Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Boise Submariner Passes

Yesterday in our local paper I saw the obituary of Robert Asin, who passed away at age 83 93. Here's the section that describes his time in the service:
At the start of WWII he enlisted in the Navy and because of his experience, he was sent to Texas A&M for an advanced electronics degree, finishing a three year curriculum in six months. He volunteered for submarine service and was assigned to the USS Skipjack. He was Chief Petty Officer in charge of the ship's radar systems. His time was spent in the Pacific where he was on numerous war patrols. He proudly served his country until his discharge in 1945.
This story of his service was impressive, but here's the part of his life story that touched me the most:
Bob is survived by his wife of 69 years, Doris...
If only all of us could be so lucky. Sailor, Rest Your Oar.

Update 1027 20 Aug: Corrected a typo in Bob's age.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob got married at 14? Or his wife is 69 years old?

8/20/2009 9:31 AM

Blogger 630-738 said...

The Greatest Generation is leaving us at a rapid pace. If you haven't sat and talked with a WWII vet and are given the opportunity, I strongly recommend you do so. They have incredible stories to tell.

Rest in Piece, Chief.

8/20/2009 10:16 AM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

Sorry, got the age wrong; he has 93. Correcting. They were married in 1940.

8/20/2009 10:25 AM

Blogger Srvd_SSN_CO said...

69 years. I can only hope to make it that long.

8/20/2009 3:08 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

some spooky stuff going on here!!!

I chased down a WWII submariner here in Weaverville I was turned on to during our fourth of July Parade this year. After several phone conversations finally met him. His name is Bob Talbot. He was an Electricians Mate on USS Skipjack SS-189 and made two war patrols on her. He is pretty frail and is now living with his son who owns an electrical contracting business in town. Gonna print your post Bubblehead and pass it on to Bob.

Our Redding CA Cuttlefish Base USSVI has five active WWII members. We've lost two so far this year to Eternal Patrol.

Posted previously on this blog that the last WWII submariner I served with was EMCS(SS) Bob Norris who came aboard Barbel following decomissioning of his previous boat USS Pomfret. He was COB and was "surfaced" in 1972 during the big Bupers purge of conventional submarine enginemen and electricians in conjunction with retirement of all the guppy and fleet snorkel boats. He did his "twilight tour" on USS Charles Berry a diesel electric DE homeported in Pearl.

We gotta start collecting the enlisted WWII submariners oral histories!! The "O" gang write books and if they've made it to flag many have their oral histories collected by the NIP. No one is getting the enlisted stories!! I've done two WWII submariner Oral Histories. One published in American Submariner in Winter 2003. The other guy, ENC(SS), I collected his oral history of his service on the Yangtze Patrol on two river gunboats in 1939-40. He reenlisted in the Nav when he discovered he'd be eligible for the draft when discharged in late 1940. Went to SubScol in 1941 and claims as an Asiatic Fleet Sailor he didn't take any shit of Chief Spritz. He spent the next twenty years in Submarine Force with war patrols in "S" boats and fleet boats. Both histories are donated to the NPGS Library in Monterey CA. I've got one more inline. He was a QM, qualified, War Patrol pin from a patrol on USS Baya and then was discharged for being underage!! Invited back by the Nav after turned 18 in early 1946 and wound up on USS Skate one of the Bikini bomb test ships. It's a hell of a story!!!

Chief Asin, rest your oar, we'll miss you.

Keep a zero bubble.........


8/20/2009 4:08 PM

Blogger 630-738 said...

Oops. I just noticed I wrote Rest in Piece. I meant Rest in Peace. No disrespect intended to Chief Asin.

8/20/2009 4:26 PM

Blogger Rubber Ducky said...

"We gotta start collecting the enlisted WWII submariners oral histories!!"

A master of oral history has done just that. Paul Stillwell of the Naval Institute has collected a wide range of submarine tales from the guys who were there. I highly recommend it:

8/20/2009 5:35 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

For my fellow Aggie, I will simply answer "here"...

and for a fellow submariner I will say "Sailor rest your oar".

Rest in peace.

8/20/2009 7:35 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info about Stillwell's book, I ordered it tonight. Agree strongly with 603-738's recommendation to speak with WWII vets, I have heard some amazing stories from these guys. Volunteer at your local VA hospital, that's were you will find a lot of them, also find them in USSVI bases. (We have 5).
We are honoring WWII Subvets at a Submarine Ball in Jefferson City Mo this weekend, have 7 of them attending. The Ball is a fundraiser for the USS Missouri SSN-780 commissioning committee, we have crew contingents from 3 SSN's attending, some of who will participate in a Tolling of the Boats. The WWII vets that are attending have a combined total of 28 war patrols between them-there will be plenty of stories!


8/20/2009 9:07 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


I served with two of the guys Stilwell interviewed. TMCM(SS) John Stein was CMAA on CSP Staff when I was in the N61 shop there 75-77. TMCM(SS)Bob Brown was my sponsor for CPO initiation in 68. We were both at FltSubTraFac Ford Island. He gave me his collar devices as he was promoting to E-8 same day.

Recently heard a great story about John stein when he was a TM1(SS) from one of his shipmates who lives in Chico CA. Took place on USS Bluegill SSK 242 around 59-60.

Supposedly John removed the breech door from one of the forward room torpedo tubes and took it topside to sand it down so he could get it to shine. He supposidly didn't get an ok to do it, just went ahead and unbolted it from the hinge ass'y and took it topside and started sanding. WTF!!! Yaaah, thats the way it was in those days, even billy goats in the engine room!!!

Keep a zero bubble...........


8/20/2009 10:56 PM

Anonymous Jim Armstrong said...

I had the honor to sit next to a Navigator from a B-29 who flew missions over Germany in WW-II. Facinating hearing his recollections.

8/21/2009 6:14 AM

Blogger 630-738 said...

My father in law was an infantryman in WWII. He drove a bulldozer helping to build runways in the Pacific Theater. He was aboard LST-809 during the Battle of Iwo Jima, and later on the island. Even after the battle was "over", they were still encountering Japanese soldiers who would not surrender.

He is fond of telling a tale of a Kamikaze attack on LST-809. He says he would be most likely dead today were it not for a Navy gunner who manned a gun mount and cut the airplane, and the pilot, in half. He says he saw the upper half of the pilot's body fall out of the cockpit and into the ocean. The plane did not impact LST-809.

I could listen to his stories for hours.

8/21/2009 6:45 AM

Blogger I R A Darth Aggie said...

he was sent to Texas A&M

Gig'em, brother Ag.

8/21/2009 7:39 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


My father is not too far from you up in Butte City. ENC(SS) Ervin P Weston. He made 3 war patrols in the Pacific. Yes, I agree with the others, that we need to talk to these guys before we lose them all.

May God bless you Chief Asin

CWO3 (ret)

8/21/2009 2:43 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I R A Darth Aggie,

Only way you'll convince me that your a "real" Texas Aggie is to tell all of us here what the ingredients are for an "Aggie Martini".

Keep a zero bubble...........


8/21/2009 9:36 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aggie Martini -- Lone Star longneck and a bottle opener.

8/23/2009 5:40 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aggie Martini is a Pearl Beer with a booger in it. Source: Texas Aggie AF Colonel, "B-52 crewdog" I worked for at Castle AFB in early 90's.

Keep a zero bubble.........


8/23/2009 1:26 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last Saturday I was a USSVI Docent on USS Pampanito SS-383 the museum submarine at Pier 43 in San Francisco. I had the great pleasure to meet the son of Lt. G. E. Brown Jr., the senior surviving officer of the USS Sculpin SS-191. He told me the story of her loss as his dad told him. I had some knowledge of the story as Capt. John P. Cromwell was aboard Sculpin and elected to ride the boat down when she was scuttled to avoid capture.

Mr. Brown told me his dad told him that after surfacing following a severe depth charging, the first salvo of 5 inch shells from a Japanese destroyer hit the bridge. It killed the skipper, XO, and Gunnery Officer and the gun crews on the 20MM's on the sponson forward and cigarette deck aft. Lt. Brown who was a reservist was the senior surviving officer and made the decision to scuttle. There were 41 survivors in the water that were picked up by the Japanese and taken to Truk. They were then split up with 21 put on the carrier Chuyo, and 20 put on the carrier Unyo.

Brown was one of the "lucky 20" on the Unyo and made it to a POW Camp in Japan. The 21 on Chuyo went down with that ship when she was torpedoed by Sculpins sister ship Sailfish Formerly Squalus.

Mr. Brown was very proud of his fathers service on Sculpin. He told me that when he visits San Francisco he makes a trip to the Pompanito to reflect on his dads submarine service and experinces. While he can never experience what the Sculpins crew did that day, being in the "rig-for-red" Control Room on Pampanito gives him a sense of it.

There was an urgency in Browns voice as he told me his dads story. As a submariner, he knew I would understand it's importance and would appreciate his dads service.

I asked him if there were any questions I could answer for him. He said, "No, I just like to visit here, it puts me in touch with my dad."

Quite a day!!

Keep a zero bubble..........


8/31/2009 12:38 PM


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