The Submarine Veterans of World War II had their 29th reunion in Scottsdale, Arizona, the week of 29 August – 3 September. Over 1400 submariners were on hand with some of the top skippers of WWII adding to the nostalgia and great cameradie which marks these annual affairs. Fearless Freddie Warder appeared to be the senior vet, with Moon Chapple able to get out of his wheelchair — and looking like a good bet for the reunion next year in Chicago, and the following year in Seattle. Other skippers on the scene who played an important part in submarine history were: Slade Cutter, Tom Hogan, Arne Schade, Rosie Kinsella, Eric Barr, Pop Gunn, J.J. Flachsenhar, and B.R. Van Buskirk. A new president, Carl Pace, formerly of the Atule, relieved Bob Moore of the Angler and Porpoise, for a year’s duty. Art Rawson, head of the Sub Vets scholarship program, reported that they’d awarded 52
scholarships of $600 each to the children of submariners, for the college of their choice.
USS Pigeon, a catamaran type submarine rescue vessel, conducted two open ocean 650 foot saturation dives off the coast of California in ’63. The two dives conducted in June and July lasted about 15 days each. 9 days were spent decompressing from 650 foot depths where two dive
teams performed experiments for Scripps Oceanographic Institute. The dives were the deepest performed by any operational U.s. Navy unit, to date.
The latest newsletter from the Naval Underseas Warfare Museum Foundation reports that
the Foundation has received $1,006,000 towards their $~.5M goal, from 16 major companies. And
that a $200,000 grant was received from the Murdock Charitable Trust of Vancouver, “conditional upon construction (at Keyport, Washington) starting by July 31, 1965.” Mention is also made of the availability of an excellent 15-minute film on undersea warfare and the Museum Project to help the Navy obtain a suitable facility for the museum.
The Supreme Court in a unanimous decision in June ruled that military personnel may not bring damage suits against superior officers for alleged constitutional violations. Chief’ Justice Warren E. Burger wrote that the effect of exposing officers to personal liability at the hands of’ those they are charged to command would be to undermine both the “unhesitating and decisive action” required of those officers and an “equally disciplined response by enlisted personnel”.
A recent report written by David E. Kaplan on nuclear accidents stemming from naval reactors
claims that there have been some 37 serious accidents to date. Kaplan says that substantial
amounts of radiation have been released into the environment as a result of these accidents. But
the Navy has subsequently prepared comprehensive comments on each one of Kaplan’s allegations which tend to show that Kaplan’s evaluation of such incidents if not exaggerated at least improperly
show the relationship of released radiation to its effect on the environment. With the Navy
operating 163 reactors — more than twice as many as those opera ted by America’s utility companies,
it would seem that the low incidence of reported nuclear accidents and the low key of such reports
have been their own best arguments to support the Navy’s contention that there has been no release
of radioactivity which has had any significant effect on individuals or the environment.
In July it was reported that China had launched its first nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine, last year. They plan to commission seven more, according to an article in the Japanese daily Asahi, which quotes Captain John Moore, the Editor of Janes Fighting Ships. It was also reported that the Chinese had testfired a ballistic missile from a conventional submarine in October, 1982. But making . a ballistic missile operationally compatible with this new SSBN is expected to take some additional
A Soviet nuclear powered submarine carrying a crew of 90 is reported to have sunk in May, in
the north Pacific off the Kamchatka Peninsula. It was further reported that the submarine hull
had been raised , and that there was no evidence of radioactive contamination. Vigorous rescue
activity had been noted in the area of the sinking prior to the raising of the hull.