USS Diodon SS-349
Known to his fellow subvets as “Diodon” Don he, was born and raised in South Dakota. At three, his family moved to the Portland Oregon area where his dad worked in the shipyards during WWII. At war’s end, the family moved back to South Dakota. where Don grew up in a small town of about 100 people, “or less” he adds.
In his Senor high school year, Don’s best friend talked him into joining the Navy. In June, 1957 he entered Boot Camp at the Great Lakes NTC, after which he went to EM A School. One day someone came around asking if anyone wanted to volunteer for the Submarine Service. Several friends asked, “Why not?”
Next stop, New London and Sub School. “Who can ever forget,” he asks, “The
classes, long up hill stairs to the barracks, Rock Lake, the escape tower, pressure tank, the girls at the Saturday night Base dances, your first sub cruise or the Connecticut Grinders. Oh yes... or that great feeling of pride we all had?”
In April,1958, the young, apprehensive yet confident EMFA Don Remily reported
aboard the USS Diodon SS349. For the first six months like all Strikers he worked in the seaman gang in port, and stood lookout, helm and planes watches at sea, all the while studying for Qualification. Then, in November, he received his preciously coveted Dolphins, “A moment,” he said “unlike any other I have had, that may never be matched again.”
Serving aboard the Diodon from April 1958 to March of 1961, Don went from being an EMFA standing lookout watches to EM2 (SS) and Senior Controller. At one time, as an EM3 on watch, he had a Chief and two Second Class POs reporting to him. “Those were the days” he wistfully reminisces!
After discharge. he enrolled in Dunwoody Industrial Institute’s automotive courses, becomming a mechanic. Tired of starving in South Dakota he moved to Washington State where in 1963 he married, had three children, and returned to bachelorhood in 1977. Meeting Linda in 1985 they married in February, 1987.
Don worked as a field mechanic for the State of Washington DOT for 25 years. Retiring in 1993, he and Linda moved to, and now live in Lebanon, Missouri.
They have five children between them, two boys and three girls, who have given them seven granddaughters. Today, Don is an equipment mechanic for the Palmer Implement
Company, a local John Deere dealer.
Joining USSVI in March of 2000, he has been busy renewing old friends and finding new ones, while helping put together the first Diodon Reunion at the 2001 USSVI Convention in Peoria.
Last words? “I’ll tell the world,” he said, “As long as there is a TJC base, I will be a member. I have found the Shipmates and the camaraderie I have longed for, for more than 30 years!"
Don may be contacted by his fellow and former shipmates at his e-mail box.