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USS V-5 (Narwhal) seen here just prior to launch on December 17, 1929. The submarine is dressed with flags and bunting. It was a cold snowy day. The white on the left foreground is snow. The smooth shiny surface is actually water. The tracks of the skid-way can be seen beneath the surface.

US Navy Photo

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USS V-5 (Narwhal) being maneuvered to the pier side after being launched during a snow storm. The funnels of two tugs can be seen on the other side of the V-5. Onlookers and members of the press can be seen standing in the snowstorm Two cameramen can be seen carrying tripods and another, a helper most likely, is carrying equipment. The flag on the right says "PORTS. NAVY YARD" for Portsmouth Navy Yard. The dark stripe midships is a small boat boarding access. A door will be fitted to it at a later date.

US Navy Photo

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USS V-5 (Narwhal) post launch with guests and family and friends looking on as the huge submarine is moored and made fast to the pier. Spring lines can be seen running fore and aft from the cleat on the right. The dark stripe midships is a small boat boarding access. A door will be fitted to it at a later date.

US Navy Photo

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USS V-5 (Narwhal), looking at the after gun deck where mooring lines are still being placed. What looks to be someone in the process of falling on deck is actually the aft ammunition hoist, there was like it on the port side of the conning tower fairwater for the forward gun. The shells and powder charges for the 6"/50 caliber guns were too heavy for men to bring topside on their own.

US Navy Photo

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The USS Narwhal, V-5, is photographed during builders trials off Provencetown, Massachusetts in the fall of 1930. Upon commissioning on May 15, 1930 only the most rudimentary trials had been undertaken. Builders trials continued for months after commissioning including a 3 month trip to the Caribbean.

To get a feeling for the scale of the submarine, just above the "V", on the bridge, are two crew and another to the right next the edge of the bridge. The submarine was the largest in the world at that time at 371 feet long and 33 foot beam.

A very similar photo to this one was printed in a Philadelphia newspaper on November 16, 1930, so we are inclined to think this photo may have been taken at the same time. The photos were both taken from the same location off the subs Starboard Quarter only this one from a closer distance. The sea state is almost identical. Note the dramatic spray of wave and water over the bow attesting to the high wind on the test grounds.

Before the trials began V-5 traveled to Boston to take on supplies and ordinance, ie; six inch projectiles and their powder cartridges for her 6"/53 caliber guns and 24 torpedoes, split between the forward and after torpedo rooms. These tubes could take the newly developed MK 14 Mod 3A torpedo which was 20 feet 6 inches long and 21 inches diameter. The previous 21 inch torpedo was the MK 10 Mod 3 at 16 feet 7 inches long.

Some torpedoes were most likely practice "fish" with dummy warheads filled with water. The process must have taken the better part of a day to accomplish. During her torpedo trails one of these practice torpedoes had a circular run and punched a hole in her superstructure. The newspapers called the torpedo "fickle" making it sound less dangerous than it was. Too bad since a number of US submarines were lost in WW II because of circling torpedoes. The problem should have been solved at that time.

Food was loaded for 3 months. She also had the latest in mechanical refrigeration allowing more perishable foods to be carried for longer times. She carried fuel to travel 15,000 miles.

The sub boasted some new features such as each crew member had two Momson Lungs available to him. There were three escape trunks. The sub was large enough to have three galleys, one for enlisted crew, one for Warrant and Chief Petty Officers and one for the Officers.

All 80 crew plus officers had a bunk to themselves. The crew was also provided with movies and it was contemplated to equip the sub for the new talking movies since there was the space for their stowage.

The submarine boasted, also, of it having eight showers and steam and electric heating. Electric motors were to be powering all equipment and the steering and diving operations. There is no mention of there being any hydraulics on the submarine.

She also conducted a deep driving trial and established what she thought must be an American record for a depth at 332 feet resting on the bottom off Boone Island, Maine. Once on the bottom the sub remained there for about 45 minutes running tests on all the equipment and pumps.

She did experience a small leak in her after room on her assent which the crew simply placed a bucket under to be taken care of later. Seems these riveted hulls weeped and small leaks were common. The sub made several stops at 200 and 150 feet before surfacing.

Photo In The Private Collection Of Ric Hedman

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USS V-5's Commanding Officer, seen here as a midshipman, John Herbert Brown, Jr.

US Navy Photo

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USS V-5's Commanding Officer, LCdr. John Herbert Brown, Jr. standing on the deck next to the ship bell. The pedestal is a mount for the .50 Caliber Machine Gun. On the deck lays a deck wrench for opening and locking down hatch covers in the walking deck.

Brown had previously been the Commanding Officer of submarines USS C-2 and USS G-4 in World War I, then USS N-5 and USS R-2 between 1919 and 1921, the USS S-42 from 1924 to 1927 before assuming command of the USS V-5 (Narwhal) in May 1930 until May of 1933.

Brown graduated from the Naval War College in 1940. He then became the Commanding Officer of the light cruiser the USS Richmond CL-9 1941-1942. He then became the Commander of Submarine Squadron Four in June 1942 until November 1943. He was promoted to Rear Admiral in January 1943. He was the Commander of Submarine Training Command from 1943 to 1945 where he was instrumental in creating the Submarine Lifeguard League that rescued pilots that were shot down in combat during WW II. He became a Vice Admiral upon retirement in February 1954.

His decorations include the Navy Distinguished Service Medal and two Legion of Merit awards.

Original AP Wire Photo in the Private Collection of Ric Hedman

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The Navy Distinguished Service Medal and Citation

Thanks to Military Times, Hall of Valor

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The Legion of Merit Medal and Citation, first award.

Thanks to Military Times, Hall of Valor

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The Legion of Merit Medal and Citation, second award.

Thanks to Military Times, Hall of Valor

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USS V-5 (Narwhal) seen on August 10th 1930 at Annapolis ,Maryland. The V-5 left the following day(Aug, 11) for a cruise to the West Indies and returned to Portsmouth September 11, 1930. She trained in New England waters through the end of the year and on January 31, 1931 she sailed for the west coast via the, Panama Canal, arriving San Diego, California, April 4th. On February 19 1931 V-5 was renamed Narwhal and on July 1 1931 reclassified SS-167.

Image from an Original Negative in the Collection of Ric Hedman

Nautilus, Argonaut and Narwhal

Nautilus, Argonaut and Narwhal. The Narwhal can just be seen to the right in this photo. Her conning tower fairwater has the N -1 in a black block on it. V - 6, V - 4 & V - 5 all together.



USS Narwhal SS 167
USS Narwhal SS 167 (ex-V-5)

Cameraman Films Narwhal Dive 1933

"In the Pacific: Exclusive pictures off the California Coast as Mervyn Freeman, Universal Newsreel staff photographer, takes remarkable pictures of sensational diving maneuvers while lashed to the periscope of the Navy's largest submarine, Narwahl, and remarkable interior views of the underwater boat as its crew frantically manipulates the intricate mechanism to maintain an even keel at a time when an error of a few degrees might prove fatal to the man above." (silent partial newsreel)

www.archive.org

USS V-6, USS V-3
USS V-5 with two of Narhwal's small boats moored between the Narhwal (left)and USS V-3, Bonita, (right). These boats were carried below the walking decks outside the pressure hull. Location unknown, most likely San Diego, circa 1932.
From the private collection of Ric Hedman


USS Narwhal SS 167 in heavy seas
USS Narwhal SS 167 (ex-V-5) in heavy seas. circa 1930's

USS Narwhal SS 167
USS Narwhal SS 167

Crewman A.L. Rosenkotter of USS V-5 (SC-1) demonstrates the use of the submarine's after escape hatch and the emergency escape "lung", during V-5's, (Narwhal's) builders seatrials, July 1930.



Narwhal during Pearl Harbor attack
Narwhal during Pearl Harbor attack. Gun crews on deck wait for
Japanese planes to come close enough to fire on. Narwhal shared credit
with several other ships for downing a Japanese torpedo bomber. Sailors
on the dock wait with rifles to shoot at the attackers. One has fixed a bayonet.


USS V-6, Nautilus, SS 168

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Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Building Ways #2, Vallejo, California, April 14, 1927 the construction of the scaffolding in which the USS V-6, (Nautilus), will be built is almost completed, even including the coffer dam around the stern since this portion extends down to the water level at the foot of the ways. You can see the water lifting pump and hoses to keep the coffer dammed area water free at the photos bottom.

US Navy Photo, Thanks to Navsource and Darryl Baker.

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Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Building Ways #2, Vallejo, California, August 27, 1927 the construction of the USS V-6, (Nautilus), is to begin. Navy and yard officials and workman line up for the official keel laying photograrh. The banner proclaims: "When Better Submarines Are Built Mare Island Will Build Them"

From left to right: Front row; LT J. W. (Duke) Paige, C.C., Ship Supt; CDR E. L. Patch, C.C., Asst. Inside Supr, New Work Hull (In general charge of Keel Laying Arrangements); CDR F. J. Wille, Outside Supt.; CAPT C. S. McDowell, Inside Supt.; LCDR W. C. Wade, Asst. Shop Supt.; RADM J. H. Dayton, Commandant Mare Island Navy Yard; CDR E. D. (Bill) Almy, Shop Supt.; J. T. Moroney, Master Shipfitter.

Back Row: Fred Coppo, Rivet Heater; A. P. Schneidewind, Riveter; J. F. Nichelini, Holder-on (all members of regular riveting gang); Honorary Riveting Group: A. L. Luck, Leadingman Shipwirght "Riveter"; W. L. Blackmore, Leadingman Pipefitter "Rivet Passer"; J. E. Moon, Leadingman Machinist "Rivet Heater"; Charles Deaver, Quarterman Riveter "Rivet Heater"; Tom Schofield, Master Rigger & Laborer "Holder-on"; B. A. (Bert) Barr. Quarterman Shipfitter "Riveter"; F. W. Savage, Quarterman Electrician "Rivet Tester"; J. R. Greig, Asst. Shop Supt. "Rivet Tester.

US Navy Photo, Thanks to Navsource and Darryl Baker.

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Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Building Ways #2, Vallejo, California, August 27, 1927 the construction of the USS V-6, (Nautilus), has begun. In a keel laying ceremony, officials and workmen ceremonially drive the first rivet in the hull. The first of what will be millions that this vessel will take before she is finished. The workmen and officials all wear an arm band with "V-6" printed on it.

US Navy Photo, Thanks to Navsource and Darryl Baker.

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The rivet team seen in close up. To the left of the forge where rivets are heated. Hot rivets are taken from the forge by one man and passed to a "tosser" and the rivet is caught and shoved through the pre-drilled hole and held in place by a "bucker" who holds a tool with the shape of the rivet head in it on the rivets head. The two men on the right are using large hammers to "peen" the other end of the rivet up tight to the hull plates. When the rivet cools it will shrink tight.

US Navy Photo, Thanks to Navsource and Darryl Baker.

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Almost 13 months after laying the keel the V-6 has pretty much filled the scaffolding at the Mare Island Naval Shipyard. The date is September 8, 1928. It will still be another year and a half before she touches water. You can see the two massive mounts for the 6 inch/53 caliber guns that will sit on her decks.


US Navy Photo, Thanks to Navsource and Darryl Baker.

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USS Nautilus on the building way at Mare Island Naval Shipyard Vallejo, California, March 15, 1930.

From the Orignial Glass Plate Negatives in the Private Collection of Ric Hedman

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USS V-6 (Nautilus) awaiting the beginning of her acceptance trials from the builder. The photo was taken as dawn was breaking January 24, 1931.

It appears that the V-6, Nautilus, has an oil fired boiler or furnace in her engine room by all the black smoke coming from a stack in her after deck. As far as we can tell this is the only photo known to show this feature. It doesn't seem to be mentioned in any literature about her.

All her running lights and anchor lights seem to be lit and reflecting in the calm pre-dawn waters. The dateline is Seattle, Washington so this may be Puget Sound. The photo is a bit fuzzy probably since the photo was taken from a small boat in the water near the V-6, maybe even from one of her own boats. One of them is seen in the water by the bow and bow planes.

Original Newsreel Photo in the Collection Of Ric Hedman

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Post commissioning the V-6 (Nautilus) was ordered to the east coast to under go deep sea diving tests. She undertook a 5,500 mile trek from the Pacific coast to the Portsmouth Navy Yard. She is seen here on April 1, 1931 just after she had finished mooring. She had been engaged in diving tests off York Beach, Maine in the previous weeks. She was to later travel to New York.

On July 1, 1931 she was to start her return trip to Pearl Harbor where she became flagship of Submarine Division 12 (SubDiv 12). She was then reassigned to SubDiv 13 at San Diego, California in 1935 thru 1938. She was then re-homeported at Pearl Harbor, she maintained a regular schedule of training activities and fleet exercises and problems throughout the decade.

In July 1941, she entered the Mare Island Naval Shipyard for modernization which entailed radio equipment, external torpedo tubes (two bow and two stern-firing in the gun deck), re-engining (with four Winton diesels) and air conditioning. All this lasted until the following spring and she re-entered service into the midst of WW II.

A Newspaper Wire Photo In The Private Collection Of Ric Hedman.

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USS Nautilus takes a tour around New York Harbor on her way to the Brooklyn Navy Yard on April 8, 1931. Nautilus had just had her name changed from V-6 on February 19th of the same year. She was fresh from her record making deep dive of 336 feet off Portsmouth, NH and now enroute to Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii where she became the Flagship of SubDiv 12.

The building in the background is the old St. Georges Ferry Terminal on Staten Island. It burned to the ground in 1946. According to retired Navy Commander Gerald Levey USN, a native of New York; "The ferry terminal is definitely the St George terminal, The ferry, (to the left of the building, twin stacks), is one of the five Dongan Hills class built in 1931. You can date the photo between 1931 and 1946 when the old terminal burned to the ground. It is a rare photo as the three definitive books on the Staten Island Ferries have no decent photos of that terminal as seen from an approaching ferry."

Photo in the Private Collection of Ric Hedman

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The USS V-6 (Nautilus) and the USS S-22 are in Dry Dock at Mare Island Naval Shipyard. The Shipyard records provided by Darryl Baker to Navsource.org state that the "V-6 was in overhaul from July 1 to 15 October 1930; S-22 in overhaul from 6 April to 29 July 1930; and Aaron Ward (DD 132) (behind V-6) was in overhaul from 31 May to 8 August 1930."

Photo in the Private Collection of Ric Hedman

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Another view of the same photo from the stern. The dry dock is being flooded.

Photo in the Private Collection of Ric Hedman

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The USS Nautilus (N-2) sailing past the first US Aircraft Carrier, the USS Langley. The Langley's boilers are lit off and smoke is coming out of one of her folding funnels. To clear the decks for airplane operations the funnels would fold out sideways to the hull. The Langley's hanger deck was open to the elements.

Various crew are on deck aboard Nautilus and it is unclear if she is heading to sea or returning. There isn't any obvious line handling activity going on. One gets a good sense of how massive the Nautilus was and how large her two 6"/50 caliber guns really were.

Original Photo in the Private Collection of Ric Hedman

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The USS Nautilus (N-2) sailing past the first US Aircraft Carrier, the USS Langley CV-1. The Langley was built on the hull of the ex-USS Jupiter a former Collier dispensing coal to the fleet. Jupiter was also the first electrically propelled ship of the U.S. Navy. Jupiter was converted into the first U.S. aircraft carrier at the Navy Yard, Norfolk, Va., for the purpose of conducting experiments in the new idea of seaborne aviation, a field of unlimited possibilities. Her name was changed to Langley 11 April 1920; she was reclassified CV-1 and recommissioned 20 March 1922, Comdr. Kenneth Whiting in command.

Original Photo in the Private Collection of Ric Hedman

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The USS Nautilus (N-2) sailing past an unidentified Navy transport ship. The bow of the aircraft carrier Langley is seen to the right. The size of her deck guns is evident when seen with crew along side them. The after ammunition hoist can be seen arcing up from the deck just aft of the aft superstructure door.

Original Photo in the Private Collection of Ric Hedman

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The after portion of the USS Nautilus (N-2) as she sails past an unidentified Navy transport ship. To the right side of the image on the hull can be seen markings that can be mistaken for steps on the hull side. This is actually, on closer examination one of the two doors in the sides of the superstructure that allow access from small boats for boarding Nautilus. There was actually staircases built in under the deck that lead up to the main walking deck through deck hatches.

Original Photo in the Private Collection of Ric Hedman

Nautilus & Growler
Nautilus SS 168 and Growler SS 215 in dry dock,
Pearl Harbor, July 28, 1942
Floating drydock YFD-2 is at left, with USS Alywin  (DD-355) inside. Small drydock in center holds USS  Growler (SS-215) and USS Nautilus (SS-168). USS  Litchfield (DD-336) and an ARD floating drydock are  in Drydock # 2, in right center. Drydock # 1, at right, contains USS West Virginia (BB-48). Submarines  partially visible alongside 1010 Dock, in the extreme  upper right, are USS Trout (SS-202) and USS Pollack (SS-180)

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A periscope photo taken from the USS Nautilus of Makin Island before Marines landed on the beaches. The intention to land on two separate beaches was canceled at the last minute and all but 12 Marines landed together. Those 12 landed on an originally planned landing site not knowing of the change of plans.

This was the first American offensive landing in the Pacific and was intended to draw Japanese forces from the Guadalcanal area to help US firces land and take that island. The raid was only a minor success; no prisoners were taken, no intelligence was recovered and 30 Marines were killed or were missing.

(From Wikipedia) Marine casualties were given as 18 killed in action and 12 missing in action. Of the 12 Marines missing in action, one was later identified among the 19 Marine Corps graves found on Makin Island. Of the remaining eleven Marines missing in action, nine were inadvertently left behind or returned to the island during the night withdrawal. They were subsequently captured, moved to Kwajalein Atoll, and executed by Japanese forces. Koso Abe was subsequently tried and executed by the Allies for the murder of the nine Marines. The remaining two Marines missing in action have never been accounted for.

US Navy Photo

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Two Marines pose for the camera prior to the landing. It is unknown if these two men survived the landings. Nautilus crewmen stands at the right. The Marine on the left is standing before a deck access ladder, probably in the crews quarters.

US Navy Photo

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After the raid two other Marines pose for the camera. The man on the left is holding what looks to be a 1911 .45 caliber pistol and probably a captured Japanese rifle. Both look tired.

After the raid Japanese records say that of the 71 Japanese on the island only 27 were alive when reinforcements arrived.

US Navy Photo

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Three Marines stand in a passageway in Nautilus, one showing off the Japanese rifle he captured and used kill the Japanese soldier who owned it.

Interior photos of Nautilus are very rare to come by. Despite its size it was still tight quarters.

US Navy Photo

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Smoke from damage and fires rises from Makin Island after the Marine assault and from 6 inch shells fired from the USS Nautilus' guns at targets on the island and in the lagoon, sinking two ships and a patrol boat.

At 0703 AM she provided gunfire support against enemy positions on Ukiangong Point and then shelled the enemy ships in the lagoon. At 1039, an enemy plane appeared and NAUTILUS dove. Two aerial attacks followed at 1130 and another at 1255 keeping her down.

US Navy Photo

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A wounded Marine, possibly an officer, sits in what looks like the Wardroom of the USS Nautilus with a glass milk or juice on the table. The gear on the bulkhead give the appearance of this being the officers wardroom.

US Navy Photo

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Lt. Col. Evans Carlson standing in the same space as photographed above, looking the worse for ware, still dressed in his assault clothes.

US Navy Photo

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A Nautilus crewman paints a rising sun and a hash mark on one of the two 6 inch/53 caliber deck guns representing the vessels sunk at Makin Island with her guns. Two ships and Patrol Boat were sunk in the ensuing action.

US Navy Photo

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A mixture of Navy and Marines pose for a photo after the raid on Makin Island. Being stuck in the small vessel together probably resulted in some good friendships.

Middle row all the way to the right is one of the two Filipino Stewardsmates. There was also a Negro (at that time, Black now) Mess Attendant assigned to the submarine.

US Navy Photo

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Crew and Marines muster on deck as the "Brass" show up to welcome everyone home. Admiral Chester Nimitz stands amid a group of probably Squadron and Division Commanders and Aides.

Lt. Col. Evans Carlson is probably the Marine wearing the helmet with his back to the camera.

US Navy Photo

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The USS Argonaut (Right) and USS Nautilus, (Left) moored at Sub Base Pearl Harbor after they returned from the Makin Island raid with "Carlson's Raiders".

Photo through the courtesy of Navsource.org

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The USS Nautilus at Sub Base Pearl Harbor after they returned from the Makin Island raid with "Carlson's Raiders". The crew are mustered on deck and a Japanese flag captured by the raiders and presented to the crew is flying from the muzzle of the aft 6"/53 caliber deck gun. The rail surrounding the aft deck gun platform can be seen the foreground. The photo was too large for our scanner so we had to 'stitch' it together. The officer at left is thought to be LCDR William H. Brockman, Jr. who was the captain of the Nautilus for the Makin Island raid.

Photo In The Collection Of Ric Hedman

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Unidentified crew carrying food in a stores loading 'party' December 11, 1942 in preperation for her fourth war patrol. The location is Pearl Harbor Sub Base. The man in the left foreground is carrying two cases of Corn Flakes. The next man is carrying a case labeled Durkees and could contain almost any of their products but possibly pickles or salad dressing.

Barely visible in the photo is a large section of deck that has been removed to gain access to the systems in the free flood area. The sections removed can be seen on the pier to the right and above the gangway.


US Navy Photo in the private collection of Ric Hedman

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USS Nautilus (SS 168) Taking on previsions for departing Pearl Harbor 11 December 1942

The above activity was for her fourth war patrol. Part of which is excerpted here: "During her fourth patrol, conducted in the Solomons 13 December 1942--4 February 1943, NAUTILUS rescued 26 adults and 3 children from Toep Harbor (31 December-1 January), then added the cargo ship YOSINOGAWA MARU to her kills and damaged a tanker, a freighter and a destroyer. On 4 February, she arrived at Brisbane, disembarked her passengers, and sailed for Pearl Harbor."


US Navy Photo in the private collection of Ric Hedman


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