Sounds & Videos of the USS Cusk
Click here to see a video of the Cusk's first
Video courtesy of Nick
Spark and the DVD,
The First Nuclear Missile Submarines"
sounds of the Cusk in action...Recorded January, 1969 on "Yankee Station", just
off the coast of North Vietnam.
Click on the green button
to hear the recording
1 - Ready to submerge below
Gary Carr reports to the bridge, "Control,
pounds in the banks on service, Safety and negative are flooded, Ready
to submerge below."
The Bridge responds by asking,
"Control, Bridge, aye, what was the latest sounding?"
9 - Dive!
X. O., LCDR Tommy Sawyer
gives the bridge the order to submerge and then he asks Control for a sounding.
Listen for the banging of the lookouts
At the same time, the lookouts
can be heard crashing down the ladder on their way to the Control Room. Lee Krabill can be heard calling out as the lookouts come down from
the bridge, "One man down, two men down!"
Air can be heard rushing from the ballast tanks and finally
the noise abruptly stops as John Troutman pulls the hatch shut and reports to the
conning officer, "Last man down, Sir."
2 - Radio, Conn, you forgot to lower the retractable
during the dive...
The Cusk has just submerged and
the conning officer, looking through the scope, notices that the main
radio (retractable) antenna is still up, and later that the running
(navigation) lights are still on. He calls radio on the 7MC
saying, "Conn, Radio, Lower your masts."
10 - Retractable is down
After acknowledging the order to
lower all masts, Chris Quijada reports back to the Conning Tower, "Conn,
Radio, All masts and antennas are lowered."
3 - Green Board, Sir!
The Cusk has just submerged and the diving officer
reports up to the Conn that the Christmas Tree shows that all major hull
openings are closed.
11 - All ahead two-thirds
As soon as the diving alarm is sounded, the helmsman
dials in "All Ahead Full" for the dive. Once submerged and the
Negative Tank has been blown to the mark, the diving officer orders the
helmsman to change speed to "Ahead Two-Thirds".
4 - Take her to 150'
Safely underwater with a Green
Board, the Diving officer in the Control Room reports "Main induction shut and locked, sir."
The Conning officer responds,
"Very well", and orders the Cusk to a depth of 150 feet.
Responding to the command, the
Diving officer answers, "One-five-zero feet, aye."
12 - Dive!
A different watch on "Yankee
Station" with a
different Conning officer and quartermaster...the Cusk again submerges in
the Gulf of Tonkin. The unidentified Conning officer steps to
bottom of the
ladder to the bridge and orders the ship to be submerged, "On the bridge, sounding is 48
fathoms, I have the deck and the Conn, submerge!"
The quartermaster (Brian Trainor)
is standing by the hatch to the bridge and the lookouts can be heard
crashing down the ladder as Brian calls out, "First man down and clear
of the sail, second man down and clear of the sail...". Then
the hatch is slammed shut and dogged as the Officer of the Deck comes
5 - Set Condition Baker
The Cusk has just come up from 150 feet to 100 feet
in preparation for moving higher to periscope depth, one of the most
dangerous maneuvers a submarine can make while submerged. The conning officer (Lt.
John Troutman) orders the helmsman to set "Condition Baker".
This is a standard precaution wherein all of the compartments
in the boat are sealed to protect against a possible collision with
another ship while she is coming up.
13 - Is it safe to come up?
The Cusk is at 100 feet with
Condition Baker confirmed, and a yellow warning smoke having been fired to the
surface to warn any nearby ships that the Cusk is getting ready to
surface. John Troutman contacts "Sea Power", an Australian frigate and
asks them to verify the yellow smoke launched by the Cusk... "...Do you hold my yellow smoke,.
Sea Power answers saying,
"...this is Sea Power, Roger yellow, all clear to surface. Over."
In response, Lt. Troutman
says, "...this is Standish (the Cusk's call sign), Roger, coming to periscope depth this time."
Finally, Sea Power responds,
"This is Sea Power, Roger, out."
6 - Rising to Periscope Depth
One of the most dangerous times for any submarine, the
Cusk moves from 100 feet depth to periscope depth. The diving
officer has just reported that Condition Baker has been set below. The conning
officer gives the order,
"Six-four feet smartly, Shut the lower hatch."
afterward, the lower hatch can be heard closing and at about the same
time, Richard "Bing" Bingman can be heard reporting from Sonar that he
can hear gunfire in the distance. Bing continues to give out
the bearing and direction of "Sea Power", the Australian Frigate. Also in the
background, the diving officer can be heard calling out the depths over
the 7MC as
the Cusk rises to periscope depth.
14 - At Periscope Depth
The Cusk has just moved from 100 feet to periscope depth.
John Troutman can now see through the periscope and after a look around
to be sure the Cusk is safe from any collision, gives the order to,
"Secure from Condition Baker."
7 - Get ready to surface
At periscope depth, Condition Baker is secured, and a
look through the periscope shows that the way is clear to surface.
The conning officer (Lt. John Troutman) orders the helmsman to pass the
word to prepare to surface with one engine.
"Prepare to surface, one engine, Maneuvering, aye."
The order to just start one engine
usually means we're not going anywhere once we get up.
15 - Are we up yet?
John Troutman gives the order to shut the lower hatch to
the Control Room, a safety precaution when surfacing. Brian Trainor reports that, "Hatch is shut and
Then Troutman orders the
helmsman announce the surface command... "Pass the word, surface, surface,
surface." Almost immediately, the thunderous jolt of the high
pressure air valves being opened can be heard, followed by the whistling roar of
the air going into
the ballast tanks. Briefly, the noise can be heard over the the UQC (underwater telephone)
until someone quickly turns the volume down. Over the loudspeaker
system, the diving officer can be heard
calling out the depth as the Cusk rises to the surface, "Passing
five-five feet, five-zero, four-five, four-zero, three-five,
As the boat passes 30 in depth, John Troutman
is looking through the #1 scope to check for any contacts on the surface
and that the Cusk is indeed on the surface... "Okay,
the stern is out." Almost immediately, the roar of the
Blower can be heard as spins to life and starts blowing the remaining water out of the ballast tanks,
thus preserving the contents of the High Pressure Air Tanks.
Finally, the diving officer reports, "Two-six feet and holding."
The Cusk is on the surface.
8 - Back on the roof
With the Low Pressure Blower
running and having verified that we are safely on the surface, the
Conning Officer orders the upper hatch to be cracked. The
Quartermaster spins the handle and reports, "Hatch is cracked",
as air can be heard hissing out the hatch. Troutman then gives the order to,
Brian reports, "Hatch is open."
The Conning Officer ascends to the bridge and
orders a return to normal surface conditions over the 7MC,
"Control, Bridge, Open the Main Induction, Officer of the deck and
lookouts up. Give the ship a
Control responds, "Open the main
induction, Officer of the deck and lookouts up, give the ship a
normal blow, Control aye."
("Normal blow" means to run the low pressure blower
until the ballast tanks are empty.)
16 - Last chance to eat a hot meal until breakfast
A most familiar announcement to
the Cusk crew, the last call to the Evening Meal can be heard in the