Thursday, November 01, 2007

Submarine and Artifact Answers

Yesterday, we posed three questions relative to an odd collection of artifacts from 8 famous, Navy ships and the National Defense Service Medal: What Do Their Artifacts Now Have in Common? As of this writing, readers had offered no answers whatever. So, here are the three questions with their answers:

Question #1(a): Name the submarine whose artifacts were incorporated for this special project. (Hint: Three other U.S. submarines have shared the same christening name with the one whose artifacts were actually used).

Answer: The venerable, nuclear submarine USS Seawolf (SSN-575) .

Question #1(b): Why do you suppose that particular submarine's artifacts were chosen?

Answer: USS Seawolf (SSN-575), after exactly 30 years and one day in commission, was decommissioned March 30, 1987. The bronze monument into which Seawolf artifacts were cast was dedicated about 6 months later on the anniversary of the Navy's birthday, October 13, 1987. SSN 575 easily represents the unique feats and harrowing sacrifices of all SSN crews during the Cold War period. In addition, the gesture recalls two earlier submarines (both lost: H-1 with 4 casualties, and SS-197 with all hands), as well as SSN-21, the awesome, new Seawolf.

Question #2: What feature, on display in Washington, D.C. incorporates artifacts from the eight (8) ships? (Hint: Award named for the feature have been presented to distinguished sea service veterans, including: Eddie Albert, Ernest Borgnine, Jonathan Winters, Roger T. Staubach, Tony Curtis, and James A. Michener).

Answer: The Lone Sailor© Statue (photo above) is a composite of the U.S. Navy bluejacket, past, present and future. The founders of the Navy Memorial envisioned this Lone Sailor at 25 years old at most, a senior second class petty officer who is fast becoming a seagoing veteran. He has done it all – fired his weapons in a dozen wars, weighed anchor from a thousand ports, tracked supplies, doused fires, repelled boarders, typed in quadruplicate and mess-cooked, too. He has made liberty call in great cities and tiny villages, where he played tourist, ambassador, missionary to the poor, adventurer, souvenir shopper and friend to new lands.

As part of the casting process, the bronze for The Lone Sailor© was mixed with artifacts from eight U. S. Navy ships, provided by the curator for the Navy in the Naval Historical Center at the Washington Navy Yard. The ships span the Navy's history, yielding small pieces of copper sheeting, spikes, hammock hooks and other fragments from the post-revolutionary frigates Constitution ("Old Ironsides'') and Constellation; the steamer Hartford, flagship of Admiral David G. Farragut in the Civil War era; the battleship USS Maine; the iron-hulled steamer/sailing ship USS Ranger; the World War II-era cruiser USS Biloxi and aircraft carrier USS Hancock, and the nuclear-powered submarine USS Seawolf. One last addition was a personal decoration from today's Navy, one given to sailors in war and peace, the National Defense Service Medal. [emphasis added] Read more about the Navy Memorial and the Submarine Window here.

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At 02 November, 2007 10:31, Blogger reddog said...

I have been drawn to this statue since I first saw a picture of it.I like that it portrays the Bluejacket not in a dress uniform or brandishing weapons or high on a pedestal but standing alone, waiting for his ship, on the pier, a sea bag, likely containing everything he owns, at his side.

Batchelor sailors are literally the bricks and mortar of the fleet. They go anywhere, do anything, for as long as they are needed, living in conditions others would find difficult, for a few dollars a day.

Out in the world, in field, factory or commerce, I find Navy vets wherever I go. They never let me down. We always get the job done.

I'm proud that artifacts from my old ship were cast into this statue. I was a piece of her, now she is a piece of me.

At 02 November, 2007 15:43, Blogger Vigilis said...

Most eloquently spoken, Reddog.


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