What are you doing now: RETIRED FROM USCBP on 29 April, 2017, after 20 Years and 2 Days with US CUSTOMS/ USCBP. I DONT MISS IT! With my time at the VA, and the ative Navy years I bought back I retired with 36 years of credited Civil service.
I am now now a certified Baseball and Softball Umpire, graduating on 4-18-2017. I'm a Member of the Western New York Umpires Association.
Still married since 1976 to wife number one, and we're living in the Buffalo suburb of Kenmore, New York. We have three grown children, and three grandkids.
I worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center in Buffalo from 93-97. I was hired by the US Customs Service, at the Port of Buffalo-Niagara Falls, New York as an Inspector in 1997. The agency merged into the new Department Of Homeland Security, as the Bureau of Customs & Border Protection (C&BP) in 2004. My last assignment was at our Buffalo International Airport office, located at the Prior Aviation Services (FBO) facility. In September of 2011 I completed a two week course at Harpers Ferry, West Virginia for "Honor Guard" Training. I was proud to be part of the local CBP Honor Guard Team, available for funerals, parades and Color Guard presentaions. I always looked forward to those proud assignments.
I'm the current President of the Buffalo Postcard Club. My collection of US Navy ship,military aircraft and baseball park postcards is huge. Im also an avid baseball fan, following the Cleveland Indians and my hometown Buffalo Bisons.
I am a longtime Outdoor Sportsman, enjoying hunting and fishing. I am an active member of the 3F Club ( Fin, Feather, Fur Conservastion Society) in Lewiston, New York. The group is dedicated to all phases of outdoor preservation, conservation and safe & ethical hunting and fishing activity.
I've been an avid Photographer since I was a kid, with a special interest in taking photos of historic sights and natural scenic beauty, airshows, baseball games and wildlife. Rarely do my photos include people, unless they are part of the "action" in a particular event or scene.
Other Comments: I was an ice hockey official for the local USA Hockey chapter from 1984 to 1998. I really enjoyed reffing, and it helped me stay in great shape for many years. The socializing with fellow officials after games, Refs Softball team, and group events were also fun. The new job with US Customs, and some long term nagging injuries finally forced me to give up reffing. Sometimes I really miss it.
And in October of 2007 I finally followed up on my one of my lifelong ambitions by earning my NAUI certification as a SCUBA diver. It's something I've always wanted to do, and should have done many years ago. Now I'm trying to make up for lost time with as many dives as I can get in. Hoping to add another "skydive" or two to my list of accomplisments as well. Don't ever give up on your dreams, and dont stop having fun!
I lost a pal in my Dad on 4-27-2012 at 0800. Cpl Frank Mottern USAAF (1943-1946) peacefully feathered his engines and "went west' He is loved and missed. He was given an nice sendoff with the Honor Guard from Niagara Falls Air Force Base, rendering "Military Honors'.
I have built an AF-TWS profile for him and became a "Family Member" at that side as well. Please look in on my Dads profile, if you are able as a "guest". its a work in progress as I try to dig up long buried info on Dads USAAF service.
I have recently assumed the "Administrator" role for the USS COD Unit Page here at NTWS. I have a long associoation history of visiting this decorated sub at Cleveland, Ohio. I hope to be able to update an decorate the page with photos. Please visit the CODS page as well as the other profiles Ive built for some special buddies and some Major League Baseball players.
Chain of Command I am now the Administrator for the USS COD Unit Page at NTWS.
Other Memories USS Cod (SS/AGSS/IXSS-224) is a Gato-class submarine, the only vessel of the United States Navy to be named for the cod, the well-known food fish of the North Atlantic and North Pacific.
Her keel was laid down by the Electric Boat Company of Groton, Connecticut on 21 July 1942. She was launched on 21 March 1943 (sponsored by Mrs. G.M. Mahoney), and commissioned on 21 June 1943 with Lieutenant Commander James C. Dempsey (Class of 1931) in command.
She is now permanently moored in Cleveland, Ohio and is open to visitors.
First And Second War Patrols:
Cod arrived in Brisbane, Australia, on 2 October 1943 to prepare for her first war patrol. She sailed from there 20 days later. Penetrating the South China Sea, she contacted few targets, and launched an attack only once, on 29 November, with unobserved results. Returning to Fremantle, Western Australia, to refit from 16 December 1943 to 11 January 1944, Cod put to sea for her second war patrol in the South China Sea, off Java, and off Halmahera. On 16 February, she surfaced to sink a sampan by gunfire, and on 23 February, torpedoed a Japanese merchantman. She sent another to the bottom on 27 February and two days later attacked a third, only to be forced deep by a concentrated depth charging delivered by an alert escort ship.
Third and fourth patrols:
Refitting at Fremantle again from 13 March ? 6 April 1944, Cod sailed to the Sulu Sea and the South China Sea off Luzon for her third war patrol. On 10 May, she daringly attacked a heavily escorted convoy of 32 ships and sank destroyer Karukaya and a cargo ship before the escorts drove her down with depth charges. Returning to Fremantle to replenish 1 June, she cleared 3 July on her fourth war patrol, under the command of Commander James "Caddy" Adkins. She ranged from the coast of Luzon to Java. She sank a merchantman on 3 August, and a landing craft, LSV-129, on 14 August, and, once more successful, returned to Fremantle 25 August.
Cod put to sea on her fifth war patrol 18 September 1944, bound for Philippine waters. She made her first contact, a cargo ship, on 5 October, and sent it to the bottom. Two days later, she inflicted heavy damage on a tanker. Contacting a large convoy on 25 October, Cod launched several attacks without success. With all her torpedoes expended, she continued to shadow the convoy for another day to report its position. In November she took up a lifeguard station off Luzon, ready to rescue carrier pilots carrying out the series of air strikes on Japanese bases which paved the way for the invasion of Leyte later that month.
Cod returned to Pearl Harbor on 20 November 1944, and sailed on to a stateside overhaul at Mare Island Naval Shipyard, returning to Pearl Harbor on 7 March 1945.
Sixth and seventh patrols:
On 24 March she sailed from Pearl Harbor for the East China Sea on her sixth war patrol. Assigned primarily to lifeguard duty, she used her deck gun to sink a tug and its tow on 17 April, rescuing three survivors, and on 24 April launched an attack on a convoy which resulted in the most severe depth charging of her career. The next day, she sent the minesweeper W-41 to the bottom. On 26 April Cod was threatened by a fire in the aft torpedo room, but was saved by the heroism and skill of her men who brought the fire under control and manually launched a torpedo already in its tube before the fire could detonate it. QM2c L.E. Foley and S1c A.G. Johnson were washed overboard while freeing the torpedo room hatch. Foley was recovered the next morning, but Johnson was drowned during the night, the Cod's only fatal casualty during the war.
HNLMS O 19 stuck on Ladd reef After refitting at Guam between 29 May and 26 June 1945, Cod put out for the Gulf of Siam and the coast of Indo-China on her seventh war patrol under the command of Lieutenant Commander Edwin M. Westbrook, Jr. On 9 and 10 July she went to the rescue of a grounded Dutch submarine, O 19, taking its crew on board and destroying the Dutch boat when it could not be gotten off the reef. This was the only international submarine-to-submarine rescue in history. After returning the Dutch sailors to Subic Bay, between 21 July and 1 August, Cod made 20 gunfire attacks on the junks, motor sampans, and barges which were all that remained to supply the Japanese at Singapore. After inspecting each contact to rescue friendly natives, Cod sank it by gunfire, sending to the bottom a total of 23. On 1 August, an enemy plane strafed Cod, forcing her to dive, leaving one of her boarding parties behind. The men were rescued two days later by Blenny (SS-324).
When Cod returned to Fremantle 13 August 1945, the crew of O-19 was waiting to throw a party for their rescuers. During that celebration, the two crews learned of the Japanese surrender. To symbolize that happy moment, another symbol was added to Cod's battle flag: the name O-19 under a martini glass.
Cod sailed for home on 31 August. Arriving in New London, on 3 November after a visit to Miami, Florida, Cod sailed to Philadelphia for overhaul, returning to New London where she was decommissioned and placed in reserve 22 June 1946.
Cod was recommissioned in 1951, under the command of Captain Francis E. Rich, to participate in NATO anti-submarine training exercises. Her Cold War voyages took Cod to St. John's Newfoundland, as well as ports in Cuba and South America. During LANTFLEX '52 fleet exercise, Cod was credited with "sinking" a U.S. aircraft carrier.
Cod was decommissioned in 1954 and placed in reserve. In 1959 she was towed through the newly opened St. Lawrence Seaway to serve as a naval reserve training vessel in Cleveland, Ohio. The veteran submarine was an instant hit with school children who visited her on field trips. Cod was reclassified an Auxiliary Submarine (AGSS-224), 1 December 1962, and a Miscellaneous Unclassified Submarine (IXSS-224), 30 June 1971. In 1971, no longer useful as a training ship, Cod was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register.
Cod is credited with sinking more than 12 enemy vessels totaling more than 37,000 tons, and damaging another 36,000 tons of enemy shipping. All seven of her war patrols were considered "successful" and Cod was awarded seven battle stars.
A handful of Clevelanders formed the Cleveland Coordinating Committee to Save Cod, Inc., to preserve her as a memorial on the city's lakefront. In January 1976, the Navy gave guardianship of the submarine to the group. Cod began her career as a floating memorial in May 1976 when she opened for public tours and quickly established herself as a popular tourist attraction. In 1986, the U.S. Department of the Interior designated Cod a National Historic Landmark.
Cod is now a museum ship in Cleveland, Ohio and is maintained and operated as a memorial to the more than 3900 submariners who lost their lives during the 100 year history of the United States Navy Submarine Force. The public is invited to visit the boat daily between 1 May and 30 September each year.
Cod is one of the finest restored submarines on display. Visitors to this proud ship use the same vertical ladders and hatches that were used by her crew; unlike most other museum submarines, Cod has never had an access door cut in the side of her hull. Cleveland can claim partial credit as Cod's birthplace, since the submarine's four massive diesel engines were built by General Motors' Cleveland Diesel plant on Cleveland's west side.
The Cod memorial recently acquired two GM Cleveland Model 248 engines that had originally been used aboard another World War II submarine, Stingray (SS-186). The two engines will be used for parts for the restoration of Cod's engines.
I first visited USS COD in Clevland in 1975. She had been a Museum Ship for several years after being transferred to the City of Cleveland. Since the late 1950's to the late 60's COD had served as a USNR Training Sub. As such she was and still is in her unaltered WW2 era configuration.
Since becoming a Museum Ship, the COD Volunteers have done a meticulous job of maintaining and refurbishing her to look as if she was still in service. Each bunk has a copy of an authentic Submariners laundry bag. Towells are hung at each bunk. Cans of food are stored in every nook and cranny. The pericsope motors have been restored to working order, and the diesal engines are maintained and run regularly. COD has also benefitted from the fact that she has rested in fresh water since the late 50's. Her hull is in excellent condition and she is painted and cleaned on a regular basis.
If you are ever in Cleveland please take the time to stop by. She rests near Burke Lakefront Airport, near the US Coast Guard Base at the foot of East 9th Street, not far from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, The Cleveland Science Center and the Museum Ship SS WILLIAM MATHER.
Update: Visited COD on 8-7-2013. She is lookin GREAT as always!