Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Requin Redux

Yesterday I was back in Pittsburg, picking up my nephew, The Spud. He's going to be here for the next week, so be ready for plenty of stories about his visit once I figure out what to do with a 12 year old boy for a whole week.

But yesterday, we tours USS Requin (SS 481) again. Requin is that wonderful old Fleet Boat moored on the Ohio River behind the Carnegie Science Museum. And I took a few more pictures of stuff that I didn't get a chance to properly photograph the last time, either because I forgot or because people were in my way.

Here's Requin's sail, or conning tower. Note the two periscopes visible, the thicker observation scope forward and the thinner attack periscope just behind it.

And here are two more shots of the six bronze torpedo tubes in the forward torpedo room.The bottom two are mostly obscured by decking and hard to see, bu t they're there.Here's my mother rubbing her head after whacking it on the edge of the hatch leading aft from the forward torpedo room...about three seconds after I told her to watch her head. She's clumsy and doesn't listen too well, but I love her anyway.
Now we're back in the Control Room again, having pretty much bypassed Officer's Country due to it being tight quarters and crowded. Here's a shot looking forward along the port (left) side, showing a piece of the forward bow plane control wheel (big gray wheel) and the hull vent opening indicator panel ("Christmas Tree") right above the hull vent opening control levers.

And this gauge here shows the positions of the periscopes, radar mast and snorkel. If you're trying to avoid attention, it's good to know if you've got things raised up far enough to break the surface and leave a wake right above you.

As packed as this vessel is with men and controls, pipes and cables, if they still felt a need to write something down and post it, you know that it was important, like these instructions covering what to do if the conning tower and/or main induction pipes flooded.Notice that it doesn't say "Yell 'Oh my God, we're all gonna drown!'" Personally that would have been my first choice.

And below is the electrical controls for the boat's compass.

And we're back to my favorite fleet boat game again, the alarm controls. This time there was no volunteer guide standing in the control room to keep me from testing them. They still work! (OK, at least the green "dive" alarm does. It also brought the volunteer guide forward from the galley before I could try the other two. "Who is playing with the switches?!"

Low pressure manifold controls on the starboard (right) side.
Here's the boat's radio shack. Look at all of that heavy, bulky equipment, much of which uses vacuum tubes. It's also still a HAM radio set-up that works today at times.

My mother in the galley, holding up a box of detergent. I'm really working hard to resist making any comments about a woman's place. It would just be too easy.
One of the pistons and piston rods of the #3 diesel engine.
Still a wonderful exhibit and a great vessel. I'd love to take it out for a spin just up and down the river for a bit.

If you want to see more, visit my other post here, or go to William Maloney's USS Requin page. His is actually better than mine by a long shot.


  1. I recognize one of the radio receivers in the radio shack. On the upper left of the picture is an R-390A HF receiver, which were still in use in the 80's when I was on active duty. In port we'd use them for listening to AM radio, at sea they were useful for intercepting Soviet HF Morse radio signals. Even though more modern receivers were usually available, the code copy guys preferred the R-390A because changing frequencies quickly was simply a matter of spinning the central tuning knob.

  2. Thanks for that bit of info, Bob. And any other tidbits that you can fill us in on on this boat or the other ones on this site are always welcome.

  3. Yep, those 'little' notes were in case there was no crew left in the conn, somebody could surface the boat... nice pics and enjoy the boy :-)

  4. I haven't seen a 12 year old yet that wouldn't turn down a plane ride, I'm sure you can handle that end of the deal but what about a ballon ride? Any hot air ballons in your area?

  5. If you find water rushing in and smell an overpowering stench of shit you have a flood, surface immediately if possible then change trousers.

    Remember you find a leak, flood finds you.

  6. If you'd made a remark about "a woman's place" two mule teams couldn't have kicked you like someone could have. :-)

    Thanks for the great write up. My big brother was on the Halibut and the Seawolf. Operation Ivy Bells. I'm pretty damn proud of him.