Some memories of Cavalla in 1964-1965:
Reported aboard as an Ensign right out of Sub School. Had been in the
aviation Navy as a TD1 prior to going to school under the NESEP Program.
Didn't take long to discover that this was a different world.
Cavalla did a lot of Sub School ops during this period. With enlisted
students this meant eight dives in the morning, meet a tug to exchange
students, and eight dives with the new group in the afternoon.
My primary duty (other than qualifying) was Sonar Officer. As a Development
Group Two boat, Cavalla carried a lot of new sonar equipment for test. We
worked closely with what was then the Naval Underwater Sound Lab to install
and test equipment. Cavalla had the first AN/BQQ-3.
Some events that might be remembered by others:
- Liberty in New York, New Bedford, and Halifax.
- Traveling in formation (sort of!) with the Sunbird and seven other
submarines from New London to St. Thomas. (QM1 Jillson helped us avoid
- Transiting Hell's Gate from New York to the sound at midnight in a
blizzard with a pilot that was under the influence.
- Shark scare during at-sea swim call.
- "Cold cut run" when Capt. Williams decided we would simulate wartime
conditions for a few weeks. Didn't light off the grills/ovens to conserve
the battery. Fancy cold cuts taste good for about four days; after that
everything tastes like grease.
- The warshot that activated in the After Torpedo Room (faulty test cable)
and was jettisoned in the Sound.
- Leaving the XO and COB on the pier when getting underway for Halifax-CO
was mad because they requested permission for the crew to wear civvies after
he had already said no.
- For some of the finest officers in the Navy-HACK upon return from Halifax.
It was a great tour, with wonderful people.
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