Saturday, November 19, 2005

An extended response to THE Michael's post regarding submarines

My father served 18 years in the navy. From 58-69 as a sonarman on various subs. I remember the names of some of them, the George Washington, the Bugara, and the Guardfish. From 69-76 he was in naval intellegence serving as a (I believe he called it) spook. During those times it was difficult since we were never told the name of the subs he was on. He has never talked about what he actually did.
I went on a tour of a sub in Portland, Oregon with him once. The Blueback, I believe it was called. It was featured in the movie "Hunt for Red October". He said he had gone on one tour aboard her. It was very interesting seeing a sub on which he had served. He pointed out were he slept, his work station, were he prefered to sit in the mess hall while playing cribbage. He said that compared to the diesel subs on which he had trained it was very spacious. I doubt I could spend a month or more cooped up in that sucker with a full crew .
In 76 the navy was downsizing and offered him early retirement. He left the navy as a Senior Chief Petty Officer. I have always been very proud of my father for his service to our country. It would have been nice if he were free to talk about the things he did but I understand that he swore not to discuss it and I respect that.


Blogger teri said...

It takes a stong man to keep the secrets...It was for your safty as well.
I know that I couldn't be in a sub for very long...Just that one at Disneyland and I was freaking out, but then again maybe it was way too small. Nice post

8:34 AM  
Blogger The Michael said...

Thanks for your extended response to my post, Lights, it was a pleasure. Considering his service was within the same timeframe as mine, it is entirely possible we could have crossed paths, probably unknowingly. Yea, I know all about the spooks, enough of them rode with us. I remember USS George Washington well, as it was responsible for our delay in returning from a Med tour, dammit! lol
After 6 months away from home, that relatively quick trip across the pond can seem like an eternity.
As for spaciousness, we fast attack guys were always somewhat jealous of the HOTELS that carried the nuclear missles, I mean, these guys could actually JOG around those missle tubes while we didn't even have room for a treadmill! Or did they even MAKE treadmills back then?

8:56 AM  
Blogger shandi said...

That would have been very cool to walk aboard the same sub he served on. I toured the same ship that my brother served on in Desert Storm, the Tripoli. Later during the war, it hit a mine and had a 8ft. hole blown into it's side. I felt deeply connected to him at that time, picturing him on board... in his bed... or at his post.

9:43 AM  

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