I remember the day that the announcement came that Holy Loch was closing. February 1991 was a typical cold Scottish month. I had already completed my initial qualifications as Docking Officer and would be certified in the next docking of a nuclear submarine on March 15th. But before I could even think about the achievement, […]Read More A faraway land that still calls me back – Holy Loch and Polaris
USS Patrick Henry “I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death.” As a sailor who sailed on a number of submarines and ships, I can assure you there is no sweeter word that “Liberty”. I have to be honest with you and say that […]Read More USS Patrick Henry SSBN 599 – Give Me Liberty or Give Me death!
November 30th is Saint Andrews day in Scotland. It has been over 27 years since we left Scotland to return to America but in so many ways it seems like yesterday. Our trip was cut way too short with the imminent closing of the American base at Holy Loch and so many things have filled […]Read More Oh Flower of Scotland… Happy Saint Andrews Day 2018
This article was written less than a decade after Site One was established in the Holy Loch. I did not arrive in Scotland until August of 1990 to serve on board the AFDB 7 Floating Drydock but many of the same conditions that existed back in the Sixties were very similar to what was written. The […]Read More It’s a Bonny Life in the Land of Kilts and Bagpipes – ALL HANDS September 1967
A short history of the first ballistic missile submarine. USS GEORGE WASHINGTON (SSBN 598) THIS SHIP has been given the most illustrious name in America. Rarely does history conﬁrm contemporary judgment in pronouncing a man “indispensable” to his country. But there is general agreement that on three occasions, when the fate of our Nation hung in […]Read More USS George Washington SSBN 598 – First and Finest (December 30, 1959)
Regular readers know that once upon a time when the world was still dark with fears from the Soviets, a little known base in Scotland served as a portable pier for our submarine fleet. Starting in 1960, units of the United States Fleet anchored in a small inlet called Holy Loch that was just up […]Read More I love LA
The Build When you have sailed on submarines for most of your career, stepping outside of your comfort zone reveals many things about who you are. Most submariners have achieved a level of excellence that is demanded by the profession. You are operating a large ship that is designed to sink and do most of […]Read More The Build – Reflections from an Old Docking Officer
Its funny how an old picture can bring back so many memories. Whether a boomer sailor sailed out of Scotland, Guam, Rota or Charleston many of the events they experienced were similar. I don’t know how many hundreds of ballistic missile patrols were made. I am sure there were a lot. Since the 1960s, strategic deterrence has […]Read More 41 For Freedom – SSBN Memories 41 Years Later
Did it matter? A few weeks ago on one of the Holy Loch themed Facebook pages, a few of us were reminiscing about the old days and all of the patrols that were made during the Cold War. Someone reflected how successful the system was but a member of the site (who self-identified as an […]Read More Did it matter?
One of the best weekends of my life was our Perfect Scottish Weekend. We travelled the Highlands in August of 1991 and visited Newtonmore for a visit with Clan MacPherson. Then we went to Edinburgh for the world famous Tattoo. I hope you get a chance to visit it someday, it is breathtaking. Recommend that […]Read More The World of Polaris