After Action Report: Grey Lady Down

23 Jul

It was a hot summer day in Michigan in 197Late or 198Early.  A boy and his father are inside a house, the blinds drawn in an attempt to avoid the sticky, blinding heat outside.  In an attempt to ward off boredom, the father turns on the television, turns the channel to one of the cable channels, and for the next almost two hours, neither the boy or his father say a word, their breath being held at different stages, their eyes glued to the flickering screen.

Its funny how magic a movie can be in your youth, and disappointing when the magic doesn’t carry into adulthood.

Happily, I don’t have this problem with this movie.

As a young man, I loved technology.  I had an unhealthy fascination with Star Trek, less because of the stories, although they had a greater impact than I might have otherwise acknowledged for a long time.  No, my fascination was with the technology.  Space travel.  Shuttle crafts. Transporters.  Communicators (I still dig my flip phone, although I may be upgrading to a smart[er than me] phone, and phasers…hand held, and ship mounted…and of course, battles.

But this movie, perhaps more than just about any other disaster pic of its era caught and held my attention, not with the technology of tomorrow, but with the technology of that era…and because it was “real”, the drama of the story got my attention too.

The USS Neptune was on its final homeward voyage under the skipper played by Charlton Heston, who will be shipping out on a desk as the newest squadron commander in the Atlantic.  His exec, played by Ronny Cox, will be the sub’s new skipper.  (Other cast notables include Stacy Keach, David Carradine, Ned Beatty, and in his screen debut, Christopher Reeve.)

A confluence of bad events, including broken radar and fog leads to a Norwegian freighter running across the aft portion of the sub, which floods and rushes to the bottom.  The crew in the control room forward got to listen to the depth being called out as they approached the sub’s 1200 ft. crush depth, and then exceeded it, finally coming to rest on a ledge in an underground canyon…at 1450 ft.

The Navy scrambles the DSRV-1 from its station in Coronado, and flew it out to the east coast, then put it on a ship (the USS Pidgeon) specially designed to carry it to the accident scene.

The story rings true.  The sailors on the sub appear to be feeling what you might expect, and the moments of elation, despair, and self-sacrifice have them carrying on in the finest tradtions of their service.  (And watching it this time made me think of the Chief…with lines like “Take a few aspirins and stop the bullshit, or report to sick bay.”, and the scene below, where the exec has to say two of the hardest things he probably had to say in his entire life.)

Watching it today, I was thinking “What the heck?  Why didn’t they have a DSRV stationed on the east coast?”, which cut me loose with the search engine. Two links that were helpful are below.

http://navysite.de/ships/dsrv.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_Submergence_Rescue_Vehicle

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Pigeon_(ASR-21)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Ortolan_(ASR-22)

 

69 Responses to “After Action Report: Grey Lady Down”

  1. Blackiswhite, Imperial Consigliere July 23, 2011 at 11:09 pm #

    This is the best poat in the last hour!

  2. roamingfirehydrant July 24, 2011 at 8:29 am #

    Good morning.

  3. Car in July 24, 2011 at 9:22 am #

    Wakey wakey Roamy

  4. roamingfirehydrant July 24, 2011 at 9:26 am #

    Hate Vevo, love this song.

  5. roamingfirehydrant July 24, 2011 at 9:45 am #

    Heh. Too true.

    http://tinyurl.com/3s38726

  6. LC Aggie Sith July 24, 2011 at 10:28 am #

    Good morning.

    I just want to say, I *heart* this movie. As heartbreaking as it is, it is one of my all-time favorites.

    Love the cartoon, Roamy 😀

  7. Teresa in Fort Worth, TX July 24, 2011 at 10:35 am #

    Somebody go retrieve Dick – he’s stuck on the last poat, trying to rouse the recruits….

  8. LC Aggie Sith July 24, 2011 at 10:39 am #

    Damn, he was up early, Teresa. That was almost four hours ago.

  9. Dick July 24, 2011 at 10:56 am #

    I had a 7am appointment to look at a job on the northeast side of Dallas. So I was up around 5am or so.

  10. LC Aggie Sith July 24, 2011 at 11:06 am #

    And how did it go, Dick?

  11. Dick July 24, 2011 at 11:07 am #

    Fine, I got the job.

  12. Dick July 24, 2011 at 11:14 am #

    Happy Birthday, Patty Ann.
    We miss you something fierce around this dump.

  13. LC Aggie Sith July 24, 2011 at 11:19 am #

    This room sure is dusty.

  14. Dick July 24, 2011 at 11:31 am #

    *sprays down Aggie with the water hose*

    That help?

  15. LC Aggie Sith July 24, 2011 at 11:35 am #

    Thanks, Dick…

    Was it good for you??

  16. Dick July 24, 2011 at 11:43 am #

    Always.

    Another HOA that needs to be burned down.
    http://is.gd/b42TMF

  17. LC Aggie Sith July 24, 2011 at 11:50 am #

    Napalm sounds good right now.

  18. Teresa in Fort Worth, TX July 24, 2011 at 1:38 pm #

    Gotta be a hard day for John….

  19. Dick July 24, 2011 at 2:10 pm #

    Imagine so, Teresa. Mom’s birthday always gets to my dad.

  20. MCPO Airdale July 24, 2011 at 2:24 pm #

    I said H.B. to Patty Ann of FB.

  21. Dick July 24, 2011 at 2:37 pm #

    Chief, you still around?

  22. GuyS July 24, 2011 at 2:52 pm #

    Good morning all!! Made blueberry pancakes for everyone here in the hinterlands. Did a run to wall mart for pills. Now it is time to head off to work. Will have an after action report on the pancakes (and a big thank you to Aggies sis in law (??) for the recipe) either later tonight or tomorrow.

    Ya all have a great day!!

  23. MCPO Airdale July 24, 2011 at 2:52 pm #

    Yeah, I’m cruising the innertube webs

  24. Dick July 24, 2011 at 2:53 pm #

    Check your email when ya feel the urge. Sent ya a Stinky question.

  25. MCPO Airdale July 24, 2011 at 3:02 pm #

    Dick – Check your email!

  26. Dick July 24, 2011 at 3:19 pm #

    Done. Threw a couple of ’em back at ya.

  27. Teresa in Fort Worth, TX July 24, 2011 at 6:07 pm #

    Now, THAT’S a deal I can wholeheartedly endorse!

  28. roamingfirehydrant July 24, 2011 at 6:10 pm #

    **goes to work on rocket

  29. LC Aggie Sith July 24, 2011 at 7:08 pm #

    Yay, drink time!!!

    And I need it.

  30. roamingfirehydrant July 24, 2011 at 8:57 pm #

    **pours Aggie a double

  31. LC Aggie Sith July 24, 2011 at 9:20 pm #

    The party was a smashing success, and I am so grateful my carpeting escaped the wrath of the paint.

    My bathtub didn’t, but that can be cleaned up with some cleaner 😀

  32. Teresa in Fort Worth, TX July 24, 2011 at 9:22 pm #

  33. LC Aggie Sith July 24, 2011 at 9:26 pm #

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

    That’s something I would do 😀

  34. Blackiswhite, Imperial Consigliere July 24, 2011 at 9:36 pm #

    It was a beautiful day here.

    The sun was out.

    I think we might have gotten to 80 degrees.

    Heir No. One got a history lesson from me about the Edmund Fitzgerald, and we wore the little one out so well that he slept on the way home, and is STILL asleep.

  35. roamingfirehydrant July 24, 2011 at 10:15 pm #

    How did the Edmund Fitzgerald come up in conversation?

  36. LC Aggie Sith July 24, 2011 at 10:17 pm #

    Indeed…an unusual song to bring up 🙂

  37. Blackiswhite, Imperial Consigliere July 24, 2011 at 10:33 pm #

    Brittle steel.

    He was talking about the Titanic, and asking what it was made out of.

    I told him steel, and he couldn’t understand how ice could damage it.

    So I told him that up until 20 years or so ago, we had this little problem with maritime steel getting brittle when it was cold, and how it had been a real problem with ships on the lakes, and I brought up the Fitz as a potential example.

    I played that video above for him before I posted it and he got really upset. I told him that the men who do that work understand that it is a potential hazard, and they accept that risk.

    He then asked if I thought someone might try to raise it, and then I had to explain about it being a graveyard, and how the sons and daughters of the men who died on it are very touchy about it and objected to even the post-1976 surveys of the wreck, and the taking of the original ship’s bell.

  38. Teresa in Fort Worth, TX July 24, 2011 at 10:43 pm #

    You’re a good dad, BiW…..

  39. Teresa in Fort Worth, TX July 24, 2011 at 10:53 pm #

    Interested, Dick?

  40. MCPO Airdale July 24, 2011 at 10:55 pm #

    Two things I feared at sea. . . fire and ice. They will kill a ship and doom the crew.

  41. MCPO Airdale July 24, 2011 at 11:04 pm #

  42. MCPO Airdale July 24, 2011 at 11:16 pm #

    This debt limit thing has me in the mood to choke a bitch. Fucking Democrats think it’s 1994 and the freshmen in the House will roll like Newt. I hope Harry, Nancy and their whole commie crew die in a fucking fire.

  43. GuyS July 24, 2011 at 11:20 pm #

    Aggie, Tried “Groovy Noms” Blueberry pancake recipe. Toddle over to my navel lint on the web for an after action report.

    Good evening all!!!

  44. GuyS July 24, 2011 at 11:22 pm #

    Master Chief,

    A fire is far too kind a finish for those bastards and bastardettes. Keelhaul them, followed by tar and feathers, THEN have them roast to a golden brown!

  45. LC Aggie Sith July 24, 2011 at 11:23 pm #

    I’m making them this week, Guy!

  46. Jay in Ames July 24, 2011 at 11:26 pm #

    Wow, the Edmund Fitzgerald. That brings back memories.

    We lived in Michigan at that time, and I remember that happening like it was yesterday. People in that area are very connected to the Lakes, and really feel it when something major happens, like the wreck. Even Selfridge ANGB rang the bell 29 times when the service happened in Detroit (Selfridge is just south of 21 Mile Road, north of Detroit). You can see the ore freighters from the shores of Lake St. Claire.

  47. Jay in Ames July 24, 2011 at 11:27 pm #

    Hey Chief, where did you get the recipe for the blueberry crumble cake? I’d like to try that one.

  48. MCPO Airdale July 24, 2011 at 11:30 pm #

    J’Ames – Came with my breadmaker. You want I should send it to you?

  49. Jay in Ames July 24, 2011 at 11:31 pm #

    Heh, Guy, I have one of those high tech “pancake dispensers” too!

    And those look delicious. Bet they would taste better with the added gluten, though.

  50. Jay in Ames July 24, 2011 at 11:32 pm #

    I would appreciate it, chief, thanks!

  51. MCPO Airdale July 24, 2011 at 11:38 pm #

    J’Ames – Bookmark it, my man!

    http://fwd4.me/07Sp

  52. Jay in Ames July 24, 2011 at 11:39 pm #

    Mmm, mmm, that looks good. Thank you sir!

  53. LC Aggie Sith July 24, 2011 at 11:42 pm #

    Hey, that link also had a link to a Lemon Blueberry Cake by Sandra Lee….

    *snicker*

  54. Jay in Ames July 24, 2011 at 11:45 pm #

    http://360vr.com/2011/06/22-discovery-flight-deck-opf_6236/index.html

    360 degree view of the cockpit of the Space Shuttle. Pretty cool.

  55. GuyS July 24, 2011 at 11:48 pm #

    Jay,

    Too many gluten intolerant folks here. Unless you want to be personally sent a sealed bag of the noxious fumes generated by these same people after ingesting any gluten based product. Thus, when serving everyone, it usually is gluten free.

    Blueberry crumb cake??? Gonna have to try that too!!

  56. clintbird July 25, 2011 at 12:03 am #

    Gluten, smooten … ain’t nothing a good fart cannot fix.

  57. MCPO Airdale July 25, 2011 at 12:10 am #

    Looks like we might actually get some rain!

  58. clintbird July 25, 2011 at 12:19 am #

    Seems to me fucking w/Texans is often not a good idea:

    http://is.gd/thZUM1

  59. clintbird July 25, 2011 at 12:20 am #

    Us too, MCPO. Least I hope so. There’s rumbling going on outside and it’s on radar west of here. We NEED it.

  60. Jay in Ames July 25, 2011 at 12:23 am #

    Heh, hit him TWICE with his car. Nice one, CB.

    Good call on Captain America by the way.Good movie!

  61. clintbird July 25, 2011 at 12:28 am #

    Goodnight, pitiful little wounded gasping blog:

  62. clintbird July 25, 2011 at 12:30 am #

    Yeah, Jay. I read that it finished Number 1 over the weekend, kicking Harry Pooter out of first place.

  63. Car in July 25, 2011 at 7:32 am #

    wanky wanky

  64. Jay in Ames July 25, 2011 at 9:25 am #

    Wow, a wanky wanky doesn’t wake anyone up?

  65. GMLand July 25, 2011 at 9:41 am #

    I’m up, just had to finish… ya know.

  66. LC Aggie Sith July 25, 2011 at 9:48 am #

    I’m awake, I’m awake!!!

    Anyone else doing a poat?

  67. Teresa in Fort Worth, TX July 25, 2011 at 9:54 am #

    Anyone else doing a poat?

    “Not I,” said TiFW…..

  68. LC Aggie Sith July 25, 2011 at 10:19 am #

    NEW STUPID POAT!!!

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