NSL UPDATE 06-08-2009

NSL Membership Dues Change 1 July 2009

As announced in the April 2009 Submarine Review President’s Letter, the Executive Committee completed an extensive analysis of the League’s dues structure and determined that changes were needed to cover basic services and costs. Individual Membership rates will remain at $35 for one year and $90 for three years and applies for all categories. Additionally, the Life Membership categories will be in two tiers – Life Membership for Individuals age 59 and under at $750 and Life Membership for Individuals age 60 and over at $640. These rates will go into effect on 1 July 2009.

CNO Leads Battle of Midway Commemoration

Release Date: 6/4/2009 6:48:00 PM
By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Rebekah Blowers,
Chief of Naval Operations Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The chief of naval operations (CNO) spoke at the Battle of Midway Commemoration Ceremony at the U.S. Navy Memorial June 4 in Washington.
Adm. Gary Roughead, CNO, said the Battle of Midway showed the world what an American Sailor could do and is the ultimate statement of the Navy's ethos and character. He said it was what Admiral Chester Nimitz called “A glorious page in our history.” The Battle of Midway was a turning point in the war in the Pacific during World War II from June 6-8, 1942. Each year, the Navy commemorates the battle by remembering the Sailors who fought so valiantly.
“While we look back on the incredible achievements of Midway and reflect on what it took for those Sailors to win, we can also look forward with great confidence,” Roughead said. “Knowing that the challenges we face today will be overcome by Sailors and citizens with the same devotion, spirit and uncommon valor of those who fought and won at Midway.”
More than 600 people, including 10 Midway veterans, attended and listened as CNO thanked the veterans and their families for their courage and sacrifice and stated that Sailors today are following their example. “The actions taken by the individual Sailors who fought in this battle - the strength of their character and firmness of their resolve–is why this Battle is so significant in our history and why we commemorate it today,” Roughead said.
CNO noted that as he spoke in Washington, the Ronald Reagan Strike Group, including the frigate USS Thach (FFG 43), was steaming in the waters near Midway Island to honor the nation's World War II veterans and conduct a burial at sea for Cmdr. Dave “Abe” Simmons, the one-time wingman of Adm. Jimmy Thach, one of the heroes of the Battle of Midway.
For more information on the Battle of Midway, visit www.navy.mil/midway.

 

Keyport Honors Submarine Force with “Tolling of the Boats” Ceremony

By Chief Mass Communication Specialist Eric J. Harrison,
Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Det. Northwest

KEYPORT, Wash. (NNS) -- The Keyport Naval Undersea Warfare Museum hosted a traditional “tolling of the boats” ceremony May 22.

The “Tolling The Boats” ceremony was originally established by the U.S. submarine veterans of World War II. This formal ceremony honors the memory of those submariners who lost their lives in the line of duty, especially those who perished during World War II. “Some submariners lost their lives individually, but by far, the greater number died on boats that never returned from patrol,” said Capt. Murray Gero, commanding officer of the USS Ohio (SSGN 726) Blue Crew who served as guest speaker. “In most cases, ‘submarine overdue – presumed lost’ was the epitaph for the submarine and its men. A few were picked up by the Japanese and imprisoned until war's end, and only then, after they were returned to us, did we learn the fate of their ship.”

The U.S. submarine force suffered the highest percentage of losses of any branch of the armed forces during World War II. Following the war, Fleet Adm. Chester Nimitz recognized the value of the submarine force.“It was to the submarine force,” stated Nimitz, “that I looked to carry the load until our great industrial activity could produce the weapons we so sorely need to carry the war to the enemy. It is to the everlasting honor and glory of our submarine personnel that they never failed us in our days of great peril.”

One retired submarine veteran found significance in the ceremony taking place as an opening to the Memorial Day weekend. “I think it's very important to remember all the people that have been lost,” said retired Senior Chief Fire Controlman Gary Kaiser, who left the naval service in 1976. “Not only in the submarine force, but all the military.”
Kaiser also took note of the formation of active-duty Sailors at the event, ranging from senior Sailors to junior. “It's important for them to realize that there are a lot of good men that went before them, and a lot of good men have died,” said Kaiser.

Retired Cmdr. William Ridley read the names of the U.S. submarines that have been lost. Ridley's service began in 1953 as a seaman recruit and included serving on three submarines, a destroyer and a submarine tender.

Retired Master Chief Machinist's Mate Harry Gilger tolled the bell for each lost submarine. Gilger served tours on eight submarines, including a tour as chief of the boat of USS Alabama.

Gero also thanked everyone in attendance, including the more than two dozen submarine veterans from all over the Pacific Northwest, for honoring those who paid the ultimate price. “Today's ceremony is mostly about the heroes,” said the career submariner. “But it's also about these shipmates who are able to be with us today to honor the heroes.” Gero also noted that there are about 40,000 men actively serving in the submarine force; 72 submarines are in commission, as many as have been lost.
“About half the active boats are at sea, actively engaged with missions critical to protecting our national security,” he said. “Keep these men in mind for they are the present, and the future, of our country's defense.”

 

Eternal Patrol Report:

VADM James F. Calvert, USN (Ret)

Retired Vice Admiral James F. Calvert, a submarine pioneer and author who served in the Navy during World War II before going on to be superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy, died 3 June 2009 family members said Thursday. Admiral Calvert died of heart failure. VADM Calvert served on the USS Jack for eight war patrols and another on the USS Haddo during World War II. The USS Jack is credited with sinking 15 Japanese ships.
VADM Calvert wrote several books. In his 1995 memoir "Silent Running," Calvert described his experiences in submarine operations in the Pacific during World War II, chasing and sinking enemy ships. He was the commanding officer of the nuclear-powered USS Skate from December 1957 to September 1959. The submarine became the first to surface at the North Pole in February 1959. VADM Calvert wrote about the experience in a book titled "Surface At The Pole." The trip had been made to test how well a submarine could operate in the Arctic Ocean
VADM Calvert served as the 46th Naval Academy superintendent from 1968 to 1972. For all of his adventures and accomplishments at sea, he was even prouder of his work at the helm of the academy. During his tenure, he put an emphasis on increasing the academy's ability to recruit top civilian faculty members. He also implemented the academy's academic majors program, which broadened the academy's curriculum beyond engineering to include other majors such as political science. VADM Calvert also created the academy's James Forrestal Lecture in 1970, which focuses on leadership and has been given by prominent political, athletic and military leaders, including former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, football coach Dick Vermeil and Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
After retiring from the Navy, Calvert worked as an assistant to the chairman of Texaco. He also was a senior executive at Combustion Engineering in Stamford, Conn.
Calvert is survived by his wife of 41 years, Peggy, and their four sons Craig, David, John and Kemp Battle. He also is survived by two sons Jim and Charles from his previous marriage to his first wife Nancy, who died in 1965.
The family address is 41 Pond Lane, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010-1771. NSL does not have telephone or email information.

VADM Jeff Fowler, USNA Superintendent, captured the sentiments of VADM Calvert's passing best:

“The Naval Academy family is deeply saddened to learn of the loss of retired Navy Vice Adm. James Calvert. A Naval Academy graduate of the Class of 1943, Vice Adm. Calvert served our Navy and the Naval Academy with great vision and dedication. A career submarine officer who began his service during World War II, he completed nine wartime patrols and later served an instrumental role in the development of modern submarine operations.
“As the 46th Naval Academy superintendent, serving from 1968 to 1972, his leadership and inspiration helped develop thousands of young midshipmen to become leaders to serve our nation. During this time he also helped to implement the Academy’s academic majors program, which continues today to be the foundation of the Academy’s excellent academic reputation.
“Honored in 2004 as a Naval Academy Alumni Distinguished Graduate, Vice Adm. Calvert embodied the highest ideals of the Academy’s mission and dedicated himself to a lifetime of selfless and distinguished service to his nation. On behalf of the Naval Academy and all midshipmen – past and present – our heartfelt condolences go out to his family and loved ones.
“The funeral service will be in the USNA Chapel, 17 June, at 1 PM. I know that you will join me and all alumni in extending our deepest sympathy to Mrs. Calvert and the Calvert family for their recent loss.”

Additional Obituaries for Jean Scott Clarey, CAPT Bladen D. Claggett, USN (Ret); CDR R.B. "Pete" Hailey, USN (Ret); RADM Robert H. Blount, USN (Ret.); LCDR Harry Eugene "Gene" Morgan, Jr., USN (Ret.) are posted on the League website at http://www.navalsubleague.com/NSL/obituaries.aspx

Other obituaries received recently and are in the process of being posted include Anita Donlon and LCDR Don La Force, USN Ret). Please check this link frequently as the obituaries are posted here first.