Saturday, May 26, 2007

midrats: a crosspost

a taste from the post:
midrats. that quasi-meal between supper and breakfast, served underway, or when we were in port working shiftwork.
typically, horsecock sandwiches, and some reconstituted dried gack like chicken noodle soup, or some other mysterious concoction the cooks cobbled together.
one advantage of midrats at sea was that the bread was usually fresh out of the oven. god, how many huge chunks of fresh boatbread, buried under a slab of butter did i eat while underway?

read the rest here

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Lost Boats - Memorial Day Tribute

Cross-posted by Lubber's Line at Hundreds of Fathoms

During WWII the US Submarine Service lost 52 Submarines, 375 Officers and 3,131 Enlisted Men.

The United States submarine service represented only 1.6% of Navy personnel at the time but suffered the highest percentage of casualties within any of the services; a casualty rate of about 22 percent. They also exacted a terrible price on the enemy accounting for 55% of all the Japanese ships sunk; this included a full third of the Japanese Imperial Navy.

Typically the loss of Submarine included the loss of the entire crew...

This video was put together as a 2007 Memorial Day tribute to those still on "Eternal Patrol".

The Final Patrol

Lord, this departed shipmate with dolphins on his chest is part of an outfit known as the best.

Make him welcome and take him by the hand. You'll find without a doubt he was the best in all the land.

So, heavenly Father add his name to the roll of our dear departed shipmates still on patrol.

Let him know that we who survive will always keep their memories alive.

Poem from COMSUBPAC Lost Boats web site


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

CO Of USS Helena Relieved For Cause

Cross-posted from The Stupid Shall Be Punished:

Navy Times reported last night that CDR William A. Schwalm was relieved as CO of USS Helena (SSN 725) for "loss of confidence". Excerpts from the article:
(Commodore) Jaenichen made his decision based on “just a pattern of performance over time that was consistently not meeting the standards” expected of a commanding officer, Myrick said. The captain lost confidence “in his ability to maintain the Helena crew’s proficiency and level of readiness.”
Schwalm had assumed command of Helena on June 9 and led the submarine on a two-month deployment to the U.S. Southern Command region. He has been temporarily reassigned to a position at Naval Mine and Anti-submarine Warfare Command in San Diego, Myrick said.
Jaenichen assigned Cmdr. Daryl L. Caudle, his deputy at the submarine squadron, as the temporary commander of Helena until a permanent skipper is named. Caudle most recently had command of the fast-attack boat, Jefferson City.
Schwalm, a native of Petersburg, Mich., who was commissioned into the Navy in 1987, has served on five submarines, including the fast-attack submarine Philadelphia, where he served as the executive officer, according to his official biography. His other submarine assignments include the Daniel Webster, Sea Devil and Alabama.
The official Navy press release is here. I knew Bill Schwalm as a fellow Shift Eng and later Materials Officer at NPTU Charleston. He was always very professional; I'm sorry to see him lose his command.