Joined: Sep 21, 2009
Location: Wilmington NC
|Posted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 7:54 pm Post subject:
|This was forwarded to me by one of my SubVet buds.
----- Forwarded Message ----
From: USSVI NC: T. Michael Bircumshaw <nc>
To: Harold William Dixon Jr <goldbow>
Sent: Tue, April 10, 2012 11:58:06 AM
Subject: USSVI OFFICIAL BUSINESS: SubVet News - #2012-028
To: Distribution List
NEWS-01: USS Thresher SSN-593
Submitted by: T. Michael Bircumshaw on 4/10/2012
Most, but not all of us, remember exactly where we were and what we were doing on that tragic day in ’63, 49 years ago. Those of us aboard the Boats, particularly those on patrol at the time experienced a chill and a feeling of helplessness and incredible sadness upon hearing that the 593 Boat had gone down with all hands.
For me and many others the tragedy deepened dramatically when I read the crew list and realized that one of my very best friends, Laird Heiser MM1(SS), had made that final dive. It was a double blow since I did not even know he was part of the crew on that fateful day.
The last time I spoke to Laird was on the 23rd of April on 1960 aboard the USS Aucilla AO-56 which coincidentally had run aground the previous day in the bay in Livorno, Italy. I was leaving, seabag in hand, headed for NORVA and discharge from the USN and we were standing on the Quarterdeck, where Laird ask me what I was going to do.. “Get out of this Chicken SXXt outfit and try to become a normal person”. I asked him what he was going to do as I knew his time was coming soon and he said, “ I’m thinking about going into the Submarine Service.” We wished each other good luck and I did not hear anymore until ’63..
Please take a moment or two in rememberance of our Shipmates and all others that were aboard Thresher that day.. And then take an extra moment for their families and the terrible loss they still feel.
This from me, with a salute and a tear.
Sailor, rest your oar
When your final dive is made, and your battery's running low,
You'll know there lies a boat for you many fathoms here below,
With your annunciators jammed on full and your depth guage needles bent,
Your accumulator's dry of oil and your air banks all are spent,
It's then you get to wonderin', "is my life's boat rigged for dive?"
Your guessing drill commences, "am i dead or still alive?"
You pace the flooded decks with scorn and curse the flaws of man.
Into realms of rex you've stepped, and here you'll make your stand.
To live your life, as sailors must, at the bottom of the sea.
There's one you'll have to reckon-that one, my friend, is thee.
Will your conscience do you justice when the final muster's in?
Did you lead the kind of life you should in every port you've been?
The answers to these questions and many, many more,
Are locked in the hearts of sailormen from cannes to singapore.
So, when your day for mast rolls 'round. the choice is up to you,
Sailor chart your course of life right now. chart it straight and true.
Now's the time to flood your tanks and trim up 'fore and aft.
It's a trifle late when the klaxon sounds to square away your craft.
Your final billet lies below, on "old ocean's" floor.
So, be ready when that last word's passed.
Sailor, rest your oar!
USN Submarine Veteran
USS Corporal SS346
Death From Below
There are only 2 types of ships.
Submarines and Targets
Coastal Carolina Submarine Veterans
Cape Fear Anglers
Joined: Aug 19, 2009
|Posted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 10:51 pm Post subject: sub sinking
|Yes, I remember it well. What a tragic year. I was on the USS Northampton CC-1 a cruiser out of Norfolk Va at the time.
MCPO USN Retired
Sea Ox 250C Blue Water Pro