Angles and Dangles, and Then Some

USS_Chopper_(SS-342)_off_South_America_1968

Sequence of Events

15 to 30 Seconds After Loss of AC Power

The rate of change of increasing down angle accelerated rapidly from about 15 degrees down to approximately 40 to 45 degrees down; with full speed ahead still being answered.

The starboard controllerman on watch in the maneuvering room picked up the XJA circuit (inter compartmental sound powered phone system) but heard no conversations.

The Officer of the deck took the hand telephone from the helmsman and ordered “All stop” and immediately “All back full”. There was no response to this order, nor was it heard in the maneuvering room.

The after torpedo room watch picked up the hand phone (XJA circuit) and heard no conversation on the phone.

The diving officer ordered “Blow bow buoyancy” and the auxiliaryman responded to the order. In addition the diving officer ordered the stern planesman to shift to emergency and the stern planesman responded to the order.

The commanding officer entered the control room and was able to pull himself to a position between the ladder from control to conning tower and the control room table.

One of the chiefs fell to the forward end of the forward battery as he attempted to climb into the control room.

Holy moley.  Read the whole thing.   Especially “Lesson Learned and Action Taken” Number 5.   Drills and discipline.  Rote memory.  Training, training, training.  Not a word about SAPR or human trafficking, or Diversity…

H/T (not surprisingly) Grandpa Bluewater.

4 thoughts on “Angles and Dangles, and Then Some”

  1. Oof. I’ve been there / done that on a no-shit emergency blow. Scariest thing I’ve ever experienced. It didn’t hit me until later that HOLY SHIT that was for *real*.

  2. Interestingly, a submarine in overhaul,4 years later, was having a zone inspection, usually a proforma inspection of at the end of field day (the enlisted man’s reward for cleaning the ship all morning is traditionally fo have his cleaning area inspected, all the better to see his division officer’s khaki tookus above his not yet old enought to be balding head, back behind and down below). This one was enriched by the discovery that the urgent shipalt, altering the planes angle indication power so that it would automatically shift upon loss of normal AC to a dedicated source, had NOT been accomplished.

    While it promptly was installed, the teachable moment, to use an Army phrase, is that Officers need to know the systems in detail, as well as the source and fix for previous casualties, lest they be embarrassed or repeat the casualty.

    One of the reasons that operational losses (sinking with all hands) generally remain mysterious. You never know. You never can know all.

  3. My brother was on a diesel submarine in the late sixties. He expressed opinions of his shipmates’ preparedness and knowledge of shipboard systems quite similar to point 5 in the “Lessons learned…” section of the Summary of Findings. Perhaps that’s why he got out of submarines.

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