Puslapio vaizdai

In my opinion, this information, as I said before, is simply advice and explains the flag, if it is flown.

Senator GERRY. But there never has been any order or any custom on the part of the department to fly this flag whenever a submarine is submerged?

Commander HOOVER. As I said before, in the early days it was quite customary.

Senator GERRY. And since the war it has not been flown?

Commander HOOVER. Since the war it has seldom, if ever, been


Senator GERRY. If it had been flown at the flagpole at the Coast Guard station at Cape Cod, would it have been visible as a warning. Commander HOOVER. It may or may not have been visible. This would depend on the size of the flag and the direction and force of the wind, coupled with the direction from it that the observing vessel was at the time. Also, the flying of this flag on shore would probably mean nothing, because it is intended to be flown from ships.

Senator GERRY. It would certainly have acted as a warning. If any master of a vessel had seen the flag flying, he would naturally surmise that there was a submarine operating on the course, especially as this course was buoyed and had been used a matter of over 20 years.

Čommander HOOVER. I may explain a little further. The flagpole ashore belongs to the Coast Guard and has nothing to do with the Navy whatsoever. Therefore, they would not be using this flag.

Senator GERRY. Would it not have been possible for the Navy Department to have an understanding with the Coast Guard, so that when submarines were operating on this trial course the Coast Guard could have had notice of that fact, and could have flown the flag or given such other warning as would have added to the safety of the operation of the submarine?

Commander HOOVER. It was entirely possible, and in fact a much better scheme of that sort would have been that the understanding would cover the sending out of warning by radio to all ships. Senator GERRY. That is just what I had in mind.

Commander HOOVER. But this is a very minor and isolated case, and such warnings to cover all operations of submarines, which would be the logical thing in case you did want to enter into such an agreement, would probably not be practical. This particular course and place could have been covered by special agreements.

Senator GERRY. But this special place was the course set aside for submarines trials.

Commander HOOVER. Or other small ships.

Senator GERRY. It was the place that was being continually used for submarines submerging; and, therefore, was there any reason at this particular place why they should not have taken every precaution to prevent a disaster? In other words, wherever naval operations are such that in order to carry out war maneuvers it is impossible to exercise all degrees of safety, is that any reason why, when you are operating where these safety orders can be put into effect, they should not be put into effect?

You say that information from the Navy to the Coast Guard to give notice of the place of operation of submarines would come from the Chief of Operations?

Commander HOOVER. Yes.

Senator GERRY. Would they go from him through another Admiral?

Commander HOOVER. They normally go through the admirals in charge of the various units afloat.

Senator GERRY. In the case of the S-4, what admiral would they have gone through?

Commander HOOVER. Admiral Brumby.

Senator GERRY. And his official position was what?

Commander HOOVER. Commander of the control force, United States Fleet.

Senator GERRY. Stationed at

Commander HOOVER. Usually stationed in the Atlantic. He has some units in the Canal Zone.

Senator GERRY. Mr. Chairman, I think this line of testimony should really be taken up with the Chief of Operations, and I suggest that we ask him to come before the committee.

Senator ODDIE. I think that is a necessary suggestion, because the Chief of Operations is the one who largely determines the policy, and we want to discuss the question of policy with him. So at a later date we will request the Chief of Operations to appear before the committee.

Commander HOOVER. I have a little more that might help this same question that you asked.

Senator GERRY. All right.

Commander HOOVER. I would like to invite the committee's attention to a certain amount of warning which is already in effect with regard to this course outlined in the Massachusetts Buoy List, an official publication used by all vessels.

Senator ODDIE. Will you put that part of the publication that you refer to in the record?

Commander HOOVER. Yes. This buoy list covers all the buoys and navigational marks in Massachusetts waters, second district, and therein are listed the trial course buoys, both for the outer course and the inner course, which are called submarine trial course buoys. They are described here as first-class white can buoys, and the paragraph covering them states in the remarks "maintained by the United States Navy," and in the remarks for the outer trial course, which is very close to this one, states:

United States Navy trial course in fairway from Race Point to Provincetown Harbor. Masters of vessels must keep clear of them.

In my opinion the official names given these buoys, and the remarks covering them are a considerable warning along the lines that you were speaking.

Senator ODDIE. You consider that ample notice to navigators that there is likelihood of a submarine being in that vicinity?

Commander HOOVER. I should say so, yes; because a very natural condition of submarines is to be submerged.

Senator ODDIE. And is that document that you refer to a public document?

Commander HOOVER. Yes.

Senator ODDIE. Available to all masters of vessels operating in that vicinity?

Commander HOOVER. Yes; it is issued by the United States Department of Commerce, Lighthouse Service.

Senator ODDIE. Is it the duty of masters of vessels operating in that vicinity to be familiar with that document and its contents?

Commander HOOVER. It is the duty of every master to provide himself with the best information regarding navigation marks.

Senator ODDIE. And the meanings of those navigation marks?
Commander HOOVER. Yes.

Senator ODDIE. Were these buoys on this trial course plainly visible?

Commander HOOVER. I do not know from my own knowledge, but it is assumed that they were, because for trial-course buoys they usually provide large and conspicuous ones.

Senator ODDIE. Has there been any testimony in the hearings on this matter to the effect that these buoys were not what the law prescribed or that they were not readily visible?

Lieutenant Commander DUNBAR. The buoys are maintained by the Navy Department as a Navy trial course. The upkeep and the proper stationing of these buoys is-the work connected with that is done by the Coast and Geodetic Survey, for which the Navy pays a certain sum each year.

Senator ODDIE. Does the Coast and Geodetic Survey look after all the buoys on the coast?

Lieutenant Commander DUNBAR. Yes; I am quite sure.
Commander HOOVER. Most of them.

Lieutenant Commander DUNBAR. The trial-course buoys are, to the best of my knowledge, in excellent shape. I saw them on December 30, 1927, and there at that time they were in very good condition.

Senator ODDIE. They are standard buoys of that particular kind? Lieutenant Commander DUNBAR. Yes, sir; they are.

Senator ODDIE. That was how long after the accident to the S-4? Lieutenant Commander DUNBAR. Thirteen days.

Senator ODDIE. So far as you know, there had been no change. made in those buoys during that time?

Lieutenant Commander DUNBAR. No, sir.

I might add, Senator, the buoys on these trial courses must be maintained in their particular location, and in proper shape, so that the boats running the trial courses may have the proper ranges from which they may obtain their speed data.

Senator ODDIE. It is necessary for the commander of the submarines that are making submerging tests to be able to see these buoys in order to determine the measured-mile course?

Lieutenant Commander DUNBAR. That is correct.

Senator ODDIE. How far are they visible to a surface ship in clear weather?

Lieutenant Commander DUNBAR. In clear weather, it is my opinion that they can be seen about 2 miles, about 4,000 yards, and with high-powered glasses they could be seen at a considerably greater distance, possibly 5, 6, or 7 miles.

Senator ODDIE. There is such a thing as "judicial notice" in law. I presume the same thing could be applied to navigation, that these buoys were charted on their regular official chart, and every commander of a vessel should know of their existence and position.

Commander HOOVER. Yes. The Coast Guard will admit all that, I believe.

Senator ODDIE. Now, the question comes up as to how much notice these buoys were to the Coast Guard ship Paulding of the likelihood of submerged submarine maneuvers along that trial course, which had been used by submarines previously, as brought out in the record this morning. It seems to me that we should have a representative of the Coast Guard here to answer certain questions that we can put to him.

Senator GERRY. I agree with you, Mr. Chairman. Whom do you want to call?

Senator ODDIE. I think it would be well to take that up with the officials of the Treasury Department and request the Secretary of the Treasury to detail some one to appear before our committee and submit to questions. We should inquire as to whether adequate lookout was maintained on the Paulding, and whether those whose duty it was to keep the lookout did their duty properly.

Senator GERRY. They can undoubtedly send us somebody who is conversant with the facts as to where the lookouts were.

Senator ODDIE. And whether the ship was properly manned, and whether due diligence was observed.

Another thing, the question of the Coast Guard regulations ought to be gone into more in detail, and the question of maneuvering of ships.

Senator GERRY. I presume that the witness that will appear here from the Coast Guard will be able to furnish that.

Senator ODDIE. Then we will want to ask additional questions of the representatives of the Navy later.

Senator GERRY. The Coast Guard now operates a large number of vessels, does it not, along the coast, in order to look after the patrolling of it?

Commander HOOVER. Yes.

Senator GERRY. It has a very considerable number of these operating all the time, has it not? Of course, I can get this information from the Coast Guard.

Commander HoOVER. I think they have about 25 destroyers, and undoubtedly many other craft.

Senator GERRY. That would be about 20 on the Atlantic coast? Lieutenant Commander DUNBAR. I think all the destroyers are on the Atlantic coast. There are about 15 out of Boston alone. Senator GERRY. Where did they get these vessels?

Commander HOOVER. They were gotten from the Navy.

Senator GERRY. You are familiar with them. What is their cruising speed, 20 knots?

Commander HOOVER. Twenty knots is an average cruising speed for short distances. In making a long cruise, such as we frequently make in the Navy, the speed would be down around 12 knots. Senator GERRY. In order to conserve your fuel?

Commander HOOVER. Yes.

Senator GERRY. But when operating along the coast?

Commander HOOVER. The Coast Guard officers testified in the naval court that 18 knots was a very usual speed.

Senator GERRY. And they also testified that the Paulding was proceeding at 18 knots

Commander HOOVER. Yes. ·

Senator GERRY (continuing). When she first sighted the submarine.

Commander HOOVER. Yes.

Senator GERRY. Does not the operation of these large numbers of Coast Guard destroyers make it more than ever important that the Coast Guard should have certain information as to where submarines are operating, if near the coast?

Commander HOOVER. We can not state as to that. Every commanding officer of a ship should obtain as much information as he can about other shipping.

Senator GERRY. În other words, with these vessels operating at high speed along the coast, and with the experience in the past that we have had with submarine collisions on account of their low visibility, let alone the question of submerging, would not it be a safeguard if the Coast Guard had information as to the probable whereabouts of submarines?

Commander HoOVER. I should think it would help, undoubtedly. Senator GERRY. And also in case of any difficulty that submarines might have, if they had that knowledge they would be much more effective as rescuing ships or in aiding?

Commander HOOVER. Certainly. This information would help them to a certain extent, I would think.

Senator GERRY. And would that information interfere at a time like this with any naval policy?

Commander HoOVER. I can not state as to that, but my personal idea would be that the only inconvenience that it would bring about would be the work entailed in getting out the instructions every day to all the ships.

Senator GERRY. That would be broadcasted? Commander HOOVER. That in turn is another complication as regards the methods of doing these things. There is no doubt in the world it can be done if it is desired to do it. They send out lots of other information.

Senator ODDIE. Of your own knowledge, are there any Coast Guard ships used in the prohibition enforcement unit that do not carry radio?

Commander HOOVER. Not to my knowledge.

Senator ODDIE. Do they have ships, small vessels, that do not carry radio, besides the destroyers?

Commander HOOVER. You mean Coast Guard ships?

Senator ODDIE. Yes.

Commander HOOVER. I can not say as to that. I rather think that all Coast Guard vessels are well equipped with radio, except possibly launches and speedboats.

Senator GERRY. Are those destroyers that were turned over to the Coast Guard, with which you are familiar as former naval vessels, difficult to handle? Do they stop quickly?

Commander HoOVER. They are about the same as the destroyers that we have in the service, I should say.

Senator GERRY. Are they hard to stop if going fast?

« AnkstesnisTęsti »