Who Is The Oldest Submarine Veteran?
The Sub Report linked to an article today on Floyd Matthews, a 103-year-old submariner in Florida; there's also a quick video clip of the interview with him located here. From the article:
Once he got his sea legs on a cruiser and battleship, Matthews had enough of the surface and volunteered for a different kind of duty in 1923.Here's an article from the USSVI archives on Floyd's 100th birthday. Unforunately, none of the articles I found listed the subs on which Floyd served. I did a quick Google search, but wasn't able to find out who is the oldest U.S. submariner still alive. (The USSVI website has an article about a submariner, Capt. Arthur "Speed" Graubart, who had been their oldest member when he passed on in 2003.) Does anyone know if there's really a submariner out there older than Floyd Matthews?
His graduation from submarine school later that year would enter him into a brotherhood of fellow submariners. Today, he is thought to be the second-oldest submariner in the U.S., Rubin said.
His time as a submariner would also involve him in landmark submarine escape experiments under the direction of Lt. Cmdr. Charles "Swede" Momsen, inventor of the Momsen lung, an underwater breathing device used in rescue operations.
Another Momsen invention, the "diving bell," saved the crew of the USS Squalus in May 1939, when their sub sank in 240 feet of water off Portsmouth, N.H. Matthews supported the rescue effort using the watertight chamber to bring trapped sailors to the surface.