USSVI Holland Club - April 2001 Inductees at Seattle Base Meeting

Left to Right

Top Row: Claude Cunningham, Ted Taylor, Robbie Robertson, Angus McDonald

Bottom: Ike Peterson, John Fankhouser, Chuck Stewart, Erv Schmidt

The HOLLAND CLUB is an exclusive group within the SUBVETS organization where the requirements for eligibility are a minimum of 50 years qualified in submarines, and a LIFE member of the USSVI organization for 1 year, or a regular member for 5 years.

Claude Cunningham          [top of page]

Claude Cunningham entered the Navy in November 1942 shortly after graduating from High School. After Fire Control Technician school he volunteered for Sub duty and took a short basic course in submarines in San Diego before reporting aboard USS S-23 in 1943. Shortly thereafter he was reassigned to USS Tautog and remained with her through the war, putting Tautog out of commission in 1945.

Transferred to Burrfish, Claude suffered through a vicious Caribbean storm that badly damaged Burrfish. Following repairs at Coco Solo, Burrfish returned to New London and was put out of commission. In rapid succession Claude put several other subs out of commission (Billfish, Crevalle, Cabrilla) and then spent 3 years aboard USS Raton. Shore duty on the reserve boat Gunard in Tacoma came next, followed by duty in Seattle.

Claude retired from the Navy in 1963 and resides in Puyallup. He has retained his strong interest and alliance with submarines and submariners in US Sub Vets of WW2 and USSVI.


Issac "Ike" Peterson          [top of page]

Ike Peterson was born in North Dakota in 1923, but raised in Vancouver and Victoria BC. When WW2 started, Ike headed for Seattle and joined the Navy in 1942, attending boot camp and Quartermaster school in San Diego. Without the benefit of sub school, Ike 'bribed' his way onto a relief crew aboard the sub tender Holland and was able to get himself assigned to Snapper, qualifying in 1943 and participating in five successful war patrols.

Wars end found him in a relief crew on Midway where he was assigned to Sea Robin for transport to Japan to crew a Japanese submarine back to the U.S. This was cancelled and Ike was transferred to New London, CT after which Ike was transferred to Bremerton for discharge in December 1945. Following the war, Ike remained in the Navy Reserve for four years while attending University of Oklahoma. Ike retired following a 35-year career with Boeing. Although retired He has retained his strong interest in submarines and submariners in US Sub Vets of WW2, USSVI and the Naval Submarine League.

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Sadly, Ike went on Eternal Patrol on May 9, 2007.  Here is a portion of an obit on Ike: Isaac Lorrain PETERSON March 28, 1923 ~ May 9, 2007 Ike, as known by his family and friends, passed away quietly on Wednesday evening in the hospital in Hoquiam, Washington. Ike was born in Sheyenne, North Dakota to Harry and Lucy. He spent WWII as a submariner on the USS Snapper and then graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 1950. He worked and retired from Boeing as an aerospace engineer.


Ted Taylor          [top of page]

Ted Taylor joined the Navy in October 1946 and following boot camp, EM "A" school and Sub School, Ted reported aboard Cusk, the first guided missile boat. He then transferred to Carbonero, another guided missile boat, qualifying aboard her. He became a plank owner aboard USS Tiru in 1948, later serving aboard Cabezon and Entemedor. Ted then changed from EM1 to IC1, attending IC "B" school before reporting to Flying Fish, then Sarda and Amberjack. He was part of the turn over crew for Jack when she was transferred to the Greek Navy, afterwards being assigned to the Compass Island.

Transferred again, he became a plank owner of Observation Island, a Polaris Missile test ship, and then did 3 deterrent patrols aboard Patrick Henry, followed by shore duty at the Polaris facility at Charleston, SC.

Ted retired from the Navy as a CPO in August 1966 but has retained his strong interest and ties in submarines and submariners in US Sub Vets of WW2, USSVI as well as his good work with VFW and the VA hospitals.


Angus McDonald          [top of page]

Angus McDonald grew up in the town of Limerick, Maine and went to the Naval Academy in June 1944. He graduated in 1947 and went straight off to the destroyer Leary (DD 879) out of Newport, RI. He went to Submarine School in July 1949 and then was assigned to the Spikefish (SS-404) where he qualified in April 1951. Angus then was assigned to the Sea Robin, which was undergoing a Guppy Conversion in Portsmouth, NH. In 1954 Angus went to Post Graduate School in Monterey, CA for the three-year program in Electrical Engineering.

His next duty was in Hawaii for five years including one year on ComSubPac staff, two years as Executive Officer of USS Sterlet (SS-392), one year as Squadron Engineer, and Commanding Officer of Barbero for one year. He then entered the nuclear program and was CO USS Ulysses S Grant (Gold) from commissioning in 1964 to 1967, conducting five deterrent patrols.

After a three-year tour in the Pentagon, Angus then served for three years as Commanding Officer, US Submarine Training Center in Hawaii. Following Captain McDonald's Navy retirement in June 1973, at which time he was awarded the Legion of Merit, Angus worked in the nuclear power industry for ten years. Living in Clyde Hill, near Seattle, he enjoys fishing, golf and writing.

In addition, Angus is the author of "Real Story of Scorpion?" which was published in the June 1999 edition of the Naval Institute Proceedings, and he writes occasional articles for "Scuttlebutt", the quarterly publication of the USS US Grant Association


Ervin Schmidt          [top of page]

Born in Germany, Erv immigrated with his family at a young age to Marshfield, WI. Erv enlisted in US Navy in 1940, and after boot camp went to Radioman school. He was then assigned to the battleship California and was aboard when she was sunk at Pearl Harbor. Erv survived thanks to some shipmates that carried him to the main deck after he had been overcome by fumes.

Next ship for Erv was the USS Chicago, a cruiser, which was badly damaged in the battle of Savor Sound, repaired and back into the war. In 1943 while still on the Chicago, Erv survived its sinking in the Solomon Island's campaign. Tired of his surface craft being sunk, Erv volunteered for the submarine service, made 4 war patrols on the Saury, and then transferred to the Torsk. Erv was still on the Torsk when she fired the last torpedoes of the war, giving him the unique distinction of participating in both the first and last battle of WW2.

Erv is an active member of Lockwood Chapter USSV WW-II, and Chaplain and plank owner of Seattle Base, USSVI. Erv lives in Edmonds with his wife June and they spend their winters in sunny Arizona.


John Fankhouser          [top of page]

John is a native Washingtonian and prior to WW II John worked in the forest logging industry for a number of years and was a choke setter for six years. He learned, however, that the life expectancy of a choke setter was six years and figured it was time to get out of that profession. John enlisted in 1941 right after the Pearl Harbor attack. After boot camp and Torpedoman school in San Diego, John volunteered for submarine service, was assigned to the USS Porpoise, one of the last riveted hull submarines. On patrol Porpoise was damaged by depth charges, the riveted fuel oil tanks started leaking leaving tale tell oil slicks. She was sent to the yards for repair and then back into action. Depth charged again, she again started leaking oil, so on return to port, the Navy decided to take the Porpoise out of action and use her for a school boat. John remained with Porpoise until the war ended. He left the Navy as a first class Torpedoman after the war.

John was a painter during his civilian work life. John is an active member of Lockwood Chapter, USSV WW-II and a plank owner of SEATTLE BASE, USSVI. He lives in Seattle with his constant companion Goldie, his Golden Retriever.


Chuck Stewart          [top of page]

Growing up in the Puget Sound area, Chuck joined Navy in April 1942, did boot camp in Idaho, and a 4 months signal course at University of Chicago. Chuck was just about to be assigned to surface craft when he volunteered for submarine service. After sub school, he reported aboard the R-6, an old submarine that patrolled the east coast and was a training  boat.

After 15 months aboard R-6, Chuck finally got a transfer to the USS Cutlass in 1945. Chuck made one Pacific war patrol on the Cutlass and then the war ended. Following discharge Chuck worked for Kieckhoeffer Co. (Mercury Outboard Motor Co.)

Chuck is a member of Lockwood Chapter USSV WW-II and plank owner of SEATTLE BASE, USSVI and he and his wife Delores make their home in Bellevue.

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Sadly, Chuck went on Eternal Patrol on May 4, 2007.  An obituary follows:

The Memorial for Chuck Stewart (see photo, first row, second from right) will be held at the Historic Kirkland Women's Clubhouse, 407 First Street, Kirkland, WA on Sunday, May 20th beginning at 5:30 p.m., followed by a reception until 9:00 p.m.

With loved ones present, Charles Edward Stewart "Chuck" passed away at his home at Juanita Beach in Kirkland on Friday, May 4th. He was 85 and had been ill since mid-March. Born in Tacoma, September 28, 1921, he spent his early childhood in Wenatchee. His family relocated to Capital Hill in Seattle where he attended both Summit School and Broadway High School. At the corner of Broadway and Roy was the family business - Stewart's Ice Creamery. Chuck remained an ice cream connoisseur for his entire life. Seattle looked very different in the years he grew up on Capital Hill. There was no freeway, so he could see only trees from his bedroom window on Olive Way and Melrose all the way down to Lake Union. When it snowed, you could really get some speed shrieking down the hill toward Lakeview - "like going down a chute!"

He attended National Guard meetings and used the gym in the old Armory that was on Western Avenue. He and his friends would walk from their neighborhood all the way down Pike Street through the Market and down to the (then still working) waterfront. If they managed to get aboard a ship, it was a great adventure. Mostly they'd sit out on the end of a pier talk about going to sea some day.

After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, he joined the Navy and served on submarines during both World War II and the Korean War. The first time he experienced a sub slip beneath the waves, Chuck thought "this is the greatest thing since the wheel." He loved the boats and going to sea, where he had "been off the coast of almost everywhere." He attended the University of Washington in the late 1940's. His love for the Puget Sound region kept him here for most of his life, working in the marine industry until retirement. He was active for many years in U.S. Submarine Veterans of World War II, and at one time served as President of the local Seattle Lockwood Chapter. He was also a Holland Club member of US Submarine Veterans Inc, Seattle Chapter.

In the early 1960's Chuck had his last big thrills in open water. These wild marathons as he called them were two 770 mile trips from Ketchikan to Seattle in 19' fiberglass catamarans, each equipped with 2 Merc outboard motors. Those rigs he said had a lot of power and were both quick and able to drive through some pretty tough stuff. Whether thrilling or sobering, his life experiences to him were all adventures. But most important to him was his love of family and friends. He will be missed by many who loved him, especially his wife of 42 years, Dolores, their daughter, Morgen Stewart, his daughters, Lynn Calman and Jan Stewart, and his two grandchildren, Lisa Wooden and Geme Beau Calman. A Navy submarine burial at sea is planned. The Memorial will be held at the Historic Kirkland Women's Clubhouse, 407 First Street, Kirkland, WA on Sunday, May 20th beginning at 5:30 p.m., followed by a reception until 9:00 p.m. No flowers please. Donations in his name may be made to World Vision and The Smile Train.


Robert "Robbie" Robertson          [top of page]

Robbie was raised in Pittsburgh, Pa, and upon graduating from High School in 1943; he enlisted in the Navy, and did boot camp at Bainbridge, Md., volunteering for sub school out of boot camp. He was sent to Class A EM School, in fall of 1943, then on to battery school, gyro school then torpedo school. With all this knowledge, Robbie was sent to Tirante, a new construction sub then off to war, qualifying in January 1945. Following war's end Tirante and Robbie returned stateside and Robbie married his sweetheart Terry in Oct. 1945.

He left the Navy after the war but re enlisted in 1947 and went to ET school, then to Amberjack in Key West for four years, including 6 mo TAD aboard Odax. In 1952 he went to the Seawolf nuclear prototype in West Milton, NY.

Robbie then reported to Electric Boat in 1954 for commissioning of the Seawolf where he rose in rate to Chief, Warrant and then Lieutenant, earning his gold dolphins in 1958.

Selected by Rickover in 1960 as a projects officer, Robbie was kept very busy on assorted jobs until 1965 when he transferred to the sub tender Nereus as assistant repair officer, then to Sub Base, Pearl Harbor as Repair Officer until 1970. Robbie transferred to NAVSEC as Project Manager for Submarine Antennas in Washington D.C. and finally back to the west coast to Puget Sound Navy Shipyard as Submarine Type Desk Officer monitoring overhauls and doing the paper work and financial part of overhauls until his retirement as Commander in December 1974.

Robbie is very active in the USSV WW-II having held many offices, both nationally and in the State Lockwood Chapter. He is a founding member and Treasurer for SEATTLE BASE USSVI, Treasurer for the Tahoma National Cemetery Support Group and the participates in the Tirante Association, plus he tries to find time for fishing and trap shooting. Robbie and his wife Terry make their home in Seattle.

Thanks to Pat Householder for the above content and photo! - Page updated May, 2007.

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