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Thread: Awol

  1. #1
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Default Awol

    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.

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    Illinois Licensed Plumber SewerRatz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo View Post
    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.
    Good to have you back. Now drop and give me 50.
    Last edited by SewerRatz; 04-20-2009 at 05:56 AM. Reason: fixed typo

  3. #3

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    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.

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    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cookie View Post
    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.
    Visibilty thorugh the periscope underwater is about 10 feet if you are close to the surface, and if you are deeper, you can't even raise the persicope, because the 3000 psi hydraulic rams have insuffucient pressure to overcome water pressure pushing down aginst the entire diameter of the scope. SO persicope is for out of the water!

    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 82 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!

  5. #5

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    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.

  6. #6
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    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.

  7. #7
    Senior Robin Hood Guy Ian Gills's Avatar
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    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.

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    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Gills View Post
    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.
    All very true!
    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).

    Modern nuclear submarines are very very quiet....and getting better what with the "caterpillar" propulsors...etc. It is still very true that a diesel submarine on battery propulsion is EXTREMELY quiet. The problem has been limited speed, and of course limited underater endurance, and of course fuel range. Nuclear submarines today DO NOT REFUEL...EVER. One shot of uranium is good for the life of the ship in most cases. The newly rediscovered technology of AIP ( air independent propulsion) is producing some diesel boats with fewer limitations than their predecessors. We will see some of those, but the need for the US to be able to cover the entire globe will make the speed and endurance of the SSN hard to eliminate. The old russky alphas had phenomenal underwater speed. But you could literall sit in port in San Diego and hear that sucker in the Indian Ocean. So instead of trying to compete heads up with that one on speed....we made torpedos which can catch it!

    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.
    I forget the capacity of our vapor distillation evaporator, but as long as it was up to snuff, showers, laundry, etc....not problem.

    And dropping a spanner on HUGE lead-acid batteries to see it disappear in a flash. you have to strip down at the entrance hatch to the battery well....no rings, jewelry, watches, nothing metal . Certainly no TOOLS! Inside the well are approved and thoroughly plastisol coated tools. The cells are somewhere in the 12,000+ amp hour range, so shorting the terminals of even one cell would be not good!\

    Nice to hear from you. Thanks for the comments

  9. #9

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    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.

  10. #10
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cookie View Post
    Do you have any good stories about being aboard?
    Yes, some doozies. But if I tell you, then I would have to shoot you! The American public has very little idea about what went on in the cold war, and how we won it! A very good book titled "Blind Man's Bluff" spills some of the beans. I can neither confirm or deny!

    Those men on the top of it, now, was that sub just emerging?
    No it is running at high speed on the surface. You have an Officer and a lookout. It takes 15 minutes after surfacing to go through the necessary hoops to man the bridge

    I was an enlisted man.

  11. #11

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    Thanks for sharing Jim.
    Last edited by Cookie; 04-22-2009 at 05:59 AM.

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    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    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...

    http://books.google.com/books?id=Zo0...luff#PPA223,M1

    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.

  13. #13
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redwood View Post
    i read blind man's bluff....
    An amazing book!


    !

    btdt ......................

  14. #14
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo View Post
    btdt ......................
    ????????????

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