FBM Blue and Gold – The Beginning

Thanks to shipmate Tim Lutes  STS2(SS)  USS George Washington SSBN 598 for finding this little gem and posting it on FB.


I sailed on the GW when she was about twelve years old and had clear memories about how old she was (at least every time something broke).

598 1973 Pearl Harbor

At different points in my four patrols we suffered a failure of the fairwater planes in a typhoon, the rudder ram during a high speed run, fire in the machinery room (O2 Generator), and others that I still wake up to at night sometimes.

Watching the small clip took me right back to being a helmsman staring at the grey panel and very old fashioned depth and speed indicators. What a far cry from my last boomer tour which was on the USS Ohio in the eighties. Both were examples of man’s ability to create rapid advancements in the face of danger.

Ohio bow shot


Could we do it again?

I keep hearing whispers about unmanned submarines that can be deployed for much longer periods of time. As an old submariner, I wonder if our technology has advanced far enough to actually replace the sailor that react to the unforgiving nature of the deep blue sea?


But then again, I’m getting old. I can hardly imagine what my Grandfather Mac’s reaction would have been to see a ship that didn’t need coal to sail. Or one that operated greater than 400 feet below the water on a daily basis for months at a time.


John C MacPherson WW1       1911 battleship

Mister Mac

2 thoughts on “FBM Blue and Gold – The Beginning

  1. Reblogged this on theleansubmariner and commented:

    This post from a while back has a link to a 7.5 minute video of the USS George Washington in 1963 (fifty years ago and ten years before I rode her). Even though its black and white I could feel myself at the inboard station making my depth one five oh feet. The launch of an A1 missile is pretty cool too

  2. Very good pic and blog on the Washington I was a STS2 ss on the George C Marshall in the 1970’s still think about the world back then and what the sub service ment to America!

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