The money paid to submariners was meant to correct an inequity. The men in boats were only paid for shore pay. Teddy Roosevelt fixed that.
Teddy Roosevelt was the first American president to go aboard a submarine and participate in a dive. The USS Plunger dove beneath the surface of Long Island Sound on August 25th 1905 with the President on board.
President Roosevelt not only achieved this historical first but was the man directly responsible for establishing submarine pay. The naval Admirals and bureaucracy of the day thought that submarine duty was neither unusual nor dangerous, and classified it as shore duty. For that reason, submariners received twenty-five percent less pay than sailors going to sea in destroyers, cruisers and similar surface ships.
From a story researched by Robert Loys Sminkey, Commander, United States Navy, Retired:
“Roosevelt’s two hour trip on Plunger convinced him that this discrimination was unfair. He described submarine duty as hazardous and difficult, and he found that submariners “have to be trained to the highest possible point…
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