USS GROWLER pierside by weesel ()
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Here is the Wikipedia link. Lots of good info here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Growler_(SSG-577)
You enter the sub via the missile hangars. One of the doors ... the "mushroom" thing... is visible behind the flagpole. A missile (Regulus I) is on the launcher and The Weesel is in front of all of this.
Once aboard you realize that you've seen this technology (most of it) before. Slightly longer than a WW2 sub, and the internal layout is very similar with some notable exceptions. The forward battery (officers' country and the goat locker) is pretty much right out of 1942 but the attack center is a wake up call. Yes, we still have a lot of the layout of a fleet sub, but the periscopes are not in the conning tower and the planes are no longer controlled by large wheels along the port side of the attack center: planesmen and helmsman have "a'rplane" seats and controls but everything else looks like a time warp.
The illusion continues past the radio shack and into the mess deck and then into the after battery which seems to be better laid out than it has a right to be. The only shower I spotted was the one rigged in the officers' head way up forward and it looked decidedly unusable.
Mozying back to the engine room was interesting. Everything was pretty much spotless and that bothered me. No smell of hydraulic oil, etc. Sterile. Even the mess decks appeared to be ready for admiral's inspection. (Jeeze, guys! Where're the cribbage standings? Spotted one chessboard and yes, we did play a lot of chess, but lots of guys lived for cribbage and other sillier games.)
Finally we enter the after torpedo room and learn what that red light on the Christmas tree was about: one of the outer doors is open... why? The docent didn't know, but what the heck. Maybe someone didn't like all green? After torpedo room? Is there one up forward. The docent said "Yup" but we did not get to visit it; must have been really squoonged under the hangars.
A good tour of an interim boat: WW2 basic with hopes of growing into a more modern layout. Indeed, one of my "modern" boats had an old version of ships patch with a Regulus missile being controlled by the vessel concerned. That's one of the shortcomings of the old Regulus system -- down-range correction had to be supplied by someone sitting down range... you get the picture? Not bad for its day, but it had some limitations.
The last thing to note is the snorkel mast: exhaust below the top of the sail and intake at the top of the sail. You may wonder what happens if the wind blows the wrong way (Oh! guaranteed it does). The exhaust gets pulled into the intake to be recycled thru the lungs of the poor slobs within the hull. This causes the pink lungs to turn greyish and any white clothes will take on a dingy color and everything gets an unmistakable odor: Eeww d' Diesel.
And that is how some of us served during the Cold War.
Enjoy; thanks for viewing.
Image Comments (4)
Ha! That sub can't fool me, trying to hide behind a weasel! That's even worse than a tree! Thanks for the descriptions! I've visited a few WWII subs. Nice job describing their innards. Now, PHOTOS! I'd love to see photos of what sets this sub apart from the other WWII types. A little by the way - my father worked at Gen. Dynamics/Electric Boat on hull design. He was very secretive, but was great at describing the WWII subs and had some books about them. Much later I got to visit some museum subs. So, keep up the good work. I'm waiting for those inside photos! :-)
The obvious difference is those honking great missile hangars and the Regulus on the launcher. The other big difference is the layout of the attack center. It's like a mooshing of a WW2 diesel and a Barbel-class with neither really winning. There was a large attack table in like a window at the front of the compartment. ISTR that this was dead center in RONQUIL while the scopes were above in the conning tower. The rest of the technology and layout is very conventional WW2 boat. Almost like they could not make up their minds. BTW folks. Here is something I just found: The patch on the left is like the one I picked up on a TAD in 1969 and the other image shows that BONEFISH was configured for down-range control of Regulus at one time. ISTR that one of the crew described this missile-control patch while we were bopping around filtering diesel smoke with our lungs.