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Jan 24, 2019

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1,503 - Jan 241, 2019

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Crew Home Page - Blue & Gold

This web site is dedicated to the men of the Key and their families, and to the 41 for Freedom FBM submarines, anyone else just would not understand.  As George Orwell wrote: "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."  The Crew List of the Key contains the names of those men.

From Greg Ott: The picture on the home page of the Key emergency surfacing was taken in Eluthera Sound at AUTEC during acoustic trials. The photo was taken from the deck of the sound trials ship, not the Pulaski. I was on the boat standing OOD and we staged the picture. The boat came up much closer than anticipated.

    Key News   


January 2019 - New shipmates added in January 2019: Rich, Frank L. 86 - 89; Beard, Percy - Gold CO -73 - 77; Antin, Neil 77- 81  Check Crew List for details.

Jan 24, 2019 . Received news of the recent passing of two Key shipmates; Melher, Paul J missile tech LPO on the blue crew in the late 60s and Beard, Percy M. commanding officer of the gold crew from 1973 to 1977.  The crew of the Key wishes to express their deepest sympathies to the families and friends of these two fine shipmates.  Rest your oars sailors, we have the watch.  Jobs well done.


Jan 24, 2019 - Here is a document that will bring back some memories.  Plan of the Day for 2 July 1981.  For those guys on the dink list, get off the computer and get qualified.  It announces that the Polk had just completed the 2,000th FBM patrol.  That's a lot of patrol pin stars.  Our thanks to Neil Antin for sending it in.

December 2018 - New shipmates added in December 2018: Tedders, Brad 84 - 89

Dec 3, 2018 - We recently lost two Key plankowners.  Charles Vincent a gold crew ET and John Trubee gold crew A-ganger.  Charlie passed away on November 15, 2018 and John passed away on November 30, 2018.  John was one of the founders of the Key reunion committee.  Our deepest sympathies go out to both of their families.  They are together again on patrol on the Key.  Rest in peace gentlemen - Jobs well done.  


     Charles Vincent                       John Trubee       

November 2018 - New shipmates added in November 2018 - Johns, Richard 70 - 73; Mercer, Ronnie 81 - 85.  Check Crew List for details.

Nov 14, 2018 - Received notice of the passing of Richard Dean Johns (aka Richard Eagle).  Richard passed on September 27, 2017 in Colorado.  Richard is believed to have been a missile tech on the gold crew from 1970 - 1973.  If anyone remembers Richard please contact me ( as his wife Sue would like more information regarding his time on the Key.  Thank you for your service shipmate, now rest your oars.   Job well done.

September 2018 - New shipmates added in September 2018 - Bunting, Charles M.  Check Crew List for details.

Sep 17, 2018 - Just added some Polo shirts to the Key's Ship's Store.  Take a look.  All proceeds go to the reunion committee and help pay for the reunions every two years.  Tell your family to shop the Key Ship's Store for things you would really like for Christmas.  You would look great in a Key ball cap.  Click here to go Key shopping: Ship's Store


Sep 6, 2018 - I did a search of the USSVI web site and found several Key shipmates that have passed recently: John S. Yeiser STSCS died 2/21/2018; James B. Lowman EMCM died 10/3/2017; Paul M. Lee MMCM died 7/2/2017; Charles M. Bunting CMC died 3/13/2017; and Donald A. Vincent ENCS died 1/16/2017.  Obituaries can be found in Eternal Patrol.  Rest your oars sailors. Job well done.

August 2018 - New shipmates added in August 2018: Straight, George 76 - 78; Simmons, Stephen 80 - 83.  Check Crew List for details.

August 27, 2018 - I received an e-mail from a sailor off of another sub and he sent along a picture asking if it was the Key.  I remembered the event in the picture well.  It was the Key entering Charleston Weapons Station to off load missiles before heading to Bremerton, WA for Poseidon conversion overhaul.  I asked a few other shipmates if they remembered and David Hall TM2 Blue Crew sent me this:

"I remember that flag for the sail and there was a picture of it with us coming into port in the Charleston newspaper the next day because my parents got a copy of the paper."  Unfortunately David cannot find that old newspaper now but does recall the drooping flag.  It was sewn by the seaman gang during the trip from New London to Charleston in Jan/Feb 1972.  Since this was the Keys first trip back to the states since its first patrol, the COB wanted to make a big display.  Unfortunately the seaman gang had no Betsy Ross in their ranks.  The flag looked sad.  We pulled into the base and there was no one there. Apparently we were several hours early.  No tugs to get us to the pier so we tossed a line to a security guy that had pulled up.  We tied off to the capstans and pulled ourselves along side of the pier.  Once the word got out that we had arrived, vehicles began appearing with base staff and also local family members.  So the flag by then was drooping even more and was taken down.  Nice try seaman gang.  See the newspaper picture below:


May 2018 - New shipmates added in May 2018: Sanders, Daryl 87 - 89; Welliver, Richard 71 - 73.  Check Crew List for details.

May 18, 2018 - Received a few more reunion pictures from Ron Shouse.  Just look on the left column and click on Reunion 18.  Also received 9 pictures of unique Key license plates.  Check them out at the bottom of the Key Papers & Souvenirs area - again on the left column. One more, got a couple of good sea stories from Mike Stanley - gold crew 69 - 72.  Mike thinks he might have saved the Key from destruction - and he might have.  He also tells of the day he almost sunk it.  Good reading at the bottom of the Sea Stories area.

May 16, 2018 - The 2018 Key reunion is complete and all had a great time.  As I receive pictures, I will add them to the site.  Here is a photo sent in by Ron Shouse of some of the crew a few days before the start of the reunion in Branson, MO.

Apr 2018 - New Shipmates added in April 2018 - Zepf, Andrew 89 - 92.  Check Crew List for details.

updated May 1, 2018  Reunion 2018 Attendees - - A final list of shipmates planning on attending the 2018 Key reunion in Branson, MO in May is now available.  Just click REUNION 2018 ATTENDEES.    Any questions/problems contact

Mar 2018 - New shipmates added in March 2018 - Robinson, Stan 75 - 79; Norris, Tim 85 - 90.  Check Crew List for details.

Reunion News Jan 29, 2018:  The 3pm show on 5/10/18 on the registration form has been changed from The Temptations to Amazing Acrobats of Shanghai.  The Temptations schedule changed and they are no longer available for our reunion.  The change has been made on the Reunion form below.

Reunion News Jan 19, 2017: The below e-mail was sent to all Key crew members that have a current e-mail address on file. The e-mail contained the forms necessary to attend the reunion.   If you did not receive this e-mail, then send yours to Diane Singleman at requesting that she send you the forms.

Below is a copy the registration information for our next reunion. Unfortunately, the show schedules for next year are not out yet, so I
talked to some of the theaters and got an idea of what shows they might offer. Therefore there may be some adjustments to the schedule of shows.
If you think you might attend. make your hotel reservations now. You can always cancel, but once the rooms I have put a hold on for us, may
be gone before you decide to definitely attend. If you have any questions or need a copy of the registration form sent, just email or give me a call at 518-355-2119.... Diane

..... Note: the reunion forms were removed from this page after the reunion was over.

Dec 6, 2017 New shipmates added in December 2017- Boddy, Donald 77 - 80; Graves, Melvin 68 - 71; Lambert, Jim 89 - 93.  Check Crew List for details.

December 19, 2017 - Received notice of the passing this week of shipmate William Handley, Gold Crew 84 - 87 A-Gang. Bill's obituary can be found in Eternal Patrol.  Fair winds shipmate.  Job well done.

December 15, 2017 - Received notice of the recent passing of shipmate Lamarr Seader, Gold Crew Plankowner Quartermaster served 1965 - 67 on the Key.  Lamarr's obituary can be found in the Eternal Patrol area.  Rest you oar sailor, Job well done.

Dec 6, 2017 - Been a while since I updated the web site.  I always update it quickly when I receive notice of a shipmates passing.  Glad to say that is has been several months now without such notice.  Otherwise, I update it when I received a few crew list additions or change requests; or when new reunion information is made available.  Things should pick up once the holidays are over and the reunion nears.

Reunion 2018 Information

July 24, 2017 - Reunion 2018 has shifted into high gear!  Well, ok, it has shifted out of park and things are rolling along.  Diane Singleman has just sent me updated information Regarding the upcoming reunion in Branson, MO.  Here is Diane's e-mail:

      Our next reunion is going to be held from  Wed. May 9, 2018 thru Sunday May 13, 2018 in Branson, MO. We will be staying at the Grand 
Plaza Hotel, 245 N. Wildwood Dr., Branson, MO 65616. The phone number for reservations is 417-336-6646. You can start making reservations now. 
Rooms fill up in this area very fast, so once we have our block of 50 rooms we can add more only if she has rooms available for us. So if you 
think you might come, reserve a room now; you can cancel if you can't make it, but not might be able to get a room if you wait too long.
   The room comes with free breakfast buffet, WiFi, etc. & all rooms have a refrigerator. The standard room is $89.00 + tax ( 2 queen size 
beds) & the king suite is $99.00 & has a king size bed. You can get more details on the rooms at their website,
     Be sure to say you are coming for the USS Francis Scott Key Reunion to get our special reduced room rates when you make your reservation.
As always, you can come a few days earlier & stay a few days longer for the same room rates we are being given for the reunion.
    As usual, Wednesday, May 9 will be the day to check in. We will be going on trips or to shows during the day on Thurs., Fri. & Sat. These have not 
yet been determined. There are so many shows, that I am trying to figure out what everyone might enjoy, or should we just let you go off & go to 
your own shows or sightseeing. Saturday evening will be our banquet at the host hotel. I have not yet set up the menu for this. Sunday will be check out.
      Once I have everything figured out, I will email the registration form with costs to everyone who's email address I have on file. If you 
didn't get info on the last reunion, either you never signed up with Russ on the website, or you changed your email address & didn't tell me.
      If you have any suggestions for shows to go see or if you prefer to plan your own day out call me (518-355-2119) or drop me an email     
      ( with your ideas.

Hope to see a great turnout for this reunion!!!
Diane & Al

August 2017 - New Shipmates added in August - Hastie, William J.- CO Blue Crew 75 - 79; Callaghan, David - 74 - 76, Clinton, James - 80 - 82.  Check Crew List for details.

Aug 30, 2017 - Received notice of the passing of Plank Owner Dennis C. Stopen, ET 65 - 70 Gold Crew.  Dennis passed on August 27th.  His obituary can be found in the Eternal Patrol area.  Our deepest sympathies go out to his wife Kathy and all of his family and friends.  Rest your oar sailor.  Job well done.  Below is a picture of Dennis (yellow shirt) and Kathy with Larry Sorensen from the 2008 Key Reunion.

Aug 2, 2017 - Received notice from Frank Thornal of the passing of shipmate Jack Morrow.  Here is Frank's e-mail:

"It is with a heavy heart to have to report the passing of an American Hero, RMC(SS) Jack Morrow. Jack went on eternal patrol this morning, 7-29-2017 I served on the Madison (Blue) and the F.S. Key (Blue) With Jack. I was RM2 on the Madison and Jack came aboard one patrol later, also RM2. I left For shore duty and one patrol later Jack went to shore duty. Both of us made E-6 While on the Madison. He went to the Key and Made Chief. One Patrol later I came aboard Key and I made Chief. So you might say Jack was the reason I made Chief. Jack was more than a shipmate, he was my best friend. Jack partied as hard as he worked. If I remember right I believed he also served on USS Remora SS-487 before coming to the dark side. His wife Kay, the love of his life, preceded him in death. He and Kay are together once again. He will be missed by everyone that knew him, and never forgotten. Rest your oars Chief, and Rest In Peace my friend, you've earned it."

Jack's obituary can be found in the Eternal Patrol area.  Our deepest sympathies go out to his family and friends.  

July 2017 - New shipmates added in July, 2017:  Miller, Donald - Late 60's; Stanley, Mike    69 - 72.  Check Crew List for details.

July 24, 2017 - Received notice of the passing of shipmate Richard "Tim" Wise from his daughter Renee.  Tim lost his battle with cancer on Wednesday, June 28th in Orlando Fl.  His obituary can be found in Eternal Patrol.  We send our deepest sympathies to Tim's family and friends.  Rest peacefully shipmate. Job well done.

July 24, 2017 - Paul Fillmore notified us of the passing of Donald R. Miller.  Don served on the Key in the late 60's as a machinist mate.  He passed away on July 12, 2017 peacefully at home with his wife by his side.  His obituary can be found in Eternal Patrol.  We send our deepest sympathies to Don's family and friends.  Rest your oar sailor.  Job well done.

July 24, 2017 - Paul Fillmore notified us of the passing of James O. Mustin, Key Plank Owner, TMC 67 - 69 Gold Crew.  He passed away on July 17, 2017.  His obituary can be found in Eternal Patrol.  We send our deepest sympathies to James' family and friends.  Smooth sailing shipmate.  Job well done.

April 2017 - New Key Shipmates added in April 2017:  Paul Lyon 73 - 76: Lentz, William 69 -73: Carrier, Tim 91 - Decom; Stanley, Byron 86 - 92. Check Crew List for details.

April 19, 2017 - Announcing the passing of Key Blue XO Charles "Chuck" Harner 67 - 70.  Chuck was a presence at many of the Key reunions over the years.  A gentleman of the first order.  His obituary can be found in Eternal Patrol.  Rest you oars shipmate.  Job well done.

February 2017 - New Shipmates added in February 2017: Anderson, Robert "Bob" 67 - 69; Adamson, Randall 79 - 80. Check Crew List for details.

February 22, 2017 - Received notice from Daniel Petrie of the passing of James Bradsberry, Gold Crew 82 - 88.  He passed on December 1, 2016.  Our sympathies go out to his wife Linda and all his family and friends.  Rest in peace sailor.  Job well done.

KEY NEWS Archives - Be sure to check out the previous years Key news.

2006 Key News 2007 Key News 2008 Key News 2009 Key News 2010 Key News 2011 Key News
2012 Key News 2013 Key News 2014 Key News 2015 Key News 2016 Key News

That's all the news that's fit to print.  We are always adding new material so check in often.  Below most of the section links on the left side of the page is the date that section was last updated.  Check there to see if anything has been added since your last visit.  This is your site so please contribute content where ever you can.  Send your material to


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Key Webmaster is Russ Christie MT1 Blue & Combined Crews 70 - 75 - Please hold your applause.