Family of Mike and Bernie Bray

This is our family
Liam, Conn, Mike, Steve, Debbie, Taryn, Gillian, Bernie, Bill, Mark
July 2005

Bernie and I moved to Hamilton Lakes, a small resort area, in the town of Vulcan Michigan after I retired from Northeast Utilities in 1996. Vulcan is about 100 miles due north of Green Bay Wisconsin - GO Packers! This is the area where I was born and raised. Bernie is from Van Buren in far northern Maine, so the cold weather isn't too disagreeable to either of us. We both like the Upper Peninsula of Michigan because of its four seasons (Winter being the longest of the four - ha ha).

I had met Bernie while I was stationed in New London aboard the USS Seawolf (SSN575). We were married in early 1965 and I was discharged from the Navy in June of '65. We spent a short time in Michigan while waiting for the Connecticut Yankee Atomic Power Company (Conn Yankee) to call me to Connecticut to attend their Operator Training program. I worked for Conn Yankee and Northeast Utilities, Conn Yankee's parent company, for 30 years in the operations and training departments.

During my six years in the Navy, I spent a few months at Lakehurst Naval Air Station, about a year and a half in schools, one year aboard the USS Piper (SS409) and three years aboard the USS Seawolf. My most enjoyable tour of duty was the one year I spent aboard the Piper. I reported aboard the Piper in June of 1960 as an EMFN, directly out of Sub School. I was assigned to the Seaman Gang, where I maintained the exterior of the boat, stood topside, lookout, helm, and bow and stern plane watches. Smitty, the Leading Seaman, taught me how to use a wire brush, chipping hammer and paint sprayer. I also served one tour of mess cooking before I was assigned to the Electrical Gang. Bob McGrath broke me in on the Auxiliary Elecrtician watch station, which I stood until I became qualified in submarines and made third class. Then I stood some Junior Controllerman watches under the watchful eye of John Donkus. While I was aboard, we made a Springboard run to the Caribbean, and cruises to Bermuda and Halifax, Nova Scotia. Other operations consisted of daily ops for Basic Sub School and weekly ops for Officer Sub School. My best friend and running mate while aboard Piper was Charlie Patch. I left the boat in June of 1961, along with Charlie Patch, Bob Bishop, Bill Brann, Al Franusiszin and Don Delcore, to attend Nuclear Power School, which at that time was located on the Upper Base.

Retirement is great! I love Amateur Radio and am very involved in the Mich-A-Con Amateur Radio Club. Please visit our website at My callsign is K8DDB. If you're into Ham Radio, email me at for a 'sked' and we can chat about the good ole days. CW and RTTY are my preferred modes of communication (see .)

If any Piper sailors are passing through this neck of the woods, please stop in and pay us a visit. Call (906)563-7020 or send an email for directions to our home.

Our Neck Of The Woods

Mike Bray
W3821 Waucedah Road
Vulcan, MI 49892-8483