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.)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Anonymous Commenting

Some people have suggested that I turn on the functionality that requires people to sign in to make comments. I'm hesitant to do that because I like having active duty guys being able to comment without fear of repercussion -- although, to be honest, the Navy would either have to get Google or Sitemeter to give up the URL information if they wanted to track someone, since I use the free Sitemeter version that only displays the last 100 visitors.

That being said, sometimes (especially in long comment threads) it gets tough to figure out which anonymous commenter is saying what. I suggest that commenters who wish to remain anonymous use the "Name/URL" option when posting their comments; you can pick out some "handle", then leave the URL space blank. You don't have to have a Blogger account to do that, and it leaves no more of a paper trail than commenting anonymously. (The disadvantage, of course, is that anyone could hijack that identity.)

Does anyone else have any suggestions on how to make the commenting here more enjoyable?


Blogger Dadfish said...

I say beyond encouraging people to use a handle of some sort, leave it alone. Active duty sailors comprise the majority of your readership, and if you hinder their ability to comment without fear of repercussion-- even if that fear is unfounded-- you will lose some of your commenters.

3/19/2010 10:07 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am not positive about the intention and motivation behind people losing their anonymous status but it seems like the intent is so that regular bloggers want to know who they are conversing with? What if people simpley make a handle and close their narratives with their chosen handle like Jack Z, Jimmy B. Cool, Full Throttle, Sludge King, Scram Queen, Bus Swapper or whatever the chosen handle?

Is there more to it than simply identifying the blogger's post by associated handle?

Keeping It Real

3/19/2010 10:10 AM

Anonymous Bubblehead said...

We could all just post as BH.

3/19/2010 10:24 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is the purpose if each person posts as BH? That seems to be another form of "Anonymous"?

Or maybe you are just being sarcastic?

3/19/2010 10:26 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like just signing my work.


3/19/2010 10:42 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonystud sounds much more cool than mouse, unless you are just very fond of mice. Although the gender monitors would prefer Anonyneuter or Anonyballless.

3/19/2010 10:45 AM

Anonymous YNC(SS), USN, Ret said...

I agree with your Name/URL comment; that's what I use. If someone wants to hijack my nom de plume in this blog let them have at it. We all have our own writing style/manner of speaking, and I at least would remember if it was my comment and would say so if it wasn't.

Just sign me

Any mouse; or YNC(SS), USN, Ret

3/19/2010 11:04 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


At one time subs had YNs and PNs, was that designed for one to be enlisted and the other officers records? Then later the PNs went away on subs?

Also, at one time way before PCs the PNs had a type of typrwriter that had some type of memory, do you remember that old dinosaur?


3/19/2010 11:18 AM

Anonymous 3383 said...

Like someone posted on the Cornell thread last night, I don't think anyone's chain will go to the trouble of finding someone if it takes real effort. So unless posting with real names is advocated, encouraging the Name/URL should work fine.

I don't know what can be done about the Internet Tough Guys.

3/19/2010 11:34 AM

Blogger Kin Two said...

I just recently started posting with a handle...but I think stopping the anonymous posting here would limit the amount of info we get from those still in the know. Even though it would probably also stop most of the assclowns posting drivel, I think you should leave it open.

3/19/2010 11:46 AM

Anonymous ret.cob said...

Without the AD guys, I would lose the audience for my lies, half-truths and blatantly ill-informed misinformation. Please, leave it the way it is, Bubblehead.


3/19/2010 11:57 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


How big was that fish that got away? Every town has that hang out where the coffee flows, the stories get better and bigger and folks just have a good time. And then some folks dont get around or navigate that well anymore and the net meets that nitch. But the black and bitter gets cold fast.


3/19/2010 12:01 PM

Anonymous PS Assclown said...

Just wanted to test the Name/URL option......and also to say, "R Ducky, Kiss my ass you arrogent prick"

3/19/2010 12:07 PM

Anonymous YNC(SS), USN, Ret said...


Re YN & PN on submarines. I was a direct input to submarines as a non-qual YNC in 1974. Reporting to SSN-590. You may know the boat and who I relieved.

At the time, and until I retired off of SSN-677 in 1987 YN's and PN's were interchangable. That is to say if you were a PN you learned how to be a YN as well and vice-versa. I never saw a PC on a boat, but who knows maybe some came after I retired.

You may be thinking about the IBM Mag Card typewriter. This was an IBM Selectric typewriter with a tower that received a magnetic card (about the size of an IBM Card) that held about 8 - 16 KB of information. I put all of our EDOP's on them during our 1975-1977 refueling at PSNS. In 1982 when I reported to the 677 there was a CPT word processor that had a CRT display and impact printer. If I recall correctly the disks were about eight inches diameter. Don't recall capacity, but it was a step up from the MAG Card writer. I put all of Engineering, Operations/Nav, and Weapons Department Operating procedures on those over the several years I was on DRUM. When we were at PSNS just before I retired the first PC's came aboard. My good strikers, one who became a PN and the other who became a great YN unboxed them after I left.

That about covers it. I apologize if the thread was hijacked.

3/19/2010 1:05 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Thanks for the feedback. I wonder what admin was like before the electronic writers. I guess some forms were in triple and more. Also, there was that nasty paper that was used to make a poor quality copy. The modern day folks probbaly can not imagine admin life without a copier and a scanner.

Thanks again for the feedback,


3/19/2010 1:13 PM

Blogger Bill Lapham said...


To get a feel of the admin back in the day, go to
This is a website for WWII submarine patrol reports that Rubber Ducky kindly passed along a while back.

3/19/2010 2:03 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


This is like a metric butt ton of historical info.

Thanks for the info.

I wonder if Klaxons are available for sale.


3/19/2010 2:05 PM

Blogger John Byron said...

Would note there has been at least one person who read every one of the WW-II patrol reports. Her name was Marie Poland Fish and Woods Hole Institute was her beat.

She became interested in what submarine sonarmen called biologics and - working with the Navy after the war - read through all the patrol reports to catalog locations and seasons for biologics contacts noted in the reports. That's right - Dr. Fish studied fish.

Here's her obit. Note the Navy award:

3/19/2010 2:43 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 3/19 2:05

Klaxons are availible from C&T Signal,, or 610-326-4568. (or at least they were, this info is about 4 yrs old)


3/19/2010 3:17 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

They shall be anonymous until Obama's Net Neutrality controls are approved and fully implemented.

That's just dandy as long as a few of your condescending, name-calling, regular visitors have a big head, they will use a handle no sane person would ever want to hijack.

Wish I could give you of at least one, good example.

- Rubber Duck Hunter

3/19/2010 3:26 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Dr. Fish studied Fish, too funny for sure.


Thanks for the Klaxon location, I will check it out.


3/19/2010 3:26 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon, 3:26. There are several functional handles, a few that come to mind are Jack Off, Weetard and Blow Hard.

You seem to be rather fond of Rubber Duck, is he in your rum running club?

3/19/2010 3:35 PM

Blogger Bill Lapham said...

Oh, I'd be one annoying neighbor with a klaxon. Who has FINBACK's old klaxon? That was one helluva birthday ball in Norfolk '88. Whew...

3/19/2010 3:59 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Wait until about 0200 and yell Dive Dive and sound the Klaxon, it would make you a hit in the neighborhood and the police would appreciate it also.

Finback? I knew a Tom Perrine that served on the Finback.

If memory serves me the WWII Finback was the one that rescued a wet, scared and thankful little aviator out of the drink who later became President? But the sharks were probably hoping for a snack later.

I had a friend on the Baton Rouge when President Carter did a VIP tour. He said that they had field days forever up to that visit. My friends name was MMCM(SS) Mark Lensch. He did about 30 years and retired and right away they found cancer and he never relaly got to enjoy any life as a civilian.

Man oh man, cancer and heart problems seems to be the worst 2 for men.


3/19/2010 4:08 PM

Blogger Bill Lapham said...

Kirk: Tom was our COB and a great one at that. We were walking and talking topside after mooring at the D&S piers in Norfolk when suddenly he disappeared...straight down the weapons shipping hatch. He was bruised up, but otherwise alright. Man was he hot though. He used every cuss word I've ever heard in about five seconds.

3/19/2010 5:13 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


No kidding, that crusty old A-ganger. I never heard that story. I guess he forgot that the shack was not rigged.


3/19/2010 5:18 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Have you ever met those people who could chew someone out and make those old solid heavy shoer duty doors rattle and vibrate and not stutter, miss a beat, get flustered or start laughing?

It is not a tool that one wants to overuse because it is an impact resource but those few who can do it have a certain knack and flair.

Did you ever know a Hedgecock, Nelson and Red Padgett?


3/19/2010 6:07 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Things are just going to get worse. Keep the posts as hard for the navy to track as you can. Recall the gay witch hunt on AOL. What is going to happen when someone here posts about (using my future power of prediction) the LtJg girl getting double teamed by two MMs in her private berthing space, and they get reamed down to SA and she skates?

3/19/2010 6:31 PM

Blogger Bill Lapham said...

K: In 632B (how'd I do rd?) the goat locker had a rating system for ass chewings. Things like volume, spittle, shade of facial redness, tears, reference to parentage, quality of words issued forth, things like that, all figured into a fairly simple 0-10 score. Naturally, some guys were consistently high scorers, others not so much.

I saw Tom blow a gasket with a guy once. It was a 10. I shut the door behind us because I thought this was it, Tommy was going to kill the kid, or have a stroke, one or the other. But we all survived somehow. Tens are usually a more valuable lesson for all the other sailors who hear them from beyond shut doors than for the kid standing at the focal point of the of the storm. They should be used sparingly, only on rare occasions, and only for the most agregious transgressions.

As we have seen in the news recently, tirades in front of the crew are still in vogue on the bridge and CIC of some surface ships.

Red Padgett's name sounds familiar, but I didn't know any of the fine fellows you mentioned. Thanks. COB

3/19/2010 7:08 PM

Blogger Srvd_SSN_CO said...

wow, I could be tracked? really? I didn't know I was that important.
Eh, wait, what did I say?

3/19/2010 7:26 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

up your ass

3/19/2010 7:40 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

real or imagined, if the COC wants to get involved, they will. We had a select group blogging on the Green-evil-e a few years back. All was fine until we showed up on a PAO search. Then the site was taken down, and select members that were identified were called in for some DRB action. I would rather be as anonymous as possible.

3/19/2010 8:22 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Red Padgett? I knew his boy on
the Miami before he tripped offline
and decided he was a SEAL and
tried to capture the NIS office
in Groton in the 80's. Love it,
that boy after spending 6 months
in a Army mental hospital was never
the same.

And yes Joel, I'll post my name in
my posts when it is appropriate.

3/20/2010 12:58 AM

Blogger Sandy Salt said...

I successfully made it through the last few years while on AD and now a year into retirement using a handle. You just have to be careful and don't do something really dumb like narrow you location. I love coming here and hearing all the opinions regardless of the handle of the giver, so it really doesn't matter either way.

3/20/2010 4:31 AM

Blogger Bill Lapham said...

Rubber D: Because SILVERSIDES is museumified here in Michigan, I chose her PATREPs to read first. I'm not even halfway through, but the prose so far shows an economy and flair for writing that makes for very compelling reading. I noted with amazement the amount of damage one of these boats could sustain and remain largely in the fight. For example, SS 236 was able to survive depth charging and accurate aerial bombardment at deep submergence WITHOUT A TRIM OR DRAIN PUMP! The diving officer had to manually trim by alternately blowing and flooding the safety and negative tanks. That had to be hard to do. It's a tribute to her design and manufacture, and the ingenuity, resourcefullness and tenacity of the crew, that she was able to survive her fourth war patrol at all, let alone inflict the damage she did on the enemy. It's also a testament to the importance of damage control and equipment repair training of the crew of a warship engaged in battle at sea. I wish we had read these in Sub School. Thanks again for providing the link.

3/20/2010 12:53 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you should provide the email address of the person who suggested that you disable anonymous commenting.

Would be interesting to see whether that person is a concerned participant or a meddling active duty officer.

3/20/2010 1:11 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

All I really am interested in is- got dolphins? If so, speak out and I'll listen. If not, STFU and go to some other blog.

I vote for people using any stupid handle they want, but put (SS) or somethin to show that you have dolphins.

And yeah, I'll pick a stupid handle too, I just haven't thought of a clever one yet!


3/20/2010 1:20 PM

Blogger Srvd_SSN_CO said...

I don't mind the anonymous or semi-anonymous. Those with something meaningful to say seem to come through the chaff.

As for avoiding big brother, you can always get the old starbucks IP while you drink your coffee. Guys like me posting from home have a static IP, and that is traceable, but only if someone is _really_ interested in finding me.

If you post your name, and bad mouth your CoC, you are committing a UCMJ violation, and probably need to hide your wrong doing.

3/20/2010 2:14 PM

Anonymous STSC said...

I'd recommend you disable pure anonymous and leave in the Name/URL option. Prominently add in a few lines that using Name/URL is still anonymous but a handle (abc or xyz, whatever) helps the other readers to track who said what. Of course posters can change their handle every comment if they want but I think overall it would improve the site.

Most perople I imagine will eventually find a handle.

As to SSN670's claxon, I don't remember what happened to it but I do remember that an ensign stole the portable cleat that I'd spent 3 days shining up to take home once the paperwork was done during decomm. Still ticks me off.

I also am aware of the G'ville story which is exactly why we shouldn't be required to have an identity linked to e-mail or anything other than our imagination.

3/20/2010 2:26 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: RD's handle, He was skipper of USS Gudgeon SS-567 when it was the test bed for anchoic tiles, and was known as the "rubber duck" at the San Diego SubBase. Pretty big bath toy don't ya think??

ret.cob 12.53PM regarding fleet boat damage.. Check out Appendix 6. WAR DAMAGE REPORT OF THE SALMON contained in John Alden's THE FLEET SUBMARINE IN THE U. S. NAVY. It is seven pages single spaced in length. Salmon was 250 foot test depth boat and was driven down to over 600 feet and survived. Not only were they unable to stay submerged, once on the surface ended up in a three hour shoot out with three Japanese ASW vessels and got away. So badly damaged Salmon was declared unrepairable and entire crew and wardroom transferred to new construction submarine Stickleback at Mare Island.

Keep a zero bubble...............


3/21/2010 1:21 PM

Blogger Bill Lapham said...

TMC: Thanks! Found it here:

3/21/2010 1:47 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said... and TMC,

Those are some awesome draings and historical narratives.

The Salmon's depth charge drawing really shows how tough those boats were.



3/21/2010 2:12 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Red Padgett's son had an adventure in the 1980s with the local NIS office in Groton? WTF?

This sounds like one of those stories that gets better each time it is told.

3/21/2010 2:15 PM

Blogger Bill Lapham said...

I've read that Japan made changes to their depth charge fuse settings after Congressman Andrew J. May revealed to the press that they were setting them too shallow. Lockwood later said the Congressman's big mouth cost us 10 boats and 800 men. Since depth charge damage had a range of effects from total destruction to minor annoyance, with Salmon representing the most damage sustainable without total loss, I wonder what the effects of these attacks were on the surviving individual Sailors. Didn't some walk away forever once they returned to port? I mean, it is hard to imagine how a human being walks away from one of these patrols mentally unscathed.

3/21/2010 2:26 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


I first heard the Salmon story from our new SUPPO in 1965. I was on SSBN 619B. His name was John Borglund. He was the Chief Pharmacist Mate on Salmons last war patrol. Also check out USS Salmon on Google and find a QM's take on the last patrol, I think the title is "Salmons last dive" or something like that. He mentions Borglund in his story. John was a very cool character. Our skipper Al Whittle made him Battle Stations Diving officer, not something you would typically do with a SUPPO, however with John's experience made perfect sense....

Check out USS Halibut SS-232 history. She was also badly damaged in a depth charging and was scrapped as unrepairable. According to ship inspectors a depth charge actually detonated directly on top of the breech of her four inch gun. they could tell by the scorch marks and the breech being cracked.

Years ago I met Guy Gugliotta who was XO on Halibut at that time. Gugliotta told me he transferred to Halibut from USS S-28 which had foundered off Pearl Harbor with a loss of all hands after he got off. He had also been on S-39 when it ran aground in 1942 and was total loss. When he reported aboard, "Pete" Galantin asked him where he'd been before. After hearing his history of assignments, Galantin told Gugliotta, "Guy, your a Jonah, I'm getting off this boat before you do." Gugliotta had been retired for a number of years as Captain when I met him. He was a watchstander in the Retired Activites Officer at Moffett field for many years. His wife wrote a great book about his first boat "Pigboat 39" Check it out...

RADM Dick Peterson, skipper on Sunfish, and Icefish during WWII was also a RAO watchstander, as was ETC(SS)RET Larry cummings who was a Chief on my first boat SS-348when I went aboard as a TM3 in 1960. the RAO office was in my building at Moffett and we submariners got on pretty well together. I asked one RAO watchstander, a retired Navy Supply Corps Captain why they all kowtowed to Peterson? He says, well he's an Admiral. I told him, actually he's a "tombstone" Admiral. He says, "what the hell is that?" I told him about the WWII law for career officers with combat decorations that allowed them to retire at the next grade. That law expired in 1959 I believe. Anyway, Peterson still got plenty of respect, however there wasn'r so much falling all over themselves going on after that.

Keep a zero bubble..........


3/21/2010 2:35 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Captain Schade, the XO on the Growler when Gilmore made his famous and last order to "Take her down" was giving a speech one time in Kings Bay around 93 or 94 and he made reference to the toughness of those boats and the men who crewed them. The hit that the Growler took in the bow and survived was amazing. It looks like it bent it 90 degrees. Those boats were as tough as the men who crewed them.


3/21/2010 2:53 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The bow of the Growler that was bent 90 degrees was actually the bow buoyancy tank and was external to the pressure hull. it was a hard tank and could be blown at test depth. it had a hydraulically operated vent on the top of the tank that was opened when diving. it was the first tank blown on surfacing on a fleet boat. "Blow bow buoyancy, blow the forward group, blow the after group. How the hell do I remember this stuff??? Qual boat SS-348.. Still got my qual drawings and Qual card and Prac fac cards plus REQUIREMENTS FOR SUBMARINE QUALIFICATIONS FEBRUARY 1957, REVISED 1956 BOOK, CSP PACIFIC FLEET, AND CSL US ALANTIC FLEET.

Keep a zero bubble.........


3/21/2010 8:29 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


That is hard core to remember the old qual stuff. How long did your first ship's qual take?

3/22/2010 5:32 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Was there a tank called the "Negative Tank" and was that just a variable ballast tank?

3/22/2010 5:35 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Privacy, anonymous. This is all so silly. How about people just list their full name, SSN, DOB, home address, phone number, employee ID, credit card numbers and favorite color?

Anonymous it shall stay.

3/22/2010 5:41 AM

Anonymous Joe Alferio said...

I certainly don't mind posting under my own actual name. I think if you show others the respect that they deserve as human beings and fellow military veterans, than why should you be afraid to use your real name?

Joe Alferio

3/22/2010 5:48 AM

Anonymous ret.cob said...


Not sure how you remember the stuff...just glad you do!

I will probably forget my kids names before I forget, "Man Battlestations, Missile, for WSRT. Spin up all missiles!" And who will ever forget the sound of the general alarm?

3/22/2010 6:14 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


What is the name of this blog?

Just kidding but the neurons dont fire so quickly as the gray hair blooms.

I saw a troubling article that Tricare does not meet the Obamacare insurance requirements. The only Tricare folks covered are the ones under Tricare for life before the DOD broke their promise to provide same to all. Now the politicans have to figure out about the other Tricare folks. Essentially, if no change is made, the retired folks on Tricare will be forced to buy additional insurance or be fined. Strange indeed.

Reminds me of the occasional food loaded that was stamped "rejected by Prison System" but apparently it was fine for military use, lol.
Some things seem so complicated.

3/22/2010 11:07 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


I do not think that it is a basic respect issue. It is not like someone is going to get ticked and egg your dog house or anything like that. The rise of technology has enabled people of a low sort who steal folk's identity and use that identity for illegal means. Now, that is only one aspect. AD folks might want to stay under radar for fear of retaliation. Seperated and retired military are for the most part not subject to the same AD witch hunt stuff due to various legal protections afforded those folks. SOme retired folks even get into politics, yuk, but someone has to do it and that probably gets pretty controversial. Anyway, you can do what you want but please remember if we were just gentlemen sitting around that we would know each others names but there are just too many crooked folks running around looking for people to exploit on the net. Technology has made some things easier for crooks to take advantage of people. This is only my opinion and there are probbaly as many different opinions about the subject as there are brass balls on the USS Constitution in Boston.

D.B. Cooper

3/22/2010 12:09 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon, 5:32-35am,

CSP/CSL 1957 qual requirements based on fleet boat hull w/snorkel system. You had seven months to get'er done. Fleet boat hulls, F/S, Guppy's, SSR's, SSK's made up most of submarine fleet in 1960.

Negative tank on my first boat SS-348 was full on the surface. When crash dive it would get you under in a hurry. Approaching periscope depth diving officer orderd, "blow negative to the mark". COW opened negative tank flood valve, gave hand signal to Aux to start blow down. When at the mark on negative tank gage ordered, "secure the blow." then COW closed negative tank flood valve and opened vent valve venting the tank inboard. Negative tank was a hard tank typically not used as variable ballast tank. 580 class had negative tanks. However never used like on fleet hulls.

Great true story about a TMC(SS)name of "pappy" Baldwin in PH in 1959. I returned from MK 37 torpedo school and leave and checked into submarine base barracks on a Sunday. Pappy had duty that day. He saw my striker badge and asked where I'd been. Told him Key West FLA for MK 37 school. He says, "thats one of them new babies, got everything in the head" I says, "right Chief" He says, " last torpedo school I went to was MK 10 in 1934. Then he tells me that he can retire anytime he wants, "Roy (RADM Roy Benson CSP)told me I could go home anytime I want and he'll just send me my retirement papers". When I got back to the AUW shop on Monday I was talking to my boss a TM1(SS) he started laughing when I told him the story. He tells me that Pappy had finished shore duty at the steam torpedo shop in yokosuka in 1958 and had been assigned to Gudgeon. On his first dive as COW U/I he got pushed aside during the dive by instructor chief who took over. He had the sequence correct however was looking at the control room clock instead of negative tank gage. Turns out he had cataracts on both eyes. Medical disqual.

There sure was some characters on submarines "back in the day". Some day I'll tell you a story about "highball" Adams and maybe "Narcotic" Nick.

Keep a zero bubble..............


3/22/2010 12:56 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Narcotic and High Ball, I can only imagine the stories, lol

3/22/2010 1:05 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Chief,

Was the negative inboard of the pressure hull?

I can see having it flooded for a crash dive situation, and I can see blowing it to get to PD, but do you top it off once you surface then?

3/22/2010 1:21 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

How big was the negative? It must have been a decent size tank?

3/22/2010 3:39 PM

Blogger John Byron said...

In the fleet boats, negative is a hard tank inside the pressure hull under control room. Upon surfacing it is flooded. On the dive (all dives in the fleet boat I served in), it gives the boat an initial negative buoyancy - thus its name. As soon as the boat gets under and early in the dive (tens of seconds), the diving officer orders it blown to the mark, to get the extra water out and achieve something closer to neutral buoyancy. It can be blown completely in an emergency (along with safety tank, another hard tank). Capacity: 15,000 lbs.

3/22/2010 3:52 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Sir, where was the safety tank at and how big was it?

Did diesel boats have any kind of EMBT system like today?

The whole ballasting system was a lot different set up right?

They could dive pretty fast right?


3/22/2010 3:55 PM

Blogger John Byron said...

Safety tank in a fleet boat was a hard saddle tank wrapped around control. Purpose was to compensate for serious flooding and give the boat a quick way to get rid of a lot of weight. It held 46,500 pounds and was kept flooded. The only times I can recall it being blown was before entering drydock and am not even sure of that.

Some of the TANG class and (I think) all three B-Girls underwent a modified SubSafe conversion giving them an EMBT blow system. I served in TANG, TROUT, and GUDGEON - only the latter was converted. We could have used the EMBT blow system in TROUT when we collapsed our induction piping at test depth and found that rig-for-deep did not shut the telltale drain around the hull induction valve.

MBT tank arrangements not very much different from nukes, but the fleet boats also had bow buoyancy, safety and negative, and the fuel ballast tanks. Again, not a B-Girl veteran and can't say for them.

The fleet boats in WW-II made a virtue of fast dives - read Dick O'Kane's books or Gene Fluckey's - but not a big deal in my time. Faster than a nuke, though, just as a sports car can outrun a pig.

Here's what I think is the best introduction into fleet boats:

I had the opportunity to talk some with Admiral O'Kane and his wife when I was XO in what he called 'the new TANG.' Quiet guy, short, wonderful wife.

This is the other book I'd read. Am good friends with son of one of PUFFER's crew, patrols 3 through 11:

3/22/2010 4:22 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

RD, Sir,

Thank you for the information.

There really used to be mail buoy watches, right?


3/22/2010 4:30 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

RD, Sir,

Thank you for the information.

There really used to be mail buoy watches, right?


3/22/2010 4:30 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

RD, Sir,

Read "Last Patrol" but it is very brief and mostly about the lost boats.


3/22/2010 4:40 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

RD, Sir,

When did submarines stop using torpedo tubes in the stern? Did the newer diesel boats have torpedo tubes in the stern?

Thank you.


3/22/2010 4:47 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Sir, why do pictures of WWII submarine crews show men with very few medals but modern sailors have a bunch of medals. Were'nt the WWII men war heros or at least from the war effort?

Thank you.


3/22/2010 4:53 PM

Blogger John Byron said...

"When did submarines stop using torpedo tubes in the stern? Did the newer diesel boats have torpedo tubes in the stern?"

TANG class had two tubes aft. Shorties - could not fire MK37-2s (with wire guidance section) but only 37-3s (no wire). Although built with loading skid and plans for loading conventionally, was such a goat rope to unrig the berthing that loading was accomplished through the muzzle, the fish floated with air bags and stuffed in backwards by divers (actually easer than it sounds).

On medals, dunno. On one hand, there's been a proliferation of campaign awards (Battle of Scully Square, etc.) in more recent times. On the other, the medals for awards (rather than campaigns) during WW-II were real (check out the Clean Sweep Bar at Lockwood Hall Pearl sometime) and far greater in number than now. My real sense is that there were fewer opportunities to get rigged with medals in days past.

BTW, anything I get wrong on these topics, you other pigboaters please correct me.

3/22/2010 5:25 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

WWII pictures show boats with mascots (small dogs). Did the dogs ever go to sea? Who cared for the mascots if they stayed on land when the sub was out?

3/22/2010 5:46 PM

Anonymous NHSparky said...

Like you said, Joel--if DoD wants to find someone REALLY badly, they will, with or without your help. If someone is trolling, do you have the ability to do an IP block, or is that function not available to you in this format? That being said, people could find out who I am easily enough just from what I've said about where I've served or a Google search of my name. Whateva.
Let those who wish to be anon stay anon. You do a great job of not releasing any potential NNPI or otherwise potentially classified info, which is probably the larger issue here.

3/22/2010 8:38 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon, IMO the definative book on fleet boats and their entire history is John Alden's THE FLEET SUBMARINE IN THE U. S. NAVY. More information and data than you would ever want to know. a close second is Friedman's set of books on U. S. SUBMARINES AN ILLUSTRATED DESIGN HISTORY. A third very interesting small book is FRESH WATER SUBMARINES the Manitowac Story by RADM William Nelson.

Re: crash dives, Nelson tells the story of how the Manitowac Yard responding to requests from war patrol skippers returning to commission new boats, to speed up the diving time of submarines. the answer was very simple. required adjusting the interlocks on the bow planes rigging gear so as to allow bow planes to be rigged in with a ten degree down angle. Upon diving, the bow planes rigged out with a ten degree down angle and at flank speed drove the bow down and under much more rapidly, like completely submerged in 30 seconds. when you examine pics of WWII boats you will see some with the bow planes rigged in with a pronounced forward tilt. They had the Manitowoc alteration. On my first boat SS-348 a fleet snorkler we routinely practiced crash dive. We also left an officer on the bridge once by accident. We were able to stop the dive, he got thoroughly soaked and scared the s**t out of him, and we took on a lot of water through the conning tower hatch.

Lot of fun in those days for sure..... Boats were pretty simple to operate and could take a lot of abuse. check google for the USS Chopper SS-344 deep dive story. We had an IC Electrician on Barbel who made the deep dive.

About six years ago one of the volunteers working on the San Francisco Museum submarine USS Pampanito SS-383 managed to to get a film crew onboard Turkish submarine ex-Tang SS-563. In discussions with the Turkish skipper he asked, " how are your former US submarines different the German type 209 submarines you are buying today?" His response was, "American submarines built for war, German submarines built for export."

Keep a zero bubble...........


3/22/2010 8:59 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Thank you for the information. I found a submarine site that lists and shows photos of all sub sailors lost from WWII up until today and browsed through site. It describes that a few sailors were lost during crash/battle dives.

I wonder how many lookouts were normally topside. They seemed to have a fair amount of guns. Were the gun crews manned all the time or maybe a lookout could man a weapon (machine gun) if necessary?

Also, some history documnets talk about surface attacks and use of deck guns (4 -5 inch I think). That had to be a pretty brazen approach on the surface but I assume that a surface attack using deck guns would not be against say a heavy cruiser or a battlewagon. Maybe a less armed adversary just seems to make sense.

3/22/2010 9:13 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon Re: decorations, IMO, Historically USN has been very sparing on awarding decorations until about 20-25 years ago. Campaign ribbons for various military compaigns etc. However, following Korean War and into cold war, wasn't much in the way of decorations such as Navy Commendation Medal, Legion of Merit etc. awarded to crew members below submarine skipper. there were a few PUC's and NUC's awarded for specific missions. NAM wasn't around until late 60's I think. Battle Efficiency award was a badge sewn on right sleeve of jumper. Fairly common to get a written commendation Letter if you were a stellar performer or did something special. In my days on submarines 59-77, there was a set number of awards for a deployment that the skipper could authorize. If you were enlisted, a transfer decoration was just not expected during those days.

Keep a zero bubble...........


3/22/2010 9:33 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon, Re: Stern tubes, all twin screw submarines through 578 class, and Halibut and Triton had stern tubes. Short tubes as per RD's description.

Lookouts on WWII boats, four in shears, port and stbd, forward and aft plus OOD. Post WWII on diesel boats two, port and stbd.

Deck Guns. Had to call away "battle stations surface gun action" It took a couple of minutes to get deck guns ready to shoot, ammunition out of ready service lockers, guns manned. There were several fleet boats that had two 5 inch 25's as well as two 40 MM's. They also had gun fire control computer, stable element, and a gun order corrector alowing central direction of gunfire.

Keep a zero bubble............


3/22/2010 9:49 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Re:Safety Tank, on SS-348 prior to SpecOp in 1962, blew safety dry, flushed then loaded with fresh water as back up because our stills were in bad shape. 54 days w/o showers. didn't have to tap fresh water in Safety Tank. After surfacing and four on full heading to Yokosuka, COB approached skipper about using water in Safety tank for showers. He said no, blew overboard, and then flooded down after so screws would get more bite. As I recall we were doing 20+ over the ground heading for the barn. I was standing watch in ATR. You could hardly hear anything back there because of rudder rams, and screws, ATR was doinging figure eights and vibrating like hell. Fun times!!!

Keep a zero bubble.......


3/22/2010 10:07 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Figure eights, good description of multi-directional oscillation and vibrations.

I knew some men who got sea sick at the sound of water and others could ride a roller coaster and eat the worst chow and smoke nasty cigars with no negative impact.

Maybe some have not experienced it but have seen buckets and trash bags placed by watchstanders to remain in hairy and violent rides.

Nothing worse than poopy seas up the stern and a course that wont support change. Except maybe riders getting in the way with 3M (Movies, meals, mattresses).

I wonder if every boat has a "never miss a meal" person? When someone misses sleep for a meal then there is an issue, maybe a tapeworm, lol.

3/23/2010 7:08 AM

Anonymous PC Assclown Here said...

What's with all these Pig Boat questions? This anonymous guy asking the Duck (arrogent prick that he is) all these questions and signing as V/r is an obvious double naught spy.

You guys are much too quick to reveal all this negative and safety tank data. Next thing you know you'll be giving details about MK14s.........

Loose Lips Sink Ships

3/25/2010 11:45 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


What is wrong with pigboat questions? I think it is called history and the men who served on them are disappearing pretty fast. The only place outside the living historical info from them is the history books and they usually are pretty dry and some are too technical.

Do you belong to Subvets Inc. or know any WWII Subvets? What do you think some of them talk about?

Maybe pigboats are interesting?

Rubber Ducky is older and was a senior officer so giving him a little respect with an occassional V/R sometimes is fitting. Sure he can be caustic in his own way sometimes, but who can't be on any given day under the right circumstances?

Still a little respect never hurt anyone.

3/25/2010 12:52 PM

Anonymous PC Assclown's friend said...

Lighten up there 12:52. I'm sure the Assclown was just making a joke. Afterall, how many OO spies do you think there are out there trying to obtain classified information about smoke boats?

I'm good friends with the Assclown and happen to know he did time on the Wahoo as well as a couple of nuke boats. And he respects the Navy's traditions and history while choosing to voice an occasional opinion about some who sometimes come off as arrogent.

3/25/2010 3:57 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cool, rock on.

3/25/2010 6:02 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

PC Assclown's pal,

Yeah Assclown sort of gave his humor gig away with the dinosaur torpedo.

A Wahoo vet, outstanding.

3/25/2010 8:33 PM

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4/08/2010 10:05 AM

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