Puslapio vaizdai

A later dispatch from commander S-4 salvage force timed 16.35 (4.35 p. m.) December 31 U. S. S. Mallard relieved Sagamore on watch at wreck. Wind and sea continue to rise. Continued training and other preparations.

A still later dispatch from commander S-4 salvage force gives position of periscopes of S-4 on further examination.

A dispatch from commander S-4 salvage force timed 17.35 (5.35 p. m.) December 31 states that divers completed stripping off deck around motor room hatch by which time conditions were such that Falcon unmoored and anchored clear of moorings. Weather still foggy. At time last diver came up water was still flowing through center bolt hold in engine-room hatch.

JANUARY 1, 1928

Commander S-4 salvage force reports by dispatch timed 9.45 January 1 that fresh westerly winds are increasing and rough sea rising; diving impracticable. Northwest storm warning displayed. All vessels in harbor except Sagamore on watch at wreck. Day will be spent in preparations for continuing work as soon as weather and sea permit.

JANUARY 2, 1928

Commander S-4 salvage force reports in dispatch timed 17.35 (5.35 p. m.) January 2, that wind and sea moderating, also temperature. Continued preparatory work as before. Wandank now on watch at wreck.

In answer to dispatches from OPNAV (3830-1000) and (3828–1215) the commander S-4 salvage force states that Bushnell supplemented by Boston Navy Yard should be adequate for material requirements and that services of neither Vestal (repair ship) nor Dobbin (tender) are considered necessary.

A dispatch from commander S-4 salvage force timed 9.10 January 2 reports moderate westerly gale and rough sea; temperature 16°. Training of divers and other preparations will continue.

JANUARY 3, 1928


Commander S-4 salvage force by dispatch timed 10.25 (10.25 a. m.) January 3 reports weather bright and clear with gentle southwesterly breeze and smooth sea; air temperature 22°. Bushnell, Falcon, and Sagamore underway from harbor 6.30 (6.30 a. m.). After careful preparation of air apparatus of all divers, the Falcon conducted test in harbor yesterday at 9 a. m.; air temperature 17° at bottom, using divers' helmets with control valve adjusted to normal. showed divers' air lines clogged with ice and snow in about five minutes on deck. Air lines also clogged with ice and snow with helmet over side near bottom. Falcon repeated tests later in day with same results. Before attempting to send divers down to-day, repeated and amplified tests at S-4 location under excellent weather and sea conditions at about 9 a. m. with air temperature 22°, surface water 36°, and bottom water 38°, when obtained similar results. No diving will be undertaken while these conditions continue. Congressman LaGuardia now on S-8 en route to Boston.

NOTE. This is first indication of trouble with snow and ice clogging divers' air lines. Extensive experiments were conducted to overcome this very serious difficulty. This difficulty was later successfully overcome.

A later dispatch from commander S-4 salvage force, timed 17.10 January 3, states weather continued good all day though wind shifted to northwest and freshened somewhat, but diving was practicable except for conditions reported in my previous dispatch (ice and snow in divers' air lines). Further tests, amplified and improved, confirm previous results (snow and ice in divers' air lines). Steps are underway to permit analyses of cause and therefore means of possible control. Have ready a dummy diver complete which will be lowered to bottom each morning and tested. If clogging is indicated, no diver will be sent down; if no clogging is detected, one diver will be sent down, using utmost precaution.

JANUARY 4, 1928

Commander S-4 salvage force reports by dispatch timed 8.30 January 4 that strong breezes freshening to moderate gale from west-southwest and very rough sea make diving out of question and boating impracticable, so Bushnell, Falcon, and S-6 will proceed into harbor for examination by salvage officers, training of divers, and trial of salvage attachments on S-6. Sagamore remains on watch at wreck.

In connection with problem to prevent snow and ice forming in divers' air lines, the commander S-4 salvage force states that he requires means for determining relative humidity of atmosphere, using apparatus workable on board Falcon at scene of S-4 wreck, wet and dry bulb thermometers not usable in freezing weather. A dispatch from commander S-4 salvage force timed 15.55 (3.55 p. m.) January 4 states that temperature is increasing. Falcon moored over $-4 about 11 a. m. and repeated test with dummy diver. Diver Applegate then went down and opened engine room hatch. Divers Eiben, Wilson, and Mattox then went down together and first two entered engine room and brought out three bodies, which are now in Bushnell and will be sent to Boston via U. S. S. Maury to-night. Diving continues. New telephones worked very well.

A later dispatch time 19.55 (7.55 p. m.) January 4 states divers Crilley and Campbell entered engine room with Mattox tending their lines through engineroom hatch. Campbell reports engine-room door to control room closed; he then started aft, but belt strap parted and let belt drop down; he got out all right, but had to end diving and bring all three divers up, by which time darkness stopped further work. U. S. S. Maury sailed for Boston at 18.05 (6.05 p. m.) with the three recovered bodies.

JANUARY 5, 1928

Reports from S-4 operations, timed 8.30 January 5, state strong breezes freshening to moderate gale from west-southwest and very rough sea make diving out of question. Bushnell, Falcon, and S-6 will proceed harbor for training of divers. A later dispatch, timed 17.30 (5.30 p. m.) January 5, stated that salvage force remained in harbor training divers and trying salvage attachments, weather moderating.

JANUARY 6, 1928

A dispatch from commander S-4 salvage force timed 17.35 (5.35 p. m.), January 6, stated that wind and sea moderated at noon. Falcon returned to moorings. Divers Ingram, Scott, McNulty, Kelly, Wickwire, and Burd were down and removed four bodies which are being sent on Maury. Wind and sea rising. Falcon is unmooring.

JANUARY 7, 1928

Report from commander S-4 salvage force timed at 12 (noon) January 7, states " 'sea smooth; temperature 42°. Divers Eadie, Carr, and Applegate, Wilson, Eiben, and Maddox dove during forenoon. Six bodies recovered in engine room to-day."

A later dispatch timed at 18 (6 p. m.), January 7, states that during afternoon Crilley, Baker, Kelly, Wickwire, Burd, Ingram, Scott, and Burns went down and recovered four bodies. The divers went as far aft as the forward part of the motor room and as far forward as the wardroom in the control room. No bodies were found in the control room.

JANUARY 8, 1928

The commander S-4 salvage force reports by dispatch timed 12.10, January 8, that Divers Eadie, Carr, Michaels entered control room, cleared wreckage in forward passageway and found forward door closed but not dogged. Eadie dogged forward control room door, closed wash room drain valve and voice tube bulkhead valve. Overcast, light breeze, sea smooth. Diving continues.

A later dispatch timed at 19.25 (7.25 p. m.), January 8, states weather same except occasional light rain. Divers inside and outside. Closed flapper valve in battery ventilation duct coming through battery room bulkhead checked closing of control room main ventilation valve and closed drain of same and also drain from main induction valve, operated five valves on trim and bilge lines in preparation for unwatering control room. Divers inside and outside attempted open motor room hatch but were balked by air trapped in hatch trunk and in motor room above top of door. Divers Kelly and Wickwire inside with Burke outside continued work begun by Eiben and Wilson in control room. Nichol and Carr affected by "bends," but both are responding to treatment.

JANUARY 9, 1928

Report from commander S-4 salvage force timed at 11.25, January 9, states that weather is overcast, sea smooth, heavy fog. Falcon moored. Fog lifted somewhat. After completing last night's work divers reported snow and ice particles coming into helmet during diving. Put over dummy diver this morning and also divers air line with control valve open. Normal amount placed at 100 feet and hose leading therefrom to deck. After thorough trial of these two devices decided to undertake diving which is now beginning.

A later dispatch timed at 16.50 (4.50 p. m.), January 9, states weather same with heavy mist. Divers Ingram and Grube cleared away around motor room hatch, then Campbell and Crilley opened motor room hatch. Campbell then went down hatch but air line clogged so he came on deck when air line clogged again, so brought up both divers and discontinued diving.

JANUARY 10, 1928

Commander S-4 salvage force by dispatch timed 8.55, January 10, reports bright and clear with fresh westerly breeze, sea too rough for diving. Divers will train and rehearse on S-6 where salvage gear will be tried. Wandank on watch at wreck.

A later dispatch timed at 19.15 (7.15 p. m.), Janyary 10, states that work was continued in harbor, fueling, instructing divers, and preparing for sealing compartments on S-4, As sea continued too rough for diving, sent down Divers Eiben and Crilley in harbor to make additional tests of new type telephones and develop means of calling divers when his air is turned on full and voice of talker can not well be heard. Telephone tests were satisfactory and should result in better communication when diving. Consultation held with Mr. Simon Lake and Sloane Danenhower in connection with scheme of general salvage operations.

JANUARY 11, 1928

S-3 arrived Provincetown at 1.30 (1.30 p. m.). Camden with commander submarine division 4 arrived Provincetown.

A dispatch timed 12, January 11, states weather favorable, diving resumed. Divers Campbell and Crilley closed all valves in motor room, preparatory to blowing down and recovered six bodies. Divers made further examination in motor room.

A later dispatch timed 12.50 states that divers Eadie and Carr recovered eight additional bodies, making a total of 14 to-day.

Parks Cramer Co., of Boston, consulted in effort to prevent divers' air lines being clogged with snow and ice.

NOTE. On January 4, Dr. W. C. Grew, from Bellevue Research Laboratory, had been sent to Provincetown to assist in preventing freezing of divers' air lines. A dispatch from commander S-4 salvage force timed 16.45 (4.45 p. m.), January 11, states moderate westerly breezes, moderate sea. Divers working outside and inside, entered motor room and found motor room ventilation valve closed, but could not reach drain valve. Found bulkhead voice tube valve closed and passed up six bodies. Divers Eadie inside and Carr outside motor room recovered eight bodies more. Further searched motor room and recovered one body. Search further made in engine room, but found no more bodies. Total, 15 bodies recovered to-day, now on Mahan underway for Boston. Total, 32 bodies recovered so far. Rising sea and wind required stop diving. Bushnell transferred stores of division 12 to Camden.

JANUARY 12, 1928

Commander S-4 salvage force reports by dispatch, timed 9.55, January 12, that weather is generally overcast with gentle northwesterly breezes, smooth sea; temperature 44°. Falcon moored at 7.20. Divers began clearing away deck and emptying deck lockers around torpedo room hatch in preparation for placing strong back for arrangements to unwater torpedo room.

A later dispatch, timed 18.20 (6.20 p. m.), states weather fine, sea smooth. Divers placed and secured strong back on torpedo-room hatch, holes drilled in torpedo-room hatch for air blowing connection. Court of inquiry completed inspection and desired tests and returned to Boston.

JANUARY 13, 1928

Commander S-4 salvage force reports by dispatch, timed 9.30, January 13, weather is overcast with fresh southerly breezes, moderate sea. Falcon moored and divers will continue and complete work begun yesterday on top of torpedo


A later dispatch, timed 17.20 (5.20 p. m.), states weather continued generally overcast, occasional light rain, wind shifting to southwestward and freshening. Required rearrangement of salvage vessels and additional lines to hold Falcon in position. Experienced trouble with clogging air lines while testing dummy diver and divers control valve at the bottom but after midday divers finshed drilling and tapping hole in torpedo hatch and secured in place connection for air-blowing hose. Admiral Brumby and two other officers departed for Boston to testify before court of inquiry.

JANUARY 14, 1928

Dispatch from commander S-4 salvage force, timed 9.45, January 14, reports weather bright and clear with fresh to strong west northwesterly winds and rough sea, too much for diving. All vessels came into harbor except Wandank on wreck watch. Other vessels following routine for nondiving conditions.

A later dispatch, timed 17.30 (5.30 p.m), states, wind and sea went down about 10. Vessel returned to wreck. Weather then continued excellent with light airs and smooth sea. Divers went down through engine room door into control room and forward to battery room door which was undogged and opened. Divers tried to lock shut battery ventilation duct flapper value on battery room side, but were unsuccessful.

JANUARY 15, 1928

Dispatch from commander S-4 salvage force timed 10.40, January 15, reports weather generally overcast with moderate to fresh northerly winds and moderate sea, temperature colder. Falcon moored but humidity, temperature and test of dummy diver and of special control valve were unfavorable so Falcon unmoored. A later dispatch timed 17.27 (5.27 p. m.) recommends that electric arc underwater cutting equipment including motor generators be rented or procured because of the unsatisfactoriness of gas torches for underwater cutting now in use by salvage force.

A still later dispatch timed 19.26 (7.26 p. m.) states weather clearing and moderating but colder. Test of dummy diver indicates unsatisfactory conditions for diving. Making further investigation of air situation.

Diver sent down to 90 feet to burn hole in test plate representing hull of S-4 over torpedo room. Test successful.

JANUARY 16, 1928

Dispatch from commander S-4 salvage force timed 11.15, January 16, reports temperature 22°. Test hose with control valve in normal position showed almost complete stoppage of air due to clogging with ice at control valve. ducting rehearsals of divers in the S-6.


A later dispatch timed 19.50 (7.50 p. m.) reports sea calm at noon, temperature slowly rising. Test of dummy diver and control valve indicated satisfactory operation. Divers dressed for diving but when blowing air through helmets considerable snow appeared and control valves clogged with ice. Conditions considered unsafe for diving. Subsequent tests of control valve and hose at 100 feet depth showed almost complete clogging with ice. Divers Eadie, Carr Michaels, Ingram, and Wickwire left for Boston to attend sessions of court of inquiry.

JANUARY 17, 1928

Dispatch from commander S-4 salvage force timed 19.30 (7.30 p. m.) January 17, states no diving to-day on account of ice in air lines. Endeavoring to remedy trouble but without entire success so far. Court of inquiry observed S-6 simulating runs of S-4 under weather conditions similar to those obtaining on December 17.

JANUARY 18, 1928

Dispatch from commander S-4 salvage force timed 12.50, January 18, states weather clear, sea moderate but ice and snow clogging air lines prevent diving. A later dispatch timed 19.30 (7.30 p. m.) states continued efforts to eliminate formation of ice in air lines. No diving to-day. Boston Navy Yard has commenced manufacture of equipment for installation on Falcon which it is hoped will overcome clogging.

JANUARY 19, 1928

Dispatch from commander S-4 salvage force timed 10.40, January 19, states partly overcast with moderate fresh breezes from east, moderate sea for diving; temperature 35°. Falcon moored over S-4 with Wandank and Sagamore holding her up against the wind and sea but repeated tests showed clogging of divers air lines and Falcon is now unmooring.

A later dispatch timed 18.05 (6.05 p. m.) states southeast storm warning displayed. Freshening easterly winds. All vessels in harbor except Sagamore on wreck watch. Continued analysis of cause of freezing of divers air lines. Following tests conducted on Bushnell now think that trouble probably lies in Falcon's present installation.

JANUARY 20, 1928

Dispatch from commander S-4 salvage force timed 9.40, January 20, states southeasterly gale blowing all last night, has all blown over, weather now bright and clear with fresh westerly winds and rough sea. Vessels have resumed stations

at wreck when tests of dummy divers will continue to determine cause of clogging of air line if possible.

A later dispatch timed 17.49 (5.49 p. m.) states moderate westerly gale since noon with rough rolling seas. All vessels in harbor except Wandank on wreck watch. Experiments at scene of wreck of no value in determining cause of present air troubles.

JANUARY 21 1928

Dispatch from commander S-4 salvage force timed 9.35, January 21, states northwest gale; temperature 16°. Bushnell and Falcon will continue air plant experiments so far as depth of water in harbor permits.

A later dispatch timed 17.30 (5.30 p. m.) states northwest gale continues, temperature 20°. Boating practically stopped on account of weather and ice. Nothing has actually been accomplished by divers on board S-4 since eight days ago nor have divers been down during past seven days.

JANUARY 22, 1928

Dispatch from commander S-4 salvage force timed 9.55, January 22, states weather bright and clear with fresh strong westerly winds, sea too rough for diving; temperature 20°. Continued analysis and experiments with air plant of the Falcon which supplies air to divers.

A later dispatch, timed 18 (6 p. m.) states moderate to fresh westerly winds with rough to moderate sea; temperature 20°. Wandank relieved Sagamore on wreck watch. S-8 getting torpedoes, engine spare parts, and other material in readiness to join submarine division 12.

JANUARY 23, 1928

A dispatch from commander S-4 salvage force timed 10.05, January 23, states weather partly overcast and cloudy, with fresh to strong southwest winds and rough rolling sea; temperature 28°. S-8 departed for Hampton Roads. As Boston Navy Yard has apparatus for installation in Falcon's air system nearly ready, consider it best not to attempt further diving until apparatus is installed. Expect to send Falcon to yard for installation.

À later dispatch timed 12.30 requests additional motor launches for use of salvage force. JANUARY 24, 1928

No items of interest.

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