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Commander HOOVER. Not particularly so.

Senator GERRY. Not more than any other vessel?
Commander HOOVER. No.

Senator ODDIE. As a matter of fact, with their high power, is it not possible to stop them quicker than other vessels of their size can be stopped?

Commander HOOVER. It is, on account of their large power, provided they have all their boilers in use and are quick to operate the machinery in the engine room when the signal is given.

Senator GERRY. How many boilers do they carry?
Commander HOOVER. Four.

Senator GERRY. Are they hard to turn, being so long?

Commander HOOVER. They, of course, do not turn the way a shorter and wider vessel would.

Senator GERRY. But their power is so great that you partly overcome that, do you not?

Commander HOOVER. Somewhat, yes.

Senator GERRY. They are rather hard to turn, though?

Commander HOOVER. They are not considered to be defective in this regard, nor would I say they are the quickest vessels to turn that we have.

Senator ODDIE. They have two propellers?

Commander HOOVER. The Paulding has three propellers.

Senator ODDIE. Do you know whether the Coast Guard differentiates between the prohibition service and the life-saving service in assigning different ships to the various services, or whether all of their ships are intended for both of the services?

Commander HOOVER. I can not say, but I think all their vessels do both duties.

(Thereupon, at 12 o'clock m., the subcommittee adjourned until to-morrow, Friday, May 11, 1928, at 10 o'clock a. m.)

INVESTIGATION OF SINKING OF THE SUBMARINE "S-4"

FRIDAY, MAY 11, 1928

UNITED STATES SENATE,

SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE COMMITTEE ON NAVAL AFFAIRS,

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 the Territories in the Capitol, Senator Tasker L. Oddie presiding.

Present: Senators Oddie (chairman) and Gerry.

Present also: Commander J. H. Hoover, United States Navy, and Lieut. Commander P. H. Dunbar, United States Navy.

STATEMENT OF ADMIRAL CHARLES F. HUGHES, CHIEF OF NAVAL OPERATIONS

Senator ODDIE. The committee will come to order. Senator Steiwer is attending another meeting and has said we should go ahead without him, as he will study the record of the hearings later. Admiral Hughes, we have requested you to testify in this case because you have had many years of active service in the Navy and are thoroughly familiar with the problems relating to navigation, ships, etc. It goes without saying that you can give us valuable information on the problems before us.

Senator Gerry has some questions along the line of some testimony that was given yesterday at the hearing.

Senator GERRY. Admiral, the committee was interested in getting the naval policy in regard to the operation of submarines, what the department's policy was in regard to their submerging, and the safeguards that were taken to prevent collisions.

Admiral HUGHES. The submarines operate from certain bases and with the fleet. They may submerge anywhere where the water is of sufficient depth, generally not operating in well-defined lines of traffic.

Senator GERRY. As I understand from the testimony yesterday, the submarine operates with the fleet at certain times when you are carrying out maneuvers, and then at other times the submarines operate from certain bases on the coast?

Admiral HUGHES. Yes.

Senator GERRY. When they are operating with the fleet in maneuvers, they naturally have to do submerging, in order to carry out your maneuvers?

Admiral HUGHES. Yes, sir.

Senator GERRY. The point I was trying to get at is, when they are not operating with the fleet but are based on some land base and are

simply operating along the coast, were any further precautions taken in regard to submerging, or was it the policy of the department to leave the question of submerging entirely with the officer in command of a submarine?

Admiral HUGHES. Entirely with the officer in command of a submarine, except at certain times specific tests were laid out; but generally the time and the place was left to his discretion, except on trials for speed, which must be done on a measured trial course.

Senator GERRY. Under those circumstances, then, the commanding officer of the base from which the submarine is operating would give the instructions?

Admiral HUGHES. The commanding officer that had charge of that unit. The submarines that operate with the fleet, when they are away from the main part of the fleet, still operate from the tender that goes with them in the fleet.

Senator GERRY. Yes; but what I really had in mind was, when they were separated from the fleet and were operating from a shore base.

Admiral HUGHES. The question that I was trying to bring upthose generally operate with the fleet, are always a part of the fleet, and they operate under the same commanding officer from the base on a tender-they do not base at a shore station.

Senator GERRY. I see. Then, in other words, these new submarines are so large that they are cruising submarines, and you consider them a part of the fleet unit?

Admiral HUGHES. Yes, sir.

Senator GERRY. And therefore the orders come to them from the fleet?

Admiral HUGHES. Yes, sir.

Senator GERRY. Therefore the submarines on the Atlantic coast would be operated from the Atlantic fleet?

Admiral HUGHES. From what is known as the control force.
Senator GERRY. From the control force?

Admiral HUGHES. Might I explain about that so as to get it clear?
Senator GERRY. I wish you would.

Admiral HUGHES. The way our submarines are divided is this: The shore based submarines base at New London, so that they are under the fleet commander, yet they are shore based at New London for training quarters for the officers and men.

There is another shore base at Coco Solo, which is at the eastern end of the Panama Canal. They also are part of the fleet, but they operate from a shore base except when with the fleet.

The third one is at Hawaii. There they operate from a base, but they are still under the command of the submarine commander of the Battle Fleet.

The rest of the submarines operate from floating bases which proceed from place to place with the fleet or often as a separate unit. For instance, the submarines that belong to the control force have recently returned to New London from operating in the vicinity of Panama all winter, mostly by themselves, so that there are certain ones that operate from shore bases and certain ones that operate from floating bases, but they are all under the fleet.

Senator GERRY. Where would the orders come from for the submarines that are operating from a shore base like New London? For instance, would they come through an operating officer at New London?

Admiral HUGHES. The general operating plan of employment schedule comes from naval operations, not only for submarines but all the other vessels. These general plans go to the commander of the control force, who has all the submarines in the Atlantic, and that base is under his command, and he would give the orders to the base and prepare more detailed operating schedules and plans.

Senator GERRY. Where is he stationed?

Admiral HUGHES. He is on the Camden.

Senator GERRY. On the Camden. Then, the chief of operations would agree to the general plan of operations?

Admiral HUGHES. Yes, sir.

Senator GERRY. And then that would be sent to the officer on the Camden?

Admiral HUGHES. Yes, sir.

Senator GERRY. And he would send it, then, to New London? Admiral HUGHES. He would give his orders to New London. Senator GERRY. Would those be general orders also?

Admiral HUGHES. General orders, except for something that he wished specifically done.

Senator GERRY. Then the commanding officer at New London would give the cruising orders?

Admiral HUGHES. Yes, sir.

Senator GERRY. And he would direct where the submarines should go on certain cruises, and what tests they would make?

Admiral HUGHES. Yes, sir.

Senator GERRY. And then the commander of the submarine would have complete charge of when they were going to submerge and where they would submerge, having in mind the naval regulations about submerging in lines of traffic and channels of navigation, and in regard to using great caution; is that correct?

Admiral HUGHES. As a general rule.

Senator GERRY. As a general rule.

Admiral HUGHES. Yes, sir.

Senator GERRY. Why is it necessary, Admiral, to allow submarines to dive when they are operating along the coast and are not taking part in large fleet maneuvers, or carrying out any special maneuvers, without a certain amount of warning to traffic? Even without having a tender follow the submarine and carrying the submarine flag for diving, would it not be possible to send out instructions as to submarines operating in a given locality?

Admiral HUGHES. I think it would be rather impracticable to reach all shipping; and furthermore, I think it would be entirely unnecessary. For example, submarines going from New London to Panama might want to submerge at any time for exercises. They must continually submerge, because that is what the submarine is for, and the only way he can do it is to be exercised at it. The submarine may submerge on signal from the commanding officer without any previous warning.

Senator GERRY. In other words, the Navy's theory is that the submarine must be ready to submerge at all times?

Admiral HUGHES. Yes, sir; when it is in cruising condition. Senator GERRY. In cruising condition; and that the crew can only get that training by continually submerging.

Admiral HUGHES. Yes, sir.

Senator GERRY. When the submarines are not operating with a fleet, is there the same necessity for submerging anywhere? Admiral HUGHES. Yes, sir.

Senator GERRY. When submarines are operating as units along the coast, why is it necessary in those cases to submerge except in certain areas that might be protected?

Admiral HUGHES. The submarines very often have to make a passage from port to port, and they have certain tests they wish to make, or they wish to try out some of their machinery in submerging. Senator GERRY. This is the point I am trying to make; we naturally want our submarine service to be of the highest degree of efficiency, and that necessitates continual operation of the submarines and the use of the submarines in fleet maneuvers; but what I have in mind is this: I can see where the submarine that has to operate in fleet maneuvers, to carry out operations with the rest of the submarine fleet, or even operate with a submarine flotilla, that they would have to submerge without picking an area very carefully, or having any notice given to other shipping. But where a submarine is operating as a separate unit, which it does a large part of the year, does it not? Admiral HUGHES. No; not a large part of the year. The submarines themselves are separated from the other ships of the fleet a part of the year, but they are still carrying on their individual work. The work of the submarine to a very great extent, when she once gets submerged, is individual work-must become individual work.

Senator GERRY. Yes; but the point I am driving at is, where you are using the submarine as an individual unit and wish it to submerge, why should not an area be chosen?

Admiral HUGHES. It would hamper everything very much.

Senator GERRY. An area where she could submerge, and then put a tender out to give notice.

Admiral HUGHES. The submarine must be able to submerge anywhere at any part of her career.

Senator GERRY. Granted that, but is it necessary to make a test, to have her do that?

Admiral HUGHES. I would say yes, that it was.
Senator GERRY. I will ask you why?

Admiral HUGHES. We can not keep them around any length of time, in any one particular place. We would absolutely destroy the mobility of them, and mobility with the fleet, and numerous other things. I would rather leave what I am going to say off the record. (At this point proceedings occurred not reported.)

Senator GERRY. What I am driving at is this: You say you do not submerge where there are heavy navigation lines. When you pick an area to submerge, why can you not send notice by your wireless to the rest of the shipping?

Admiral HUGHES. It would give a false idea of security to do that. We can do it, but it might mean nothing. Certain vessels at sea do not man their radios except at certain hours. Others are on different wave lengths. You would have no surety at all that even

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