I enjoyed RADM Dave Oliver’s story “Respect for Authority – Overrated?” (THE SUBMARINE REVIEW, August 2015 issue, page 116) very much. There is a small technical error in the story which I presume results from his reliance on a reference that appears to be somewhat questionable. Oliver lists a number of submarines that have “blown themselves to kingdom come”, including USS BASS (SS 464). USS BASS was SS 164 not SS 464. Bass was not destroyed in a battery explosion but rather suffered from a battery fire in the after battery compartment in 1942 while operating off Panama. Twenty-five crew died of asphyxiation. She was decommissioned in 1945 (See Dictionary of American Fighting Ships and Blair’s Silent Victory). SS 464 was to be USS CHICOLAR, a Tench class submarine but she was canceled before construction began. USS COCHINO was lost at sea as a result of her battery explosion, but USS POMODON was repaired and resumed service.
John F. O’Connell
Captain, USN, Ret.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR – Comment re: “Respect for Authority-Overrated?”