According to a letter sent out with the official attachment below to all previous Commanding Officers of the USS Bremerton (SSN-698), Captain Chris Lindberg reports that 12:45 today, the Bad Fish, a.k.a. The American Classic is officially decommissioned.
“It has been an extraordinary 40 year run for the best Submarine in the US Navy…” – CAPT. Chris Lindberg.
“TO EVERY OFFICER AND SAILOR WHO STOOD WATCH ON BREMERTON, YOUR LEGACY WILL LIVE ON FOREVER…”
At the Horse & Cow in Bremerton, WA, on the eve of the Decommissioning Ceremony, a restaurant full of USS Bremerton alumni and crew, with drinks in hand, gathered with deep respect for the man who was the Los Angeles Class fast attack submarine’s first Commanding Officer, plankowner CAPT. Tom Anderson.
As he stood at the center of the main floor he shared his thoughts about the new home for this ceremonial ship’s bell.
The BELL DEDICATION
“First of all, it’s GREAT to see everyone here, it’s fantastic… What I really want to do here is, this bell that was at the last reunion, it was something that I got and I was very lucky. But the luckiest I ever got was to serve as the CO of the USS Bremerton …”
“… here is my thought, I’m not going to spend too many more years on this planet, I don’t really want it to go where I go, but it needs to go to somebody or something. Since I’m probably the oldest crewmember, it might be appropriate to go to the oldest crewmember, but then you have to think about ‘when that person passes how do we find the next one?’
“It should remain in some place appropriate where [people] can see it and enjoy it, so… is this the place?”
[ a great chorus of approval]
“Who’s in charge of the Horse & Cow?”
[audience encourages the owner forward, front and center]
Capt Anderson continues, “If this remains here, or whichever way you put it, the tradition should be if some patron comes in and rings the bell, simply because they see it, what happens?
[crowd erupts “THEY GOTTA BUY ANOTHER ROUND]
“… so, if somebody doesn’t really know that, can get to it and see if it really works… then the rest is history.”
The SHIRT DEDICATION
“The last little thing, it may be offensive to a few people here… I notice the Parche has a T-Shirt up there, but at one time in my career, and this was after I left Bremerton, I was on my way to become the CO of the Blue Crew of Ohio. Somebody, I don’t remember who, gave me this fine piece of wearing apparel….and I’ll hold it up so everyone can see it”
[crowd erupts in laughter and approval]
I’d like to thank Plankowner Tom MacPhillips for the video I used to transcribe the CAPT’s speech and capture some images and Plankowner John Scanlan for the photos
Senior Enlisted Plankowner at Commissioning to attend the Decommissioning Ceremony
On May 18th, 2021 for the USS Bremerton’s (SSN-698) Decommissioning Ceremony at Keyport, Washington, a senior enlisted plankowner was selected to take one of the rare seats available. This year was not possible to have more than 50 participants/attendees due to the strict COVID safety regulations observed by the Navy.
With respect to the late Bremerton plankowner and Chief-of-the-Boat, CMDCM(SS) Paul H. Gagnon, one seat was offered to the most senior enlisted man present at the Commissioning who also is expected to attend the Decommissioning Reunion in Bremerton.
When retired Senior Chief Gregory Carroll signed up to join the reunion in Bremerton, little did he know what was in store for him. He expected to be reunited with several of his fellow shipmates and plankowners including STSCS(SS) Gordon “Gordy” Jennings USN (ret.) (a “Son of Bremerton”) and ETCS(SS) Donald Jones USN (ret.), but Senior Chief Carroll was then STS1(SS) Greg Carroll on the day of Commissioning (and with respect to other requirements set forth by the current Command) was selected to represent all enlisted plankowners and alumni who are unable to attend the ceremony in person.
Other Plankowners expected to attend the reunion are retired Navy submariners, CAPT. Tom Anderson, USN (ret), the first Commanding Officer of USS Bremerton (who is expected to speak at the ceremony), Conrad Bilgrien, John Brunkalla, ICC(SS) Clemon Cager USN (ret.) , Frank Hamilton, Sean Hankin, CDR. Karl Jensen USN (ret) , Jeff Johnson, Thomas McPhillips, EMC(SS) Timothy Payne USN (ret.), John Scanlan, CAPT. David Withers USAF (ret), and ICC(SS) Russ Woods USN (ret.).
Here’s a brief bio on our guy…
Gregory V. Carroll STSCS(SS) USN Ret.
Gregory was born in 1954 and raised in Cape May Court House, New Jersey. He enlisted in the Navy in March 1975.
After completion of Submarine Sonar “A” School at Fleet Anti-Submarine Warfare Training Center Pacific he reported to the USS Thomas Jefferson SSBN-618 Blue where he served from Dec 1975 until Jan 1978. He then returned to FLEASWTRACENPAC to attend Sonar “A-2” and “C” Schools and AN/BQQ-5 Advanced Maintenance Practices from Mar 78 until Mar 79.
In Dec 78 he married Jolyn Carter who was from Eagle, CO.
He reported to the PCU Bremerton SSN-698 in Apr 79 and served on her until May 1982 as a Sonar Supervisor.
Gregory then received orders to COMSUBPAC Staff and was assigned to the Tactical Weapons Training and Certification Team until July 1984.
In Aug. of 1984 he reported to COMNAVSEASYSCOM where he was the Sonar representative on the SUBACS Operability Review Team (SORT) and worked on the Seawolf SSN-21 design and arrangements.
Gregory then reported to PCU San Juan SSN-751 serving as Sonar Leading Chief Petty Officer and the Combat System Departmental LCPO.
Dec 1988 he again reported to COMNAVSEASYSCOM where he served as Chief Engineer for RADM Doug Volgenau PEO-Submarine Combat and Weapons Systems until 1993 where he was transferred to PMS-450 the Virginia Class Submarine Program Office.
Gregory retired from the Navy in July 1995.
After retiring from the Navy Gregory continued to support the Virginia Class Program Office working as a contractor at several different companies.
Gregory and Jolyn have 1 daughter (Alissa) who was born in Hawaii in 1982.
Gregory retired totally in October 2015. He and his wife Jolyn currently live in Dumfries, VA and spend their winters in Boynton Beach, FL.
All photos of Greg Carroll are courtesy of Gregory and Jolyn Carroll
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