Thursday, February 28, 2013

WWII Diary - Part One - Training

"8 June 1944 - Yeoman Aucoin and I were transferred from the USS O-4 to the USS Razorback under the command of Roy Benson, CDR, USN.  The executive officer is C. Donald Brown, LCDR, USN, our former skipper on the O-4."

"26 June 1944 - After some operations out of New London we loaded our stores and torpedoes and departed New London for Key West, Florida.  This first trip sure seemed a long time especially while I was feeding the fish for a couple of days after we left..."

"31 June - After a six day journey, we arrived at Key West, Florida...I can't say much for the liberty at Key West.  There wasn't much to do, yet it expired too early...The last two liberties we spent at the Havana Madrid Patio where the main attraction was the fan dancer, Sally Rand.  I also can't say much for this show due to the facts that Sally's fans were too large and too well controlled.  Otherwise OK."

" 04 August - We arrived at Pearl for a training period of 15 days and a voyage overhaul...I really had a workout while we had the training period on the JP sound gear.  It seemed like we were at battle stations all day and sometimes all day and all night, and all the next day.  Don't think we weren't glad when that was over and we started to load up for our first war patrol"

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Submarine History - USS TRITON (SSRN-586) Completes First Submerged Circumnavigation

On this day in 1960, USS Triton (SSRN-586) began the first submerged circumnavigation of the world.

This 84-day trip, known as Operation Sandblast, proved that nuclear propulsion could provide amazing underwater endurance and sustained high speeds.

Triton followed the same track sailed by the famed explorer Ferdinand Magellan during his voyage in 1519:

The voyage was also used to collect oceanographic data for scientists to review. The submarine service has a long and storied history of scientific discovery and co-operation, a history that continues to this day.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

WWII Razorback Diary

George Atkinson (pictured above) was a Radioman aboard Razorback during World War II.  While not a plankowner (he was assigned to Razorback on June 8th, 1944, after CDR Benson assumed command), he made all five war patrols.

During WWII, George kept a diary, which he later typed up and sent to his former shipmates.  Here is what George wrote years later:

"I know it was not legal to keep such a record because of the danger to the crew if it were to fall into the hands of the Japanese...However, being a member of the radio gang and being privileged to secret documents and communications gear, I felt (rightly or wrongly) that my little black book would be destroyed along with the coding machine, the strip ciphers  and other secret material.  I do apologize if I ever put your lives in jeopardy." 

We will publish excerpts from George's diary over the coming days, and will make the full text of the diary available on the AIMM website.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

TV Show Visits AIMM

The cast and crew of the hit TV show “American Pickers”, which airs on the History channel, visited AIMM while they were in the area.

If you are not familiar with the show, it follows two antique dealers, Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz as they, in their own words, “travel the back roads of America looking for rusty gold”.

Not to worry, they weren't at the museum to buy anything (except in the gift shop); they were taking a well-deserved break between stops at other locations in Arkansas.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

From the AIMM Archives

While scanning material in the AIMM archives, this interesting quote from Herman Melville's classic, "Moby Dick", was spotted....

"Of this whale little is known but his name.  I have seen him at a distance off Cape Horn.  Of a retiring nature, he eludes both hunters and philosophers.  Though no coward, he has never yet shown any part of him but his back, which rises in a long, sharp ridge.  Let him go.  I know little more of him nor does anybody else."