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Navy Honors Submarine Rescue Pioneer after 64 years!
The Associated Press ^
| Saturday, August 9, 2003; 3:33 AM
| DAVID SHARP
Posted on 08/17/2003 11:02:58 PM PDT by squalus192
Carl Bryson was one of the lucky ones when the USS Squalus sank during a test dive 64 years ago off Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.
Twenty-six sailors were dead by the time the sub settled on the ocean floor. Bryson and 32 others spent the next 36 hours shivering from the cold, breathing foul air and wondering if they'd escape alive.
They did, thanks to the efforts of Charles "Swede" Momsen, who led a daring rescue that was the fruit of his single-minded belief that deep-sea rescues were possible - at a time when most others thought they weren't.
The full article is available at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A37324-2003Aug9.html
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
TOPICS: Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: destroyers; momsen; momsenlung; rescue; submarines; usnavy; usssqualus
When he first proposed the "Diving Bell" the Navy Brass said, "no"!
I read the non-fiction book "The Terrible Hours" by Peter Maas and taped the made-for-TV movie (though the TV movie strayed more than a bit from the book) ... (I assume this is about the ship being named for Swede Momsen) ... fascinating story ... I think they should have closed all the seconday valves though, even if they were hard to reach ... given the tremendous pressure of the ocean, even at 100 feet, I would want more than one valve between me and all that water pressure ...
posted on 08/17/2003 11:17:41 PM PDT
somebody please post a picture of the new ship whenever possible ... update the thread if you get one ...
posted on 08/17/2003 11:29:16 PM PDT
The DDG 92 will look like her sister ship pictured here.
A beautiful sight to behold.
cool ... DDG-51 ARLEIGH BURKE-class ... same as USS Cole but a Flight IIA ship ... neat ... appropriate honor for Momsen ...
posted on 08/17/2003 11:53:36 PM PDT
I remember reading about the Squalus, Sculpin, Tang, Triggerfish, when I was 12 yrs. old. I was awed.
Vice Adm Charles Bowers Swede Momsen
The name Momsen (DDG 92) will honor retired Navy Vice Adm. Charles Bowers "Swede" Momsen, who is best known for his efforts in the successful rescue of 33 crew members and the subsequent salvage of submarine USS Squalus after she sank in 240 feet of water in May 1939.
He received a commendation from President Franklin D. Roosevelt for these actions.
Born in Flushing, N.Y., on June 21, 1896, Momsen attended the U.S. Naval Academy and graduated in June 1919. Initially serving on battleships, he graduated from the U.S. Submarine School in January 1922, and subsequently commanded three submarines from 1923 to 1927.
While serving with the Submarine Safety Test Unit aboard the submarine S-4, he developed a submarine escape breathing apparatus that became known as the "Momsen Lung."
He was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for developing and personally testing the device at a depth of 200 feet.
Although this invention made him famous, he had many other noteworthy achievements during his naval career.
While serving as officer in charge of Experimental Diving at the Washington Navy Yard, he developed a new set of decompression tables and supported proposals for the use of a helium and oxygen air mixture in deep diving operations.
During World War II, he supervised tests to determine why many torpedoes were not exploding. In one instance, he dived into the water to help recover a dangerous, live torpedo that had bounced off a target.
Momsen earned a Navy Cross as commander of an attack group of submarines in Japanese-controlled waters of the East China Sea. Using an attack pattern he developed, the submarines sank five Japanese ships and damaged eight others.
He earned a Legion of Merit for commanding the U.S. Navy's first wolf pack in enemy waters from Feb. 1943 to June 1944.
In November 1945, he directed a fleet of nearly 200 surplus Army and Navy ships, manned by Japanese crews, that evacuated the first of nearly six million Japanese from China Manchuria, Formosa and Pacific islands.
Momsen later served as assistant chief of Naval Operations for Undersea Warfare and then became Commander, Submarine Force U.S. Pacific Fleet.
Before retiring in September 1955, on the basis of combat awards, he was promoted to Vice Admiral. Momsen died May 25, 1967.
posted on 08/18/2003 3:59:46 AM PDT
(Lessons of life need not be fatal)
>>given the tremendous pressure of the ocean, even at 100 feet, I would want more than one valve between me and all that water pressure ...
Less than 45 psi at that depth - really not that high from the standpoint of piping systems and such.
But I'd prefer two (or more) as well.
posted on 08/18/2003 4:03:55 AM PDT
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It is a cool ship, but it seems like the lead ship of a new as AS-R class would be the most appropriate.
posted on 08/18/2003 4:17:27 AM PDT
Dunno why they couldn't have named a sub after him. Hell, we've got the USS Jimmy Carter, the last of the Seawolf class fast attack boats, due to be launched next summer *shudder twitch* Still though, it's good to see Vice Admiral Momsen is finally being honored for his great works.
posted on 08/18/2003 7:50:50 AM PDT
(Wife of Freeper Hostel, USN Active Duty Submariner)
yep, not "crushing" perhaps, but the main inductions on the Squalus (according to the book) happened at 60-65 feet during the crash dive test. It was enough to flood the engine rooms and make her tail-heavy in a very short period of time. They blew all the ballast and the book said the bow may have pierced the surface before she was dragged back to her 243-foot depth on the bottom (don't know if that was the keel depth or not).
Scary reading how the depths (in 1937) physiologically played with the minds of divers. The Navy was right on the valve issue. All secondary valves were a necessary safety precaution. The intense focus on the "Christmas tree" during initial submergence should have reinforced that (meaning, if you don't dive until all is green, it should be nearly equally important that the secondary valves be closed ... yes I know they don't show up on the tree, but at least they might still could have been dealt with if one or two had been forgotten).
If I read the book right, there were enough men on board that everyone could have been at their primary station and there were enough men to handle the inner valves. Submarines generally carry two shifts of personnel (at a minimum) don't they?
posted on 08/18/2003 10:49:25 AM PDT
yep, not a bad idea. Of course, when the Navy made the rescue bell the "McCann Rescue Chamber" that was a pretty sore insult. They should have at least made it "Momsen-McCann Rescue Chamber".
posted on 08/18/2003 10:51:26 AM PDT
s/b "the seawater-pressure induced openings of the main inductions" happened at 60-65 feet ... of course, they said they never determine if the inductions were left open or forced open ... I doubt they'd dive with any red on the tree ... only those on the bridge would know for sure ...
posted on 08/18/2003 10:54:34 AM PDT
>>Submarines generally carry two shifts of personnel (at a minimum) don't they?
posted on 08/18/2003 11:40:32 AM PDT
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