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.)

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Underway On Nuclear Power (?)

[Intel Source: Ultraquiet No More, filling in for The Sub Report for the rest of the week]
Today's the 51st anniversary of USS Nautilus' first underway, and her transmission of that famous message, "Underway on nuclear power". Submarining was never the same.

There's an urban legend in the submarine force about this historic underway that I'm suddenly interested in checking. I've never gotten a chance to talk to anyone on board that day, so I can't vouch for the authenticity of it, but here it is: Apparently (so the story goes) when that famous message was sent, the ship was not actually "underway on nuclear power"; it's said that the reactor had somehow scrammed at the pier, and rather than risk getting underway late, they snorkled and re-started the reactor while in the river. It's obviously something that no one would do now, but back in those days... who knows?

Can anyone who was onboard that day confirm or deny this urban legend?

Bell-ringer 2207 17 Jan: Chap found the answer.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

>>It's obviously something that no one would do now, but back in those days... who knows?

You're right about that. Now they'd just pull out on the battery and restart the reactor on the way out!

1/17/2006 5:04 AM

Blogger Chap said...

I remember reading that in a book, maybe the CO's autobiography, or the Rick bio. I'll go see if it's in my home library...

1/17/2006 1:27 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

While I was in Sub School in '77 a classmate was telling me that his father was onboard the Nautlefrog the day she set sail. He told me this same story. I've not heard it since, until tonight. I've always wondered though.
Rick Nigh QM1 (SS)

1/17/2006 5:12 PM

Blogger Chap said...

Found it. Will type up a quote over at my place.

1/17/2006 7:14 PM

Anonymous herbalwellspring said...

Here, I do not actually consider it is likely to have effect.

6/26/2012 5:04 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is in fact true. Just as they were sending the message, the reactor scrammed. My source? My neighbor, now deceased. He was the fourth qualified reactor operator in the Navy, and on watch at the RPCP during this event.

8/25/2012 1:19 PM


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