Rear Admiral Holland is a frequent contributor to THE SUBMARINE REVIEW. A Life Member of the Submarine League and the Naval Historical Foundation, he is presently Vice President of the NHF.
On 21 March 2012 the Under Secretary of the Navy Robert 0. Work formally accepted the Covert Submarine Operations exhibit in the Museum of the United States Navy’s Cold War Gallery. This exhibit began its life in the National Museum of American History of the Smithsonian Institution to celebrate the hundredth anniversary of the Submarine Force in 2000. That original exhibit, Fast Attacks and Roomers. Submarines in the Cold War, was sponsored by the Naval Submarine League and funded by private donations raised in a two year long campaign directed by Admiral Hank Chiles and Captain Dave Cooper. Their campaign raised over two million dollars to create an exposition that not only addressed the history of submarines from USS HOLLAND (SS-I) through both World Wars, but featured spaces and equipment’s of modem nuclear powered submarines. Also demonstrated for the first time were a number of declassified covert operations undertaken by submarines during the Cold War and the major contribution of the Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile submarines to national deterrence policy.
When the Smithsonian reclaimed the exhibit space after three years, the Naval Submarine League made major contributions to finance the move of the equipment and furnishings to storage. Over $850,000 was raised and expended by the Naval Historical Foundation (NHF) to fund the final installation in the Navy Yard museum. Construction of the present exhibit was completed in 2011 by Design and Production, Inc. The exhibit itself opened during the annual meeting of the Naval Historical Foundation in June 2011. Covert Submarine Operations is the first major exhibit in the Museum’s Cold War Gallery.
The Naval Historical Foundation formally presented the completed project to the Navy earlier this year. On March 12, Under Secretary Work formally accepted the exhibit for the Navy and in his letter of acceptance asked the Foundation to “convey my personal appreciation and gratitude to the members of the Foundation for their support of this worthy project commemorating the Navy’s contribution to the Cold War.”
Much of the credit in the exhibit, in its original configuration, through this transition, and in its final format goes to Captain Peter Boyne who influenced the design of the original exhibit, who served as a docent at the Smithsonian, and who advised the designers and installers of the final product. His dedication and drive ensured that equipment was procured, transported, stowed and added to the displays in a manner consistent with the best traditions of the Submarine Force. Captain John Shilling played a major role in planning and financing the original exhibit. A measure of their assiduousness is the presence in the exhibit’s Crew’s Mess of the unique Steinway piano that was produced by that company especially for and installed in USS THOMAS A. EDISON (SSBN-610).
The National Museum of the United States Navy is located inside the Navy Yard in southeast Washington, a short walk from the Navy Yard and Eastern Market Metro stations. For those without an active duty, retired or dependents ID card, entry through the Gate at 11th and 0 Streets requires a picture identification card for persons over 16 but is otherwise uninhibited during the weekday hours from 0900 to 1700. For weekend visits, when the Museum is open from I 000 through 1700, those without military-issued ID cards should contact the Naval Historical Foundation (202-678-4333) to be added to the weekend Navy Yard access list.