CAPT Henry E. Phelps USN Ret
September 7, 1999

Ahoy, Bill,

It was last June, just as I was preparing to Chair a Committee at The American Legion Department Convention in San Diego, that I received a letter from "Biff" Baker, then one from William Rice, and then your packet for The Subvets Convention and Raton reunion.

WShen I saw the packet with the roster of Raton shipmates, and the photo, I said to myself, "This is just too good to rush through -- I'll go through it all after my immediate demands are met...".

Oh, yes, I was also working on a history of my local church for a visit of the Bishop on 27 June, and a history of another group I've been in since '79.

So, now the entire Summer has passed without my thanks for your packet and its really enjoyable enclosures.  As I told Rice, the delay happens when an "Old Seadog" doesn't have a good yeoman in the ship's office.

Regretably, as I did tell "Biff", I shall be unable to attend the Convention, even if Reno is not too far away.  I just cannot leave my Elly, who has had three ambulance trips to the hospital from up here in Julian - one by helo.  She has lung probs and congestive heart failure, and my absence for more than a few hours just adds to the stress.

As a charter member of The Naval Submarine League, I see Joe Talbert, just reelected to Pres., S. D. Chapter.  Joe talks up both SUBVETS, INC. and SUBVETS WWII.  Thanks to you, I found a handy application and I have mailed it as directed to become a Life Member.

And, yes I would like to purchase a brick for the Sub Memorial.  Of course, I want a coffee mug.  So, I'm enclosing a check for $40 for the brick.  I guess I send directly to Rausch for the cup.

Again, Bill, Belated thanks for all the effort on this and past reunions, and for helping me generate some memories.

Warm regards,  Hank

P.S.  Tell the Raton gang, "It's time to put in an equalizer" for a full - power run.
Larry Smith
EN1(SS) 1966 - 1967
3 Sept 1999

Dear Bill,

I'm not going to be able to attend the convention in Reno.  I would like to but there is no time.  Maybe next time.  I recall another sailor who was aboard Raton during 66-67, Earl Fleck IC3(SS).  If you see Biff Baker and Greg Batey or Lee Bicknell, say hello to them for me.

Sincerely,  Larry Smith 
From Charlie Hill
ENC(SS) 1957 - 1960; 1962 - 1964

The Raton being my first submarine - which I first saw, in the Philadelphia Shipyard drydock in two pieces - and saying "I would never go aboard that boat." 

But!  That "Boat" turned out to be "A" great and rewarding experience.  In the Good, the Bad and of course the indifferance.  In such that, there were several enjoyable WESTPAC cruises, etc.

With the most horrifying being getting the ASW antenna knocked off.

There were other boats - Pomodon, Bluegill - yet the old Rat Fish has been the greater of them all, in my seafaring as a submariner.

Charlie Hill