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Submarine Pioneers

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Biographies are hyperlinked from the "Biography" caption.   Full screen images are hyperlinked from the thumbnails on the left.   High-resolution images, suitable for print media, are hyperlinked from the words "Hi-Rez Photo" in the caption.  Source of information:  Naval Historical Center.

Yates Sterling, jr.

Rear Admiral Yates Stirling, Jr., USN (ret.)

RADM Yates Stirling Jr. was chairman of the Navy's Submarine Standardization Board in 1917 when the Navy designed its first mass production submarines, the S-Class. He played a major role in submarine design and construction during the 1920s. 

(Biography)  (Hi-Rez Photo)

Thomas C. Hart

Admiral Thomas C. Hart, USN (ret.)

ADM Thomas Hart, Director of Submarines in the office of the Chief of Naval Operations after World War I, chaired the postwar U-Boat Plans Committee. The committee called for building long-range cruiser submarines capable of operating in the Pacific Ocean. These ideas were the genesis of the World War II fleet boat submarines.

(Biography)  (Hi-Rez Photo)

Emory S. Land

Vice Admiral Emory S. Land, USN (ret.)

VADM Emory Land, a naval architect, specialized in submarine construction. He was vice chairman of the post-World War I U-Boat Plans Committee and played a major role in designing the S-Class submarines during World War I.

(Biography)  (Hi-Rez Photo)

Thomas Withers

Rear Admiral Thomas Withers, USN (ret.)

RADM Thomas Withers proposed in February 1928 that U.S. submarines should be independent raiders, rather than operating with the battle fleet, during any war in the Pacific. He was the first Commander, Submarine Force Pacific Fleet, following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

(Biography)  (Hi-Rez Photo)

Allan R. McCann

Rear Admiral Allan R. McCann, USN (ret.)

RADM Allan McCann developed the submarine rescue chamber or diving bell that was used to rescue 33 crewmen from the sunken submarine USS Squalus (SS-192) in May 1939. McCann commanded a submarine squadron during World War II.

(Biography)  (Hi-Rez Photo)

Charles B. Momsen

Vice Admiral Charles B. Momsen, USN (ret.)

VADM Charles Momsen invented the "Momsen lung" submarine escape apparatus that allowed submariners to escape from sunken submarines. More than eight submariners used their "Momsen lungs" to escape from the USS Tang (SS-306) in the East China Sea in October 1944. Momsen commanded two submarine squadrons during World War II.

(Biography)  (Hi-Rez Photo)

Charles A. Lockwood

Vice Admiral Charles A. Lockwood, USN (ret.)

VADM Charles Lockwood was Commander, Submarine Force Pacific Fleet from 1943 to 1945. He provided the leadership to the submarine force that sank more than 50 % of Japan's merchant ships and warships during World War II.

(Biography)  (Hi-Rez Photo)

Hyman G. Rickover

Admiral Hyman G. Rickover, USN (ret.)

ADM Hyman Rickover, an Engineering Duty Officer, served as Director of Naval Reactors from 1949 to 1982. He provided the major impetus behind the development of nuclear-powered submarines and surface ships.

(Biography)  (Hi-Rez Photo)

William F. Raborn

Vice Admiral William F. Raborn, Jr., USN (ret.)

VADM William Raborn, a Naval Aviator, directed the Polaris submarine-launched ballistic missile program. Raborn accomplished his mission in five years, rather than the expected ten years.

(Biography)  (Hi-Rez Photo)

Eugene F. Wilkinson

Vice Admiral Eugene P. Wilkinson, USN (ret.)

VADM Eugene Wilkinson was the first commanding officer of the USS Nautilus (SSN-571), the world's first nuclear-powered submarine. He developed many of the early tactics for nuclear-powered submarines. He was awarded the Silver Star during World War II.

(Biography)  (Hi-Rez Photo)

William Anderson

Captain William Anderson, USN (ret.)

CAPT William Anderson commanded the submarine USS Nautilus (SSN-571) during the submarine's epic voyage from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean under the North Pole in 1958. Anderson was awarded the Bronze Star during World War II.

(Biography)  (Hi-Rez Photo)

Edward L. Beach

Captain Edward L. Beach, USN (ret.)

CAPT Edward Beach commanded the nuclear-powered submarine USS Triton (SSN-586) during her 83-day submerged voyage around the world. Beach has written many histories and novels about the Navy and submarine warfare. He was awarded the Navy Cross during World War II.

(Biography)  (Hi-Rez Photo)

James F. Calvert

Vice Admiral James F. Calvert, USN (ret.)

VADM James Calvert commanded the nuclear-powered submarine USS Skate (SSN-578) when she surfaced at the North Pole in February 1959. He pioneered many Arctic submarine tactics during his command of the Skate. Calvert was awarded the Silver Star and the Bronze Star during World War II.

(Biography)  (Hi-Rez Photo)

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