Your Assistance Is Requested
From: LCDR Thomas Sousa USN (Ret.)
This letter will serve as a request for your assistance in helping me continue and complete an endeavor to commemorate our time as Submariners. As I am sure you will all agree the time spent in the Submarine Service was without a doubt one of the highlights of our time on this Earth. Despite the long hours, family separations, danger, stress and confined spaces, its hard not to look back fondly at our time in the “boats”.
Part of that fondness and respect is knowing that what we were doing was important. For you “elder” submariners it was fighting an enemy that had attacked our country and was determined on world domination. For us Cold Warriors it was knowing that we were the front lines in the battle to contain the spread of Communism and provide the world with a better alternative. And todays Submariners find themselves in a very different fight, that involving the global fight against terrorism.
But even more motivating than all of this was the thrill and uniqueness of being part of that submarine crew. What kept bringing us back to the hardships of sea duty was that internal gratification of being part of an elite group of sailors. Sailors who, more than in any other discipline, had to rely upon each other for their lives. You had to have complete and unadulterated confidence that when you went to your rack for a few hours sleep, that those shipmates on watch literally held your life in their hands. I for one always slept soundly, if not for long, knowing the finest shipmates in the Navy stood the watch.
I have always felt it was important to get the story of our submariners out to the public. Clearly I am not alone in that respect as over the last 10 years or so an increasing number of books have materialized with accounts of the magnificent activities of our submarines and the men who manned them. Admittedly these have been written by Submarine heroes and experts from their unique perspective. These books cover the innumerable heroic activities of our submarines from the Civil War to today, again very important information that the American public has not been privy to previously from the ”Silent Service”.
What hasn’t been adequately addressed is the more personal side of our time in submarines. That is the gist of my efforts. To meet that goal I would like to get as much input as possible from the submarine community and its veterans to make that happen. My goal is to gather and publish those “ sea stories” unique to the Submarine Service that we all have experienced on patrol and deployment. How often have we thought of those times we sent a young seaman searching the boat with a request chit for some “relative bearing grease” or 600 feet of “waterline”.
Therefore I hereby humbly ask that you pass this request along to your members so that they may submit their memories and stories of their time in submarines. This can include sea stories, personal anecdotes, family grams or just any fond memory that portrays the personal side of the submarine force. Please include name and boat so that proper acknowledgement can be made. My intention is to have these stories published to put a more personal face on a force that until recently has reveled in its anonymity. It’s important that we get this story out especially as we continue to lose those aging submarine heroes of World War II whose stories would otherwise be lost forever.
Your assistance in this effort is greatly appreciated. As a career submarine officer myself I greatly look forward to your inputs in this both personal and professional endeavor. Thank you in advance for your consideration.
LCDR USN (Ret.)
SSBN 610 (G), SSBN 601 (G), SS 567, SSBN 733(B), T-AGM 22
LCDR Thomas Sousa
109 Bel Aire Drive
Indian Harbour Beach, FL. 32937