Rather than being a sign of achievement, Sputnik created a universal atmosphere of fear in the Western nations. The fear was that if the Soviets could launch a satellite that high into the atmosphere and sustain an orbit, what would stop them from launching nuclear weapons. That fear most certainly helped to spark the drive […]Read More October 4, 1957 – The event that pushed America to Polaris
You’ve got Polaris, why on earth do you need bigger carriers? This was the first speech given to the Navy League by Secretary Franke. Franke served in the new Kennedy administration. The source document comes from amalgamated press releases recorded from 1959-1962. https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=uc1.c2968167&view=1up&seq=571 In May of 1960, the secretary was giving a standard speech […]Read More May 1960: You’ve got Polaris, why on earth do you need bigger carriers?
I was assigned to the USS Halibut (SSN 587) in late 1975. The boat had just returned from her last mission and was about to undergo decommissioning. My previous assignment had been at Pearl Harbor on the USS George Washington but I did not want to extend to take the boat into the shipyard at […]Read More USS Woodrow Wilson (SSBN-624) “The world must be made safe for democracy.”
Promises made, promises kept – The Polaris Story 1967 There have only been a few times that I have posted stories from shipmates. Each had value all by themselves but their content certainly made them worth sharing. The story of the installation of the AFDB 7 USS Los Alamos floating dry dock in Scotland, https://theleansubmariner.com/2014/04/04/afdb-7-los-alamos-holy-loch-scotland-in-the-beginning/ […]Read More Promises made, promises kept – The Polaris Story 1967
A submarine friend sent me a package a few days ago and I have been having so much enjoyment going through the material. Today’s entry is a visit to 1968 when the Submarine Base at New London was celebrating its 100th Birthday. With no further introduction, here is the booklet in its entirety:Read More Submarine Base Centennial 1968
More than one hundred years ago, as a new century was about to break, Theodore Roosevelt remarked that, “In a crisis, the man worth his salt is the man who meets the needs of the situation in whatever way is necessary.” I can’t imagine a man more suited for the role as President for his […]Read More Speak Softly but carry a big stick – USS Theodore Roosevelt SSBN 600
Looking back over the US Navy’s history, there are many moments that define greatness or the aspiration for greatness. John Paul Jones heroic deeds certainly set the tone for what the future Navy would look like. The words “I have not yet begun to fight” will always stand out as the benchmark of bravery in […]Read More USS George Bancroft SSBN 643 – Pax Per Scientiam
Sometimes the greatest threat is just down the hall from your office. I have to admit that I am Navy through and through. My DNA has a lot of US Navy intermingled with my Scots-Irish-English-Welsh background. The hair on my arms stands up when I hear the Navy Hymn, nearly half of my wardrobe is […]Read More How do you stop a submarine? Sometimes the greatest threat is just down the hall from your office.
The Dawn of the Polaris Age “Those of us here today may not live to write this history, but we must be determined to shape it.” Every once in a while, you find yourself in a historic spot and feel a little like there isn’t enough time to really understand the surroundings. Well, at […]Read More The Dawn of the Polaris Age – Pittsburgh and Bettis in 1960
During his time as Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Arleigh Burke communicated with his top leadership team using Secret Memos. Many of those memos are now declassified. CNO Personal Number 35 was issued to discuss the increase of Soviet submarine activity in the Atlantic region as well as to discuss the coming Polaris Missile system. […]Read More Make no wild claims about Polaris – Burke (CNO PERSONAL NO. 35 SECRET – Personal For Official Use Only)