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U. S. SUBMARINE VETERANS BREMERTON BASE

P O. Box 465, Silverdale, WA 98383-0465

Stuff you won't see in the local fish wrappers"

    

 

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NAVY HISTORY, CHINA FLEET CLUB

By Garland Davis

A native of North Carolina, Garland Davis has lived in Hawaii since 1987. He always had a penchant for writing but did not seriously pursue it until recently. He is a graduate of Hawaii Pacific University, where he majored in Business Management. Garland is a thirty-year Navy retiree and service-connected Disabled Veteran.

A SAILORS LANDMARK!

HISTORY OF THE CHINA FLEET CLUB IN HONG KONG!

The China Fleet Country Club has a remarkable history.

Here’s the basic timeline of one of my favorite places. 🙂

1
901 – The mudflats of Victoria Harbor were bought for $2.50 per square foot by a Hong Kong businessman who began charging for tipping rubble from the growing colony.

1903 – The land began selling for $25.00 per square foot. Short of buyers for the land, the businessman joined with the personnel of the Royal Navy’s China Fleet to raise funds for a Royal Naval Canteen.

1929 – The canteen proved to be extremely successful and was soon demolished to make way for a new building.

1933 – Using the club funds and with a generous loan from the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank; Admiral Kelly, Commander in Chief, China Station, laid the foundation stone for the seven-story China Fleet Club building. For the men who served on the China Station “The Old Blue” as it was known provided a place for refreshment and decent accommodation away from their crowded ships.

1941 – During the battle for Hong Kong, the Japanese occupied the Club using it as the Navy HQ.

1945 – The Club was extensively refurbished and returned to its former use after the Royal Marines and Royal Navy liberated the colony.

1950-53 – During the Korean War, the Club became a major rest and recreation center for the UK and allied Sailors.

1959-73 – During the Vietnam war allied and American Sailors used the club extensively between tours of duty boosting club profits.

1980 – Land values escalated and the trustees sold the air space over the Club. A developer paid for temporary facilities while building a new luxury club on the first nine floors with 14 more floors of office space above.

1985 – Fleet House opened and because of the agreement to hand back Hong Kong to the Chinese in 1997 the search began for a suitable successor to the China Fleet Club in the UK.

1986 – A proposal to build the China Fleet Country Club at Saltash in Cornwall was put to the Hong Kong Sailors Committee and Trustees.

1987 – The feasibility study was approved by the Hong Kong Sailors committee, the land was purchased and design of the complex began.

1989 – Building work began on the 180-acre Saltash site.

1991 – The new China Fleet Country Club was officially opened on June 1st along with its prestigious golf course. The designer of the golf course was Dr. Martin Grant Hawtree who worked on the controversial course for billionaire Donald Trump in Scotland.

1992 – On 30 November 1992 the Hong Kong China Fleet Club closed its doors for the last time ready for the Chinese takeover of Hong Kong.

 

https://garlanddavis.net/2020/03/28/navy-history-china-fleet-club/?wref=pil

 

Me in middle 1967 USS WHITFIELD CTY LST 1169 HONG KONG  ^

 

 

National Vietnam War Veterans Day


In March 2017, President Trump, signed into law the designation of celebrating every March 29 as National Vietnam War Veterans Day.

The U.S. Vietnam War Commemoration honors all United States veterans who served on active duty in the Armed Forces from November 1, 1955, to May 15, 1975.

The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that there are 6.4 million living Vietnam veterans and 9 million families of those who served during 1955 – 1975.

The human costs of the long conflict were harsh for all involved. The U.S. military reported 58,220 American casualties. In 1982 the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated in Washington, D.C., inscribed with the names of 57,939 members of U.S. armed forces who had died or were missing as a result of the war. Over the following years, additions to the list have brought the total past 58,200.

This national commemoration was authorized by Congress, established under the Secretary of Defense, and launched by the President to thank and honor our Nation’s Vietnam veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice.

Congress outlined a total of five objectives for this Vietnam War Commemoration:

  • To thank and honor Vietnam veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice on behalf of the Nation.
  • Highlight the service of our Armed Forces and support organizations during the war
  • Pay tribute to wartime contributions at home by American citizens
  • Highlight technology, science and medical advances made during the war
  • Recognize contributions by U.S. Allies

By Presidential Proclamation, The Vietnam War Commemoration will continue through Veterans Day, November 11, 2025.

Our Roll

Although most of the submarine operations in Vietnam are still classified or untold. U.S. Submarines in the Gulf of Tonkin picked up downed flyers, conducted surveillance, and provided other services. Here is a list of the known U.S. Submarines that served in Vietnam.

Virtual Ceremonies

Due to COVID-19 many of the ceremonies that would have been held have been cancelled. However, Veterans can attend virtual events for National Vietnam War Veterans Day here: https://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/72941/veterans-can-attend-virtual-events-national-vietnam-war-veterans-day/

POW-MIA Remembrance Service
 

As we commemorate those that served, be mindful that the current number of unaccounted-for Americans lost in the Vietnam War are 1,246. Let us never forget!
 

Those who have served, and those currently serving in the uniformed services of the United States, are ever mindful that the sweetness of enduring peace has always been tainted by the bitterness of personal sacrifice. We are compelled to never forget that while we enjoy our daily pleasures, there are others who have endured and may still be enduring the agonies of pain, deprivation and imprisonment.

Before we begin our activities, we pause to recognize our POWs and MIAs.

We call your attention to this small table which occupies a place of dignity and honor. It is set for one, symbolizing the fact that members of our armed forces are missing from our ranks. They are referred to as POWs and MIAs.

We call them comrades. They are unable to be with their loved ones and families, so we join together to pay humble tribute to them, and to bear witness to their continued absence.

The table is small, symbolizing the frailty of one prisoner, alone against his or her suppressors.

The tablecloth is white, symbolic of the purity of their intentions to respond to their Country’s call to arms.

The single rose in the vase signifies the blood they may have shed in sacrifice to ensure the freedom of our beloved United States of America. This rose also reminds us of the family and friends of our missing comrades who keep faith, while awaiting their return.

The red ribbon on the vase represents an unyielding determination for a proper accounting of our comrades who are not among us.

A slice of lemon on the plate reminds us of their bitter fate.

The salt sprinkled on the plate reminds us of the countless fallen tears of families as they wait.

The glass is inverted, they cannot toast with us at this time.

The chair is empty. They are NOT here. The candle is reminiscent of the light of hope, which lives in our hearts to illuminate their way home, away from their captors, to the open arms of a grateful nation.

The American flag reminds us that many of them may never return - and have paid the supreme sacrifice to insure our freedom.

Let us pray to the Supreme Commander that all of our comrades will soon be back within our ranks.

Let us remember - and never forget their sacrifice.

May God forever watch over them and protect them and their families.
 

Thank you all for your service to our great nation and its people!
Welcome Home! Welcome Home! Welcome Home!

^

 

HOW COVID-19 KILLS--I'm a Surgeon--And Why We Can't Save You

HOW COVID-19 KILLS--I'm a Surgeon--And Why We Can't Save You

 

Dr. Duc Vuong, World's #1 Weight Loss Surgeon, Author of 13 books, explains how coronavirus kills its victims.

 

https://youtu.be/4J0d59dd-qM\

^


 

Somalia Pirates mess with wrong ships

https://www.facebook.com/384878525692153/videos/132807361422248/?t=335

^

 

Historical Look at U.S. Navy Diesel Boat Service

Michael Skurat
Central Connecticut Chapter U.S. Submarine Veterans World War II
Service

There have been many significant changes in the U.S. Navy Submarine Service since the WWII Diesel Boat Era. It might be interesting historically to note some of them.

Initially, there were only seven pay grades (actually eight). They ran from one to seven with Apprentice Seaman (AS) as one, Seaman Second Class (S2/c) as two, Seaman First Class (S1/c) as three, Petty Officer Third Class (e.g., MM3c) as four. Petty Officers Second and First Class as five and six. Chief Petty Officers were initially promoted to "seven A" for one year (Acting Appointment) and then to Chief Petty Officer as pay grade seven. There were no Master or Command Chief, etc. The "C" for Chief Petty Officers preceded the rate designation, for example, C.M.M., not MMC as today. For all of the seaman ratings, there was a comparable Fireman (F)

The Officer's rank structure has remained consistent with minor exceptions. During WWII, a five star Fleet Admiral rank was added and bestowed on Nimitz and King. No one promoted to that rank since WWII. Another thing there was no Commodore rank utilized. Officers were promoted from Captain to Rear Admiral (lower half) and hence to Rear Admiral (upper half). The Rear Admiral (Lower Half) replaced the Commodore rank. As it is custom to call any Commanding Officer Captain, it also was custom to name a Submarine Squadron Commander Commodore.

Before WWII, an Apprentice Seaman's pay was $21.00 per month. Pays increased in WWII with Apprentice Seaman to $50.00 per month and around $120.00 per month for a Chief. All personnel on Submarines got 50% submarine money and 20% sea duty pay. When added together, added up to about 80% extra pay.  If you were married and had dependents, your pay was reduced by $28.00 per month; the U.S. Navy supplemented another $22.00, and your dependent was sent a monthly check for $50.00. 

Consequently, an Apprentice Seaman would get $22.00 per month. However, enlisted personnel below pay grade four could not marry without the permission of their Commanding Officer. This breached more often than observed, and many entered the service married.

At one time, the Navy Paymasters would pay personnel with $2.00 bills so that when spent, it would indicate to the local economy the impact of the service. Also, when being paid by the Paymaster on board a tender, you would line up with your "pay chit" to draw your pay. When you reached the pay desk, you would salute the Paymaster, put your fingerprint on the "pay chit," and draw your money. There was a posted pay list indicating what you had on the "books," and you could draw all or whatever amount you desired  Submarine and sea pay were a real boon especially when sea store cigarettes at six cents a pack and a bottle of beer on Bank St. was twenty-five cents. Later, when you came in off patrol, you would have that back pay and be really flush.

Due to the rapid expansion of every aspect of the U.S. Navy, if you could cut the mustard, promotions were forthcoming. Many a serving enlisted person commissioned (called mustangs) or advanced in rating because of the enormous need to fill billets in new construction and replace casualties. Classes at the U.S. Naval Academy graduated early. Personnel with special qualifications were coming into the service rated or commissioned. You could see a Chief Petty Officer with no hash marks. These ratings were derided and called "slick arms" (no hash marks) or "Tajo" ratings by the old-timers. Some enlisted personnel commissioned as regular line officers, Warrant Officers, and Limited Duty Officers (LDOs) in specific areas. Such commissions initially were considered temporary with reversion back to their permanent grades after hostilities

They created many specialty ratings. In their "Crow" specialty designator was a diamond with a letter inside, e.g., the letter "A" would be for a coach or professional athlete who would conduct physical conditioning, etc. Most, if not all, of these ratings ceased to exist with the end of the war. Some referred to these as "square knot" rates.  There were right and left arm rates. Right arm rates were considered "Sea Going Rates" (B.M., QM. G.M. S.M., F.C., TM, etc.) and the "Crow" was worn on the right arm. Left arm rates were ancillary and were MM, Y, EM, R.M., MOMM, E.T., etc. Right arm rates were senior to left arm ratings. There was no Boatswain Mate Third Class they were called Coxswains.

Seamen and Firemen wore a "watch stripe" round the right shoulder - white for seamen red for firemen. There was other colors of "Watch Stripes" for aviation, C.B.s, etc. Indication of rate was on uniform cuffs. One white/red stripe for AS/FA, two for S2c/F2/c and three for S1/c and F1/c. The present diagonal 1, 2, or 3 stripe(s), in color was originally for WAVE uniforms and after WWII were adopted for the present enlisted uniform and the watch stripe was eliminated.

The "T-Shirt" a part of the enlisted uniform initially served two purposes. (1) It was to be worn without the Jumper on work details, especially in tropical locations. (2) It was meant to have the high white neckline to show in the "V" of the Jumper. Some personnel, to enhance the appearance would cut the tab off and wore the "T-shirt" backward for a better appearance especially if with age and washings it seemed to sag. The popularity of the T-Shirt expanded into wide public acceptance after WWII and in now utilized, not only as an undergarment but as outerwear with various designs, logos, etc.

There were no Silver Metal Dolphins for enlisted personnel. Dolphins for enlisted personnel consisted of embroidered "patches". (white for blues and blue for whites) sewn on the right forearm. Silver Metal Dolphins for enlisted personnel was authorized after WWII.

All enlisted personnel wore embroidered "patches" as distinguishing marks e.g., if you were a designated striker you could wear the insignia for that specialty on the left upper sleeve.  Other distinguishing marks for enlisted personnel were "patches" on uniforms, e.g., an Expert Lookout "patch" binoculars, a diver a divers helmet (M for Master. with degree of qualification indicated on the chest section of the helmet. These worn on the right upper sleeve and there were many of them. One "perk" that has persisted is the wearing of gold rating insignia and hash marks for those with 12 years of good conduct. Chief Petty Officers merely pinned their fouled anchor hat insignia to the front top of their hat covers. The black band and background for the insignia was initiated after WWII. Officers did wear Gold Metal Dolphins as they do today.

Unknown today was also the fact that there was a dress white uniform for enlisted personnel. The collar and cuffs were blue and were adorned with piping. What is worn today are "undress whites". Pictures of them are in old "Bluejacket Manuals".   Officers wore swords for ceremonial occasions as they do today but back before WWII Chief Petty Officers had a cutlass for ceremonial dress occasions. Another uniform item that is now passé is the flat hat. Once the ribbon had the name of your ship but this discontinued for security reasons and all flat hats merely had U.S. Navy in gold on the ribbon.

In boot camp all of your uniform items were stenciled with your name and service number. There were no doors on lockers and each item had a prescribed method of folding and stowing. It was even prescribed as to how you would pack your seabag.

Originally, the entire submarine base was literally below the railroad tracks. Later as the base expanded it was called "lower base". Most of the upper base buildings, i.e., Morton Hall, Dealey Center, etc., were constructed for WWII. The road from the present main gate past the golf course was the Groton-Norwich road. About half way up the road was an overhead railroad bridge. The entrance to the base was under the bridge and the Marine guard stationed there in a guard shack. The base commanders office was housed in a small brick building about half way between the training tower and the Torpedo Shop.

Submarine School - six weeks enlisted and three months for officers.  Of some 250,000 men who applied for submarine duty less than 10% made it to Sub School and many of those washed out. Submarine School was the sole tyrannical domain of one Chief Torpedoman Charles Spritz. Submarine School was called "Spritz's Navy". He ruled with an iron hand and was feared by instructors and students alike. He had little regard for rate whether you were a Seaman First Class or a Petty Officer First Class. To call him eccentric was a gross understatement. He did not smoke, did not drink and was single It is open to debate as to if he ever even pulled a liberty. His total devotion was to the Submarine School. It was universally conceded that he had gone "asiatic", not 100% stable and perhaps as a youngster he might have been dropped on his head. He insisted that personnel, at all times, be properly and neatly attired in the regulation "Uniform of the Day" without exception. No tailor made, proper rolled neckerchief down to the "V" in the Jumper with immaculate white T-Shirt showing, shoes well shined, etc. He did not permit smoking nor any type of horseplay. He demanded that all personnel move at a fast pace.  Chief Spritz had the uncanny ability to be everywhere at all times and pity the poor individual who crossed his path. His discipline was swift and sure. He felt it was his personal mission to ascertain that anyone leaving sub school for submarine duty was in every respect ready. He had many axioms but his favorite was "There is room for anything on a submarine except a mistake". Sub school students were not "boots", many, if not most, had time in the U.S. Navy and were rated.  There is an article in POLARIS issue of August, 2000 (Submarine Saga segment) which delves into more detail relative to Chief Spritz and is briefly incorporated here as it is a definite part of the Diesel Boat Era.  Sub Vets of WWII in recognition of respect, and a fealty obligation to this once feudal lord and master, wear a "Spritz's Navy" patch on their vests.  

It would seem that the screening at Sub School served us well. Friction between members of the crew was unbefitting and unacceptable. If an individual demonstrated an inability to "get along" he could be transferred to another boat. If the same conduct prevailed there he would be transferred out of submarines.

The training tower caused many a wash out for both physical and mental reasons. If a person could not "pop" his ears it could cause pain and even bleeding from the ears. You voice changed dramatically to a high pitch under pressure. All personnel had to qualify from the 100' lock with the Mommsen Lung. Right after the war it was noted that some German submariners had made emergency escapes using free ascents. A number of crews from boats went to the tower and made free ascents.

We had less pomp insofar as the ceremony observed when a member of the crew qualified than is apparent today. The individual, thrown over the side then sewed dolphins on his uniforms and wore them with pride. They have always been, and always will be, a badge of honor regardless of manner in which bestowed. There was less reverence on some other occasions also., e.g., when a "Good Conduct Medal" was awarded to a member of the crew it would be given by the Captain (or perhaps the Exec) at quarters amid "hoots and hollers" with cries of "Undiscovered Crime". There was also a bonus system for awards ranging from $1.00 per month for the Good Conduct Medal to $5.00 per month for the Congressional Medal of Honor.

"Tailor Made" dress blues were the uniform of the day for liberty. The jumper was skin tight with a zipper in the side so that it could be taken off. Accentuated bell bottoms were mandated. The inside of the cuffs were decorated with embroidered color decorations, usually dragons, etc., and were only visible when the cuffs were turned up. When you made Chief you initially bought the cheapest hat you could find since it was also considered appropriate and properly respectful to have all of the crew urinate in your first hat.

The practice abolished by President Truman over 50 years ago. Stewards, at that time, recruited from America territories and from American minorities. Even in such a tight knit group as American Submarines two racks in the Forward Torpedo Room hung off the overhead beneath The Torpedo Loading Hatch were reserved for the Stewards. Rated Stewards wore uniforms similar to Chiefs.

The submarine sailor was a very irreverent individual with an avid distaste for regulations, etc. The average life span of a submarine sailor was four patrols (about a year). Despite bravado, that thought prevailed to varying degrees depending upon the individual. That premise however, was unsaid but used as an excuse for hell-raising. Rarely mentioned in tales of WWII submarine lore was the fact that going through minefields was as apprehensive as being depth charged.

Submarine Officers and crews were very young - anyone past thirty was a very old man. Admiral Charles Lockwood (Uncle Charley) Com Sub Pac was most forgiving, as were Skippers and Execs, of transgressions of both Officers and men. Returning from patrol crews were treated extremely well.

Another "perk" of the submarine force was that any record of "minor" disciplinary action that a member of the crew suffered would be entered into the "page 9" of his service record. Virtually all disciplinary action was handled internally on the boat. However, both the original and carbon copy (BuPers Copy) retained in his jacket. When transferred, the original and copy, removed by the Yeoman to be deep sixed. Unless there was a serious offence personnel transferred with a clean record.

Many friendships were formed in sub school, plus other training and schools and transfers were not uncommon due to the needs of new construction, promotions, etc. Consequently, the force became even more closely knit. It was the rare boat that did not have personnel whom you knew.

Submariners were very independent and resourceful, both individually and as a group. Needs (and desires) of the boat as prescribed by the U.S. Navy, did not always coincide with what was considered proper nor adequate. Therefore, a system of "midnight requisitioning" and "midnight small stores" developed to enhance efficiency. This avenue of acquisition considered a solemn duty in promoting the war effort. Those proficient and innovative in this endeavor were greatly admired. It was an art as well as a science executed individually or as a group cooperative effort. Some of these escapades took great ingenuity as well as "brass balls". As a term of affection they were called "scroungers" and/or "dog robbers". If a Skipper or Exec made an "innocent" passing remark that some particular thing might be "nice" it would appear mysteriously in due time.

On board an informal, but professional, attitude prevailed. Although we had an evaporator to make fresh water, battery watering was primary. In the design and scheme of things, personal hygiene or washing of clothes did not seem to be considered. One Engineering Petty Officer, called the "Water King" ran the evaporators. Personal hygiene or washing of clothing was an afterthought. The use of after-shave lotions, deodorants and especially talcum powders prevailed. Large cans of "Lilac" were the norm, purchased inexpensively and sprinkled liberally.

To the unacquainted it could appear that the rapport between Officers and men was quite informal and to a degree it was but it in no way detracted from efficiency, military courtesy, tradition or discipline. There was a strong mutual respect. Aye-Aye Sir, Very Well and Well Done were accorded as appropriate. The vast majority of the crew was rated and competent in their skills. Obviously so were our officers. There was no such thing as stenciled ratings on dungaree shirts so a person coming aboard a submarine at sea would have a difficult time determining any individuals rate. Also there was an axiom that in submarines "you left your rate on the dock". Ability was the hallmark.

When conditions approached that of a Chinese garbage scow junk with an over flowing head and the crew in dire need of fumigation the Skipper might decide to allow showers piecemeal by sections. You lined up to enter the shower, the Chief of the Boat turned on the water for 2 seconds and shut it down while you soaped down. You were then allowed a correspondingly brief rinse.

Each member of the crew was allotted one locker which measured about 12" high, 18" wide and about 18" deep. You kept your uniforms under your mattress. Your rack had a plastic zip around cover. Your mattress was encased in a "mattress cover" which was akin to an oversized pillow case. Able to be turned over once and some even turned them inside out and got two more uses. Less the uninitiated be stunned by that you must be cognizant of lack of water for regular laundry.

Internal communications on board were conducted by the 1MC and 7MC phone and speaker systems.

To reenter a submarine after handling lines etc. when returning to port was a shocking revelation. It was impossible to believe that you had survived that malodorous environment. Politely put the atmosphere was conducive to a shanty town house of ill repute that also was inundated by a backup of its sewer system. Pity the poor relief crew that had to come on board and make the boat shipshape again.

You could immediately identify an Electrician on a submarine. He was the individual with the most shredded moth eaten dungarees.

Ribald humor was the tenor of the day. No topic or human frailty was off limits. Nothing was sacred. Horseplay and trickery were the order of the day. The antics and demeanor of the crew, both at sea and ashore, would not be socially acceptable nor politically correct nowadays. I fear that the late Admiral Rickover would have been aghast.

One real advantage was food, especially when you first went out. Although they were ridden without mercy the cooks did an excellent job of feeding the crew. We ate family style off china plates. Our officers ate exactly what the enlisted personnel did. The stewards would come back to the After Battery Galley and fill their serving plates and bring it to the Forward Battery for the Wardroom. When leaving port rations were stored in every conceivable space (including the shower since it wouldn't be needed). However, as supplies diminished the cooks were hard pressed to come up with varied favorable menus. All boats had "open icebox" so you could prepare and cook anything you wanted at any time as long as you cleaned up after yourself. The After Battery "Mess" was for chow, off duty recreation, meeting space and a hang-out.

The submarine sailor was a very irreverent individual with an avid distaste for regulations, etc. The average life span of a submarine sailor was four patrols (about a year). Despite bravado, that thought prevailed to varying degrees depending upon the individual. That premise however, was unsaid but used as an excuse for hell-raising. Rarely mentioned in tales of WWII submarine lore was the fact that going through minefields was as apprehensive as being depth charged.

Submarine Officers and crews were very young - anyone past thirty was a very old man. Admiral Charles Lockwood (Uncle Charley) Com Sub Pac was most forgiving, as were Skippers and Execs, of transgressions of both Officers and men. Returning from patrol crews were treated extremely well.

Another "perk" of the submarine force was that any record of "minor" disciplinary action that a member of the crew suffered would be entered into the "page 9" of his service record. Virtually all disciplinary action was handled internally on the boat. However, both the original and carbon copy (BuPers Copy) retained in his jacket. When transferred, the original and copy, removed by the Yeoman to be deep sixed. Unless there was a serious offence personnel transferred with a clean record.

Many friendships were formed in sub school, plus other training and schools and transfers were not uncommon due to the needs of new construction, promotions, etc. Consequently, the force became even more closely knit. It was the rare boat that did not have personnel whom you knew.

Submariners were very independent and resourceful, both individually and as a group. Needs (and desires) of the boat as prescribed by the U.S. Navy, did not always coincide with what was considered proper nor adequate. Therefore, a system of "midnight requisitioning" and "midnight small stores" developed to enhance efficiency. This avenue of acquisition considered a solemn duty in promoting the war effort. Those proficient and innovative in this endeavor were greatly admired. It was an art as well as a science executed individually or as a group cooperative effort. Some of these escapades took great ingenuity as well as "brass balls". As a term of affection they were called "scroungers" and/or "dog robbers". If a Skipper or Exec made an "innocent" passing remark that some particular thing might be "nice" it would appear mysteriously in due time.

On board an informal, but professional, attitude prevailed. Although we had an evaporator to make fresh water, battery watering was primary. In the design and scheme of things, personal hygiene or washing of clothes did not seem to be considered. One Engineering Petty Officer, called the "Water King" ran the evaporators. Personal hygiene or washing of clothing was an afterthought. The use of after-shave lotions, deodorants and especially talcum powders prevailed. Large cans of "Lilac" were the norm, purchased inexpensively and sprinkled liberally.

To the unacquainted it could appear that the rapport between Officers and men was quite informal and to a degree it was but it in no way detracted from efficiency, military courtesy, tradition or discipline. There was a strong mutual respect. Aye-Aye Sir, Very Well and Well Done were accorded as appropriate. The vast majority of the crew was rated and competent in their skills. Obviously so were our officers. There was no such thing as stenciled ratings on dungaree shirts so a person coming aboard a submarine at sea would have a difficult time determining any individuals rate. Also there was an axiom that in submarines "you left your rate on the dock". Ability was the hallmark.

When conditions approached that of a Chinese garbage scow junk with an over flowing head and the crew in dire need of fumigation the Skipper might decide to allow showers piecemeal by sections. You lined up to enter the shower, the Chief of the Boat turned on the water for 2 seconds and shut it down while you soaped down. You were then allowed a correspondingly brief rinse.

Each member of the crew was allotted one locker which measured about 12" high, 18" wide and about 18" deep. You kept your uniforms under your mattress. Your rack had a plastic zip around cover. Your mattress was encased in a "mattress cover" which was akin to an oversized pillow case. Able to be turned over once and some even turned them inside out and got two more uses. Less the uninitiated be stunned by that you must be cognizant of lack of water for regular laundry.

Internal communications on board were conducted by the 1MC and 7MC phone and speaker systems.

To reenter a submarine after handling lines etc. when returning to port was a shocking revelation. It was impossible to believe that you had survived that malodorous environment. Politely put the atmosphere was conducive to a shanty town house of ill repute that also was inundated by a backup of its sewer system. Pity the poor relief crew that had to come on board and make the boat shipshape again.

You could immediately identify an Electrician on a submarine. He was the individual with the most shredded moth eaten dungarees.

Ribald humor was the tenor of the day. No topic or human frailty was off limits. Nothing was sacred. Horseplay and trickery were the order of the day. The antics and demeanor of the crew, both at sea and ashore, would not be socially acceptable nor politically correct nowadays. I fear that the late Admiral Rickover would have been aghast.

One real advantage was food, especially when you first went out. Although they were ridden without mercy the cooks did an excellent job of feeding the crew. We ate family style off china plates. Our officers ate exactly what the enlisted personnel did. The stewards would come back to the After Battery Galley and fill their serving plates and bring it to the Forward Battery for the Wardroom. When leaving port rations were stored in every conceivable space (including the shower since it wouldn't be needed). However, as supplies diminished the cooks were hard pressed to come up with varied favorable menus. All boats had "open icebox" so you could prepare and cook anything you wanted at any time as long as you cleaned up after yourself. The After Battery "Mess" was for chow, off duty recreation, meeting space and a hang-out.

     This is a collective attempt at recollection after the passing of a half-century so any errors or omissions hopefully forgiven as "senior frailties". Much of this is collective memory and is a compilation of boats in general. There is no pride of authorship so any comments, additions, corrections and/or deletions are welcome and appreciated. This is merely a historical comparison as best one can do and is in no way a negative reflection between "then and now".  GOD BLESS ALL SUBMARINERS - Past, Present and Future  ^

 

 

Submarine Wreckage Detected Off Hawaiian Island of Oahu

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

Monday, March 23, 2020

OAHU, HAWAII—Live Science reports that a private group of researchers led by Tim Taylor, founder of the Lost 52 Project, has discovered the wreckage of the USS Stickleback, which sank on May 28, 1958, after an accidental collision with destroyer escort USS Silverstein during a Cold War-era antisubmarine warfare exercise. All of the sailors aboard the vessel were rescued, but Navy ships were not able to keep the damaged submarine afloat. The search for the vessel started with a review of the historical record. “Sometimes those positions aren’t entirely accurate … especially when things are happening rapidly, people can make mistakes with numbers,” explained Robert Neyland of the Naval History and Heritage Command of the U.S. Navy. The submarine was found under some 11,000 feet of water in two main pieces lying almost 1,000 feet apart from each other about 19 miles from the southern coast of Oahu, near the location of the collision. Neyland said such great depth preserved the vessel’s painted name and hull numbers. To read about the underwater archaeology of the attack on Pearl Harbor, go to "December 7, 1941." ^

 

 

2019 Was An Important Year In Submarine Developments
H I Sutton
Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.
Aerospace & Defense

The world submarine scene is changing fast, and it feels as if 2019 was the start of a sharp rise in the rate of development. Perhaps because of a lull following the end of the Cold War, or because of the dawn of the next industrial revolution, things are hotting up

From the perspective of the history books, in my view by far the most significant new submarine of 2019 was Belgorod. Russia’s latest super submarine, she was launched on April 24 in Severodvinsk. She is second only to the famous Typhoon Class in terms of size. But her significance is not in her size alone. She is expected to be the first submarine to carry Russia’s enigmatic super weapon, the Poseidon Intercontinental Nuclear-Powered Nuclear-Armed Autonomous Torpedo. A better term might be ‘mega torpedo.’ It is designed to be around 20 to 30 times the size of a regular torpedo, or twice the size of a ballistic missile, and to carry a 2 megaton nuclear warhead, able to target coastal cities such as New York or San Francisco. With essentially unlimited range and deep diving capability, if it performs as described, it will be challenging to counter.

And Belgorod has another trick up her sleeve. As well as carrying 6 Poseidons, she can act as a mother submarine for Russia’s secretive deep-diving midget submarines. These can work on communication cables, such as internet cables, deep below the surface. This makes her a spy submarine in common parlance.

Russia will not be alone in the submarine history books. The U.S. Navy awarded the world’s first contract for an extra-large unmanned underwater vehicle (XLUUV) in February. Boeing will build the Orca XLUUV which is essentially a full size submarine but shrunk because it has no crew. The Orca is likely to go down in history as one of the all-time most significant designs, unless another country beats America to it.

In Japan, the second lithium-ion battery equipped Soryu Class submarine was launched in November. This increases underwater range of the boat. Submariners have been slow to adopt new battery technology due to safety concerns. So if Japan's project is seen as successful it could lead to another revolution in non-nuclear submarine technology.

Elsewhere, France launched the first of its Suffren Class nuclear-powered attack submarines in July. Sleek and impressive boats, these are roughly the Marine Nationale’s equivalent to the U.S. Navy’s Virginia Class and Royal Navy’s Astute Class boats.

And at the other end of the spectrum, Myanmar has received its first submarine. The Kilo Class boat was formerly in service with the Indian Navy and will be used to develop the country’s submarine capability. This is part of a wider trend which sees many smaller navies building a submarine capability. Perhaps this is the bigger and more world-altering trend, hiding beneath the headline-grabbing big navy projects?
^
 

 

Russia designs fifth-generation nuclear submarines

Russia is currently building fourth-generation submarines and designing fifth-generation U-boats. Little is known about the new submarines, but it is clear they will eliminate problems encountered by modern nuclear submarines, online Gazeta.ru publication writes.

There is little open information on the latest Husky-class fifth-generation submarines. Their characteristics can be only imagined

In particular, the underwater displacement is likely to comprise 12-13 thousand tons. They will have a two-section construction and the crew will number close to 90 men. They will be smaller than current Yasen-M-class SSGN of project 885M. It will increase maneuverability and stealth characteristics of new submarines.

Reports said the Husky is designed in two options. The antisubmarine option will fight U-boats, mostly SSBN of the US Columbia class and the British Vanguard.

The second option will be armed with Tsirkon hypersonic missiles to destroy big surface warships, nuclear aircraft carriers, cruisers and destroyers, universal amphibious assault ships, etc. Tsirkon has a cruising speed of over 7000 km/h and can hit targets at a distance of 1000 km.

The submarines will be less noisy than fourth-generation U-boats. They will have a composite hull. Composites will be used to make bow and stern rudders, stabilizers, mast housing, propellers and shaft lines. The materials will decrease the reflection of adversary sonars and the weight of a submarine.

The Husky will have a single integrated combat information system with artificial intellect.

 

The fifth-generation submarine is designed by Malakhit Bureau in St. Petersburg. The Husky has to replace Antey-class SSGN of project 949A, as well as SSN of project 971, Shchuka-class project 671TMK, Condor-class project 945A, and Barracuda-class project 945.

Some reports said the fifth-generation submarines will have a completely new reactor instead of the water-cooled and water-moderated one (VVER). It is likely to be a development of the reactor installed in Lira-class SSN of project 705. “The main power plant of the project was a reactor and a steam generator with liquid crystal heat exchanger (lead and bismuth alloy) and a single-shaft steam turbine,” expert Konstantin Makienko said.

Submarines with liquid-metal plant exceeded second-generation VVER submarines two times in maneuverability and 1.5-2.5 times in power/weight ratio. They are 1.3-1.5 times better in specific weight indicators. However, liquid metal demands to constantly keep the steam unit in a hot state and thus triggers additional power consumption.

Besides, special operations to prevent alloy oxidizing, control its state and periodically withdraw oxides were necessary to keep the physical-chemical stability of the liquid-crystal heat exchanger.

There are grounds to believe the Husky will not face the problems. The main power plant is likely to be a single-shaft, single-reactor unit with a steam turbine and increased steam parameters.

The latest underwater detection means are of specific significance for the Husky. It is important to achieve a longer monitoring range of the underwater situation, increase the precision of coordinates and reliability of target identification. Otherwise, it would be problematic to dominate in an armed standoff with adversary submarines in the World Ocean.

“There is no doubt that domestic shipbuilders want to create a maneuverable, speedy and relatively small-displacement submarine, considerably cut the crew, introduce effective arms and complex automation. One of the main tasks is to decrease underwater noise several times against previous submarines,”

Expert Konstantin Makienko  believes that if the Husky is constructed by the modular method, the approach will boost Russian underwater shipbuilding, Gazeta.ru said.  ^

 

 

Made You Look: Why the U.S. Showed off Three Missile Submarines to China in 2010

David Axe Follow @daxe on Twitter

 

Key point: Boomers are an important source of deterrence and they are meant to stay hidden. But sending them to the surface is a very clear warning.

Nuclear powers rarely go to war with each other, but that doesn’t mean they don’t threaten to do so.

Indeed, military posturing is an integral part of what Forrest Morgan, an analyst for the RAND Corporation, called “crisis stability.” In other words, “building and posturing forces in ways that allow a state, if confronted, to avoid war without backing down.”

Long-range heavy bombers are some of the best forces for crisis stability, Morgan wrote in a 2013 study for the U.S. Air Force. Bombers are powerful, mobile and visible — perfect for signaling strength and intent.

On the other hand, the U.S. Navy’s submarine-launched cruise missiles are less effective — even counterproductive — for crisis stability … because they’re invisible most of the time.

“SLCMs could contribute to the instability,” Morgan wrote. “[T]he opponent’s anxieties might be magnified by the ability of SSGNs [cruise missile subs] to posture in stealth nearby.”

But Morgan pointed out one instance when the Navy’s Ohio-class SSGNs actually did help stabilize a crisis back in 2010 — a feat mostly lost to history.

“In July 2010, three SSGNs surfaced nearly simultaneously in Western Pacific and Indian Ocean waters, allegedly to signal U.S. displeasure over Chinese missile tests in the East China Sea.”

Major missile tests are potentially provocative and destabilizing. America’s intent in the aftermath of the Chinese tests was to signal U.S. strength with just the right amount and kind of potential force.

Submarines seemed to fit the bill, as if Washington were saying to Beijing, “Sure, you might surprise us with your missiles. But we remember we have plenty of missiles of our own — and they’re not far from you.”

Greg Torode reported on the incident for the South China Morning Post:

The appearance of the USS Michigan in Pusan, South Korea, the USS Ohio in Subic Bay, in The Philippines and the USS Florida in the strategic Indian Ocean outpost of Diego Garcia not only reflects the trend of escalating submarine activity in East Asia, but carries another threat as well. …

Between them, the three submarines can carry 462 Tomahawks, boosting by an estimated 60 per cent-plus the potential Tomahawk strike force of the entire Japanese-based Seventh Fleet — the core projection of U.S. military power in East Asia. …

One veteran Asian military attaché, who keeps close ties with both Chinese and U.S. forces, noted that “460-odd Tomahawks is a huge amount of potential firepower in anybody’s language.”

“It is another sign that the U.S. is determined to not just maintain its military dominance in Asia, but to be seen doing so — that is a message for Beijing and for everybody else, whether you are a U.S. ally or a nation sitting on the fence.”

This first appeared several years ago and is being reposted due to reader interest. ^

 

An amazing story of remembrance

Re 1945, published in 1965

 

This is an amazing story of remembrance. In the Czech Republic, the school children of the equivalent of fifth grade are each assigned one of the American and Canadian liberators buried there. Their grave is the student's responsibility for the year and they learn all there is to know of their own hero. Their surviving family is sent letters and they respond to the annual child who tends their loved one's grave.

No apology needed here!

Have you ever wondered if anyone in Europe remembers America 's sacrifice in World War II? There is an answer in a small town in the Czech Republic. The town called Pilsen (Plzen).
 

Every 5 years, Pilsen conducts the Liberation Celebration of the City of Pilsen in the Czech Republic . May 6th, 2010, marked the 65th anniversary of the liberation of Pilsen by General George Patton's 3rd Army. Pilsen is the town that every American should visit. Because they love America and the American Soldier.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

Even 65 years later... by the thousands, The citizens of Pilsen came to say thank you.

             

 

This is the crash site of Lt. Virgil P. Kirkham, the last recorded American USAAF pilot killed in Europe during WWII. It was Lt. Kirkham's 82nd mission and one that he volunteered to go on.

 

At the time,  this 20-year-old pilot's P-47 Thunderbolt plane was shot down, a young 14-year-old Czech girl, Zdenka Sladkova, was so moved by his sacrifice she made a vow to care for him and his memory. For 65 straight years, Zdenka, now 79-years-old, took on the responsibility to care for Virgil's crash site and memorial near her home.

 

On May 4th, she was recognized by the Mayor of Zdenka's home town of Trhanova , Czech Republic, for her sacrifice and extraordinary effort to honor this American hero.


Another chapter in this important story... the Czech people are teaching their children about America's sacrifice for their freedom.

 

American Soldiers, young and old, are the Rock Stars these children and their parents want autographs from.

 

Yes, Rock Stars! As they patiently waited for his autograph, the respect this little Czech boy and his father have for our troops serving today was heartwarming and inspirational. 

The Brian LaViolette Foundation established The Scholarship of Honor in tribute to General George S. Patton and the American Soldier, past and present. 

 

Each year, a different military hero will be honored in tribute to General Patton's memory and their mission to liberate Europe This award will be presented to a graduating senior who will be entering the military or a form of community service such as fireman, policeman, teaching or nursing -- a cause greater than self. The student will be from 1 of the 5 high schools in Pilsen, Czech Republic. 

 

The first award WAS presented in May 2011 in honor of Lt. Virgil Kirkham, that young 20-year-old P-47 pilot killed 65 years ago in the final days of WWII .

 

Presenting Virgil's award will be someone who knows the true meaning of service and sacrifice... someone who looks a lot like Virgil. Marion Kirkham, Virgil's brother, who himself served during WWII in the United States Army Air Corps!!! ^

 

   

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