NAUTILUS (SSN571) was the
first atomic submarine. Prior to NAUTILUS we had
submersible vessels that could run underwater for a short
period of time, but had to surface to charge the
batteries and replenish the breathing air.
NAUTILUS was a real submarine. We
surfaced every four years to let the crew
In 1958 we took NAUTILUS under
the North Pole.
If you would like to
read a few paragraphs from my book about that trip under the
ice pack click
If you would like to
purchase a soft back
for only $ 9.95 click
February 4, 1957 the White house announced
20,000 leagues under the
January 17, 1958 President Eisenhower sent a
letter to Captain Anderson congratulating him
on the success of the first trip to the Arctic
Lyon briefed us about ice conditions in
the Arctic, just after we left Seattle.
After failing for a second time to make it
under the North Pole in 1958, we layed over in Hawaii, waiting for
the ice conditions to change, so that we could try again. Here is
a picture of
tied along side the pier in Pearl
Secret notes taken at a White House conversation with Captain Anderson in July 1957
surfaced at the edge of the ice pack to
make one last check of our position and to replenish the air
inside the hull.
Here is a map of the transpolar
Route we established in August of
We created a post office as we passed under
the North Pole and canceled our letters with a home-made North
Pole Stamp. The Post Master General later declared it to be a
legal post office. You can take a look at one of these
envelopes.long with the envelopes, we also made a
card for everyone on board.
As we passed under the North Pole
Claus came aboard through one of the
forward torpedo tubes and berated the Captain for spreading
garbage and waste all over his lawn.
President Eisenhower presented Captain
Anderson with the Legion
Of Merit and
was awarded the Presidential
Unit Citation in August 1958 for
completion of the voyage under the North Pole. This was the first
time this award had been given for a non-combat
One hundred and sixteen crew members made that
final and successful trip under the ice pack in August of 1958.
Although we're all getting older, many of us continue to survive
our aches and pains and attend reunions every couple of years.
Maybe one of your relatives, friends or neighbors was on board as
we went under the North Pole. Here is a list of the
members and civilian technicians that
went with us.
Here is a link
to the Alumni
Home Page, where you can find the names
of everyone that has ever served aboard NAUTILUS.
The wives of the crew members were invited to
go to sea for a day. Each was then issued a special
to acknowledge their trip
Enginemen, like me, had a tough time getting
to the next rating in the Nuclear Program.
Prior to his death, my father worked as an
accountant for an oil refinery in Providence, Rhode Island. After
the announcement of our successful completion of the North Pole
trip, publicity people at the refinery published a picture of my
I looking at the September1,1958 issue
of Life Magazine.
There was a
diesel submarine named
(SS168) that operated during WW2. It was a very large submarine;
almost 60 feet longer than other designs of the time.
At least three submarines carried the name
NAUTILUS. Here is a comparison. of their hull shapes.
The first boat I ever served on was a
WW2 type fleet boat that had been converted to a guppy
The boat was
and you can see my old home if you are ever in Baltimore
Maryland. You'll find TORSK tied up along side a pier in
My second boat was
BURRFISH (SSR312). BURRFISH
was designed to operate as a Radar Picket in the North
Atlantic.BURRFISH was the first of the
"Stealth" vessels the US built to monitor Russian
aircraft and marine activity in the Arctic region. Prior
to BURRFISH surface vessels had similar missions, but
they were easily detected by aircraft and ship's radar.
We could submerge and hide.
Note all of the Radar antennas
sticking out the top of the 312 boat. We were a first
class spy ship in the early 50s
My full time naval career started when I
received the infamous "greetings"
from my local draft board informing that I had been drafted into
the US Army.
Robert Fulton built the first submarine named
NAUTILUS. You can read his contract with the French
Did you know that past President George Bush
was picked up by a US submarine after his aircraft was shot down
by the Japanese in WW2? Would you like to see the actual report
filed by Finback (SS230) that day? If so click
President Jimmy Carter served on submarines in
the early 50s. Visit this page
if you would like to read about his interview with Admiral
Rickover and learn a little about his submarine