Archive for February, 2014

The Loss of USS TROUT (SS-202)

TROUT's builder's plaque was removed when the boat was overhauled at Mare Island in late 1943. It was not reattached before the eleventh patrol and thus was not lost with the sub.

On 8 February 1944, USS TROUT (SS-202), fresh from an overhaul, departed Pearl Harbor on her eleventh war patrol. She filled her fuel tanks at Midway eight days later and then headed for the East China Sea. She never returned home.

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The Loss of USS GRAYBACK (SS-208)

GRAYBACK, possibly in drydock, looks up at what appears to be an attack transport, Mare Island Naval Shipyard, 26 August 1943.

USS GRAYBACK (SS-208) left Pearl Harbor for her tenth war patrol on 28 January 1944. She topped off with fuel at Midway and then headed for the strait that separates Luzon in the Philippines from Taiwan, then known as Formosa. She was to remain in the area for eight days, from 8-16 February, and then move into the East China Sea.

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TOLEDO Takes Aim

TOLEDO from the top: a view of the bridge.

15 April 2003 was a big day for the crew of USS TOLEDO (SSN-769), and not because the men were scrambling to file last-minute tax returns. Early in the afternoon, TOLEDO made her way up the Thames River to her pier at Naval Submarine Base New London, thus becoming the first submarine to return home after deploying on a rapid-response wartime patrol to fire TOMAHAWK cruise missiles in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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TIGRONE Saves the Air Force

TIGRONE rescues 2LT Walter W. Kreimann.

May and June of 1945 found USS TIGRONE (SS-419) on lifeguard duty off the coast of Honshu, Japan. It was the second war patrol the boat had ever set off on, having been commissioned only the previous October.

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Has Anybody Seen a Blimp Around Here?

In the late summer of 1952, a strange pair of Navy vehicles arrived at Naval Air Station Key West on Boca Chica Key in Florida: the submarine USS SEA POACHER (SS-406) towing a giant blimp called K-86. Dan Summitt, an officer aboard SEA POACHER at the time of the event, explains what happened in his book Tales of a Cold War Submariner.

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Practicing “Blow and Go”

Today's submariners practice escapes in this brand-new, cutting-edge trainer at Submarine Base New London. It's 37 feet deep and holds 84,000 gallons of water.

Ever since submarines began diving beneath the waves, there have been concerns about whether or not crewmen could be rescued if a boat found itself unable to return to the surface. In the 15 April 1958 edition of Our Navy magazine, Don Smith describes how USS SEA OWL (SS-405) proved, in real-world conditions, that survival was possible.

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Dessert Powders! Yum!

The second of two articles on food published in the 1961 edition of All Hands was entitled “Miniature Meals” and addressed issues specific to submarines. (See yesterday’s “Tidbit” for the first article.)

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Pass Me Some More of that Dehydrated Cottage Cheese!

The November 1961 edition of All Hands, the Bureau of Personnel’s information bulletin, included two articles on food. One of them, entitled “The Science of Good Eating,” addresses some of the issues, including the advent of nuclear power, faced by the Navy Subsistence Office as it attempted to keep Sailors healthy and well.

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The Loss of Confederate Ship Hunley

"At only about 4 feet tall and 2 feet wide, the interior of the Hunley was so cramped that its eight crewmen couldn't trade places after they'd taken their stations. During a mission, seven men sat on a long-gone wooden bench on one side of the craft and turned a crankshaft to power the Hunley's propeller. The handles on the crankshaft were arranged in a staggered fashion, so that all crewmen weren't applying maximum force at the same times. The arrangement kept the propeller turning smoothly and kept the Hunley from lurching." --National Geographic

On the night of 17 February 1864, Confederate Ship Hunley made its silent way into the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina, to attack the sloop-of-war USS HOUSATONIC. The boat was under the command of 25-year-old Lieutenant George Dixon and crewed by seven volunteers who ranged in age from 20 to about 45.

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The Loss of USS AMBERJACK (SS-219)

A commemorative cachet, or postal cover, issued on the occasion of AMBERJACK's keel laying, 15 May 1941.

The third war patrol of USS AMBERJACK (SS-219) began with a false start on 24 January 1943. She had concluded her previous patrol just thirteen days before, but she was needed back on the water so her refit was cut short. But leaks developed as she left Brisbane, so she turned around. She left again, for good this time, two days later.

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