Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Editors Deservedly Zinged in Latest Submarine Error

In a main passageway of the SSN-575 boat was a brushed aluminum placard listing all of her commanding officers from earliest to latest. I served (sometimes briefly) under four of these COs and met the boat's commissioning C.O. at a ship's reunion afterward.

James Earl Carter's name appeared nowhere on the placard. Carter (Annapolis '47), a submarine officer, had run for Georgia's governor by that time. Everyone in the crew and most on the SubBase Groton knew of Carter's submarine service and early connection to a particular nuclear boat. After Carter became U.S. President, his connection to USS Seawolf was both embellished;

He rises quickly in the Navy, becoming senior officer of a nuclear submarine. ... After six years in the service, Lieutenant Carter earned one of the most coveted posts in the Navy: senior officer of the USS Seawolf, on the vanguard of America's nuclear defense program. PBS American Experience - The Presidents - JIMMY CARTER - NAVAL CAREER .

And clarified:

Detached from Pomfret on 1 February 1951, Carter was assigned as Engineering Officer for the precommissioning detail for USS K-1 (SSK 1). K-1,the first postwar submarine built, was under construction by Electric BoatDivision, General Dynamics Corporation, Groton, Connecticut. After K-1'scommissioning on 10 November 1951, Carter served as Executive Officer,Engineering Officer, and Electronics Repair Officer. During this tour he also qualified for command of a submarine. ... Carter was preparing to become the engineering officer for the nuclear power plant to be placed in USS Seawolf (SSN575), one of the first submarines to operate on atomic power. He assisted insetting up training for the enlisted men who would serve on Seawolf. ... After his father's death in 1953, Carter resigned from the Navy to return to Georgia to manage the family interests. DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER; Lieutenant James EarleCarter, Jr., USN.

So, fellow submariners, now you better appreciate the details behind the point a retired Captain made recently in an article the editor gave the misleading title: Carter didn’t qualify for nuke submarines;
While President Carter was a competent and qualified submarine officer, he never commanded a diesel submarine, attended nuclear power school or completed nuclear PCO training, therefore he was never 'qualified to command a nuclear submarine.'
To which one Michael Fain replied ... the ZINGER:

Actually, it is technically wrong to say Carter never commanded a nuclear submarine. As C-in-C he commanded all of our subs.
Bravo! That certainly included Seawolf. By the way, after reading the Naval Historical Center's text above and examining the photos, have you detected any error? Confused? That is because ... Submarines are always silent and strange.



At 07 September, 2008 15:51, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess you could say the same for Slick Willy... it still doesn't take away their scumbagginess.


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