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At random: Insignia of the Navy's submarine service is a submarine flanked by two dolphins. Dolphins, or porpoises, the traditional attendants to Poseidon, Greek God of the Sea and patron deity of sailors, are symbolic of a calm sea, and are sometimes called the 'sailors' friend. In addition to the Dolphins, those World War II submariners who participated in successful combat patrols may wear the coveted Submarine Combat Insignia.
First Post, First Boat

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Posted 2008-08-16 10:15 AM (#18634)
Mess cooking

Posts: 5

Subject: First Post, First Boat

This is as good a place as any for my first post. I went to RM 'B' school as an RM3 after boot, 'A' school and 18 months at Gitmo. Two of my instructors were boat sailors, chiefs, and they just seemed a little different than the skimmers I was used to. The navy was looking for volunteers for submarines, this was 1963 and the '41 For Freedom' boats were building.
I hadn't given subs much thought but the way those guys talked had me interested, and I volunteered. As part of, or along with the physical, I had an interview with a psychiatrist. I don't remember too much about the interview but a few things I can recall; a question about my sexual orientation; my relationship with my dad; and what my thoughts were concerning the recent loss of Thresher. As best I can remember my reply was that it was a terrible thing but the navy lost people, it just went with the job sometimes. I wasn't really blase' about it, I just didn't 'know' at the time. At the end of the interview as he was apparently signing approval on my papers, he looked up at me and quite seriously said, "I know someone has to do it, but I'm glad it's you and not me."
My instructors talked me into volunteering specifically for Boomers, and unfortunately, I did. Not that I didn't thoroughly enjoy my time on FBM's, but I really believe I missed out on something by not doing some time on a diesel boat. I did get a very small taste of DB's at sub school, got to ride the Bang and Dogfish! My first boat was Von Steuben under construction at Newport News.
I said I didn't 'know.' When Scorpion was lost, I knew. They weren't just sailors, they were brothers. I remember thinking back to that interview when we got word that Scorpion was overdue. It was some time later I was to learn that one of the crew was a sonar tech I'd served with during new construction on Von Steuben.

Posted 2008-08-26 9:59 PM (#19071 - in reply to #18634)

Great Sage of the Sea

Posts: 618

Location: Issaquah WA, USA
Subject: RE: First Post, First Boat

We're all connected through that invisible but indestructible strand that ties all those shiny metal pins we so treasure together.  It's  not about the steel hulls, nor is it about propulsion, because those things evolve.  It is about the men and remembering the awful sacrifice so many good young men made, and who still lie in broken hulls in deep dark waters, to serve us all both in times of war and of peace.  The men don't change.  They are all submariners, and they are our brothers.
Posted 2010-11-18 8:19 PM (#42597 - in reply to #18634)
Master and Commander

Posts: 1576

Location: Wollongong, NSW
Subject: RE: First Post, First Boat

First Boat.
Met a gentleman in St Petersburg last May. SWMBO and I were there to help out her dad. Went to one of the submarine museums, now run by an ex-FBM captain. Also there was a very quiet individual, eager to listen to stories but very reticent about his past. After a while, spouse and I took him aside and had a chat; Irina was the interpreter. His first and last boat was Kursk - he had come off just before their last sailing; something had been wrong with his wife and so he was left inboard. Had been a navy mistake about her medication or something.
He had not recovered from not being with his shipmates; yes he was happy to have survived but it was easy to tell he was missing half of his life.
We all have the same emotions!
Our own submariners association recently announced the death of the former CPORS of Otway when I was the navigator; we are not completely invincible.
Posted 2010-12-28 10:06 PM (#43894 - in reply to #18634)
Master and Commander

Posts: 1447

Subject: RE: First Post, First Boat

Welcome aboard!
Posted 2011-01-16 11:59 AM (#44376 - in reply to #43894)


Posts: 2853

Location: Liverpool, England
Subject: RE: First Post, First Boat

Welcome mate. Great to have you aboard.

Bob Mahon
Posted 2013-08-12 3:55 PM (#65870 - in reply to #44376)

Great Sage of the Sea

Posts: 856

Location: Milford, PA
Subject: RE: First Post, First Boat

This is my 1st post and here's as good a place to start as any.
Joined USNR in Clifton, NJ at 17 in 1959 while still in High School and later transferred to the Submarine Reserve base in Brooklyn, NY, who sent me to Sub School after graduation in 1960. Got tired of being called "Effin Reserve" so went regular 1 day after I turned 18 in June of 1960 as a 9901. Then the joy of Boot Camp Glakes was visited upon me, followed by EM "A" school. Again volunteered for Sub Duty and was promptly sent to Sub School. Fortunately, my records weren't lost and, awaiting my 'Orders', I was assigned to TAD as Master at Arms in, of all places, a Chief's barracks. It was a cruel joke and I'll leave the subsequent 2 weeks to your imagination.
Finally, got my 1st Boat, the USS Cavalla (SS 244), which was at Portsmouth for a refit. Yup, a Mess Cook. But, after serving under a fella named John Bloshinski, who I came to hate, I was sent to the Deck Gang and shortly after became Leading Seaman. The last 6 months aboard was spent as IC Electrician for the Control Room (you know, taking gravities, watering and running coffee).
My transfer to Bainbridge for Nuc School followed becoming "Qualified" in 1962. What a great place for Liberty, which I enjoyed immensely. Upon flunking out, I received orders to the USS Wrangell (AE 12) and hit a number of ships for transportation to Wrangell during the Cuban blockade. After a Med Cruise and various other deployments, I was transferred to the USS Dogfish (SS 350). Finally, in September of 1965, my Shore Duty rotation came up and I was transferred to the Reserve Fleet at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard (was given the responsibility of 'Big Mo' - BB 63).
After discharge in 1966, I had a number of jobs, from Skilled Trades to Executive level, until retiring in 2006. Been doing some consulting since.
FWIW, I am one of the founders of the USS Scranton Base of USSVI and Past Commander.
The biggest irony in all this is that John Bloshinski is a member of my base and we have become pretty good friends.
Go figure..................

Lastly, thanks to Don, it is my great pleasure to participate in a forum populated by my brethren.
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