Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Monday, January 17, 2005

50th Anniversary of Nuclear Submarines

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the initial sea trials of USS Nautilus (SSN 571), the first nuclear-powered submarine. (At this point, all submarine historians are required to mention the first message sent by the Nautilus: "Underway on nuclear power".)

Peter Brookes has an excellent op-ed piece in the New York Post on the anniversary, which I highly recommend.

An excellent collection of USS Nautilus pictures and information can be found here.

Update 1213 18 Jan: Robert Hamilton of The Day has a report on the anniversary celebrations in Groton, CT. (After one day, annoying free registration required.)

Update 0558 20 Jan: Here's an account of the anniversary celebrations from the SUBASE New London base newspaper "The Dolphin", that doesn't require registration. It also has a picture of the first CO of the Nautilus, VADM Eugene Wilkinson.


Blogger Andy said...

A tip of the hat also needs to be given to Hyman G. Rickover for his resolve and drive to get this program on the road to success. Since you just recently retired, you're probably one of the last to be interviewed by Rickover or had some personal contact with him in nuke power school before he retired in the early 80's. Is that true or did you miss out on that experience? *grin*

If you did meet him, do you have any anecdotes to share?

1/17/2005 9:21 PM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

Actually, I never met the old man. He retired in January '82, and I came in in 1983. (I interviewed with Adm. McKee, who didn't do anything weird, but who did look a lot like Andy Rooney.) I think Rickover was probably the only person who had the drive and vision to get the program up and running so quickly, but I also think he was probably more of a hindrance by the 70s; he'd made a lot of enemies, and NR kind of got stuck in their ways; as a result, I don't think the early 688s were probably as good as they could have been. That being said, I think that overall he deserved the honors the Navy and country gave him, and the title of "Father of the Nuclear Navy".

1/17/2005 10:48 PM

Blogger bothenook said...

for a great treatise on how the 688's came about, and the hassles rickover participated in, and instigated in some cases, i recommend reading Running Critical: The Silent War, Rickover, and General Dynamics by Patrick Tyler

1/18/2005 4:28 PM

Blogger subchef143 said...

I heard a second-hand story about Rickover from an officer when I was on the Kamehameha. He said when he had his appointment with Rickover, he went in and the Admiral never looked up at him. He only asked what the young midshipman was studying. He answered "Mathematics, sir" to which Rickover said "Get out". Tough old Bastard!

1/18/2005 7:12 PM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1/19/2005 9:43 PM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

I also like Norman Polmar's biography, "Rickover". It has a whole chapter on some of the more infamous interviews Rickover had with the candidate midshipmen. One of my favorites was when he ordered a candidate into his closet for failure to answer a question in the way Rickover wanted. The candidate refused, so Rickover told him to at least go over and let the other guys out. He did, and found several midshipmen huddled together in the small cloak closet...

1/19/2005 9:46 PM

Blogger rellio12 said...

I had the pleasure of being dismissed by ADM Rickover in 1980. for some reason he had an issue with my GPA at USNA going from 3.55 to 1.9 in a semester. I told him that I had never studied before in my life and finally encountered courses that required it. He told me that I would never make it in his program and ordered my out. Ended up going Strategic Weapons Systems officer on boomers and reapplied once while Rickover was still there. Had to wait for him to die and reapply under Mckee where I was accepted in 1983. first nuke job was on the San Francisco in 1985-1988. Ran across your blog while googling for information, good site, eager to look at your recommendations of other blogs that you have manetioned.

1/20/2005 7:38 AM


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