T.S. Eliot Quote - Going too far Pirates Home Address Brotherhood Churchhill Religion

There is a hint of reunion in the air. A good idea, long overdue, is coming together. Enough of you have expressed interest to motivate me to push this forward.

We really haven't established anything more than the possibility at this point, but it's looking like Labor Day weekend of 2017 in Orlando, FL, with the USSVI Annual Convention might be a real possibility.

Check the Scuttlebutt in the Reunion Planning forum for conversation as this evolves. Look for updates through the P.O.D., Facebook groups, and the occasional Familygram.

I'll keep you posted!

Some of you are on the dink list, and you know what that means. No libs tonight!

If you fall dink in maintaining your email address current, I find out when I run a periodic newsletter, and guess what, it's that time again.

I'm reminding you, in the sweetest tone of voice possible, to keep your user profile up-to-date, you jack-wagons!. It is especially important to update your email when you change service providers or jobs. Your email address lets us keep you informed with the Familygram newsletter, and without a current email, you can't access the site if you forget your password, so it has to be accurate. But you are the only one that can keep it current.

“My heroes have always been cowboys, and they still are, it seems...”, the old country song laments.

Which is true for me, to a degree, because I have always had great respect for the ‘cowboy code’, and growing up in the high desert of West Texas with saddles and six-guns (really!) certainly helped. There have been athletes, intellectuals, and a few others as well whose characteristics and attributes I admired and even emulated, but I never thought of them as ‘heroes’, if you know what I mean.

The real heroes in my life are those people whose investment in my life, intentional or otherwise, changed who I was and molded me into who I am today. These are the people that I consider myself obligated to simply because I like who I have become as a result of their attention and tutelage.

I was in my office earlier today, uploading Frank Allen’s photos from the 2007 Amoeba Races down at Terry Stanley’s farm in Amsterdam, Missouri. I didn’t make that one, or the one back in ’98, but two years later a gaggle of shipmates (it is a gaggle, right?) from the early eighties got together in San Diego for REGROUPEX09. Maybe it’s a goat-rope of shipmates. It could be a section of shipmates, or better yet, a bar-crawl of shipmates. To tell the truth, I’m not really sure, but I digress.

My point was, that looking through the photos, I remembered what a great time we had when we got together. From the photos from the Amoeba Races, that seems to be true whenever Bates sailors cross paths, and that got me thinking of a reunion again.

It’s been eight years now, and I guess it’s up to me to get the ball rolling. So I jumped on the USSVI website, and guess what? The 2017 USSVI National Convention will be held at the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel in Orlando, Florida next year from August 31st to September 5th. That, my friends, is a sign!

Sad news finds us, even when the bad guys couldn’t. 

It is with a heavy heart that I report the passing of MSC/SS Santiago "Sonny" or "Boots" Butay on 1 August 2016. after a two year battle with cancer. 

Chief Butay served as the MS chief from September 1983 to December 1988. If memory serves, he replaced MSC Michael Rodriguez, a hard act to follow, in the responsibility to see a hungry crew fed.

Sean Butay, Sonny's son and active member here on the ssn-680.org website, we send our condolences on the loss of your father. 

To Chief Butay, “Sailor rest your oar. We wish you fair winds and following seas…”

Frenzied activity stowing lines in the line lockers as the USS William H. Bates (SSN 680) gets underway for yet another daily op! - 1982 (photo by Brad Williamson)
It has been a busy few weeks at SSN-680.org so a brief update is in order.

The biggest battle has been a bug that has caused the “white screen” that users were seeing when they logged in, or if they were able to log in, when they attempted to view a User Profile. What a headache. While it has not been fixed, it has been localized to a particular piece of code, and that code has been turned off while we get it sorted. It still shows up occasionally for admins, but it shouldn’t be a problem for the rest of you. Log in, and let me know if you run into the problem.

Second, we have finally established a full SSL protocol for the site. What this means in plain language is that the entire site, including your log in and registration, is now protected by encryption during your access to the site. You can confirm this in your browser by looking for the little lock in the URL window (in Chrome, the lock and https: turn green, your mileage may vary!) Your browsing is much more secure, and you can remain confident that we are actively working to protect your identity and your experience on the ssn-680.org website.

01 wb fwd 111786 med
The watchbill was an integral part of Navy life. At a glance, you knew your assignment, your team mates, and when you needed to be where. It was a little surprising that something so simple could be a comforting anchor in the midst of the confusion of submarine life.

Looking back thirty years later, the watchbill is a snapshot, a cross-section of submarine life on a particular day in the past. As such, it is a valuable repository of crew information, who served with who when, and that sort of thing. It is even more valuable since so few of them survived.

Joel Stringer generously provided this classic forward in-port duty section watchbill from 1987. 

At ssn-680.org, we know the value of a watchbill. Every name gets cross-referenced to our Master Sailing List, making sure that there is no one we have missed. While that is being done, we have created links for each name on the watchbill connecting directly to User Profiles, for the sole purpose of making it easier for you to reconnect with old shipmates, and help us find those that remain missing.

Current Watchsection

REGROUPEX 20 Countdown

Fund Sailing List Research!

Help fund SSN–680.org research and recover Personnel Diaries and Quarterly Muster Reports from the National Archives, helping us in our goal to identify every sailor that sailed on the USS William H. Bates (SSN 680) and add them to the Master Sailing List.


© 2020 Brad Williamson
and/or the
USS William H. Bates (SSN 680) Association
or respective image owners
All Rights Reserved
Permission is granted for not-for-profit reproduction of text and images under the condition that all attribution as to owner and source is included,
and additionally, when republished electronically, a link to is provided.

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