Posted by: arbeam | October 15, 2017

USS Washington Commissioning Ceremony

Posted by: arbeam | October 14, 2017

USS Washington (SSN-787) Commissioning on October 7, 2017

The USS Washington (SSN-787) was Commissioned on October 7, 2017 in Norfolk VA. You can view the entire ceremony here.

Commissioning Committee Chairman Radm Michael Sharp USN (Ret) presents the long glass to the Duty Officer on setting the first watch.

Thank you to the dedicated members of the Commissioning Committee who have worked for the last four years to ensure a successful ceremony:

RADM Mike Sharp, USN (Ret) Chairman         CAPT Kathy DiMaggio, USN (Ret) Director
CAPT Bob Aronson, USN (Ret)                       CAPT Alan Beam, USN (Ret)
CAPT Jerry Logan, USN (Ret)                        CAPT Larry Salter, USN (Ret)
Maryellen Baldwin                                        RADM Chuck Beers, USN (Ret)
Richard R. Brandon                                      RADM Herb Bridge, USNR (Ret)
LCDR Rich Chwaszczewski, USNR (Ret)          Jeff Davis
Brian Dimmagio                                           Marjorie James
Steve Keith                                                  Sharon Kultti
Lisa Phillips                                                  Roy Rasmussen
Tina Salter                                                   CAPT Steven Westover, USN (Ret)


Posted by: arbeam | October 14, 2017

Nominating Committee Announced

Each fall our council forms a Nominating Committee to recommend a slate of Officers for the coming year. This late is then voted on during our annual business meeting in December.

“Officers and Directors shall be elected by a majority of those members present and voting, by secret ballot unless there is but one candidate for an office, in which case election may be by voice vote. Elections will be held at the Annual Meeting. Installation of new Officers and Directors may follow the elections at the Annual Meeting, or be conducted at a subsequent meeting or event.”

The Nominating committee will consist of the following members:

Tim Katona Chairman
Byron Faber
Helen Miller
Carol Metney
Cynthia Martin

“Notice of membership of this Committee shall be announced sixty days in advance of the annual meeting and a report of the Committee shall be made to the membership at least thirty days prior to the annual meeting. The Nominating Committee shall select at least one nominee for each office and nominations may be made from the floor at the election meeting. No member of the Nominating Committee shall be eligible for nomination to any elective office.”


We have arranged to view the USS Washington Commissioning at McClouds on Saturday Oct 7 2017 at 8:00 AM. The event will be streamed live on Come and try the Blackfish Stout specially brewed for the commissioning by Scuttlebutt Brewery.

Scuttlebutt Brewing Company has brewed a Stout to honor the USS Washington, SSN 787 Commissioning. A beer as black as the depths in which it will operate, complex in structure and resolute in purpose, strong, proud and brave like those who will serve aboard her. The “Blackfish” or Killer Whale is the apex predator of the sea. It’s stealthy, silent until action is required, stalking its prey until an attack is unleashed. Nothing escapes its fury and it accomplishes its goals with brutal efficiency. When the Virginia Class, fast attack sub, SSN 787 was named USS Washington there was no doubt on what its role would be. To keep our nation safe by reigning as an apex predator, the most technologically advanced submarine ever built.”

The bulk of the 20 barrels has been shipped to Norfolk for the Commissioning. We have arranged for Blackfish Stout to served at MCClouds for the Commissioning viewing, and to have it available for sale at The NBK Bangor Package Store. 

Posted by: arbeam | September 21, 2017

Navy League Luncheon September

The Speaker for our September Luncheon Was CDR Homer Ring. He has successfully completed a Shipyard Decommissioning Availability as Commanding Officer USS Houston (SSN-713). In keeping with our Theme of reviewing the War in the Pacific portion of the 75th Anniversary of WW II.  CDR Ring Related the Second War patrol of the USS Trout SS 202.

It was January 1942 and the US Army in the Philippines was running out of Anti Aircraft ammunition. The USS Trout was stripped of all of unessential gear and loaded with  3,500 rounds of mechanically-fuzed, high altitude ammunition for the defenders of Corregidor. A submarine was needed to elude the Japanese forces.

After the shells were delivered Trout needed to take on Ballast to allow it to submerge. trout’s request for Sandbags was denies but a compromise was reached. the Army needed to evacuate the Philippine Gold supply to ensure it wouldn’t be captured. So USS Trout took on 20 tons of gold as ballast. Read the full story The Golden Patrol of USS Trout (SS202).


Posted by: arbeam | September 21, 2017

USS Washington has Adopted the Nickname Blackfish

The United States Navy’s newest submarine is the USS Washington (SSN-787). It is the third ship named for the state of Washington and the first one since World War II. One of the first official functions of a submarine pre-commissioning unit is to develop the ship’s own distinct coat of arms – or crest – which reflects the heritage embodied in the ship’s namesake. Unique in design for each ship, the crest represents the ship’s identity throughout its service life and helps foster unity and esprit de corps.

Their central image is the submarine, surging forth from the waters of the Puget Sound, emblazoned with a paint scheme reminiscent of Native American art depictions of an orca whale, the state’s official marine mammal. The Tlingit Legend of Eekoli (Blackfish, Killer Whale, Orca) has particular significance to submariners as marine hunters of the deep. The crew takes their nickname from this design, Blackfish. And has adopted the Blackfish as their Totem.


Blackfish is an important medicine animal to the First Nation tribes of the Pacific Northwest Coast and are considered a particular symbol of power and strength. Catching sight of one isconsidered a momentous omen. Tlingit were accomplished whale hunters but viewed the killer whale as a special protector of humankind and never hunted. The Kwakiutl tribes believed that the souls of marine hunters turned into killer whales upon their death, just as the souls of forest hunters turned into wolves. For this reason, there were a number of special rituals regarding the killing of a killer whale, so that its spirit could be reborn as a human once again.

Posted by: arbeam | September 21, 2017

Commissioning Gift Submarine Dolphin Presentation Box

Many Submarines have a display case onboard to display the submarine dolphins that each crew member will earn when they qualify in submarines. The crew of the Washington has adopted a ship’s crest with a Northwest Indian Motif. It has also taken to calling itself the blackfish after the indigenous Orca Whales. In order to establish a connection with the Northwest Natives of the Salish Sea, the Commissioning Committee solicited the design and construction of a presentation case crafted by master carver Samuel L White of the Lower Elwa S’Kallam Tribe located on the Strait of Juan De Fuca in the entrance to Puget Sound. The Orca whale is the Totem for the S’Kallum Tribe.

Included in the design is a Northwest Native rendition of the Submarine Dolphins. The design illustrates the story of a legendary hunter of the deep, Natsilane and alludes to the submarine’s mission of Anti Submarine Warfare.

The Presentation Case is made of native Western Red Cedar with a Yellow Cedar carved inlay traditional carving woods.

Posted by: arbeam | September 21, 2017

Meet The Carver

Samuel White is a Lower Elwha S’Klallam Tribal member located in the Pacific Northwest of Washington State. Sam’s native name is phonetically pronounced “kooa-kowa-day” which means little bull head. Unfortunately, many of his names left to him by Dave Forlines where lost when a tape recording was stolen from him. He is a direct descendant of the Chickasaw tribe in Oklahoma through his father. Sam is a father of 11 children. Sam is the Chief of Police for Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe which is a sister Tribe to his own.

Sam was trained to carve as a young teen by Dave Forlines his Godfather and Richard Mike his uncle. He helped carve the totem poles for the Lower Elwha S’Klallam Tribe along with the first traditional dugout canoe.

Sam has been carving for near 30 years. Sam mostly has carved small carving for friends and family as gifts such as combs, rattles, masks, miniature canoes, full size paddles (functional and decorative) and plaques. Sam tries to keep as true to traditional carving as possible with a slight integration of modern contemporary native art. He tries to freehand the designs with nothing being exact or symmetrical. He was taught to if you carve good enough, no sandpaper would be needed. Sam feels he is improving every time but has lots to learn with each carving.

Sam has a family history of military service and is a proud father of his eldest son joining the Marines. That is why he is proud to be part of this project for the U.S.S. Washington.

Posted by: arbeam | September 21, 2017

The Legend of Natsilane

Native American Legend Natsilane

A Tlingit Legend

In a time before there were any killer whales there lived a very able sea lion hunter and a highly skilled carver named Natsilane. He was from Kake and when he took as his wife the daughter of a chief on Duke Island, he decided to live among her people. He was accepted into her family and because he tried hard to prove himself, he soon had a place of honor as an accomplished hunter and spear carver.

His desire to please won him the admiration of the youngest of his brothers- in-law but the oldest ones misunderstood his intentions and became jealous and so began to plot against him. The men decided to get even with Natsilane on the day of the big seal hunt.

After much preparation, the day of the big hunt arrived and Natsilane along with his four new brothers paddled their canoe toward West Devil Rock, out in the open straits. The wind was blowing fiercely and the waves were high but Natsilane was determined that the hunt would be successful. When the canoe neared the rocks, he leaped toward shore and plunged his spear into the nearest sea lion before it could escape. Unfortunately, the point broke off and the lion slipped into the water. Worse yet, Natsilane saw that his brothers, over the fierce objections of the youngest, were paddling away- abandoning him on the deserted island with no food or weapons. Their betrayal stung him deeply and after a time, he pulled his cloak up over his head and fell asleep.

Natsilane awoke the next morning to the sound of his name. He saw a sea lion that looked like a man beckoning to him to go with him down beneath the waves into the Sea Lion’s House. At the great house he met the chief of the sea lions who asked him if he could help his injured son. Natsilane saw that the young lion had his spear point embedded in his body and with some effort was able to remove it and the son was healed. The chief was very grateful and after granting Natsilane even greater skills, arranged for his safe return to the village.

Natsilane met with his wife and after telling her his story, he made her promise to keep his return a secret. He took with him his carving tools and went into the woods to carry out a plan of revenge on the older brothers-in-law who had betrayed him.

Remembering the Sea-Lion Chief’s promise, he asked him for help and began carving a large black fish, a killer whale of spruce the likes of which had never been seen before. After three tries and much improvement in his carving skills, he fashioned a whale of yellow cedar and when launched, came to life and swam out to sea.

He called the black fish to him and ordered it to find his brothers-in-law when they returned from their hunting, destroy them and their boat but spare the youngest boy. The black fish set out and found them late that afternoon. The black fish capsized the boat breaking it in two and drowned the older three brothers by keeping them from shore. The youngest made it back safely along with his story of the great black fish and his brothers’ treachery.

The villagers now came to wonder if Natsilane had carved the great black fish and given it life. Not long afterward, a strange black fish with teeth was seen near the shore and at times would leave a freshly killed seal or halibut there for the villagers.

Natsilane had instructed it never again to harm humans but instead, to help them. As he continued to help the villagers, they realized that the “Killer Whale” was a gift from Natsilane and so they took it for their crest. Natsilane became a legend to their village and some have claimed to have seen him riding the seas on the backs of two great black fish.

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