Flotsam + Jetsam
SUB HUNT -
What the crew of the USS Albacore did in the early 60's
Submitted by James Tyrell
That noble sub was on maneuvers in the warm waters off the tongue of the ocean near Fort Lauderdale, Florida. A US destroyer with modern day equipment was convinced it could find Albacore and "destroy" her on every run. I rode as an observer on the destroyer.
On the first three runs, the destroyer's captain was certain he had pinned Albacore and the rules of the game had Albacore release an air bubble to show her position - nowhere close to where the DD's captain thought Albacore was located.
On the 4th run, the situation became even grimmer, for Albacore could not even be located. I believe I then excused myself from the bridge of the destroyer - displaying a rare moment of diplomacy, but in truth, excusing myself from the tantrums of the DD's commanding officer.
On the last run, the destroyer was at full speed for the kill. Too bad for the surface craft, for what they were killing must have been Moby's offspring. When the elusive sub surfaced about 600 yards off the DD's port side, I thought the DD's captain was going to have a heart attack.
After that demonstration, I was convinced there was little hope if you were on the water versus under the water.
Later that week, the crews of a carrier and a cruiser abandoned their ships when torpedoes launched from Albacore filled with Shakey Graves lobster newburg exploded against these capital ships' hulls.
This last feat was never officially recorded in US Navy chronicles, but it was an outstanding achievement during the cold war era.
But the DD story is the absolute truth.
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