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The old Submariner
The old Submariner knows a thing or two about what Submariners are all about. But the definition is generational and the definition has changed a time or two. The original old Submariner remembers clothes smelling of sweat and gasoline. The air was putrid and the battery acid ate right through his clothes. There was only one hatch in and out and the periscope sometimes had fog on the lens which made spotting that tramp steamer coming at you a bit rough. The food was hard tack and often inedible. It isn’t matter much since hull was round and the boat rocked even in the calmest sea.
The newfangled contraptions that replaced his boat were for sissies. Diesel replaced gasoline and there were new machines to clean out the poison form the air. You could stay down longer, the periscope had some nice improvements and all manner of…
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A salute to one of the many unsung heroes of the Cold War:
The USS Casimir Pulaski (SSBN-633)
USS Casimir Pulaski (SSBN-633), a James Madison-class ballistic missile submarine, was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named for Casimir Pulaski (1745–1779), a Polish general who served in the American Revolutionary War.
Lafayette Class Ballistic Missile Submarine: Laid down, 12 January 1963, at the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corp., Groton, CT.; Launched, 1 February 1964; Commissioned, USS Casimir Pulaski (SSBN 633), 14 August 1964; Decommissioned and struck from the Naval Register, 3 July 1994; Disposed of through the Nuclear Powered Ship and Submarine Recycling Program, 21 October 1994 at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, WA.
Specifications: Displacement, Surfaced: 7,250 t., Submerged: 8,250 t.; Length 425′ ; Beam 33′; Draft 32′; Speed, Surfaced/Submerged 20+ kts; Complement 120; Test depth 1,300′; Armament, 16 missile tubes, four 21″ torpedo…
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Warning: Some salty language may have snuck past the censors
There was a Navy training film many years ago called “The Lost Sailor”.
The idea behind the film was for Navy leaders to recognize all the things that could go wrong with a young sailor when they first report on board a ship or submarine. The newly arriving boot was probably fresh from school and this was his first assignment at sea. He reports on board and suddenly gets disillusioned when everyone is too busy to pay any attention to him. In fact, the sailor that ultimately takes him to his berthing assignment is a sub-standard sailor who is only available for such duty because he is on restriction. It doesn’t take long for the squared away recruit to turn into a derelict just like his “mentor”. The entire film is based around leaders not letting this kind of thing happen…
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By: Garland Davis
They say the best ships a sailor serves in are his last one and his next one. How many times have you departed a ship feeling the anticipation of something new? A new challenge awaits. Your old ship has become monotonous and a grind and you find yourself glad to put it behind you. Even as your stride lengthens when you walk away, you feel an underlying regret to be leaving. There are men, and, I suppose in our new, ever changing Navy, women with whom you have shared some rough seas and hard times and some of the best of times. You are going to miss them. But this time, you will keep in touch.
But you eventually lose track. As the years and water pass under the keel, you forget names and which ship. You remember the good times. You’ll start a sea story…
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On one of the pages I follow, a question about the USS Ling caught my attention:
“I’m curious What is so rare about this submarine? What is unique about her that justifies saving her over another similar sub?”
My response proved that the spark is still there:
Your question referred to “another similar sub.” There aren’t many left.
Quantifying the significance for things like the Ling is relies on careful interpretation. Most people might look at her and see either an eyesore, “some war thing,” or scrap value. For folks like Paul, the Ling (in its present state) might represent a colossal failure of an organization to either preserve it or relocate it before the point of problematic return.
I see the Ling as a ghost of a former time when people actually were interested in bringing history to their community… either feisty Vets or inspired civilians who campaigned…
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Recently I was following a post on one of my submarine Facebook pages. The original guy had posted about a lack of recognition. To be fair, he had a lot of supporters and frankly I can’t give him a hard time since I have seen some of this through the years myself.
“Okay I have somewhat of a bitch to air:I have been looking for a new career however when I get the part of the application for Veteran Status I find that I do not fit any of the categories!!!! It simply appears to me that the time I spent on the XXXXXXX does not matter since it was only the Cold War and I didn’t get some little medal for doing what I so proudly volunteered to do – Serve My Country!!! Apparently those of us that served in the 70s – 80s are not a protected status.
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