BLUEBACK BASE - Portland, OR

Scuttlebutt


USS BLUEBACK (SS-581) in the Columbia River passing the Trojan Nuclear Plant (Date Unknown).



UNITED STATES SUBMARINE VETERANS INC.
WESTERN REGION DISTRICT FOUR QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER

4TH QUARTER 20 DECEMBER 2013

Dues:

Tis the season when dues are due. Just a reminder that most Bases, and for sure National, if dues are not paid by 31 January, a delinquent member will be dropped from all rolls. Let all of us in admin strive to retain all of our current members. Use the ‘Sea Daddy’ network, or any other method that works for you to reach every member.

New End of Year report procedures:

As I understand it, when the National Treasurer issues his call for Base 2013 EOYs he will include new instructions that require Bases to include District Commanders and Region Directors as copy to addressees. This is intended to put the onus on the District Commanders to help Base Treasurers and Base Commanders submit the EOYs in a timely manner. We should all be aware that late submission gets us in serious trouble with the IRS.

Base Officer Election Time!

Many Bases, if not all are conducting elections of Base Officers during this season. It would be great if all officer changes are promulgated promptly and widely. One place in particular are the individual Base websites. I would appreciate notification if/when Base officers are changed.

Travelling Dolphins:

I’m sure you all know about the travelling dolphins. What you may not know is that there is an intense competition going on in the northern I-5 corridor over possession of the dolphins. If you don’t know the rules, just ask me or John Mansfield. The dolphins got some mileage during the summer. Wouldn’t it be great if one of the ‘east of the mountains’ Bases would get it together and capture the dolphins. Only WD-4 Bases qualify to capture.

WD-4 COLUMN
I recognize that this is
a tardy newsletter.
However here goes.
I invite all Base CDRs
to send me any items
they would like
included in the next
quarterly District
newsletter.
Since many Bases
create a newsletter
of their own I will not
include news specific
to a Base. I would
encourage Bases to
share newsletters
with each other and
me.
With that said, I
wish you all the very
best Holiday Season
as well as a
MERRY CHRISTMAS
and a
HAPPY NEW YEAR
Al

Holland Club:

Base Commanders, let’s not pass up a great opportunity to honor our members who have Been qualified for 50 or more years. The Holland Club Commander is awaiting your nominations.

UTube site:

Joel Cooper sent me a link to a site that has a Christmas greeting from a number of Submarine activities. The greetings are nice and somewhat informative. However of more interest to me was the several additional links found in the right column. Take a look. You might like it. It can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KL6uhaP_KSA.

Personal:

In my brief tenure I have thoroughly enjoyed visiting with all the Bases in WD-4. The exception is the SSMC Base., and I’m looking forward to finding an opportunity to meet with them in the future. Just to be sure you all know, I am spending the winter in Arizona. I am still available to you for Whatever you might need. Telephone and email remain the same.

Once again;

Have a Great Holiday Season.

Al

Albert W. Durkee

durkeeal@earthlink.net

360 908 3050

 


From: Albert Durkee: Christmas Greetings

Base Commanders,

Would you please forward John Mansfield’s Christmas Greeting to the members of your Bases. Once again, I will add my Christmas and New Year Good Wishes to you and yours.

Respectfully,

Al

Shipmates,

First I’d like to wish all of you Merry Christmas.  I hope you are enjoying the holidays with families, friends and loved ones.

It’s been a very interesting and rewarding year as Director of Western Region. I had the opportunity to appoint Al Durkee as District 4 Commander and lost Ron Star as District 3 Commander when he moved from Idaho to Washington. The position remains vacant, as no one so far has volunteered to step up when asked.

I was honored to be invited by Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, to attend the naming ceremony for USS Washington (SSN-787) in February. She is a Virginia class boat, the second ship named after the state of Washington, due for commissioning in 2016.

The USSVI mid-term meeting was held in Dallas, Texas last March.  It was my first board meeting and work accomplished was very impressive.  It was great to meet other board members face to face.

The USSVI convention in Rochester was awesome. First, I drove to Marquette, Michigan and held a book signing at the Marquette Maritime Museum, in the McClintock-Darter-Dace annex. There is a full size replica of USS Darter’s conning tower in Marquette. It has been moved temporarily because the coast guard built a new station on the bluff overlooking Lake Superior where it was located originally in 2000.

In Rochester I attended the Pre Annual Business Meeting (ABM), ABM, Base and District Commander meetings. The people of Minneapolis/St Paul Base did an excellent job hosting the convention and Rochester townsfolk displayed outstanding reverence for all of us submariners. Got to meet new Western Region District Commanders Jim Denzien (1) and Bob Bissonnette (6) and swore in Gene Nagel (2) and Pete Juhos (5) by phone on the drive back to Washington. It was great to see five other Menhaden (my qual boat) sailors at the convention.

In October I attended Montana Base’s semi annual meeting in Billings. Got caught in a snow storm on the way to it but the ride home was beautiful. What an amazing country we live in.

I was honored to present Golden Anchor Awards to Bob Opple and the Silent Service Motorcycle Club at a Seattle Base meeting, and another Golden Anchor to South Sound Base.

At this time I send a big Thank You to all of you for the support you’ve given to me, your bases and communities throughout the region. 2014 should be even more fun as the convention in San Francisco looms on the horizon.

HAPPY NEW YEAR

Fraternally

John Mansfield

WRD4 Commander

253 202 6433 Cell

johnss377@yahoo.com


Underway in WESTERN DISTRICT 4

Click HERE for: Volume 4, Issue 1 - April 2013

(Newsletters are in PDF format)


Merrriam-Webster Dictionary --
     Definition: \Scutt''le''butt'\, n.
               Etymology: alteration of scuttled butt: butt (cask or small barrel) which had been scuttled by
               making a hole in it so the water could be withdrawn.
     Date: circa 1805.
     1 a: a cask on shipboard to contain freshwater for a day's use.
        b: a drinking fountain on a ship or at a naval or marine installation.
     2: rumor, gossip.

US Navy --
     Scuttlebutt: Since sailors exchanged gossip when they gathered at the scuttlebutt for a drink of water, scuttlebutt became Navy slang for gossip or rumors.

This Page --
     Coming events and other items that may be of interest to base members.


Submitted by: Pat Householder on 12 March 2010

"The Subvets Yellow Pages"


Click on the below links to go to the Western Region District 4 Newsletter Underway in WESTERN DISTRICT 4

Newsletters are in PDF format

If you do not have Adobe Reader, click on the line below:
Free software to view and print Adobe PDF formatted files.

2010

Click HERE for June 2010 WRD 4 Newsletter.
Click HERE for February 2010 WRD 4 Newsletter.


From:               James D. Tow
Sent:              
Saturday, 13 February 2010, 1654
To:                   All Hands
Subject:          The Navy

A long read but it brings to the surface some fun memories of the late 1950’s and early 1960’s

From an Old Shipmate:  You can say that this describes the whole of the US during the last couple of decades if you ask me!

05 January 2010

The Navy

Before you get all up in my face ‘bout what I’m ‘bout to ramble on about, lemme first say that I know the human memory tends to heavily discriminate the stuff it stores’ cataloguing things the way it wants to and reserving special places for certain select events, sounds, sights, smells, and scenes.  And not only does it selectively edit things in and out, but it tends to embellish events with its individualized set of filters, ethics, morals, priorities, and tastes, magnifying some episodes and minimizing others. 

O.K.  That said, I recently came across something that triggered memories of my early experiences in the Navy.  ‘Smatterafact, lotsa things do that as I get older.  My holistic retrospect on my 24 years in the USN is quite positive, and I often willingly go back to relive what were my most exciting and satisfying times, all the way from a raw unranked boot in San Diego to the guy responsible for maintenance and repair of elex comm & crypto equipment for CincPac, SubPac, CinCPacFlt, Com7thFlt, and several other high-powered commands in Hawaii.

Hair all shaved off.  Personal effects confiscated.  Clothes that didn’t fit.  Strangers yelling stuff at me I didn’t fully understand.  Food that tasted like stewed dirt.  Beds that spoke of the hundreds who’d slept in ‘em before.  Marching in formation with guys wearing exactly the same clothes I had to wear, carrying an out-of-date rifle with which I had to master and demonstrate skills useful in no situation my fertile imagination could conceive.

My entire personality dragged out, ridiculed, abused, and tossed on a scrap heap only to be replaced by one that knee-jerked instantly to commands and single-mindedly carried out lawful orders, even though no one had ever explained to me what exactly an unlawful order might have been.  No longer was I a college boy pursuing liberal arts and intellectual growth but a cog in a 72-man machine dedicating every single waking moment to causing no demerits to the company during inspections, drills, skill training, or parades.

Home was a narrow cot in an open-bay barracks featuring gang showers and rows of sinks, urinals, and commodes with no provisions for individuality, much less privacy.  Lights out happened when the Company Commander decided we’d absorbed enough humiliation for that day, that our lockers were properly stowed, that our shoes were properly shined, our barrack was properly cleaned, and that we clearly understood that we were still useless raw meat that some unfortunate Chief Petty Officer would one day be burdened with molding into halfway decent sailors.

Reveille was 0500, even before the seagulls which swooped down to pick up the lungers off the grinder were up yet.  Formation was 20 minutes later, after shaving and dressing and fixing bunks and being reminded that the coming night would indeed be damned short if we screwed up ANYthing that day.

Breakfast was hard-boiled eggs and beans and soggy toast one day, chipped-something-or-other on soggy toast the next, greasy fried mystery stuff with soggy toast the next, hamburger with tomato sauce on soggy toast the next, and all served with something vaguely white called “reconstituted milk” and a dark, vile, burnt-smelling but otherwise tasteless fluid some would-be comedian labeled “Coffee”.  One good thing, though . . . you could have as much as you could eat in the 15 minutes you were allowed inside for breakfast.  Lunch and supper were always filling and nutritious, even if often unpalatable, indefinable, and unrecognizable.

It was cold all morning out marching around toward no place in particular, and hot in the barracks at night when the giant inventory of our individual and collective miscreancies was recited to us by members of our own group temporarily endowed with positional authority over us.  And I loved it.  I’d go back and do it again if they’d let me and I thought my digestive system could survive it.  Yes, I loved it, yet I counted the days, the hours, the minutes that I had left to endure in that young-adult Boy Scout camp before I could go see the real Navy and have some fun . . . AND get paid.

Once actually out IN the real Navy, I was astonished at the importance, the almost religious reverence, that people in khakis showered upon two things: control over the free time of non-rated personnel, and rust.  To me the sole purpose of Chief Petty Officers was to ensure that anybody in pay grades E-1, E-2, and E-3 get dirty as soon as possible after morning quarters and NEVER have an opportunity to go ashore and act like sailors (i.e., drink beer and bring great discredit upon their beloved United States Navy).

My first assignment after boot camp was on a tanker whose duty was to fuel ships anchored beyond the breakwater, deliver AvGas and MoGas to detachments on islands off the California Coast (San Clemente, Santa Catalina, and others), and defuel ships going into the yards for overhauls or extensive refits.

When not involved in the specific act of transferring fuel in one direction or another, my primary value was in ferreting out and annihilating pockets of rust everywhere on the ship except in the engineering spaces, where my red-striped non-rated peers busied themselves at the same thing, except that their enemy was oil, grease, steam, and water leaks.

Six months later, now a fully-fledged sailor in all respects with three white stripes on my left arm, I got orders to Electronics Technician School at Treasure Island (San Francisco), where my primary duty was to listen to fatally boring lectures on basic electricity and make absolutely certain that my shoes were spitshined at all times.

A giant conspiracy existed amongst the staff, primarily the CPOs, at the school command to do everything in their power to keep those of us who had actually been to sea from contaminating the ones who’d come to school straight from recruit training.  The strategy consisted mainly of ensuring that we fail enough quizzes and tests to require our spending all our evenings at night study, thereby keeping us from going into town or to the club to fill our bellies with beer and our eyes with the silicone boobies of Broadway.

Probably what amazed me even more than the fanatical interest that Schools Command CPOs had in ascertaining that everyone’s shoes reflected light better than polished onyx was the number of people who couldn’t take the pressure of boot camp or service schools and went to extreme lengths, such as bed wetting, to get out of the Navy and go back home to Mama.

Other than its unnatural interest in shoe shines and haircuts, tho, the Navy’s plan was beginning to make sense to me.  First you got stripped down nekkid, both inside and out, all your strengths were identified and your weaknesses exposed, you were shown how to do a job, and then you were sent out into the field to see if you could hack it.  In front of you at all times were both good examples and bad examples: you saw the carrot side reflected in the gold hashmarks on Chiefs who’d learned how to work within the system and you saw the stick side in the red ones on career E-5s who either couldn’t cut it or didn’t know how not to get caught.

Everybody smoked.  Everybody drank beer.  Everybody had a disgustingly nasty coffee cup.  Everybody cussed, except when the chaplain or some officer’s wife was around.  You did your job, and if you were good at it, you got pay increases through promotions.  You pissed people off and didn’t get the message, you stayed in the lower pay grades and got really good at handling brooms, trash cans, and scrub brushes.

The Navy I joined had the old-fashioned Chiefs, those keepers of tradition, guardians of ancient lore, solvers of problems. those grouchy, irascible, sarcastic, but indispensable guys who'd been around longer than anybody else on the ship, except maybe the Captain.  They knew where everything was, how everything worked, what everything was for, and who was responsible for what.

Becoming a CPO was really a big deal in that Navy, involving a time-honored festival of near-orgiastic silliness designed to close out the years of irresponsible ignorance with one last naked dance through the fires of humiliation and excoriation to emerge reborn as full-grown lion guarding the gates of the repository of all useful knowledge.

Amongst the Chief’s primary duties were making sailors out of farm kids and smartalecs and goldbricks and Mama’s boys, showing them the skills and qualities required for them to fill his shoes when the time came for him to retire his coffee cup.  The Chief nominally reported to a young butterbar whom he had the awesome challenge of transforming into a leader of those other young men he was making sailors of.

Chief reported to the Ensign, but he delivered the real status to the Ensign’s boss, usually a seasoned Lieutenant or Lieutenant Commander.  Chief generally had a special relationship with both the XO and CO, both of whom sought his advice and assistance in all sorts of problems and situations.  His niche and his positional authority were well established and completely understood by every member of the crew.  Any white hat entering the Goat Locker had better have his hat in his hand and a damned good reason, and Heaven help him if he forgot to knock first.

Today,  I’m not so sure I’d make it.  Chief no longer has that special relationship with CO and XO, and he rarely does business directly with his department head.  As soon as he sheds his dungarees and shifts into khakis, he enters a confusing political arena of Senior Chiefs, Master Chiefs, Warrant Officers, and LDOs all doing what the Chief used to do.  He’s simply gone from technician to supervisor, and his initiation has become as watered down as his authority.

In the Navy of the 50s and 60s, traditions aboard ship were honored, cherished, and observed.  Various initiations occurred from time to time, such as making Chief or crossing the equator, during which rookies or newbies were ritually cleansed, humiliated, and physically abused to degrees generally powers of 10 more severe than anything the Gitmo terrorists ever had to endure from their guards.

Such episodes served the purpose of reminding every member of the crew that new experiences, new threats, new life-altering events could bring even the proudest and strongest to his knees.  And when the purging was over, the initiates were welcomed as brothers, tougher than before because of what they’d learned they could withstand if necessary.

But it was a good Navy, a Navy that won wars, intimidated dictators, brought relief to victims in faraway lands, had fun, and proudly carried the flag.  And I loved it.  But I’m not entirely sure that what we have today is the natural child of that generation.

In 1960 if you got drunk on liberty, your shipmates got you back to your rack and woke you up in time for you to make morning quarters.  If you found yourself in jail, the Chief or your DivOff would bail you out and work with the local cops to fix whatever you broke, or stole, or lost, or insulted, or forgot to pay for.

Today you get drunk and you wind up in a rehab facility with entries in your service jacket that’ll haunt you for years.

Same thing for behavior on the ship.  In 1960, you mouth off to the Chief or get caught goldbricking one too many times and you got a blanket party, or extra duty, or both until you got your act together.  You also didn’t see much of the quarterdeck or the brow, and you could forget that recommendation to take the next rating exam.

Today you act like a jerk and you wind up in a seminar, or a counseling center, or a psych ward and they load you up with a ton of paper that follows you until you abandon ship and go to work for IBM or AT&T or the local sanitation service.

In 1960 you came out with four-letter words and some heat in your voice toward what you saw as petty rules or regs or some would-be politician, and people either agreed with you or stayed away from you ‘til you calmed down.

Today you say “Hell” or “Damn” and you’d better be talking about either the  or furry little aquatic animals with big teeth and flat tails.

In 1960, when they were in schools or on shore duty, sailors lived in barracks and ate in chow halls.

Students in today’s Navy or sailors on shore duty live in hotels like the dormitories rich college kids used to have in the 60s.  They’re called “Unaccompanied Enlisted Personnel Housing Facilities” and look like Ramada Inns.  And sailors today eat in “Dining Facilities” like debutantes, and there aren’t any grouchy old Navy cooks in the back stirring the pots or grumbling mess cooks scrubbing pans and swabbing decks.

In 1960, sailors leaving the ship or station on liberty wore the uniform of the day, either Dress Blues or Whites.  Officers and senior enlisted were often privileged to wear civilian clothes ashore, but not always.

Today’s sailors wear cammies most of the time, and it’s hard to find a sailor in dress uniform any more.

In 1960, the Navy Exchange was there to provide low-cost uniform and toiletry items for sailors and their families.  Selections were limited, but quality was good and savings were considerable on things such as booze, cigarettes, candy, and trinkets.

Today the typical Navy Exchange is a poorly managed, badly stocked, miserably staffed business failure that sees more merchandise go out the back door in a lunch bag than out the front with a sales receipt on it.  You want selection and a good price, go to Wal-Mart.  Commissaries aren’t much better except for meat and cosmetics.

In 1960 many officers had at least some experience in enlisted ranks or engines or management and were patriotic military men who commanded respect by understanding the jobs their personnel did and staying out of their way while they did them, then sending them on liberty when they got the job done.

Many of today’s officers are politicians who are afraid to say what’s actually on their minds for fear of offending someone’s delicate racial, ethnic, cultural, or religious sensitivities.  They’re generally much better at leaping to premature cover-my-six conclusions than making well-researched but tough decisions.

In 1960 sailors went to night clubs and titty bars and kept pin-up pictures of girlfriends or movie stars in their lockers.

Today the girls go to sea with the guys and hope they bought the right brand of condom.  Any sailor looking at a picture of a girl today is doing it either on his blackberry via e-mail or on a porn site with his laptop.

In 1960 you got medals for doing something extraordinary, such as saving lives or preventing disasters or killing and capturing enemies in battle.

Today many sailors get medals for not being late for work for more than 6 months at a stretch and never coming up positive on a random drug test.

In 1960 many sailors were involved in collecting human and signals intelligence and analyzing it.

Today the MAAs collect urine and civilian contractor labs analyze it.

In 1960 we had clear-cut rules of engagement and unambiguous descriptive names for our enemies.  The basic rule of engagement was to wipe out the enemy by whatever means available, and we called them “Red Bastards” or “Commie Sonsabitches” or words our grandmothers wouldn’t like to know we used.

Today we call people who want to destroy us, cut our heads off, enslave our women, end our way of life, “Aggressors” or “Combatants” or “Opposing Forces” or “Islamic Warriors” to avoid offending them.  Our sailors are no longer allowed to kick ass and take names, only to Mirandize and make comfortable.

In 1960, victory meant that the enemy was either completely dead or no longer had the ability to resist, that all his machines and networks were captured or out of commission, that he had surrendered or been locked up, that the fight was over and he accepted defeat.

Today we declare victory when the opposing forces call time out, insist that it was all a big mistake, and that they’ll stop resisting if we rebuild their cities, their refineries, their factories, their infrastructure.

The Navy I joined was easy to understand.  It was organized and straightforward.  The hard workers got the bennies and the shirkers got the brooms, and everybody in between was anonymous and safe so long as his shoes stayed shined and his hair never touched his ears or his collar.  Chiefs ran the place and officers did the paperwork until required to put on their zebra shirts and referee bouts between CPOs engaged in pissing contests.

Anything a sailor needed to know, the Navy taught him, from tying knots to operating fire-control computers on 16-inch guns.  A sailor never had to worry about what he was going to wear; that decision was made for him and published in the Plan of the Day, which was read every morning at quarters, usually by the Chief, the source of continuity, stability, and purpose for everyone in the division.

Today a kid can’t even get in the Navy unless he finished high school and has a clean record with law enforcement.  He’s expected to be keyboard literate from day 1, and he speaks a completely different language from what his Korean- or VietNam-War grandfather spoke, no matter if that was English or what.  He doesn’t play baseball, or football, or hockey; he plays golf, and tennis. . . more often on a Wii than on a course or court. The modern Navy doesn’t keep people around to dump trashcans and scrub galleys and clean heads; that's done by civilian contractors.  And the majority of CPOs today are expected to either HAVE a degree of some kind or be working toward getting one soon.  Today’s successful Navy non-com is a paper-chasing button pusher, not a sweat-stained commie killer.

Today’s sailor is in touch with his “significant others” by e-mail or cell fone almost anywhere he’s sent.  The idea of a 6-month deployment to Southeast Asia with no contact other than snail mail seems cruel and unusual torture to him.

No, it’s doubtful I could succeed in today’s Navy as I did in yesterday’s.  I prefer my triggers to be on pistols and rifles, not on joysticks controlling surveillance drones and other bots.  My policy as a division officer was never to tell a tech to do something that I couldn’t do myself, much less that I didn’t understand.  Today I’d have to learn a completely new vernacular and become familiar with a strange culture before even TALKing to my troops.

And though it dates me and cements me into a mindset that’s fallen out of fashion, I think I liked the Navy that I joined better than the one we have today.  Yes, of course the capabilities we have now are wider, more sophisticated, more potentially effective.  But they’re more fragile, too, and techs can’t even FIND the discreet components in a printed circuit board any more, much less actually isolate a bad one and replace it.

I’ve let technology pass me by, willingly and completely.  My skill set is anchored in tubes and resistors and 18-guage wire and cathode-ray tubes and hand-held multi-meters and bench-mounted o-scopes that weighed 120 lbs.  But still, I LIKE those old Chiefs with the pot bellies and the filthy coffee cups and the scarred knuckles and the can-do attitude backed up by years of hands-on experience, both on the job and in the bars all over the world.

I LIKED guys like Harry Truman who weren’t afraid to make hard choices and fire egomaniacs and take personal responsibility for their own decisions.  It was GOOD to see people standing on a beach or a pier waving when the ship pulled in, knowing there’d be dancing and singing and fistfighting and dangerous liaisons, not snipers with Russian-made rifles and lunatics planting IEDs along the streets.

Yes, we lived with the omnipresent fear of instant nuclear annihilation, mutually assured destruction, uncertainty about tomorrow, and all that.  But it seemed that the government was on our side, that our country did good things throughout the world, that the US was the best place to live on the planet and our presidents didn’t feel they had to apologize ‘ a goddam thing to anygoddambody.

It’s not so much that I want a do-over; I just want teachers, and senators, and taxi-drivers, and clerks, and college professors, and congressmen, and judges, and doctors, and kids growing up to see my country the way we all saw it in 1960 . . . as a strong, charitable, fun-loving, loyal, don’t-piss-me-off place with no patience for petty tyrants and loonies.

I wonder what my British counterpart might feel about the direction HIS country’s taken in the last 60 years or so.  Probably much the same as what the native-born Roman Legionnaire of the 4th century felt when he saw what had become of his beloved SPQR.


Introduction to Lost Boat List.

 

The boats listed below are not in date of loss order, rather they are in a cause of loss grouping. For an a tabular form supplied by Ric Hedman scroll to the bottom of the page.

The first boat to be ‘lost’ was the USS F-4. To find a boat, circumstances of loss, date of loss and crew lost with the boat (if any) click on the boat name below. To sequence through the boats click on the “First Lost Boat” above then use the “Next Boat” and “Previous Boat” links on each page. The boats are arranged roughly in date order in this sequence. The USS A-7 is the first boat listed. It is a special case in that the boat was not ‘lost’ but the entire crew was lost in a fire.

Recent accidents such as the fire on USS Bonefish, grounding of the USS Nathaniel Greene and so on will be addressed at a later date.

There is a discussion of the loss dates given on a separate page. This discussion is necessary due to the disparity in dates given in various authoritative sources. This discussion can be accessed at “Loss Date Data”

Counting the losses incurred by the US Naval Submarine Force and arriving at a firm number for use in memorial ceremonies, speeches, presentations and writing should not be difficult and the number should be easily agreed on.  Such is not the case. The actual number of US Submarines lost since 1862 (The beginning of the submarine force) is sixty-five (65). Of these, 53 have been lost during wartime and the remainder during the Force’s unending battle with the sea. For many years, the number normally used was 52. This has been the traditional number used since the end of World War II.  It is useful to the discussion to understand where that number came from. This will establish the criteria for the counting of lost submarines.

 

            In 1949, the Preliminary Design Branch of the Bureau of Ships issued a multivolume work which formalized the "lessons learned" in ship design in World War II.  This work detailed damage to selected submarines and listed "Depth Charge, Bomb, Mine, Torpedo and Gunfire Damage including Losses in Action".  The 52 submarines listed in the "Losses in Action" became the core listing for US submarine losses.  The criteria for what constituted a loss is generally straight forward.  It included:

Criteria 1: Submarines lost at sea by enemy action with or without personnel loss.

Criteria 2: Submarines lost by stranding and foundering with or without personnel loss

Criteria 3: Submarines lost at sea by collision with personnel loss

Criteria 4: Submarines lost for unknown reasons.

Criteria5: Submarines lost due to material or operational causes with or without personnel loss.

Criteria 6: Submarines lost due to scuttling.

The period for actions for which a lost submarine could be listed in this report was the that of the U.S. declared involvement in WW II, 7 December 1941 to 15 August 1945.  The portion of WW II from September 1939 to December 1941 was not included even though we lost several ships including one submarine during this period.  The list only accounts submarines that were lost while under US flag during the stated period. Using the criteria above and expanding the time to cover the entire history of our submarine force, a corrected total for our submarine losses may be obtained.

Total Losses in Wartime

The two declared wars in the 20th century were World Wars I and II. World War I period of US involvement was from August 1917 to November 1918.   The USS F-1 (SS-20) was lost on 17 December 1917, during World War I, by collision at sea (Criteria 3). This boat's loss plus those lost during WW II bring the total of submarines lost by our submarine force in wartime to 53. These are:

USS F-1 (SS-20), USS S-26 (SS-131),USS Shark (SS-174),USS Grunion (SS-216), USS Argonaut (SS-166), USS Amberjack (SS-219), USS Grampus (SS-207), USS Triton (SS-201), USS Pickerel (SS-177), USS R-12 (SS-89), USS Runner (SS-275),,USS Pompano (SS-181), USS Grayling (SS-209), USS Cisco (SS-290), USS Wahoo (SS-238), USS Dorado (SS-248), USS Corvina (SS-226), USS Capelin (SS-289), USS Scorpion (SS-278),  USS Grayback (SS-208), USS Trout (SS-202), USS Gudgeon (SS-211), USS Herring (SS-233), USS S-28 (SS-133), USS Golet (SS-361), USS Growler (SS-215), USS Robalo (SS-273), USS Harder (SS-257), USS Escolar (SS-294), USS Shark (SS-314), USS Seawolf (SS-197), USS Albacore (SS-218), USS Scamp (SS-277), USS Barbel (SS-316), USS Swordfish (SS-193), USS Kete (SS-369), USS Trigger (SS-237), USS Snook (SS-279), USS Lagarto (SS-371), USS Bonefish (SS-223),  USS Bullhead (SS-332), USS Sealion (SS-195), USS Perch (SS-176), USS Grenadier (SS-210), USS S-44 (SS-155), USS Sculpin (SS-191), USS Tullibee (SS-284), USS Flier (SS-250), USS Tang (SS-306), USS S-36 (SS-141), USS S-27 (SS-132), USS S-39 (SS-144), and USS Darter (SS-227).

Losses in Peacetime

The portions of the 20th century not included in WWI and WWII are considered, for the purposes of this discussion, peacetime.  This is a point of semantics and it will be argued by participants and historians for many decades to come.  During these peacetime periods we lost no more due to enemy action (Criteria 1). 

By stranding and foundering (Criteria 2), we lost USS H-1 (SS-28). 

By collision (Criteria 3) we lost USS O-5 (SS-66), USS S-51 (SS-162), USS S-4 (SS-109) and USS Stickleback (SS-415).

Losses for unknown reasons  (Criteria 4)  we lost USS O-9 (SS-70), and USS Scorpion (SSN-589). 

Due to material or operational causes (Criteria 5) we lost USS F-4 (SS-21), USS S-5 (SS-110), USS Squalus (SS192), USS Cochino (SS-345) and USS Thresher (SSN-593)

We lost no more boats under Criteria 6.

It is possible, however, that one other catastrophic loss might occur that should be remembered and listed. The USS A-7 had a fire onboard that killed the entire crew. The boat was not lost and, in fact, it continued in service.

In addition, we as a Force have lost many shipmates as a result of enemy action, accident or as it has been called “the hazards of the sea”. These men are listed separately from the boat losses here.

 

There are indeed other criteria that could be used to count a loss.  One could count those submarines which by action of the enemy or by accident became "constructive total losses" and add Salmon, Nathaniel Greene, Bonefish and others. However, those boats and others like them were brought home by their crews and the decommissioned alongside with appropriate ceremony.  The decision that the boats structure would be repaired or discarded was made not by the sea, enemy or others of those things beyond our control, but by a considered process with the boat in port and the remainder of the crew safely ashore.

   A case could be made for inclusion of S-48 and Guitarro and others which sank but were quickly salvaged and returned to service. To modify the existing criteria to that extent is not necessarily useful either.

After that we need only pray that the number of lost boats never, ever reaches 66.

USS F-4 (SS-21)

USS F-1 (SS-20)

USS H-1 (SS-28)

USS S-5 (SS-110)

USS O-5 (SS-66)

USS S-51 (SS-162)

USS S-4 (SS-109)

USS Squalus (SS-192)

USS O-9 (SS-70)

USS Sealion (SS-195)

USS S-36 (SS-141)

USS S-26 (SS-131)

USS Shark (SS-174)

USS Perch (SS-176)

USS S-27 (SS-132)

USS Grunion (SS-216)

USS S-39 (SS-144)

USS Argonaut (SS-166)

USS Amberjack (SS-219)

USS Grampus (SS-207)

USS Triton (SS-201)

USS Pickerel (SS-177)

USS Grenadier (SS-210)

USS R-12 (SS-89)

USS Runner (SS-275)

USS Pompano (SS-181)

USS Grayling (SS-209)

USS Cisco (SS-290)

USS S-44 (SS-155)

USS Wahoo (SS-238)

USS Dorado (SS-248)

USS Corvina (SS-226)

USS Sculpin (SS-191)

USS Capelin (SS-289)

USS Scorpion (SS-278)

USS Grayback (SS-208)

USS Trout (SS-202)

USS Tullibee (SS-284)

USS Gudgeon (SS-211)

USS Herring (SS-233)

USS S-28 (SS-133)

USS Golet (SS-361)

USS Growler (SS-215)

USS Robalo (SS-273)

USS Harder (SS-257)

USS Flier (SS-250)

USS Escolar (SS-294)

USS Shark (SS-314)

USS Darter (SS-227)

USS Tang (SS-306)

USS Seawolf (SS-197) 

USS Albacore (SS-218)

USS Scamp (SS-277)

USS Barbel (SS-316)

USS Swordfish (SS-193)

USS Kete (SS-369)

USS Trigger (SS-237)

USS Snook (SS-279)

USS Lagarto (SS-371)

USS Bonefish (SS-223)

USS Bullhead (SS-332)

USS Cochino (SS-345)

USS Stickleback (SS-415)

USS Thresher (SSN-593)

 

USS Scorpion (SSN-589)

From: Old Subs Place


From: Submarine Research Center
To: Submariners
Subj: Bulletin 92 of 1 July 2009; Collision with seamount, verification of.

It is reported that USS Pomfret (SS-391) hit a seamount while running submerged at an unknown depth.  A crew member desires our assistance in verifying the event. Please click on http://www.submarineresearch.com, then to bulletin 92 in the Library. Read the crew member's letter and, if possible, let us know if you remember anything about the event.

 


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