IREXGRAMS, familygram messages from USS IREX (SS-482), were sent out by the C.O., D.V. Murray, to the families of the entire crew on at least four occasions during a deployment that lasted from the fall of 1964 into the new year. Below is a portion of the Christmas message. Although the words are spiritual, the sentiment transcends a specific faith in asking us to keep in our thoughts those families that have been parted by service to our nation and hope that they may be reunited soon.


Fleet Post Office

New York, New York

Monte Carlo, Monaco


21 December 64


Dear Families and Friends of IREX:

Now that the anniversary of the birth of the Prince of Peace is close at hand, our thoughts, as yours, have turned to the keeping of Christmas while far from those we hold most dear. Each man has his own way, known only to him and to you of celebrating this most sacred religious occasion, but all would include the presence of his family and the fellowship of his friends.

This year, our duty in the service of our country has kept us apart, as it has for many of our shipmates and comrades. Many of us have known this separation before, and some will know it again. While it is never easy to do it freely and by choice, [we do so] in the hope that our humble contribution may help keep the peace, tenuous as it is, that all of us now enjoy.

We hope you will understand, for it is your understanding we ask, even as we ask His blessing for all our endeavors. Let us pray that the Christmas message may someday mean to all men what it means to us, and we may at last lay down our arms.

USS VIRGINIA (SSN-774) covered in snow, Naval Submarine Base New London, Groton, CT, 2007.

USS VIRGINIA (SSN-774) covered in snow, Naval Submarine Base New London, Groton, CT, 2007.