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, February 05, 2007

An Old-Time Submariner Speaks Out

[Intel Source: The Sub Report] A Florida newspaper has a profile out on an old submariner that's a fairly interesting read (even if it's clear a few of his memories have been "enhanced" a little by age); these older guys don't worry too much about being PC, it seems:
Among the interesting things he discovered while serving in the No. 2 capacity at sub school was: "People whose names end in vowels didn't usually finish qualifying for submarines. We had a very high dropout rate.
"When we investigated the dropout problem a bit more we discovered that along the East Coast of the United Sates, much of the population were Italians, Polish and Portuguese. Many of their names end in vowels. They'd come to our school in New London and proceed to drop out or flunk out. Either way they thought they would be reassigned to a base along the East Coast close to home.
"Another thing we learned: Sailors from the Midwest and California were more likely to graduate in the upper percentage of submarine school," Bauer said. "They qualified quicker on submarines than any other segment of the country. What we discovered is that the Midwest is basically an agricultural area with lots of pumps and motors, and sailors who grew up there were likely to know more about pumps and motors than the rest of the country. The kids in California were into cars. These two groups were very mechanically inclined which is a big requirement aboard a submarine."
Personally, I never noted that much of a regional difference between submariners, and I knew a lot of good guys whose names ended in vowels.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's a really odd observation and the first I have ever heard of it. I wonder if they could really quantify that or if it was heresy? Additionally, with the increasing urbanization of the population, the assumed 'pumps and motors' advantage of people on farms would be diminished.

2/05/2007 10:35 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Latino surnames of lost USS Thresher crew:

1 officer and 12 enlisted (does not count any civilians)

and lost on USS Scorpion:

1 officer and 8 enlisted.

I may have missed some, as I counted quickly. My experience does not at all square with Mr. Bauer's recollection on the matter, either

2/05/2007 3:00 PM

Blogger Subvet said...

Sounds like his meds need to be adjusted.

2/06/2007 3:25 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to say that, as an aganger, when I heard a non-rate was coming onboard who was from a rural area, we tried to snap them up as fast as possible. Usually, not always, they had a good work ethic, they were not afraid to work long hours, were mechanically inclined and were pretty good problem solvers. There were three types of aganger, those who came straight out of “A” School, dropout nucs who were not smart enough to pass nuc school and dropout nucs who were smart enough not to pass nuc school.

That Damn Good Looking Aganger From Iowa

2/06/2007 10:36 PM


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