Kitsap Navy News
Submarine Veterans' organization ends charter
In September 2012, an era will come to a close as the United States Submarine Veterans of World War II ends its charter after being in existence since 1955, according to the Kitsap Navy News. The group began at a national convention in Atlantic City in September 1955 in New Jersey but didn't receive its charter until Reagan became President in 1981. Only two percent of the Navy forces were submarines at that point but submarines were responsible for downing almost 55 percent of all Japanese ships that were sunk. During that time more than 52 submarines were lost at sea with their officers and crews aboard. The organization was originally formed to represent a certain population of men that fought during a limited duration of time and is what eventually led to the organization's demise. Robertson commented, "The organization was distinct. But that distinction, from that time on, made us a dying organization."
The existing group will cease as of September 2012, but another organization known as the United States Submarine Veterans, Inc. was incorporated after 1964 and will welcome members from the World War II group and will seek to preserve the memory of those soldiers lost at sea. The original group was formed largely because of the mortality rate associated with the submarine operators. The motto reads, "To perpetuate the memory of those shipmates who voluntarily gave their lives in submarine warfare; to further promote and keep alive the spirit and unity that existed among submarine crewmen during WWII." Fred Borgmann, National Office Manager for the USSVI said that the original organization had continued to see membership decline due to age and death, but the USSVI continues to rise in membership in submarine veterans. Borgmann noted, "There were still a lot of veterans of World War II around who mentored us and passed on their standards and their discipline. They are all welcome."