Thursday, October 06, 2005

Ship to Shore

(Crossposted from "Unconsidered Trifles") I'm curious to hear the stories that my fellow submariners--particularly those who served on LA Class boats--have about their patron city. Prompting my curiosity is this story about the USS AUGUSTA (SSN 710):

Outgoing USS Augusta Capt. Mike Haumer said his crew contacted the city during his tenure, but the connections never grew beyond that.

"A few times we tried and made some overtures with city officials. We had some discussions, but we never got together, unfortunately," Haumer said.

New ships often have close communications with their namesake cities, but Haumer said relations between older ships and their sponsoring communities often grow weaker over time.

"It kind of depends on the city, and not so much the leadership of the city, but more the Navy League of that city," the ship captain said. "If the Navy League is very active pushing the local leadership to be active, they're more active."

I really have to agree with that last statement. It was very gratifying for me when my CO asked me to go to Albany, NY as his representative at the celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the Albany Association (note: website plays sound/music!!).

The members of this society were great patriots who absolutely rolled out the red carpet for the Chief of the Boat, several crew members, and myself. I can't say that Albany was all that impressive per se, but its people were without a doubt beautiful.

I felt especially privileged to hear the sea stories of the veterans who served aboard the then cruiser (CA 123) Albany.

Incidentally, the above story about the USS Augusta recalls this 1986 incident:
While on patrol in 1986, the new submarine was involved in what was suspected to be a collision with Soviet Union submarine. The incident was hushed up by the Navy, but repairs were said at the time to cost $2.7 million.
Anybody got the UNCLAS details on that one?


At 10:02 AM, Blogger troutjacki said...

The short answer to the question is I don't think an accurate unclassified version of the collision exists. I was working on the ASW appraisal (Team ALFA) on OPNAV Staff (OP-71) when it happened and have never seen any version of the event that matches the actual facts.

At 2:30 PM, Blogger PigBoatSailor said...

I have nothing happy to say about my boat's patron city. They were actually openly hostile towards my COB when he contacted them (and no, not the Oly!).

Thankfully, the Navy League of Cape Canavarel (or somewhere really close... can not remember) adopted us, which was nice, because over the course of three years, we pulled in there well over half a dozen times. They always treated us well when we did...

At 2:50 PM, Blogger Robert Schumacher said...

My first two boats had great relations with their namesake cities...Tucson (commissioning crew) got treated like kings by Tucson, AZ (everyone got plankowner plaques made by them, they flew us out for visits, paid for a lavish commissioning formal ball, etc.)

Cheyenne, WY, treated Cheyenne pretty well, too.

Both of my last boats were pretty new and not too far removed from the comissioning, but buddies on Tucson tell me that even 10 years down the road the city treats 'em grand. Yearly visits to Tucson paid by the city (actually a "friends of" group), etc. Cheyenne is similar.

I've only been on Olympia a month, but Google will tell you that things aren't as...congenial...between Olympia, WA and the boat.

At 9:00 AM, Blogger Brainy435 said...

My boat actually had a better relationship with a nearby city than our patron city. Miami was always good to us, I can't deny that, but Ft. Lauderdale was alwasy much more least from this grunts experience. We had to tie up in the cruise ship ports of Ft. Lauderdale, then would have shuttles run us to events in Miami. But many of us spent far more time in Lauderdale than Miami. The locals were happy to have us, and there were always friendly politicians, news crews and families hanging around the boat. There was a very wealthy couple that had a vey big place in their hearts for sailors..I believe they ran the Navy League down there, and they always had good stuff lined up sponsored by local companies or themselves. We usually had a few brief tiger-cruise-like underways for local dignitaries, too. (We always hummed the theme to Gilligans Island when we left for these, because something routinely went wrong...including one memerable incident with a sanitary tank mishap, a naked A-ganger and very surprised tour of older ladies being lead by the CO.) Man, there are a few good stories from these trips, in addition to the above, one including me and a boxing ring and another with me terrifying a small child who had the bad fortune of accidently waking me up in the torpedo room. Good times, man. Good times.

At 10:27 AM, Blogger xnavyct said...

My last duty station was recruiting duty at NRD Indianapolis, in the early 90s. During the month of May, the city of Indianapolis would host 4-6 crewmembers off of SSN-697. They got the royal treatment...pit passes at the 500, riding in the 500 festival parade, hanging out with 500 Queen and her court, banquets, all kinds of things. Don't think I ever saw one of them buy their own beer, either. We would act as tour guides for the guys since we knew the area. Been out now 12 years and still live here in the Indy area, gotta love the midwest and its people...

At 7:51 AM, Blogger Mofius said...

Our Patron city on the USS Augusta SSN-710 was the city of Augusta in Maine (many think it was Georgia) and they gave us a great start. I remember one night during the week we were commissioned, the town sent us 6 cases of live Maine lobsters. They arrived after "chow was secured" and 2/3 of the crew was already on the beach. The guys on duty had a lobster orgy where every guy ate until we almost puked. I was a Plankowner and I got off during the first refit which was just before the alleged incident otherwise known as "the big bump". I know there were accounts in Newsweek and possibly Time magazines and I will try to find them. I often wondered if anything official would surface outside the Chiefs Club on that one. R. Malcolm Milligan Jr. "Mal" former QM2(SS) Primary Navigational Plotter, Deck Div LPO on "the 10 boat".


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