at the
United States Submarine Veterans
of World War Two
National Submarine Memorial East
Groton, Connecticut - September 2, 1995

Webmaster's commentary:

This web site presentation, was compiled, edited, encoded and prepared by: Paul W. Wittmer. Initial materials, came from a booklet presented at the "Dedication Ceremony". Additional revisions and/or additions may be made to these web pages, without notification.
NOTE #1: Prior approval is required for use of these presentations on any web site or newsletter or other form of publication. Thanks to Bob Moore for his outstanding dedication to see this project reach the present stage of completion.
NOTE #2: An addition has been added to this presentation. It is a "Work in Progress" and outlines the "HISTORIC TIMELINE of EVENTS" associated with the NATIONAL MEMORIAL EAST from it's inception to the present era.

Paul W. Wittmer



From Conception to Reality

I have been asked many times "What gave you the idea to start this project?" My answer is very simple. I have never forgotten my lost shipmates - Fiorot in CORVINA - Finkelstein in WAHOO - Frontino in TROUT - Engerbretsen in BULLHEAD - and many others. I have, for many years, felt something should be done for their families. Their final resting-places are known only to the Almighty but they deserved a place where they could be honored and remembered now and for all eternity. What better place than here in Groton, Connecticut where most received their training at Submarine School and where those who follow will never forget them. This is a wall of remembrance to those who did not return. A special place, a quiet sanctuary, a final resting place, and for the next of kin who, for over 50 years, have endured heartache and grief, may it be the renewal of peace and the beginning of healing. May this sacred place remain in your hearts and be a source of solace for you.

With this idea in mind I presented the concept for the "Wall of Honor" to the Thames River Chapter of the U.S. Submarine Veterans of WWII on October 14, 1992. I asked for their support and endorsement. I envisioned a "V" shaped "Wall of Honor" fashioned after the bow of a submarine heading out to sea in a southwest direction. It would be of black polished granite with the names of our lost shipmates in white. The names would be listed alphabetically from A to Z without rank, rate, ship or date for wherever they lie there is no distinction now.

Enthusiastic acceptance and endorsement was followed by the formation of a Steering Committee consisting of dedicated members of Thames River Chapter with expertise in finance, fundraising, public relations, site preparation, planning, and legal matters. Solicitations for financial support was initiated encompassing corporations and foundations, City of Groton, Town of Groton, local businesses, various veterans organizations including our own, and the general public. News releases were sent to over a thousand newspapers and veterans publications seeking next of kin of our departed shipmates. The responses of over a thousand next-of-kin, was heartwarming and we knew then that the "Wall of Honor" would be a momentous success. Many of you are with us today. We salute you!

The ten black panels of highly polished granite underwent many months of preparation, polishing, and engraving. Names were proofread many times to assure the 3617 names are as correct as we could make them. Today we honor these fallen heroes and shipmates and know they will be remembered and honored in perpetuity. God bless you and the wonderful country for which you made the supreme sacrifice to preserve.

Robert H. Moore, Chairman
Wall of Honor Executive Committee
U.S. Submarine Veterans of World War II


Guests of Honor

George L. Street, III

Captain George L. Street, III, USN (Ret) began his Naval career graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1937. He served aboard the Cruiser USS Concord and the Battleship USS Arkansas before assignment to U.S. Naval Submarine School at Groton, CT and graduating second in his class of 40. He received orders to the USS Gar early in 1941 and served aboard her from commissioning through 10 heroic war patrols in the Pacific until July 1944 at which time he was transferred to the USS Tirante, a new submarine, as Commanding Officer, his first command.

Then a Lieutenant Commander, Street conducted an aggressive first War Patrol against Japanese surface forces off the coast of Korea, resulting in the sinking of a large ammunition ship in spectacular fashion and two escorting frigates.

For his conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity beyond the call of duty, Captain Street was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, and a Presidential Unit Citation was awarded the USS Tirante and its crew for their participation in the courageous attack against enemy ships in mined, shallow waters guarded by patrolling Japanese vessels.

In addition to receiving this nation's highest award, Captain Street also was awarded a Silver Star, a Gold Star in lieu of a second Silver Star Medal, and the Navy Cross for his extraordinary 3 years service during War Patrols aboard the USS Gar.


Groton, CT 9/2/95

"You had to be there"

There is a story....a story not easy to tell....and yet it is one that must be told.

There was no one in the entertainment field more admired and appreciated by the American GI than Bob Hope. Bob was once asked why he did it, why he continued to travel all over the world giving so much of his time and energy entertaining our troops. And his answer was this, Because you have to be there. You can read about it in the press or you can see it on the screen but if you really want to know what our boys are going through, you have to he there. And so it was with us.

World War II has been well documented; stories, books, movies but the full story of the submarine service has never been told nor can it be. Can gut wrenching fear be recorded by a camera? Can interminable fatigue and discomfort that goes on for days and weeks on end? And what about dedication to duty and the deep fraternal bond that was forged only among men who took our submarines to war? We know they can't and this was the story of the submarine service.

And now, as we look back on it all, it's like an observer of a darkened stage: All the players are gone and the huge theater is empty. And yet, out of the emptiness, there still echoes the excitement, and the laughter, and the sadness that was part of the play. But supposing our observer should leave the theater and step out onto the busy street. Would a passing stranger be able to understand his faint half-smile as he recalls some cheerful part of the story? Or would that stranger be able to hear the haunting melody of the theme that keeps echoing through the background of his mind? To understand it you had to be a part of it. You had to be there.

After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, many of our navy men were left with a feeling of deep personal loss. For several days after the attack a heavy pall of gray smoke hung like a dark cloud low across the entire harbor and over the navy shipyard. And as we sailed slowly past Battleship Row and viewed the horrifying destruction: the ARIZONA, on the bottom; the OKLAHOMA, capsized and keel-up; the WEST VIRGINIA, the CALIFORNIA, the MARYLAND, the PENNSYLVANIA, the TENNESSEE and many others , all heavily damaged and some still burning with smoke pouring from their bowels. The men just stood at the rail. Most did not speak. These were not ships that belonged to some remote population back in the States who just happened to have built them and paid for them with their tax money. Many of the men felt, this is MY navy and these are MY ships and the Japanese have destroyed them. it left a sense of fury, which for some has never entirely abated.

And then the war progressed.....and one by one 52 of our submarines were sent to the bottom. And now the sense of loss became even more personal and we said, those were MY shipmates. And this is the story that must be told. It is a story of great suffering, a story of tremendous sacrifice, a story of heroic achievement. And those of us who survived the ordeal of that war now feel duty-bound to give meaning to our survival by being faithful to the memory of those who died. To that end Bob Moore and his crew have erected the beautiful WALL OF HONOR submarine memorial. It sets here majestically among the ghosts of 3,622 good men whose names are engraved on its faces. It sets here in silent eloquence and it speaks with a voice that will be heard forever.

There is a tiny island out in the Pacific. It is one of a small group of islands known as French Frigate Shoals. And it lies about halfway between Pearl Harbor and Midway Island. Those of you who were involved with the navigation of our boats, you who were officers or quartermasters or signalmen will remember them clearly because we passed them to port or starboard whenever we put in or out of Pearl on war patrol. And on this tiny island is an abandoned Coast Guard Station. One of its former occupants was so taken by the beauty and serenity of the place he left a note in a wooden box, which was subsequently recovered and recorded. The message on this note, with some modification, would make an appropriate addition to each of our memorials. Here is the message:

Walk softly, walk softly, stranger. You stand on holy ground.
As you journey across this broad and beautiful land, from sea to shining sea, you cannot help being moved by the wonder of the things you see:
Historic New England with its rocky coast and frothy surf still breathing an aura of whaling ships and sailing days.
The majestic mountains of the west with their towering peaks and pink spires and the sun gleaming off granite cliffs rising shear for thousands of feet.
The grandeur of the old south with its flowering trees and scented air and golden beaches that dazzle the eye.
The dynamic West Coast with its cloud-piercing mountains looming over the shore and curving roads that overlook the sea.

This is the beauty that is AMERICA, the wonder that is AMERICA. It is your God-given inheritance to use and enjoy at your pleasure. But these pathways to the good life did not come free of charge. More than a million AMERICANS down through the yellowing pages of history have sacrificed their lives for your irreplaceable legacy and your AMERICAN way of life. For more than 3600) of these who gave their lives on submarines in World War II there can be no rows of polished markers. Their tombs are buried in the silent depths of the oceans, forever rocked by the eternal tides of history. It is to them this place and this moment in time are dedicated.

Walk softly, walk softly, stranger. You stand on holy ground.

Every country owes an enormous debt to those heroes who gave their lives to protect the freedom of its people. No country recognizes this more than Australia. The city of Melbourne is a city world famous for its many beautiful parks. More than twenty percent of this city is comprised of parks and gardens. In one of the most prominent of these they have erected a war memorial. They call it THE SHRINE OF REMEMBRANCE and we have nothing in this country to compare with it. This shrine is a beautiful white edifice, a broad based building seven stories tall constructed of white granite in the architecture of the ancient Greeks. The outside of the building is embellished with huge, marble statues and fluted columns that cause the eye to sweep upward. The roof is a truncated pyramid made of cascading layers of stone and mounted on the top is a large bronze "Symbol of Glory". But herein lies the crowning distinction of this memorial: On one side of the roof, one of the stones is removable. But I'll get back to this later.

As you step through the massive, bronze doors into the sanctuary, even the little children are admonished to speak in whispers. And you will notice that, except for an enclosed balcony, the entire building, floor to roof is completely hollow. And mounted in the very center of the marble floor is a large bronze plaque surrounded by a low, carved stone railing. But the plaque itself is depressed about ten inches below floor level. It is depressed so that anyone reading the words on that plaque must bow his head in reverence.

The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month is known as ARMlSTICE HOUR in Australia. And it is on this day that the stone is removed from the roof. And at exactly 11:00 AM, and for a period of four minutes, the sun's rays shine down through the opening and beam like a lazer right on the plaque. The words on the plaque read, GREATER LOVE HATH NO MAN. Just seeing it is a tremendously moving experience. It has a presence about it, which seems to say, This is a holy spot where valor proudly sleeps.

Walk softly, walk softly, stranger. You stand on holy ground.

The final curtain on the play has fallen. And all that remains is for those of us who remain to carry on to close the show. But for us there will always be the memory of the glory.....and the triumph.....and the tragedy that was part of the play. And if some day a stranger should ask, "What was it like living and going through an attack on that submarine you were on?" There's only one answer you can give...........You had to be there.

The last page of a booklet available at the Melbourne shrine contains only these four lines of an Australian poem:

.............they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted.
They fell with their faces to the foe.

Bravely they died. In proud remembrance we salute them.

by Billy Grieves

Billy A. Grieves

Billy Grieves enlisted in the Navy in April 1939 receiving basic training at the Naval Training Center at Newport, R.I. He participated in the salvage operations of the submarine Squalus, which was raised on September 23, 1939. He then requested submarine service, joined the crew of the R- IO and attained his submarine qualification at the Submarine Base, New London. In 1940 he was transferred to the USS Thresher, under new construction at Electric Boat, Groton, CT. Thresher joined the Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor in May 1941. After a 46-day Patrol in November 1941, the Thresher arrived at the Submarine Base, Pearl Harbor on December 8, 1941 only to see the devastating damage and chaos experienced by the U.S. Navy the day before. Billy completed 11 war patrols aboard Thresher before being transferred to USS Lizardfish, making 2 more patrols before the war ended. He was awarded 2 Bronze Stars and the Submarine Combat Medal.

Billy was honorably discharged from the Navy as a Torpedoman, First Class in October 1945 and began an illustrious career in municipal and industrial firefighting and training for the next 44 years.

10:00 a.m. Saturday, September 2, 1995

Master of Ceremonies, Captain Herbert I. Mandel, USN (Ret)

Post the Colors
U.S. Naval Submarine Base Honor Guard

National Anthem
U.S. Coast Guard Academy Band

LCDR Bradford E. Ableson, CHC, USN

Welcome Address
RADM Richard A. Buchanan, USN, Commander Sub Group 2

Robert H. Moore, USN (Ret), Chairman,
Wall of Honor Committee

Donald V. Kane, representing John Maguire,
National President of the U.S. Sub Vets WWII

Betty Giesing, Mayor, City of Groton

Guest Speaker
Captain George L. Street III, USN (Ret)

Musical Interlude

"You Had to be There" by Billy Grieves

Wall of Honor Unveiling
ADM Harold E. Shear, USN (Ret), VADM John A. Tyree Jr., USN (Ret),
Theodore W Beals, USN (Ret), Franklin E. Hamilton, USN (Ret)

Reading of the Center Stone
Reverend Portia Searls Bowers, widow of LT (jg) Robert Searls, Lost in USS Escolar

"Remembering" by Robert H. Moore

Memorial Service
Tolling of the Bells - A tribute to the 52 submarines lost in World War II.
Thames River Chapter led by Andrew Feindt, President

Rifle Volley

Holly and Jill Roberts (Grand-daughters of Bob Moore)

Laying of Wreath
Gold Star Mothers

Reverend Portia Searls Bowers

Navy Hymn
U.S. Coast Guard Academy Band

National Creed
Robert Vera, USN (Ret), Chaplain, Thames River Chapter

Retire the Colors
U.S. Naval Submarine Base Honor Guard

Public viewing of the Wall of Honor



DECEMBER 7, 1941- SEPTEMBER 2, 1945

History of the
National Submarine Memorial (East)

In 1957, the U.S. Submarine Veterans of World War II National President, Bob Link, established a Submarine Memorial Committee. It was their decision the submarine, USS Flasher (SS249), moored in the Reserve Fleet at the U.S. Naval Submarine Base, Groton, CT, available from the U.S. Navy and approved by Congress, would be chosen to be the Submarine Memorial with the site to be in Groton. Knowing it would be a multi-million dollar project, a goal of $2 million was established. Committees were formed and fund raising drives throughout the country began their preparations. The Submarine Memorial Fund Raising-Drive was officially started with a kick-off dinner on November 12, 1960. The National Memorial Committee was appointed and fund raising efforts were initiated with contributions starting to come in. On September 1, 1961 LCDR H.R. McPherson, USN (Ret) was hired as manager for the Submarine Memorial to coordinate and oversee fund raising efforts. By mid- 1962 it was realized and conceded that the cost to renovate the USS Flasher (SS-249) would be too costly to pursue and the goal established could not be realized. In November 1962, the USS Flasher (SS-249) was returned to the U.S. Navy. In June 1963, the Flasher's conning tower, fairwater, and periscopes were given to the U.S. Submarine Veterans of World War II. (The rest of the Flasher was scrapped.) In July 1964, the Submarine Memorial became a reality with conning tower, fairwater, and periscopes from the Flasher placed on a concrete foundation at a site on Route 12 in Groton. During subsequent years the Submarine Memorial was subjected to vandalism and inadequate maintenance. A decision was made to relocate the Memorial to a track of land, donated by the City of Groton, which also accepted responsibility for maintenance.

The Submarine Memorial was relocated and rededicated as the National Submarine Memorial (East) on September 28, 1974. Retired Navy Captain, George W Grider, Commanding Officer of the USS Flasher (SS-249) during World War II was the principal speaker. (It should be noted that the submarine Flasher recorded the highest tonnage record of any submarine in Naval warfare history with a total of 24 ships and over 150,000 tons of enemy shipping sunk and became the symbol for the Submarine Memorial.)

In the years following the dedication of the National Submarine Memorial (East), granite stones, paying tribute to each one of the fifty-two submarines lost in World War II, have been installed around the cement walks. The granite stones are engraved with the submarine name and number, date lost, location, patrol number, how sunk, and how many lost.

Although the National Submarine Memorial pays tribute to the fifty-two submarines lost and their crew, it has always been desired to honor the crews individually. The Wall of Honor, dedicated this date, September 2, 1995, accomplishes this long overdue tribute. Patterned after the Vietnam Wall in Washington, DC, it has finally become a reality through the tenacity and perseverance of the Wall of Honor Chairman, Robert H. Moore. Bob had to overcome many obstacles, but with the help of an outstanding committee and the support of thousands who so generously contributed, we can all be very proud of the National Submarine Memorial (East) which now encompasses the beautiful Wall of Honor.

Facts concerning the Wall of Honor

After acceptance and endorsement by the Thames River Chapter of the concept for the Wall in 1992, Barnes-Macrino Memorials in New London, Connecticut was selected as prime contractor to construct the Wall. Designs, plans, and building permits were originated and then approved by the City of Groton. Ten black granite panels, were imported from quarries in the Province of Transvaal, South Africa by the Rouleau Granite Company in Barre, Vermont. They began the long and tedious process of cutting, grinding, and polishing to a mirror finish for the final task of engraving the 3617 names of our departed shipmates.

Each of the Wall panels is 4 feet wide and 10 inches thick. The height of the panels in each wing range from 5 feet on the end to 6 feet joining the white granite center panel, which is 6 feet 3 inches high. Each wing extends from the center stone 20 feet.

One year ago today, September 2, 1994, Captain Arnold E. Resnicoff, Command Chaplain for the U.S. Naval Submarine Base, participated in a ceremony dedicating and blessing the site upon which the Wall would be erected.

May God bless each and every one of you, who through your generous contributions enabled the Committee Chairman, Robert Moore and his most capable staff to finally see their dreams and hopes become a reality with the addition of the Wall of Honor to the National Submarine Memorial (East) this day.


December 7, 1941 - September 2, 1945

The true story of the U.S. Submarine Service during this period is fully detailed with factual accounts of the valiant efforts of our submarines with photographs, charts, and illustrations in the book, "U. S. Submarine Operations in World War Two", written by Theodore Rosco from material prepared by Rear Admiral R. G. Voge, Captain W.J Holmes, Commander W H. Hazard, Lieutenant Commander D. S. Graham, and Lieutenant H. J Kuehn. This book was written for Bureau of Naval Personnel and published by the U. S. Naval Institute. Information stated herein has been Extracted from this book.

In December 1941, the major portion of U.S. Navy's strength was gathered in the Atlantic and consisted of 8 battleships, 4 aircraft carriers, 13 cruisers, 90 destroyers, and 60 submarines. The U. S. Navy's Pacific Force consisted of about 100 surface warships and 51 submarines. Of the 51 submarines, 29 were attached to the Asiatic Fleet stationed at Manila and 22 were attached to the Pacific Fleet stationed at Pearl Harbor.

On that fateful Sunday of December 1941, when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, the 22 Pacific Fleet submarines (I6 modern Fleet-type and 6 older vintage S-boats) were widely dispersed. ARGONAUT and TROUT were conducting defensive patrols near Midway Island; TAMBOR and TRITON were patrolling off Wake Island; THRESHER was enroute to Pearl Harbor after a 43-day training period near Midway Island; POLLACK, POMPANO and PLUNGER were enroute to Pearl Harbor from San Francisco; TUNA and NAUTILUS were being overhauled at Mare Island Navy Yard; GUDGEON was conducting exercises off Maui near Pearl Harbor; 5 submarines (CACHELOT, CUTTLEFISH, DOLPHIN, NARWHAL and TAUTOG) were in various states of overhaul at the Pearl Harbor Submarine Base. The Submarine Tender, PELIAS, was also moored at the Submarine Base. It should be noted that during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the Submarine Base escaped any bomb hits. All buildings and shops at the Submarine Base and the munitions dumps on neighboring Kuahua were overlooked as the Japanese specifically targeted their bombs and torpedoes for Battleship Row and carriers thought to be moored off Ford Island. The assumption by the Japanese high command that the submarines and submarine repair facilities were minor targets was one that would be subsequently regretted. Submarines of the Pacific Fleet operating out of Pearl Harbor would presently launch an undersea offensive which, combined with the submarines of the Asiatic Fleet out of Manila, would greatly contribute to the eventual downfall of the Japanese empire.

The first wave of Japanese planes attacking Pearl Harbor struck the Kaneohe Naval Air Station where aircraft were destroyed while still on the ground as well as hangars being destroyed. Japanese dive bombers and torpedo planes swept in to pound the Fleet at anchor in the harbor. Seven battleships moored in Battleship Row and one battleship helpless in dry dock composed the battleship force of the U. S. Pacific Fleet. Nine Cruisers, twenty-eight Destroyers, Tenders, MineSweepers, supply ships and auxiliaries - a total of eighty-six Naval vessels - crowded the harbor. Battleship Row was attacked from two directions and was hard hit. Battleships OKLAHOMA, WEST VIRGINIA, TENNESSEE, CALIFORNIA, MARYLAND, NEVADA, and UTAH all received devastating damage while the ARIZONA exploded in one horrendous blast, which took the lives of 1,100 officers and men. Cruisers, Destroyers, and other units of the Surface Fleet all experienced severe damage. The Surface Fleet, which had been counted on to defend the Central Pacific, was now out of it and would remain so for a long time. The small surface force in the Philippines could not hope to cope with the mighty Japanese armada storming down from Japan. Only one naval arm remained unimpaired by the attack on Pearl Harbor. That arm was the United States Navy's Submarine Service. To those 51 U. S. Submarines on duty or available for duty in the Pacific fell the major portion of the improvised defense, issued in a Directive by the Chief of Naval Operations the afternoon of December 7, 1941 which stated, "EXECUTE UNRESTRICTED AIR AND SUBMARINE WARFARE AGAINST JAPAN." On December 8 and 9, 1941, eighteen submarines, four S-boats and fourteen Fleet-boats from the Asiatic Fleet, put to sea from Manila to commence war patrols. Thus began the dramatic story of the United States submarines and submariners fighting and winning the greatest submarine war in history. Let it suffice to say that of all the Japanese Merchant and Naval shipping sunk in the Pacific during World War II, U. S. Submarines accounted for over five million tons or better than fifty-five percent.

Fifty-two U. S. Submarines and over thirty-six hundred submariners were lost during this period and it is to those valiant submariners of the United States who lost their lives in World War II, we dedicate this "WALL OF HONOR' today, September 2, 1995, on the Fiftieth Anniversary of the signing of the Instrument of Peace aboard the Battleship USS MISSOURI.


A Historic Timeline overview was required in order to clarify and put in perspective a number of misconceptions about the development of the National Memorial East at Groton, Connecticut.
A best efforts attempt to develop this Timeline, with notations, comments and opinions interspersed throughout is presented for your entertainment.
It has been said, “Submarine men are a fighting group, if they don’t have a common enemy, they will fight among themselves”. A reader of this record will detect that the “Fighting Spirit” is alive and well among these aged submariners. The project has brought forth some strong arguments and claims of ownership of the National Memorial East with the Wall of Honor and the funds that are a part of the project.
To afford a certain degree of anonymity, the reader will note that selected CODE names are used in the published article.
Note: a reminder, this website and material presented is copyrighted by Paul W. Wittmer

Bob Link, National President, established a Memorial Committee in 1957. President Bob Link appointed Joe Senft as chairing the first Memorial Committee. The decommissioned USS Flasher (SS249) and her entirety would be used for the memorial to be located at Groton, Ct.
Committees were formed throughout the Submarine Veterans fundraising drives were started, with LtCdr Howard McPherson, USN Ret, hired as Memorial Manager. Lack of funding and during the next few years, using the entire Flasher was too large an undertaking and using the Fairwater (conning tower) with periscopes and 40 mm guns would be a better idea.

JULY 1964
On July 1964 the Submarine Memorial (Flasher) was mounted on a concrete foundation on RT 12 in front of the Dolphin Community Bldg Groton, Ct. and dedicated on 4 July, 1964. Many dignitaries were in attendance, with RADM Vernon L Lowrance, USN Deputy CDR Atlantic Fleet, as Guest Speaker.

MARCH 20, 1974
In a letter dated March 20, 1974, from the City of Groton to Robert H. Moore it was stated that "the Mayor and Council agreed tp permit the Submarine Veterans of World War II to relocate the Flasher Memprial (Conning Tower) to city-owned land at Bridge and Thames Street".
Bob Moore, who was CT State Cdr, at the time had arranged with Groton City Council to accept the Memorial and relocation was arranged, upon the approval of the National Exec. Bd.
It was approved and $9,248.08 (ref. letter dated October 5, 1974 from H.T. Vande Kerkhoff to Robert Moore.) was authorized by National to relocate the Memorial and completion date was projected 1 August 1974.

JULY 1,1974
On July 1,1974, a resolution from the City of Groton was adpoted; last paragraph reads, "---that the City of Groton will provide a permanent site for the National Submarine Memorial on the circle at Bridge and Thames Street, and that the City of Groton will maintain the Memorial, properly display the national colors at all times, and illuminate the Memorial when necessary.

SEPTEMBER 28, 1974
On Sept. 28, 1974 the National Submarine Memorial was rededicated, with principal speaker retired Captain and former CO of wartime Flasher and George Grider, with National President Edward Bland in attendance.

OCTOBER 14, 1992
On this date, the idea of the Wall of Honor was presented to members of the Thames River Chapter. The Thames River Chapter made the acceptance and endorsement in 1992 and a steering committee was formed. A press release announcement "Wall of Honor Is Planned At National Submarine Memorial"
First two paragraphs, " GROTON, CT – Members of the Thames River Chapter (CT) of the U.S. Submarine Veterans of World War II have formed a steering committee to raise funds for a ‘Wall of Honor’ at the present National Submarine Memorial,
Robert H. Moore, USN-Ret., chairman of the Committee and past president of the national organization, said that on the granite wall will be inscribed the more than 3,500 names of **all submariners who lost their lives during World War II *(between December 7, 1941 and August 15, 1945), whether by enemy action or by other tragedy.
NOTE #1: *The inclusive date was subsequently extended to September 2, 1945.
NOTE #2: **The use of the word "all" is used in the Constitution and ByLaws, under Article IV, Meetings, "--- and all U.S. Navy submariners who lost their lives in World War II,"

NOVEMBER 25, 1992
Duty Assignments
Proposed Design
Location and Site Preparation
Fund Raising & Advertising

DECEMBER 9, 1992
A meeting with a presentation from the builder with discussions on the following:
Samples of work presented from the Barnes-Macrino Memorials representative with an approximate cost estimate (125 K); Steering Committee made decision that Barnes-Macrino Memorials will be the designated builder’s of the Wall of Honor Proper and legal negotiations ----
Tax exempt status and donors tax deductions was discussed.

DECEMBER 19, 1992
An "Organizational Chart – Steering Committee WWII Submariners Wall of Honor" chart was drawn, complete with names and assignments for the project.

JANUARY 8, 1993
Meeting on this date to discuss the following: Bob Moore's son-in-law, Charles Ivins, Navy PO and a Computer Analyst, volunteered to come on board and conduct an historic review in order to determine the names that will eventually be inscribed on the wall. His final alphabetized list will be provided to builders so they may determine type style, size and spacing of the names to be inscribed on the polished black granite. Press releases, brochures and pledge cards were discussed. The form of solicitations was discussed as well as details.

JANUARY 20, 1993
At a meeting on this date a 26 x 13 inch artists rendition of what the wall will look like.
Commitment dates that are to be resolved: (Dependent upon responses received)
1, Order granite
2. Preliminary site preparation
3. Start construction
4. Complete construction
5. Dedication ceremonies

FEBRUARY 10, 1993
Meeting this date to discuss and view the site. Site visited to determine the best location for the wall and to determine if conflicts with the requirements of the city exist. Subforce Library & Museum will permit the display of brochures, etc. The letter head design was approved. Completion and dedication dates were discussed. An advertising campaign, local and national is to be drafted in provided to newspapers.

JUNE 1993
The June 1993 issue of POLARIS included an article with a sketch of the "Wall of Honor." A statement by the chairman of the committee outlined the requirements for the inclusion of names to be inscribed on this memorial. He said, "on the granite wall will be inscribed more than 3,500 names of all submariners who lost their lives during World War II (between December 7, 1941 and *August 15, 1945), whether by enemy action or by other tragedy.
*NOTE: The dates of December 7, 1941 – September 2, 1945 are the correct inclusive dates; ref Section 12, Page 2a dated 1 November 1985 of the Policies and Procedures Manual. Furthermore the Wall of Honor shows the corrected inclusive dates.
NOTE: A number of names, (not lost by enemy action,) were engraved on the black granite stones prior to the dedication.

OCTOBER 12, 1993
The heading U.S. SUBMARINE VETERANS OF WWII "WALL OF HONOR" COMMITTEE THAMES RIVER CHAPTER, Meeting Agenda lists attendees and ACCOMPLISHED: Oct 92 – Oct 93 as follows:

1. Completed final design
2. Builder of memorial selected by committee
3. Architect DWG & final plans approved by City of Groton
4. Bank acct established to accept donations
5. Donor thank you cards designed and printed
6. Formal Ltr Hd designed (in final stages for printing)
7. Five retired Admirals offer assistance as advisory group
8. Groton city/Groton Councils pledge 5K & 10K, respectively to help build memorial
9. New London Day & other regional media provide coverage in describing this worthy project
10. Donations are continuously being received from across the nation – however, there is still a long way to go in order to meet final construction & dedication date that is set for Sept 2, 1995

The October 1993 issue of The Thames River "SOUNDINGS" on page 7 under the article "A Time to Remember" the following line appears in the second paragraph, "Nearly 100 additional men were lost due to individual tragedies and didn't live to see the end of the war but, nevertheless, they were involved in the destruction of the enemy."
It is interesting to note that the inclusion of the names of men who died as a result of individual tragedies was made known and published in 1993.
Note: this theme was also published in an article in "The New London Day" newspaper in September 17, 1995 in an article "The Wall of Honor."
Again in August 8, 1996 the "New London Day" published an article headed "Wall of Honoradds 5 submariners' names" this same theme is repeated.

JULY 1994
The July 1994 issue of Naval Affairs, pages 17 and 18 has an extensive article with graphics with the title, "THE SILENT SERVICE."

On this date, the selected site for the erection of the Wall of Honor was blessed.

OCTOBER 6, 1994
A suggestion or recommendation was made by the then Radm Buchannan. He said the Flasher belonged to U.S.Government and if the S/V national membership wanted to move it, they would do it at no cost to our organization. Nothing in writing only in the talking stage. The ADM sent some Chiefs to the National Convention at Norfolk to test the waters. It was at this time, “LOUIE” voiced his objections and the thoughts of moving the memorial were abandoned.
The US NAVY VISITOR PRESENTATION at The Regional Directors / State Commanders Meeting at the Marriott Waterside Hotel, Norfolk, VA.
Master Chief Chuck Greer introduced:
Mr. Steve Finnegan, Curator
Keith Brady Master Chief of Command
John Carioppolo Master Chief of the Base, Groton, CT.
Master Chief stated they were given the opportunity to present a proposal and concept for the Nat. Mem. East that they came up with.
He stated he wanted to be honest with us and told us RADM Buchanan and staff presented this to the CT members of US Submarine Veterans of WWII and they voted it down. And he appreciated the fact they had the privilege of presenting it at this convention.
He turned the mike over to Master Chief Kevin Brady.
The presentation was very good, therefore no minutes will be written, as handouts had been presented to all present.
Upon completion of Master Chief Brady’s presentation “Robbie Robertson asked why the negative from CT”.
John Mcguire asked if Bob Moore was present – then asked if “LOUIE” had anything to say.
The following is my (National Recording Secretary, Tudor Davis) perception, per tape recording and notes extracted, of what “LOUIE" said.
I'll answer that for you. When they came to us to ask if they could give a presentation which they did -- the brochure you see here has been much enlarged in comparison to what they showed us at the time and we voted it down 100%. We went to two chapters and they also voted it down 100%. T wish I had been better prepared but I do have some things I wish to say against this.
Four, five, maybe six years ago, we asked the base if we could put a sign up showing directions to our memorial - and to this date you don't see any sign at the Nautilus Museum.
You'd be surprised on Saturdays how many people stop at our (Flasher/East) Memorial and as they leave we tell them where the Nautilus Mem. is because we feel they should go down there. But they never tell visitors about our Memorial.
Some of you people don't know this, but the Flasher Conning Tower Fairwater & the torpedo is not owned by us, the Sub Vets here. They are on loan from the Navy. They can come down and pick them up anytime they want to. So if that's all they want, to move it down to the Memorial, they can have it.
But that isn't what tbey want. They want that Granite Wall, that's going to cost us $225,000.
We now have $165,000, if I'm not mistaken, Bob Moore will have the figures at our other meeting.
We've already paid $50,000 towards the Granite to get it started. We hope to have the dedication by V.J. Day or Sept. 2nd of next year,
We had ground breaking ceremonies this past Sept. 2, 1994. We purchased that, that Granite Wall is not owned by US Subvets of WWII -- individuals have paid for it, National hasn't paid for nothing so that is ours. So it's not for you people or Nat. Officers to say give it to the US Navy.
This is our personal monument. The Granite Stone on lost boats is a little different because National gave us S20,000 or so for those stones, so that's part of National.
This Wall of Honor is not part of National. National has not given us $1.00 !!
We'll go back to where he said we can use it for shipping over, etc., etc.
We've been doing that for a long time, we provide them with microphones or anything they want.
He also mentioned vandalism. Two weeks ago we lost a 3'x5' American flag, first loss in 7 years or so. That is the vandalism we have down there, it's all in the open.
We have more people watching than you'd ever believe.
I didn't come here to make a big old speech but I did come here to tell you CT. turned them down 100%,
They called me up three weeks ago and asked if I would mind if they came to National to give a speech. I told them I don't care they can flap all they want, we're still against it. And we're hoping you people will be behind us and leave our Memorial where it is.
If they want to take the Fairwater and the torpedo, that's theirs, they can take it. They can take it any time they want. That's theirs. It's only on loan. As a matter of fact we just spent $2500 repairing the fair water. New deckplates, things like that. A welder in New London donated all the steel work, we had to pay for labor.
The thing is falling apart, I guarantee you that In 20 or 25 years, we will have to remove it. There's not much left to it. It's rusting out bad. We built a shed inside to protect our flags etc., It's a water proof locker. So I'm hoping you people - maybe it won't come up to a vote -- we are strictly against it.
When they said they have the Admiral behind them, they do have.
It's just like when Admiral (name not clear) we bad to tangle with him.
They are looking out for themselves. Don't let him kid you that he's not looking for something for himself, because this is points in his book -- that he did some kind of a project here. This Adm is not doing it just for us or the museum.
Thank you.

NOVEMBER 29, 1994
In a letter of this date, from the US Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park, Honolulu, in a discussion of additional losses found for the (P.H.) Waterford Memorial, some excerpts follow: The Memorial lists the crew members of each of the 52 boats lost during the war, as well as "Additional Losses", i.e. members of the Submarine Force who did not go down with a boat, but who nonetheless lost their lives during WWII. --- We have been able to confirm 3,370 names, and we continue to research this topic and to add names to the list.
A request to compare lists of Additional Losses to assure accuracy, is noted.

On this date the Wall of Honor was dedicated with an impressive ceremony.

AUGUST 18, 1996
Added 5 names:
Bolles, Melvin
Frick, Carl
Gould JR Robert R
Lewis, Alphonse
Miller, Arthur

On the same date 08/18/96 Corrections were made.
------------------------------------------------------- Should Read
Allen, Newell J--------------------------------------Allen, Nelson J
Beaman, John T------------------------------------Beahan, John T
Gillmore, Howard W-------------------------------Gilmore,Howard W
Lakey, William F------------------------------------Lakey, George W
Pross, James L--------------------------------------Pross James S
Shaw Barnon F---------------------------------------Shaw, Bernon F
Wright, John N----------------------------------------Wright James N
Zimmerman, George A----------------------------Zimmermann George A__

Installed Bumper High Rail Fence Thames st side of Memorial
Two women in the past during the winter season lost control of auto and slid into memorial.

MAY 1999.
Repaired 2 cement sections in front of wall

DECEMBER 7, 1999
In a letter of this date from Bob Moore to Oliver Thompson, National President, discussing the Wall of Honor and additional losses, Moore states, “Presently there are 3,622 names on the wall. Of these, approximately 110 are ‘additional losses’ that were due to accidents – autos, planes, washed over the side, killed by enemy fire, etc.”
In another paragraph Moore states, “I have submitted to the Connecticut State Commander and the President of the Thames River Chapter three additional names: Robert J. Paulson, and John P. Conway, crewmen from the U.S.S. Croaker, details enc. - - - and John D. Forward, a crewman from Bob Link’s boat, the U.S.S. Grayback - - -“
Followed by: “ I have been told the Thames River Chapter voted against adding these names to the wall, saying *they were ‘not killed in the line of duty and didn’t give their lives in submarine warfare.”
NOTE: It is noteworthy to observe that four years after the dedication of the Wall of Honor, and six years after the criteria was announced, some members in the Thames River Chapter voted to change the criteria for engraved names.
This represents a change in the requirements of eligibility from the original concept as published in Polaris June 1993.

The following was excerpted from the published article in the Thames River newsletter, SOUNDINGS dated January 2003 THAMES RIVER CHAPTER as FINAL REPORT – MEMORIAL TRUST FUND COMMITTEE. In September 2001 "SHADOW", appointed a five member ‘Memorial Trust Fund Committee’ to explore ways to establish a Trust to provide perpetual care for the National Memorial East. The committee consisted of "LOUIE", "ROUGER", "BRACKER", "ALF", and "EDO".. "SHADOW" attended our committee meetings ---.

MARCH 21 & 22, 2002
The MID TERM MEETING of the NEEB (National Elected Executive Board) met at Buffalo, NY. In the minutes of this meeting, on page 5, the Wall of Honor was discussed and recorded.
It was reported that the Thames River has over $25,000 left from their construction fund for the maintenance of the wall. This was confirmed with the statement “around $20,000 is left.
It was reported “That Wall of Honor was built by mostly donations from individual subvets or subvet chapters”. The speaker stated, “that Wall belongs to the WWII subvet members; not to CT, not to National, to the Subvet membership. There is really nothing to do with the Wall of Honor, upkeep wise”.
There was much discussion about the agreement with Subvets, Inc Legal trust document agreement – SVI & WWII Subvets. (ref page 8, item 4- ).
This was followed by a discussion that fund goes 50/50 to East and West.
Presently there is approx. $100,000 in Memorial Fund CD’s. There will be more than $50,000 each when all monies in Memorial Fund are disbursed to next parties taking on care of memorials.
NOTE 1: There is no recent record of the NEEB voting on the transfer of the $50,000 to initiate the Trust Agreement with the City of Groton, however Mike Geletka, recalls the EB Voting that each Memorial get $50,000 - a long time ago, maybe 10 years ago. Mike Geletka also says it is legal, that is how it was to be done, per an agreement a long time ago
NOTE 2: The Thames River controlled fund, noted above “around $20,000 is left” is separate from the National Memorial fund of $100,000.

JUNE 2002
Members of the Thames River Chapter transferred $10,000 from the Memorial construction fund to the Groton Base of SubVets Inc.
NOTE: This action to transfer funds was voted on by the Thames River membership on April 14, 2002. See the following entry.
This Groton Base of SubVets Inc , is said to have a membership in the range of 2,000. They have the Former Elks Building of two floors on School Street in Groton City. They are open daily with a bar and kitchen. Thames River Chapter meets on the 2nd Sunday of the month on the 2nd Floor.

JULY 2002
In the July 2002 issue of the THAMES RIVER “SOUNDINGS” on page 5, the following notice was published:
The Subvets of WWII, Thames River Chapter, and the Subvets Inc. Groton Base have drawn up a plan for the Subvets Inc. To take responsibility for the maintenance and preservation of the National Memorial East, from U.S. Subvets of WWII effective Sunday May 29, 2003.

NOTE: (The day and date of Sunday May 29, 2003 are incorrect.)
At our (Thames River Chapter) regular monthly meeting April 14, 2002, the members voted unanimously to transfer funds from the Thames River Chapter to the Groton Subvets Inc. For this purpose.
The memorial upkeep and the supporting funds will be managed by a joint committee of members from each organization.

The August 2002, page 3, column 1, issue of Polaris, contained the following comment from "THE FOX":
The funds of the USSVWWII through the Memorial Account, are to be provided for the Non-expendable Irrevocable Trust. This Trust has been written by a very highly recommended Connecticut attorney, who is a Trust specialist registered in the State of Connrcticut. The Trust will be housed in a large Trust Bank in the City of Groton. The Trustees will be the elected City Council of the City of Groton, with the Director of Finance as liaison and Chairman of the Trust.
This course of action was instigated prior to 1990 by J.D. McLemoore and was agreed to by the City of Groton”.

AUGUST 18, 2002
The Bottinelli Custom Monuments Company engraved four (late discovery) names at the bottom of the last black stone.

AUGUST 30, 2002
At the men’s general business meeting in Buffalo, NY the question of turning the Wall of Honor over to the National was brought to a vote which passed. (By that action, all the assets of the wall should have promptly come under the control of the NEEB, including the approximately $20,000 from the construction / maintenance funds held by the Thames River Chapter.) Transfer of these funds to the NEEB never happened.

In a letter of this date to "ROUGER" from "THE FOX", "ROUGER" was authorized to accept complete control of the Wall of Honor regarding any new names that you may be asked to place on it. (Control of money submitted for engraving was noted.)
"THE FOX" wrote: “Anyone else attempting to add names to this Wall. You should rely on municipal assistance for restraint, as the Wall of Honor is the Thames River Chapter’s total and complete responsibility, along with the U.S. Submarine Veterans WW II National Memorial East.
In the following paragraph "THE FOX" wrote: “Also, you should contact a local stone mason as to costs for removal of Bob Moore’s name from the Wall.

NOVEMBER 11, 2002
From an article published in “THE DAY” on Tuesday, November 12, 2002: “Monday (Nov. 11th.), during the SVWWII annual Veterans Day ceremony, "THE FOX" announced that today --- the City of Groton (would receive)a quitclaim deed for all the group's assets at its National Memorial East at Bridge and Thames streets and a $50,000 trust fund to pay for its maintenance in perpetuity”.
NOTE: This $50,000 came out of the National Memorial Fund and was not a part of the funds held by the Thames River Chapter.

NOVEMBER 18, 2002
A letter dated November 18, 2002 from the Law Offices of O’Brien, Shafner, Stuart, Kelly & Morris, PC prepared by Lloyd L. Langhammer discussed the Wall of Honor made accusations against the former chairman of the project while claiming to represent the U.S. Submarine Veterans of WWII.
A second letter, dated November 21, 2002 notified the monument company to decline any further work requests from the former chairman.
These letters were made known to members of the organization after the Christmas holidays.

MARCH, 2003
A message received, with photos of the back side of the central granite stone shows that someone has recently covered the name of the author of the poem that had been engraved on this stone from it's inception. The name of Robert Moore is now covered by a twin dolphin insignia. This action was never discussed among members of the U.S. Submarine Veterans of WWII.


TEXT OF THE POEM Remembering


APRIL 29, 2003
An E-Mail message from Bob Moore to Jack Richardson follows:
From: Bob Moore [mailto:bobm@baileyagencies.com]
Sent: Tuesday, April 29, 2003 12:00 PM
To: 'richardsonjandj@juno.com'
Cc: BILLY GRIEVES (E-mail); Donald Kane (E-mail); GROVER MCLEOD (E-mail); HAROLD BALLENGER (E-mail); Herb Mandel (E-mail); Herman R Schmidt (E-mail); JAMES HAYWOOD (E-mail); Jim Tobin (E-mail); John anderson (E-mail); Joseph Mcgrievy (E-mail); L. W. SPEED (E-mail); Vanderkhoff Vande (E-mail); WARREN NELSON (E-mail); Wilbur Meyer (E-mail)
Subject: RE: National Submarine Memorial East
Good Morning Jack,
Prior to turning the Wall over to the City of Groton on November 11, 2002. On September 6, 2002 your letter to TRC [I presume St. Cdr. Behlke] directing TRC to accept complete control of the Wall of Honor regarding any new names that you may be asked to place on it. You also wrote in the same letter" Anyone else attempting to add names to this Wall, you should rely on municipal assistance for restraint". You continued, "Also, you should contact a local stone mason as to the cost for removal of Bob Moore's name from the Wall. Is this correct?, if so, this is probably what prompted some one from Thames River Chapter to vandalized the back of the centerpiece on the Wall. This is in the hands of the Mayor of Groton City to remove the plaque covering my name as the author of the poem "Remembering"
Bob Moore PNP

MAY 6, 2003
An E-Mail message forwarded by Bob Moore, from Jack Richardson, essentially calling attention to the Wall of Honor and the recent action of covering up the name of the author of a poem follows:

From: richardsonjandj@juno.com [mailto:richardsonjandj@juno.com]
Sent: Tuesday, May 06, 2003 12:43 PM
To: bobm@baileyagencies.com
Cc: carpenter@zianet.com; Donkaneesq@aol.com; Mustspd@aol.com; uboatter@aol.com
Subject: Your letter to me April 29th.
As every one knows the membership voted to take ownership of the WOH from the TRC at our general meeting.
The fact that the WOH had no insurance, and it had recently been vandalized approx. four months earlier. There will be replacement costs of possibly a thousand dollars.
On Sept. 6th I asked the TRC to take total responsibility of all placement of names that were asked to be placed on the wall., and that no one other than their committee be allowed to approve any name submitted.
They were to seek local municipal assistance if needed. The NEEB would not be liable for any unauthorized vandalizing to the WOH. As the removal of your name , that was never discussed to or with me until Nov. 11th 2002. When during a discussion we were informed that that memorial was for the dead (those that had lost their lives in submarine warfare in World War II or as a direct result there of.)And not for the living.
In your letter you use the word "vandalized", That is a strong statement , depending on who authorized the work to be done to remove your name.from the wall.
Maybe you should discuss this with the owners of the memorial.
Most surely not the NEEB, as We no longer have a voice nor a vote.
That is the duty of the City of Groton, Ct.
Jack Richardson
National President

MAY 7, 2003
An E-Mail message forwarded from Bob Moore, from Don Kane, essentially calling attention to some recent actions re: covering up the name of the author of a poem follows:

From: Donkaneesq@aol.com [mailto:Donkaneesq@aol.com]
Sent: Tuesday, May 06, 2003 5:12 PM
To: richardsonjandj@juno.com
Cc: bjande@mwt.net; Mustspd@aol.com; carpenter@zianet.com; Uboatter@aol.com; bobm@baileyagencies.com
Subject: RE: Your letter to me April 29th.

May 6, 2003
To: richardsonjandj@juno.com
From: donkaneesq@aol.com
Re: Your letter to me April 29th.

I received a copy of your e-mail of May 6th to Bob Moore. In your memo you state that "as we no longer have a voice nor a vote" (referring to the Memorial East)-you suggested that he contact the City of Groton.
Again, for the record and so that there will be no misunderstanding of my understanding of the legal relationship of our National Organization with the City of Groton concerning the Memorial East (including the Wall of Honor), I have on several past occasions, including recently, have stated to you and to others that we have an equitable and beneficial interest in the Memorial and Wall. We cannot stand by and mutely permit anyone to alter, mutilate, change, destroy, or mark the Wall or the Memorial.
In reviewing the Trust Agreement, it only provides for funds to maintain the National Memorial East. The trust is to be managed by the City of Groton. The Quit Claim deed is a short form type conveying legal ownerships to the Wall of Honor, etc.
As far as I am concerned, the City of Groton should be contacted by you, to ascertain who placed the dolphin plaque on the Wall of Honor to cover up Bob Moore's name and under what authority.
In my opinion, we have an obligation to our membership to monitor the Memorial including the Wall of Honor. I agree with your suggestion to Bob Moore that perhaps he should directly take the matter up with the City of Groton. Nevertheless, I would like to know under whose authority the plaque was affixed to the Wall.
By my writing to you, I am going through the chain of command. I know that I could contact the Mayor of Groton but I felt that this matter should be directed to you and to the NEEB.
Perhaps, you should obtain the opinion of the NEEB on this matter before you act further. Again, I look forward to your reply.
Donald V. Kane
CC: V. Speed
R. Carpenter
J. Anderson
H. Schmidt
Bob Moore

OCTOBER 1, 2003
LETTER From Leonard A. Behlke to Mr. Henry Dardinski

OCTOBER 14, 2003
REPORT OF Henry Dardinski, National Legal Officer's findings
in a three page report follows:

NOTE: Graphics files are part of this file and contained in another web page.