Steve Richey, ETC(SS), USN (ret)

Steve was born August 8, 1937 to Veachel E. and Eva Virginia (Cardoza) Richey of Richmond, CA.

At about age five, his parents divorced and paternal grandparents took over the task of raising him. Here, on a farm on the northern end of San Joaquin Valley, he grew up on a ranch gowing peaches, apricots, and almonds, not to mention caring for chickens, turkeys, a cow and calf and one horse.

For grades one through seven, he attended a small, one room school; the same school his father and all this uncles attended, complete with horse stalls and and an outdated outhouse.

Steve’s father remarried and Steve moved in with them and attended grade eight throught twelve at El Cerrito High School in El Cerrito, CA where he graduated in 1954.

In October 1954, Steve joined the Navy and reported to San Diego for Boot training. Upon graduation, he went on to Treasure Island near San Francisco for a six month class ‘A’ Electronics Technician school.

In the summer of 1955, Steve went from ET school to Astoria, Oregon where they were placing mothballed ships back in commission for South Korea under the Lend Lease Act.

Then in 1956 he moved on to New London, CT and completed Submarine Training and was advanced to ET3 in July of that year.

His first sea duty assignment was aboard the USS CUBERA (SS 347), stationed at the Destroyer/Submarine piers, Squadron Six, in Norfolk, Virginia. Steve qualified in submarines aboard CUBERA.

Steve rode CUBERA from 1956 – 1957 where he took her into Charleston Shipyards for conversion to a Guppy 2A class.

In 1958 he attended the six month Enlisted Mans Nuclear Power School in New London, CT, followed by eighteen months at the S1C prototype trainer at Windsor Locks, CT.

In 1959 Steve reported to USS ROBERT E. LEE (SSBN 601) in Newport News, VA aboard the pre-commissioning crew for new construction duty. After commissioning, Steve made three deterrent patrols on the Gold crew aboard LEE and he was advanced to ET2(SS). He transferred from the LEE to another submarine undergoing construction; the USS JOHN C. CALHOUN (SSBN 630).

The CALHOUN was also located in Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock and he joined her pre-commissioning crew for new construction duty. He was fortuante to rider her down the ways, and he made eight patrols on the Blue crew.

In January 1967, Steve met Phyllis M. Graen, daughter of Philip and Margaret (Luth) Graen. They were married in February 1968 and had two children; Debbie and Steven. They now have two grandsons and one granddaughter.

During this time he was also advanced to ET1(SS). He and Phyllis left the CALHOUN in 1968 to attend the year long Advanced Electronics “B” School at Treasure Island, CA.

In 1969, upon graduation from “B” school, Steve was selected for advancement to Chief Petty Officer, ETC(SS).

He was then assigned to USS POGY (SSN 647) pre-commissioning crew for new construction duty once again. He left POGY in 1970 while in Hawaii and accepted shore duty at the Submarine Base in Hawaii. He retired from the Navy in 1974.

Steve accepted employment with a small mid-western utility company in the spring of 1974. They had a nuclear plant under construction at the time and were looking for someone with construction and operational experience. He stayed with them for 21 years and retired in 1995.

Steve’s hobbies include traveling, woodworking, genealogy, and yard work. He is a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Loyal Order of the Moose, and is past President/Chairman of the USS JOHN C. CALHOUN Veterans Association.