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SSN612 1965 - 1991
USS Guardfish SSN612, The last “big piece” of the Guardfish is
resting in Trench 94 at the Hanford Reservation, WA. After decommissioning, the reactor compartment was filled with all
contaminated materials, separated from the rest of the hull and barged up the Columbia River to this final resting spot. She is number 26.
- Buele G. Balderston, CDR, USN died in February 1984. He was 53.
From December 1972 - March 1973 he was the Commanding Officer of the USS Guardfish (SSN-612).
He graduated from The University of Nebraska in 1952. His naval service had him as a
member of the USS Remora (SS476), USS Scorpion (SSN589), USS Lewis & Clark (SSBN 644),
and USS Tautog (SSN 639). He was originally from Omaha, Nebraska.
- Danilo "Danny" Batoon died 3 June 1990. He was 49.
- Neil Clifford Berg. Neil served in the Navy around 1970-1975 and spent
much time on USS Guardfish. Neil was born in Sidney, MT 05/10/50 and died in
Billings, MT. July 13,2007 at the age of 57. Neil fondly spoke often of his
years in the Navy and very highly of the friends he made during those years.
He was looking forward to seeing two of his old shipmates who were coming to
Powell Wyoming to visit him this summer. Unfortunately Neil became very ill
and was transported to Billings,MT where he passed away. Neil leaves behind
two sons, both parents, a sister and myself, Brian Berg.
- CDR James W. Blanchard, Jr. "Doc", died December 16, 2000. He was 68.
He was former CO of USS Bonefish (SS-582) and was the son of Admiral
James W. Blanchard. Information from: First Presbyterian Church, Hilton
Head Island, SC 29928 and internet.
- Kevin A. Brown died several years ago of unknown causes. This
information was provided by his shipmates from USS Haddo (SSN-604) where he
served as chief of the watch and section leader. Kevin "Rat" Brown served on
Guardfish in 1968-1969.
Richard LeRoy Bunce
Richard LeRoy Bunce died of
respiratory failure March 31, 2007 at his home in Loveland, Colorado after a brief
illness. He was 66. He is survived by many relatives and his wife if 42 years, Karel. Dick was a Commissioning Crew
Officer and served on USS Guardfish for many months after commissioning and
stayed in the Navy on active service for seven years and achieved the rank of Lt
CDR. He was well liked and respected by his wardroom and crew, and attended the
reunions in San Francisco and San Diego. He will be remembered fondly by all who
E. Burdette Jr. October 25, 1943 - April 27, 2005
Richard E. Burdette
was born October 25, 1943 in Philadelphia, PA and passed away April 27, 2005
in Carson City, NV. He grew up in Piqua, Ohio till 1958 when the family
moved to Scottsdale, Arizona. He attended Scottsdale High School where he
was student body president and valedictorian. After graduation in 1961 he
was accepted by the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.
While at the Naval Academy, Dick sang in the choir and played football for
Navy. Upon completion of his degree from Annapolis in 1965, he was stationed
on the nuclear attack submarine the USS Guardfish. He later became both an
administrator and teacher at the Naval Nuclear Power School. He then earned
an M.A. in Quantitative Economics from the University of Delaware.
He worked in the field of energy and transportation for many years. He was a
legislative assistant in the U.S. Senate and was deputy assistant secretary
in the U.S. Department of Transportation. Most recently, he was energy
advisor to governor Guinn of Nevada.
He was always interested in the mysteries and opportunities of the world
around him. He brought smiles and laughter to those who knew and loved him
and enjoyed life to the fullest. Music was one of his loves and he sang in
choirs wherever he went, most recently in Carson City’s own Chamber Singers.
He will be greatly missed by us all.
He is survived by his wife, Julie, sons Richard III and Ian, daughter,
Megan, his father, Richard Sr., sisters Susan Brasher and Vicki Huber, and
grandsons Colin and Garrett.
- Ralph R. Carver SN(SS) died September 6, 2002. He was a crew member
1985-1987. He was 38.
- Charles V. Church Became COB on USS Henry Clay. Died 2 yrs ago of
unspecified illness in SD. Info provided by nephew, LCDR (ret) Charles Church
(email@example.com).LCDR Church became a submariner in 1981 after grad. from USNA.
Had gotten a Guardfish plaque for his uncle prior to his death. States uncle,
"treasured his time aboard this boat...was one of the reasons he joined this elite group of warriors". 2/1/97
- Shipmate Donald Combs TMC (SS) of 2201 Misty Ridge, North Las Vegas, NV 89032
made his final port-of-call 22 May 2002. He is survived by his wife Alyse.
Donald qualified in USS HARDER SS-568. He also served in USS DARTER SS-576, USS COD
SS-224, USS REMORA SS-487, USS GROWLER SS-577, USS BREAM SS-243 and USS
GUARDFISH SS-612. Guardfish was the only nuke boat he ever rode in 1968.
Information provided by the American Submariner, US SubVets.
Coons of Gig Harbor, Washington died unexpectedly on December 28, 2006 .He
was 70 years old. A memorial service with full military honors at St
Johns Episcopal church in Gig Harbor. Bard was helping with snow removal at
a church function and suffered a fatal heart attack.
Grant W. Corey was the only soul to lose his life in the line of duty
on the USS Guardfish (SSN-612). washed overboard at mouth of Subic Bay 7/72
safety harness failed when large wave took him over the side. never found.
He was just 19 years of age. wife: Merlene K. Corey, Jerome, ID. I want
to apologize for some erroneous information that has taken too long to
correct. While I don't know where the misinformation came from I am truly
sorry for any hurt it might have caused.
Calvin L. "Jim" Cottman
- Calvin L. "Jim" Cottman died on 13 Jan 2002 in Washington State at the
age of 68 of apparent heart failure. He was ship's cook in 1968-1969.
- Jose Cruz CS1(SS) died of unknown causes. He was the ship's first cook
during new construction. He was disqualified because of his physical size,
despite repeated requests from the Commissiong Crew Commanding Officer who declared him the best cook he ever met.
- Richard E. Davidson died March or April 1983. He was from Grand Junction, Colorado.
- We have information provided by an old Navy friend and confirmation from
Social Security records that indicate that Dan Dlouhy, Plankowner died
October, 15 1988. He was 42.
- Scott Emberts Died while driving in Vallejo on July 4th weekend 1981.
Information provided by his shipmates.
Eldridge Van Felder died this morning, Monday March
12, 2007 after a long battle with respiratory ailments. His remains will be
scattered at sea at his request. Chief Quartermaster Felder was a Commissioning
crew member. He will be fondly remembered as a great quartermaster, a friend and
crew member. He was from Gretna, Louisiana. Information was provided by his
David L. Freemon
- David L. Freemon EM1(SS) died 11-21-95 from injuries sustained from a house fire.
He served on board Guardfish from 1980-84. mother: Virginia L. Freemon, 8220 Marie Lane,
Ft. Worth, TX 76123 welcomes all correspondence from shipmates who served with David.
- Chester "Fuzzy" Fasulo from pre-commissioning died in November 1981.
He was originally from Massachusetts. He was 53.
- Basil B. Gokey died in his home state of Wisconsin at the age of 45 in November 1982.
Chief Gokey was on board in the late 60's and early 1970's. His wife Lorraine had died of cancer in 1971 in Hayward, California.
- Cofer L. Gray died on June 6, 2000 while in route to his vacation
home in Florida. Chief Gray was a plankowner and attended one of the early
Nuclear Power Schools at Westinghouse in 1965 with several shipmates from USS Guardfish and USS
Flasher. Cofer Gray served his country for 23 years. Cofer and Jeannette remembered the wonderful
times they had at the big reunion in 1998 in San Francisco. Always in our hearts,
we will remember him as a fine friend and sailor.
- Vernon O. Lee, former IC1(SS) commissioning crew member died of unknown
causes on 7 Oct 1997. He was 58.
- Richard "LeRoy" Lindsay TMC(SS) died of skin cancer in 1983 in Flushing, NY after being misdiagnosed and sent to sea.
- William J. Lorino died of lung cancer on October 20th, 2006.
Lieutenant Lorino was the commissioning crew weapons officer.
MADIGAN, LEONARD R.
On June 1, 2007, 'Earl' of
Somerdale, NJ, age 77 years has joined his Father in Heaven.
He was loved by many, especially his granddaughter Kimberly A. Wilson a.k.a.
'his princess' of Cherry Hill, grandson-in-law Andrew and great grandson
Billy Minerva. Also survived by his estranged children Michael, Patrick &
Shane whom he loved.
He served in the U.S. Navy for 30 years as a cook in submarine services and
following his service, managed the Philadelphia Naval Clubs for 7 years.
- Donald Maihack, Jr. died 8/15/95 after diagnosed pancreatic cancer in May '95.
Information provided by his parents: Mr. & Mrs. Donald F. Maihack, Sr., 900 Center St. Apt. 3B, Des Plaines, IL 60016-6559
- Shearl G. Mason died 20 Oct 2000 of unknown causes. He was 61. Shearl
was ship's cook in Pascagoula.
- Shannon McNerlin Suffered from Liver Cancer, died on September 13, 1996 at the age of 40,
only a few months after diagnosis. Info provided by Mary Lundin-Shannon, Vallejo, California
- Henry A. "Hank" Mezori TM2(SS) died in San Diego March 27, 1990. Information provided
by his aunt: Joan Mezori, 15950 E. Milvern Dr., Whittier, CA 90604
Born July 1, 1946 in Kingsville, TX and passed away Friday April 14, 2006 at
his home in Corpus Christi, TX. He was retired from the U. S. Navy and the
CCAD. While in the U. S. Navy he served a term in Viet Nam and aboard
nuclear submarines, U.S.S. Guardfish and U.S.S. Woodrow Wilson. He was a
VERY GOOD Son, Brother, Father, Grandfather and Friend. He loved children,
darts, horseshoes and to drink a Cold Beer with friends. He is survived by
his mother, Lydia Movick; sisters, Aurelia Bazan, Yolanda Bazan, Irma Luera
and Gloria Loredo (Joe); a brother, Ricky Moreno (Ofelia); Two daughters,
Ana Maria Moreno and Lydia Moreno Tovar (Juan Tovar); A son, Arnoldo Alberto
Moreno, Jr.; Three grandchildren, Juan Guillermo Tovar, Jr., Olivia J. Tovar
and Isabela Gladis Tovar; Also survived by numerous nieces and nephews. He will be greatly missed by his family and
- Durbin D. Nelson, TM1(SS) died September 6, 1999. He was 56.
- Range D. Nielsen served as an Electrician's Mate 3rd Class (SS) on
Guardfish from 1973 through 1975. He died of unknown causes on 19 Dec
1996 in Las Vegas. He was 48. Originally from Utah. Information verified
through Social Security records.
Dennis A. Oltraver, CDR, USN
- Dennis A. Oltraver, CDR, USN, Commanding Officer USS Guardfish (SSN-612)
July-1982 through August 1985, died of cancer. Most well liked for his style and fairness,
he was well remembered by all his crewmembers as a fine CO and a gentleman. He liked being refered
to as a "Fearless Leader".. "Don't worry men, we've got 'em surrounded." His son lives in Southern California.
Ray Papillon, ET2, he served on the USS Guardfish in the early 1980's. He
passed away on April 29,2007 at 20:55 CST in Jennings, La of cancer. He was
assigned to the submarine for a few years.
- Hugh "Jim" Patterson STS2(SS) died in his sleep February 27, 2000. He is
survived by his children Bill, Scott, and Laura. He was placed to rest in Arlington.
Information was sent by his shipmate Ed Y. Johnson USS Guardfish (SSN-612)
- Gerard T. Payne "Gerry" MM1(SS) died of a massive heart failure on April
11th, 2006. Gerry was a member of the pre-commissioning crew.
- Steven Pritchard "The Highlander" TM2(SS) of Cedar Park, Texas died
of a gunshot wound last week (October 1999). He was on Guardfish in 1985.
Information provided by his shipmate, Dale Flatt.
Christopher R. Quijada RMCM(SS)
Christopher R. Quijada RMCM(SS) passed away on Sunday July 6, 2003 after a vigorous battle
with lung cancer. Chris served on Guardfish from 1970-1971. He also
served as RM LPO on USS Cavalla (SSN-684) (1977-1981) and came back as
Chief Of the Boat (1984-1987).
Chris served as a National member of Long Range Planning at SubVets, and
took over as proprietor of SubVets Groton Club from its original
founder, Joe Negri. Chris served as Base Commander at SubVets Groton
where he made numerous improvements for the base, and the Club.
- Merle "Randy" Randolph died on January 1, 2002 after a brief
struggle with brain cancer. Randy was a member of the pre-commissioning
- Willis Scott Rich, 74, of Kailua, a retired Navy captain, died at home
24 August 2006. He was born in Massachusetts. Captain Rich was CO of USS
Guardfish (SSN-612), its Fifth Commanding Officer from March 1973 - July
1975. Mr. Rich was a professor of mathematics at Pacific University in
Hawaii for several years. He is survived by his wife Janis, children,
grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
P. Richards TM2(SS)
- Ronald P. Richards TM2(SS) died suddenly today 6-15-98 of heart failure.
His wife Chris was at his side. "R P" Lived in New Plymouth, Idaho, not far from Payette.
He was originally from Louisiana, in or near New Orleans. RP spent 5 years on the
USS Guardfish (SSN-612) from 1967 through 1972. He had one son.
- Steve J. Rincon FTG2(SS) took his own life October-1990 due to personal
problems almost immediately after returning home from a patrol.
- Lou Roumaya, who was XO on Guardfish from 86- 89 died of a massive heart
attack on Sunday 21 June in Davenport Iowa at his home. He will be buried in
Arlington National Cemetary on July 8th at 3 PM. Lou was CO of Flying Fish after
his XO tour on Guardfish and was a super guy.
- Glen W. Salyers, IC2(SS) died from complications from heart surgery on
September 28, 2001. He was 54. He worked for the NRC in Georgia and was
extremely happy that the Navy paid for his nuclear training. He loved
his memories of Guardfish. He is survived by his wife Joyanna, and
their children. He was originally from Tennesee.
- Richard M. Sanders IC1(SS) "Sandy" died October 30, 2001. He lived in
Orlando, Florida. Sandy served on Guardfish from August 1968 through
August 1969. He was 64.
- David A. Scruggs ETCM(SS) was sent on eternal patrol on April 15, 2001.
He was 57. Chief Scruggs served on Guardfish during the grounding in
1967 and left just about the time of the immediate Change of Command
while in drydock. Sailor, rest your oar. Information provided by
internet and social security records.
- Gerald G. Thuernagle died of Lou Gehrig's disease on December 22,
1998 in Idaho Falls, ID. We had good conversations with him before he died,
and he was in good spirits, and a real trooper to the end.
- William L. Treese STC(SS). Shipmate entered eternal patrol 13
April 2006 from his home town of Warsaw, MO, served as Chief of the Boat on
USS Guardfish (SSN-612) in 1973.
A. Turner EN1(SS)
- Billy A. Turner EN1(SS) died on his 70th
birthday July 25, 2005 in his home state of Tennessee. Information provided
by his shipmate and social security records.
- Raymond Vaughan, who qualified on USS Chopper (SS 342) and later
commanded Guardfish, passed away on 2-11-03 after a long battle with brain cancer.
Ray lost his wife to cancer only a few years before. Mr Vaughan was Commanding
Officer USS Guardfish (SSN-612) February 79 - July 82.
- LT John A. Walderhaug died in California on April, 2002 of a minor
medical ailment. He was 51. He served on board USS Guardfish from 1974
until 1977. His ashes have been interred at the Naval Academy.
- It saddens all of us to learn that our friend and shipmate A. Michael
Whitlock died in North Carolina on October 27, 1994. He was 50.
Nicknamed "Ninety-knot", he was one of the most colorful people to grace
the decks of Guardfish. He is dearly missed by everyone who was lucky
enough to know him.
- Charles R. Whitlock YN2(SS) Commissioning Crew Yeoman died of cancer
c.1994. Information provided by members of SubVets, Inc.
- Grady M. Young MMCS(SS) died 23 January 1996. He was a native of New Orleans, LA.
They will be remembered. They were submariners.
COPYRIGHT ©2001, Dallas Preston,