698 TURNS 40

Captain Alan Beam  (CO #3) provides a nautical vision for the future monument

On the 40th Birthday of the USS Bremerton SSN 698, with her upcoming Decommissioning arriving on May 18th, there has been a great outpouring from old shipmates of that special 1st day, sharing their personal accounts and some splendid artwork to commemorate the long life of the boat known affectionately as the American Classic and the BADFISH.

In addition are two published articles from the Kitsap Sun and the Seattle Times that are noteworthy showing community support for the creation of a monument based on the Bremerton’s sail.  Please click on the image below or the link beneath for the Kitsap Sun article by Josh Farley.

 

https://www.kitsapsun.com/story/news/2021/03/27/uss-bremerton-submarine-its-waning-days-turns-40/7015488002/?fbclid=IwAR1FJoq42tFokq1c12BfdxzC0hakqX2InAzsjyO11LMTNrXnlMeJWsw7i64

 

 

 

A Vision of the Future

Nested in this SEATTLE TIMES article about mothballing vessels is a jewel of a piece of information about the possible destination for the Bremerton’s sail provided by Capt. Alan Beam, 698’s 3rd Commanding Officer and a local resident of Bremerton who is intimately familiar with the neighborhood’s waterfront. Click on photo of Alan Beam on the waterfront or link beneath to go to Seattle Times article by Christine Clarridge.

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/history-hints-of-future-in-navys-mothballed-ships-near-bremerton/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=article_inset_1.1&fbclid=IwAR0XzibK43gNjq8QAiSiGpMmIpvzOOUE7S9Aa-b_v66Xd9xJmGffm9K5aIw

The News of the Badfish’s early  demise were greatly exaggerated!

 

What can you do now?

Besides hanging on for DECOM updates as plans are likely to go to the wire due to the COVID restriction watch, go and submit your contact information through this website. This information will be forwarded to the Bremerton DECOM planning group in preparation for any scenario where invitations will be sent out.

HIT “698 ALUMNI SIGNUP” and follow the instructions if you have not already or need to update your info.

 

Copyright © 2019 -2021 bremertonreunion.net

698 COMMISSION ‘EXTENDED’

CAPTAIN’S Corner:

USS BREMERTON (SSN 698)

CAPT Chris Lindberg

 

We are looking forward to the last few months of the commissioned time of the USS BREMERTON. Due to COVID concerns and the rate at which the state of Washington is slowly opening, I am shifting the Decommissioning ceremony to Tuesday, May 18th. This will be the last shift in the date. My goal is to be completed with all work requiring crew personnel by June 1st. We are planning to have the ceremony available via video recording, but we are hoping for an in person gathering as well. This will depend on the State and Navy requirements for COVID mitigation.   I will provide updates as I have more information.

 

As we move forward, we are also taking a look back at the past year. I have the pleasure to announce our Sailor of the Year is ITS1 (SS) Tony Campbell and the Junior Sailor of the Year is TM2 (SS) Logan Houlot. ITS1 (SS) Campbell was selected due to his relentless drive for excellence in all facets of his support of Bremerton and the combined crew with USS Jacksonville. He led the merger of Radio division and LAN division into the new combined division, providing the blueprint for other commands to follow. His direct involvement and spearheading of establishing the new MWR gym equipment for use by command was vital to maintaining personnel readiness this last year. He is a true leader and consistently improves the command with his constant presence and focus on making the command better every day.

TM2 (SS) Houlot was selected for his command leadership in managing the day-to-day operations of Torpedo Division. He led the way in COVID mitigation of cleanliness of weapons that were handled by multiple watchstanders. His can do attitude and drive to set the example are what we expect and demand from our best.

As we look forward, I understand the importance of the USS BREMERTON in many of your hearts. For almost 41 years this submarine was home to many sailors who will forever have lasting memories of their time serving aboard her. I would like to remind you that, while the HY80 which surrounded you during your time aboard the BREMERTON protected you, the stories you have and share with each other and your loved ones are what will keep her memory alive long after she has been scrapped. Until next time I wish you fair winds and following seas.

 

 

 

 

First Wartime Christmas Story

-from “Christmas Retreat” from the Book “Dive!” by Deborah Hopkinson

The story is from Mel Eckberg who served as a radio and soundman in Seawolf (SS-197) as the United States entered World War II

image source: wikipedia

 

“There wasn’t much we could do about celebrating Christmas,” said Mel Eckberg. The Seawolf had been on patrol since December 8 with no end in sight; the men would spend their first wartime holiday at sea.

Eck felt depressed about being so far away from Marjorie and baby Spike. He would miss his son’s first Christmas. Yet thanks to some of his inventive crewmates, there turned out to be some surprises. “The first inkling I had was when I strolled into the mess hall after my afternoon watch on December 24.”

As Eck and a few others were leafing through magazines, John Edward Sullivan burst in, beaming and red-faced. “Sully” was the chief yeoman, serving as the clerk for the Seawolf, handling files and supply orders, and maintaining official records.

“’ ‘Well boys, she’s finished. Want to take a look at her?’ ” Sully asked.

“ ‘What’s finished?’ ” Eck and the others wanted to know.

“ ‘Why, my Christmas Tree.’ “

Sully led the way into the yeoman’s office. There, Eck laid eyes on a Christmas tree – or at least what passed as a Christmas tree on a submarine at sea. A broom handle served as the tree trunk, with tongue depressors as branches.

“He’d made tinsel by gluing tinfoil from cigarette packages to strips of paper, and decorated the branches with that. He’d painted half a dozen flashlight bulbs green and red and silver and strung them about on a dry-battery circuit, and so his Christmas tree gleamed green, red, and silver  a work of art two feet high….

“We liked that little Christmas tree,” Eck recalled, “ The men would look at it, and someone would say, ‘Jeez, isn’t that a pretty little thing,’ and then you’d hear someone else’s voice ‘Sure wish I was home tonight.’ “

That wasn’t the only surprise. A while later, someone hung up some stockings bulging with with what Eck considered “the wildest collection of junk I’d ever seen in my life. A bunch of garlic; a twelve-inch Stilsen wrench; a can of oil.”

Eck lingered in the small messroom, unable to sleep. Just before midnight, crewmates wandered in to wish one another a merry Christmas.

“There was a lump in my throat,” he said. “I had to swallow a few times, sitting there, thinking.  Here it is Christmas, and Marjorie and Spike alone at home, not knowing if I’m dead or alive, and we’re off Corregidor, and men are dying in Bataan, and we don’t know if we’re going to be dead or alive ourselves twenty-four hours from now.”

On Christmas Day, the Seawolf’s crew got one more unexpected gift – courtesy of the cook. “Gus Wright came into the mess hall [or mess room, the area where enlisted men eat and relax] and announced what we’d have for dinner that night – mince pies. He’d been up all night baking them, twenty of them. Gus was the hero of the boat that day.

“He was a thin fellow, about twenty-eight, with buck teeth and a pleasant way about him; and the fuss the crew made over his surprise made him so happy that his eyes got watery, and he went back into the galley and banged his pans around until he got it out of him.

“A Christmas tree, mince pies – well, it was a better Christmas than the boys had on Bataan and Corregidor, we thought.”

(End excerpt)

We’re grateful for Mel and his personal story and honor the sacrifices made by the submariners of the Silent Service.

Image Source: pigboats.com

 

Copyright © 2019-2020 bremertonreunion.net

698 prepares for propulsion plant deactivation

Reprinted in whole in modified format from

“USS BREMERTON CONTINUES INACTIVATION PROCESS”

 

By Max Maxfield, PSNS & IMF Public Affairs | Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance
Facility | Oct. 23, 2020

 

BREMERTON, Wash. —

 

Los Angeles-class submarine USS Bremerton (SSN 698) entered Dry
Dock 1 at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance
Facility Oct. 14, 2020, to continue its inactivation process.
According to Gary Van Horn, project superintendent, while the ship
is in dry dock, the propulsion plant will be deactivated and defueled;
components and parts that might be used by other active Los
Angeles-class submarines will be removed and stored; and hull
blanks will be installed.

 

 

Van Horn said ship’s force will be working side by side with PSNS
& IMF workers to help speed the inactivation process along. Also,
the Bremerton Project Team will try to take advantage of lessons
learned from other recent inactivations of Los Angeles-class
submarines.

 

“Lessons learned from the ‘bridge and tower’ system that is being
used currently in Dry Dock 5 for defueling operations on USS
Olympia (SSN 717) and USS Louisville (SSN 724) will help with
Bremerton,” said Van Horn. “We have been monitoring their
progress closely and expect to realize time savings based on their
lessons learned.”

 

The docking portion of the inactivation process is estimated to take
about 11 months.

 

 

Bremerton departed Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, April
20, 2018, on its way to Bremerton, Washington, where it began the
inactivation and decommissioning process.

 

Bremerton was commissioned on March 28, 1981, and is named after
the city of Bremerton, Washington. The tenth ship of the Los

Angeles-class nuclear powered attack submarine, much of Bremerton’s activities remain under wraps.

 

 

Its most high-profile mission was to assist local, state and federal
officials with the disposal of the commercial tanker, New Carissa.
The vessel had been spilling oil since it was shipwrecked near Coos
Bay, Oregon, Feb. 4, 1999, and posed a danger to the environment.
Once the unified command completed work in preparation for the
ship’s disposal, Bremerton stepped in to fire one MK-48 advanced
capability torpedo to sink New Carissa March 11, 1999.

.

Article provided through the courtesy of Capt. Alan R. Beam, USN (ret), USS Bremerton CO from 1985-1988.
.
.

WARNING 

WARSHOT LOADED

.

.

TO READ MORE ABOUT THE BREMERTON SINKING THE SHIP THAT WOULD NOT SINK, GO HERE:

Image of a Badfish Mk48 doing its duty may possibly be subject to copyright

 

 

SAVE THE 698

Join the Movement. Are you passionate about preserving the USS Bremerton in any way shape or form? Do you wish to be involved before, during and after her decommissioning in whatever works are needed to establish the memory of 698 for the benefit of the public and of naval history? You are invited to a new closed group forum on Facebook “SaveThe698” to be involved in public discussion related to Saving 698. You can see the group site by clicking HERE.

Copyright © 2019-2020 bremertonreunion.net

 

Moments in Submarine History

A collection of articles from the 698 group PFSM capital-campaign

 

Here are the links to the “Moments in Submarine History” type posts published on this website’s pages through the campaign. It was a fairly short campaign so there were only a few stories, having barely scratched the surface in regards to the treasure of legendary U.S. Navy submarine accounts. Selections were from the beginning of World War II and correspondingly those in the month of December which happened to coincide with our 698-PFSM campaign. The other aspect of the articles were helpful to illustrate how every U.S. Navy submariner is connected to the whole of the Silent Service.

 

24 NOV 2019 

THE LEGEND OF THE SILENT SERVICE

 

17 DEC 2019 

FREDERICK WARDER AND THE SEAWOLF

 

22 DEC 2019 

WHO IS THE SILENT SERVICE?

 

25 DEC 2019

FIRST WARTIME CHRISTMAS STORY

 

31 DEC 2019 

MORTON TAKES COMMAND

 

 

 

698 LOOKING FORWARD

USS Bremerton, the most senior not yet de-commissioned submarine in the United States Navy, is currently at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard preparing for her date with destiny. Decom ceremony and reunion in Bremerton are tentatively scheduled for Spring of 2021, that puts BadFish on course for a 40 year run.

Cheers – from RMCS(SS) Don Jones, Plankowner, SSN698

 

SAVE THE 698

Join the Movement. Are you passionate about preserving the USS Bremerton in any way shape or form? Do you wish to be involved before, during and after her decommissioning in whatever works are needed to establish the memory of 698 for the benefit of the public and of naval history? You are invited to a new closed group forum on Facebook “SaveThe698” to be involved in public discussion related to Saving 698. You can see the group site by clicking HERE.

Copyright © 2020 bremertonreunion.net