The attendance at the May 2014 meeting was 100.

Opening Ceremonies: The meeting was called to order by Base Commander Ed Stank. A quorum was present and the meeting started at 1900. Following the Pledge of Allegiance, the Invocation and Tolling of the Boats lost in May was given by Base Chaplain Nick Nichols. The USSVI Creed was read by Base Vice-Commander Jerry Stout. Ed welcomed the members and guests to the meeting.

Distinguished Submariner Award: The Base Commander presented the 2014 Charleston Base Distinguished Submariner Award to Marty Sessler. With Marty’s wife, Sharon, and daughter, Lauren, in attendance, he thanked Marty for all he has done to support Charleston Base.

Introductions: The following was a new attendee to Charleston Base meetings: EMCM(SS) Andrew Elnicki, Qual Boat: USS Robert E. Lee SSBN 601; CWO4/ MM(SS) Donald Runyon, Qual Boat: USS Andrew Jackson SSBN 619; MMC(SS) David Stewart, Qual Boat: USS Lewis and Clark SSBN 644; ITCS(SS) Chuck Lewis, Qual Boat: USS Helena SSN 725; CWO/EN(SS) Elmer Feeser, Qual Boat: USS Spikefish SS 404; ETCM(SS) Gamal Coles, Qual Boat: USS Tautog SSN 639; SKC(SS) ? Case, Qual Boat: USS Grenadier SS 525.

Base Election: Since there were only a single nominee for the positions of Base Vice- Commander, Don Mook, and Base Secretary, Rick Wise and no member stood to run for those positions, Don and Rick won by acclamation.

Secretary/Little David: Base Secretary Rick Wise reported that the April meeting minutes had published in the newsletter and on the base website. Jimmy Legg made a motion to approve the April meeting minutes as published. The motion was seconded and carried on a voice vote.

Rick thanked the base members who helped with the annual Little David maintenance. They were Larry Knutson, Gordon Smith, Marty Sessler, Bill Freligh and David Taylor. This July Forth will be the tenth anniversary of returning the CSS David replica to the Berkeley County Museum. Rick is trying to convince the museum to do something to recognize the event.

Treasurer/Newsletter: Base Treasurer Steve Morawiec gave a report on the Charleston Base finances. The base financial report is now located as a password protected file on the base website under Documents and Resources. There was a $40 donation from base member Ray Sparks who with the help of the Base Treasurer sold a Comodore 64 computer on e-bay with half the proceeds going to the Scholarship Fund. If any base member has a item they would like to donate for sale on-line please contact any Board of Directors member. The April electronic newsletter has been sent out. The mailing will go out on soon.

Vice-Commander/Special Events: Base Vice-Commander Jerry Stout thanked the base for all the support he received a Charleston Base Vice-Commander. The next event will be the Memorial Day Service on May 26 at 1030. It will be held at Summerville Cemetery, also known as Parks Cemetery, on US 17A in Summerville, SC. Muster time is 1000. The COB will be sending out more information later.

Chaplain and Webmaster: Base Chaplain and Webmaster Nick Nichols gave the following report:

April Report

Highlighted boat of the month: USS Squalus suffered a catastrophic valve failure during a test dive off the Isle of Shoals. Partially flooded, the submarine sank to the bottom and came to rest keel down in 240 feet of water. Commander Charles Momsen and Navy divers on the USS Falcon (ASR-2) rescued 33 survivors use the diving bell he invented. 26 men drowned in the after compartments. Later Squalus was raised and recommissioned as the USS Sailfish. In an ironic turn of fate, Sailfish sank the Japanese aircraft carrier carrying surviving crew members from Sculpin, which had located Squalus in 1939. Only one of survived after spending the rest of the war as slave laborers in Japan.

ETCS(SS) Bill Burke departed on Eternal Patrol in Goose Creek. He joined Charleston Base in 2003. A correction: Bill enlisted in the Navy in 1970 and retired in 1991, serving on JOHN MARSHALL, JAMES MONROE and JAMES MADISON. There are no plans for any service.

Jim Gulick has been diagnosed stage IV pancreatic cancer which has spread to his lungs. He is on chemo. Maria called me today to say that Jim was taken to MUSC late last week for dehydration. He had procedures to remove fluid on his lungs and was not able to have his chemo treatment on Monday. He is stable and feeling better and was able to go home this afternoon.

Tom Yingling is in Pennsylvania with his mother who had a stroke and mild heart attack this past Friday evening. No other details are known.

Diane McBride, Beetle Bailey’s daughter, has been diagnosed with lung cancer. She is starting chemo and radiation. Her husband passed away a couple of years ago.

Doc Hill fell and was in the hospital last week. He has bruises on his face and ribs and has a cracked knee. Mike Emerson reports that he is doing well, having therapy and would like calls which will be screened by Madge to ensure he’s not talking when he should be doing therapy.

Clyde Peters is still in Mt. Pleasant Manor Nursing Home, 921 Bowman Rd, rm 323. Visitors would be appreciated. His memory and abilities are getting worse.

Mike Emerson will be going into the hospital on May 20th for a heart abrasion.

Follow-ups were made on those who’ve had surgery or illnesses in the last couple of months along with the base sending additional cards. If you know of shipmates or spouses from other bases who are having a difficult time, had surgery, etc. and would like for USSVI Charleston Base to send them a card please send their name and address to the Chaplain via email or phone call.

Membership: Membership Chairman Don Mook reported we now have 323 members. If you change your e-mail address please let the base know. You can send the information to the Membership Chairman, the COB, the Chaplain or the Base Secretary and they will make sure the changes are made.

Veterans Affairs: Ken Curtis talked on how to receive replacement medals for those lost or just in poor shape by going to

FRA: Larry Cox reminded members that are FRA members that the Branch 269 elections at Thursday May 15. The FRA picnic is May 16 & 17 at Short Stay. The menu Friday evening (May 16) is Barbequed Leg Quarters and is free for FRA members and family. The menu Saturday afternoon is hamburgers and hot dogs and all the trimmings and is free. The menu Saturday night is Barbeque, rice, hash and slaw and is $5 a head. Provide your own beverages. Come out and enjoy a good picnic! There will be another Mother’s Day -“Remember When” Navy Breakfast on May 11.

Scholarship Committee: Scholarship Committee Chairman Julian Villegas reported that the committee had received 5 applications and that the committee would meet to make to make their selection and send notifications out before the June base meeting. He said he had hoped to have $3000 in the fund but didn’t think that would happen.

Submarine Veterans of World War II: Swamp Fox Treasurer Mike Emerson reminded the base that there was no meeting this month. He urged members to give Doc Hill a call and send cards and note to Lee Allison.

Recreation Committee: Gary Williams reported that the plans are for a catered picnic at 1200 on Saturday, May 31. Charleston will provide soft drinks, water and coffee. Members will have to bring their own beer and/or wine. Hard liquor is not allowed ant the Cooper Rivers Partners facility we are using. More information will be put out later.

Kaps 4 Kids: Coordinator Walt Deal reported that he had set up a presentation at Summerville Medical Center in the near future and would be asking for volunteers to help.

USS Clamagore Restoration and Maintenance Association: Director os Restoration and Maintenance Butch Bryar reported that a woman has joined who has experience in getting corporate funding and the they will be interviewing a new attorney on Friday.

Rick Wise announced to the base that there was a new website ( and that the pointer for should be changed in the near future to send people to the new website.

Nuclear Historian: Rick Carlson related the following story compliments of Central Florida Base Commander Ivan.

A medical officer, whose specialty was proctology, decided to retire from the Navy after 34 years. After he retired he was very bored and decided he wanted to try something else – He decided he wanted to be a mechanic. He signed up for a course and after the final test was graded he received a grade of 150%! He asked how it was possible to receiver a score greater than 100% “Well,” said the evaluator “We gave you 50% for engine disassembly. It was perfect! And we gave you 50% for engine assembly. It was perfect.” “That’s only 100%.” said the Doctor. “Why the other 50%?” “You’re the only one to do the entire disassembly and assembly through the exhaust pipe!!!”

The After Battery: David “No Neck” Mueller reported that The After Battery is alive and well. He reminded the membership that The After Battery is open almost every Wednesday and that directions are on the Charleston Base website.

District Commander: District Commander Paul Viering reminded the base that National Elections are coming up. He asks that each member look at the information that will be included in the upcoming American Submariner on the members running for National Officers and proposed amendments. He also reminded the base of the Moonshine Mountain WWII Memorial Service to be held at Burnsville, NC May 16 and 17.

Chief of the Boat: Rick Sparger said he would put out reminder e-mails about the Memorial Day Service.

Base Commander: Ed Stank reminded the members that we want to recognize any of their relatives that have done something note-worthy. He also reminded the base that if they take any maintenance prescriptions they will need to get them from the base pharmacies or under Express Scripts. Members pointed out that you could get a formulary list from the base pharmacies.

Old Business: We are returning to participating in parades using the old float trailer. After we replace one tire the float will be towed in local parades with speed limits on towing to and from events.

New Business: A motion was made by Jimmy Legg to transfer $368 from the General Fund to the Scholarship Fund. The motion was seconded and passed on a voice vote.

Good of the Order: Marty Sessler gave an update on Brian Williams, a Air Force dog handler, who stepped on a land mine in Afghanistan. He has applied to the Air Force to be returned to active duty. Mike Emerson reported that the next Honor Flight will be in September. Contact Mike if you know a WWII Vet that hasn’t gone or a Korean War Vet. Bill Neff announced that the USS Memphis SSN 691 will be having a reunion this 10-14 July in Memphis, TN. Contact Bill Neff for more information. District Command Paul Viering administered the oath of office to the base elected officers.

Depth Charge: The depth charge was won by John Sharer.

Meeting Adjourned: Following the benediction by Base Chaplain Nick Nichols, the Base Commander adjourned the meeting at 2005.

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