Power Training Unit S1C in Windsor Locks, CT from 1981 to 1984, and as a Mechanic on the landing cargo ship USS Charleston (LKA-113) in 1981.
Mike had been a member of Perch Base USSVI since October 27, 2022.
More recently, Mike was Chief Operating Officer of Kinematics, a world leader in intelligent motion control.
Services are being planned to take place at a later date and are expected to be in Wisconsin.
See more pictures HERE.
Your Brothers of the 'Phin Have the Watch.
Fair Winds and Following Seas, Shipmate.

Eternal Patrol Dolphins

April 2024 Our Lady of Joy Military Veterans Ministry Photo


Perch Base Submarine Veteran (USSVI) Joe Trotter gave a presentation on 4/19/2024 to the Our Lady of Joy Roman Catholic Church Military Veterans Ministry.
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."
The Military Veterans Ministry focuses on those in our community who have served in the U.S. military, on those who still are serving our nation, and on families of veterans and active duty military. It is open to all veterans, active duty military and members of the parish.
The Ministry prays for those on active duty, assists our elderly and injured veterans who need a helping hand, listens to those who want to share their military stories with other veterans, aids in researching the right services and benefits for our veterans in a complex system, arranges for social activities, and annually honors those who served on Veteran’s Day with a Mass.
The Ministry honors all those who have served and wants to meet you. You are not forgotten.

April 2024 ASSM Memorial Brick Paver Installation Photos

Perch Base Submarine Veterans (USSVI) Joe Trotter and Dan Marks installed three new ASSM Memorial Brick Pavers on April 15, 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:
Mike Haler: 4" X 8" brick
Smith Hoffman and Buckman Family: 4" X 8" brick
John A. McKee, Jr: 4" X 8" brick
Joe and Dan installed the 3 bricks and also performed additional maintenance at the Memorial, including wire brushing rust off the handrails and recoating the rails, general cleaning and pulling weeds.
Would you like to sponsor a new ASSM Memorial Brick Paver to help maintain the Arizona Silent Service Memorial (ASSM)?
Follow this LINK to the ASSM Memorial Brick Paver donation page.
View more pictures HERE.

2024 Western Region Roundup photos

The Western Region Roundup was held in Silverdale, WA, from April 10 – 14, 2024.
Perch Base members attending the Roundup were Don & Marcia Unser, Carl Miner, Don Petty and Dan Marks.
View more details and pictures HERE.

2024 Picnic

Perch Base held its Annual Picnic meeting on Saturday, April 13, 2024. This was the second annual picnic at the Paloma Community Park in Peoria, AZ, instead of the White Tanks Park in Waddell and it was a great change.
Many of the dishes were brought in by the membership, but the "duty chef," Stan Reinhold, who has a food handling license, 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.
Following lunch, our Base Commander, George Woods, opened the meeting, led the Pledge of Allegiance and read the USSVI purpose. George Woods introduced our visitors, including members from Gudgeon Base. George also read the Tolling of the Boats Ceremony for the boats lost in April.
Special thanks to George Woods for providing photos, since Dan Marks, the Webmaster, was in Silverdale, WA, at the Western Region Roundup, and was unable to attend the Annual Picnic.
See more photos from the picnic 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."

David Heighway installation


Perch Base member David Heighway was installed as Vice-Commander on March 9, 2024.
Congratulations to Dave, who was previously our Event Coordinator, and thanks to Carl Miner for his service as the past Vice-Commander since April 10, 2021 (not to mention Carl's contribution as Chief of the Boat (COB) prior to that.)
View more details and pictures HERE.

February 2024 Phoenix Navy Week Veterans Ceremony Photo


Perch Base member Joe Trotter attended the Phoenix Navy Week Veterans Ceremony & dinner service at the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in Phoenix, AZ, on February 29, 2024.
Joe represented the Arizona Silent Service Memorial (ASSM) and the Naval Submarine League (NSL.) Joe is also the Treasurer on the ASSM Board of Directors.
Joe was accompanied by Lt. Cmdr. Hsin-Fu "Sinker" Wu (ret.) Sinker served a 20-year career in the U.S. Navy, in which he developed and implemented strategies for coalition, joint, naval, and undersea warfare.
View more pictures HERE.

February 2024 Phoenix Navy Week Proclamation Ceremony Photo


Perch Base members Dan Marks and Bob Gilmore attended the Phoenix Navy Week Proclamation Ceremony at the USS Arizona Memorial Gardens at Salt River in Scottsdale, AZ, on February 27, 2024. Several sailors from the Precommissioning Unit (PCU) of the USS Arizona Virginia-class fast attack submarine SSN-803 attended the ceremony.
View more pictures HERE.

February 2024 USS Arizona Legacy Foundation Launch Photo


Several Perch Base members, including Base Commander George Woods, Treasurer Joe Trotter, Ed Henry and Charles Tobias attended the USS Arizona Legacy Foundation Launch at the Arizona Heritage Center in Tempe, AZ, on February 26, 2024.
Established in 2021 to support the commissioning of the fourth U.S. Navy vessel in American history to bear the name Arizona, the Foundation 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.
View more pictures HERE.

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.