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, September 22, 2008

Tragedy Onboard USS Nebraska

Details are still sketchy, but the Navy announced that a Sailor aboard USS Nebraska (SSBN 739) died accidentally on Saturday while the sub was operating submerged off the coast of Oahu:
Lt. Kyle A. Raines said in an interview the crew member was mortally injured while the sub was beneath the surface of the ocean. He was given emergency medical treatment on board the sub and was placed on a medical helicopter. but Raines says he died before reaching a hospital.
Raines says there was no indication that a mechanical problem or malfunction was involved, nor was anyone else injured.
The prayers of Submariners everywhere are with the men and families of the USS Nebraska.

Staying at PD...

Update 1533 22 Sep: I haven't seen any additional press releases from the Navy, so the Sailor's identity is still being withheld pending notification of next of kin. Based on the comments on this article in the Kitsap Sun, the Nebraska's Blue Crew has the boat now.

Update 1724 23 Sep: Still no public identification of the identity of the lost Submariner, but as the Navy Times reports, the Naval Safety Center did announce that an "MM3 died after becoming entangled and pinned in rudder ram aboard submarine while cleaning" aboard USS Nebraska on 20 Sep. The ship and crew pulled into Pearl Harbor, and remained there at least through yesterday while the investigation proceeds.

Update 0940 24 Sep: The lost Submariner has been identified as MM3 Michael Gentile, originally from Maine. He had joined the Navy in July 2005, and had previously served on USS Alaska (SSBN 732).

Sailor, Rest Your Oar.

Update 0750 26 Sep: Here's an account of the memorial that the USS Nebraska Gold Crew held for Petty Officer Gentile at Bangor. It sounds like the boat is back out to sea after it pulled into Pearl for the investigation.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

My prayers are with the crew and families.

9/22/2008 9:34 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

All our hearts go out the the Crew and their Families. My Son-in-Law is a 1st Class A-Ganger on board. My daughter call me about 2am (EST)and reported her phoncon with the OMBUDMAN and stated that he and others where involed. She has a meeting with the Base Chaplain later today......don't know what's going on......RMCM(SS), Ret

9/22/2008 10:05 AM

Blogger Mr. C. said...

A true tragedy.

But the fact that this is newsworthy is because accidents (especially fatal ones) on submarines are so rare.

My prayers go to his family.

9/22/2008 10:11 AM

Blogger rebecca said...

Our thoughts are with that family!

9/22/2008 11:13 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As you can imagine, there has been a lot of churn on the details since the accident happened yesterday. Expect more official details to be released this afternoon, Hawaii time.

9/22/2008 11:53 AM

Blogger Unknown said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9/22/2008 12:03 PM

Blogger Unknown said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9/22/2008 12:04 PM

Blogger Unknown said...

I am very sorry to hear this, I left this boat not too long ago and still know the majority of the crew. They are fine men and it really is an unfortunate event to hear this.

9/22/2008 12:21 PM

Blogger Unknown said...

Thinking about this brings back really bad memories of not too long ago. Unfortunately, this isn't the first death aboard Big Red as we had a suicide death less than 4 years ago. There are still quite a few guys onboard that were there for the first one, and let me tell you, it's not fun. Those were tough times and I know the coming days will be just as tough if not worse. My thoughts and prayers go to the crew and their family

9/22/2008 12:51 PM

Blogger Navy Blue Cougar said...

A truly sad day for the submarine force and for the Nebraska especially. My prayers are with the family, friends, and shipmates of the lost sailor.

9/22/2008 1:11 PM

Blogger Unknown said...

The families will be having a meeting at the base chapel @ 6pm Pacific time. I anticipate that more info will be released after that.

9/22/2008 2:05 PM

Blogger Unknown said...

BTW, just a thought, Saturdays are Field Day aboard the big red. This is just speculation but if the injury occurred Saturday and they were still able to get the sailor off onto a Helo prior to him passing then it was more than likely during the day.

9/22/2008 2:11 PM

Blogger David said...

Sorry to hear this.
I pray for everyone involved.

9/22/2008 2:19 PM

Blogger cheezstake said...

I reported to the Seawolf the day before the STS3 shot himself while standing the belowdecks on the midwatch.

It was a surreal environment that morning when I came in to start my check-in.

It is always sad when we lose one of our own.

9/22/2008 4:11 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

We had a guy get seriously hurt while field daying back aft. He fell into the shaft and got his boot stuck and almost ripped his whole leg off. Luckily he came out of it all right.

There are a lot of things that can go wrong in our line of work. I just wish the best for the rest of the crew and the family of this young brave man who died defending his country.

It is a sad day for the submarine force.

Rest in peace shipmate.

9/22/2008 4:59 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The dude died because he was cleaning back aft. Bottom line: he died because someone wanted a cleaner engine room. Who expects to die during field is just too damn random.

9/22/2008 5:21 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not getting a good vibe on this one. The way it's being handled and all. It has the feel of something more than an Electrical Shock, dropped Deck plate, or falling down a ladder.
Posts on the Bremerton Sun Blogs discuss a meeting this evening with the wives at the base chapel with more data being released afterwards.
There's going to be some shock factor as to how this happened, as if there's not already enough. Just a sinking feeling in my gut, nothing more.

9/22/2008 5:39 PM

Blogger Unknown said...

Just as I thought, he was probably a non qual and was cleaning somewhere he didn't know he wasn't supposed to be.

I think somebody has some pent up anger about field days here. I agree they suck but it is necessary to have a clean ship in order to help preserve, stay somewhat healthy and prevent other accidents from happening. (OMFG, I can't believe I just said field days were good.... somebody shoot me please)

It is still a very unfortunate event.....

9/22/2008 5:48 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

sounds like the rudder ram

9/22/2008 5:58 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like Pat I was onboard during the suciud in 05. Yes there is still people onboard from those horrible days. I have been off of the boat for a year and I still have many friends there. My heart and prayers are with them. It is always bad to lose a shipmate.

9/22/2008 5:59 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what crew is out.

9/22/2008 5:59 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, Pat


That having been said, field day is important....but occasionally overdone.

You can shoot me now.

My prayers to the crew and family.

9/22/2008 6:01 PM

Blogger Unknown said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9/22/2008 6:15 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was relieving SDO the day the guy shot himself onboard SEAWOLF. Definately blows. I always hurts to lose one of our own. Prayers are with the family and crew.

9/22/2008 6:20 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

A skinking feeling in my gut too about this, but regardless - our prayers and thoughts go out to the family, friends and shipmates.

9/22/2008 7:22 PM

Blogger Subvet said...

God rest his soul and help the man's family.

9/22/2008 7:44 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kid was a qualified a-ganger who was somewhere back aft he should have known not to be while the ship was operating and maneuvering at sea. You can fill in the blanks. Investigation is commencing and more will follow. I'm a little surprised the Navy (CSG9) got initial word out on this so fast. Any and all prayers for the families and shipmates are appreciated.

Stand easy, shipmate. We have the watch.

9/22/2008 8:05 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Word on the street is.... crushed by the rudder ram during a field day.

9/22/2008 8:14 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

crushed by rudder ram. cut through his femoral artery and couldn't stop the bleeding. we've been trying to find out all day if it was one of our roommates.

9/22/2008 8:32 PM

Blogger T said...

God, that really is horrible. We had a guy on our boat who got lightly crushed by the rudder ram, but he was not particularly badly injured, just a little sore. It was funny because he fought the rudder ram and lived, but it's a tragedy to see how that all could have went very very wrong.

And all this is due to field day, so, so sad. My heart goes out to the family.

9/22/2008 9:08 PM

Blogger domernuc said...

As the Weps it was always my worst fear that someone would get hurt or killed doing something expedient.
I lost one of my sailors to suicide on watch in port during an unscheduled repair before an inspection. It was terrible. I can remember how hard it was to try to keep working and deal with the trauma at the same time. My prayers go out to them as they try to cope. There are so many things to do and a million ways to do them wrong.
God speed to the Nebraska.

9/22/2008 9:28 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was on MSP on 29DEC06 when we lost COB Higgins and STS2 Holtz. I can only imagine that the crew is in shock right now. It is a terrible day, hell a terrible month, when you lose a shipmate and friend in an accident. My thought and prayers go out to the crew of the Nebraska. The death is horrible, but the blame-gaming and politics that come afterwards and during the investigation are just as brutal. Hopefully, big Navy will complete the investigation in a timely manner so the crew can heal and move on and we can hopefully prevent this from happening again.

9/22/2008 9:29 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The name will be released as soon as the waiting period is over, the next of kin was notified today. His roomate was at sea with him.

Rest assured the Navy is informing as many people as fast as they can.

My prayers go out to all of you that are anxiously waiting news, that means you care about us guys that are protecting this awesome country.

Go Big Red

9/22/2008 11:11 PM

Blogger DDM said...

The Sailor was crushed by a hydraulic ram in shaft alley during field day. The initial report says he was on watch. More to follow...

9/23/2008 3:27 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our son was one of the initial medical providers for this sailor and he said that he and the other providers managed to keep this sailor conscious for over 4 1/2 hours, but ran out of time just as the helicopter arrived. Obviously, they are all very traumatized for what they experienced. The only consolation is that doctors have told them that it was remarkable that they managed to keep him alive for over an hour with those severe injuries. Thankfully, the crew is getting counselling to deal with their needs.
Obviously, our sympathies go to the family of the deceased sailor.
To answer an earlier question, this is the "Blue" crew.

9/23/2008 3:47 AM

Blogger 630-738 said...

I too have been on ships that lost shipmates. The first was during a port visit to Ft. Lauderdale, he got tanked, stuck his upper body out of the window of a car on A1A to yell at some girls on the beach and took a roadsign to the back of the head. His dad had to pull the plug on him. #2 was an MMC A-Ganger who shot himself in his truck days before he was transferring to shore duty about 30 miles from the boat. Crew members swore they could see his ghost in the Engine Room. #3 was an older ETC (Nav ET), heavy smoker, sedentary lifestyle, who for reasons unknown, decided to hit the treadmill after the halfway night meal and festivities. About 20 minutes into his workout, his heart basically exploded and he was dead before he hit the deck. Our magnificent Corpsman revived him somewhat with CPR, but his heart soon stopped again and he never recovered. We were brought in from patrol to attend his funeral and his family came down to tour the boat. Unlike the previous encounters with active duty death, his family didn't blame the Navy or the crew for the tragedy. I think about all three of them frequently, and how choices they ALL made contributed to their early demise.
Please folks, think before you act. Life is fleeting, and the broken trails you leave behind are MUCH bigger than most realize. Until you've had a grown man, sobbing in agony, point his trembling finger at you and tell you it's you and your kind that killed my brother, will you realize the impact early death has on those around you.

My heartfelt condolences and prayers to our shipmate from USS NEBRASKA. Sailor, rest your oar, we have the watch.

9/23/2008 5:08 AM

Blogger richard said...

My prayers go out to our shipmate, the crew, and his family!

Rest easy shipmate, We have the watch now!

9/23/2008 8:07 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

603-738 I think I might have known(worked for)the MMC. Heard after I had trnasfered from the boat we were on together that something bad had heppened to him, but never got any details other than he is no longer with us. MMCM(SS/SW)Ret.

9/23/2008 8:56 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sailor Rest Your Oar

9/23/2008 11:52 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whatever happened, it was NOT due to a field day! Field days have come and gone and no one died in the process. What ever happen was due to something else. I am not about to cast any guilt here because the facts are not in, but we all know the gruesome truth: There are places on a ship where you are not supposed to be at certain times - no exceptions! There are some rules that you break at you own peril and even a casual laps in judgment may be your last. That salty SOB lifer that is screamin' about following procedures may just save your sorry butt. And why is he so worked up you may ask? Because he is the one who hauled someone's mangled son out of a machinery space and he can't get the image out his head, that's why. I got out in '74 and I still have the dreams...

9/23/2008 1:07 PM

Blogger Budd said...

Here is a link to where I posted what I know/have heard.

9/23/2008 1:09 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just to kind of put things in perspective, I've been in 23 years, 3 boats and one tender and lost 5 shipmates. The last year I spent on an I.A. in Iraq with the 3rd Bn 7th Inf Regiment and attended 22 Battle Field memorial services... it's a bit strange to go to a service where they say " In case of mortar attack...."
Yep it sucks to loose a Brother or Sister where ever you are. We need to take care of each other.

9/23/2008 1:20 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have they changed the regulation that says that the DOC can't pronounce a sailor deceased? I know in the 05 death on Nebraska that DOC was not allowed to pronounce him dead and we had to attempt CPR until the Squadron Med Officer was able to be BSPed. It seemed like forever!

9/23/2008 1:43 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel so bad for the family, what a horrible way to go. Being a Submariner in and of itself is inherently dangerous. He would have lived if he received surgical care within 1-1/2 hours. The first helo was a Coast Guard chopper that did not have enough fuel to reach them. So they got a chopper out of MCB Hawaii, stripped it down and they had just enough fuel to do the med-evac. He died en-route to Trippler. The boat was just too far away.

9/23/2008 2:08 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The boat was just too far away."

Thats what scares me to death about my husband being on a sub.

My thoughts & prayers are with the family & crew.

9/23/2008 2:13 PM

Blogger Pastor Ian said...

One of my shipmates on the Alabama was crushed by the ram back in the mid 80s. Praise the Lord, he was not fatally wounded, but his injuries resulted in a medical discharge. The rudder ram received a modification shortly afterward that painted the indicator arms in a candy striped fashion as well as placing a chain across the area.

Submarining is a dangerous job that dedicated sailors do day in and day out. Tragedy is never easy to deal with. I rode Big Red several times when I was on the staff of CSS-16.

My thoughts and prayers as well as the prayers of my church go out to this family and the crew of the Nebraska.

Pastor Ian M. Dent
MMCM(SS) USN Retired

9/23/2008 2:45 PM

Blogger John Byron said...

Every CO coming into command owes his crew a pledge that none of them will die on his watch.

If the story stands, I've no patience with this sort of carelessness. No one else should either. The sea stalks the unwary - be wary.

9/23/2008 3:21 PM

Blogger cheezstake said...

If I remember correctly, on the 727G, if the emphasis for field day was shaft alley, we had a PO1 on the phones back there to alert all of ram movements. The field day norm was to keep course and depth steady for the field day duration with only slight changes as required.

My thoughts and prayer are with the crew of the Nebraska and all those affected by the loss of a good sailor.

9/23/2008 3:22 PM

Blogger Mike Mulligan said...

Man, that doesn’t sound good, “apparent accident”. Did he have any psychological or adjustment problems on the sub? What was the command climate on the sub? Are medical services and skills adequate for the isolation of the duty?

Are there a sensitivity with recent issues in the fleet and the acceptance GW in Japan? Is the navy being too secretive and controlling information...why?

9/23/2008 3:37 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Mike the Moron:
STFU, nobody cares to read your comments. You are so....(Fill in the blank)...

9/23/2008 5:49 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike Mulligan, the Navy is following standard procedures. Before releasing the Sailor's name, his next of kin must be notified. The last thing anyone would want is for his family to hear it through the rumor mill. Every crewmember puts in writing who to notify in the unfortunate event of death or illness, and I'm sure his wishes are being honored.

This has nothing to do with the carrier changing homeports to Japan.

The incident is being investigated, as is also standard procedure. If command climate was a factor, that will be addressed. All submariners undergo psychological evaluation prior to entering that career path. If he displayed anymental instability, I'm sure that will come out.

You question the medical capabilities onboard a submarine. They are as good as they can be, which is pretty good under normal circumstances. This is a situation where speed was probably of the essence, and unfortunately time ran out. I am sure the Corpsman on board did everything possible to save this man. For an example of the medical capabilities, read the about the San Francisco grounding.

Submarines are inherently dangerous places to work, and this are is one of the most dangerous, because of all the moving parts, like the rudder ram.

Best of luck to his family and the crew.


9/23/2008 5:55 PM

Blogger Unknown said...

Mike, you seem pretty out of touch with the way things are run on a sub.....

As for the command climate, it was pretty good. Leaps and bounds from when I first got there. He was a pretty good guy, your average sailor. I think he was almost qualified when I left. He had to have made MM3 by now. Not sure why he would be near the ram, especially given the fact that he was an aganger and should've known better. Accidents happen, when they happen onboard subs, they often end up being a bigger deal. As Mr. C said earlier, the only reason this is newsworthy is because accidents on (US) subs are so rare (especially given the inherently dangerous environment).

9/23/2008 6:06 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Read his profile...tractor trailer driver AND under cover whistle

sorry had to put that in there to consider the scource.

9/23/2008 6:12 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isnt Mike Mulligan a fictional character from a children's book?

Anyway, its such a tragedy to hear such husband is on the sub & hearing firsthand information saddened me more but gave me a better understanding (and respect) of the job they do.

My thoughts & prayers go out to the sailor's family, girlfriend, and the Blue Crew...

9/23/2008 6:27 PM

Blogger Mike Mulligan said...

Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel is a beautiful children’s book. It was written in the scary times of the mid 1930’s.

I sat on the seat of the steam shovel bragging about how much work I could do, but as my wife reminds me, Mary Ann(the steam shovel) did all the heavy work while you watched. She says, I think humorously, just like in our house.

Mike Mulligan is my real name.
5 Wood Lawn Lane
Hinsdale, NH

My big gripe in life was about all the mike mulligan and his steam shovel books that were given me. Every time my mother or father met a new friend, brought them home, they’d bring me a new steam shovel book to appease my parents. It made my older sister really angry because a lot of times she got nothing. I was always sternly warned to graciously accept the new book...I misbehaved a few times…even if I got a gaggle of identical books in my bed room.

That little book speaks to technological obsolesce, organizational failures…and living in a loving community.

They say all of our lives are driven by external scripts…

9/23/2008 9:32 PM

Blogger Mike Mulligan said...

There is no such thing as an accident or a coincidence. That’s the problem, in all of our era of institutional failures, the only defense is we were always following the rules after the accident.

I am terrified with people following the rules.

This is his second sub since enlistment in 2005?

9/23/2008 9:48 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

We had an ORM briefing during quarters this morning, from what I understand the boat made a hard rudder while he was cleaning they didnt tell us if it was during field day or not.

9/24/2008 3:06 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bubblehead's related posts mentioned in this Honolulu Advertiser's latest on the accident:

9/24/2008 6:21 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Mike,

As far as mental instability, generally when it is discovered, it is dealt with. Part of the training involved with serving on a submarine is designed to deal with revealing with those aspects in people. I know this because I displayed aspects in prototype and I was bounced-- bad for me(in the short term anyway), but good for the Navy and its crews. I thrive in a different career since.

As far as culture and safety is concerned, the nuclear Navy and the submarine community probably have the best safety-oriented culture anywhere in the world. Any biography written about Rickover talks about the culture he created, and it lives on today.

I suggest you google "SUBSAFE" and/or Al Ford to get a better sense of the submarine safety culture... (If you really care to, but IMHO you seem to be more a troublemaker rather than someone who really cares).

My condolences to the crew and their families...

9/24/2008 8:47 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

P 231801Z SEP 08 PSN 565091H26
UNCLAS //N05560//

9/24/2008 10:36 AM

Blogger David said...


As a former RM, ok ET, it is my opinion that someone is gonna be red over that incorrect spelling.

Glad the message was posted as I'll be sure to have a moment of silence and prayer tomorrow evening.

9/24/2008 11:38 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

{Every CO coming into command owes his crew a pledge that none of them will die on his watch.}

With all due respect, its a dangerous profession. I think everyone understands that. There is a certain element of risk to military service in general, and a greater one in the engine room of a warship, and a submarine in particular. You take a stainless steel pipe, stick a reactor on one end, sink it, and then people shoot at you.

I feel for this young man, his family, and his shipmates. I can't imagine what it feels like to have a friend slip away because rescue is just too far. Only people in situations like this, or on the battlefield can understand it.

9/24/2008 1:46 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike, for G-d's sake, please desist. This thread is not about you.

9/24/2008 1:47 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

OPREP-3 says field day. Hope I can clear that up.

9/24/2008 2:45 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was an Aganger on four boats and working on the boats is a dangerous profession. I have cleaned and worked around the operating rudder ram. It can be done; however, there is always the chance for screwing up and falling into the moving ram or rotating shaft as your moving to clean under them. It is always a calculated risk and sometime or another your going to get bit. It can be a near miss or a catastrophe. It is a conscious decision by the Aganger to work around operating, rotating or moving equipment. It’s the same as scuba diving, hang gliding, or sky diving.
It is a calculated risk and you bet your odds on your actions. You do everything that you can to mitigate the risk and then decide if you want to take it. I did it as a FN all the way through Senior Chief and for Mulligan to question what happened or how it happened just shows his ignorance and lack of character.
I have seen fire, flooding and death on the boats and it sucked. The loss of a shipmate affects the whole crew and it will never go away.
My prayers go out to Petty Officer Gentile, his family and the crew.
Mulligan, you can thank your lucky stars that these same people stood watch, took calculated risks and defended your right to spew the garbage you throw up.
You’re not qualified to carry my jock.

That Damn Good Looking Aganger From Iowa

9/24/2008 3:04 PM

Blogger Unknown said...


Please spare us your propaganda on this one. You've already poisoned the water enough on this blog. At least have the decency to save it for a different topic instead of highjacking a thread and exposing it/us to your rhetoric.

RIP Gentile, you were a good sailor and shipmate.

9/24/2008 3:26 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

In this thread, the poster "Mike Mulligan" is what is known as a Troll. That term (google it) refers to someone posting stuff to rile people up. Please do not dignify him with any more responses!

This is a tragedy and I hope we can learn something from it to make sure it is prevented in the future...many people have this young man in their thoughts and prayers....

--US Navy Submarine Officer

9/24/2008 3:28 PM

Blogger chief torpedoman said...

Mike, to compare forced child labor in a slaughter house to a US Navy sailor on a nuclear submarine shows just what an asshat you really are!

To quote lawyer Joseph Welch when responding to Senator Joe McCarthy:

"Until this moment, Senator, I think I never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness." When McCarthy tried to continue his attack, Welch angrily interrupted, "Let us not assassinate this lad further, senator. You have done enough. Have you no sense of decency?"

Mike, this kids parents may read this blog and comments. It has already been linked in Honolulu newspapers. Do you want them to carry an image in their minds of comparing their son’s death to a hamburger grinder?

You sling about accusations like you were there. Let the investigation reveal the facts, Mike. If it doesn’t then I am certain the crew will. In the meantime let this man’s family have some peace!

9/24/2008 4:30 PM

Blogger Mike Mulligan said...

You've already poisoned the water enough on this blog. At least have the decency to save it for a different topic instead of high jacking a thread and exposing it/us to your rhetoric.

Anyone watch House MD on TV. You are giving me so much apparent power; you are basically saying you are so weak to my vibs...that I take away your sense of self. What you are telegraphing to me is; that you are nothing but weaklings.

Anyways, where was the submarine fleet’s thoughts and prayers for the young man when he was alive....why didn’t you protect your brother from his future injuries?

As far as meat grinder, as House MD says, the only thing that matters is if you are right and accurate...if your aim is create change.

If you want my opinion about the conservative and religious right wingers....they are master of the spin misters...deception inc.

Anyways, I live in the greatest country on the face of the planet and our country is built upon the best ideals in the world...I own that sub and the US Navy. I have a right to know what is going on in my property and I have a right to know how my money is spent. I have a right to understand how the Navy treats human dignity!

9/24/2008 5:11 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

MODERATOR: out of respect for the sailors family & friends who may link to this from news articles, please remove the offending posts. They dont deserve it. They have enough greif as it is.

Thank you.

9/24/2008 5:19 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

i was also on board when we lost a sailor a few years ago by suicide. its not a good time for anybody. the crew and the families are in my thoughts and prayers.

9/24/2008 5:37 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike Mulligan, The only person registered at 5 woodlawn ln, hinsdale, nh is a mrs. dorothy m. brooks. and you are not mrs. dorothy m. brooks. i suggest you keep your comments to yourself in this sensitive matter because in your case the people that give you the right to have freedom of speech are also the same people that will not hesitate to come and remove it from you for a shipmate.

9/24/2008 5:51 PM

Blogger Subvet said...

Mulligan, by your comments you reveal your absolute ignorance of our country's military.

Go play somewhere else, the adults are talking.

9/24/2008 6:06 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Although I am Prior Air Force Security Police, I understand it is exceedingly rare for a death to occur on a Navy Submarine. That simple concept in life tells the rest of the services that you Gents know what you're doing. It's too bad the USAF doesn't hold that same safety record as the USN clearly does.

Nevertheless, I'm very sorry MM3(SS)GENTILE has passed on. I too grieve for the family and Nebraska's crew.

Thankyou and God Bless,

SSGT. J. Casey

9/24/2008 7:01 PM

Blogger SifuMcNabb said...

My heart sank when my daughter in-law called me and said that there
was an accident on the boat and
someone died. My Son is on the
Nebraska for his first cruise, so
I naturally thought that it might
be him. Although I am glad to hear
that he is fine, I have a hard time
dealing with young men giving their
lives to protect our freedoms.
I served on the USS Long Beach
CGN-9 in the late 60's in Viet Nam
and now I ride motorcycles with
the "Patriot Guard" when possible.
This is an awesome group of bikers
that ride and stand flag lines for
those who stood for us. I would
be honored to do that for this man
if asked.
Lessons will be learned by his
I am truely sorry for the families lose.
Our thoughts and prayers are with
you all.
I haven't been able to talk to my
son, but I am sure that the two
men knew eachother.
Jay MCNabb

9/24/2008 7:58 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our son is an A-Ganger on the Nebraska. He was close to MM3 (SS)Gentile, they were friends as well as shipmates. Our heart breaks for the family of Michael A. Gentile and for the entire crew. Gentile just turned 21 and likely planned to re-enlist next year...he enjoyed his job with the Navy. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family, the crew and their loved ones during this sad and difficult time.

9/24/2008 8:58 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was on watch when everything happened, and i saw everything that went on in the CSP chat room. i can honestly say that their HM1 truly did an outstanding job in taking care of MM3. the helo simply took too long to get there. Their Doc deserves a hell of a lot of credit.

9/25/2008 5:36 AM

Blogger Mike Mulligan said...

Brooks is my wife's maidened name...Dorthy is my 89 year old mother-in-law who lives with us...Joanne is my wife's name.

Why is the navy so fixated on censorship and controlling information?

If I was advising the Gentile family...I remind them of the Pat Tillman story. They have a right to request the Navy investigate the death of your child...I’d request an independent investigation outside your command. I request the results to be put into written form. It’s sad to say, but the family is in the leveraging position...they can create comprehensive corrective action with the death of your child. Your child’s death could make the lives better of many other 21 year old submarine sailors in the same situation.

9/25/2008 6:32 AM

Blogger 630-738 said...

Submarine Independent Duty Corpsman take a lot of good-natured flak for what they do onboard under normal conditions, (we always called ours the "3M Coordinator"- Meals, Movie, Mattress), but the truth is they are in almost every case magnificent rascals that are often the only shield between life and death for an injured or critically ill sailor. When our ETC died, I saw our Doc administer CPR well beyond the point where mere mortals would collapse. Right up until the point that the M.D. came onboard and declared him deceased, he never gave up hope, or trying. He took the loss hard, but the crew rallied around him and refused to allow him to blame himself. In the heat of battle, there is NO ONE I would rather have at my side than a boat's DOC. Thank God for Navy Corpsman.

9/25/2008 6:35 AM

Blogger 630-738 said...

Please folks, let's put this idiot on "ignore". Making comments such as:
"i suggest you keep your comments to yourself in this sensitive matter because in your case the people that give you the right to have freedom of speech are also the same people that will not hesitate to come and remove it from you for a shipmate"

only feed the troll. It's obvious this guy cares nothing at all about what he's saying, he only enjoys stirring the pot.

Mulligan- This is the only response you will get from me, so savor it. If you won't consider the heartfelt condolences that the shipmates here are posting, at least consider the family of MM3 Gentile and his crew's immediate grief. I'm sure the family will ask the hard questions of the Navy, just as others before them. They don't need your incendiary comments and most assuredly, they don't need your guidance. Please go away, you asshat.

9/25/2008 6:46 AM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

At this point you're not really adding anything useful to this thread, so I'm going to ask you to sit the rest of it out. And I deleted one of your posts I felt was just added to try to shock MM3(SS) Gentile's loved ones. I'm glad you're interested in submarines, but the focus on this board is to give those of us who actually know what we're talking about a place to exchange information and views.

9/25/2008 7:47 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry to get off topic but...isnt the 3MC a totally different job from what the doc does? Just wondering cause my husband is one & he knows nothing about the medical field.

9/25/2008 7:56 AM

Blogger 630-738 said...

Yes, 3MC is a different job entirely, I just threw the reference in tongue-in-cheek. We often used the same reference for the real 3MC. (I had that job on one boat for a while, wouldn't want it again).

9/25/2008 8:02 AM

Blogger Mike Mulligan said...


You nothing but a bunch of thugs, and you can go to hell!


9/25/2008 8:12 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Mulligan,

Enjoy your rides in your big boy rig - it's the closest to a submarine that you'll ever come. Wait, they're not close at all.

9/25/2008 8:19 AM

Blogger Mike Mulligan said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9/25/2008 10:01 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let me guess, you, Mike Mulligan of Napoleanesque Ego, identified not only the AF problem, but also proferred the fix?

If your services haven't been in service since the American Tissue CEO was convicted three years ago, where elsee have you dreamed you were fulfilling your destiny, Luke?

Do you actually know anything about anything? In case you didn't already know this, one thing most people hate more than any other is a know-it-all-been-there-done-that-twice-asshat - and you fit the bill perfectly.

9/25/2008 11:38 AM

Blogger cjjrm said...

I served with Petty Officer Michael Gentile onboard USS Alaska Gold in 2006. He was a nice young man - I talked with him a few times but not all that often as he was studying for submarine qualifications.
I located an article from his hometown newspaper at
I sent an email to a friend of mine on the Nebraska Gold crew about an idea of setting up a scholarship in his name at his local high school in Maine but have not gotten word back from him yet. Perhaps in conjunction with the local American Legion Post there.
What do you all think about this? I am not certain how to set this up but I would like to do something for my former shipmate.

STS1(SS), US Navy Retired

9/25/2008 11:53 AM

Blogger cjjrm said...

It looks like the link did not properly show on my last message.

9/25/2008 11:55 AM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

Guys -- no need to respond to any more of Mike's comments; any new ones after his "go to hell" one will be gone soon anyway (unless he leaves a post with a link to where he wants to continue the discussion with anyone who wants to over at his own blog; I'd keep that link up).

My blog, my (admittedly inconsistent) rules.

9/25/2008 12:01 PM

Blogger Mike Mulligan said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9/25/2008 12:18 PM

Blogger Subvet said...

Sometimes a website will exist where condolences for the loved ones can be left. Anyone know of such a site for MM3(SS) Gentile?

9/25/2008 12:45 PM

Blogger Mike Mulligan said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9/25/2008 1:22 PM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

Jeez, Mike, just put a post up at your place, post the link, and continue the conversation over there.

9/25/2008 1:26 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

According to article at, the family plans for a funeral with full military honors at Lawry Brothers Funeral Home in Fairfield, Maine. Their website is at

Click on obituaries, select "enter", and you should see "send condolences" button on left side of screen.

You can also send comments at the articles website at

9/25/2008 3:14 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any word on administrative actions?
Is the crew doing well?

9/25/2008 3:56 PM

Blogger Unknown said...

The Crew members that I have talked to are doing pretty good. The guys that were there for the suicide death say that it is very much the same in the respects of the way the crew is handling it. It's like everyone walks around in a bit of shock & disbelief and they pretty much just want to go back to sea b/c they are in port for the wrong reason.

9/25/2008 5:51 PM

Blogger Unknown said...

As for administrative actions, they likely will publish the report of the investigation. The result will probably turn into a lessons learned GMT for the rest of the fleet and they may attempt to do some sort of modification to the ship in order to make sailors more sensitive to the danger (think ORM). The investigation will probably take about a week in all and they will then return to sea and finish their tasking (Inspections and such) prior to return to port.

9/25/2008 5:56 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's been little bits of questionable inside info that has leaked out. If there's any truth to it, the investigation will be pretty painful and there will be corrective actions. However, I wouldn't anticipate much of it being released and whatever is made public will be weeks down the road. This was a very unfortunate accident and any Vet knows hows exremely brutal a JAG can be on something like this. The Navy will make it right. As interested as I am in the all the details, I don't see any good that will come out of a public flogging. God rest the kids soul.

9/25/2008 5:57 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

A fellow submariner has been lost - what a tragic event. My heart goes out to the crew that must be feeling the loss and the family that must be feeling a very deep pain.

I will keep him in my memories and keep his family in my prayers.

Fair winds and following seas from now to eternity, shipmate.

9/25/2008 7:13 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This young man was killed by a Maneuver while cleaning on the Rudder jam during feild day.

May he rest in peace.

9/25/2008 7:46 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This young man was killed by a Maneuver while cleaning on the Rudder jam during field day.

May he rest in peace.

9/25/2008 7:47 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My thoughts are with our shipmate and his family, as well as the rest of the Officers and Crew. I spent 5 on Big Red, and I love every inch of that ship. I was fortunate to get off the boat right before the suicide, as well as this incident, but my heart still aches for everyone involved.

9/25/2008 8:23 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Bubblehead,

You've got a helluva great blog here. However, one favor if you would.

Put Mike on the ignore list wouldja please? Beach him from this blog. I grow tired of reading his senseless horseshit. Plus it underminds the integrity of this superior site.

Thanks, J.

9/26/2008 3:52 PM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

I've deleted his last 8 or so comments from this post -- the families tend to find these posts through Google searches after a tragedy, and the things he was saying were unhelpful in addition to being completely uninformed. However, I generally steer away from banning someone completely, so Mike is still welcome to comment on other posts as long as it doesn't get too annoying or personal.

9/26/2008 4:04 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did the CO, XO and/or COB get fired?
If so, why? If not, why not?

9/26/2008 10:25 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

A basket for cards and a condolence book is placed on the quarterdeck of the OCAB for anyone who wants to send their condolences to the family. It will be located there until 1600 on Tuesday afternoon and then everything will be sent to the family. We chose not to make the family's address public because of people like Mike. Do not hesitate to stop by the USS Nebraska off-crew office with any other questions. The gold crew is trying their hardest to help minimize the pain for the family by sending everything from the memorial service to the family prior to the funeral service.

9/26/2008 11:22 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hopefully our Flag Officers are coming up with a different solution.

I know that some of you are foaming at the mouth waiting for a CO, or COB to be fired. FTN and all that self centered B.S. is what you're all about.

Frankly, I hope the Navy comes up with a different solution rather than erase the careers and legacy's of individual's who stepped up to the plate. Many of those who sit back in their easy chairs hoping for a COB's head to fly are the same guys who never bothered to qualify DOOW. Or maybe got qualified (after going dink), but were too scared to jump in the seat. I know the type, there's plenty of them.

I'll go one step further, many are now retired and regretting sub-standard performance hoping for some scandal to justify their "See!, I told you so mentality"

Years of unfunded mandates and the impossible expectations of "Intrusive Leadership" has taken it's toll. Officer retention is in the tank and the long line of candidates for COB is getting short. Many very qualified leaders are finding a better deal elsewhere (i.e quietly retire).

I won't even review the number of C.O, XO, Cob, firings over the years, suffice to say, it has been extensive. IT HAS DONE NO GOOD.

Let me review......IT HAS DONE NO GOOD!

I'm not sure what happened out there, the Navy.......Our Navy.... will figure it out.......But if for some reason, A Commanding Officer and COB are deemed fit for service on a Nuclear Powered Fleet Ballistic Missile Submarine after an A-Ganger got caught in the rudder during field day......Well, that's fine with me.

9/27/2008 10:21 AM

Blogger David said...

Well, a lot of what the previous poster said has merit but have we forgotten the USS San Francisco grounding?

Sure, the leadership had stepped up to the proverbial plate.

The acronym TARFU comes to mind when reading the reports from that incident.

The devil is in the details.

9/27/2008 10:45 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is the general thought among sailors that nobody should be fired? Just a wife here.... I certainly hope that there is such a thing as an accident. I think the CO will be relieved based on other sub incidents that have made the news, but I don't want that to happen.

9/27/2008 7:19 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

RE: "Is the general thought among sailors that nobody should be fired?"

I think that until the investigation is completed, talk of firing anyone or any other action is premature.

It could be the case that PO Gentile just happened to step in the wrong place at the wrong time and the best fix would be to add a safety shield. Perhaps not very satisfying if vengeance is the goal but, none the less, a viable outcome.

On the other hand, depending upon what the investigation finds, it could involve much more than just some one being fired such as court martial. Perhaps more satisfying for vengeance but not necessarily much of solution toward prevention.

Last, if "accident" is defined as something unforeseeable happening, they do happen but are rare.

My thoughts and prayers are with the family and the crew.


9/27/2008 10:22 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

well im still in shock me and my husband are new here to the navy and this was his first patrol to get his pin. the day before he left he told me about uss nebraska and for a week straight i had nightmares and before my husband left i told him i had a bad feeling something was gonna happen to either his boat or on it. the day i got the call from the ombudsman i was watching the GEO chanel about the uss thresher and she told me what happened. all i know is im still shaken up and my husband told me that him and the guy who passed was just talkin baout how he was gonna propose to his girlfriend when he got back home. and that he was great guy. but my question is how long does it take an investagation for a death? as far as im concerned that probably wasnt an accident

9/28/2008 12:41 AM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

It normally takes at least a couple of months for an investigation to be complete; after the initial report is written, it has to go through several levels of the chain of command, especially if there's punishment involved. I would expect that the investigation would be finished during Blue Crew's off-crew.

9/28/2008 8:05 AM

Blogger T said...

Re: Anonymous, I agree a lot with what you said earlier, but quite frankly, I don't think the Navy has what it takes to 'fix' the submarine communities problems. Unfortunately, O5-O6 level submarine leadership, in my experience is largely unimaginative, overly demanding, and more likely to screw over their guys to appease squadron, ORSE, and TRE teams than to stand up and do the right thing for their guys. This is doubly true on an SSBN, where TRE, ORSE, and coddling your Commodore appear to be the only things that 'matter'.

If you do the math with retention numbers, the main requirement to be CO of a submarine (and even more so an XO) is to continue to re-up for continuation pay. What kind of leadership can you expect when that's the goal post you have to clear?

It's unfortunate that even as flag leve submarine leadership has effectively lowered meaningless administrative requirements, the majority of boats still continue maintaining pointless programs to appease inspection teams and squadrons.

I've said here, and countless times in discussion with co-workers that our fascination with documentation and rote memorization has led to a decline in the use of actual common sense, and as a result, a decline in how to proceed with various everyday submarining situations. This may be neither here nor there for this particular incident as the details are only known by the people who were there and contrary to popular belief, accidents do happen.

9/28/2008 9:44 PM

Blogger esryle said... for Michael Gentile

9/29/2008 7:13 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

For those wondering if the crew is alright, the answer is NO. In the few days I had to speak with my husband while they were in port he could not stop crying long enough to talk. He has alot of counseling ahead of him. They still have to be down there and re-live it everyday, the whole way home. The A-gangers are a close group of guys. Gentile was liked by all and will be missed by all. Not much has been mentioned about his girlfriend, but I do know he loved her very much. To his Family, Girlfriend, and Shipmates my thoughts and prayers are with you. God Bless.

9/30/2008 12:39 AM

Blogger Unknown said...

His star has turned from Blue to Gold.
May God bless his soul and bring comfort to his family.

~AirmanMom returning to her blog...

9/30/2008 9:34 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

His girlfriend was informed the day after the town hall meeting by a chaplain and a senior person from the Gold crew. She flew to Maine for the funeral services.

9/30/2008 9:43 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just heard from a shipmate on the Nevada who is about to transfer to the Nebraska Blue. The deckplate was removed for cleaning, he fell into the rudder shaft...nobody was told about it, they made a movement and the rudder took a chunk out of him. I feel sorry for the poor bloke who controls the rudder movement.

Go With God Shipmate.

10/03/2008 12:25 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If that deckplate was removed, someone should have roped it off.

Lack of procedural compliance.

When I was on an Ohio class boat a MT did his lineup wrong after ventilation operations and an AEF paid for it when opening a hatch.
Blew his scrawny little butt down the passage way by MCC.
Luckily for him he wasn't injured bad and he got off the boat just in time for ORSE.

10/04/2008 4:44 PM

Blogger annonymous said...

My husband is the A-LPO on board a submarine stationed here in Hawaii and he had to give training to his division regarding this incident, and the boats in Hawaii, or at least his I know of for sure had to "candy stripe" in shaft ally around the ram as a result of this tragedy and in all "industrial areas". He has said there are discrepancies though in the reports that were given during the report though coming down from squadron at least here in Hawai'i. Our prayers go out to the family of MM3 Gentile, and like everyone else, no one understands why he was back there alone without a phone talker while conducting manuvers.

10/06/2008 10:31 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It does absolutely no good to share hypotheses, half-truths, and straight up fabrications about the incident.

Respect Michael, let him rest. Let HIS SHIPMATES rest. Let his FAMILY rest. The experience was bad enough for them already.

There is an investigation going on. Let them do their job.

10/08/2008 9:55 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Know your facts!! He did not fall because the deckplate was removed, He was cleaning. So next time you want to comment, know your facts. This has been hard enough on his family without second hand stories comming out. It was a terrible accident. He was alert enough to tell what happend. He was cleaning and did not notice the rudder ram moving til it was too late. Nuff said!! Rest in peace MM3 Gentile.

10/09/2008 10:33 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was there. He was there right in front of me on the docs table. He tried to take a shortcurt over the rudder. He was a great person. He made everybody laugh. Be sfae people.

10/11/2008 2:03 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

To My Nephew,
May you life be remembered not for what has happened to make you leave us, but for all the good you have done throughout your life. May your dreams be remembered, your memories cherished. May you rest in peace.
I miss you more than words can decribe yet laugh when I think about things you did as a child. I am proud of you Michael, you turned into a good man.
Rest now in the arms of the father, be free, be at ease.
Love your Uncle

10/11/2008 5:10 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unless you've served onboard a submarine, you can never understand what it is we do. Our job is dangerous every single day, but like so many have said it is still rare to have this type of accident on board. I saw the accident, and the response, i've cried with the crew and the division. The corpsman onboard and the EMT's are hero's in my book. Everything that could have been done, was done. To all the speculator and assumption makers, he died a hero, so leave it at that. No one is at fault, no is getting in trouble, he was a friend of mine and all around great guy, We talk about him everyday and he will not be forgotten. There will be a permanent memorial placed in Machinary two and it will remain until the boat Decommissions. The crew is close and still in shock, this is my 4th boat and i've never experienced a closer, tight nit A-Division, and I feel lucky and proud to have served with Mike. From A-Gang to Mike and his family, we love you and will always be your "Gang." Rest in peace Mike, We toasted to you that first night in Pearl, and sometimes we still cry.

10/11/2008 8:59 PM


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