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).
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.
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.