Reunion Notes

                                                        Reunion Notes 

                     Fourth reunion, held in Norfolk.


2009 Reunion



26 April, 2009

Business Meeting Minutes

By Jim Schenk , Secretary

 Total Persons Present:

26 Members

3 Spouses 

An Attendance Sheet, suggested by Richard Moore , was passed around including members’ names, phone numbers and emails, of persons caring to participate in the listing.  This list of 20 members is in the files of the Secretary and the Keeper of the Master list of Shipmates.  (Enclosure A of 26 April, 2009)

0935 …. Meeting called to order by Commander Mike Martin.

All Association Officers were in attendance.

 Chaplain Mike Wheeler, was absent and Vice Commander Mike Cohen delivered the opening and closing prayers.

Treasurer’s Report is estimated at around $2,800.00 by Mike Martin, and will be later published on the website as refunds and pay-outs pending are finally disbursed.  

Old Business:

There was no old business to bring to the table.

New Business:

Commander Martin thanked the body present for the honor of being Commander for the past two year period, and thanked all hands that were instrumental in bringing this successful Sea Devil Reunion #4 together at the Norfolk Hilton Hotel, 1500 North Military Highway, Norfolk, VA.

Revised Bylaws:

The first order of business was discussion of the Revised Bylaws regarding three sections in Chapter 8, which were posted on the Plan Of The Day Board in the Hospitality Room.  The issues addressed were:

·         Monetary Disbursal when the Association may become extinct.

·         Physical Assets Disbursal when the Association may become extinct.

·         The “SS400 Ship’s Bell ” on long-term loan from the family of Captain Ralph Emerson Styles who spiritually left our midst last Autumn, 2008.  The “ Bell ” custodian is Mike Martin, as per arrangement with Captain Styles’ daughter, Anne Styles Overbeck.  The bell will be returned to the Styles family upon the eventual disbanding of the Association. 

After some discussion by George Boyle as to possible parties that may in the future receive the Association’s physical assets, he suggested that there is a new museum at Little Rock , Arkansas that would be thankful for any donations as well as St. Marys Submarine Museum in St. Marys , Georgia

Motion to adopt the Amendments as submitted was tendered by Bruce Brown .

The motion was seconded and the Ayes indicated unanimous passage without dissent.


Mike Martin stated that he would not seek another term as Association Commander, and nominated Homer Waters for that office.  Jim Schenk seconded the motion, with a third by Mike Cohen, and the Ayes indicated unanimous passage without dissent.


Mike Cohen, out-going Vice Commander, regretted that he would be unable to continue as Vice Commander due to his heavy commitments to work and teaching at the local College, among other reasons.

The motion to nominate Ed Lynd for Association Vice-Commander was made by Jesse Byars and seconded by Mike Martin, and the Ayes indicated unanimous passage without dissent.


Secretary (2005-2009) Jim Schenk indicated that he would be unable to continue at his post for another term.  Commander Martin thanked Jim for his eight years’ service to the Association.  Bruce Brown was a stand-up volunteer and was voted in with the Ayes indicating unanimous passage without dissent.  Out-going Secretary Schenk will assist Brown with any help needed. 


After some discussion by Bob Fountain that a “two-man rule” in the office of Treasurer might be utilized, Mike Martin nominated Homer Waters to assume the additional Office of Treasurer as had been the precedent.  The discussion ended in Mike Martin retaining the Office of Treasurer for ease of operation through the next term, and the Ayes indicated unanimous passage without dissent. Treasurer Martin indicated that the “seed money” for the 2011 Reunion is well in place.  The outstanding balance to pay off the Hilton Hotel was about $700.00, and was scheduled to be paid 27 April, 2009, before the Treasurer left Norfolk . All items in the “Ship’s Store” are pre-paid at this time.


The Office of Chaplain, formerly held by member Mike Wheeler, is now assumed by Mike Cohen, he having experience from his past military career.  Mike Wheeler’s wife is experiencing chronic medical complications and he is currently “off scope”.   Our thoughts and prayers are with them. 

Association Donation:

Commander Martin put forward the motion for matching funds, of a $500.00 gift to St. Marys Submarine Museum, as was gifted from our Treasury after our 2007 Business Meeting.  The motion was seconded by Ed Lynd, and the Ayes indicated unanimous passage without dissent.  Sea Devil’s Commissioning Captain Richard Currier continues to sit on that Museum’s Board of Directors.

Sea Devil’s Sail Planes:

Discussion was engaged in concerning the less-than-desirable, and otherwise shoddy upkeep of the park under the auspices of Dade County, Florida, which contain the Fairwater Planes from USS Sea Devil SSN664.  The “Swords To Ploughshares” art project’s negligent degradation has come to the attention of our Association and raised the hackles of our membership because of this being the only physical grand-scale memorial to our ship.  There is a “sister park” located in Washington State on the West coast, and we wonder on its condition.  George Boyle will contact and attempt to mitigate this ignominy with the assistance of the USSVI District Commander.  

Next Reunion Venue:

Mike Martin made a motion for the 2011 Reunion to be held in New London , Connecticut .  The motion was seconded by Mike Cohen, and the Ayes indicated unanimous passage without dissent.  Discussion was made attempting to avoid scheduling conflicts with such April and May dates for Passover, Mothers’ Day, and the Submarine Birthday Ball.  The weather in the Groton area being what it is, the group seemed to favor a mid-May date as amenable to all, derived through discussion by Richard Moore , Pete Chabot, and Bob Fountain.  The actual date will be announced at a later date pending investigation by Commander Waters, with his designated aides, shopping for the best deal to fit our needs.  Discussion was made by Bob Fountain and others relating to moving the 2013 venue to the Midwest or West USA .        George Boyle was tasked to investigate patterns of existing membership location cells and report back at the next business meeting.  Jesse Byars suggested Pensacola , Florida as a possible future venue. 

Announcement of Intention:

Past-Secretary Schenk announced his continuing endeavor to publish a book of “Submariner’s Sea Stories” derived from military experience and his attempt to collect such stories until enough has been compiled to complete and publish a book.  Only one percent of needed copy is logged in at this time and no submissions by Sea Devil have yet been received.  If there are more submissions than one book can handle, then another Volume will be forthcoming.  A portion of any profits realized will be donated to worthy causes overseen by USSVI, and to our Association for the general fund.  Suggestions for a final title are also graciously considered prior to publication, and, with permission, all published donor stories used will receive a signed copy at a special rate.   In the event that member Schenk is unable to complete his goal, there are those in place to see the project through to fruition “sans time-line”.   A “Request To Association Membership” will be sent to George Boyle for publication in a future “ALL HANDS” issue.    

History of Sea Devil:

Member Lew Bearden suggested that there be a “Sea Devil History” with attending individual crewmember experience anecdotes.  Jim Schenk offered to send a request to membership to George Boyle for inclusion in a future “ALL HANDS” notice. 

Captain Styles:

The proceedings following the demise of our brother, Captain Ralph E. Styles, was attended by, among others, Commander Mike Martin, of Palmyra , Virginia representing our Association.  The ceremony with the SS400 Ship’s Bell , now on long-term loan to our Association, is on YouTube, and Doug Blaha has a link (below) to the video of the ceremony that was a long-time daily ritual at the residence of Captain Styles in Florida

The “Tolling of the Boats” was instituted by George Boyle and Mike Martin at our Banquet. 

Deck Log:

Ed Lynd mentioned the USSVI’s “Deck Log” website for Sea Devil Association Members to sign in on.  The USSVI has included a page there for SSN664 and the link is on our website ( via a ‘red-lettered toggle’ on the left side of the page.  Keeper of the Masterlist of Shipmates, George Boyle , has recently emailed crewmembers, that he is able to contact, asking permission to list members there. 

USSVI Membership:

George Boyle encouraged all members to seek esteemed membership in USSVI to those not already enjoined.  George holds office as USSVI Region Director and is a Life Member and a 2007 Holland Club inductee of USSVI-Drum Base and a crossover-member of several other bases around the USA

Bravo Zulu:

The Association attending rose in a standing ovation saluting the hard work and dedication of outgoing Commander Mike Martin, who was highly instrumental, with others, in the early creation and assembly of this Association.  The Association Secretary, et al, congratulates the most prominent turnout of former riders of Sea Devil.  Our high praise and thanks also go out to our Banquet Speakers of the previous evening. 

Dan Phearson:

I wish to make mention that Dan Phearson was at the reunion for the second time to share his wartime SS400 stories and reminiscences with us, which is always a real treat, especially for us old Diesel Boat Sailors.  If you noticed, Dan’s name-tag was red in color in honor of his being the only Sea Devil sailor who was under fire in wartime.  It was an honor to visit with him because, in my estimation, he is the stuff that heroes are made of as a World War II submariner, and survivor of a war that claimed 20% of our submarine force’s personnel.  I am sure that we all enjoyed his company and the chance to visit with his two daughters accompanying him, Nancy and Gina, with their friend Craig.  We hold out hope, and pray that we will see you again Dan in New London .  Bravo Zulu and fair seas old friend and sailor.  

Motion To Adjourn:

Ed Lynd tendered a motion to adjourn until the next reunion, which was seconded, and passed with unanimous approval.    

1037 … The meeting was adjourned following a closing prayer by Chaplain Cohen. 



6 MAY 2009


  Well, another one bites the dust! For those of you who participated in the USS Sea Devil Reunion IV, I was very happy to see those who were repeat attendees and to meet those who were attending for the first time.
  At the business meeting on Sunday morning, Homer Waters (71-74) was elected your new Association Commander. I am certain that all of you join with me in wishing Homer smooth sailing and will assist him in any way necessary to ensure that our Association continues to thrive.
  At the meeting, the voting members decided to hold the 2011 reunion in the New London, CT area. I know that those of you who live in that area will give Homer and Susan all the help they may need to make that reunion better than all the rest.
  Reunion IV was a moderate financial success. We started the reunion cycle in June 2007 with a treasury of $1,718.96 and now that all the bills have been paid we have a balance of $2,814.39. This should give us a real good start on the 2011 event.
  Finally, I would like to personally thank all of you for allowing me to serve as your Association Commander for the past 2 years. It has been extremely gratifying for me to be able to coordinate these reunions and to see how much all of you who have participated enjoy yourselves. Ruth and I both thank you for your support and friendship over the years. We hope to see all of you in 2011.
  "Fair winds and following seas shipmates".
Michael "Mickey" Martin
Sea Devil 70-73

At the business meeting Lew Bearden suggested we start a Sea Devil History with individual crewmembers experience anecdotes.                      Probably slip in a Sea Devil sea story.


31 MARCH 2009 


  "Station the Manuvering Watch".
  We are 4 weeks away from our 4th reunion and there are a few items that need to be covered.
  First, keep sending in your registrations. The form is attached. The hotel has agreed to extend the group rate window till the 9th of April and may keep it open up to the reunion. The hotel can be reached at (800) 422-7474. Remember to tell them that you are a member of the Sea Devil group. Find those shipmates that you are still in contact with and try to get them to attend. We want to see all of them.I have attached the Excel file of those who have registered up to today, 3/28.
  The dress code for the banquet is as it always was, clean, casual, and comfortable.
  All of you who are members of the SubVets or the USSVI, don't forget to bring your vest and wear it. Let everyone know what you did and where you did it.
  We will be voting at the Sunday Business Meeting (adgenda attached) to approve the revised Sea Devil Association Bylaws which are also attached. The main change is the addition of the new Article VIII, Disposition of Assets. Several additional minor changes were made to make the document more workable.
  At the present time there are no submarines scheduled to be in port. I am hoping that a schedule change will make a boat available before I have to cancel the bus on 4/6. Got to tell you that at the present time it doesn't look good. I even tried to get us a tour of a large target, the USS Theodore Roosevelt but they will not be accepting visitors due to just returning from a deployment.
  If we are able to do a submarine tour, here are the guidelines including the base security procedures:
  1. Ladies, remember that you will be going down a  
      ladder and sailors still being sailors, they will be there at
      the bottom to "assist" you. Enough said?
  2. Wear comfortable and appropriate shoes so you don't
  3. When the bus arrives at the base you will disembark 
      and go through megnetometers for individual screening.
  4. While you are undergoing individual screening, base
      security will conduct a security sweep of the bus. You
      must take all packages with you when you undergo the
      individual screening. No packages can be left on the
      This procedure will be repeated each time the bus
      returns to the base.
  5. As I understand it, cameras are allowed but be aware of
      the possible sensitivity of subjects you may want to
      capture. I will attempt to get guidelines for this.
  If I have to cancel the bus on 4/6 and a boat subsequently becomes available, I will attempt to reschedule the bus. If I can't reschedule a bus, we will have to arrange a carpool caravan. Hope for the best!
  I realize that the economy (or lack of) has hit some of our shipmates hard. We will all miss having them in Norfolk with us and wish them well. I hope that the next reunion in 2011 will find us all prospering and able to all be together.
Michael "Mickey" Martin
Sea Devil 70-73



  We are rounding the "Sea Bouy" and heading for home. Less than 2 months to go before the reunion. Get all your buddies and tell them to get their registration in so we can all share in the reunion.
  I can tell that the economy is really hurting us. Registrations are slow and lower than we had for the Norfolk reunions in 2003 and 2005, but being the eternal optimist, I know that we will see all of you in April.
  There are still seats available for the submarine visit. If you have already registered without signing up you can get on the list by shooting me an e-mail at my new address, and mail me a check or pay when you arrive.
  Due to a lack of participation in the Mariner's Museum (Tour 1) on Friday the 24th and the Nauticus (Tour 3) on Saturday the 25th, we will be cancelling these tours. If you signed up, your money will be refunded when you check in.
  There are also seats available for the Harbor Cruise and Luncheon on Friday the 24th. Same deal as the submarine visit. If you want to sign up let me know and you can pay now or later.
  The Hilton Hotel can be reached at 1-800-422-7474 or through our website at The hotel is holding our block of rooms until March 24th so make sure that you get your reservation in before the price goes up. When you call to make your reservations be sure to identify yourself as being with the Sea Devil Reunion to get our preferred rate of $94.00 a night plus tax.
  I have attached my Excel file of who has already signed up so you can match up with your old shipmates and enhance the reunion experience. Also, if you don't see someone on the list, give them a call and see if you can't get them to attend. We want to see all of you.
  Looking forward to meeting again in Norfolk.
Michael "Mickey" Martin



   We are just 3 1/2 months away from our 4th reunion and I gotta tell you I am worried. I realize that the economy is bad and everyone is worried about what will happen with the incoming administration but we are way behind on registrations. This makes it extremely difficult for me to properly plan the activities, some of which require a firm commitment by a certain date or we forfeit deposits.
  I would urge you to make your hotel reservations and reunion registration selections as soon as possible. The Hilton Norfolk Airport Hotel can be reached at 1-800-422-7474 or through our website, Be sure to identify yourself as attending the USS Sea Devil Reunion to get the reduced reunion rate. All the information on the reunion activities and schedules can also be found on the website. The Reunion Registration Form is attached to this message.
  As always, please contact any of our past shipmates you may be in contact with and urge them to attend. Any new found shipmates contact information should be forwarded to George Boyle at so he can maintain the master roster.
  I hope to see all of you in Norfolk.


As some of you may have heard, Rick West, Sea Devil 84-86 became the twelfth 
Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) on 12 December. Rick still 
hopes to attend our reunion in April if the schedule of his new position 
permits. Sea Devil attitude, training and professionalism pay off again. We 
have established a link on the website to the Norfolk Hilton Hotel, 1500 
North Military Highway, Norfolk VA. to assist you in making your 
reservations. If you have any problems you can contact the hotel directly at 
(800) 422-7474 or (757) 466-8000. Be sure to tell them that you are with the 
"USS Sea Devil Association" to receive the $94.00 plus tax room rate. The 
hotel provides free shuttle service to and from the Norfolk Airport and also 
provides RV parking for registered guests. The hotel has set aside a block 
of rooms for us at the special rate and will keep them open until April 9, 
2009. We would request that you make your reservations as early as possible 
to assist us and the Hilton in planning. Check the "Missing Mates" section 
on our website and help us find as many shipmates as possible and forwarded 
to George Boyle who maintains our roster. George can be reached at   His mailing address is 2541 Tarkiln Oaks Dr, 
Pensacola, FL 32506 and his phone number is (850) 492-3781. If you have any 
questions feel free to contact me at or (434)
589-8298. "Make going home turns for Norfolk".

Michael "Mickey" Martin Sea Devil 70-73


  The time for our reunion is drawing closer! Hopefully, the April 23-26, 2009 event at the Norfolk Hilton Hotel will  be our biggest and best. Please contact any and all shipmates that you may be corresponding with and urge them to attend!
    Attached is the registration and activities information. Additional details can be found on the website at which we hope you will visit often as we get closer to the reunion. Any required modifications or changes, while none are anticipated, will be posted on the site.
  We have established a link on the website to the Norfolk Hilton Hotel, 1500 North Military Highway, Norfolk VA. to assist you in making your reservations. If you have any problems you can contact the hotel directly at (800) 422-7474 or (757) 466-8000. Be sure to tell them that you are with the "USS Sea Devil Association" to receive the $94.00 plus tax room rate. The hotel provides free shuttle service to and from the Norfolk Airport and also provides RV parking for registered guests. The hotel has set aside a block of rooms for us at the special rate and will hold them open until April 9, 2009. We would request that you make your reservations as early as possible to assist us and the Hilton in planning.
  Check the "Missing Mates" section on our website and help us find as many shipmates as possible. Make sure that any contact information is forwarded to George Boyle who maintains our roster. George can be reached at   His mailing address is 2541 Tarkiln Oaks Dr, Pensacola, FL 32506 and his phone number is (850) 492-3781.
  If you have any questions feel free to contact me at or (434) 589-8298.
  For those of you who have made any or all of our previous reunions, we hope to see you again. Those of you who have yet to attend, we sincerely hope that you will this time. All of your shipmates want to see you!
  "Make going home turns for Norfolk".
Michael "Mickey" Martin
Sea Devil 70-73


Now for the bill of particulars: 

  April 23-26, 2009; Thursday to Sunday

         (Passover 4/9, Easter 4/12 and expect the Submarine Birthday Ball to be 4/18)

  Registration fee, $20.00 includes all spouses, guests, etc.

  Norfolk Airport Hilton, Rooms $94.00 plus tax, single or double.

       - Group rate is valid 4/20/2009 to 4/29/2009.

       - RV parking for hotel guests.

       - Indoor swimming pool scheduled to be completed prior to the reunion.

       - Airport shuttle service.

       - Max & Erma's on-site restaurant seats 245.

       - Discount coupons for Max & Erma's breakfast and hotel gift shop.

       - Hotel is accepting reservations now with group rate cut-off on 3/24/2009.

       - Reservation Specialist Shawn Mullen, 800-422-7474 ext. 271. Identify yourself as

         being  with the USS Sea Devil SSN-664/SS-400 group.

   Banquet at the Hilton on Saturday, 4/25:

       - Choice of beef, chicken or fish entree at $30.00 per plate.

       - Cash bar.

  Tours tentatively planned:

       - Mariner's Museum and River Walk Shopping Complex on Friday 4/24.

       - Norfolk Botanical Gardens on Friday 4/24.

       - Nauticus National Maritime Museum and MacArthur Mall on Satuurday 4/25.

       - Submarine tour on Saturday, 4/25 with bus transportation $15.00 per person.

            (Dependent on Naval Submarine Force Commander approval and ship availability.

             First come, first served)

      *  Daily tours run concurrent.

      ** Times and prices to be determined.

      *** All tours are subject to a minimum participation. If the minimum is not met, all funds

           will be returned. 

  Start rooting around in the basement, garage or barn for items that you would like to donate for the "Silent Auction" to be conducted up to the time of the banquet. Anything can be donated, preferably Sea Devil or nautical memorabilia.

   For those of you who, for whatever reason, could not make the last reunion in Charleston , you missed a good time. Kudos to Mike Cohen, Mike and CJ Wheeler and "Juicy Brucie" Brown who organized a fine event. I urge you to make every effort to attend the 2009 reunion to make it really special for all your shipmates.

   As your Association Commander for the next 2 years, I will work hard to make the next reunion as good as it can be. You will be hearing from me periodically between now and the reunion time. If you have any questions or special requests, contact me at, (434) 589-8298 or  2542 Deep Creek Road , Palmyra , VA 22963-4619 .

   Keep yourself informed and up to date by regularly visiting the website at Check the "Missing Mates" list that George has on the website to see if you can help find more of our shipmates so we can get them to attend the reunion.

   Ruth and I are looking forward to seeing all of you at the reunion.

 Michael "Mickey" Martin, Sea Devil 70-73