As much as today (April 24) is a day of remembering the great things about the 711 Boat, I thought is was good to also reblog one of the earlier blogs about the heroic crew that saved her (and the one who gave his all).
In January 2005, an event happened on the USS San Francisco (SSN 711) that serves as a reminder that even in this day of modern technology and science, the ocean is still mightier in its capability to test man’s limitations. On January 8th 2005 at 0243 GMY, she collided with a sea mount resulting in massive damage to the bow section, 23 were wounded as a result of the collision and the tragic death of MM2/SS Joseph Allen Ashley of Akron Ohio occurred the next day as a result of his wounds.
Within a very short time of the collision, the emails of previous San Francisco sailors lit up with passed along messages. Speculation was the name of the game. That speculation seems to ghoulishly follow all tragedies at sea. The first thought was an underwater collision with another boat but a closer examination revealed that…
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I had the privilege of serving on the SSN-711 as A-ganger from 90 – 94. She my first fast attack and the last sub I served onboard. When I heard the horrific news. I was both upset and aggrivated. I thought and still do think of her as the best boat. The SSN-711 had just came out of DMP. She was almost brand spankin new when I arrived onboard her. That is the way I will always remember her. I am truly sorry for the tragedy, but it just goes to show you. That San Fran was a true and trustworthy vessel. With an awesomely skilled crew. USS San Francisco SSN-711; you will be truley missed, but never forgotten. It was the best of times and it was the worst of times.
Thank you Robert. Your contributions to the boat will be remembered. We all left a part of ourselves on board her.