Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Screen Doors? No, but at one time, U.S. Submarines Did Have Door Mats Next to Their Main Hatches

Vigilis reported to his second nuclear sub assignment during the relatively early days of nuclear submarining. In fact, because Red China had just tested a large nuclear weapon that released radioactive particles (fallout) to upper atmospheric winds, all U.S. nuclear subs had to take an unusual precaution to prevent crews from tracking radiation inside (which would confound normal radiation safety measurements).

Unnecessary hatches are typically closed when use is not anticipated. What precaution was taken then? Contrary to a popular housekeeping myth, we never used screen doors; we simply wiped our shoes on approved doormats for the next month or two.

Now, the source of alleged fallout is Japan. Incidentally, those wondering about USS Tigerfish (SSN-509) can find more here.

Submarines are always silent and strange.



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