SKATE USS (SSN-578)

Built as a nuclear submarine under yard no 147 by Electric Boat Co, Groton for the USA Navy.
18 July 1955 ordered.
21 July 1955 laid down.
16 May 1957 launched as the USS SKATE (SSN-578)
Displacement 2,590 ton surfaced, 2,894 ton submerged, dim. 81.56 x 7.6 m,
Powered by S3W nuclear reactor, geared steam turbines, two shafts, 6,600 shp (4,900 kW)., twin shafts, speed 15.5 knots surfaced, 18 knots submerged.
Armament: 8 – 21 inch torpedo tubes, 6 forward and 2 aft.
Crew 84.
23 December 1957 commissioned.

USS SKATE (SSN-578), the third submarine of the United States Navy named for the SKATE, a type of ray, was the lead ship of the Skate class of nuclear submarines. She was the third nuclear submarine commissioned, the first to make a completely submerged trans-Atlantic crossing, and the second submarine to reach the North Pole and the first to surface there.

The contract to build her was awarded to the Electric Boat division of General Dynamics on 18 July 1955, and her keel was laid in Groton, Connecticut on 21 July 1955. She was launched on 16 May 1957 sponsored by Mrs. Lewis L. Strauss, and commissioned on 23 December 1957 with Commander James F. Calvert in command.

Operational history
SKATE conducted shakedown training out of New London, Connecticut until 29 January 1958, when she cruised to the Bermuda operating area, then returned to her home port on 8 February. Sixteen days later, the nuclear powered submarine set a course for the Isle of Portland, England. Before returning home, she had also visited ports in France and the Netherlands.
On 30 July, SKATE sought the Arctic where she operated under the ice for 10 days. During this time, she surfaced nine times through the ice, navigated over 2,400 miles (3,900 km) under it, and on 11 August, 9:47 pm EDT (the week after USS NAUTILUS ) became the second sea ship to reach the North Pole. SKATE was unable to surface precisely at the Pole on the August voyage due to dangerous ice conditions as noted in the captain's 1960 book, Surface at the Pole: The Extraordinary Voyages of the USS SKATE, where Calvert said, "Seldom had the ice seemed so heavy and so thick as it did in the immediate vicinity of the pole. For days we had searched in vain for a suitable opening to surface in." The closest was to make radio contact at the surface from a polynya around 30 nm away, but not to surface fully owing to the risk of damage from ice. SKATE did manage to surface and make contact with Drifting Ice Station Alpha at 85ºN, 300 nm away.
After being denied access to visit Copenhagen in Denmark, she sailed into Bergen, Norway on 23 August. There she was inspected by king Olav V of Norway, US ambassador Frances E. Willis and minister of defence Nils Handal. The submarine made port calls in the Netherlands, Belgium, and France before returning to New London on 25 September 1958. In recognition of the dangerous and historic feat, the SKATE and its crew was given the Navy Unit Commendation award for "... braving the hazards of the polar ice pack...."
While the SKATE was unable to surface on its first voyage to the pole, on 17 March 1959, she became the first submarine to surface at the North Pole with Calvert describing the historic moment in his book, saying, "Slowly we blew the tanks and the SKATE moved reluctantly upward. It was apparent we were under heavier ice here than any we had experienced before." While at the pole, Calvert and the crew planted an American Flag in a cairn they built out of ice blocks and put a waterproof container in the cairn with a note commemorating the event. The crew also held a ceremony for the late Arctic explorer Sir Hubert Wilkins and committed his ashes at the pole. In 1931, Sir Hubert had conducted an Arctic expedition in the disarmed research submarine NAUTILUS (ex-USS O-12). After reaching the Pole, the SKATE continued its mission to pioneer arctic operations during periods of extreme cold and maximum ice thickness. When the submarine returned to port, she was awarded a bronze star in lieu of a second Navy Unit Commendation for demonstrating "... for the first time the ability of submarines to operate in and under the Arctic ice in the dead of winter...." In the fall of 1959 and in 1960, SKATE participated in exercises designed to strengthen American antisubmarine defenses.

SKATE returned to General Dynamics in January 1961 for a regular overhaul and to have her reactor refueled for the first time. She put to sea in August and, for the next 11 months, conducted exercises to increase the operational readiness of her crew.
On 7 July 1962, SKATE again set course towards the North Pole. Five days later, USS SEADRAGON , did likewise from Pearl Harbor. The two submarines made their rendezvous on 31 July. After meeting, they operated together for over a week. Both submarines surfaced at the North Pole on 2 August and official greetings and insignia of Submarine Force Atlantic Fleet and Submarine Force Pacific Fleet were exchanged.
SKATE returned to New London and performed fleet and local operations for the next several years. She entered the Norfolk Naval Shipyard on 28 April 1965, the first nuclear submarine overhauled there, for nuclear refueling and installation of the SUBSAFE package. SKATE was the first submarine to finish this major conversion program, which was instituted after the loss of USS THRESHER in 1963. The process was not completed until September 1967.

After sea trials and a shakedown cruise in the Caribbean, the submarine returned to New London and participated in exercises involved in the development of new undersea tactics and equipment.
In October 1968, SKATE was deployed to the Mediterranean where she operated with the Sixth Fleet for two months. The polar veteran operated under the Arctic ice again in March and April 1969, in October 1970, and in February 1971 . The remainder of her at sea time was spent in various Atlantic Fleet and NATO exercises. In July 1971, she began her third regular overhaul at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard and did not return to New London until 17 November 1973. In August 1974, SKATE operated as a unit of the Atlantic Fleet.

In late 1977, SKATE transferred to Pearl Harbor, where she joined the other three SKATE class submarines as a member of Submarine Squadron 7.

Decommissioning
SKATE was decommissioned on 12 September 1986, stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 30 October 1986, and disposed of by submarine recycling at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard on 6 March 1995.

Awards
SKATE received two Navy Unit Commendations and three Meritorious Unit Commendations during her career. The first Navy Unit Commendation was for the period 9–12 August 1958 and the second for the period 4 March through 6 April 1959. The Meritorious Unit Commendations were for the periods 24 March through 15 April 1969, 12 October through 18 November 1970 and 26 February through 9 March 1971. (Source – US Navy Unit Awards Webpage.)

Popular culture
SKATE appears in Tom Clancy's 1993 novel Without Remorse.
SKATE appears in the 1961 film, Parrish as the submarine upon which the title character is stationed.
The 1978 disaster film Gray Lady Down features a fictional SKATE-class submarine USS NEPTUNE.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_SKATE_(SSN-578)
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LUCEAFARUL (Rumania)

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LUCEAFARUL (Rumania)

Postby D. v. Nieuwenhuijzen » Fri Sep 08, 2017 2:50 pm

luceafarul z.png
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nahlin 1.jpg
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Built in 1929-'30 by John Brown & Co. Ltd., Clydebank, #533, for Ladie Annie Henrietta Yule, Glasgow, launched 28-04-1930, commissioned 10-07-'30 as NAHLIN.
Yacht, Gt:1391, Nt:566, displacement:2050 tons, L:91.44m. (100') B:10.97m. (36') D:6.40m. (21') Draft:4.42m. (14.5') 2 Oil fired Yarrow boilers, 4 single reduction Brown-Curtis turbines:8800 hp. (6475 kW.) 2 shafts, 17.1 kn. IMO.1009417, call sign 2CQY6.

NAHLIN is a luxury yacht and one of the last of three large steam yachts constructed in the UK. She was built for Lady Annie Henrietta Yule, heiress of Sir David Yule, and was launched in 1930. She is currently owned by British industrial entrepreneur Sir James Dyson, who purchased her from Sir Anthony Bamford, Chairman of JCB. The name NAHLIN is taken from the Native American word meaning "fleet of foot" and the yacht has a figurehead depicting a Native American wearing a feathered headdress beneath the bowsprit.

Lady Yule ordered three private yachts in 1929 from John Brown & Company, Clydebank, with NAHLIN being the first built. In 1934 NAHLIN was classified as one of the biggest private yachts ever built in the U.K. Numbered 533 at the yard, she was the vessel constructed by Brown's immediately before the RMS QUEEN MARY.

In 1936 NAHLIN was chartered by King Edward VIII - rather than using the Royal yacht VICTORIA & ALBERT III, to "enable the avoidance of formality accorded to Royalty" - and used by him and Mrs. Wallis Simpson during a cruise in the Adriatic Sea. As Lady Yule was a strict teetotaler, the king took over the library on the shade deck where he replaced the books with bottles. The presence of Simpson on board the yacht first "alerted the world's media to the impending abdication crisis." Informal photographs of Edward and Simpson on board together during the cruise were not published in Britain but became front-page news in the United States. During the cruise, NAHLIN was escorted by HMS GLOWWORM, a Royal Navy destroyer.

The yacht was bought in 1937 by King Carol II of Romania for £120,000 and renamed LUCEAFARUL (Evening Star), and in 1940 LIBERTATEA (Liberty) later in RASARITUL. When the Romanian monarch abdicated in 1940, she became the property of the Romanian Ministry of Culture and was tied up in the port of Galați on the Danube as a museum and later as a floating restaurant, named TRANSILVANIA.

In 1989 the yacht was rediscovered by luxury yacht broker Nicholas Edmiston who purchased the vessel in 1998 from the Romanian government and in 1999 sent her to Falmouth, Cornwall, on the heavy lift ship SWIFT. She was then towed to Devonport, Plymouth and then to Liverpool for restoration. Phase one of the project was delayed when restorers Cammell Laird went into receivership. Following a 15-year process of stabilization and a £25 million restoration led by G. L. Watson & Company the ship was recommissioned in 2010 as the NAHLIN and is registered again in Glasgow, Scotland. The refit was undertaken by Nobiskrug at Rendsburg, Germany, and completion was at the Blohm + Voss shipyard, Hamburg, where diesel engines replaced her old steam turbines.

During restoration, the yacht's original mahogany-hulled 6.4om.(21') ship-to-shore tender, believed lost for 60 years, was located in Scotland, having been fully restored by owner Willie McCullough. It has now been reunited with the yacht.

(Rumania 1960, 35 b. StG.2770)
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Last edited by D. v. Nieuwenhuijzen on Sun Sep 10, 2017 7:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: LUCEAFARUL (Rumania)

Postby aukepalmhof » Sat Sep 09, 2017 9:37 pm

The liner in the background of the stamp is the TRANSYLVANIA viewtopic.php?f=2&t=6374&p=11312&hilit=transylvania#p11312
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