The eulogy to Frank Lynch in the October SUBMARINE REVIEW doesn’t begin to describe the importance to the Navy of this truly innovative thinker. I was fortunate to work with him at Electric Boat Co. in the Advanced Engineering Planning section — and to help develop some of his highly creative ideas. Recalling a few of his projects can give one a better idea of the stature of this submarine-dedicated man:
- He proposed a tube-launched missile with nuclear warhead, first as a strike weapon, then as an ASW weapon, and saw the idea brought to frui-tion with the production of the SUBROC nuclear ASW weapon.
- He pioneered the submarine integrated fire control concept, forcing a shift from analog to digital to make it feasible — and then was instrumental in making it happen.
- He was the rather of the K-boat concept (Jimmy Carter served in one) and later pushed the gas-turbine-powered conventional submarine which never materialized although it had some very big plusses. He also proposed and conceptually designed a monitor-type submarine with 11 feet of syntactic foam between the outer and inner hull — submarine which would be invulnerable to the largest of conventional warheads, whether bombs, torpedoes or mines.
- His political/military sense was unusual. As an avid subscriber of the Peking Daily, his studied readings led him to urge a rapprochement with Red China well before President Nixon’s overtures. He saw this act as a viable offensive against Soviet worldwide imperialism. Similarly for strategic weapons, he was an early advocate of the “zero option.”
His loss was a great loss to the Navy.
John s. Leonard
In the book review of WAHOO in the October 1987 issue, THOR asks rhetorically what produced [WAHOO’s] sensational results. Specifically, was it Horton’s personality . . . leadership . . . tactios? Let me give my answer.
The change in WAHOO after Norton took command was instantaneous and dramatic. Unwarranted caution, hesitancy, self-doubt and lack of trust in officers and men were replaced by aggressiveness, positiveness, belief in self and faith in those who manned WAHOO. How did Morton do it? Simply by stamping his personality on every officer and enlisted man, a personality that radiated valor, commitment, professionalism, loyalty, patriotism and optimism. When these personal traits were put to the test, Morton was not found wanting.
I know no better way to achieve results; in essence, to lead.
Rafael C. Benitez
’87 FACT BOOK
In the ’87 FACT BOOK p. 31 — if you ever republish in another year — I suggest you revise our list of Aces. I realize some postwar figures are bound to be inaccurate — and are. Clay Blair, good as his dope seems, has missed a patrol or two. Some JANAP stuff is inaccurate. ADM Chick Clarey has found 2 more sinkings by PINTADO that were never credited, etc.
THE SUBMARINE OFFICER’S MANUAL
I have just completed a preliminary outline for “The Submarine Officer’s Manual.” The manual will present a young submarine officer with an overview of what it takes to be a successful submarine commander. The manual would represent the type of basic document that I wish someone had given me about the time I put in my request for submarine duty.
I want our young officers to focus their efforts on becoming submarine commanding officers from their first days at sub-school, or even prior to that. Then I want them to realize that to do that they should be WARRIORS with some added attributes which will make them able to take the command role as a leader of their submarine team. I also want them to know, right from the start, that the next naval war may well be a nuclear war. If they aren’t prepared for that they should stay back in Peoria and run for mayor, manage the local grain mill, or sell gasoline. I also want them to realize what it will be like out there at sea, with ‘ no one to give them directions, repair the air compressors, stop the leak in the engine room, bale out the flooded motor room, and get things working again with all major electrical circuits grounded.I want them to contemplate the pleasure, pride and excitement that comes with success in battle.To accomplish this, I want to provide vivid descriptions of casualties and successes from WW II experiences. These young officers must be made to realize that to make attacks and handle major casualties they will have to know the boat in detail as well as many other things, and they will have to see that their subordinates, both officer and enlisted, know their stuff. In short, they must be the owner, trainer, manager, and also the captain of the football team. And sometimes they must be the water boy too.
William P. Gruner
This has turned into a month of memories of submarines in World War II. It started with my receipt of Dick O’Kane’s latest book, WAHOO, and then “Thor’s” review of WAHOO in October’s SUBMARINE REVIEW.
I take exception to Thor’s comment: “Of the thirty-seven American submarines lost without survivors during World War II, only WAHOO’s end is known,” — an apparent paraphrase of O’Kane’s statement on page 333 of WAHOO i.e. “Sadly, from thirty-seven other submarines, bringing the total to fifty-two, there were no survivors, and their brave stories, except for WAHOO’s, we shall never know.” Loss of one additional boat, and a great one at that, HARDER, with Sam Dealey in command, was quite clearly established.
A review of the report of HAKE’s 6th patrol (with co Frank Hayler) shows:
8/23/44 2308 Rendezvous with HARDER. Exchanged information. Made plans to finish off DD damaged by HADDO. HADDO had left area for resupply.
8/24/44 0453 Dive for submerged approach.
0532 Pinging at 180 T.
0554 Sighted tops of 2 ships at 183 T and 173 T.
0622 2 ships on course 030 speed 14 .
0636 Target-range 6500. They zigged in-to Dasol Bay. Escort stayed out-side.
0646 Broke off attack.
0647 Sighted HARDER’s periscope at 700 yards, bearing 000 T. Changed course to 180 T. Heard three pings from escort – took a look. Escort broad on our port quarter – angle on the bow 45P and swinging toward us at 2000 yards.
0710 Went deep, rigged for silent running. Escort apparently has two targets and is confused.
0728 15 rapid depth charges – none close.
0732 Took evasive action. They seem to have us located.
0830 Joined by another escort. He tracked us but no depth charges.
0955 Screws faded.
1030 Secured from silent running.
We never heard from HARDER after the above encounter and I believe that the depth charging at 0728 is conclusive enough proof. The aggressive tactics of Sam Dealey were such as to place him in harm’s way.