Making a Submariner – Fifty Years ago


In January of 1973, my education as a submarine sailor began.

I had already graduated from Machinist Mate “A” school and my original path to nuclear power school was diverted because of my inability to master the math and chemistry that was tested upon completion of “A” school. I was a bit disappointed. Instead of automatically advancing to petty officer third class and entering the advanced training that I was scheduled for, the Navy offered me another path on submarines. So I found myself leaving Pittsburgh and flying on an incredibly small plane into New London. And it was cold and snowy all the way in.

I arrived late in the day and was shuttled to an old barracks up on top of the hill overlooking the submarine base. In those days, we still lived in open bay barracks which really looked a lot like the boot camp barracks I…

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