Puslapio vaizdai

(d) Tugs and sweepers operate evaporating plants to capacity, conserve water and fuel. Bushnell and Mallard maintain water tanks filled to capacity at all times.

(e) While diving is going on, all vessels except those stationed with pontoons and barges in inner harbor, shall be ready to get underway on not more than 15 minutes notice; at other times they shall be on "one hour's notice."

(f) Vessels requiring boat hoist international "T", Bushnell send boat.

(g) Communications, radio traffic will be handled via Bushnell. When out of signal distance of Bushnell maintain continuous radio water; when within signal distance, keep continuous signal water.

(h) Mail for personnel and vessels of force should be addressed "care of navy yard, Boston, Mass."

(i) Wreck watch, Sagamore and Wandank (or Mallard), as assigned, will ordinarily take station 300 yards southwest of white can buoy "AA," but in bad weather may anchor to leeward of wreck but close up. Keep continuous watch on mooring and marker buoys, warn off shipping, display red breakdown lights by night and danger signal by day. When Falcon is moored over S-4 during fog, I watch vessel will sound five long blasts on whistle every two minutes. When Bushnell and Falcon are both away from wreck, make report of weather and sea conditions every four hours, Wandank and Sagamore will alternate in 48-hour tours of duty, relieving at 9 on even days.

6. When bad weather prevents diving, the opportunity shall be made use of to the fullest extent to replenish supplies, stores, water, fuel, etc., to overhaul and to prepare gear, and, generally to make ready to go ahead for a full due as soon as diving weather recurs.


(After further informal proceedings, not reported, the subcommittee adjourned, subject to the call of the chairman.)

104672-28- -3


THURSDAY, MAY 10, 1928



Washington, D. C.

The subcommittee met, pursuant to the call of the chairman, at 10 o'clock a. m., in the room of the Committee on Territories in the Capitol, Senator Tasker L. Oddie presiding.

Present, Senators Oddie (chairman) and Gerry.

Senator ODDIE. The meeting will come to order. Senator Steiwer has been called to New York on official business, and has requested that this committee go ahead without him this morning. He will study the record later so as to be fully informed.

It is proposed by the committee to present and have printed in the record an abstract of the court of inquiry convened at the navy yard, Boston, on January 4, 1928, in connection with the collision between the Coast Guard destroyer Paulding and the submarine S-4, near Provincetown, on December 17, 1927.

I offer also to be printed in the record a summary of the court of inquiry.

I offer for the record also a statement signed by Hon. Curtis D. Wilbur, Secretary of the Navy, dated April 13, 1928, exonerating Admiral Brumby in regard to this disaster

I offer for the record also a copy of a telegram dated December 22, 1927, from the president of the Merritt, Chapman & Scott Corporation to the Secretary of the Navy, which reads as follows [reading]: NEW YORK, N. Y., December 22, 1927.


Washington, D. C.:

Rumors current brought to our attention by representatives of the press allege that Merritt, Chapman & Scott Corporation have adversely criticized the Navy's efforts to save those imprisoned in the S-4. Permit us to emphatically say that we have made no criticism whatever. We extend our sympathy for the loss of the brave officers and men of her crew and submit the carefully considered opinion that no human agency could have accomplished more for those who perished than the department and their ready, willing, and capable officers and men afloat have done.

WILLIAM H. BAKER, President.

I offer for the record also a letter from Hon. Ogden L. Mills, Undersecretary of the Treasury, dated May 8, 1928, transmitting a statement dated May 7, 1928, issued by Hon. Andrew W. Mellon, Secretary of the Treasury, giving the findings of fact of the board of inquiry appointed by the Secretary of the Treasury to inquire into all of the facts and circumstances surrounding the loss of the U. S.

submarine S-4, which occurred off Provincetown, Mass., on December 17, 1927, which board was appointed by the Secretary of the Treasury for the purpose of determining what responsibility for the collision, if any, rests upon the commanding officer of the Coast Guard destroyer Paulding or upon any officer or man on board that vessel. (The documents above referred to are here printed in the record, as follows:)


The court was constituted as follows:

Rear Admiral R. H. Jackson, United States Navy, senior member and a member of the General Board, Navy Department.

Rear Admiral J. L. Latimer, United States Navy, member of the Naval Examining Board, Navy Department.

Capt. J. V. Ogan, United States Navy, a submarine officer and at present on duty in the Bureau of Navigation, Navy Department.

Commander L. E. Bratton, United States Navy, judge advocate.

The department detailed Lieut. Commander P. H. Dunbar, United States Navy, a submarine officer, as counsel for the judge advocate; and Lieut. Commander T. J. Doyle, United States Navy, a submarine officer, as counsel for the personnel who lost their lives on the S-4.

Commander Bratton, as judge advocate, the first witness, stated that he had made a request upon the Navy Department to facilitate in every way a full and complete inquiry into the accident. That the S-8, a sister submarine to the S-4, be present at the navy yard, Boston, for the use of the court, and suggested the desirability of the court going on board the S-8 at once for inspection of this vessel and examination of her equipment. The S-8 had preceded the S-4 in conduction of trials at Provincetown on the measured mile. The same officer from Washington who conducted the trials on the S-8 also conducted them the following day on the S-4 and lost his life as a result; that the Coast Guard destroyer Paulding was then at the navy yard (hauled on the marine railway) and available for inspection by the court; that the commanding officer of the Paulding as an interested party to the court, has been requested to station his men on the bridge of the Paulding in the same manner as they were at the time of the accident, in order that the court, in inspection, may visualize the conditions thereon.

The court then proceeded to inspect the Paulding and S-8. The crews of both vessels were stationed as outlined above and test made of the time to perform certain operations on board. The court examined the bow of the Paulding and the damage caused by the collision.

Lieut. Frank L. Worden, United States Navy, commanding officer of the U. S. S. S-8 was called as a witness. He submitted a set of blue prints showing the construction of the S-8 and S-4. He explained to the court the function of the different compartments and apparatus on the submarines. He explained the use of the periscope and the use of the central operating room from where the vessel is controlled while submerged. Since the position of the periscope as found on the S-4 excited considerable comment and specualtion, he was questioned at length on the probable conditions under which they were used just prior to the accident. It was brought out that with the submarine traveling submerged with its priscope out of the water about 4-feet there would be 20 feet of clearance over the deck of the submarine, and that had the S-4 remained as close as it could to priscope depth the Paulding would have passed over her without touching unless she happened to strike the priscope or the top of the conning tower.

He explained the use of the listening device on submarines, and give the standard practice for their use in the service while submerged, as far as he knew. The point was brought out that when a submarine has the use of its periscope, the listening device although usually manned, is not necessary, since the commanding officer is capable of seeing any ships in the vicinity on the surface.

In connection with the trials engaged in at Provincetown he pointed out that two periscopes were used-one for keeping a lookout and the other for observing the range marks on shore.

He has had six years submarine duty and about 32 months in command of one. He explained the use of the salvage lines and their connections which were used in the rescue and salvage work of the S-4. He explained the sources of air and oxygen afforded in the submarine while submerged and that the normal air in the submarine should last the crew about 17 hours before they become uncomfortable. That there were compressed air reservoirs within the vessel holding considerable air at 2,800 pounds pressure per square inch which could be used. That there were oxygen bottles in the submarine containing oxygen of about 2,000 pounds per square inch for the use of the men. That as to the supply of soda lime which is used to purify the air, he carried none on the S-8 and believed there was none on the S-4. He stated that the S-8 had carried out trials on the measured mile at Provincetown from December 12 to 16 and explained the nature of these trials. Also he states that Lieut. Commander W. F. Callaway who, as a representative of the board of inspection from Washington, had charge of the trials. He explained the disposition of the crew within the submarine while conducting such trials and the special apparatus installed for getting the engine revolutions accurately.

He explained the use of the water-tight doors between the compartments in the submarine and their openings in the bulkheads; also the method of closing and making tight these builkheads in case of accident. That all water-tight doors could be closed in a few seconds after the alarm was given. That no surface vessel interfered with the trials of the S-8 and that in several cases surface craft saw his periscope and got out of his way.

That there was no surface craft stationed for warning purposes during the trials of the S-8 and that he did not consider such a vessel necessary or desirable. That he considered if a vessel had been so stationed for that purpose it would have been just one additional vessel to have kept a watch on and keep clear of, and that having two periscopes available there was no reason why any ship should have been there to give warning. That during the trials of the S-8 the naval tug Wandank was at Provincetown Harbor for the use of the officer conducting the trials. That during the period the S-8 was conducting trials they saw little or no shipping. That it is very usual for submarines to operate where there are surface craft. That submarines get a great deal of training by operating in such areas as they are trained to see and at the same time not be seen. During a war being seen would probably be fatal, and for that reason all of the training is in getting in to make an attack and getting away without being


That he had made no objection to holding the trials as ordered on account of the weather and he saw no reason why submarines should not operate in cold weather. That it is disagreeable, but submarines have to operate in all kinds of weather all through the year.

That at the end of the run on a measured mile the S-8 came partly to the surface while making a turn to run back over the range in order that any fishing vessels in the vicinity might plainly see the submarine. That in normal procedure in holding the submerged runs in question the submarine would not come to the surface.

His estimate as to the speed being made by the S-4 at the time of the accident was between 6 and 8 knots. That the S-8 in making her trials ran as close to the range buoys as possible and when passing the last buoy made a cirlce with the left rudder in order to reverse the course and make another run in the opposite direction. That the point where the S-4 sank is roughly on a circle the submarine would normally make in turning to the left, as mentioned above.

That the S-8 was in Provincetown up until noon of the day of the accident. That the wind was about 20 miles an hour and the sea choppy and that the white caps would somewhat reduce the chances of seeing the periscope from the conditions obtaining on a calm day. That the destroyer would not be able to see a periscope more than 1,000 or 1,500 yards if the lookout were on the alert.

He estimated that the submarine should have had the Paulding plainly visible for about six and a half minutes before the accident. He gave testimony regarding certain passages in the Submarine Manual regarding the use of the periscope, listening gear, keeping a lookout, and safety precautions in general having to do with submarines, and that submarine commanders in general follow closely the provisions of this manual. That there is an endeavor being constantly made in the submarine force of the Navy to standardize the practice within the boats so that conditions existing on one would exist on another. That he did not ask to have the tug Wandank to warn ships off the trial course, but that she remained at anchor in the harbor.

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