E2 Crew

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The USS E-2 Crew

The USS E-2 Crew
The USS E-2 Crew

Daniel J Sweeney & Robert D. Greene
The man on the far right side of photo on the deck level with the beard is Robert D. Greene, Electricians mate, of Weymouth, MA.

The man on the lower left with the bare feet has been identified by his grandson, Daniel Sweeney, as Daniel J Sweeney and stated that '...he kept the log...' probably meaning he was a Quartermaster who was tasked with helping navigate the submarine and keep the logbooks up to date.

On June 26, 1919 the E2 dove for a three hour submerged run at 4 o'clock in the afternoon. Robert Greene was the switchboard operator on the dive.

An angle was ordered for the boat by the Captain and a 10 degree dive angle was placed on the boat. After the periscope had been submerged for 41 seconds the captain order the dive checked at 45 feet.

The captain asked how much power was being used by the battery and Greene responded 850 Amps on a side. The E2 was running a bit heavy forward but a good trim all-in-all.

The crew was upbeat about the dive. Many of the crew were relaxing and napping. The E2 was travelling at 9 knots at 45 feet. At 7:40 PM, an hour and a half after the dive, there was a grating crash as the E2 hit bottom.

Reports say that the canvas covered wooden grating floor of the forward torpedo room heaved up and a hiss of high pressure air ensued. The bottoming had crushed the hull and ruptured several lines from the #3, #4, & #5 high pressure air flasks.

The hull was filling with that high-pressure air. E boats had no interior bulkheads and watertight doors that could contain the air and the crew realized that the high pressure could become deadly. The captain ordered that the mid ballast tanks be blown and this was done.

As the extreme pressure in the boat rose eardrums were bursting and almost every man was in agony by the time the boat began to raise to the surface. A crewman climbed into the conning tower access and was ready to crack the bridge hatch once the boat reached the surface.

Once the hatch cleared the surface he managed to crack the hatch and the high-pressure air began to escape with a hissing screech. The mans' shirt was torn from his body do to the force of escaping air and he was lifted off his feet that were on the ladder rungs. The man who opened the hatch held on to the hatch to keep it from opening too far.

Photo courtesy of Bob Greene, grandson of Robert D. Greene, E2 crew member

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