Welcome to USS Colorado (SSN-788) Commissioning Committee web site. USS Colorado (SSN-788) is the 15th Virginia Class submarine and is currently under construction at Electric Boat shipyard in Groton, Ct. It is expected to be commissioned in October or November 2017. The committee's purposes are to promote awareness within the state, provide support for the crew, and to help organize and raise money for the events surrounding commissioning.

25. September 2016 · Comments Off on Committee Hosts Gala and Auction · Categories: Committee Event, Crew VIsit, Gala

USS Colorado Committee held their fund-raising Gala and Auction on September 17th at Charles Schwab’s Event Center at their new campus in Lone Tree. About 180 persons attended the event including the three visiting crew members.

The event opened with a cocktail hour at the hosted bar. The weather cooperated with a beautiful September day, allowing open access from the event center onto a terrace with spectacular views of the mountains. About 40 silent auction items were available for people to bid on. The Committee incorporated an on-line auction function that allowed persons not able to attend the Gala to bid on silent auction items.

The emcee for the evening was Steffan Tubbs, KOA morning show radio host and President of Mountain Time Media  whose recent movie production ACRONYM: The Cross Generational Battle Withe PTSD focuses on this challenging problem facing many of our veterans. Steffan has been a great supporter of USS Colorado since the very beginning.

The event’s keynote speaker was Walter Borneman, historian and author ( www.walterborneman.net ). He is the author of the national bestseller The Admirals: Nimitz, Halsey, Leahy, and King — The Five-Star Admirals Who Won the War at Sea. His most recent book is MacArthur at War: World War II in the Pacific. He gave a compelling talk weaving in history of previous USS Colorado’s, submarine traditions and the future USS Colorado (SSN 788).

The Executive Officer, LCDR Stephen Col surprised the two crew members he brought with him by presenting them each with awards. STS1(SS) Michael McKenna was awarded Sailor of the Quarter for PCU Colorado and MMA2(SS) Eric Robinson was awarded the Navy Achievement Medal for service while on temporary duty to USS Illinois (SSN 786).

In addition to donating use of their event center, Charles Schwab provided support in numerous ways. Fifteen volunteers from the company helped with the auction and merchandise sales throughout the evening. Individual Schwab employees were also participants in the event, purchasing tickets and tables, donating auction items and bidding both during the silent and live auction phases.

Scott Alexander of the Kildow Auction Company donated his time and expertise in conducting the live auction. There were ten items up for bid including a golf foursome at the private Sanctuary golf course, a two day John Fielder photo workshop, signed Broncos memorabilia, a special USS Colorado edition Kota Longboard, a special USS Colorado commemorative edition 44 magnum Henry rifle and a model of the submarine mounted on decking from the battleship USS Colorado (BB 45) which saw action in WWII and was decommissioned in 1947.

We were honored to have many veterans present, including two WWII vets, Andy Palenchar and Sonny Coleman and a Korean War vet, Loyd Bates. Also in attendance was Broncos football legend Billy Thomson, a 13 year veteran with the team and a Ring of Fame honoree.

In addition to Sponsorship by Schwab we had some of our other sponsors present. Richmond American Homes Foundation, the presenting sponsor for Commissioning, was present and invited several veterans to join them. Left Hand Brewing once again supplied the beer for the event and Balistreri Vineyards supplied the wine.

A core group of committee members were instrumental in putting the event together, especially the Event Planner, Natalie Sanderson.

All in all it was a great evening, raising about $30,000 towards the Commissioning Committee’s goal.

For more pictures of the event visit here.

25. July 2016 · Comments Off on Commissioning Committee to Host Gala and Auction · Categories: Committee Event, Gala

The USS Colorado (SSN 788) Commissioning Committee is proud to announce a fundraising Gala and Auction on September 17th. The event will be held on the Charles Schwab Campus in Lone Tree, CO at 5:30 PM. The evening’s emcee will be radio host Steffan Tubbs.We are pleased to have award winning author and historian Walter Borneman as the keynote speaker.

The event will start with cocktail hour followed by a buffet dinner.  Silent auction bidding will occur during this time. Our auction web site will allow for remote online bidding for silent auction items during the event. Later in the evening auctioneer Scott Alexander will conduct the live auction portion. We have already arranged for several unique and interesting items including:

  • Two-day John Fielder photo workshop
  • Golf foursome at the Sanctuary
  • Signed Broncos memorabilia
  • Special USS Colorado edition Kota Longboard
  • Special USS Colorado commemorative Henry Rifle

Tickets and sponsored tables are now available for purchase at USSCOLO16.gesture.com. Ticket prices are $125 for individuals or $325 for VIP tickets. Corporate and group sponsorship’s start at $2,500 for a table of 8 and up. See the web site for more details. Continue to visit the site as we add more items to our auction inventory.

It has been 93 years since the last USS Colorado was commissioned – so don’t let this once in a lifetime opportunity pass you by! We hope that you will join us in supporting USS Colorado and her fine officers and crew that defend our great nation.

24. September 2015 · Comments Off on Audio from “An Evening with … Veterans” · Categories: Committee Event

We have recently posted audio from the July 29 event at History Colorado of the talk of our two WWII veterans. I think you will find them to be fascinating stories:

Listen to Andy’s talk

Listen to Ken’s talk

Listen to Ken’s words to the crew of SSN 788

30. July 2015 · Comments Off on “An Evening with Historians, Scholars and Veterans” is a Huge Success · Categories: Committee Event

Last night History Colorado hosted “An Evening with Historians, Scholars and Veterans” focusing on the history of the previous USS Colorado’s. The evening led off with a social hour where guests were able to view artifacts from previous USS Colorado’s. Afterwards there was a panel discussion. On the panel were Keith Schrum, Senior Curator of History Colorado as the Historian, Candice Green, M.Ed., as the Scholar and World War II veterans Ken Jones and Andy Palenchar. Steffan Tubbs of KOA Radio was the emcee and moderator for the panel discussion.

85 attendees listened as our honored veterans amazed us with the stories they told. Andy Palenchar enlisted in the navy in 1943 at the age of 17. He soon found himself in the submarine service on USS Finback (SS 230) on war patrols in the Pacific. During the 9th war patrol he was the sailor who hoisted LTJG George H. W. Bush aboard Finback after the future President had been shot down in the Pacific. Andy left the Navy after the war but later joined the Army reserves. He was activated for the Korean conflict and remained on active duty serving in Korea and Vietnam. He retired from the Army as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1978.

Listen to Andy’s talk

Ken Jones joined the Navy in 1944 when he just turned 17. He was assigned to USS Colorado (BB 45). He told an eloquent and compelling story of life aboard that ship during the war in the Pacific. He described how the idealism of his youth quickly met the realities of war as he saw his shipmates injured and killed in Japanese attacks. USS Colorado was moored next to USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay for the signing of the surrender of Japan and he was able to view the proceedings from a vantage point 300 yards away.

Listen to Ken’s talk

Listen to Ken’s words to the crew of SSN 788

Ken, his wife Dorothy and daughter traveled from Texas specifically to participate in this event.

As an educator, Candice Green has developed lesson plans about the history of previous USS Colorado’s. She described those and the efforts to get those into classrooms here in Colorado. Candice comes from a strong Navy and military family and is highly passionate about this history and conveying it to the current generation of students so that this history is not lost.

Keith Schrum described his role in preserving history as being a “people historian” who seeks to document the everyday life of people and how the great events of history affected their lives. He thought it especially important to preserve the memories of the Greatest Generation as their number dwindle. There are many items being offered to the Center as they pass on and that it is difficult to make choices since they are not able to take everything.

Steffan did a great job of moderating the panel and involving the audience. He brought out comments from Ken’s wife, Dorothy and Andy’s daughter, Sandie. Steffan is a strong military supporter. He is currently developing a documentary about PTSD for release on Veteran’s Day. The picture will be entitled “Acronym, The Cross-generational Battle With PTSD”. He currently has a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the project. Please consider donating to his efforts.

Also in attendance was George Lundeen, a sculptor from Loveland who has been commissioned by the USS Colorado (BB 45) Alumni Association to create an appropriate bell for the new submarine. He is a nationally recognized sculptor who has been commissioned to sculpt portraits and interpretive works alike for universities, municipalities, foundations, and corporations. He was introduced to the project through a mutual friend of Committee Member Norris Hermsmeyer, Jack Thomson. His website is at www.lundeensculpture.com

On display were a number of artifacts from previous USS Colorado’s. Naval Reserve Center Denver (NOSC) generously donated two shadow boxes with BB 45 memorabilia that normally hang in their Quarterdeck. Also on display were a number of items from the Center’s archives. A model of SSN 788 was loaned by model maker and retired US Navy Master Chief, Jon Sorenson.

It was a truly great evening that all will certainly remember!

08. July 2015 · Comments Off on History Colorado to Feature USS Colorado Artifacts / Opening Reception · Categories: Committee Event, Uncategorized

On July 29  History Colorado will feature artifacts from previous USS Colorado’s. This is a collaborative effort between History Colorado, Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Program, Metro State University, Colorado Newspapers in Education and USS Colorado (SSN 788) Commissioning Committee.

As part of this display there will be teacher’s workshops to help bring USS Colorado into the classroom.

To celebrate this event there will be a reception on July 29th from 5 PM until 8 PM entitled “An evening with Historians, Scholars and Veterans” which is open to the public. The schedule includes a social hour, a panel discussion of historians and veterans and an open visit of the museum. Hors d’ouvres will be provided and a cash bar will be available. Cost of the event is $25 per person. For more information and to sign up, please visit: www.ColoradoNIE.com/USSColorado/ (Part 3)

History Colorado Center is located at 1200 Broadway in Denver.

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