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  1. #1
    Peloton Dog patentcad's Avatar
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    Stories for Sailors

    Pcadette helped start this drive to put mini-libraries on the US Submarine fleet:

    www.storiesforsailors.org

    Long underwater deployments are tough on the crews who have no access to things we take for granted like Internet access and TV/radio broadcasts, so reading materials really help. There are dozens of subs in the fleet, we're looking for volunteers to collect more books,dvds,video games, cds and donations to offset the costs (mostly shipping costs for the books).

    A worthy cause, we've put a fair amount of work into this since February, we just delivered the first load of books and materials (about 75 cartons my daughter collected at her high school and from local libraries) las month. That's a start.

    We got to visit Groton and tour a US attack submarine (the recently retired USS Philadelphia). But the real highlight for me was meeting the naval personnel, talking to them, learning about their jobs. The more I meet current service men and women, the more impressed I am.

  2. #2
    Lost AngryScientist's Avatar
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    good work to the pcad family.

    i used to work at the groton sub base, i was actually on those boats all day, directly with the Navy boys. they are impressive indeed. The men and women who build those boats are also shining examples of US craftsmanship, some of the absolute best welders, riggers, electricians, mechanics, plumbers, etc. in the world build those world class machines.

    the armed forces, whether or not anyone agrees with their mission, and their families, make huge sacrifices in the name of duty, and they deserve all the perks they can get.

    bravo - i'll be passing this info on to some people i know in the school business.

  3. #3
    Chepooka StupidlyBrave's Avatar
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    I believe Tom Danielson's dad works at Electric Boat.

    I was aboard a WWII submarine at a Philly museum and shook hands with another visitor who was in total awe of this boat. He had served on it.
    Last edited by StupidlyBrave; 07-10-10 at 06:02 PM.

  4. #4
    Peloton Dog patentcad's Avatar
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    We're on this 360 foot long modern submarine (30 years old and just retired, but quite similar to current attack subs), which is a reasonably large boat or ship, and there's really hardly room for the people. The largest room we saw was the torpedo tube room with all the torpedos and cruise missiles. Those attack subs are tactical - no nukes (they carried nukes until 10-15 years ago, the new nuclear subs are 550'+ long, larger) - but they're an amazing way to project force, a US sub can shoot a cruise missile out of a tube underwater, then it can rocket to the surface, fly 500 miles in under an hour and hit a target the size of a Volkswagen with unerring GPS precision. That's quite a weapons system right there.

    Tough duty though. I couldn't handle it. Takes a certain mentality I suppose. At least these subs have climate control, we were there on a 90º day and it was 70º in the sub, I can't imagine what it was like to be on a sub in pre A/C days, say, dockside or on the surface in the South Pacific in WWII on a 95º day

    Everybody has a bunch of books, dvds, etc. that they don't use anymore - often recent, almost new materials - that they might want to donate to the cause. So it's an easy way to support our service men (and women, they are starting to introduce women into the sub crews) in their missions, which must get monotonous. Hoping this takes off, gets some traction, they'd like to first outfit the attack subs with books (about 50) then the nuclear strategic subs (fewer) and then if we get a big enough response, the surface ships in the Navy, which are a couple of hundred. The concept might then grow to encompass other branches of the service.

    But for starters we want to see if we can get another couple of chapters in high schools around the country going to collect books, dvds, vid games, cds, etc. It's an ideal way for a kid to get community service on their resume for college applications or the National Honor Society, or for Eagle Scout candidates, etc.
    Last edited by patentcad; 07-10-10 at 06:23 PM.

  5. #5
    on by skijor's Avatar
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    My hometown has a WWII sub as a museum exhibit, and I was on a carrier. Even the old boats really were a source of pride in their exceptional craftsmanship. 28 of them built right here in the midwest...go figure.

    I've seen first hand (CV-67, '84-'90) the appreciation of folks like you who have gone out of your way to think of others. Whether it was a simple note around the holidays when the guys were overseas and unable to be with family, or even cookies or a random gift...I assure you that it is all greatly appreciated. So thanks to the pcad family for thinking of our male and female submariners!

  6. #6
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by patentcad View Post
    Those attack subs are tactical - no nukes (they carried nukes until 10-15 years ago, the new nuclear subs are 550'+ long, larger) - but they're an amazing way to project force, a US sub can shoot a cruise missile out of a tube underwater, then it can rocket to the surface, fly 500 miles in under an hour and hit a target the size of a Volkswagen with unerring GPS precision. That's quite a weapons system right there.
    Yeah they are pretty cool. I worked on the seeker (radar) for the Harpoon at Texas Instruments. We saw plenty of videos on all of the various ways they can be deployed. The method you speak of is called "encapsulated". A "shell" containing the missile is shot out of the tube as you described. It splits apart and the rocket engines start. Then the real fun starts when it makes it way to the target. The whole system is an amazing piece of engineering . That was 30 years ago. I can only imagine what they have today.

    BTW Rumor has it that the engineer that design the AFC board (Automatic Frequency Control) went insane. Tough I imagine it was just one of those urban legends.
    "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

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  7. #7
    I ain't no newbie redirekib's Avatar
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    I really don't want my tax dollars going to pay for sailors that lie around reading and watching movies. They really need to use their spare time polishing the brass.

    We spent a lot of time keeping the engines in this old gal running.

    "Never send a monkey to do a man's job." ~ Captain Leo Davidson ~

  8. #8
    Peloton Dog patentcad's Avatar
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    What kind of ship is that red?

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    cow-ship
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  10. #10
    Señor Member USAZorro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by patentcad View Post
    What kind of ship is that red?

    That's a supply ship. You've not lived until you've refueled and taken supplies from one of those in 20 foot seas.

    pcad, wouldn't e-readers be a better idea?
    The search for inner peace continues...

  11. #11
    on by skijor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by patentcad View Post
    What kind of ship is that red?
    An oiler, for UNREP = underway replenishment
    AO-98, AO = Auxilliary Oiler

  12. #12
    Peloton Dog patentcad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by USAZorro View Post
    pcad, wouldn't e-readers be a better idea?
    We discussed that with the command at the sub base. Unless we get massive cash donations, buying a $300-$500 e-reader for thousands of sailors won't be possible. Not to mention the many thousands of dollars necessary for electronic books, movies, etc. In the meantime, everybody has a few recent best sellers or DVDs they can donate. But Stories for Sailors could conceivably morph into fundraising for such a project. We're starting with traditional media, but we're already discussing potential future plans. Hey, for all I know two or three years hence this turns into a plan to supply every submariner with a Kindle or an iPad.

    But this is better in many ways because it gives people a more tactile way of becoming involved in supporting the troops that a Paypal or credit card donation on a website doesn't offer. It's great for HS kids who want community service on their college applications too....

  13. #13
    I ain't no newbie redirekib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by patentcad View Post
    What kind of ship is that red?
    Here's a breif history. The last paragraph is the most interesting. I served on the ship from May 77 to Oct 80.
    "Never send a monkey to do a man's job." ~ Captain Leo Davidson ~

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    That has got to be unnerving serving on that floating gas can especially in times of conflict.

    The limeys dumped the Beatles on us so here's a little toxic waste for Jolly Old England.
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  15. #15
    Footballus vita est iamlucky13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by patentcad View Post
    We're on this 360 foot long modern submarine (30 years old and just retired, but quite similar to current attack subs), which is a reasonably large boat or ship, and there's really hardly room for the people. The largest room we saw was the torpedo tube room with all the torpedos and cruise missiles.
    I had the privilege to act for a very short part in a documentary being filmed aboard the last diesel electric attack sub the US built. They're cramped enough as is. Throw in a cameraman, sound and lighting grips, director, producer, a couple consultants, etc and it starts to get genuinely tight. I felt sorry for the cameraman, wedging himself back into corners on top of machinery to wide enough, unobstructed shots, holding a camera that probably weighed 20+ pounds (and that's shooting DV cassettes, not film!) while we reset after each take.

    We thought it was bad for about a dozen of us for a couple hours. Actual complement was 77, and it was a hot-bunking boat. Look that term up if you don't know it. Astronauts get more personal room these days than attack sub crewmen.

    Tough duty though. I couldn't handle it. Takes a certain mentality I suppose. At least these subs have climate control, we were there on a 90º day and it was 70º in the sub, I can't imagine what it was like to be on a sub in pre A/C days, say, dockside or on the surface in the South Pacific in WWII on a 95º day
    Miserable. Think: headache from the diesel fumes, woozy from insufficient O2 and a little bit too much carbon monoxide. No one has done proper laundry or gotten more than a sponge bath since you got on station 3 weeks ago, and the excitement of possible success has given way to the sporadic shaking of the entire boat from a depth charge attack.

    There's lot of books on the topic. One of my favorite is Blind Man's Bluff, by Sontag, Drew, and Drew.

    Things are way better, but still quite trying. It's hard on families back home, too, who might not see their husband/dad/son for six months at a time and hear no more than a couple of emails that are first edited by censors.

    But they're proud of what they do. I've got a friend from high school who was really excited about his upcoming assignment and re-enlistment the last time I saw him.


    Quote Originally Posted by spinnaker View Post
    The whole system is an amazing piece of engineering . That was 30 years ago. I can only imagine what they have today.
    Both the Tomahawk and the Harpoon cruise missiles are still in service, although upgraded several times. GPS was just an idea when they entered service, although remarkably, they were nearly as accurate then as they are now.
    "The internet is a place where absolutely nothing happens. You need to take advantage of that." ~ Strong Bad

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