Sailors Honor Lost World War II Submarines, Submariners

Story Number: NNS120525-07Release Date: 5/25/2012 5:05:00 AM
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By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Chris Brown, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Det. Northwest

KEYPORT, Wash. (NNS) -- More than 200 Sailors and civilians attended the "Tolling of the Boats" ceremony hosted by members of the U.S. Navy Bremerton Base Submarine Veterans (SubVets) at the Naval Undersea Museum in Keyport, Wash., May 24.

The "Tolling of the Boats" ceremony has been held on Memorial Day weekend since 1977. The ceremony is a recognition and tribute to the boats and men of the United States Submarine Navy lost during World War II.

Capt. Brian Humm, commanding officer of the USS Ohio (SSGN 726) Blue crew, delivered the opening remarks at the ceremony.

"Today's ceremony is about honor, courage and commitment," said Humm. "Today is a great opportunity for us to reflect on those that have gone before us, who have established our traditions, and who have proven through their sacrifices, that honor courage and commitment are more than just words."

Retired Capt. Stan Marks, a member of the USS Medregal (SS 480) during World War II, attended the ceremony to remember his friends and shipmates who passed away.

"It's great to give recognition to all those who served with me and to those who came before me," said Marks. "We need to remember those who lost their lives on submarines that did not return."

At the end of the ceremony, the names of the 52 submarines lost during the war, along with the fate of its crew were read by retired Master Chief Machinist's Mate Harry Gilger. A ceremonial bell was then rung by retired Chief Electrician Robert Paul.

"These boats are forever on patrol," said Gilger.

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