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May 20, 1994

The Honorable T. Penny
U .S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 29515

Dear Congressman Penny,

Thank you for providing a copy of HR 3958, the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1994.

I write in strong objection to the military force reductions directed in Title II.

Providing for the common defense is a basic purpose of the federal government. The size of the armed forces must be based on evaluation of foreign policy requirements and the international threats faced by the nation, not by budget-driven fiats oblivious to reality. Although this nation still faces significant threats to its national security and the President seems willing to use our military at the drop of a UN request, he and his Administration have already cut the armed forces too much, too fast. On top of the cuts, the President routinely diverts Department of Defense assets to other purposes, as evidenced by Presidential Determinations 94-20 and 94-21. To now propose further reductions that appear to be randomly selected out-of-the-air is highly irresponsible. As I have stated in letters to other elected officials, this country will enter the history books alongside other former great nations the instant the President directs the Joint Chiefs to accomplish a mission and they have to respond “With what?”

The Section 202 requirement to single-crew ballistic missile submarines and reduce the number at sea appears, on the surface, to be reasonable, given that the President, for national security, can waive the requirement. In reality, by passage of this requirement, Congress would sign the death-knell for the readiness of our one remaining secure strategic deterrent force. I doubt that this President has the foggiest idea of what constitutes national security.

The effectiveness of the submarine ballistic missile system depends heavily on having trained, experienced personnel immediately available. Once the pool of trained personnel is reduced, it will be impossible to reconstitute the force to the levels needed in time of hostilities. In 1812, it may have been possible to impress sailors off the docks of Baltimore to man a frigate; to man a Trident requires intelligent sailors whose educational pipeline is in excess of a year. I doubt that the tyrants of the world are going to ignore the lessons of Kuwait-if you are going to invade, don’ t give the enemy a chance to assemble his forces .

The strategic weapons in Russia and the new countries formed by the breakup of the Soviet Union have yet to be reduced in significant numbers and the region is politically volatile and unstable. The number of nations with ballistic missiles and nuclear warheads continues to grow. We are fools if we, at the same time, make drastic cuts in our ability to field a credible armed forces or a credible strategic deterrent.

I urge you to consider carefully the implications and consequences of Congress dictating force structures independent of the threat to our national security. It is time to stop looking at the defense budget as a great untapped source of spending cuts.

John D’Aloia, Jr.



I was saddened to hear that Paul Schratz had died 28 February 1994. Paul was my first skipper in submarines and the one from whom I learned all the qualities a great commanding officer should possess. Paul was a natural leader as well as a very talented man in most disciplines.

Paul had a touch of ego, but could do all the things he said he could do. He led the way, and his wardrooms and crews would follow. He was not a preacher; he was a doer blessed with a tremendous sense of humor.

With a violin or a cocktail, Paul made the most of his every hour. A magnificent manager of time, he seemed to accomplish so very much during his life. He made the difficult look easy.

It was hard to tell Paul’s priorities; he was so good at every-thing . Those who knew and loved him will vouch that Henrietta and the children came first. Submarines, the violin and knowledge came second .

To know him was to love him.

Ted Davis



23 May 1994

To Whom It May Concern:

We have been interested for a number of years in the evidently rare phenomenon popularly known as ball lightning-the production of luminous balls during thunderstorms which have been observed to persist for several seconds. We have also heard reports that luminous fireballs were occasionally observed within electric-powered submarines when the large battery banks were accidentally short-circuited. We are very interested in the possibility of getting more detailed reports of this phenomenon from those who had first hand experience on electric subs. Would it be possible to run a short request in a future issue of SUBMARINE REVIEW for such information?

Thanks in advance.


Earle Williams
Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA 02039-4307

I was assigned to USS SEAFOX (SS 402) while it was under construction in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. I served aboard her until the end of the war.

Do you know of any way I might contact any crew members. Thanks,

Eugene F. Cooper
883 Bowen Avenue
San Jose, CA 95123
(408) 578-6000


I am a professional naval writer and historian researching a project on the special missions conducted during the Opn Torch North Africa landings of 8 November 1942.

One of those missions was conducted by USS BARB, when she launched Army LT Willard G. Duckworth and his rubber boat crew, who were to paddle to the Safi breakwater and signal in the destroyers COLE and BERNADOU for their special missions-landing 47th Infantry assault troops.

For research purposes, I’d like to get in touch with any BARB crewmen who might be members of your League to obtain their recollections of that Opn Torch mission, ideally the 1st LT or someone directly involved with preparing and helping to launch LT Duckworth and his rubber boat crew.

Information is also requested about all circumstances involved in the mission and members of Duckworth’s men.

Any help you can provide on this matter would be much appreciated.

Thank you very much.

John B. Dwyer
430 Westbrook
Dayton, OH 45415
{513) 890-5654


15 June 1994

Bob Rice was my first wartime skipper in DRUM (SS 228). He died in Vermont at age 90 after a long bout with Alzheimers, and was buried in the Naval Academy cemetery on 13 June 1994. He was a member of the Class of 1927.

I had the honor of delivering a eulogy at the service, and found much satisfaction in telling tales of days long gone. How Bob, one of the more senior of the early skippers, exhibited such skill in handling a periscope; how he brought finesses to attacks, and how he persevered against the many unknowns in the early days of the war. {How good were the Japanese? What was a close depth charge? And how best to evade an enemy you could not hear?)

He completed DRUM’s first three patrols and then commissioned PADDLE (SS 263), making two more. He was awarded two Navy Crosses for his service in DRUM.

I give him much credit for such success as I enjoyed as a submariner.

Mike Rindskopf
C.O. DRUM 1944

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