Contact Us   |    Join   |    Donate


(at SubTraFac dedication of Ramage Hall 2 June 1989)

“On occasions like this I am always reminded that the man who is singled out for recognition has been supported by numerous officers and men of his commands, and they too, deserve recognition by association.

“In my case, I’d like to cite my Torpedo Officer (L 1) Frank Allcorn. It was Frank’s imagination and initiative that made it possible for us to reload torpedoes while in action. It was the secret of our success, and no question about it.

“In the case of our war patrol on the P ARCHE, (for which VADM Ramage receil’ed the Congressional Medal of Honor) we quickly got in and sank two ships, completely unloading the forward tubes. But we still had work to do. There was still a big transport to be looked into. The problem was that we had to close to short range, and swing the stern tubes to bear, in order to be sure that we could get hits with the slow running electric torpedoes. We had more than our hands full. After two attempts to reach a suitable attack position, it had to be aborted because of enemy gunfire. About that time, Frank Allcorn came to the bridge and requested permission to reload two torpedoes forward. This, at that time, was considered complete heresy. It had never been attempted or even considered before because of the dangers involved. But he assured me that he had the bunks all cleared out of the forward torpedo room and the crew was standing by, ready to go to work. And on that basis, I gave him my permission. And within a short time, we had two reloads ready to fire and were able to drive straight in and get the third ship with no difficulty, leaving the escorts completely confused and bewildered.

“I cite this example because I want to emphasize the importance of imagination and initiative as essential to complete success, not only in combat, but in our everyday endeavors. I would like to suggest that these two watchwords become the criteria of this new training command, and that they will leave a mark on all those who pass through these doors …. Throughout my career, the two watchwords that I have cited — imagination and initiative — are certainly essential to good submarine operations.”

Naval Submarine League

© 2022 Naval Submarine League