Defense News, in the April 1-7 issue, published three articles by Robert Holzer, each of which discussed some aspect of the history and present status of the Naval Nuclear Power Program. The articles appeared to strive to present, in a balanced fashion, the diverse views of various people who have had some relationship, either briefly or over a longer period of time, with that office and its director.
Naval Reactors is the one outfit, certainly in the Navy, probably in the Defense Department, maybe in the entire government, that has reached and maintained a pinnacle of success only desired by other organizations.
There have been some others that reached for and even achieved such success for a relatively brief period; but as is frequently the American way, they were then scaled back, and asked to continue the same level of accomplishment with unreasonable funding levels and reduced resources.
In this case, Nuclear Reactors is an organization with wide ranging accountability over the highly technical and potentially dangerous field of nuclear power. To appreciate bow that responsibility can be diluted we need only observe other nuclear programs. The obvious and frequent comparison has been with the old Soviet Union. I would suggest that those interested also glance at our own Department of Energy and the sad state of any attempt at modernizing and supporting the U .S commercial nuclear enterprise.
There are several facts that are germane to any understanding of Nuclear Reactors today:
The Navy’s nuclear power capabilities include aircraft carriers, the nation’s most recognized means of rapidly projecting power. Today, 8 of 12 carriers are nuclear powered; in five years, 10 of 12 will be nuclear powered.
The Navy’s contribution to the nation’s strategic deterrent force, Trident strategic missiles, is the most survivable and cost effective leg of the strategic triad, according to the General Accounting Office’s 1993 review.
The Navy’s nuclear powered attack submarines are typically the first U.S. forces to arrive on scene and the last to depart. Frequently. they arrive and depart with nothing else happening, and nobody aware of the fact.
Naval Reactors, in designing the new SSN engineering plant, has achieved the Seawolf level quieting in 25 percent less space, reversing a long standing trend. Additionally, the plant will require 30 percent fewer construction hours than the Seawolf and 20 percent fewer than the Improved Los Angeles class.
A major accomplishment is that the reactor core is now a life of-the-ship core (30 plus years), thus precluding expensive refueling overhauls.
In March, the director of Naval Nuclear Propulsion testified before the House Appropriations energy and water development subcommittee. In the prepared statement, he carefully defined those factors that had enabled the project to be successful, over the almost 50 years since it was first established.
“Foremost. .. a clear, focused mission defined in Executive Order 12344 … responsibility for nuclear propulsion plants from their inception to their disposal, i.e., design, construction, operation, operator-training, maintenance and disposal of the reactor plants, plus reactor safety, radiological control and related environmental and health matters.
“People come to the program and stay, knowing that we have a long-term commitment as an organization and as individuals, [which] causes a high sense of responsibility.
“Nuclear Reactors is responsible for 20 percent more reactors than the entire U .S commercial nuclear power generating industry (130 vs. 109) and almost the same number as the next three largest commercial nuclear power generating nations in the world combined (France, Japan and the United Kingdom).”
Daniel L. Cooper
Retired, Vice Admiral
SUBVETS OF WWII & DOLPHIN SCHOLARSHIP FUND
As we attend various meetings of our NSL, we hear about the Dolphin Scholarship Fund and what an excellent job they are doing for the children of submariners and those of other units of the Submarine Force.
The United States Submarine Veterans of World War II have bad a large scholarship program for over 30 odd years and it is still some of the mortar which holds us together. As we grow older and our number of candidates for scholarships began to decrease over the years we looked around for a very suitable organization to take over our project.
The Dolphin Scholarship program was the most natural repository for our project. They worked with our scholarship director very closely and we educated our membership as to what the Dolphin Scholarship was all about.
Our general membership voted full strength to tum over our program, including our finances, to the Dolphin Scholarship Director for continued operation.
It has been over three years that this turnover has been completed and the Dolphin Scholarship Director and his staff have done a masterful job of putting our program into the computer world and running the program very smoothly.
Our decision to join with the Dolphin Fund enriched their fund by a six figure amount. In the year 2000, or perhaps before, they will take over complete control of our funds and will include a scholarship or scholarships granted by the U.S. Submarine Veterans of World War II to dependents of the members of the Submarine Force.
Our name and organization will reign forever, as long as there is a submarine scholarship program. We could ask for nothing more. We salute the Dolphin Scholarship Program and wish them long life and continued success. Keep a zero bubble.
7525 University Avenue
La Mesa, Cf 91941-4801
SUBMARINE LIFEGUARD LEAGUE MEMORIAL
I am Chairman of the United States Submarine Veterans, Inc. Memorial Committee that is developing a Lifeguard League memorial in tribute to U.S. submarines that have rescued American aviators during war and peace.
The memorial is in the spirit of our creed to perpetuate the memory of our shipmates so that their dedication, deeds and sacrifices be a constant source of motivation toward greater accomplishments. The memorial design depicts a submarine rescuing downed aviators, diamond etched on a black granite stone, 60 inches high and 96 inches wide. Flanking this scene will be the Aviators Wings on one side and Submarine Dolphins on the other, with each submarine and the number of aviators rescued listed below. The lower center panel will include the history and mission of the Submarine Lifeguard League.
Documentation for submarine rescues of aviators during World War II is readily available, however we are lacking reliable information of such rescues for the periods prior and subsequent to the Second World War. We are in need of any information concerning submarine rescues of aviators during these periods. It is our goal to list the name of each submarine participating in rescuing downed aviators and the number of airmen rescued.
Any information that Naval Submarine League members can provide concerning submarine rescues of aviators will be greatly appreciated.
Thomas E. Gilbert, Jr.
5141 East Lake Road
Milton, FL 32583-7111
I would like to thank all those who responded to my article on FIDO, Mk 24 torpedo, which was published in the January issue of THE SUBMARINE REVIEW. Many have contacted me in appreciation of the article and several have offered to pool our resources, such as Dr. Fred Milford, also a torpedo contributor in the April REVIEW issue.
Dr. Milford was correct in bis letter (April issue) stating that others beside the Harvard Underwater Sound Lab (BUSL) were involved with the development of the Mk 24 torpedo. However, the major thrust of this torpedo was the homing system which was developed by BUSL with funding from Admiral Louis McKeehan of Mine Warfare in 1942. Torpedo shells and other standard parts were obtained from other sources, such as GE, and other facilities, such as Bell Labs, were included to produce the torpedo. The first 50 Mk 24 torpedoes were produced and tested by BUSL according to a BUSL engineer’s documents. As the initial development progressed, Bell Labs came on board to implement and produce these torpedoes. Bell Labs made changes in the transducer type and location and some other production changes. HUSL was also developing active homing systems in addition to the development of passive homing concepts and prototypes. There was a cooperative effort by many scientists and engineers during that time, however, the initial funding was given to HUSL to develop the MINE.
Mr. Polmar in his letter (April issue) repeats one of my original comments that the term FIDO was used to confuse German Intelligence. That was only one of the factors. Another factor as indicated in my article was to maintain the work at HUSL instead of a torpedo facility. This program was sponsored by the Mine Warfare office, which was another factor in calling the Mk 24 a mine. Mr. Polmar was correct in stating that the Mk 24 “dove to a pre-determined depth” prior to beginning a passive circle search. I had intentionally eliminated several minute details, such as “the dive to a pre-determined depth” from my original article for brevity in publication. I thought that the concept of passive circle search would be sufficient for a description. I do have a copy of the schematics and operational documentation of the Mk 24 torpedo, if anyone is interested in technical and scientific details.
BUILDINGS HONOR SUBMARINERS
Dear Admiral Rindskopf,
I have enjoyed your articles on Buildings Honor Submariners and offer these as possible addenda.
I think that the FBM Training building at the Charleston Naval Base was named after Admiral Richard Stanislaus Edwards. He was born on 18 February 1885 and graduated with the USNA Class of 1907. I am pretty sure he was the Commanding Officer of the Submarine Base, New London in 1939 or 1940 when my mother and I spent a couple of days with them.
RADM Edwards was Commander Submarines, Adantic Fleet on 7 December 1941 when he was called to be Admiral King’s Deputy Chief of Staff before the year was out. He spent the war in Washington and became Deputy COMINCH-Deputy CNO to Admiral King. (Fleet Admiral King – A Naval Record by King and Whitehall refers.)
There is an Eadie Hall (Bachelor Enlisted Quarters) at the Naval Education and Training Center, Newport, RI. A placque inside reads:
Dedicated to the memory of Thomas Eadie of Newport, RI Chief Gunner’s Mate USN
Awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor 18 December 1927. During diving operations to rescue survivors of USS S-4 which had been sunk off Provincetown, Massachusetts, Chief Eadie risked his life under the most adverse conditions to free a hopelessly fouled diver. After more than two hours of extremely dangerous labor, he succeeded and brought him to the surface.
I don’t know if Chief Eadie was attached to the Submarine Force or not, but I don’t mind claiming him.
Thanks for your articles.
Robert B. Connely
Editor’s Note: At the Annual Symposium on June 5, Rear Admiral Jerry Ellis, COMSUBPAC, noted that the re.furbished Submarine Sanctuary in Japan is to be named Fluckey Hall.