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, March 08, 2010

Submariners Completing Academy Takeover

With the announcement by Submariner and current Naval Academy Superintendent VADM Jeff Fowler that current SUBRON 4 Commander CAPT Robert Clark will become the new Commandant of Midshipmen, Submariners will hold the top two spots at the Academy.

I know this in normally CDR Salamander's area of expertise, but what policy changes would you make if you were in charge of the Academy?


Blogger John Byron said...

I'm with Rickover on this one: close the place.

3/08/2010 3:09 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rubber Ducky, I'd be interested in your reasons why. What would be your source(s) for commissioning?

Anyone have any of the recent stats? Is Seaman to Admiral still the Seaman to LCDR program? What percentage of each source stays around?

3/08/2010 3:26 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. I would increase time at sea for Midshipman cruises to three months, with 1 2-week leave period (therefore give Midshipmen 2 weeks at Christmas and 2 weeks during summer for leave). 3 month cruise would increase the meaning, save money (less to/from TAD $$) and provide greater benefit to the fleet.

2. As an enhancement to (1) above, have the ships/submarines involved in (1) above go to Annapolis and pick-up the USNA (& ROTC) Midshipmen. Good liberty for the crews, increases the Annapolis link to the operational Navy, and fully simulates getting underway for deployment.

3. First Class cruise (for rising "firsties" i.e. Seniors) would be service selection specific-- subs for submariners, squadrons for aviators, USMC TBS for Marines and ships for SWOs. (Yes, this means service selection would occur in spring of 2nd Class (Junior) year.

4. Wick down the number of majors so that there's Engineering (Mech E, EE, Naval Architecture, Marine Engineering (heavy on nuclear power), Liberal Arts (Poli Sci, History, Econ, English) and Science (Chemistry, Physics, Biology).

5. Increase service committment to 8 years, and make it uniform for all service selections (aviation, SWO, USMC, subs).

6. Eliminate division 1 sports and join a "student athlete" league like Ivy League.

7. Limit NAPS to prior enlisted personnel and move it to Annapolis.

8. Incorporate mandatory seamanship and navigation training to commercial standards and require all Midshipmen to sit for and pass Merchant Mariner 3rd Mate license exam as a condition of graduation. Replace current teachers with "gray beards"-- retired/former Navy/Merchant Mariners who hold Master's licenses.

9. Incorporate mentoring Master Chiefs and retired Captains/Flags into the leadership development courses. Perhaps replace courses entirely with on-going lecture series aimed at making highly effective and practical shipboard/squadron/platoon leaders. Passing an ethics/Leadership oral board composed of mentors would be a condition of graduation. EMPHASIZE LEADERSHIP OF ENLISTED MEN AND HOW TO EARN AND MAINTAIN RESPECT IN THE FLEET.

But, hey, I'm just a concerned Naval Academy grad who's learned a lot from my enlisted and officer mentors (and through LOTS of mistakes). What do I know??

3/08/2010 3:31 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm anon 3:31-- agree with Duck if recommended reforms aren't inacted.

USNA should be the pinaccle of Mariner and Engineering training. It should be respected by the fleet and the country as a whole because of the quality of leaders who graduate. Humble young men and women who are competent mariners and hit the fleet with the skills to lead Sailors and Marines by example.

Nuclear Power School, Aviation Training, SWOS (bring it back for real!) and USMC TBS should be a cake walk for any graduate because they lived and breathed those topics for years prior...

3/08/2010 3:34 PM

Anonymous Squidward said...

{Anyone have any of the recent stats? Is Seaman to Admiral still the Seaman to LCDR program?}

Completely unfair and you know it. When do STA/NECP/NESEP guys hit their 20? Gee, I wonder?

Anyway, is the goal to produce flag officers or JOs and DHs?

I think the answer is more enlisted to officer and less USNA.

3/08/2010 3:44 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rubber Ducky: Anon 3:31 again. Any chance you could give me an e-mail address or alternative way to contact you? I have some mentoring questions to ask offline (and I'm active duty, so breaking anonymity here not currently feasible).
Maybe post it, I'll acknowledge, and then delete it? Online now and for next 30 mins.

3/08/2010 3:49 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't mean the comparison to be unfair. You pointed out the exact rub with the program. Hitting 20 years and not wanting to put up with the BS anymore (hard to argue against this). It wasn't meant to ding on those STA-21 officers as most of them do a great job. STA-21 can't be the only solution.

3/08/2010 3:50 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

To squidward. Actually the submarine officer career path is designed to produce flag officers. Sea time was reduced from each tour to get officers to major command sooner.

To anon at 3:31, I am completely in favor of making all officers take the 3rd Mate license prior to commissioning. Being a professional mariner, what a great idea!

3/08/2010 3:54 PM

Blogger Clara said...

I'm with the KOG and Rubber Ducky. Structural flaws make the place turn good people into bad. But perhaps I'm not far enough removed from it yet.

Short of closing it down, dissolve the athletic association. The revenue and public affairs generated by certain varsity sports are too much of a temptation for the chain of command.

3/08/2010 4:15 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

@1526: At my husband's power school and SOAC classes and on his boats, the top guys weren't from the academy, they were from NROTC and NUPOC. Husband declined his academy acceptance because their CS program wasn't much compared to other schools.

Have also seen great enlisted to officer candidates get booted into the surface fleet because they're commissioned as LDOs rather than sent through the traditional power school/SOBC pipeline. It's a shame to lose them.

3/08/2010 4:20 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Close the ring knocker’s mother ship.

Tradition and continuity means nothing, the diversity folks have already made that perfectly clear. No justification to keep wasting money on any service academy.

Besides, you can easily get low quality officer candidates like Capt Bligh from any old state (government education) university. Don’t waste the taxpayer’s valuable money on inept people and illegitimate candidates.

3/08/2010 4:23 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Service Academy’s are financially inefficient, overhead, staff and facilities are waste of money to maintain staff and facilities.

Find the top 50 - 75 engineering and science programs in the country. Revamp and ramp up ROTC programs at these schools. Increase accessions through ROTC. Increase leadership training with much more robust program.

3/08/2010 4:31 PM

Anonymous ex SSN Eng said...

Me-thinks the structural problems alluded to at the USNA go well beyond the academy. The larger problem is how the Navy itself is being run.

My point: this isn't just about growing good naval officers -- it's about keeping the best of the best rather than losing them.

That's the aim-point I'd suggest focusing on...not just the sources/methods of training.

3/08/2010 4:46 PM

Blogger John Byron said...

anon 3:26: When asked if I went to the Academy, my answer is always 'No. I went to college.' University of Washington, Physical Oceanography, NESEP.

anon 3:31 & 3:39: Joel - Please would you send this gentleman my email? Thanks.

Canoe U has vacillated for decades between education and training, between being an institution of higher learning and a trade school. Rickover wanted everything to be engineering, the tougher the better. John Lehman pushed for more humanities and liberal arts. And this taffy-pull has gone on relentlessly over the years. I come down on the side of liberal-arts emphasis but that's probably liberal bias.

My real concern with the place is its cloistered nature and its ability to freeze emotional and intellectual development in its graduates. If you want to know why Academy-source officers had the greatest difficulty understand racial integration or why there's still a deep thread of misogynism detectible in some Annapolis grads, well, the half-life of ideas inculcated on the Severn seems to be about 20 years. Some (are you listening, Cdr Sal?) never do get it.

I've served with Canoe U grads who were great nukes and some that were terrible. I spent time in a wardroom with a nuke who had a degree in philosophy from Holy Cross, and he held up well. I recall that the Kindly Old Gentleman correctly pointed out his success in drawing nuclear-power officers from NUPOC and NROTC. And I see broader problems in the integration of joint force that's exacerbated by the Academy system (all Services).

The counter-argument was well put by old shipmate Dick Riddell. 'Why do we need the Academy, Eng?' 'Because the Navy needs admirals and this is the most effective way to make them.' Not bad. But not sure if this isn't equivalent to a self-licking ice cream cone: "We need the Academy for the feedstock that allows earlier Academy graduates to select later Academy graduates for promotion."

Seriously, the price per graduate from the Boat School is staggering compared to other sources. If same sum were plowed into NROTC, NUPOC, and post-graduate education (at schools other than Monterey in my model), I think we'd end up with more and better officers. YMMV.

3/08/2010 4:58 PM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

Anon 3:49: Send my your E-mail address, and I'll send you RD's.

3/08/2010 5:05 PM

Anonymous ex SSN Eng said...

Laughing at the Duck's opening line.

My reply to the "did you go to the Naval Academy?" question:

"No...I was college educated."

3/08/2010 5:10 PM

Anonymous LT L said...

I'm fond of the Royal Navy's model of the academy being similar to OCS/The Basic School rolled up into one, with incoming Midshipmen completing their degree before entry. I'm not sure if it would work logistically as most UK undergraduate degrees are completed in three years (compared to the typical 4+ here in the states). Any Limey Bubbleheads have an opinion?

-LT L (NROTC, for the record)

3/08/2010 5:26 PM

Anonymous LT L said...

P.S. I met Bob Clark a few times and he seemed to be a pretty stand up dude. He accosted me when I was visiting N87 to give some briefings, and demanded I remain in his cubicle until the Admiral wanted me in order for him to "shoot-the-shit with someone who wasn't a desk-weenie".


3/08/2010 5:30 PM

Blogger Ret ANAV said...

"8. Incorporate mandatory seamanship and navigation training to commercial standards and require all Midshipmen to sit for and pass Merchant Mariner 3rd Mate license exam as a condition of graduation. Replace current teachers with "gray beards"-- retired/former Navy/Merchant Mariners who hold Master's licenses."

You were reading my mind, brutha! One of my recent students was actually a graduate of USMMA - turned SWO - but far and away better-educated than his USNA/NROTC bretheren. To his credit, he is going to serve (already relieved, actually) on a Mayport-based CG. SPEAKING of commercial standards, the new SURFOR Ship-Control and Navigation PQS is on the street (as of 3/1/10), which is modeled rather heavily on the IMO's STCW requirements. Obviously more to be done, but it's a start. Hopefully the concept will trickle down to the institutes of higher learning and we'll start developing SWOs (and 1120's for that matter) with somewhat of a clue.

Truth to the rumor that Jeff Fowler is retiring? Clark served under him (N3) at CTF-69, if memory serves.

3/08/2010 6:05 PM

Anonymous STSC said...

Incorporate mandatory seamanship and navigation training to commercial standards and require all Midshipmen to sit for and pass Merchant Mariner 3rd Mate license exam as a condition of graduation. Replace current teachers with "gray beards"-- retired/former Navy/Merchant Mariners who hold Master's licenses.
We have an institution for that. It is called the Merchant Marine Academy @ King's Point.

Graduates can take their degree & go Navy (or other branches) afterwards if they want.

I'd like to see USNA $ spent elsewhere, but it is one of many things that just isn't going to happen.

3/08/2010 6:09 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are several communication and emotional issues involving actual college graduates vice ringknocker U throuhputs. For instance, when God’s gift to submarines and nuclear power shows up and is unable to activate or access his special issue butter bar decoder ring when he finds out that he is just a NUB and will be one for a long time then that might pose problems for his inner child. There would need to be 24/7 hotline like Dr. Phil or Oprah to ease the transition into the real world.

3/08/2010 6:15 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Burn it.

But maybe I haven't been away long enough.

3/08/2010 7:05 PM

Blogger Dadfish said...

Re: STA-21 being Seaman to LCDR.
Consider that the years in college count toward retirement for that program, which when counting years enlisted, puts most STA21 officers at retirement right after their Dept Head tour. Who in their right mind wouldn't retire at that point?

Going Enlisted to Officer via USNA, on the other hand, those years do not count. It's pretty sweet.

3/08/2010 7:08 PM

Blogger Bill Lapham said...


Re: #9. I'm sure you're aware of the company/battalion CPO/SNCO program created by ADM Boorda/MCPON Hagan in the mid-nineties. I was assigned there as a Battalion Master Chief just before the number of battalions was reduced to five. It left me without a job. Capt Bogle, the Commandant, said I could stay on (I had only been there a month)or I could transfer. I chose to stay but had to find a job!

I went over to Leadership, Ethics and Law and helped rewrite (again) NL 301, the Second Class Naval Leadership course. I also helped set up the Masters degree program for the company officers. Professor Montor, ADM Edney, Prof. Sherman and then CDR Pat Walsh (now COMPACFLT) were all there at the time. It was a great time to be there!

That gig lasted until they needed a new CMC across the river at the Naval Station and rather than order in a new one, CAPT Jerry Ferrell hired me on behalf of ADM Larson. That CMC job, it turns out, was dual-hatted as the Annapolis Area Complex CMC, reporting directly to the Superintendent. So as you might imagine, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to work for ADM Larson until he retired (again). One of the highlights of my career was hauling down and presenting that man his flag (right in front of his friend and the guest speaker for the event, Senator John McCain.) I still get chills thinking about it. VADM Ryan took over and it was a great honor to work for him too. Just an amazing time.

I say this all by way of qualifying myself to endorse your recommendation #9. I would love to take part in a program such as you describe. A series of ongoing seminars, perhaps linked to classic naval readings (like the Johnies do across the street) pulling leadership lessons from experience and from the books. The Cruel Sea; The Sand Pebbles; Run Silent, Run Deep, etc.

The trouble with getting retired master chiefs is finding them living there. I don't imagine many do, unless that has changed since the beginning of the company chief program. I know retired Fleet Master Chief Jim Mitchell used to live there. He was the first CMC for the Brigade and the company chiefs. He'd be a great source of info on local master chiefs.

Anyway, it's a great idea, and one that they could swing into action pretty quickly and at minimal cost, I would think. I'll let you guys duke it out over the other stuff, but let me close by saying I left that tour with a new and deep appreciation for the sheer amount of work midshipmen produce and the amount of food they eat! And I, like many who have gone to school or worked there, developed a love for the place itself. It gets under your skin and its why they'll never close it, no matter how much money it would save.

Sentimental value might damn us all to hell! See you there!

3/08/2010 7:10 PM

Blogger Jarrod said...

"2. As an enhancement to (1) above, have the ships/submarines involved in (1) above go to Annapolis and pick-up the USNA (& ROTC) Midshipmen. Good liberty for the crews, increases the Annapolis link to the operational Navy, and fully simulates getting underway for deployment"

This right here tells me that if you did go to USNA you never once looked at a chart of the area, or even out at the Bay. There's not a ton of anchorage and it's next to impossible to park a typical warship at the seawall. Also, parading the number of ships used in summer training up and down the Chesapeake (competing with the merchant traffic to NORVA and Baltimore) sounds like an awesome idea. Or are you suggesting we cut down on the number of ships involved, further displacing the normal crew and straining mid/sailor relations even more?

"4. Wick down the number of majors so that there's Engineering (Mech E, EE, Naval Architecture, Marine Engineering (heavy on nuclear power), Liberal Arts (Poli Sci, History, Econ, English) and Science (Chemistry, Physics, Biology)."

Really? What for? You're not saving money since you still have to hire extra instructors in those departments to absorb all the new people taking those classes. You also have to stand up an entirely new one since as you surely know biology is not currently offered. But sure, by all means, let's cut two of the school's best-regarded programs in aero and systems engineering.

"6. Eliminate division 1 sports and join a "student athlete" league like Ivy League."

Again, the Patriot League, which I'm sure you recall the Academy belongs to for nearly everything, IS a student athlete conference. Perhaps we can ban NROTC mids from taking part in varsity sports, since many of the participating schools are D-1 too.


3/08/2010 7:46 PM

Blogger Srvd_SSN_CO said...

Close it.
To expensive.
ROUTINELY sacrifices its integrity to champion gender/race/football issues that do NOT help the fleet.
Women drink in Bancroft, big offense, men drink in Bancroft, expelled. Intramural football player smokes pot, "to the left, one cross each," varsity football player, "off you go, to the right."

And before you ask, yes, I graduated from there.

While at USNA, the Sup let 11 football players and 1 woman remain even though there was NO question they had cheated on a law project--military friggin law. But you can't bench football players days before Army/Navy. The brigade was incensed.

The quality of officers is not higher. I have served with good guys and bad guys from USNA and State U.

STA generates a lot of old mid-grade officers...and fewer senior guys than we need.
ROTC/NUPOC is fine.

3/08/2010 7:58 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: STA-21

The program was changes this year. Time in school no longer counts towards eligibility for retirement. Based on my limited experience as a SPU, it will probably result in it becoming the SN to LT-21, as there is much less incentive to ride it out.

It'll certainly be interesting to see how that ripples up the CoC as the years pass and fewer guys are staying in as DHs just to get to retirement.

3/08/2010 8:40 PM

Anonymous Squidward said...

{Section 6328 of title 10, United States Code, is amended by adding the following new subsection:
`(c) Time Spent in Seaman to Admiral Program- The months of active service in pursuit of a baccalaureate-level degree under the Seaman to Admiral (STA-21) program of the Navy of officer candidates selected for the program on or after the date of the enactment of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 shall be excluded in computing the years of service of an officer who was appointed to the grade of ensign in the Navy upon completion of the program to determine the eligibility of the officer for retirement, unless the officer becomes subject to involuntary separation or retirement due to physical disability. Such active service shall be counted in computing the years of active service of the officer for all other purposes.'.}

I guess its Seaman to Admiral, again. Or, at least, Seaman to CDR ;)

3/08/2010 10:06 PM

Blogger HMS Defiant said...

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.

3/08/2010 11:23 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone have a rough figure of the total cost from day 1 until graduation for a USNA grad? I have never seen those stats on any pie charts or graphs but maybe someone has a ballpark figure. Given the nature of education and its associated expenses, the identification of all costs could easily generate accurate figures via a simple cost allocation approach. The results of a real cost allocation analysis would probably be very revealing and eye opening. Tradition is priceless but at what cost? Continuity is valuable but at what expense? Is a service grad worth $225,000? How about $350,000? Where is the justification cut off expense?

3/09/2010 4:46 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It would be nice to see all the Urinals removed as well as the Midshipmans teeth., Harsh yes, but would speed up their chances for advancement in the Navy..... Just a Fact..

3/09/2010 5:15 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ballpark costs for U.S. service academies is $310,000 annually per student compared to $130,000 for ROTC.

3/09/2010 5:26 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oz: 3:31 anon here. Shipmate, go grab your OOD qual card and scratch your signatures on chart preps, authorized berths for nuclear powered warships and contact coordinator.

1. Yes, I am a graduate.
2. I have stood on the deck of SSNs, SSBNs (MARYLAND!), ASs, CGs, DDGs, FFs (dating myself!), DDs, PHM and LCACs at USNA in various locations-- at anchor, alongside, and, in the case of the LCAC, on Farragut Field. I'm fairly confident that a few CGs, amphibs and submarines could conduct a safe anchoring evolution (even, AGHAST!, alongside one another and sharing shore power to the submarines!!!).
3. Shipping traffic to/from Baltimore and NORVA?! YGTBFKM. Drop me a line when you're pulled in and out of Tokyo Wan, Singapore or Busan. Then we can chat about shipping traffic.

Get qualified, nub.


Most other comments are quite good here. The comment regarding blurring the lines between USMMA and USNA is valid and worth consideration. We would not want to inadvertently compromise USMMA. (The U.S. Congress and business are doing a good enough job screwing civilian mariners as it is!)

Best of luck Captain Clark!!

3/09/2010 6:04 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Captain Bligh would be a superlative and fine choice to stand up a new leadership program at the USNA. She has demonstrated the high ideals and proud traditions of the U.S. Navy. Also, she meets the hearty needs of a poster child for the PC and diversity imbeciles so it is twice the bang for the buck. She is probably so very proud to wear her ring. What would James Stockdale think of her leadership?

3/09/2010 6:42 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

No danger of the Stockdale award going there!

3/09/2010 7:11 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, she will not be making any speeches or appearances with that award in her FITREP.

3/09/2010 7:16 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good Luck to Captain Clark. He is a class act. I am curious how many Dants have been both a NAPS grad and a USNA grad. That will be a good role model for the midshipman. I am also not sure if Fowler is going to be there because of the whole diversity thing. Two Sub guys..... I smell a retirement or a reassign for Fowler.

3/09/2010 7:17 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


3/09/2010 7:25 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Donald retiring, Fowler to NR?

3/09/2010 7:30 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re. Anon 3/09/2010 6:42 AM

Women on Subs? Any truth to the rumor that Captain Bligh was selected to stand up the new Women UnderSea (WUS) Program at the Academy?

3/09/2010 7:34 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Capt Bligh is standing up the WUS brigade and program, excellent and BZ to a well deserved assignment. SS is being converted to Submerged Screamers vice Submarine Service. Good things come to those who scream. The squeaky screamer gets the promotion and assignment.

3/09/2010 7:42 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sonar, Con, report bearing to Sierra 8 you F@%@$@$%@ Dumb A@@ Idiots before I come in there and put my size 3 shoe up your F#@#@#@ A#@.

The Submarine IC manual will need a complete rewrite to support the WUS program.

3/09/2010 7:46 AM

Blogger John Byron said...

The word is 'misogynist.'

Look it up. Be ashamed if it applies to you.

And be aware that it runs counter to the values of the Submarine Force, the US Navy, and American society.

3/09/2010 8:42 AM

Blogger John Byron said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3/09/2010 8:43 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think we should keep the USNA... after all, you have to have something bad to compare it with the "good".

Before all you CU grads get your undies in a bunch, this is just good natured Submarine Humor.

Actually, I am for keeping the USNA around, including the sports. Does it need an overhaul? Yes. First, kill all the PC bullshit. The Navy is about destroying enemy ships and other targets, and providing shore support for ground forces. It needs to get back to Navy basics; shiphandling, warfighting, and leadership. Lots of Military history and tactics. USe the same type of trainers that are used in the surface and submarine schools. The students should have a warrior's attitude cultivated. The job of the Navy is to kill and destroy and that should be made clear.

All of these elements already exist elsewhere, so there is no need to re-invent the wheel, just adopt those programs. All of the comments above to that effect are great.

Sports are a moral builder and a PR tool, which are always good. It just shouldn't the be all to end all. If the cost of sending someone through the academy is truly what was stated above, then the public should get their money's worth, producing officers that are the envy of the world.

Impossible? No, not if there are people committed to doing the right thing.

3/09/2010 8:52 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dislike of incompetent, abusive, disrespectful and inept leadership, the words are “Common Sense.”

Gender is not the issue with Capt. Bligh. Lack of sound judgment, honor, discretion and intelligence are the issues.

3/09/2010 8:54 AM

Anonymous ret.cob said...

Better duck, Duck!

3/09/2010 8:54 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

COCKALORUM. A little man with an unduly high opinion of himself.

3/09/2010 9:10 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Can't you send the kids to their own corners until they learn to play well with each other?

Shake hands and act like gentlemen instead of skimmers.

3/09/2010 10:01 AM

Anonymous submarines once... said...

IFNAG....Ignornant F'ing Naval Academy Graduate! Of course there are enough qualifiers from all inputs. But it was always enjoyable to explain "IFNAG" to NAG's.

3/09/2010 10:08 AM

Anonymous bullnav said...

I understand the CSS 4 COC could be quite the party...

3/09/2010 10:11 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is that?

3/09/2010 10:14 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

submarines once:

What is your main malfunction?

3/09/2010 10:53 AM

Anonymous ret.cob said...


Back in the olden days I could. This one has disintegrated beyond repair.

3/09/2010 11:02 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: Middies passing 3rd Mates Exam, Actually there are five exams that must be passed in order to gain 3rd Mates License. Having sailed with MSC as a CivMar I've known a number of former AB's that went the "hawse pipe route". At least eight months of full time training, practical factors, and certifications required at a USCG approved training program even before testing. Also must have documented U/W time as well. NOTE: IAW USCG Regs, U/W time on submarines cannot be used for this requirement. Several former shipmates that were college grads told me the training and testing for 3rd Mate was the toughest they ever did.

I doubt very seriously that the trade school provides this kind of in depth deck officer training or that the middies could pass all the exams for a 3rd Mates License.

My 6 years experience underway on a MSC T-AOE, and two T-AE's tells me that Licensed Deck Officers are the real no-shit mariners.

Jeffery Cook (the cookie monster)The Permanent Master of my last ship USNS Kiska T-AE 35 has been aboard 10 years. I would sail with him anytime, anywhere.

My two cents and keep a zero bubble.........


3/09/2010 1:31 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vice Admiral Fowler's relief this summer could be Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group 2, Rear Admiral Michelle Howard.

3/09/2010 3:34 PM

Anonymous Squidward said...

I wonder if we'll reach the point where we collectively regret that SWOs have gone from being the Navy to being the guys who didn't get selected for Aviators, Subs, SEALs, etc? Certainly, the situations that civmars are so much more proficient in their craft than SWOs is a little sad.

3/09/2010 3:35 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are they still having to pay SWOs bonuses to fill DH billets?

3/09/2010 3:42 PM

Blogger Ret ANAV said...

DBFTMC: "NOTE: IAW USCG Regs, U/W time on submarines cannot be used for this requirement. Several former shipmates that were college grads told me the training and testing for 3rd Mate was the toughest they ever did."

TMC: Not true. NMC first evaluates the Page 5 - History of assignments. Time on gray hulls is evaluated as 60% of time actually onboard. Time on submarines is evaluated as "20% of the 60% rule" to account for estimated time actually spent ON THE SURFACE. For obvious reasone, time submerged is not relevant for licensing purposes. Of course, the FIRST entering arguement for ANY documented time is "While Holding A License" - Spanish for "Having an OOD Letter". And your old shipmates are right...3rd Mate is a Motherfu$^#r.

3/09/2010 4:14 PM

Blogger Srvd_SSN_CO said...

Those of you in the he-man woman haters club need to wake the f up and get in the 21st century. The 'she can't do it' sniveling is making those of us who don't doubt our masculinity cringe.

Stay home and let the big boys handle it. There there, it will be okay. The girls won't hurt you.

3/09/2010 4:15 PM

Blogger John Byron said...

Srvd_SSN_CO: Bravo Xray

3/09/2010 4:34 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Srvd_SSN_CO is correct.

It is going to happen. It's not based on the question of if a girl can do the same job as a guy. A woman 80lbs lighter than me can do what I do easily. The two man concept regarding PRP will have to be worked out, but I think we'll be okay regarding maintenance & operations and security.

It's berthing that's really the big anomaly. We're still looking at which way how to proceed next that will benefit everyone on the boat. Yes we can do it on Boomers, but the Fast Attack guys are definitely having second thoughts. In the long run, how in hell is that supposed to work?

We have to still consider this coed idea from...

1. An operational point of view.

2. Physical Logistics.

3. Career in the hell do we put a female chief or DH on a fast attack? She's going to have to make the transfer eventually, or else it'll fuck up her career when she becomes a SNCO or a senior officer.

Guys, are we absolutely certain we've thought this whole thing through from every possible avenue of approach?

MT1(SS) WidgetHead

3/09/2010 5:34 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Submarines have survived nukes, they will easily tolerate women.

3/09/2010 5:54 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nukes and sonar techs.

3/09/2010 6:14 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think there's really any doubt that women CAN do the job as well as men, at least from a physical/mental standpoint. But putting women on submarines is not going to be a positive thing for two reasons:

1) Big Navy WILL screw this up. I guarantee this. It will take at least 5 years, perhaps longer before they figure out policies that don't incite excessive resentment from their peers. We all know there will be tremendous pressure to have one of the initial women serve til CO. How long before some SSBN has its own Holly Graf?

2) The budget ax looms in the distance. The current American fiscal position puts us in a situation where we can practically guarantee cuts in military spending in the next 5 to 10 years. Female retention in the surface fleet is less than half that of men, meaning that it's more expensive to produce female DH, XO, CO's, and Admirals. For now, the 2 women in the wardroom are being detailed on top of the traditional 9 male JO's. But that will not last forever. If I were the submarine force, I would start trying to save as much money as possible in every place as possible to try to preserve the force in the future.

The public (NYT in particular), is already erroneously convinced that VA class is a waste of money and should be cancelled. That's no shit. In the face of a 600 billion dollar defense budget, the cost of female manning is pretty negligible. But how do you think the sub force is going to fare in a 300 or 400 billion dollar defense budget? Now make our personnel costs explode by increasing the number of recruits needed per hull and increasing nuke copay and SRB's across the board. How much will it take to make the sub force start to look pretty damn expensive in comparison to other communities?

I don't know the answer to that question, but I expect that it won't be pretty for anybody when the inevitable fiscal ass pounding comes to the military as whole, and this just adds to that in its own small way.

3/09/2010 6:43 PM

Blogger Nancy Yockey Bonar said...

Women Submariners Question: A submariner explained to me about bunking. He said two female officers would take the place of two junior male officers. This would mean no bunking/major privacy issues?

I think this is a done deal. No way would Defense, Navy request Congress approval female submariners without being 99% sure.

Sail on. Thanks for your service.

3/09/2010 9:06 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Based on a discussing with PERS 42, they are not taking the place of anyone. The two women will be in addition to the normal male manning. They did not explicitly say this, but I suspect this is due to two reasons.
1) Nobody is really sure what female retention is going to be, and they'd rather have a few extra bodies along for the ride until they figure out the right numbers
2) There's a still chance it could, for whatever reason, not work out as well as anticipated, and they don't want to hurt their future manning if they're ends up being some kind of reversal in policy due to a big problem of some kind.

The privacy issue is really bathrooms, vice bedrooms. But honestly, that issue, in my opinion is probably overblown. The bigger, unanswered question is whether or not there is actually a significant number of women out there who have the right background to make it as a submarine officer, the interest in doing it, and the right mindset to essentially give up having a family to make a career in the Navy. My gut feeling is that that number is relatively low, as the women that are qualified for submarine duty are unsurprisingly highly sought after in the civilian world too. The Surface Nuclear Navy has been honestly, pretty damn unsuccessful in attracting and retaining female nuke officers. The submarine community will likely also struggle.

Frankly, I think this is the political booger that can't be flicked, and that there is no good operational reason to integrate submarines.

3/09/2010 11:23 PM

Blogger Dadfish said...

How did this get to women on subs? That thread was several posts ago. And several before that. And before that.

Re: USNA grads and skill as mariners. Remember that SWOs and Submariners are only part of the equation; USNA also sends people to be Pilots, NFOs, SEALs, and Marines. A large number of the SWOs wanted to be something else. Naturally, seamanship and navigation courses are treated by many students-- and some faculty-- the same way an engineering student treats English Lit. That is, an annoyance to be gotten out of the way with as little time/effort invested as possible.

3/09/2010 11:27 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) has a much different approach than the USNA to student education. The USMMA students undergo a much more rigorous program and curriculum than the USNA. USMMA graduates complete 170 semester hours of education and professional study - three years of study in residence and one year at sea. Essentially, the bachelor degree portion is completed in 3 years vice 4 and the fourth year is professional education. This approach is much different than the education approach at the USNA and the cost of educating USMMA students is approximately $100,000 less per graduate. The USMAA is much more efficient and cost effective at educating graduates and imparting qualitative and measureable professional achievements. The USMAA graduates have much more extensive ship handling experience than comparable USMAA. This brings up the question, “Why doesn’t the Navy simply contract the USMAA to generate SWOs?” The USMAA has a proven track record at doing what the Navy has struggled with, producing competent ship handlers.

3/10/2010 4:40 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did Capt. HAG actually graduate from the Naval Academy?

3/10/2010 5:28 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those of you in the he-man woman haters club need to wake the f up and get in the 21st century. The 'she can't do it' sniveling is making those of us who don't doubt our masculinity cringe.

Stay home and let the big boys handle it. There there, it will be okay. The girls won't hurt you.

No one really gives a flyin' F what you think, so STFU! Should I have said, "Sir" with that?

3/10/2010 5:33 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you think Clark was brought in because of his ties to the Sub community, which in turn will help mentor the woman candidates for sub duty and moreover be the political ballast in the next few years with this ramp up period?

3/10/2010 5:39 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Based on a discussing with PERS 42, they are not taking the place of anyone. The two women will be in addition to the normal male manning. They did not explicitly say this, but I suspect this is due to two reasons.
1) Nobody is really sure what female retention is going to be, and they'd rather have a few extra bodies along for the ride until they figure out the right numbers

So, the truth is revealed. Women will not be doing the same job, they will have a lighter load while adding to the oxygen consumption???

3/10/2010 5:41 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tailhook: Root Cause- Naval Officer’s lack of judgment, discretion, maturity and solid leadership.
Subhook: You Decide!

3/10/2010 5:53 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon @ 5:41:

They will still be doing the same job as the rest of the JO's, they will just be plussed up in manning. So instead of the nominal 9 JO's there will be two extra female JO's. If you were on an ssbn a few years ago however, many boats had 14 or 15 JO's anyway so in a sense it's a return to that.

IMO, there is a point where you have too many JO's and some don't have valid jobs, and it makes it hard to qualify, etc. But that number is probably closer to 14 or so. 11 I think is probably actually a pretty nice size. Allows all of the JO's to do nothing but qual EOOW for the first 6 months, but keeps you from having a LAN division officer and other stupid crap.

3/10/2010 6:30 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rubber Ducky is right on with this one, Rickover's intelligence and leadership have proven substance.

"I'm with Rickover on this one: close the place."

Women on submarines, wow, the PC bunch that allowed the subpar performance of people like Capt Bligh will do the same in the undersea community.

3/10/2010 6:55 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joel, on a much more pleasant and less controversial topic, do you have any cool Polar Bear sampling SSN-22 rudder pics?

Maybe an idea for a future blog topic? Pretty light hearted but part of inport life in some places.

The seals did weigh that 726 class down in Bangor at the Delta pier.

Many boats in P-Can have met the manatee gang on the stern.

Not to mention the snakes in the superstructure and on topside decks stories.

Even wearwolves (unshaven lasseys for NUBS)in Scotland for the old boomers and Guam's flying snakes.

3/10/2010 8:27 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

you gotta love Fred. ICEX. He wanted to eat, the double duece fed him. Google polar bear USS CONN

3/10/2010 8:39 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

interestingly enough, Clark was the CO when that happened.

3/10/2010 8:40 AM

Blogger Nancy Yockey Bonar said...

ICEX bear photos, including "eating" sail. I HAVE. E-mail me, I'll attach, send.

3/10/2010 10:01 AM

Blogger Nancy Yockey Bonar said...


In recent years, how many surface and sub COs have been relieved of command?

(haven't figured out yet how to post in proper topic. sorry)

3/10/2010 10:09 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


3/10/2010 10:17 AM

Anonymous ret.cob said...

So junior Sailors pay for the stowage of two more JO's displaced from staterooms. Two more racks for the COB to find. Two more watches hotracking. Two more JO's in make-work jobs for CPO's to train. Yes, sir.

3/10/2010 10:20 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


It seems like it is the practical applications and the real world negative impact that escape the political leaders who are so many years removed from the real business end of the military. As the political armchair quarterbacks garner additional political clout for themselves, they gleefully sell out the only people who genuinely matter, "The Wheels." After all, they seem to show little real leadership and concern for the people that they are supposed to lead and represent. It is called self-serving narcissism and maybe that is why Capt. Bligh's blatantly dishonorable conduct has not led to her immediate departure from the service she has disgraced.

3/10/2010 10:53 AM

Anonymous ret.cob said...


I'm sure I've only scratched the surface. Some moron will come along and say something like, hey, good deal, we'll augment two guys ashore! And put two watches in port & starboard. And somebody else will point out that it's not junior Sailors that will pay with more hotracking, it's the E-5's and 6's, the guys you're trying to RETAIN. The junior guys are already hotracking. Shit rolls uphill in this case.

And your two junior officers, the MOST junior officers, they will be in staterooms, and the guys they displace will be back in enlisted berthing, where they MAY have just graduated from, but for the ladies. There'll be more competition for limited training resources and U/I time. What else?

Before somebody had the great idea of simply tossing more bodies into ship's company, I thought, yeah, this females on submarines thing will be hard, but we'll find a way, we're smart, resourceful, talented men. And then this comes up. This is not a good idea.

And doing it because you think the ladies will washout and leave the crew and the wardroom in a lurch on short notice is beginning with failure in mind. You start by exhibiting little confidence in the ladies to measure up. That lack of confidence will be felt by every single guy in the crew. Damn! You put smart guys on there for a reason!!

3/10/2010 11:49 AM

Blogger John Byron said...

"... maybe that is why Capt. Bligh's blatantly dishonorable conduct has not led to her immediate departure from the service she has disgraced.

That's her call. No action was taken to remove her from Service. To do so would have been largely without precedence and would have required either a Special or a General Court Martial, not the usual course for a DFC proceeding.

3/10/2010 11:53 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is right COB, when you really think of the hard facts and how it will potentially destroy things. We have not even considered the real impact on crew cohesion and attitude.

It is easy to say, gee, we can do anything. But it is another thing to work with the nuts and bolts on the deckplates.

Also, we are dealing with human beings not programable political workstations.

I have seen so many dumbass ideas come along and they could have only been generated by someone who had no earthly idea what the real deal is and frankly, they do not give a crap what the people have to go through to shove their square idea into a round hole.

A bunch of political butt sharks who should pull their suction somewhere else.

3/10/2010 11:58 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

rubber ducky,

That might be true but I know of many people that are gone for less than Bligh's piss poor performance and dishonorable behavior.

How about the Charleston CO who picked up the hooker, how long will he be in? Can he just pick up follow on orders? You know the answer to that one. If he was a she then nothing would happen. As long as you are some poster child for someone's wet dream then you can get away with all kinds of crap.

3/10/2010 12:02 PM

Blogger John Byron said...

anon @ 1202: "How about the Charleston CO who picked up the hooker, how long will he be in? Can he just pick up follow on orders?"

How long he stays in is up to him and yes, he can just pick up follow-on orders should he choose. He was taken before Admiral's mast (UCMJ Article 15) and was found to have committed the offense with which charged. But he was 'guilty' of nothing in a court of law, mast being non-judicial.

Be clear: I'm condoning nothing. Just trying to make clear that it takes more than Admiral's Mast to force an officer from the Navy.

3/10/2010 12:31 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rubber ducky,

From a technical aspect you are probably 100% correct. Maybe the unknown and elusive aspect is the personal integrity, pride, professionalism and character of each individual. People of character when caught in the act used to do the honorable thing but people who have no shame in their misbehaviors seem to blindly continue their soup sandwich train wreck. It is strange, a civilian who violates fiduciary duties and fails to perform can be removed for performance issues and failure to perform but a commissioned officer can violate the oath and it is no big deal except maybe in the area of promotions. It really seems to make the core values almost hollow, lacking somewhat in substance and nice sounding PR. Leadership by example used to mean just that. Pride, tradition and professionalism used to mean genuine pride, tradition and professionalism. Progress has really done a bang up job with leadership failures. Sailors deserve better than this, they deserve the highest quality leadership.

3/10/2010 12:57 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


I stand corrected re: USCG regs. My experience applying for a Merchant Marine Document (Z Card) over eight years ago was that Alameda Exam center was very strict on number of days actually underway vice time onboard. As soon as Exam Center saw Submarine Service on my page 5 I had to start fighting to get my sea service recognized. My 14 years on the boats was boiled down about 1300+ days U/W on three boats that I could document as "Service on Deck". I also had to have a letter of recommendation from retired Diesel submarine four striper who I served with on last boat re: ship control party experience. You need 3 years actual U/W "Service on Deck" time to apply for Able Bodied Seaman Unlimited. I still ended up appealing Exam center denial of submarine U/W time. Appeal went all the way to USCG HQ in WA DC. I won the appeal. My mistake when I applied for Z Card was showing up at Exam Center at 1000 on Friday. The USCG QMC basically blew me off because she was taking an early lunch and told me if I didn't like her decision I could appeal, which I did.

My review of USCG MMD/License regs in 2002 and experience indicate considerable leeway in how Exam Center personnel apply those regs hence my previous comment re: submarine service. The reality for todays submariners, underway time on a boat ain't going to help them if they want a license, they're going to have to get it on a grey hull.

My two cents and Keep a zero bubble...........


3/10/2010 12:58 PM

Blogger John Byron said...

anon @ 1257: I doubt either of these cats will ever lead anything even as grand as a commissary trip to buy coffee for the office. They've both left their last leadership position - it's wage-slave status for them from here on out in the Nav.

3/10/2010 1:04 PM

Blogger John Byron said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3/10/2010 1:05 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

rubber ducky,

Hopefully so, but besides the damage done to their people that were under thier express care and responsibility, junior Sailors will serve under them in some capacity and that is the crux of the matter of allowing a former so called leader float horizontal after a failed leadership example.

3/10/2010 1:14 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ret Anav,

Follow up to last post. Able Bodied Seaman Exam ain't no walk in the park believe me. 150 questions. Also had 75 question exam for "Lifeboatman" endorsement along with actual demonstration of launching and recovery of pulling lifeboat on a 1/4 size training rig. I still know how to "toss oars". My MSC employment training qualified me to get STCW certificate when I finally got through all the USCG hoops to get my AB Unlimited Z Card.

Lot of documentation required to sail commercial today. License or Z Card, STCW certificate, Transportation Workers Identification Card, Union A, B, or C Book, Training book, Current Health Card, and finally Passport.

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


3/10/2010 1:18 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

rubber ducky,

Did you ever come in contact with the Regulus program?

It must have been pretty high tech for its day?

3/10/2010 1:26 PM

Blogger John Byron said...

No Regulus time...

3/10/2010 1:43 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 1:26PM

My first boat USS Cusk SS-348 had BPQ-2 Regulus Missile Guidance Radar. Cusk and Carbonero SS-337 would accompany Tunny SSG-282 on deterent patrols in North Pacific. Cusk and Carbonero we located inshore of Tunny to guide Regulus toward Siberian targets.

All five Reg Boats were homeported in Pearl Harbor from 1958-9 until close down of the program in 1964. USS Medrigal SS-480, a guidance boat, accompanied USS Barbero SSG 317 from east coast to Pearl when Regulus program consolidated at Pearl. Guided Missile Unit 10 was located at the Submarine Base and carried out maintenance and repairs to the missiles. Missile guidance radars were removed from the guidance boats in 1961-62. Ours on Cusk was removed in late 1961. The Missile Center on Cusk and Carbonero was located in the former five inch gun ammunition magazine located under the crews mess.

SSG 574 577 sailors are self proclaimed members of the NPYC or North Pacific Yacht Club in recognition of their deterent patrols in the far North Pacific.

I had a torpedoman shipmate from previous duty station who was on the Halibut SSGN 587. Halibut could carry five Reg 1's in her cavernous hanger. My friend left on a deterent patrol day after Christmas 1961. She pulled into White Beach Buckner Bay around Easter Time 1962 at end of that patrol. At that time the story was Halibut had the highest divorce rate and highest reenlistment rate of any boat in Pearl. She also had 6 men hospitalized for TB in 1962.

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


3/10/2010 2:07 PM

Blogger Ret ANAV said...


Too right about all the hoops.... and too right about the inconstencies amongst the REC's. Seems a bit better now that everything is sent to Martinsburg, though things don't happen as fast. Still have a couple of hoops to jump through for 1600T (lifeboatman being chief among them) but I'll get there sooner or later. Oh, then the STCW will have changed...AGAIN!

3/10/2010 2:14 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Was'nt the Growler a Regulus boat? Where were the regulus boats on the east coast? DO you know if any sailed out of Key West?

Did they ever talk about giving the Regulus crews their own pin like the boomer's wear or something similar?

I remember the old Mk-XX that will be unamed because I dont know if its still wink wink or not but it had a sister bird that was same wink wink, lol. They were a pain in the rear with paper stuff.

3/10/2010 3:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Was'nt the Growler a Regulus boat? Where were the regulus boats on the east coast? DO you know if any sailed out of Key West?

Did they ever talk about giving the Regulus crews their own pin like the boomer's wear or something similar?

I remember the old Mk-XX that will be unamed because I dont know if its still wink wink or not but it had a sister bird that was same wink wink, lol. They were a pain in the rear with paper stuff.

3/10/2010 3:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The SUBROC cafe.

3/10/2010 6:27 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was thinking that the USS Requin was a Regulus boat but maybe it was some kind of a radar picket boat. It sure had some hard charging skippers in George Street and Slade Cutter. Did the radar boats assist the Regulus boats with some kind of fire control stuff?

3/10/2010 7:02 PM

Blogger wtfdnucsailor said...

The B Girls and the early Nuc S Boats (Sargo, Seadragon, and Swordfish) all had big radars that were originally designed to be the guidance radars for the Regulus missles. Sometimes the Radar would be removed for special equipment after the Reg program was killed and the six were used for "normal spec ops."

3/10/2010 8:16 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 3:00PM,

East coast Reg boat was the Barbero SSG 317. Because she had a hanger aft of sail as SSA cargo submarine she was converted to SSG to support Reg program. She was the only Reg boat that still had a fleet boat sail. She and Medrigal SS 480 the guidance boat were both homeported in Norfolk VA. Both xferred to PH when Reg program was consolidated there in 1958-59. USS Carp SS-338 transferred from PH to Norfolk as swop for Medrigal. I worked for TM1(SS) who finally had to go to shore duty after 13 years on boats out of PH in order to not have to go to East Coast with the Carp. He was definately very Asiatic, but thats another story.

No Reg boats in Key West. Growler SSG-577 was quasi-sister to Grayback SSG-574. Both had two hangers forward of sail and could carry four Regulus 1's, or two Regulus 2 Missiles. Radar picket boats such as Requin, Spinex, Tigrone and Burrfish, and the six thin skins converted in the fifty's were strictly Radar Picket boats. No missile guidance duties. That program named "Migraine 1, 2, and 3" were real headache boats. Carrier task groups didn't want them around because they weren't fast enough to keep up with carrier and just got in the way. That program died in the late 50's. the boats soldiered on as Diesel attack boats and AGSS's into mid to late 60's.

don't know anything about the MK XX. There was a follow on program for Regulus 1, named Regulus 2. It was supersonic. Some testing done with it but was abandoned by 1959-60 as Polaris came on line. You can find a pic on internet of either Growler or Grayback with a Reg 2 trained out to starboard for launch on the launcher forward of the sail.


Correcto on the 579 and 580 Classes re: BPQ-2 missile guidance radars. Both classes designed and built during the mid-late 1950's when Regulus Missile was hot shit for the Submarine Navy. to my knowledge, by the time the 579, 583, 584 and B-Girls got out to PH Guidance boats were being phased out. On Cusk, our BPQ-2 was removed late 1961 and we became general purpose Fleet snorkel submarine. With all the "fun and games" happening with Soviet Pacific Fleet that SubPac was engaged in back then, no one was going to waste superior performance of 579 and 580 Class boats hanging around on patrols with Reg Boats.

No deterent patrol pin for Reg boats although I believe they were awarded retroactively to Reg boat crews many years later. The SSG boat sailors I know wouldn't be caught dead wearing one. As mentioned previously they made up their own the NPYC and you will occasionally see those patches on USSVI vests of old SSG sailors. Growler crew had a special device struck in Yokosuka after a really tough patrol off Siberia during winter. It was an anchor crossed with semaphore flags for the letters S, M, and F which stood for Shit, Man, Fuck. I've seen that pin and the guy that had it told me Growler got a lot of storm damage on that trip. He claims that became the common refrain on that run due to effect of heavy weather at periscope and snorkel depth and impact on the crew of over 65 days on station.

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


3/10/2010 10:08 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, this is a hard core and very interesting history lesson.

How long was the Mk-45 torpedo around the fleet?

3/11/2010 4:29 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Chicago mob in the WH wanted to bribe Congressman Joe Sestak? The Chicago mob will stop at nothing. For those who don’t know it, Joe is a retired VADM and a graduate of the USNA. He was not submarines but it’s the Navy team. Go get em Joe.

3/11/2010 5:46 AM

Blogger John Byron said...

A note on the MK 45. The fish rode a depth curve, going deeper as it got farther from the firing boat and getting more bang with depth. The tech manual for the fish said the distance-depth curve was designed to limit the damage to the firing ship to 'less than 5%.'

In my time living with that beast (two boats), I never did get an answer to 'what is 5% damage to a submerged submarine?' Interesting concept.

3/11/2010 6:34 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

rubber ducky,

Looking at shock tests and various research with the SUBROC, both were not user friendly for the delivery platform. Perhaps the race to have the weapon outpaced other things. I assert that 5% actually translates to unsustainable damage own hull. Much research has been done on underwater shock waves and they propagate very violently. Various boats used for shock testing, not WWII but post WWII show some pretty scary patterns. Various platforms tested and even low level shock is very disruptive.

3/11/2010 7:02 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rubber Ducky,

Have you studied the WWII American Torpedo Scandal? It is pretty interesting but sad how a failed bureaucracy can cause so much damage to a mission. It is sad that ADM Lockwood had to do his own testing by dropping the torpedoes off of Hawaiian cliffs to get the Bureau of Ordnance to do their job. How many WWII American submarines fired dud weapons that might have put an enemy ship on the bottom? We will never know and we will never know how many duds resulted in escorts dropping charges on our boats. There is one book that I recall that mentions some of that torpedo scandal from the German aspect. I think that the book is called “Iron Coffins” by a U-boat commander who survived the war. The material deficiency on the duds was a German invention as we acquired it from them against their wishes of course. The German weapons engineers and designers realized right away that the weapon had some flaws and they corrected it ASAP. The bureaucracy at the Bureau of Ordnance allowed the flaw to linger while American boats were attempting to do their job and took a terrible beating in the process. I think that the WWII boat COs were raising a lot of noise about those failed fish.

3/11/2010 7:26 AM

Blogger John Byron said...

Re WW-II torpedos: You also have to look at the role of Rear Admiral Christie, who ran the submarine effort out of Freemantle but had earlier been involved with torpedo development and choose to not believe his skippers on torpedo failures.

3/11/2010 7:54 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

rubber ducky,

So RADM Christie let his familiarity with his old pals interfer with the reality of what people were telling him from failed fish? The danger with "Yes" peopleis that thay support and can lead to failed objectivity. You can not make a sound decision with a predisposed mindset. We see this in so many places. Sort of like the failed objectivity in groupthink situations. Too bad that the boats and men had to suffer this type of leadership.

3/11/2010 8:05 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonder how many dud or suspected dud fish were fired during WWII? It would probably blow are minds, no fish humor intended.

Speaking of fish, what boat was responsible for the sign "Tube Empty" after bouncing a fish off the pier during a water slug?

3/11/2010 8:27 AM

Blogger Nancy Yockey Bonar said...

MK-14: See USS COD memorial/museum web site. (Most authentic of 20-plus boats/museums)

I'm part of the COD's advisory group.

3/11/2010 10:20 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Silversides used to be in pretty good shape once they got it out of Chicago and up to Muskeegon. Is that genuine Teak wood topdide? That stuff would be expensive to replace considering the price of exotic wood. Torpedo handling manually with chain hoists, old school wep handling before the hydraulic weps systems, way cool. Is there still a Navy Reserve center by the Cod?

3/11/2010 10:44 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wander what a Fleet Boat would cost in 2010 dollars?

3/11/2010 11:37 AM

Blogger Nancy Yockey Bonar said...

Navy Reserve Center, Cleveland? NO.

From early 70s to '76, COD was a Navy Reserves training boat.

NR donated it in '76 to Cleveland. Established group of vets, business leaders, even children, raised funds. COD memorial boat/museum began.

Interesting TORPEDO info from USS COD web site:

Ancient history tells us of the use of fire ships and powder ships against fleets of hostile vessels.

It remained for Captain David Bushnell, U.S. Navy, to make use of this idea shortly before the American Revolution in the invention of a floating keg-mine.

Captain Bushnell's "keg" was loaded with a small charge of gun powder, fired by the pulling of a lanyard led from the keg to the shore. The keg was floated down stream until it fouled the target, when the lanyard was pulled and the explosive charge set off.

This crude device was the forerunner of the delicate and deadly torpedoes used by COD and on display in her torpedo rooms.

3/11/2010 11:52 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have not heard how the archeology going on with the CSS Hunley but I would imagine that they have identified some intersting tidbits about Hunley. One thing has always amazed me with the Hunley, the first two crews died but they were still able to find volunteers for her final mission. Maybe there was no news available about fate of first two crews or the volunteers were just hearty and patriotic men? Besides ruining their day it brought down the Housatanic (no sure on spelling).

Cleveland had an active Navy Reserve center in the 1980s, I wonder when it shut down?

3/11/2010 11:58 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: MK 45 torpedo,

entered service approximately 1964. I was on SSBN 619B 1962-67. Our leading TM in torpedo room was writing checklists for A-to-CAL and CAL-to-A (anyone remember that???) using several SWOPS as reference in 1965. Carried by Guppy III's and later class boats. Withdrawn from service in 1977. My claim to fame on CSP Staff as N-6121, Assistant For Nuclear Weapons Safety and Inspections, was to draft first part of withdrawal from service message about 2 months before I retired. I can tell you, you could hear a collective cheer from all the waterfronts when that message arrived on the boats.

MK 45 torpedo lore, it had a PK2 for kill probability. Translates to kill target submarine and kill the launching boat. Warhead was W34 same as used in LuLu the MK 90 nuclear depth charge. Yield was nine kilo tons.

For those concerned about classifed info, all this is available on the internet or published elsewhere.

MK 45 Mod 2 married the flex hose dispenser to the torpedo. Lot's of problems with this combination as randomly torpedo would eat the flex hose shortly after start up. Squadrons were quick to blame the TM's for not making up flex hose properly. It was later determined that the real culprit was torpedo seawater battery not coming to full power, or "slow starters" as we called them. Once this was discovered it was four more years until withdrawn from service. Extensive article on this problem in NSL January 2006 Submarine Review. Anyway, for those of us that were still hauling the damn things around, we were always happy we never had to shoot a real one.

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


3/11/2010 7:43 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 8:05 AM, Re: MK 14 torpedo probs, Multiple problems, and took concentrated effort initiated by RADM Lockwood to overcome. Warshot torpedos running as much as 15 feet deeper than running depth set in torpedo. MK 6 exploder never tested with actually warshot operational test prior to WWII. Magnetic exploder did not work consistantly. The exploder detonator would crush and not work when striking target at certain angles.

RADM Christie was pre-war submarine torpedo expert and had instrumental part in development of MK 6 magnetic exploder. It was proofed in South Atlantic using exercise torpedos and a pre-war cruiser. It seemed to work reliably based on data recovered from instrumented exploders installed on MK 14 Exercise Torpedos.

Christie, as RD stated, continued to blame submarine crews for torpedo problems. AS CSP South West he ordered his boats to enable magnetic influence feature when Lockwood directed CSP boats to disable and go contact only.

Another part of the problem was BuOrd which resisted taking a hard look at the MK 14 problems. It is to RADM Lockwoods' credit as CSP he initiated a number of operational tests that pinned down the problems. By then it was late 1943 and the MK 14 didn't become reliable until early 1944. Read Clay Blairs' "Silent victory" for details and politics involved.

MK 14 mod 5 torpedo finally withdrawn from service in early 1980's. Handwriting was on the wall then, Submarines would no longer need the technical skills of the Torpedomans Mate rating. Took'em another 20 years to make that happen though.

FWIW, Torpedomans Mate Rating was disestablished in 2007. Responsibilites handed of to Gunners Mate Rating.

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


3/11/2010 8:17 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


The TM rating was converted on submarines to MMW (Machinist Mates Weapons). I do not know this for sure but I have heard scuttle that some technical schools have been cancelled. I am pretty certain that the heavyweight torpedo tech school for submarine weapons types (MMW) is no longer being used. I seem to remember that the heavyweight torpedo tech school was in Orlando before it was cancelled.

I have no clue about the skimmers mergers.

I suppose that you remember the fine piece of urinalysis testing gear that accompanied the presence of certain weapons?

At one time when the Navy was rate merger happy there was scuttle that MMA (Auxiliarymen) would cross train with the MMWs even to include attending each others schools but as far as I know that was never fully implemented.

I think that the smoke boats had GMs, TMs, EN and Motor Machs which ended up becoming MM (non-nuc) and TMs and finally MMA (Auxiliary) and MMW (Weapons) and the MMN (Nuclear) types.

I do not know if the smoke boats had both IC Electricians and EMs. There used to be IC Electricians (Nukes) and IC (non nuc) at one time but the nukes were merged into the EM rate on submarines and the IC (non nuc) became ETs.

3/11/2010 9:12 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 9:12PM,

Submarine MMW school now located at SubScol NL. I believe it's about three weeks long. Turns out MMW designated strikers.

Some more background on submarine TM's, I was at CSP Staff N61 Tactical Weapons Shop 75-77 until retirement. I was sometimes tasked to assist the MK 48 Technical Certification Team with boat inspections following installation of MK 48 torpedo handling gear. At that time the philosophy re: MK 48 was wanted it to be so simple it would be like loading a telephone pole in the torpedo tube. Demise of MK 16 and MK 14's in early 1980's put TM rating on the disestablish track. With main work focus for submarine TM's now on torpedo tubes and VL tubes for tomahawk, any plumber could do that work.

More MK 14/submarine history, Fleet boats were designed to deploy the MK 14 torpedo. Mk 14 exercise torpedo could be shot and recovered at sea by the fleet boat. King Post and boom rig used to recover MK 14. Torpedo rooms were set up to post run, do preliminary and final adjustments reload and shoot the torpedo. 10 cycles and the torpedo had to go to torpedo shop for overhaul.

recovery of MK 14 torpedo by submarine went away with conversion of MK 14 from Mod 3A mechanically set to Mod 5 electrically set torpedo. Mod 5 needed a lot more care between firings due to sensitive servo's in afterbody.

In 1960 Growler "plunked" USS Carpenter DD-825 in Fwd Eng Room with a MK 14-5. The hit was determined to be due to a faulty depth setting servo in the torpedo.

Following Carpenter's dry docking and repairs, a boat sailor swam over from subbase to destroyer row and painted a bulls eye on her side.

Anyway submarine TM's "back in the day did all that stuff including BM stuff with torpedo/deck gear. TM "back in the day" was a Deck Rate along with BM, QM, SM, and GM.

Last GM(SS) I'm aware of that was still on boats was "Gilly Willie" who made GMC(SS) on USS Carbonero SS-337 in 1967. I personally knew several others in early 60's. One GM1(SS) I know on a FBM in SQ 16 in 1965 was told he would have to convert to TM or BuPers was going to surface him. Shortly therafter he bought new rating badges.

Yes we had IC gang on boat. Motor Machinist Mate was precurser of todays Engineman rate. The rating badge was propeller with small M and O on top to left and right of propeller.

Check out Razorback web site for some recent very cool pics of torpedo loading.

Keep a zero bubble.......


3/12/2010 11:47 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why have some submarine ratings steered more towards operator and away from technician? Is this a money issue? Does off the shelf T-rate stuff eliminate the need for hard core technicians? Troubleshooting used to be an activity that required extensive knowledge, do the new tech manuals walk people through baby steps? Why is a 2-K used for fixing work that should be repairable by ships own people? I have talked to younger Sailors and they operate in a different mindset. Has the nukie mentality changed everything on the sub? Is this just to keep sand crabs employed?

3/12/2010 2:48 PM

Blogger John Byron said...

"Why have some submarine ratings steered more towards operator and away from technician?"

Technology: fewer failures, modular replacement, self-diagnosing equipment.

3/12/2010 4:26 PM

Blogger Srvd_SSN_CO said...

I don't know where this cockamamie idea came from that modern ships submit 2-Ks to get everything fixed. Never had much action on a 2K while on station.

Duck, while a lot of the gear may claim to be self-diagnosing, the truth, as most of us TI-04/TI-06/TI-08 types can tell you, is anything but that easy. In order to troubleshoot without contractor help (which is hard to get when you cannot xmit), you need experts in LINUX and many other geek arcana.

The boats still need more training, and the schoolhouse could help by teaching some of the computer network basics rather than leaving it for the fleet.

And while I have the soapbox, 'known software problems' should not be allowed in the fleet. My DOOW display (replaced BQH-1) didn't work...answer to the CASREP: "Software problem, known, fix to be issued in 8 months."

Do NOT put me in charge of fixing will not be pretty.

3/12/2010 4:54 PM

Blogger Srvd_SSN_CO said...

Ever try to fix 10 2U server failures while at sea? Self-diagnosing and modular my ass. Try system degrade until RTP.

3/12/2010 4:56 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Server failures, you mean the stew burners refuse to serve chow? This is very troubling. Maybe the new boats just have microwave meals and the stewburners have converted to box kickers or some other supply staffing. I know that stewards are long gone. Kick those stew burners in the ass and get that chow out.

3/12/2010 5:24 PM

Blogger John Byron said...


If you want to see technicians in action, I would take you back to the golden age of vacuum tubes and the delight we (then) technicians felt when one of the old POS systems found a new way to crap out.

In DevRonTwo (back then) there were three LORAN-Alfa sets between CAVALLA and HARDHEAD. The boat that had its set fail would go get the working spare, but with obligation to fix the bad unit and put it in spare for the next failure.

I spent 24 hours fixing our fathometer just prior to an extended underway. Having done everything right, the right way, and no fix, then decided to do it the wrong and and replaced every vacuum tube in the set. That fixed it.

We found ourselves lapping the compensating switch for our primary sonar with crocus cloth - for three weeks. I had a full set of spare vacuum tubes in my bunk bag 'just in case.' Integrated stock battery? COSAL? ERPAL? No, just a lot of imagination and craftiness.

Trust me. It's gotten a whole lot better.

(And as punishment for having escaped the drudgery of the enlisted wrangle, I was then later condemned to serve as XO of the Navy's oldest submarine. It went out of commission; my next job was as CO of what then became the oldest submarine. When the manufacturers of most of your gear are long out of business and the Smithsonian is your planning yard, you really come to treasure gear of modern design.)

One of the reasons the last diesels were able to stay around as long as they could was the Iranian Revolution. Ron Thunman took me up to Philly to see if TROUT could be recommissioned (Lehman's idea - answer was no, having been put up without atmospheric control and everything rotted). While there we also toured a warehouse that had all the innards of WAHOO on pallets, moved there while the boat was undergoing overhaul for the Shah. When he was deposed, the gear just sat there. I suggested to Admiral Thunman that there were supply officers and engineers in West Coast diesels who would kill to get their hands on some of that gear - he arranged to let them do so and thus stretched the supply chain for years in some cases.

So. Trust me, it's a whole helluva lot easier now to keep the gear repaired. Technology is a big reason, along with objective maintenance and logistics systems that actually work and proper attention being paid to the topic in the Navy and the submarine force - for the latter credit the KOG and Levering Smith.

3/12/2010 5:55 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Nautilus got backfitted with AEB system before their snow cone trip, did all smoke boats get backfitted with AEB system?

3/12/2010 6:14 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 6:14 PM, Submarine force did not spend a lot of $$$ on smoke boats in later years. To my knowledge, guppy III, 572, 573, 574 not backfitted. all decommed in mid 70's-84. When I was on 580 70-75, the b-girls did not have AEB systems. don't think 563 class and 576 had AEB either. Question there for the duck....

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


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


3/12/2010 7:52 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: old boats and manufacturers going out of business, on SS-580 mid life 10 million dollar overhaul 1971-72 (huge amount of money for a smoke boat overhaul back then) CHENG tried to order a new snorkel deicer pump (very important on northern run in winter time). Manufacturer no longer in business. PHNS would make us a new one for $40,000, which they did.

In 2001-2002 I was working as part time deckhand on USS Pampanito SS-383 the museum submarine in San Francisco. One of our two Hardy Tines air compressors was down and needed an overhaul. I found Hardy Tines still in business in Alabama and still had parts for those 1940 vintage air compressors. Reason they still manufactured and stocked was Guppy Boats still serving in foreign navy's into late 90's including Turkey, Greece, Brazil, and Taiwan. BTW, Taiwan still has two operational Guppy II's Ex Cutlass and Ex Tusk. They still go to sea.

RD, I believe your old home Ex-SS-567 is now Turkish Navy Museum submarine. She decommed in 2004.

Turks took good care of their Ex-US Submarines. See EX-Razorback SS-394 museum submarine at Little rock Arkansas.

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


3/12/2010 8:19 PM

Anonymous STSC said...

I am pretty certain that the heavyweight torpedo tech school for submarine weapons types (MMW) is no longer being used.
Not true.
The school is taught at Yorktown, VA near the weapons facility and is around 3 months in duration.

3/12/2010 10:24 PM

Blogger Nancy Yockey Bonar said...


Not sure if overhauls, conversations of interest, but here's most of Salmon's.

USS SALMON(SS-573), ’56-’77, San Diego, second of a class of two radar-picket submarines and the largest and most powerful conventional-powered submarine built after WWII.

1959-1964: First sub to earn Golden “E” for excellence in battle efficiency.

1959-- Overhaul and limited conversion at Mare Island. Giving up a large radome from her superstructure, she gained instrumented missile guidance capability and improved, longer range sonar.

1961 – Reclassified as attack submarine, reassigned to SubDiv 52.

1962— San Diego, flagship of Submarine Flotilla 1

1964 – San Francisco Naval Shipyard: FRAM II conversion, modernized Guppy III.

1968—SF overhaul, prep for support of DSRV, evaluate sub rescue/salvage equipment at extreme depths. Redesignated AGSS-573 for role as mother sub/underway submerged launching/recovery platform for experimental mini-subs.

1970 – Possible contamination of Salmon’s atmosphere from cleaning operations. NRL rep on-site to analyze/provide technical guidance. Measured Freon-TF (hydrocarbon) cleaning solvent during and after a motor generator cleaning operation. The bilges were empty. Levels were high in the generator area and engine room. But the highest liquid Freon level was recorded in the bilge area (25,000 ppm). Using two blowers and about 80 hours of ventilation time, Freon concentration dropped to 10 ppm in affected compartments.

1970-1972 – Back to USS 573 designation, with CDR. Harry Yockey (my late brother) as skipper. XO Bart Bacon (brother of now VADM Roger Bacon) WesPac deployment #7 (6 previously)

1972 – WesPac 8th deployment: rescued survivors of Japanese freighter which sank in frigid/choppy water bout 30 miles south of Tokyo Bay. (Rescue photos)

1973 – 9th WesPac deployment cancelled in Pearl Harbor due to damage to #3, #4 main engines. Back to Mare Island for overhaul.

(4-years of history missing; research ongoing)

1977 – Decommissioned/striken

1992-1993 – Salmon at Groton; rigged for remote control operation for use in SSN sonar exercises. She’s converted to a shallow water sonar target; sunk/moored off the bottom in the Narragansett Bay operating area adjacent to the Hudson Canyon. Newport’s Naval Undersea Weapons Center has operational control

No memorial header YET...

3/13/2010 12:04 AM

Blogger Nancy Yockey Bonar said...

Forgot to mention. USS SAILFISH and USS SALMON were sister ships.

Saw a post from someone who served aboard SAILFISH.

Perhaps unfortunately, it was the SALMON assigned to sink SEGUNDO.

3/13/2010 12:25 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting photos of the USS Salmon rescue. Also, in photo gallery shows good pic of
Admiral Fluckey during a presentation with the COB and CO.

Anyone serve on the USS Ray during 1977 casualty and long trip home on the surface?

3/13/2010 1:32 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Salmon's sail was huge. You can see its size in a crew shot and it is a monster for sure. That sail looks very similar to the 640 class and even had sail door with access hatch.

Nice shot of modified weather guard in sail, sort of a modified flying bridge or a forerunner for today's topside weather shack.

Initiative, ingenuity and countering the elements.

Also, nice shot of WOG menue and that is one ugly baby to be belly button diving with but WOGS have to persevere the Shellback challenges or earn Neptune Rex'S sore displeasure, lol.

3/13/2010 2:33 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"For those concerned about classifed info, all this is available on the internet or published elsewhere."

The availability of something on the internet, or elsewhere, is not an indicator of it's classification. There's lots of classified info. available on the internet. It doesn't automatically declassify it.

The only right answer when asked if something has been declassed is the date it was declassed not "it's available on the internet and elsewhwere".

3/13/2010 6:19 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 6:19AM, Why thanks for spelling out declassification technical requirements. Regardless, MK45 torpedo data I put on this thread is ancient history. Please note I also stipulated "or published elsewhere" not just on internet. In fact, one of the museum submarines recently loaded two exercise configured MK 45 torpedos that were assembled from component parts by volunteers.

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


3/13/2010 11:01 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

MK-45 data is in fact published online on a government DOE website so any issues regarding that ancient relic is N/A as far as general information. You can even download some old old training films from the DOE about the MK-45.

3/13/2010 11:39 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can any of you more seasoned submarine sailors tell me when the tagout and danger tags started being used in the submarine service?

3/13/2010 2:59 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can anyone explain when and why the topside surface guns and machine guns were removed from diesel boats?

Was there some kind of torpedo and technology improvements that made the surface guns obsolete?

Did the advances in sonar and adaptation of the snorkel mast make the deck guns obsolete?

It seems like the surface guns were used a lot during WWII then they seemed to disappear.

Did the Guppy program change the tactics and make the deck guns obsolete in the search for increased submerged speed? Also the hull designs seemed to make the deck guns impractical by rounding the upper deck?

3/14/2010 7:13 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why did the Seawolf program get cancelled at 3 boats?

3/14/2010 7:15 AM

Blogger John Byron said...

Why did the Seawolf program get cancelled at 3 boats?...

Federation of American Scientists:

"Seawolf was projected to be the most expensive ever built, with a total program cost for 12 submarines estimated in 1991 at $33.6 billion in current dollars. As many as 29 submarines were planned. The Navy's plans for Seawolf would have resulted in spending 25 percent of the Navy's shipbuilding budget on a ship that was designed for threats that vanished with the end of the Cold War. In the 1992 State of the Union address, President Bush [and Defense Secretary Dick Cheney] proposed the rescission of $2,765,900,000 previously appropriated for the procurement of the second and third Seawolfs. Two Seawolf Class submarines were authorized by Congress, which in 1995 agreed to terminate the program at three boats. President Clinton endorsed the construction of SSN-23 as the most cost- effective method of retaining the vitality of the submarine industrial base while bridging the gap to the future New Attack Submarine. The Fiscal Year 1998 $153.4 million budget request was the final increment of funding required for the third SEAWOLF to complete the program. The program continues to be managed within the Congressionally mandated cost cap."

In other words, great pain for no gain: very expensive boats designed to go against the Soviet navy, which collapsed with the end of the Cold War.

Original termination was at one boat, but enough long-lead parts and sunk-cost design effort were available to clobber together two more and the interested Congressional figures (essentially the Connecticut delegation) forced the Defense Budget to accommodate construction of Two and Three. VIRGINIA-class tooks its place in the Budget and the fleet.

3/14/2010 7:34 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did ASW improvements help make deck guns obsolete on submarines after WWII?

3/14/2010 9:14 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

So the Seawolf class was made to take on the Soviet fleet but the threat just vanished after the Berlin Wall came down and the Cold War diminished?

Well, this might be a naive question but there is this big ass navy called the red Chinese so would'nt it make sense to recommence Seawolf?

Perhaps i is all about money and the more bang for the buck?

Maybe we could cut down on Obama's date nights and campaigning on the tax dollar and buy some more Seawolfs? Fat Chance.

3/14/2010 9:18 AM

Blogger John Byron said...

"Did ASW improvements help make deck guns obsolete on submarines after WWII?"

IMHO ... Sure. Along with the snorkel, the acoustic torpedo, nuclear power, improved sonars, submarine quieting, and myriad other developments leading rapidly to the true submersible.

The submarine went from being a surface ship that could dive to a submersible that could surface. Don't need deck guns in a true submersible.

3/14/2010 9:25 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

When did the submarine service start using the Navy Tagout program and danger tags?

Before danger tags and a formal tagout system, how did submarines conduct maintenance evolutions safely?

When did submarines start using the current PMS and MRCs?

Is there any truth that the Air Force invented a PMS type system but scrapped it but the Navy adapted PMS to their systems.

3/14/2010 9:35 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

When did the submarine service start using the Navy Tagout program and danger tags?

Before danger tags and a formal tagout system, how did submarines conduct maintenance evolutions safely?

When did submarines start using the current PMS and MRCs?

Is there any truth that the Air Force invented a PMS type system but scrapped it but the Navy adapted PMS to their systems.

3/14/2010 9:39 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did diesel subs do INSURV inspections or is INSURV just something that started with nuke boats?

Did WWII subs undergo an acceptance inspection like INSURV.

3/14/2010 9:48 AM

Blogger John Byron said...

"Did diesel subs do INSURV inspections or is INSURV just something that started with nuke boats? "

INSURV inspections have been around since Christ was a messcook...

"Originally established in 1868 under Admiral David Farragut, the board was reconstituted in 1877."

3/14/2010 12:21 PM

Blogger wtfdnucsailor said...

INSURV inspections are a "Big Navy" invention that has been around for many years. I assume the INSURV board started in the WWII time frame but it could have been earlier.
I don't know if the tagout system started with nuclear power or was around prior to nucs. I suspect that Rickover might have had a hand in developing it when he was in charge of electrical safety during WWII.
The PMS system is "relatively new". When I joined submarines in the mid sixties, PMs were a local boat thing that you searched the tech manuals for and then performed according to those manuals. In the late sixties or early seventies (My memory is not sure on this one) the PMS system became the formal one that was in place when I retired in 1987 with the PM cards and the schedule methodology formalized for all. Actually, we found it an improvement since it saved time having to reasearch the necessary PMs and then having a "disagreement" with the parent squadron as to the type and frequency of the PM.

3/14/2010 12:21 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: deck guns on submarines, I've posted this before on a separate thread. USS Perch AP/LPSS was last gun armed Submarine in USN service. she had a 40MM on sponson forward of bridge and 40MM on cigarette deck. Her last submarine gun action was to help extract a UDT team off a beach in South Viet Nam in 1965. she had put the team ashore in rubber boats for recon. Team was detected by Main force Viet Cong unit and attacked. Perch unlimbered her 40MM's and .50Cal. Machine guns on Viet Cong as covering fire to get the team off the beach. Story can be found in "SEALS UDT/SEAL Operations in Vietnam" by T.L. Bosiljevac. Other interesting stories in this book include several about USS Tunny LPSS-282, Perch's relief. Tunny's crew utilized a MK 37-1 Torpedo shipboard wire dispenser to provide a communication link with a UDT team while the boat was bottomed off a beach in Northern I Corps area. I'm guessing that Tunny's crew rigged up a device for the UDT team that they could send morse code over the wire that was hooked up to Tunny's TFCS. Pretty simple really. Red light on TFCS blink on and off.

On first boat a Fleet Snorkeler I don't recall ever seeing a tagout. In 1961 we started a complete spare parts invantory prepping for implementation of COSAL. No storekeepers on diesel boats in those days. Each dept had their own spare parts PO who did the SK's job. Next boat, SSBN 619B had all that new stuff including PMMP for MK 17-2 Polaris Launching system. That was 1963.

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


3/14/2010 2:30 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: INSERV Inspections, on SS-580 in late 1974 we had an INSERV. I was COB then and went through very detailed topside inspection with one of the INSERV inspectors. I asked him what got submarines on the "hit list" for DECOMM. He told me pressure hull condition. He also told me that on surface ships it was condition of the engineering plant that put them on "hit list", hull problems were easy to fix.

When sailing on MSC Gray Hull civilan crewed T-AE in 2007, we had equivilant of INSERV performed by American Board of Shipping. Believe me, those inspectors get into everything.

3/14/2010 2:41 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, the good old PR campaign of enhanced diversity is a sham because there is no legitimate rationale behind this but the staffing issue is the driver here as bringing women in to submarines in order to, “insulate us from the anticipated surge in hiring by the civilian nuclear power industry in the decades to come.”

The path of least resistance is driving yet another program.

As women join subs, male force holds steady
By Rick Maze - Staff writer
Posted : Sunday Mar 14, 2010 9:16:56 EDT
The Navy appears to be hedging its bets on whether women are going to work out as members of submarine crews.
In written testimony provided Wednesday to a Senate committee, the Navy’s assistant secretary for manpower said efforts are underway to begin training women to serve in submarines, beginning with officers assigned to large guided-missile and ballistic-missile submarines.
“As a measure of extra caution, the Navy will not reduce the number of male officers training and qualified for submarine duty until we have experience with successfully placing female officers in those roles,” said Juan Garcia, in a statement for the Senate Armed Services Committee’s subcommittee on personnel.
No questions about the Navy’s plans were raised during the hearing.
Garcia said the plan to end the ban would lift “one of the last gender barriers” and also helps “insulate us from the anticipated surge in hiring by the civilian nuclear power industry in the decades to come.
“Because of the critical mission and demanding environment of the submarine force, we envision a gradual and measured approach to this integration,” Garcia said. Initial efforts will concentrate on officers serving in bigger subs “where the existing infrastructure will accommodate these changes without material alteration,” he said.

3/15/2010 5:42 AM

Blogger John Byron said...

Well at least one more thing is driving the women-on-submarines policy: it's the law!

The only reason women were not brought aboard in 1994, when the combat exclusion was removed, was assertion that submarine modifications to accommodate women would be too costly. That ruse (all it was) has now been set aside ... by the leaders of the current submarine force.

Again, sometimes the right thing to say when given an order is 'aye aye sir.' The only ones who can make this policy really hard to implement are the men in submarines. The women will do fine - even contending with such jerks.

My view: there's a lot of guys out there suffering from tiny-peepee syndrom and worried this will make that worse. Man up, little men.

3/15/2010 6:03 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tiny pee-pee syndrome. You must be talking about the WR.

3/15/2010 7:08 AM

Blogger John Byron said...

WR? Maybe not. The only other denizen of the wardroom I can ID here is srvd ssn co ... and he agrees that the way to handle the matter of women in submarines is to just get on with it ... and quit acting like schoolgirls.

One's self-assuredness has never seemed to me to be a matter of which mess you eat in. Rather, I suspect it shows character and an open acceptance of the rules we've agreed to live by, starting with the one that pledges allegiance to the Constitution and all that flows from it.

Let me again quote Faulkner: Them that's going, get in the goddam wagon - them that ain't get out of the goddam way."

3/15/2010 9:08 AM

Blogger Nancy Yockey Bonar said...

HOW DO I find the topics so I can post in the appropriate discussion/place?

That said, here's a link to a virtual tour of WWII USS Pampanito SS-383, Balboa class.


3/15/2010 5:05 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Why the attitude?

3/15/2010 5:58 PM

Blogger John Byron said...

In dealing with those thinking orders optional and the announcement of policy signal for debate .... Rubber Ducky's well established reputation for patience is tested. Sorely.

3/15/2010 6:55 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

And RD is dealing with shriveled-up-old-man-on-Viagra-hoping-he-can-get-a-woody syndrome.

3/15/2010 9:52 PM

Blogger John Byron said...

Turn around, little boy. I'll show you how a torpedo works...

3/16/2010 5:12 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

RD, dont go confusing water slugs with warshots old chap.

3/16/2010 5:36 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

A Faulker quote? Rubber Ducky, your stock is going down. Faulkner gives me headaches every time I try to read his horrible prose.

3/16/2010 5:40 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Are you having flashbacks to the old days before hardware became software?

3/16/2010 6:32 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, lay off the Duck, guys. He's good for what he's good for, and not good for what he's not good for.

I think that statement (you may quote me as well) may apply to more than a few of us.

Whenever I see someone reduced to name-calling, a part of my mind is saying "gotcha." Without exception, the name-caller is the name-callee.

As far as women on subs goes, here's another quotable for you: "A bad idea whose time has come."

3/16/2010 6:57 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Must have lost his patience.

3/16/2010 7:35 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

More like RD has lost his mind.

The Duck did a tour at the PERSCOM in the mid 80's, and so should know better when it comes to what happens when women and ships are mixed together. It ain't pretty, and more to the point it ain't necessary...nor (big surprise) positively affecting combat readiness.

On the other hand, some lucky guys who've never ever had a chance to get properly laid while at sea on a submarine are about to see that problem go away.

So there is a silver lining to all this, but I wouldn't get too happy and comfortable with it either: the current Navy plan to only augment the wardroom with women rather than replace people one-for-one speaks volumes about common sense prevailing somewhere. This will last only as long as a certain class of social experimenters are in power inside the Beltway.

3/17/2010 2:16 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The sad thing is that the morons who allow these hair brained ideas never have to live with the stupidity of their ignorance. It is easy to create some goofball social and political balderdash but living with it is a totally different matter. The high rollers get the kudos and awards for screwing up things and the politicians pushing this gibberish get their drill props for purely selfish political gains. The losers in the whole mess are the people forced to swallow this horsecrap.

RD seems very out of touch with the deckplate and he is probably a decent ex-leader but he is probably looking at this from only one side of the fence.

When people make dumb decisions like this, of course they do not want to have to answer any hard questions and it is simplistic to just say, "Shut up and take it".

It is producing a weak and piss poor culture and that is evidenced by the current state of affairs in the community.

3/17/2010 6:22 AM

Blogger John Byron said...

I am looking at it from the side that says when a law is passed, a decision is made, and an order given, it's time to say 'aye aye sir.'

And am enough in touch with the deckplate level to believe that UCMJ Article 92 remains in force, even for enlisted submariners. What part of 'not optional' is confusing you guys?

3/17/2010 11:31 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm calling "Bullshit" on that legalistic attitude of yours, RD. It's just flat-out wrong.

Why is PERS42 only augmenting the SSB/GN wardrooms with women? Are they in fact violating the UCMJ by not carrying out some made-up order you have in mind from Congress?

Most to the point, this is a bad fucking idea, and I think you know it. But you think that this is good sport, and so you like rubbing it in the guys' faces.

There's not a lot of calculus required to figure out what'll happen when young men and women are stuffed into a metal tube for months on end.

This 'king' of an idea has no clothes, and for the submarine force officers & enlisted to just say "aye, aye" is a violation of their obligation to support an defend the Constitution, because you can't do that very well if all you did when a dumb fucking idea was being forced upon you was to simply say "aye, aye" to to said dumb fucking idea.

Any one of us has had the experience of having to tell 'the skipper' when a bad and dangerous idea needed to be re-thought. I can't see how the idea of women on submarines is any different.

And...very apparently...PERS42 thinks so, too.

3/17/2010 12:04 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


"A bad idea whose time has come."

3/17/2010 12:05 PM

Blogger John Byron said...

Attitude? Hey, just stating facts.

For what it's worth, I don't think it a bad idea and I do think the submarine force will benefit.

But that's opinion. Fact is, it's a done deal. Fact. That's just flat-out right. You want to test 'legalism?' Disobey an order.

3/17/2010 12:20 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Strawman bullshit, RD. No one's saying disobey orders, and you know that, too.

But stand there and take it when someone senior says override TDU interlocks and do a visual inspection of the ocean? Expect some blowback -- major blowback -- on ideas like that.

3/17/2010 12:27 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Can you articulate in what specific and particular ways that YOU think this will improve the performance on submarines?

Only please dont insult anyone with a clues intelligence and do what the PC moon bats do and claim nebulous, vague and ambiguous justifications.

Please be specific in how the negative side effects of this STUPID idea will make submarines a more viable weapons platform.

The military exists for only two reasons, in time of necessity (war etc...) to kill people and to break things. It does a good job doing those things when so ordered to.

It is not some political POS's personal social science experiment to buy them left wing liberal votes and to keep their worthless asses in office.

Please explain your justification for perpetuating this predictable shit sandwich.

3/17/2010 12:38 PM

Blogger John Byron said...

Geez, it’s hard to win with you guys…

I tell you the law passed in 1994 put women aboard warships … and you say I’m being legalistic.

I tell you the decision has been made by the Navy leadership after due consideration … and you say that you’re smarter than everyone above you in your chain of command.

I tell you that you’ll need to go along with this policy or risk violation of UCMJ Article 92 … and you say ‘heaven forefend you’d violate a direct order,’ ignoring that article’s provision on dereliction of duties.

And I tell you that it’s my private opinion that this will be of benefit to the submarine force … and you even want to challenge that. OK. Here goes. This is why I think bringing females into submarine crews is a good policy …

1. It resonates with the cultural values strong in American society (you know, the one we’re defending).

2. It puts the submarine force on the right side of history, now no longer the sole remaining major element of our defense forces into which females have not been integrated.

3. Along with an end to discrimination against gays, it gives final meaning in the submarine force to equality as a democratic virtue.

4. It gives male submariners the skills and experience they need to later protect them from stupid mistakes in dealing with women in the workplace ashore and in civilian life.

5. It gives the submarine force an enlarged pool of technical talent to draw from, reducing the need for bonuses and increasing the fleet’s ability to have top talent in top jobs.

6. It doubles access to individuals with unique leadership skills, people like Marty Evans, female, the successful rear admiral who headed Navy Recruiting Command (after a submariner got fired for sexual misconduct) and then Naval Postgraduate School, a person talented enough to later be president of the American Red Cross after she retired (and I could give you several screen-fills of additional stories of splendid Navy leaders who happen to be female and who gave and give the Navy abilities as unique as those of Kelso or Trost or Owens or Kaufman or O’Kane or Fluckey). The argument against females in submarines is an argument saying ‘we’ve already got all the great leaders we need.’

So that’s why I think bringing females into submarine crews will benefit the force.

For those of you still unalterably opposed to the policy, well, get it out of your system. Because if you’re serving in a submarine with female crewmembers, you’ll have no choice but to make the policy work and work well, no hesitation, no holding back. Your misogynist rants will need to be set aside, because it won’t be optional and you’ll be hurting your boat unless you help these new shipmates succeed as submariners.

3/18/2010 5:33 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are their female SEALS, Marine infantry, Army Special Forces, Rangers, Airborne? You know the answer to that? But this is all just the result of various pressures.

What is the real agenda behind PC and diversity indoctrination? You might not have the background of intellectual rigor to perceive the agenda behind the PC and diversity socialists agendas but if you want to learn the source you would need to start with socialism which has direct roots to 18th century English society.

Your progressive liberal paradigm is most fascinating. You probably worship the Statists in government. As the progressives (liberals) which are really simply degrees of socialists,Marxists, Fascists, or simply old fashioned communists seek utopia, they enslave and ruin everything that they touch.

3/18/2010 6:18 AM

Blogger John Byron said...

The shitty thing about democracy is that it brings in ideas you may not agree with. You may be in the minority. Fortunately, our democracy also carries rights. You can say what you want, print what you want, organize other citizens to move your ideas forward.

And so can I. And the rest of the citizenry. We, the majority, we've decided that your lot is a collection of gassy windbags, wingnuts and tinfoil-hat wearing wackos. Rant on, citizen. Better to speak and be seen a fool than remain silent and allow doubts creep in.

3/18/2010 6:48 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your lack of insight into history is most interesting. America is not and has never been a democracy. The word democracy is used nowhere in any founding documents. America is a Republic with a Constitution. Democracy has never worked as it always ends in mob rule and anarchy.

The Nanny Statists who operate in many facets of government have done a bang up job at indoctrinating young minds of mush.

Progressives (liberals) seek the utopia that they think only a totalitarian regime can give them. Your lack of insight in history is indicative that you are a stepchild of government education.

3/18/2010 6:58 AM

Blogger John Byron said...

Yeah, I graduated high school. College too. You're right: ignorance is bliss. Oh where did I go wrong?

3/18/2010 7:02 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


You posted some justification for allowing females to serve on subs. Some of your inputs are interesting. Others are stale and empty rhetoric used by progressives to feign legitimacy.

How many females serve in Army or Marine Corps Tanks?

3/18/2010 8:01 AM

Blogger John Byron said...


3/18/2010 9:05 AM

Blogger Nancy Yockey Bonar said...

What about private industry gobbling up Navy and submarine nuclear engineers?

Navy/Submarine retention of officers, enlisted doing OK now, partly due to the poor economy.

How 'bout in the near future?

3/18/2010 1:26 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 8:01AM, What has females and tanks got to do with women on submarines?? Want a real woman in combat story?? A woman Sgt. CA National Guard called to ACDU in Afganistan with a special agricultural team unlimbers .50 CAL machine gun returns fire on a Taliban assault of her team and saves the day. There's lots of these little stories out there today because combat don't look like WWII in Europe anymore. Reality of why they're not formally in "combat Arms" has to do with whiney old Pols in congress that are into keeping women in their place.

Here's more reality for you. Navy women aboard ship have more potential to be hurt or killed than on a submarine. remember, two kinds of ships submarines and targets. Today, they are sailing on targets. BTW, how many women in the crew of the Cole when she was hit? Got any idea?

All this whiney stuff about women on the boats has a lot more to do with men giving up the last bastion of perceived manhood than anything else.

Based on my personal experience as COB on SS-580 during final years of Zumwalts tenure as CNO and trying to keep up with over 100+ Z-Grams in three years, integrating women on submarines won't be such a big deal.

Final thought, Biggest challenge will be for CO, XO, and most importantly the COB to set the tone, standards, and discipline those that can't give up the old ways.

Submarine force needs the next Don O'shae, a mustang and dyed-in-the- wool smoke boat sailor who made the transition of women aboard ship actually work during his tour as skipper of the USS Point Loma the support ship for the DSV program back in the 80's. He went on eternal patrol in 2006, think I'll have a cold one tonite in his memory.

My two cents and keep a zero bubble...............


3/18/2010 5:29 PM

Blogger John Byron said...

"Submarine force needs the next Don O'shae, a mustang and dyed-in-the- wool smoke boat sailor who made the transition of women aboard ship actually work during his tour as skipper of the USS Point Loma the support ship for the DSV program back in the 80's. He went on eternal patrol in 2006, think I'll have a cold one tonite in his memory."

DBFTMC(SS)USNRET: Chief, thanks for remembering Don. Only met him once (Pearl City Tavern Monkey Bar, '75), but was his placement officer in the Bureau when he had PT LOMA and can endorse Don's really great example as a skipper running a mixed-gender crew. He fought for his people and against the idiots - the Navy benefitted.

Likewise I had the chance to watch Joe Shields integrate women into his crew in the SAN ONOFRE and to discuss with my old XO his experiences when he had JASON with females in the crew (John Haigis). Over a decade apart in command, both said about the same thing: you have about as many problems with females as you do with males, but the problems are different and generally less serious.

All three of these great skippers made it work. The great skippers in the submarines integrating women aboard (and let's hope they all earn that label) - they will make it work too. And as I said way up near the top of this thread, the Goat Locker absolutely has to be there. I predict it will.

3/18/2010 6:07 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Got to package it right or it will be a potential fiasco.

3/18/2010 6:22 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Never on same boat with Don, however when I was on 580 boat and in WesPac had a number of runs ashore with him when he was LT and LCDR on grayback. He and Frank Dogwilla (you probably know him too) were WesPac legends. I talked to John Chamberlain in San Diego at USSVI convention. He told me Frank is alive and well living Seattle area and has done quite well with stocks and bonds.

Saw Don O'Shae's obit in MSC Newsletter January 2007. His last job before retirment was MSCO WesPac in Subic Bay so they reported his death. Anyway, was a real shocker for me. I always saw him as one of the indestructables. Felt the same way about Hollywood Art Van Saun when he died. I sailed with him on 580 boat for a year when he was 3rd officer, and later when he relieved CSP N-614 MK 48 TCP Team chief in 1977.

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


3/18/2010 8:17 PM

Blogger John Byron said...


Dogwilla was a contemporary and also a Navy-housing neighbor for awhile. I worked with him a lot on some diesel-boat issues when he was COS CSG-7 and I was the diesel detailer.

Art was one of my heroes. His untimely death to ALS was really tragic. He had orders back to the Academy as athletic director when that hit - cancelled. His DBF stuff maybe got out of hand, but Hollywood Art could back up his bullshit.

We've lost one more good guy, Jack McDonald (PINTADO, PCO Instructor, & CSG-7). Jack's sister lives around the corner from me and I'd see Jack on his trips stateside after retiring. He finally moved here, bought a house, and was settled in with his wife and son when he came down with liver cancer and died bang.

3/19/2010 8:47 AM

Blogger Nancy Yockey Bonar said...


re sub sexual assaults.

3/19/2010 11:01 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Did you serve with or know Whitey Mack?

I met him at his Holland Club Induction Ceremony in Groton. That was about 4 years before he passed away.


3/19/2010 11:03 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Does the COD have a similar set up as the Silversides where groups can stay all night on the boat?

Is there a lot of local interest in Cleveland with the COD as far school tour groups (Field Trips)?

There used to be a book and I do not remember the name but it was something about Torpedoes from a WWII Cod crewmember, is that still available for sale?

I seem to remember that the Cod rescued a Dutch sub crew during WWII, is that accurate or am I mixing some other boat up with the Cod?

I served on the Bergall, no, not the WWII one, the older nukie version. The 637 was a slow class but I think that it was a pretty good design as far as the crew and habitability.


3/19/2010 11:15 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


At our age we're seeing more obits of shipmates every day unfortunately. One of the reasons a handful of SS-580 shipmates having a pickup get together in San Diego in May.

Quick Don O'Shae story... As mentioned previously, his last tour as O-6 was MSCO WesPac in Subic early 90's I believe. As you probably know he never married. I have it on good authority he did finally marry while he was MSCO WesPac. He married his long time Filipina honey because it was the only way he could live off-base in Subic. He and a handful of the old Grayback crowd that retired in the PI finally returned to the states about a year after Pinatubo went up. They moved to Las Vegas (figures don't it?)and several including Don got jobs tending bar. A former COB on Grayback Hap Hernandez, one of my contemporaries whom I knew well, died in mid 90's. Don became guardian of his children and raised them as his own. Last time I talked to Don was 1994. I miss those guys......

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


3/19/2010 11:18 AM

Blogger Nancy Yockey Bonar said...

KIRK: I know some of the answers...Yes, rescued crew of Dutch sub. No, don't think COD has overnights. History of thefts.

Sent your questions to COD curator, Paul Farance. Will get back with you.

Check web site.

3/19/2010 11:21 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


I sailed with Whitey Mack when he was CHENG on SSBN-619B. In 1962 Blue commissioning skipper Al Whittle brought Whitey with him from Seawolf SSN-575 where Whitey was Electrical Officer. In early 60's Whitey was big into Ayn Rand's Objectivism philosophy. I was reading one of her books at the time and had conversations with him about Rands writings. Whitey enjoyed talking about that stuff.

Keep a zero bubble....


3/19/2010 11:28 AM

Blogger John Byron said...

Kirk- no on Whitey Mack.

DBFTMC(SS)USNRET- Jack McDonald was part of that Subic crowd post-retirement. He did go out for Don's funeral.

3/19/2010 11:48 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Funny that you mention Rand, the book Atlas Shrugs is still a very hot seller. Books (different author) like Animal Farm remain pretty active.

How long was a normal or average COB tour on a smoke boat?

I only met Mack briefly in Groton but after reading about Lapon it was pretty interesting speaking with him.

I was a 637 bubblehead. I remember the 688 guys used to make fun of how slow we were but I was happy with a 637. It handled pretty good at PD under a lot of different sea states and the PD rocking, rolling , gyrating and shuffling.

How did the smoke boats handle at PD? The newer diesels had a more modern manifold like the BCP or was it all manual valve turning?

Also, when did the WWII style planesmen control stations(wheels) give way to the cockpit style diving and driving sticks? Did the newer smoke boats have the old stand up wheels?



3/19/2010 11:49 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Thank you for the feedback. It is too bad that the visitors would ruin the overnight stuff.

For a kid to stay all night with a Boy Scout Troop or something like that on a WWII boat just seems like it would be a neat thing for some kids. Of course many would want to know where the Game Cube, lol.

At least people can visit the Cod and other WWII boats and get a tiny glimpse of a rich and proud legacy and history.

Anymore, the resources available on line are almost overwhelming with data and information overload. But actually seeing boats like the COD is touching history.

I visited the Silversides, Pompanito and Cod before I got the bug to ride a nuke boat.

Thank you,


3/19/2010 11:58 AM

Blogger Nancy Yockey Bonar said...

KIRK: Are you aware of the year-old website ?

Has info about all sub memorial/museum boats, and it's a place where boat volunteers and curators talk.

3/19/2010 12:09 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


No but I will check it out, it sounds pretty interesting.



3/19/2010 12:12 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't recall meeting Jack McDonald, however if memory is correct he did write lengthy obit on Don O'Shae.

Re: diesel boats. Attack Center plus BCP and aircraft type diving stand on the three B-girls. Darter also had aircraft type diving stand. 563 class boats had old-boat style planes controls on port side, however much smaller controls. 578 Class (skate) had aircraft type diving stand but fleet boat type air and haydraulic mainfolds manned by COW.

Handling at P-scope depth depended on sea state and speed. On 580 class high speed snorkel transit was approx 13 knots. No margin for error in depth keeping. Snorkel on 3 engines std speed and dunk head valve got about 30 seconds to clear head valve or high vacuum shutdown. Diving team was "wrung-out" after 4 hours on high speed snorkel transit.

keep a zero bubble..........


3/19/2010 1:00 PM


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