Puslapio vaizdai

Senator ODDIE. In your opinion did the Coast Guard Service have notice of former collisions with submerged submarines? Admiral HUGHES. I can not answer that.

the S-51.

I know they know about

Senator ODDIE. That was made public through the press?

Admiral HUGHES. Yes, sir.

Senator ODDIE. So that they would be forced to take judicial. notice of an accident of that kind?

Admiral HUGHES. Yes, sir.

Senator ODDIE. Do you know of ships operating along the coast that do not have radio apparatus?

Admiral HUGHES. I do not know of them, but there must be some, because it is only required in connection with passenger service by law, and then there are certain ones that are required to have a radio that are not required to man it constantly. I would have to check up on that. Many freighters do not carry radio.

Senator ODDIE. So there is a possibility in your opinion that certain ships not equipped with radio might be traveling along the same course as the Paulding at the time of the accident?

Admiral HUGHES. Fishing vessels, yes, and freight vessels might make Provincetown in stress of weather, but probably at that time the submarines would not be using the course.

Senator ODDIE. Do you believe that the buoys along this measured trial course were sufficient warning to keep these fishing vessels away from there?

Admiral HUGHES. They should be sufficient warning; yes, sir. Senator ODDIE. It was known to the Coast Guard Service that that measured course had been used very recently as a submerged submarine trial course?

Admiral HUGHES. Yes; to those of the Coast Guard in that vicinity. Senator GERRY. Along the line that I asked you questions, Admiral Hughes, I want to ask one or two more and then go to another subject. Do you think that in the operation of the submarines the orders from the department might restrict more the areas in which the submarines submerge?

Admiral HUGHES. I do not.

Senator GERRY. You think you have gone as far as you can along that line, and that you have to leave it to the discretion of the commander of the submarine?

Admiral HUGHES. As far as we should.

Senator GERRY. And that you have to leave it to the discretion of the commander of the submarine?

Admiral HUGHES. Under his immediate senior.

Senator GERRY. Under his immediate senior?

Admiral HUGHES. And that if you tried to designate areas more definitely you would hamper operations.

Senator ODDIE. There is one situation that is very apparent, but I think it should go into the record. I will ask you this anyway, so as to emphasize it. Did the investigation bring out the fact that everybody on the S-4 was dead, so that it was not possible to secure any testimony of any kind regarding the accident from any of the men who were on the S-4 at the time?

Admiral HUGHES. It was absolutely impossible. Immediately on the collision the S-4 sank, and everybody on board died. We have no knowledge or evidence of her speed, her change in course, or the reason why she did anything that she did.

Senator ODDIE. So that it is impossible to determine just what happened on the S-4 at the time, whether any accident happened to any of her machinery or steering gear or any part of the ship?

Admiral HUGHES. There is absolutely no knowledge of any kind of what happened to the S-4, any part of her, or any of her personnel, after she suffered the accident, except that they all died as a result of the accident. Whether anybody on the S-4 saw the Paulding or any other ship, or what determined her action, is now unknown and must remain unknown.

Senator ODDIE. Is there any testimony in the hearings showing that the Paulding changed her course before the accident?

Admiral HUGHES. The indications of her rudder showed that she was at the time

Senator ODDIE. No; I mean the Paulding.

Admiral HUGHES. Oh, excuse me. There is evidence of changes of course by the Paulding. I can not personally recall them, but they are in the record.

Senator ODDIE. I will ask you a hypothetical question. Supposing that the officer in command of the S-4 had seen the Paulding traveling on a certain course at a certain time and had assumed that that course would be maintained, could it have been possible that at that time he had turned his periscope so as to observe the buoys, to complete the calculation of his trial run?

Admiral HUGHES. He should have had one periscope looking around and one periscope in use on the trial mark. Had he finished the trial mile, then both periscopes would have been available for looking around.

Senator GERRY. The salvage vessel of the department is as up to date as those of any of the foreign navies; do you know?

Admiral HUGHES. To the best of my knowledge and belief, it is; although we have not what you call a salvage vessel. Our vessels we call rescue vessels.

Senator GERRY. The Falcon is

Admiral HUGHES. More a rescue vessel.

Senator GERRY. A rescue vessel. Have the foreign navies salvage vessels, do you know?

Admiral HUGHES. They have had them, and I think at present France may have one, Italy may have one, and Brazil; but that can be checked up.

Senator GERRY. What is the difference between a salvage vessel and a vessel such as the Falcon?

Admiral HUGHES. The general difference that I have in mind is that certain countries did build a ship that could bodily lift a submarine-had the lifting power herself-with chains and engines. We with a rescue ship would simply be able to supply air and divers, and things of that kind, and you have to lift with pontoons. The salvage work is a secondary step, and we do it with pontoons.

Senator GERRY. Why do you do it with pontoons instead of a salvage ship?

Admiral HUGHES. We believe that is the most efficient method.

Senator GERRY. Is it a quicker method?

Admiral HUGHES. In the open sea; yes, sir; or where there is a swell. If you are in an absolutely still harbor, the other method might be quicker, but most of the accidents happen where there is more of less or a surge of the sea.

Senator GERRY. Are these salvage ships used now by foreign governments, do you know?

Admiral HUGHES. I am not able to tell just at present. I think the Brazilian one is ready for use.

Senator GERRY. Would a salvage ship have expedited the raising of the S-4?

Admiral HUGHES. Not at all, sir.

Senator GERRY. Why not?

Admiral HUGHES. Because we could not have worked with it out there in the seaway.

Senator GERRY. The sea was too rough?

Admiral HUGHES. The sea was too rough. It is just the motion even of what you would call a smooth sea; the ground swell would prevent it.

Senator GERRY. It has to be an absolutely smooth sea, such as you find in a harbor, in order to operate with a salvage ship?

Admiral HUGHES. Those so-called salvage vessels; yes, sir.

Senator GERRY. The method of raising a submarine is by placing chains underneath her, and then attaching the pontoons to the chains?

Admiral HUGHES. Yes, sir.

Senator GERRY. Would eyebolts in the submarine be possible to be so constructed that chains could be attached to them, and is that done by some foreign navies?

Admiral HUGHES. They are a possibility, but I doubt their advisability. But that is more a technical question that a designer would have to consider, with strength and weight and division of strain. Senator GERRY. Has it been done by foreign navies in submarines? Admiral HUGHES. The Germans did have them on their smaller submarines. I would have to check my memory. But they have been on ships.

Senator GERRY. They have been on ships?

Admiral HUGHES. Yes; but they were entirely on smaller ships. Commander HOOVER. That is right.

Admiral HUGHES. On smaller submarines.

Commander HOOVER. Very small.

Senator GERRY. I understand the Germans raised a submarine, but that was prior to the World War?

Admiral HUGHES. Yes, sir.

Senator GERRY. And that was a very much smaller submarine. That was when submarines were small?

Admiral HUGHES. Yes, sir.

Commander HOOVER. That submarine was about 350 tons, and was in only 50 feet of water.

Senator GERRY. And in Kiel harbor?

Commander HOOVER. Yes; in Kiel harbor.

Senator GERRY. What was the tonnage of the S-4?

Commander HOOVER. About 900 tons.

Senator GERRY. Admiral, how do they raise a submarine with the pontoons? They simply hitch chains under the submarine? Admiral HUGHES. Yes.

Senator GERRY. Will you explain that to the committee?

Admiral HUGHES. Pontoons are used in pairs, one pontoon of a pair on each side of the ship; as many pairs as may be needed are used. Pontoons are cylinders so constructed that chains can be secured at each end and fitted to be filled with water for lowering to the bottom of the sea alongside the submerged ship. Further fittings are provided, so that the water in the pontoons can be blown out by compressed air when it is desired to make them buoyant for raising the sunken ship.

Chains are passed under the ship and then secured to the pontoons. [A rough sketch was here made, indicating how the chains were run and how the pontoons were placed in regard to the sunken vessel.]

When first placed alongside the sunken ship, the pontoons have negative buoyancy. When all is ready for raising the wreck, the water is forced out of the pontoons by compressed air; the pontoons become buoyant and raise the wreck. The stress on any pair of chains can not exceed the buoyancy of the pair of pontoons to which they are attached.

With a so-called salvage vessel it might be possible to get the greater part of the lift on one chain, or pair of chains, and cause them to carry away.

With pontoons it is impracticable to get a greater stress on any chain than it is designed to carry.

Senator GERRY. The difficulty is in getting the chains under the submarine?

Admiral HUGHES. The greatest difficulty is in getting chains under the submarine.

Senator GERRY. And that consumes a lot of time?

Admiral HUGHES. Yes, sir.

Senator GERRY. Depending on the circumstances?

Admiral HUGHES. Comparatively, yes, sir; but really, what consumed the time on the S-51 and on the S-4 was not putting these pontoons down. That submarine, when she is full of water, weighs about 900 tons. The S-4, when we raised her, probably her weight was something like anywhere from 80 to 120 tons, because the divers had gone down inside the ship and restored the original buoyancy of several compartments and by air had blown the water out of each one of these places, so that we really only had the weight of the damaged compartments to lift, and some of the ballast tanks that we could not blow the water out of; so that they really took the time by restoring the buoyancy of the ship herself, and the chains were put in by using hose to wash trenches under the ship, and placing the chains and pontoons was not more than a matter of less than 10 working days.

Senator GERRY. I presume you tried to raise one end of the submarine; I mean at first? That is, that was your original plan of salvage, so as to get the men out?

Admiral HUGHES. Had we found life in the ship, we would have tried to do it.

Senator GERRY. That would have been the original idea?

Admiral HUGHES. For rescue.

Senator GERRY. For rescue?
Admiral HUGHES. Yes.

Senator GERRY. Does the department keep in fairly close touch with what the European governments are doing in regard to submarine raising and salvage; or is that more or less kept secret by the different countries?

Admiral HUGHES. The salvage work I do not consider is kept secret. The safety appliances that are on submarines themselves are kept secret.

Senator GERRY. But the salvage work is not?

Admiral HUGHES. No, sir.

Senator GERRY. Are our salvage appliances as efficient or as up to date as those of foreign governments?

Admiral HUGHES. I believe they are; more so; more than equal. I think the means in regard to diving and work on the Falcon with her divers, diving in the wintertime, overcoming the frozen air which was the greatest difficulty, has been a marked advance, probably more so than elsewhere.

Senator GERRY. You do not think that these salvage vessels, such as you speak of the Brazilian Government having, could be made possibly so that they would operate in a heavier sea?

Admiral HUGHES. To the best of my knowledge, they can not. I so stated to the House Naval Committee; and should they give us money to build a salvage vessel, I would not know what to recommend; and I feel that the technical men in the bureau feel the same way.

Senator GERRY. There is nothing in any of the commercial salvage people's machinery; none of their machinery is any more efficient than that of the Navy, is it?

Admiral HUGHES. No, sir; not for this kind of work.

Senator GERRY. Do you keep in fairly close touch with what they are doing?

Admiral HUGHES. Very close cooperation. The big salvage companies we are very close with. We call on them, and I think in this work they recognize that we have both the men and the facilities. They were called in consultation immediately.

Senator GERRY. Whom did you call in consultation?

Admiral HUGHES. This Merritt Chapman & Scott Corporation, which is the only large wrecking company along this coast. Senator GERRY. That is a large wrecking company.

Admiral HUGHES. As a matter of fact, they are practically on both coasts.

Senator GERRY. How far away were your pontoons?

Admiral HUGHES. The pontoons were some at New York and some at Norfolk. We had six at New York and four at Norfolk. Senator GERRY. The Falcon was at New London? Admiral HUGHES. The Falcon was at New London.

Senator GERRY. The Falcon got there the next morning?

Admiral HUGHES. The next morning.

Senator GERRY. How long did it take to bring your New York pontoons?

Admiral HUGHES. I should have to check, exactly.

Senator GERRY. Roughly.

Admiral HUGHES. I should say 36 hours from the time of the accident.

« AnkstesnisTęsti »