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View Diary: Nukes - Part 1 (119 comments)

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  •  Thanks, Major. (19+ / 0-)

    My Coast Guard cutter's wartime job was to protect the mouth of the Strait of Juan de Fuca from Soviet attack subs. It serves as the main entrance to the Pacific for the Trident subs at Bangor, Wash., and NCA didn't want it to be a situation where the subs could get torpedoed as soon as they cleared the strait. This was in 1978 by the way.

    My ship had served in WW2, Korea, and Viet Nam. She nailed two U-boats in the North Atlantic, and had a extensive war history, spanning the globe. We could have thrown our frying pans at a sub, and maybe get them to die laughing. We had no sonar, no depth charges, no torpedoes, only a 5" gun and .50 caliber machine guns. None of that was much use against something submerged, so we figured we were toast if the balloon actually went up.

    One of the U-boat kills was accomplished by ramming the sub: the bow destroyed, she limped 800 miles back to Canada in a North Atlantic winter storm to safe harbor. Those guys had big ones.

    •  Woah. What's the name of that cutter? nt (3+ / 0-)

      Cry, the beloved country, these things are not yet at an end.

      by rcbowman on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 08:29:08 PM PST

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      •  It was the USCGC Campbell, WHEC-32. (5+ / 0-)

        Built 1936, decommissioned 1982(?). One of the 327 class, so called because the as-built length was 327 feet. The Campbell actually was only 326 feet after rebuilding. She served in the Atlantic, the Med, and the Pacific theaters, primarily on convoy duties.

        She had ASW gear during the war and into the 1970's, but that was all removed well before I got there.

        Sunk as a missile target by the Navy following decommissioning.

        •  Campbell joined the Amlie Archipelago. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          peregrine kate

          That's the June Amlie Archipelago, named for the Ph.D., Navy employee who came up with the idea of sinking those hundreds of ships offshore to provide safe areas for fingerlings.

          June had the idea in the 1950s that doing artificial reefs on a grand scale in middle depth waters would give fish a chance to recover from fishing pressures. Clean 'em and sink 'em and do it with a variety of depths.

          After all the Navy has done to the ocean, June just about balanced it all out -- all by her self. The fish populations off California and Oregon rebounded within a couple years and have been going strong ever since.

          Her system was copied all over the world.

          She worked at the Mojave shop. Married Tom. Had three kids. Moved to the D.C. area. She was killed in the 1991 plane crash that also killed John Tower. Buried at Ridgecrest back in California. Maybe had the single best idea for somebody with the Navy, ever.

          "Have you left no sense of decency, sir, at long last?" Army Attorney to Sen. McCarthy, 1954. "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012.

          by bontemps2012 on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 03:51:59 AM PST

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          •  Hmmm, except for this: (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bontemps2012

            They towed her to Hawaii, and she lies in 6000' of water from what my former chief told me. Neither of us thought she deserved that end either.

            Cool idea though, and my hat's off to the late Ms. Amlie for coming up with that idea.

            •  Damn.... (0+ / 0-)

              We had a "Campbell" on the list of hulls sunk for June.

              But apparently this USCGC Campbell was used for target practice out mid-ocean. 5,100 meters.

              The ordinary fish with normal eyes would have loved her.

              "Have you left no sense of decency, sir, at long last?" Army Attorney to Sen. McCarthy, 1954. "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012.

              by bontemps2012 on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 11:55:46 AM PST

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              •  I'll rewrite my memory... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                bontemps2012

                to reflect the 5100 meters vs. 6000 feet deep! It has been a while... ;)

                When the Discovery channel (more than a few years ago) was still somewhat interesting, I watched a show about cruise missiles and they had a brief, grainy piece of footage that showed a missile slamming into a white ship. Damned if that target didn't have the visual profile of my ship! Compared to the Navy's endless gray, only CG and NOAA ships are white, and no NOAA ship I've ever seen looked like mine. That the chance it could have been anything but my ship was infinitesimally small.

                There was a second Cutter Campbell, WMEC 790, built to replace my ship in the early '80s. Maybe that's what you found the data on?

                •  I'm going on memory. (0+ / 0-)

                  We also got civilian ships to sink along with Liberty Ships by the dozens.

                  Imagine a world where it's not worth it to recycle steel off ships....

                  "Have you left no sense of decency, sir, at long last?" Army Attorney to Sen. McCarthy, 1954. "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012.

                  by bontemps2012 on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 02:26:16 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

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