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Sounds & Videos of the USS Cusk (SS/SSG-348)


Click here to see a video of how the Cusk's missile system was developed during "Project Derby"!

Video courtesy of Nick Spark and the DVD, "REGULUS: The First Nuclear Missile Submarines"


 Actual 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

Ready to sumerge below

     Gary Carr reports to the bridge, "Control, Bridge, 3000 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!

Clear the Bridge! Dive! 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...

Radio, lower your masts

     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

All masts & antenna are lowered

     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!

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

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'

One-five-zero feet

     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!

Dive!  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 down.

5 - Set Condition Baker

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?

Launch a Yellow Smoke

     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,. Over."

     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

Change depth 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." 

     Shortly 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

Secure from Condition Baker

     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

Prepare 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.   

     Maneuvering responds, "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?

Surface! Surface! Surface!

     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 secured." 

     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, three-zero...". 

     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 Low Pressure 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

Crack the hatch!

     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, "Open it!" 

     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 normal blow."

     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

Last Call to the Evening Meal

     A most familiar announcement to the Cusk crew, the last call to the Evening Meal can be heard in the background.

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 All information and pictures herein were contributed by, and are the property of crewmembers of the USS Cusk.  It is intended solely for your enjoyment and education, and for preserving the memory and history of this great ship.  If you take anything or make copies, please give proper credit.  Your questions and comments are welcomed, as are any pictorial or historical contributions you might wish to donate or loan. 

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This page was last updated: 01/11/19