Bremerton’s best kept — and most decorated — military secret

Did you know that the most decorated vessel in U.S. Navy history is perched right here* in Bremerton?

Next time you take a walk downtown — perhaps Saturday for the Armed Forces Day parade — be sure to go to the entrance of the Harborside Fountain Park. There, you’ll find the sail of the USS Parche, a vessel highly decorated but largely unknown.

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Why? As you’ll learn in the above video, the Parche did a lot of spying in the Cold War years. While its missions are still classified, some believe it was tapping telephone cables within Soviet seas, unearthing a wealth of intelligence. Many details can be found in the book “Blind Man’s Bluff: The Untold Story of American Submarine Espionage.”

In any case, president after president praised the boat and its crew just about every time it came home. As reporter Andy Binion noted when the sail was installed here:

The submarine earned 13 Expeditionary Medals, 10 Navy Unit commendations and nine presidential unit citations, making it the most decorated submarine in U.S. Navy history.

 

I’d encourage you to check out Mick Hersey’s master list here to check out all of the military memorials in Kitsap County.

Hope to see you Saturday at the parade. Oh, and don’t forget to take our quiz of Kitsap County military history.

 

*It’s the sail of the Parche submarine sits just outside Harborside Fountain Park. The rest of the vessel did not come with it.

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