Submariners, Past and Present, Honor Fallen Shipmates for Memorial Day

Story Number: NNS050530-01Release Date: 5/30/2005 10:25:00 AM
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By Chief Journalist (SW/AW) Mark O. Piggott, Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet Public Affairs

NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- The Submarine Learning Facility and the U.S. Submarine Veterans of World War II held a memorial service May 27 at the USS Shark II Memorial here at Naval Station Norfolk.

The ceremony honored the 52 U.S. submarines lost during World War II and the two submarines lost since then, USS Thresher (SSN 593) and USS Scorpion (SSN 589), as well as the more than 3,500 submariners who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our nation.

"Those submarines still on patrol, the very boats we honor here today, as well as all the submariners from your generation, have served as a clear role model for our generation to emulate," said Cmdr. Michael C. Jones, Commanding Officer, Submarine Learning Facility.

Each year, a submarine is honored and inducted into the Submarine Hall of Fame by the U.S. Submarine Veterans of World War II. This year, USS Albacore (AGSS 569) was inducted. Albacore holds a place in history as the first U.S. Navy-designed vessel with a true submarine hull form, in which surface characteristics were subordinated to underwater performance.

"When I look at the Virginia-class submarine, the most technologically advanced submarine under the sea today, I see elements and designs we used on Albacore," said Capt. Theodore F. Davis, USN (Ret.), guest speaker at the memorial service. "That's how important Albacore was to the submarine force."

From 1955 to 1971, Albacore served in five distinct phases of experimentation, carrying out tests of speed, depth changes and underwater maneuvering. Through a series of configurations, she provided the model for all future U.S. Navy and many foreign submarines that followed.

Albacore was retired from service in 1972 and transferred to the Portsmouth Submarine Memorial Association in 1984. She was placed in a permanent dry berth and opened to the public in October 1985. Albacore is both a National Historic Landmark and a Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark.

The Submarine Learning Facility provides basic through advanced individual and unit level instruction for submariners, including firefighting, damage control, navigation and other submarine watchstation certification.

For related news, visit the Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet Navy NewsStand page at

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