February 2024 | TSMA News

February 2024 | TSMA News

February 2024

Greetings from the Tennessee Submarine Memorial Association.

Last month the Board did a deep dive, pardon the pun, into our main effort and organized committees to focus our tireless team on moving our project forward. The Board also approved creation of a TSMA Advisory Board, to bring more Submariners, military folks and community leaders onto our team. You can read more about the focus of our committees and the TSMA Advisory Board in this newsletter.

The Board also welcomed new Board Members Mike Patzius, Mike Gorham and Bob Woolf. Mike P. is the newly minted Commander of the Volunteer Base of USSVI, the group that gave life to the TSMA and its work. Mike G. quickly raised his hand at the opportunity to join the Board as our Secretary. Bob has brought an initiative to our project to source ideas from architecture students at Belmont University in a memorial design competition. We’ll have more on this effort next month. More about these Brothers of the Phin follows below.

This monthly newsletter series will keep you up to date on the progress we’re making bringing a memorial to Tennessee to commemorate American Submariners lost in war and peace in defense of the nation.

Please share this newsletter with family, friends and everyone in your network and encourage them to become monthly donors to build a memorial.

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Join us in remembering the boats and crews that were lost in the anniversary month of February.

5 Lost Boats and 375 Lost Sailors including 7 Tennesseans
February 4th
USS Barbel (SS316)
Barbel was lost on Feb 4, 1945 with the loss of 81 men on her 4th war patrol. Based on Japanese records, she was bombed near the southern entrance to the Palawan Passage. The day before, she reported she survived 3 depth charge attacks.
2 Lost Tennesseans on Barbel
Lieutenant Edmund Bixby Kneisel was from Kingsport, Tennessee.
Seaman First Ernest Lynn Ross was from Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Please help us commemorate their service and sacrifice.


February 4th
Lost Tennessean
Chief Pharmacist’s Mate Arthur Castles Beeman was killed by gunfire during a surface battle while going to the aid of an injured officer on February 4, 1943.

February 11th

USS Shark (SS174)

Shark was lost on Feb 11, 1942 with the loss of 59 men on her first war patrol. Shark was the first U.S. submarine sunk by enemy surface craft in the Pacific. She was most likely sunk by depth charges.

February 11th

Lost Tennessean

Pharmacist’s Mate Second Class George Dudley Edwards

The submarine tender USS Canopus (AS-9) received severe damage when hit by heavy bombers on December 29, 1941 and was later scuttled off Manila Bay.  Pharmacist’s Mate Second Class George Dudley Edwards, from McEwen, Tennessee, served on the USS Canopus (AS-9) and died of acute colitis while a Prisoner of War at the Kokura Military Hospital, Kokura, Japan on 11 February 1945.

No Photo Available

February 16th

USS Amberjack (SS219)

Amberjack was lost on Feb 16, 1943 with the loss of 72 men on her 3rd war patrol, off Rabaul. She was attacked by a Japanese patrol plane, attacked by a torpedo boat and then depth charged by a subchaser. One additional man was killed earlier on the last patrol.

February 26th
USS Grayback (SS208)

Grayback was lost on Feb 26, 1944 with the loss of 80 men on her 10th war patrol. She appears to have been caught on the surface in the East China Sea by a Japanese carrier plane whose bombs made a direct hit. During this patrol she sank four ships totaling 21,594 tons and was tied for 11th in the number of ships sunk.

2 Lost Tennesseans on Grayback

Motor Machinist Mate Third Class Milton Lawrence Francis was from Memphis, Tennessee

Commander John Anderson Moore was from Memphis, Tennessee.

February 29th

USS Trout (SS202)

Trout was lost on Feb 29, 1944 with the loss of 81 men on her 11th war patrol. She was sunk by escorts in the middle of the Philippines Basin after sinking a passenger-cargoman and damaging another in a convoy. She carried out several notable special missions, including carrying over two tons of gold bullion out of Corregidor in February 1942 after the surrender of the Philippines.

1 Lost Tennessean

Chief Electricians Mate Robert Luther Hughes was from Winchester, Tennessee

Submarines Lost in World War II


The TSMA Board approved the establishment of a Tennessee Submarine Memorial Association (TSMA) Advisory Board (AB) at the January Directors’ meeting. The Advisory Board will consist of by invitation community leaders and experts who can lend their talents to the objectives of the TSMA. The roles could include, but not be limited to:

  • Aid development (fundraising) efforts by advocating for the creation of a Submarine Memorial and other commemorative efforts.
  • Provide input on TSMA projects.
  • Connect TSMA with key players in the community who can support our work.
  • Serve on TSMA committees.
  • Aid state-wide communication and promotion.

Advisory Board members can aid in bring support from other organizations to support TSMA.


To help organize the various efforts required to carry out TSMA’s goals and objectives the Board established standing committees. Some chairs and committee members have been identified. More will be added.

  • Development (Fundraising) | Chair: Pat Ryan | Members: Mike Anderson, Larry Smith
  • Communications and Outreach | Chair: Pat Ryan | Members: Vinny McCrum, Larry Smith
  • Memorial Site Coordination | Chair: TBD | Members: Pat Ryan, Bob Woolf, Others TBD
  • Memorial Design | Chair: Bob Woolf | Members: Pat Ryan, Others (TBD)
  • Projects (additional works to commemorate lost Submariners outside the Memorial project – i.e. designation of “Submariner Memorial Highways,” and other tributes) | Chair: TBD | Members: TBD


The TSMA is looking for a few good men and women to join our team. Our committees are working on site selection and design, fundraising and communications. If you have interest and skills that you can share to help build a memorial in Tennessee please contact Patrick Ryan (tennsub@gmail.com)


Michael David Gorham (“Mike”)

Qualified on USS Sunfish (SSN649)
U.S. Navy | Radioman
Submarine Duty:
USS Sunfish (SSN649)

Mike got out of the Navy and went to college to pursue a Bachelor of Science (UTM) and then a Master of Science (WKU) in Parks and Recreation Management. His career took him many places, but he spent 30 years in Federal civilian service including about half of that serving the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) at Fort Campbell, retiring in 2019 as the Chief of Sports, Fitness and Aquatics. He now resides in Portland with his wife (Becky) of 39 years and volunteers with Hands of Hope in Portland and his church. They have one adult son who also lives in Middle Tennessee.

Board of Directors Member
Frank Michael Patzius (“Mike”)

Qualified on USS Sargo (SSN583) | 1984
US Navy 1981-1987 | Sonar Technician | STS2(SS)

Served on board USS Proteus (AS-19) in the Nuclear Planning and Repair Department. Assigned to USS Sargo (SSN-583) in 1984. Qualifying in four months while on a Western Pacific deployment. Qualified as Submarine Sonar Supervisor 1985.

Upon separation worked for a DoD contractor installing Noise Augmentation Units on West Coast submarines. Once the contract with the Navy expired went to work in the Pharmaceutical industry as a Maintenance Mechanic for 25 years before becoming a Maintenance Planner for 15 years. Mike and his wife Michelle moved to Clarksville, Tennessee in 2021. Mike currently works as a Maintenance Planner for a Zinc Smelting Plant and plans to retire within the next two years. Mike has a son Ian and a daughter Sierra.



Please contact Patrick Ryan (tennsub@gmail.com)


The TSMA is registered with Kroger Rewards and earns revenue based on your shopping totals — with no charge to you. Your Cheerios and ice cream will help us build a Submarine Memorial in Tennessee. Check out the Kroger Community Rewards program HERE.

Help Build A Memorial to Tennesseans Lost in Submarine Duty in Defense of the Nation

The Tennessee Submarine Memorial Association is a tax exempt charitable organization and donations are subject to treatment in accordance with IRS 501c3 considerations.

The Tennessee Submarine Memorial Association is approved by the Tennessee Secretary of State to solicit charitable contributions for the purposes of our mission.

Tennessee Submarine Memorial Association
309 Church Street, #107
Nashville, TN 37201

Chairman: Mike Anderson
President: Patrick Ryan
Treasurer: Larry Smith
Secretary: Mike Gorham
Board Member: Vinny McCrum
Board Member: Mike Patzius
Board Member: Bob Woolf

Email: TennSub@gmail.com

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