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The SCORPION Story How She was Lost by CAPT C. McDonald conjectures SCORPION was lost because of the explosion of a torpedo battery. That conjecture is not supported by the following:

  • Imagery of the wreckage that indicates the bow-section containing the torpedo room is relatively intact compared to the area of the operations compartment (above the main battery well) which was essentially destroyed (disintegrated).
  • The conclusion by the Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Naval Shipyard investigative team that conducted microscopic examination and spectrographic and X-ray analysis of a recovered SCORPION main battery component to determine, as reported by the SCORPION Structural Analysis Group (SAG) in their official report of 29 January 1970 (Section 7 .1.3, page 7 .2), that “the general battery damage is violent. The high velocity intrusion of pieces of flash arrestors into both the inside and outside surfaces of the recovered plastisol cover attest to violence in the battery well”.

Based on this conclusion by the Navy’s leading authorities in the fields of submarine structures, submarine design and the effects of underwater explosions, respectively, Peter Palermo, CAPT Harry Jackson and Robert Price, the authors of the SAG Report, the conjecture that SCORPION was lost because of the explosion of a torpedo battery should be rejected.

Bruce Rule
Louisville, KY

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