Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Sub History.... (all answers) Silent and Strange

For brotherhood of submariners and their guests:
In 1931 a leased, U.S. submarine "Nautilus" attempted a research expedition under the Arctic ice cap. There were accidents, delays and suspected sabotage. On the return voyage, the crew scuttled the ship off the coast of Bergen, Norway. About 27 years later the nuclear submarine Nautilus completed a submerged, 1830 mile voyage under the Arctic ice cap.

What was SSN-571's direction of travel? Skimmer difficulty level answer: See this map

11 crew members received what at the North Pole? Nuke difficulty level. ans. dolphins.

And now the hard part..
What antique documents were carried onboard during SSN-571's voyage?
Honorary Naval Historian difficulty level. ans. selections from the Hunley papers -surviving 1860's documents relating to the first, successful, attack submarine for whose designer (and interim commander) the lead ship (AS-31) of Hunley class tenders was named in1959 .

First correct answerer(s) will be confirmed with ample praise.

Bothenook was remarkably fast and first with accurate answers to the first two questions. He also mentioned the Nautilus's PUC. Here's the skinny: -- A gold block letter N was authorized for wear on the Navy Presidential Unit Citation awarded to the crew of the USS Nautilus (SSN 571) for service between July 22 and August 5, 1958. Bubblehead clarifies the PUC further: every crewman who served on the boat thereafter got to wear the PUC while they were assigned; even the tour guides serving on her now get to wear the PUC ribbon.
Submandave guesses documents associated with Peary's famed trip to the North Pole in 1909.
That would be logical and it may be true, but I have not been unable to verify it. Bothenook
just verified Peary logs for Submandave. Congratulations, Dave, You Are An Honorary Naval Historian! What antique documents (hint: older than 1909) were also onboard during Nautilus's polar voyage? We'll give that another day.


At 29 March, 2005 19:56, Blogger bothenook said...

ok, i'll bite.
571 sailed north from pearl harbor to transit to the pole.
one of the guys i served with used to tell us about the trip. i believe he was one of 11 sailors that earned their dolphins (or at least were presented with them) at 90north. there was a dude that history has forgotten, and he had the distinction of being the first reenlistment at the north pole.
as far as the docs...no clue, but it wouldn't surprise me if it was the original manuscript, or at least a first edition of verne's 20000 leagues under the sea.

well sparky, how'd i do?

At 29 March, 2005 22:34, Blogger Vigilis said...

Bothenook is remarkably fast and very accurate on answers to the first two questions. He still has a chance for a full sweep with the tough one! I had heard Seawolf sailors were handpicked. Were all of them as sharp as this guy?! Check out his blog, this guy's a great chef, too!

At 30 March, 2005 00:34, Blogger bothenook said...

naaa. i sailed with two guys off of the nautilus and here first polar trip, and worked with a third when i got out of the nav. they were always talking about how freaked out they were going under the ice. we modified the seawolf for under ice ops, and spent a lot of time sneaking around under the cap. if i recall correctly, not only were they given a presidential unit citation, but it was made of pure gold, or some other precious metal. that was what they told us to use as a b.s. detector when you heard someone say they'd been onboard 571 on her first trip north. damn, it's been some years since i thought about it. i'll have to cogitate for a while and see if i can knock that ossification loose and come up with what was unique about their PUC, other than it was the first peacetime PUC ever issued. Parche 683 got at least one for her spook stuff. all we ever got was pasty white and afflicted with what we used to lovingly call compression wrinkles (rack face) for our spook stuff.

At 30 March, 2005 01:28, Blogger Bubblehead said...

As far as what was unique about their PUC, there were two things: 1) the ribbon the guys who went to the pole wore came with a distinctive "N" device worn on the ribbon, and 2) every crewman who served on the boat thereafter got to wear the PUC while they were assigned; even the tour guides serving on her now get to wear the PUC ribbon.

At 30 March, 2005 15:33, Blogger submandave said...

I'll try: perhaps documents associated with Peary's famed trip to the North Pole in 1909?

At 30 March, 2005 17:36, Blogger bothenook said...

consensus around here is perry's log of his first arctic trip. dave's got it, if i'm not mistaken

At 01 April, 2005 00:13, Blogger bothenook said...

well hell. i've learned something new about submarine history. thanks


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