On 19 May 1959, the New London Day published an article entitled “Nautilus Flag Presented [to] New Junior Naval Cadets,” part of the text of which is transcribed below. It has been 55 years since the ensign was passed to its new caretakers; its current location is unknown to the Museum. If you have any idea where it might be, please don’t hesitate to respond to this post. We are looking not necessarily to acquire it, but to know where a piece of our boat’s heritage has found a home.
“Long before the atomic Submarine Nautilus made her historic trip under the polar icecap at the North Pole on Aug. 3, 1958, she came alive to her officers and crew, when she was commissioned as a ship of the fleet, Sept. 30, 1954 at the General Dynamics Corp. Electric Boat Division Shipyard in Groton.
“Capt. Eugene P. Wilkinson, commanding officer of Submarine Division 102, guest speaker and honorary national commandant of the Junior Naval Cadets of America, last night told 75 guests and parents of the 29-member East Lyme Ship Nautilus, ‘When our first colors were raised, it was at that moment we knew the Nautilus was a good ship.’
“ ‘…I treasure our first flag,’ he said, ‘and know that if our colors are entrusted to you cadets of the first ship commissioned under the banner of the Junior Naval Cadets of American, you too will cherish our flag and guard it well.’
“Cadet First Class Paul Bizaillon accepted the flag from Captain Wilkinson, as Cmdr. John McCaffery, organizer of the new group and Lt. Ernest L. Ballachino, commanding officer of the Flagship Nautilus of East Lyme, stood by.”