Editor’s Note: VADM Ken Carr, a former ComSublant and a two-tour veteran of NAUTILUS, was asked to speak at this year’s Submarine History Seminar at the Navy Memo-rial. It is a distinct pleasure for THE SUBMARINE RE-VIEW to be able to present this first-person account of the beginnings of nuclear submarining from such an eminent practitioner of the art.
I figured the first two speakers would take up most of the time so I really didn’t have to prepare much. Then I thought, “What if they didn’t?” So I prepared too much so you’re going to have to listen to it.
As Arnold Palmer said a couple of days ago, “Can you really believe it’s been 50 years?”
My first connection with this was in sub school when Admiral Rickover came up to promote nuclear power. He was then a Captain. He gave his little talk. All the senior wartime submariners were sitting in the front row and when it came time for questions one of them raised his hand and said, “When you get this reactor started how are you going to stop it?” And Rickover said, “You’re going to tum the switch to off’.
But I, being in Submarine School at that time said, “You never want to go to the first one. They’ll have all kinds of troubles. You want to put in for the second one.” Having established my credibility with that, I’ll tell you another little story to further establish my credibility. When NAUTILUS crew was invited up to Electric Boat to critique their ideas regarding a missile submarine by cutting SCORPION in half and adding missile tubes, they asked for comments. When I was weapons officer we completed a mine plant in NAUTILUS and a torpedo room well over knee deep in water because of the trouble with buoyancy and being able to keep the submarine submerged while we were getting rid of all that weight. So I said, “Sixteen tons each and sixteen missiles, and you’re going to shoot them vertically, submerged, and still stay submerged? It will never work.” So now you understand that what I think is not always right! Back to how I made it to NAUTILUS.
I applied for the Nuclear Power Program after two plus years on BLACK.FIN and was immediately rejected. The first class was six students. They needed five people so one flunked. The second class, which I was in, was nine students. They needed ten or 11 guys so we all passed. Technically, I think two guys passed but we all made it out. I went back to BLACKFIN and made my WestPac run and when I came back I had orders to NAUTILUS, and it said you’ll go to NAUTILUS as a non-nuclear trained officer as the ninth or tenth officer. I picked up my Supply Department orders and said, “I’ll go be the Supply Officer probably.” I arrived and there was the Exec and myself and another officer; my classmate, and all the non-nuclear people like the cooks, radiomen, stewards and the torpedomen. We had six weeks at Bettis so we could get to spell nuclear, then we went out to Idaho so that we could wander around the plant and not be afraid of the pipes and valves and all that. So after that three-month course we went back to NAUTILUS in time for the launching. I was snowed-in in Virginia and missed the launch.
An aside, when I first got to Bettis for this little exercise we had to be in civilian clothes because we were going to school there and we weren’t supposed to be any high ranking or low ranking guys, we were all just students. So I was in my sport coat and my string tie, being a Kentuckian, and I was in the chow line and Commander Turnbaugh, who was running this little operation up there, came up and tapped me on the shoulder and said, “We take this program very seriously. I don’t expect to see that tie anymore.” And I thought, “What kind of a program am I in here? Am I in the right place?”
When you talk about the people in the submarine, we got to the ship, the ship went in commission with one Commander, eight Lieutenants, two Lieutenant (jg)s, one Warrant Officer, and every enlisted man on board, save one, was qualified in submarines. So that crew was specifically picked and challenged.
The words “Underway on Nuclear Power” were not spoken . The message from NAUTILUS was sent by flashing light from NAUTILUS to the ASR who then relayed it to SUBLANT by some means. In the first place the officer that drafted the message was the communicator and he wrote, “Underway at 1100 on nuclear power”. He brought the message to the Captain on the bridge for release, and the Captain crossed out 1100 and said, “The CNO told us to get underway at 1100. We don’t have to tell him we did that.” So when you see that message you’ll see that 1100 has been crossed out and the message says “Underway on nuclear power.” I was the gunnery officer then responsible for the line-handlers, and I was not going to be the person who was going to hold up being underway at 1100 on nuclear power, so at every line that day we had a fire axe and if the lines happened to snag we were going to cut them. We were going to be underway at 1100 on nuclear power, in any event and I wasn’t going to be the one to hold it up. Fortunately we didn’t have to use them. But I ended up with a nickname from that- “Careful Ken” that turned out later to be added to the words “Cautious Communicator.”
On the sea trial, we went out when it was stormy weather and came back in with the deck broken. We had taken a big wave over our teak deck and it crashed through alongside the sail. We had an aluminum superstructure, and that was supposed to be insulated from the hull and we were supposed to have one ohm resistance between the superstructure and the hull. Well you can imagine trying to get one ohm on a salt water environment between the hull and the superstructure. It didn’t work but when we got in with all that wreckage on the deck, which was about this big- a big hole in the deck- they started making cribbage boards and little plaques that said, “Taken from the deck of the NAUTILUS on its underway . . . ” If you put those things end to end you could pave a road from New York to Washington, D.C .. There are a lot of those little plaques and cribbage boards around.
Admiral Wilkinson’s first goal was, “We’ve got to get this crew trained.” So we went out on shakedown- first we did 50 dives. We got up one morning and it was diving day. We were going to train everybody to dive and surface, so we did 50 dives in one day and the thing about nuclear power is you didn’t have to worry about running out of air for blowing the tanks. You could run the air compressors all the time. You know, you could go up and down like a cork. So we all learned to dive.
They next day was torpedo shoot day. We shot seven torpedoes, and now most people don’t realize that, without an ASR along in those days, you had to recover your own torpedo. You shot it, then you went out and found it, and then you put a diver in the water who put a big cable around it. In the meantime, you were rigging this gear on the deck and you reached over and plucked it out of the water and put it back in the ship. And then you had to store all that gear and dive again and go make another run. So a seven torpedo shoot, the seventh torpedo we shot, we had made ready onboard and shot it again, so the seventh one was a res hoot of the first one and we were one tired bunch of puppies, I’ll te11 you.
Angles and Dangles was Admiral Wilkinson’s favorite fun. Our planesman could not stand watch on the planes until they were well trained. Of course any distinguished visitor could sit on the planesman’ seat in two minutes. I mean it didn’t take anything to qualify those guys. They knew how to do it. So we would go up and down a lot. But NAUTILUS had a very unique capability. Captain Wilkinson would put the boat over in a 30 degree down angle at 20 knots and then tell his planesman, “Put the planes on zero.” And they’d put the planes on zero and it would level out just above test depth. And so he would say, “See, it works very easy. You don’t have to worry about controls. You’ve just to be careful.” We did that for lots of times for lots of people.
Interestingly enough, one of the things that we did on NAUTILUS nobody had ever done. We could run submerged at high speeds for a long time-even the newest class of diesels ran submerged at high speed for at the most 30/40 minutes- NAUTILUS ran for hours. Well, the first thing we found out was you couldn’t talk to anybody in the torpedo room. The room bounced up and down. You could almost see under the torpedoes. I mean we were vibrating something awful. We were trying to figure out what was causing that. In addition we kind of vibrated sideways.The Trigger class had had the same problem when they were running, so they called up a professor from MIT or Webb Institute; one of those naval architects.
He came down, sat in the wardroom with his cup of coffee and watched it a little while. He said, “Cut about twelve inches or so off the back of the sail and make it round.” They did that on the Trigger class. It worked like a channel solved their problem. So when NAUTILUS was designed , the same mod was done. However we were vibrating sideways.
They called that same guy. He came down and sat in our wardroom, watched his cup of coffee and said, .. You’ve got to put that sharp thing back on the end of the sail. They put it back on the end of the sail, solved the problem.
But the torpedo room problem was really serious. I mean it was really bad and we were worried about it, and we finally found that if we put air in the tanks it changed it. So we experimented. We’d go into the drydock. We’d fill some tanks with water and we found out that if we welded up the flood holes, and put water in the tanks and went to sea, the problem went away.
However with the flood ports welded, you couldn’t blow them. I didn’t like that very much, but that was one of the experiments. We finally figured it out. What was happening was with the openings in the bottom of the tanks at high speed, we were getting a Hemholtz Resonator effect. We had a pipe organ going through the water and so we were putting pressure in there and the pressure in the tanks was enough to rupture the hull of the tanks. The plating on the outside of the tanks actually had eight foot splits in them. So that’s why everybody now has baffles on the bottom of their ballast tanks. So we did a little bit of experimentation while we were checking out the impact of high speeds for long periods of time.
Captain Slade Cutter was Chief of Staff and Aide to SubLant at the time we were training. Admiral Watkins was going to ride the boat. So we were going to take him by highline from an ASR. We got out to sea and Slade Cutter was going to make a trial run to make sure this works alright, he looks over from the ASR who was to provide and first thing we know we got a flashing light saying, “NAUTILUS provide”, meaning, “You guys rig it and send us the highline.” Well we were trained to do that and we knew how to do it, but on the ASR it’s a lot easier than it is trying to do it on a submarine. Anyway, we got that set up; rigged, brought him over, didn’t get him wet and got him on deck. He explained, “I looked around at those ASR guys and I decided they wouldn’t care if I got wet or not and I knew you guys would.”
The first thing that was going to cause us to have to come back to port if we were to go out and stay as long as we could without coming in, was lube oil. We had lube oil leaks and we just didn’t seem to have enough lube oil to keep the ship running. We were thinking about converting a fresh water tank to a lube oil tank and it was kind of a serious problem, and then we got a Machinist’s Mate transferred from surface ships. Up ’til then we only had Motor Machinist’s Mates, as we used to call them, or Enginemen as they became to be called, and diesel Sailors, and this Chief Machinist’s Mate came aboard from a destroyer and he looked around and he said, “My God.” He got his rag out and started wiping up oil and fixing the leaks, and the first thing you know we weren’t using any lube oil at all. He saved our day because we really didn’t know a lot about steam plants and how to best maintain them, but he taught us a lot.
Atmosphere control was going to be a major problem if you stay down a long time. You had to worry about oxygen, CO and C02. We used to say about TRITON-who had a CO, and the XO was an ex-CO, and the Engineer was an ex-CO-we said the trouble with TRITON is they’ve got too much CO in the boat. Well, we too had a lot of CO, but a different kind. We had to figure out how to remove it. They invented CO burners that were very high temperature burners and they turned the CO into C02 and then we used C02 absorbent to remove the C02. We bled oxygen from oxygen bottles which were air flasks mounted inside the hull, which also worried me. You don’t want to run around with a lot of 3,000 pound oxygen inside the boat. It’s not very safe. If you had an oxygen leak you could have a nice fire. Well anyway, we were going out on our first 12-day sealed boat submergence and we were going to see if our atmosphere control equipment worked. BuMed in their wisdom decided, “We better send along a psychiatrist because nobody’s ever been submerged for 12 days without coming up for air.” So they sent him along and our crew always enjoyed working people over and we decided, “If we stayed out until the first guy broke, it would be the psychiatrist.”
One of the quartemasters (who shall remain nameless) decided he would take a piece of marlin out and tie it around a package of Camels and he dragged his pet camel around the boat for a week. The cooks not really wanting to be out shone, decided they would manufacture camel droppings and leave them around the boat in various places, and then the mess cooks would go around and curse that camel for leaving all this stuff and they had to clean it up. Sailors can have a lot of ways to have fun!
On that same cruise one of the officer’s wives had given us a pet canary. We were going to be submerged for 12 days. Canaries know when the atmosphere is bad or not bad, so we’ll give the boat this canary. On our way out we had a wild canary land on the sail, so we thought, “Oh, that’s an omen.” We took the wild canary and put him in the cage with the tame canary and went on our way. Well the wild canary died and the tame canary lived through it. We packaged up the wild canary that died, put him in a box, sent to BuShips and said, “This is not an atmosphere for things that are wild or have any kind of desire to go out and do things, so you better check our atmosphere control equipment”.
We were called “Lola” and if you’ve seen “Damned Yankees” you’d know why. Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets. We had Brickbat 01 priority so whatever we asked for we got. One of my classmates on another submarine said, “You guys leave more value of spare parts on the pier than are in my allowance,” and we had left a lot on the pier. However, there was only one ship of our class so if you didn’t have a key spare part, you couldn’t get underway, and there was no one you could borrow from!
Coming back from Key West on a long submerged run (we were going to make a long submerged run and set a record, Captain Wilkinson liked to set records) and we were making a high speed run outside the hundred fathom curve. There was a loud pop in that CO burner I was talking about started smoking so we had a little fire in the crew’s mess that we had to contend with. When we surfaced we saw kind of a cable mark all the way across the top of the sail and we kind of scratched our heads. Finally we got a message that says, “Where were you on such and such a time?” And so we looked and there was an hour difference in time but we figured, “Well, we hadn’t reset our clocks.” What had happened was a nice fishing boat was going south at six knots with trawler gear, and we were going north at 20 knots and suddenly he was going backwards at 20 knots. Finally his line broke, fortunately before we sank him, so we figured out, “Yeah, we had dragged that trawler.” We didn’t hear him. At 20 knots sonar wouldn’t tell you much about fishing boats. He then put in a claim for his lost nets and the Navy was ready to pay him because he only wanted, a little less than $I 0,000 and they could pay immediately a $I 0,000 claim, but if it went over that it had to go through some adjudication. Some lawyer got to him and it went over $I 0,000 and I don’t know if he’s got his money yet. But he couldn’t speak English. I think he was Norwegian and when the crew told him, “You’ve got a whale”, he said, “No we don’t. We’ve got a submarine”, but he knew what he had and they got loose alright.
NAUTILUS had a lot of visitors in the first three years I was on there.
I think we got underway two times without visitors on board. We called it, “The four-star playhouse.” Anybody who had four stars immediately had a ticket. We said USS meant “Underway Saturdays and Sundays.” SSN meant “Saturdays, Sundays, and Nights”, so we really enjoyed selling nuclear power.
We had a young ET2 onboard. We were in port. We were conducting tours and there was a tour for about 15 Ensigns from the radar school in Great Lakes, and they went up and were touring around and they came down to the wardroom after the tour was over. We had people stationed in the boat so they could tour them around. When they came down they said to me-I had the duty-they said, “You know, that’s the smartest Engineman I ever saw.” I said, “What do you mean?” They said, “Well, we were up there in the Control Room area and we noticed the radar there.” He said, “The Engine-man that was running us around the Control Room started talking about the radar and we started talking to him about ring time. We kept talking to him and the more technical we got the more answers he had.” They said, “Is that the kind of qualification you require on submarines?” We said, “Oh yeah, you’ve got to know a lot about submarines if you want to be qualified!” Well what had happened was our ET2 on the duty section had gone back and borrowed an engineman’s jumper and put it on and so he was conducting this tour around the Control Room, which was his area and he was an expert in radar and he was really impressing those guys.
When Dr. Teller rode us, we had the Press along at the same time Dr. Teller was there and the Press asked “Dr. Teller, could this reactor blow up like a bomb?” Dr. Teller rose up and said, “It takes skill to make a bomb!” The next morning I got up and here’s Dr. Teller in the wardroom, and you know, with submarine drawers you have to push a button and then pull the drawer out because it’s locked; that was too much for Dr. Teller. He couldn’t figure out just how to get that drawer open. I just kind of smiled but I did help him.
The last of my first three years on there I was coming in to get detached. I had already submitted my Qualification for Command Thesis on why we don’t have better torpedoes and so I was ready to qualify for command. Captain Wilkinson said, “Okay, tomorrow is your Qualification for Command day.” They got me up at dawn and everything that went on that day I did. I shot a torpedo. I made the dive and the dive was very interesting. Okay, we’re ready to dive. I’m on the bridge. “Clear the bridge.” Everybody goes down. I shut the bridge hatch, come on down. The quartermaster lets me down. I get down to the Control Room, nobody there but me. I look around. We’re going down with about a 20 degree down angle and there’s me in the Control Room, so I said, “Oh”, and I went over and got the planes on zero so we could level out and I went over and blew negative and got everything squared away, and finally all the guys came out from behind wherever they were. It was okay. Then I got to navigate my way in and then I got to make the landing. It was a busy day and it was another tired day.
But I departed there and then went to Nuclear Power School, having cleared Admiral Rickover finally, thanks I think mostly to Captain Wilkinson who probably paved the way no doubt, because when I went in Admiral Rickover says, “What have you been doing in your spare time?” I said, “I’ve been writing my thesis on torpedoes; why we have to slow down in this nuclear submarine to shoot a torpedo, which was invented in 1898, and we have to slow … we catch up with the carrier, we’re ready to shoot, we have to slow down so we can open the outer doors and then by that time the carrier’s gone and the torpedo can’t catch him.” And he says, “Oh, have you told the CNO?” I said, “Well, I really didn’t call him up and tell him about that.” “Well why not?” I said, “I’ll write him a letter.” “Well good, go get it”, and he said, “Bring me a copy.” He said, “You know it’s your responsibility to tell the CNO”, and he shouted to his secretary for a copy of Navy Regs. His secretary looked around and said, “Admiral, you know we don’t allow Navy Regs in the building.”
So I came back to NAUTILUS in Seattle when Captain Wilkinson was going to get relieved by Captain Anderson. We’re on Pier 99. We’re standing there and the boat’s due in at 3 p.m. This is one of Captain Wilkinson’s favorite stories. The boat’s due in at 3 p.m. I’m standing on the pier with all the people who are there to watch NAUTILUS come in. No sign of the boat. It’s about 2:30/2:40, no sign of the boat, and they said, “Well where’s the submarine? It’s supposed to be here at 3 p.m.”, and I said, “It’s not 3 p.m. yet”, looking at my big pocket watch. Fortunately about that time the submarine surfaced right off the pier. Pier 99 is deep water. So they’d come in submerged, surfaced off the pier, and I talked to Captain Wilkinson, I said, “What happened?” He says, “Well you know, we stationed the Maneuvering Watch and there weren’t any planesmen on the Maneuvering Watch.”
On our first Arctic trip, you all know that history, we tried to surface under a block of ice that had the size such that every family in the United States could have had their own ice cube so the aluminum sail didn’t survive and the periscopes didn’t survive. We came back and fixed those problems but in the meantime we had taken Lord Mountbatten to sea and it was a very interesting day. We asked Lord Mountbatten to sign the guestbook. He opened it up to a clean page, wrote “Mountbatten of Burma” right across the page so nobody else could write in that page.
After the aborted Atlantic effort we went west for the North Pole try and en route we had a fire in the lagging in the engine room. It was a smoldering fire and people’s eyes got bad but that is why all submarines today have an Emergency Air Breathing System. It was invented on that trip up to San Diego. We realized we had to have something in case it happened under the ice, so we invented basically just a scuba dive mask on the 225 pound air system. We called that in NAUTILUS, “The Emergency Saltwater Breathing System” because our air to the whistle was also connected to that system and the whistle leaked so every now and then you’d get salt water in your EAB instead of air. But you have to invent as you go along. That’s what I’m doing in this talk, you can tell it.
We had a little saltwater leak in the condensers. The computation said it was the third the size of a human hair but we could detect that small amount of salt water in the condenser, so we tried everything. We couldn’t find it. We couldn’t do anything with it and the question was, “Do we abort this polar trip or do we not?” Admiral Rickover came out and talked to us and it’s the first time I got a view of Admiral Rickover that I had not yet seen. He sat there and he said, “Well, you know, leaks this small usually rust themselves shut”, and we never did find it and it never did cause us a problem but it was a different approach than he always took, but I think he really wanted that polar trip to go off and so did we. But that’s why you see Bars Leak now has NAUTILUS on top of the cap and it implies that it was what fixed NAUTILUS. Well in the book by Captain Anderson and Clay Blair Jr., it was “Stop Leak” that Captain Anderson gave credit for stopping the leak and the Bars Leak guy called him up and said, “You know, that was Bars Leak”, and so they made an agreement that if he could put NAUTILUS on the top of his cap to his little bottle then he wouldn’t argue with the book that said it was Stop Leak, so now you know as is said” the rest of the story.”
We didn’t get under the ice on the first try and we went back to Hawaii. Admiral Grenfell flew the entire crew back to New London; half at a time. We went back to Hawaii. No leak got out of what we were trying to do. I couldn’t believe that you could tum a hundred Sailors loose for a week, home with their families and then have them go back to Pearl and keep a secret like that but they did. It was a very well done job.
NAUTILUS’ Inertial Navigation System was a Navajo missile system, inverted and put in the ship with the nose down and the rest of the guidance up above, and that was our inertial navigator for the trip across the Pole. We took out the surface radar mast and put this thing right down in the hole, and we had two guys along who could run this thing and it was only supposed to run a minute and a half on air cooling when they fired the missile but we had to run it for a long time so we water cooled it and these two guys had to read it out on an oscilloscope and so it was just a green dot that they were reading.
If you’d want to get a fix you ask Dr. Curtis, you’d say, “I want a fix”, and he’d say, “Okay, tell me when to mark.” “Mark”. Two hours later he’d come up and tell you where he thought you were, and he had figured it all out on his Global Slide rule and it wasn’t very accurate, but when we were getting to the Pole I said, “How are we going to know when we get to the Pole?” He said, “You see that little dot going around the Oscilloscope?” I said, “Yes.” He said, “When we’re there it’ll tum and go the other way.” I said, “Okay.” So I watched it and it did. He knew what he was talking about.
After that trip nearly everybody in the wardroom got some kind of good deal out of the trip. The Captain went to Italy. The Exec got a new convertible from his home town. My good deal out of the trip was a trip to Paris to a trade fair and I was to go over . . . the NAUTILUS was part of the trade fair. On one side was Jules Verne’s NAUTILUS from the movie. On the other side was EB’s Control Room from NAUTILUS and I was due to describe the Control Room and tell them what was going on and all that, and I was supposed to be in the fair, describing this for four days and then I could have four day’s leave. Molly had a set of orders from the CNO telling her that it was advantageous for her to go with me and the last paragraph of that set of orders was very interesting. It said, “On completion of this Temporary Duty, return all copies of these orders to the CNO’s office”. So we went over and did that but the interesting thing about that-I was standing there-one day this little French schoolteacher came in with a bunch of kids and she rattled along in French for a while and then I told them about my side and she translated. After it was all over she came up to me and she said, “You know, the Frenchmen dream and the Americans build”, and I thought, “You know, that’s an interesting comment.”
Let’s see, first overhaul… I was fortunate enough to be the Engineer of the first overhaul. They had refueled once before. We overhauled in Portsmouth Navy Yard. We thought it should take six months. Portsmouth took nine months and we thought it was a disaster. As it turns out it was probably the best overhaul anybody ever did. There was one point in time-and you can see the pictures there. They exist probably in the Historian’s office. There was a shot taken down in the engine room, there was no rotating machinery in the engine room at all. Every piece of rotating machinery in the engine room had been removed from the ship. I didn’t think we’d ever get it back together. We had 28 pound air as our computer system; everything that was controlled in the reactor plant and aft was run on 28 pound air; the Bailey Meter Control System.
Lando Zech; the third CO, relieved in that yard and fortunately while we were in the yard we had gotten agreement from BuPers to freeze the crew. I mean we didn’t transfer anybody off the ship for the nine months of the overhaul. I had 12 commissioned officers in the engineering plant when I was through with the overhaul. I could put an officer at a meeting on anything so we were able to do as you say, manage it from my control. That’s the only time in my naval career that I remember where I was when I got notice that I’d been promoted. I was in the Lower Level Reactor Compartment crawling around. I came out to go to my locker and change out of my clothes there and put on my uniform. I got it out of the locker and started to put it on and I noticed there was a Lieutenant Commander insignia on it and I said, “This is not mine.” I looked back at the locker and then I found out I had been promoted to Lieutenant Commander.
After the yard was over we went to the Med on the first detached operation. We operated in the Med. I went and we transferred White and Hall, who happened to be Ops and navigator … anyway I ended up as Ops, Nav and Engineer on the trip to the Med and so every-body who didn’t work for the exec worked for me so I had a pretty good run there. They gave me a hard time as Navigator you under-stand. I was looking for the entrance to Valletta Harbor in Malta and I thought it would be pretty easy looking at the chart. It had a church and a church steeple. You know, I thought, “Well gee, that’s a piece of cake.” The only problem was there were about a thousand church steeples and Valetta Harbor entrance is an overlapping one meaning you can’t see an opening. You’ve got to come around and find it. I found it, but I was a little late finding it and I haven’t lived that one down yet.
One interesting happening; Captain Zech had a former shipmate on the cruiser SPRINGFIELD who ran the movie exchange. When we went alongside the SPRINGFIELD for something and got underway and we had six of the newest movies in the Mediterranean on NAUTILUS. Within a dozen hours we received a message from ComSixthFleet that said, “Come alongside and transfer those movies.”
My entire time on NAUTILUS was great.
I left to be XO of SCORPION and I carried away three problems to solve: a new periscope (the Air Force had taken pictures from 30,000 feet and one could read the license plate. I had to get in to 600 yards to read a sign that was four feet high on the side of anything); Torpedoes-we still didn’t have a torpedo; and something that would dry an antenna when you stuck it up so you could communicate.
In closing. I’ve got one thing I need to read. I want to read you a message from Admiral Camey on the commissioning.
“On the occasion of the commissioning of NAUTILUS, I wish to extend to you, to your officers and to the crew of your revolutionary ship, my congratulations on the fact that you’ve been entrusted with the writing of a vital page of the maritime history of the world. I also wish that you would convey to your officers and men my complete confidence in their will and ability to discharge their remarkable responsibilities in distinguished fashion. No new ship was ever blessed with a more carefully selected ship’s company and no new ship’s company has ever had more thorough preparation for the assumption ofits duties. You and all hands in NAUTILUS are leaders in the best sense of the word and your opportunities for the future go far beyond the performance of NAUTILUS herself, for the plankowners of NAUTILUS will be the disciples of nuclear power in the fleet and their capacity for leadership and devoted service will surely have a profound effect on the fleet of the future. Rarely has a ship’s company earned a well done on commissioning day, but you and your people have already earned that distinction and I am confident that many more will be earned in the months and years to come. I speak for the entire Service when I extend my congratulations to all hands in NAUTILUS and wish her all success as the pioneer in a tremendously significant field of maritime endeavor.”
Signed Robert B. Carney, Chief of Naval Operations.