I have been AWOL from the forum for about 5 days, due to computer crash, and weekend in Vegas for submarine reunion. Reunion was great. I am just now getting the pieces put back together on the computer. Had to do a system recovery. Thankfully, I have Carbonite online backup, so full restore will take a while, but nothing was lost.
Jim, you got a picture of you back then on a sub? and, if you don't mind, telling us, what was it like aboard one? What was your job on it? One more, when you looked through the periscope were you able to see sharks? (i love sharks) Really.
Life mostly boring, long watches. Try to fit in a little sleep when you can. Occasional panic! It is a demanding job, because if you let your guard down for even a minute, all hell breaks loose. Witness the near-fatal collision just recently involving the USS Hartford ( rolled 82º to one side when run over by an LPD. Picture your car laying ON ITS SIDE and still trying to drive it!) Also, about 3 years ago, the USS San Francisco plowing into an underwater mountain peak at very high speed. One crew man killed, sub came within inches of not making it. Both of these well covered by google, including some very neat pictures!
That must have been something else. Do you have any pics of your sub? We have one docked here at our museum and people can tour it. The man who runs it I know well, and he was quite interesting to talk to. I grew up with his daughter. I did an article on him in our Sunday paper once as a favor and everyone loved him.
I think he mentioned to me some kind of sickness the men got aboard it once.
The only sickness you had to watch out for was something you might get from a bar girl in the PI!
I'll try to find some pics. They didn't invent cell phone cameras back then, you know! My avatar is the logo from the USS BARB ( SSN-596 ), where I was the Chief of the Boat. The reunion this weekend was from an earlier assignment on USS PLUNGER ( SSN-595):
Last edited by jimbo; 04-20-2009 at 08:56 PM.
My father-in-law, currently staying with us in the US for three weeks, was in the British Navy for over 20 years and a submariner for some of that before getting a real job (as I always tease him) .
He always talks about how the US Navy were not allowed to drink and so were always pleased to see the British and, especially, the French. British sailors used to get a measure of Pussers rum every day, at least until the 1970s. The French would have copious amounts of wine. You can imagine the swopping that went on between the forces.
He always talks about how nice the Russian navy were to meet in port. No doubt trying to get secrets. All at the time of the Cold War of course.
He also mentions the terror of surfacing through five feet of ice in an emergency. The submarine did it, but there was a loud bang.
He also talks of nuclear submarines sounding like a bag of bolts compared to the diesel ones which were apparently quieter (steam ships incidentally - his first when he joined the navy at sixteen - were really quick).
And then the 100 foot tank, to simulate an emergency escape from a sub. The air would expand in your lungs so you would be breathing out furiously as you rose to the surface.
Oh and washing in diesel because fresh water was at a premium.
And dropping a spanner on HUGE lead-acid batteries to see it disappear in a flash.
Last edited by Ian Gills; 04-21-2009 at 02:57 PM.
Jim, that is a nice picture! I can almost imagine being on it, but, I am not sure I would like that tight place. After awhile though, did it not bother you, or kind . Do you have any good stories about being aboard?
Those men on the top of it, now, was that sub just emerging?
Last edited by Cookie; 04-22-2009 at 05:58 AM.
Thanks for sharing Jim.
Last edited by Cookie; 04-22-2009 at 05:59 AM.
I read Blind Man's Bluff....
An amazing book!
I especially liked the story of the USS Parche (SSN-683) tapping Soviet phone lines in the Barents Sea...
Living in CT has aforded me the opporitunity to see the base and docked subs at the base, subs returning and departing on the Thames River and underway on Long Island Sound...
Also under construction and launching at Electric Boat.
I love seeing the High Performance Toys Uncle Sam Owns!
Last edited by Redwood; 04-21-2009 at 09:07 PM.