USSVI was founded in Groton, Connecticut in July 1964.
The UNITED STATES SUBMARINE VETERANS INC. was started by a group of United States
Submarine Veterans of World War II. They shared a belief in the need of an organization open to all
submariners, from the very beginning of the Submarine Service through to the present and into the future
- not limited to just those who served so ably in the second World War.
They wanted to make it known that those lost on Submarines, in the line of duty for their
country, will never be forgotten.
In Groton Connecticut, the 'Submarine Capital of the World', the above group started contacting
past shipmates. Favorable responses came from Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and many more
In 1963 members from CT, MA, NJ, NY and PA held several meetings in Groton, CT, Paramus, NJ and
Orange, NJ to firm up plans for what was to become the U.S. SUBMARINE VETERANS INC. The final meeting
was held in Orange, NJ and the United States Submarine Veterans was born.
It was several months later that the organization was officially chartered and incorporated in
the State of Connecticut. The shipmates listed on the charter are DJ (Joe)Negri, Joe Marion and KO Walkington.
The members who did the ground work in starting the organization were as follows: Dick Higman, Dusty May,
Joe Webb, Mike Drucker, Bob Link, Wes Aldag, Tom Rowan, Joe Burgress, Warren Gannon, Joe Conrad and Wop Lapadozza
in addition to the three named on the charter.
The Groton base started immediately and held meetings at the K of C in Groton. The attendance at
these meetings was between 60-75 members. Joe Negri was elected the first state commander and Dick Higman was
the first base commander. About a year later it was determined that they needed their own building and it
was voted to sell raffle tickets (1000 tickets at $10 each) for a gold Cadillac to raise the money for the down
payment on the present home at 40 School Street.
The base building on School Street became a reality in 1966. Due to the fact that the Groton
USSVI/Base was incorporated within the state of Connecticut and they had their own building, it was voted that Groton
become the National Headquarters of USSVI.
USSVI regular membership requires that you currently are (active duty) or were (retired/seperated)
qualified in submarines. Other persons interested in submarines, especially tender personnel or other submarine connnected
occupations,are also welcome to join as associate members.
The details of the USSVI organization can be seen on the National USSVI site Located at:
http://ussvi.org, including the location of all USSVI bases at:
http://ussvi.org/States.asp. There are also two internet
bases not related to a specific location(Cyberspace Base and Lockwood Internet Base), and a "members-at-large" (MAL)
category, for those who don't belong to any particular base.
A local unit of USSVI is called a "BASE". This term is equivalent to "POST"
as used by the American Legion and VFW.