Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Life in a Ballistic Missile Submarine

The Day Kennedy Was Shot  

USS Ethan Allen (SSBN 608)

                It was 1963.  I was Weapons officer in USS Ethan Allen (SSBN608) (Gold) and we were tied up alongside the tender in the Holy Loch, Scotland. My assistant was not due to arrive until just before we sailed on patrol.  It was necessary for a weapons-trained officer to be aboard at all times, so no liberty in Scotland for me that month. 
                But, hark!! Alongside came HMS Dreadnought, Britain's first nuclear submarine.  I couldn't go ashore, but I could certainly visit a ship alongside, and I did, and had a couple of nice "wee whiskeys" there.  Then we invited the officers back to our boat for a proper American dinner.  I remember the happy scene that would have brought down the wrath of Rickover, as our Chief Engineer and Dreadnought's engineer, arm in arm and quite cheerful, headed aft  in our boat to conduct the pre-critical checkoff together.
                I made four patrols in Ethan Allen, each about two months in duration, submerged all the time.  I had come aboard in March, 1963, just a little while after the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. 
                One of the agreements in resolving the Missile crisis, in return for removing Soviet missiles from Cuba, was for the United States to remove its Jupiter missiles from Turkey.  This left targets in the USSR uncovered and so Ethan Allen and other SSBNs were ordered to pick up those targets, which meant that during part of our deterrent patrols we would have to move into the eastern Mediterranean Sea.

                We were on patrol on November 22, 1963 when we received a flash message that President Kennedy had been shot.  We were on Zulu time, six hours ahead of Dallas, and when the flash message arrived at around 1900Z, (7 p.m. Greenwich Mean Time) no one in our government knew what would come next.  
                A short time after the news of the shooting, before we had heard that Kennedy had died, we got a Weapon Systems Readiness Test (WSRT).  These were very real alerts sent to SSBNs on patrol, meant to test the readiness of the Polaris weapon system.  We responded just as we would for a real attack order; we didn’t know if it was the real thing or a drill, as we brought 16 missiles up to readiness for launch and flight.      
               We  imagined that the assassination might be part of a large plot by the Soviets, culminating in a nuclear attack on the United States.  For a very scary period of time we didn’t know if we would be ordered to launch missiles for the start of World War III. The Captain and the executive officer held the actual message, which in this case was indeed a test, and we didn’t arm the nuclear warheads. But it was scary!

                We all know now that the Soviets were not launching an attack, but we didn’t know it then, and things were very tense for several hours.

                In the next several days we were fed news reports which helped us to piece together a fragment of the massive television and newspaper coverage that the rest of the world was getting.  When we returned to Holy Loch in early January 1964 we received our mail, and old Time and Life Magazines which reported all about the killing of the President, and then the killing of his assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, and Kennedy’s funeral and the start of Lyndon B. Johnson’s administration.

                My “catching up” on the news now that I was back on dry land had to wait, though, because I took Marty to the Navy hospital to have a little girl.   That little girl is now all grown up, and has a family of her own.

Now, here are some books and paper that I am offering:

 New England Housekeeper Title Page

 New England Economical Housekeeper, and Family Receipt Book, The, Stereotype Edition [Second Edition]  by Howland, Mrs. E.A. (Esther Allen)  1846 Worcester, MA: S.A. Howland.  Little book provides New England housekeepers with recipes for scores of dishes, then in Medicinal Department, guidance for asthma, bleeding at the nose, burns and scalds, salve for a burn, sore mouth, dysentery, diarrhœa, consumption, corns and more.  Menu for Thanksgiving Dinner: Roast Turkey, stuffed; a pair of chickens, stuffed and boiled, with cabbage and a piece of lean pork; chicken pie, potatoes, turnip sauce, squash, onions, gravy and gravy sauce, cranberry sauce, oyster sauce, plum and plain pudding, with sweet sauce; mince, pumpkin and apple pies. Recipes include Dyspepsia Bread, Rice Bread, Johnny-Cake, 
Temperance Cakes, Mutton Pie, Indian Pudding, Boiled Calf's Head and Pluck  (tongue, heart, liver, brains); Mutton with Oysters; Indian Gruel, Sassafras Mead, many more.  Also inserted in book are ten+ handwritten recipes for Fruit Cake, Sweet Pickles, Cure for Dysentery, Pork Cake, Pickling Beef, Lemon Pie, Blood Syrup, more.  Also list of those who died in Winchendon (MA) in January, 1875. Excellent little glimpse into New England life in the Nineteenth Century. Frontispiece illustration of two women in kitchen. 108 pp. 10.5 x 18 cm. Paper on board with cloth tape spine; spine worn and frayed. 12+ handwritten recipes and notes and one 1875 newspaper clipping with recipes  inserted.  Book binding cracked, fair. (8099) $102.00. Cookbooks/Ephemera

To boil a Calf’s Head and Pluck
Clean the head very nicely, and soak it in water till it looks very white. The tongue and heart need longer cooking than the rest.  Boil these an hour and a half, the head an hour and a quarter, and the liver an hour; tie the brains in a bag, and boil them one hour. Take up all at the same time; serve up the brains with pounded cracker, butter, pepper, vinegar and salt. To be eaten with butter gravy.
Recipe for Head Cheese
Head Cheese
Take a hog’s head, ears, and feet, and boil them till you can pick all the bones out; then season it with salt, pepper, and a little sage, or summer savory; put in a round dish, or cheese-hoop, in a cool place, and press it; when cool, it is ready for use.

Rockport Art Association

Artists of the Rockport Art Association, Thirty-fifth Anniversary Edition; a pictorial and descriptive record of The Oldest Art Organization on Cape Ann 1956 Rockport, MA: The Rockport Art Association. 204 pp. + 18 pp. adv. 19 x 20 cm. Wonderful collection of photos  and favorite art of hundreds of Rockport artists including Aldro Hibbard, Harrison Cady, Stanley Woodward, Gifford Beal, Agnes Abbot, Gladys and Herb Murphy, John Buckley, Louise Burbank, Franz Denghausen, Blanche Colman, Stow Wengenroth, Paul Strisik, Mayo Sorgman, Harold Rotenberg, Iver Rose, Richard Recchia, Roger Martin, Harold Maddocks, Tod Lindenmuth, Nota Koslowsky, Mildred C. Jones, Prescott Jones, Lilian Westcott Hale, Ruth Hagstrom, Antonio Cirino, many more. Informal photos of RAA events, like Christmas in Rockport, with Lura Phillips, Christmas Tea with Martta Somppi Blanchet.  Heavy cardboard cover with ring binding, cover soiled, contents very good, overall fair. (4866)  $29.00. Art/Antiques

1968 Peace Calendar & Appointment Book; Out of the War Shadow, an Anthology of Current Poetry Levertov, Denise, Compiler/Editor 1967 New York, NY: War Resisters League, 5 Beekman Street, NYC. Collection of poems by living (in 1967)  American and Canadian poets, written in the context of "longing for peace", "we are living at war." Poems by Galway Kinnell, Hayden Carruth, Barbara Gibson, Barbara Deming, Lewis Turco, Muriel Rukeyser, Sister Mary Norbert Körte, O.P., James Laughlin, William Lee Coakley, Dick Lourie, Gary Snyder, Harriet Zinnes, Gilbert Sorrentino, Allen Grossman, W.R. Moses, Gary Youree, Eileen Egan, William Burford, Emmett Jarrett, Vern Rutsala, Gail Dusenbery, Louis Zukofsky, many more. 62 pp. 13 x 20.7 cm. Paper booklet with spiral binding, heavy card cover, pages numbered in pen, good. (7996) $35.00. Cold War/Poetry

Berlin, 27. Februar 1969 "Ha, Ho, He -- Nixon is okay!" Booklet issued in commemoration of visit of President Nixon to Berlin text by Waldmann, Helmut 1969 Berlin, Germany: Presse- und informationsamt des Landes Berlin. Cover features color photo of President Nixon standing in open limousine in motorcade through Berlin, while Berliners wave. Introduction to text by Bürgermeister Klaus Schütz. Photos of arrival, visits to Charlottenburg Palace and Siemens Factory, photos of departure. Statement by Nixon, upon return to Washington: "If you could have been with me as  rode through the streets of Berlin on a snowy cold day and have seen the hopeful faces in those crowds on the streets....you (the American people) would have been proud that America did meet her world responsibilities in helping others defend their freedom." 64 pp. 19 x 20 cm. Paper booklet, very good. (7770) $21.00. Cold War/History

Drawings of a Draftee, inscribed by author by J.B. Dobbs,  ca. 1955. Author was drafted into the Army on election day, 1952. He produced graphic drawings of life in post World War II Germany, and of life in the Army. 36 pp. 25 x 16 cm. Paper booklet bound with plastic spiral rings. Very good. (5642) $21.00. History/Military

Hitler Marches in the Soviet Zone of Germany by Otto. Bertram 1961 Bonn, Germany: Berto-Verlag G.M.B.H. Book of excellent photos of Nazi era and Soviet era show how Hitler's regime is re-created by Soviets in their zone of Germany under Ulbricht. Same no-choice elections, Same dullness. Same marching troops. Same police state. Very skilful, sometimes funny anti-Soviet propaganda.  94 pp. 24 x 22 cm. Paper booklet, cover shows photos of Nazi troops marching for Hitler and Soviet troops marching with same goose-step. Cover shows moderate wear, very good. (6546) $22.00. Cold War/Communism
Iran Today, A Quarterly Review, Vol. I No. 1  published by the Department General of Information and Broadcasting, Tehran, Iran ca. 1956 Tehran, Iran: Dept. General of Information & Broadcasting. This magazine-format booklet features full-page photos of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlevi and Queen Sorayya (Soraya). History of Iran. Persian culture. Zoor Khaneh. Olympic Success in 1948 games. Woman of Iran, photo of Queen in fur coat, inspecting women at evening class. Photos of visits by Iskandar Mirza of Pakistan, Sokarno of Indonesia, Conrad Adenauer of West Germany and Camille Chamoun, of Lebanon. Radio Tehran broadcast schedule. 48 pp.  21 x 29 cm. Paper booklet, very good. (7760)  24.00. Cold War/History

Pakistan Times, The: Largest Circulation of any English Language Daily in Pakistan; Lahore, Saturday, March 22, 1958 (Ramazan-ul-Mubarak 1377 A.H.) 1958 Lahore, West Pakistan: The Pakistan Times. "West Pakistan Budget Passed"  Five more members of the Muslim League crossed over to the Republican side on Friday. "E. Wing Govt. Crisis" news from Dacca that 11 members of the Awami League Coalition Parliamentary Party  have withdrawn support from the Government.  AFP reports from Damascus that more than 200 Iraqi army officers have been arrested following an attempt to execute a coup d'etat in Iraq. Ramazan moon has been sighted in Lahore and Lyallpur. Tomorrow the Republic of Pakistan will celebrate the second anniversary of its birth.  Festivities have been planned  on an elaborate scale all over the country. Photo of Pakistani flag being raised on stern of PNS Jahangir, formerly destroyer HMS Crispin, in ceremony at Southampton, UK. Photo of Princess Birgitta of Sweden, in gymnastics uniform, rehearsing for yearly exhibition in Stockholm.  Tehran paper reports new pact by Iran, Pakistan and Turkey, says initial move was by Pak Prime Minister, Malik Firoz Khan Noon. 8 pp. 44 x 60 cm. Newspaper, 2 cm closed tear in front page,  good. (7928) $22.00. History/Cold War Era

Please contact me at  scoulbourn1@verizon.net

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