august memories / 28


28th August, 1958 : New York gave a traditional ticker-tape welcome to the crew of the nuclear submarine Nautilus after its epic first undersea voyage across the North Pole beneath the ice-cap. The voyage took place last summer, but was disclosed by the White House only this month. The submarine began its historic trip from Pearl Harbour on July 23 and cruised north through the Bering Strait. It dived under the Polar ice-cap off Alaska and continued under the North Pole, raising its periscope only once to check its bearings. Its trip across the polar region took four days in all, with the North Pole reached at 11.45 a.m. on August 3. The submarine ended its voyage in Iceland on August 7. All the crew of the Nautilus have received citations and its skipper, Commander W R Anderson, was given the Legion of Merit medal.

[For the greenies, defeatists and pseudo-environmentalists a nuclear sub is a symbol of danger, just as a water vapour plume from a cooling tower is to the carbon-dioxide-phobic. However, so far only “eight nuclear submarines have sunk as a consequence of either accident or extensive damage: two from the United States Navy, four from the Soviet Navy, and two from the Russian Navy. Only three were lost with all hands: two from the United States Navy and one from the Russian Navy. All sank as a result of accident with the exception of K-27, which was scuttled in the Kara Sea when repair was deemed impossible and decommissioning too expensive. Of the 8 sinkings, 2 were due to fires, 2 were due to explosions of weapons systems, 1 was due to flooding, 1 was weather-related, and 1 was sunk intentionally due to a damaged nuclear reactor. In 1 case, the cause of sinking is unknown./wikipedia ]

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