Warning: Some salty language mixed with the metaphors and memories… you have been warned One of my favorite submarine memorials has a personal connection. I qualified in 1974 on board the USS George Washington somewhere in the far reaches of the Pacific Ocean. My joy at the time was that the grueling journey was over […]Read More Who’s sail it is anyway?
These are mine. I share them with all who have gone through the same crucible. They (like us) were forged in pressure. They were quenched in the waters of the darkest parts of the ocean. They symbolize a tradition that is shared by only a few. Fire, flooding and the crashing of the waves above […]Read More These are mine
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
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
The phoenix is a mythical bird that derives from Greek mythology. It was described as a feathered creature of enormous size with talons and wings. The plumage was radiant and beautiful. The story goes that the phoenix lived for many years before it built its own funeral pyre, burst into flame, and died, consumed in […]Read More Like a phoenix rising from the waves – the sail rises once more
Test Depth Note: No classified material is contained in this unofficial story about submarines and the place in the ocean we call “Test Depth”. Every time someone hears that I served on submarines, one of the first questions that is always asked is “How deep can you go?” My answer is always the same: Not […]Read More How low can you go? (an unclassified accounting of the term Test Depth)
I have to be honest and admit that I never looked inside the missile tubes on either of my FBM submarines. I know there was something inside all of the tubes because of the great deal of work required to keep them ready for use if the President called on us. But as an A-Ganger, […]Read More Polaris A3 Deploys in Atlantic and Pacific (ALL HANDS 1965)
The Blue and the Gold As I sit here writing the 41 for Freedom story for tonight, it is Easter Weekend. 45 years ago, the USS George Washington Gold Crew had taken over the boat from the Blue crew in Guam and I was enjoying my first taste of freedom in months. That first patrol […]Read More The Blue and the Gold – Sixty Years of Sharing the Sea
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