Talk:USS Scorpion (SSN-589)/Archive 1
I removed this statement from the article: "These reports confirm that two Mark 45 Atomic Torpedos were aboard Scorpion when the ship was lost, these two weapons have never been recovered and remain at the bottom of the Atlantic (see Broken Arrow)." I actually don't find it hard to believe that Scorpion carried M.45 ASTORs, but I'd like to see a cite for this factoid. There's something about the wording, spelling, punctuation, and capitalization of that sentence that makes me dubious. ;-> ➥the Epopt 13:42, 15 July 2005 (UTC)
I've read in numerous books that Scorpion's torpedo load was 10 Mk-37 Mod 1s, 4 Mk 37 Mod 0s, 7 Mk-14s, and 2 Mk-45 Astor nuclear torpedoes. I cite "Blind Man's Bluff" and "Silent Steel: The Mysterious Death of the Nucelar Attack sub USS Scorpion." The Navy doesn't dispute this claim, in fact they are the ones who released the info.
How can "spelling, punctuation, and capitalization" make you dubious?
- Easily. Someone who cannot spell, punctuate, or capitalize correctly often fails to do other things correctly — such as write accurately. ➥the Epopt 04:23, 12 February 2006 (UTC)
The material on the SubSafe program is not exactly correct. After the Thresher accident, most American nuclear submarines went through an extensive set of modifications after the Thresher accident to make them safer. This was part of the SubSafe program. Once modified, safety-critical systems designated as SubSafe were subject to additional certification and testing requirements.
Based on my personel experience as the Electrical Officer on the USS PLUNGER (SSN 595) the following sentence is incorrect: "The Navy initiated the ironically named 'SubSafe program' to reduce nuclear sub maintenance on certain boats and to see if the reduced maintenance resulted in reduced performance or availability of the nuclear boats. The only nuclear sub that ended up in the SubSafe program was, not so coincidentally, Scorpion." The SUBSAFE program was initiated to modifiy submarines and add inspection and cerification requirements. It did not reduce maintenance costs. In 1972 and 1973 the PLUNGER underwent a SUBSAFE overhaul at Mare Island Naval Shipyard that included substantial modifications. A source should be provided for the above quoted discussion of the SUBSAFE program or the quoted discussion should be removed or edited. Before a submarine underwent a SUBSAFE overhaul, her depth was limited, thus the claim that SCORPION was depth-limited to 500 feet appears to be related to the fact that she had not yet had the SUBSAFE overhaul.
This article now contains numerous false statements. I was a SUBSAFE/Level One quality assurance petty officer on USS Ohio (SSBN-726) Blue, and can say from personal knowledge that the description of the SUBSAFE program is entirely ridiculous. ➥the Epopt 04:19, 12 February 2006 (UTC)
I removed the line that said the torpedo that might have exploded wasn't electrically propelled. The article was contradicting itself there, and also contradicting the article on the torpedo itself. I am not a subject matter expert though, so if someone can clarify what was meant, by all means do so. Gigs 16:45, 3 September 2006 (UTC)
- Good call, and you are right (and I am a subject expert, or at least as close you will get here)...Ralph
Scorpion's loss - another source
Information from another recent book should be added in to the description of Scorpion's loss. The book is "Silent Steel: The Mysterious Death of the Nuclear Attack Sub USS Scorpion" by Stephen Johnson, 2005. The book does not advance one single probable cause for the accident, but provides information on various types of failure that could have resulted in its loss. The author believes the sub descended until it imploded from water pressure, rather than suffering an explosion (such as a topedo hit) that would cause it to descend. The John Craven hot run torpedo theory, although widely disseminated, is seen as a less likely alternative, given some of the analysis done of the wreckage.
I don't have the time to fully analyze the weight the book puts on different theories or to combine that with the existing page on the Scorpion.
Peter Chapman, Toronto, Canada 188.8.131.52 20:36, 3 October 2006 (UTC)
Edit: The book is written in a clear headed and rational manner, with an extensive bibliography including interviews and government documents. So it has some face validity.
What is this and where do we find it?
--A. B. 18:41, 18 October 2006 (UTC)
Loss of Scorpion section has turned into a hodge podge
Here's the current organization of the Loss of Scorpion section:
- 2 Loss of Scorpion
Over time, various factoids and opinions have been stuck in different places such that material is scattered around in the wrong sections. There's also some unsourced stuff that needs citations and some downright wrong stuff (as in the accident being "kept fairly quiet" -- it was front page news, the President issued a statement, TV programming was interrupted, etc.).
I started to fix some problems, then reverted my edits and wrote this note.
- Notwithstanding Wikipedia's "Be bold" policy, I'm leary of cramming too many changes down others' throats all at once without consensus (or at least quiet acquiescence after a talk page note).
- I saw that even without adding or deleting material, a general reorganization was needed anyway. Ad hoc editing I might do today would just aggravate the situation.
Hot Run or Impact?
The 'cause of the disaster' section is confusing as written. It implies that 1) there was a hot-run in the torpedo tube, 2) that the torpedo was ejected, and 3) that it engaged the Scorpion and sank her. The way I've heard the event explained (in a book that cited Craven's tests) suggested that 1) there was a hot-run in the torpedo tube, 2) the Scorpion entered a turn to engage the anti-circular run safeguards, and 3) the torpedo then exploded within the pressure hull. Which is it? Did the USN's original investigation decide on the first scenario, or did it describe the detonation-from-within scenario, but someone who was confused turned that into the format now seen in the article? Sacxpert 00:14, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
i didnt know weather to add this or ask about it or change it from spain to the azores where a man was let off for medical reasons
dont know weather to fix this or not. i know a man who lives in my community and he was a sergant in the us airforce stationed in the azores. and he said one day a submarine by the name of USS Scorpian docked and let one man off for health reasons, he took pictures of the submarine at the azores and sent them in the us mail. they were never seen by him or his contacts again. and between 3 or 5 days later there was a massive search for the same submarine close to the island he was based at and vessells docked there for resupply and everything. he then had to sign a waver or release or something, stating he saw now submarine uss scorpian or search operation. i
Anecdote from 184.108.40.206
The following original research was added by 220.127.116.11 . That addition wiped out the other contents of the talk page, so I copied it, reverted the wipe-out, and pasted it here while removing some business contact information (a.k.a. commercial spam). ➥the Epopt 17:48, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
Are you there?
I was standing the midnight to 4:00 AM topside watch on the USS George Washington Carver SSBN 656 Gold in Rota, Spain the night the Scorpion came into the port badly damaged from being caught by the soviets in a northern Europe spy run. We were tied up next to the pier when Scorpion was brought along side the starboard side of the sub tender about 2:00 AM by two tugs. She was badly damaged and the bow and sail were covered with canvas to try to conceal the damage. I saw the whole thing first hand.
In the morning I came back topside and scorpion was in the ARD getting emergency repairs. The next day Carver left Rota to transit to Charleston, SC for some time in the yards.
Scorpion left two days after us and transited across the Atlantic for the east coast of the U.S. When we arrived in Charleston I heard the Scorpion had been lost. Having been an attack sonar supervisor I asked among the various other submarine sonarmen and it was confirmed she was sent to spy on a Russian at sea replenishment and crew change and was caught and sunk by the soviets.
I am convinced the reason this occurred was that she was headed back to the yards in Norfolk for major repairs and was over stressed in her already damaged condition. Attack boats do this for a living.
The follow excerpt is I believe what actually happed to this fine crew and boat.
I hope this helps .. God bless you all ..
The Scorpion was not on a routine crossing of the Atlantic, but had been diverted to a top-secret mission to spy on a group of Soviet ships, including a nuclear submarine. Although the Navy's official explanation was of a mechanical malfunction that countermanded an earlier conclusion by a panel of senior Navy officials that the Scorpion was sunk by a torpedo. The panel concluded it was one at the Scorpion's own torpedoes, gone awry. Experts still disagree about whether it could have been a Soviet torpedo. The Scorpion believed it was operating in secret, but John Walker, the Navy's most notorious spy, had given the Soviets the codes they needed to track the U.S. submarine in the hours before it sank. The Soviets had the ability to monitor electronic transmissions to the Scorpion, including the encrypted orders sending it on its spy mission Several Russian admirals say senior Navy officials in both the United States and the Soviet Union agreed to never disclose details of the Scorpion incident and the loss of a Soviet missile sub in the Pacific two months earlier in 1968. To do so, they say, could have seriously damaged U.S. - Soviet relations. A senior admiral in the Pentagon at the time of the Scorpion sinking said in a recent interview that U.S. intelligence agencies feared the submarine was headed into possible danger, based on intercepted Soviet naval communications in the Atlantic. "There was some communications analysis....that the Scorpion had been detected by the group she had been shadowing and conceivably they had trailed her," retired Vice Adm. Philip Beshany said. "There were some speculations that not only did they track her but attacked her." Beshany at the time of the sinking was a rear admiral in charge of the Navy's submarine warfare programs and had access to the most critical intelligence data. However, Beshany said to his recollection the intelligence of Soviet hostility was never confirmed. There is evidence that indirectly supports Beshany's assertion that the U.S. intelligence community learned of a possible confrontation between the Scorpion and the Soviet warships it had been sent to spy on. The Navy mounted a secret search for the submarine within 24 hours of its sinking, several retired admirals told the Post-Intelligencer. The search was so highly classified that the rest of the Navy, and even a Navy Court of Inquiry that investigated the sinking later in 1968, were never told about it. Friends and relatives of the Scorpion crew were told nothing; they still assumed the sub was on its way home. The deepest secret, however, was on the Soviet side. No one in the U.S. Navy - including the top admirals who sent the Scorpion on its spy mission - knew at the time how deeply the Soviets had penetrated U.S. Navy submarine codes, thanks to Navy Warrant Officer Walker, the man behind the worst espionage scandal in Navy history, one that may have resulted in the sinking of the Scorpion. Thorp declined comment on the Walker spy connection. Led by Cmdr. Francis Slattery, the Scorpion had just completed a three-month deployment to the Mediterranean Sea with the U.S. 6th Fleet and was on its way home to Norfolk, Va., when an encrypted order clattered out of a teletypewriter in the sub's small radio room. Vice Adm. Arnold Schade, commander of the Atlantic Submarine Force in Norfolk, had a new mission for the Scorpion. The sub was ordered to head at high speed toward the Canary Islands, 1,500 miles away off the east coast of Africa, to spy on a group of Soviet ships lurking in the eastern Atlantic southwest of the island chain. The Soviet ships there included an Echo II-class nuclear submarine designed to attack aircraft carriers but also armed with anti-submarine torpedoes. For the next five days, the Scorpion sprinted toward its target. What happened when the Scorpion arrived there remains a Cold War secret. The Navy has never given an official explanation of its keen interest in the Soviet ship activity, and the Court of Inquiry that investigated the loss of the Scorpion in the summer and fall of 1968 said nothing about the sub's spy mission against the Soviet ships. The court described the Soviet presence as an undefined "hydro-acoustic" research operation involving two research vessels and a submarine rescue ship among others, implying the Soviets were merely conducting studies of sound effects in the ocean rather than a military mission. But Beshany, the director of submarine warfare at the time, said in a recent interview that Pentagon officials had been concerned the Soviets were developing a way to support warships and submarines at sea without requiring access to foreign seaports for supplies. 'This was absolutely something totally different (from normal Soviet procedures)," Beshany said. Until that time, the Soviet Navy had rarely conducted prolonged operations at sea far from home ports, he noted. Beshany's Pentagon assistant time of the sinking, Capt. W.N. "Buck" Dietzen, backed that up in a recent interview. "We recognized the high desirability of getting....over there and taking a look at them (the Soviets)," Dietzen said. "I was salivating in the (Pentagon) corridors to find out what they doing." The Navy has yet to declassify details of the Scorpion surveillance mission. The Navy said in 1968 that Schade sent a message to the Scorpion on May 20 assigning the sub a course and speed for its homeward trip once the surveillance mission ended. Just after 3 a.m. on May 22 -- the day the Scorpion sank -- Cmdr. Slattery finished transmitting a message to Schade that the Scorpion would arrive in Norfolk on May 27 at 1 p.m., Navy officials said in 1968. Later in 1968 after revealing only that the sub had been on a "mission of higher classification" before it sank, Navy officials Slattery had reported his mission ended and was heading home. The texts of both messages are classified top secret. But was the Scorpion's mission actually over? One Navy officer at a key location in 1968 has contradicted the account the Navy gave that year that the submarine was nowhere near the Soviets at time it was lost. Lt. John Rogers, a Navy communications officer working at the Atlantic Submarine Force headquarters sage center in Norfolk in 1968, was the duty officer the night Slattery's message arrived. Rogers said in a 1986 interview author Pete Earley that Slattery had actually announced he was about begin the surveillance of the Soviets, rather than reporting the mission's completion. Rogers died in 1995, but his widow, Bernice Rogers, confirmed in a recent interview that her husband had told her the Scorpion had disappeared while actually carrying out the surveillance mission against the Soviets. Best regards,
George J. Spalding USS George Washington Carver SSBN 656 Gold STS 2 SS DV USN Lieutenant USAR