Tuesday, October 18, 2005

USS Philadelphia Homeward Bound

Cross-posted from The Stupid Shall Be Punished:

The Navy has released five pictures of USS Philadelphia (SSN 690) pulling into Souda Bay, Crete. To view the thumbnails, you can click here and type in "SSN 690" into the "Photo Search" tab in the upper left. You can also view the individual pics by clicking here, here, here, here, and here. From each image, you can then click on the hi-res versions of the pictures.

It looks like they did a pretty good job on the cosmetic repairs when they were in port in Bahrain after their collision last month; here is what she looked like then:

And here's how she looks now:

It's actually hard to see much damage. There's clearly some visible repair work that's been done to the starboard fairwater plane. I knew that the rudder had taken a beating, so I wanted to see how that looked. I blew up the "after" picture above to focus on the rudder, and here's what I got:

It looks like there's some missing paint, but I really couldn't tell much else. I'm sure they wouldn't have let her get underway, though, if the rudder wasn't fully functional.

Some interesting details can be gleaned from the pictures for non-submariners. In the "after" picture above (and here) you can see submarine linehandling in action on the bow. One sailor is throwing a "heavie" to the pier, another is wrapping the line around the cleat, and the capstan is raised. (As an aside, submarine linehandling is often very comical -- we don't do it too much, and it shows. As often as not, you end up with the "heavies" wrapped around some overhead line, or 5 or 6 Sailors scratching their heads trying to figure out how to double the lines.) Another photo shows the "shifting colors" ceremony -- as the colors are raised on the stick aft of the sail, the flag on the bridge is taken down, while all hands salute. This is done immediately after the ship is "moored" (all four lines on, but not necessarily finished being secured).

If someone smarter than me sees any visible damage remaining (for example in this picture, which shows the towed array housing) let me know.


At 5:53 PM, Blogger Vigilis said...

There is no success story to be told here. This unfortunate chapter of SSN-690's history is pitiable failure, and the telling details will forever be sparse.

At 1:02 PM, Blogger PigBoatSailor said...

No success story? Ok, there is no excuse for a collision at sea, especially when surfaced. However, getting the boat repaired and underway realtively quickly, rather than having to have her surface transit back to a yard early, is a testament to the tender sailors that flew out to her, and the crew of the boat as well. Yes, had everything gone right, they never would have had a job to do, but they did do a good job of making the best of a bad situation it seems. Some credit has to go to them.

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At 11:44 AM, Blogger B Dubya said...

Damn. I rode the Philly back in 81-82...my last home before I became just another rudderless civilian.

I'm glad the old girl came through without a lot of damage.

There is never an acceptable excuse for a gounding or a collision, but I know that (expletive ommitted) happens when you are at PD or on the surface.

Before the Greenling sank her maru the hard way, the George Washington nailed one on patrol while at PD. Bad all around. Skipper, great guy that he was, was sacked along with a lot of the wardroom after the inquest and today there is one less submarine memorial on the east coast because we used their surplus sail to refit out GW after the collision.

Philadelphia? Ah, yes. I spent a week there one night....


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