Return to Naval Historical Center home page. Return to Frequently Asked Questions page.

DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
805 KIDDER BREESE SE -- WASHINGTON NAVY YARD
WASHINGTON DC 20374-5060

USS Squalus (SS-192): Diving Log of Rescue Operations of USS Squalus [Descents of the Rescue Chamber only]


First descent of rescue chamber

Second descent
Third descent
Fourth descent
Fifth descent




FIRST DESCENT OF RESCUE CHAMBER

 OPERATORS:  DATE       24 May 1939
   HARMON, Walter E. G.M.1c  
    MIHALOWSKI, John T.M.1c  

DEPTH: 220 feet.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

TIME          REMARKS
1130...........Rescue Chamber left deck.
1131...........Rescue Chamber in water.
1132...........Blowing Main Ballast.
1134...........Flooding Lower Compartment.
1159...........Lower Compartment flooded. (Little pressure. Had trouble flooding).
1202...........150 feet down.
1204...........Stopped to relieve pressure vent.
1205...........20 pounds pressure.
1205...........Started down again.
1208...........Submarine in sight.
1212...........On submarine at 185 ft. Submarine down by stern with 7 degree list.
1213...........Flooding Main Ballast.
1217...........Main Ballast flooded.
1217...........20 lbs. Pressure in Rescue Chamber
1220...........Blowing Lower Compartment.
1224...........Testing to determine if Chamber had sealed.
1227...........Seal complete on Submarine.
1228...........Air shut off to Rescue Chamber.
1229...........Air back to Rescue Chamber.
1229...........Connected holding-down bolts to Submarine.
1239...........Holding-down bolts secured. Slacking off on cable to disconnect.
1240...........Fir-lead clear.
1240...........Opening Submarine hatch.
1242...........Upper Submarine hatch open. No answer from Submarine.
1246...........Down to lower hatch.
1247...........Lower hatch opened; talking to Submarine men. Providing provisions to crew of Submarine.
1249...........Taking passengers in Rescue Chamber from Submarine.
1251...........Ventilating Submarine Torpedo Room from Rescue Chamber.
1255...........Received seven (7) passengers from Submarine.
1256...........Submarine Hatch closed.
1256...........Dumping portable ballast.
1257...........Haul-down wire hooked up. Taking off holding-down bolts.
1306...........Blowing lower compartment. Flooding to break seal.
1310...........Lower compartment flooded. Blowing Main Ballast.
1312...........Main Ballast blown.
1313...........Seal broken. Starting up.
1333...........On surface.
1340...........Lifting Rescue Chamber out of Water.
1342...........Rescue Chamber hatch opened; men coming out.

Following survivors rescued on first descent of Rescue Chamber:

Lieutenant J.C. NICHOLS, (junior grade), USN.

ISAACS, William, S.C.2c, USN.
PREBLE, Harold C., Naval Architect. (civilian)
BLANCHARD, Roland, F.2c, USN.
JACOBS, Theodore, S.M.3c, USN.
McLEES, Gerald C., E.M.2c, USN.
YUHAS, Charles, M.M.1c, USN.




SECOND DESCENT OF RESCUE CHAMBER

 OPERATORS:  DATE:  24 May 1939
   HARMAN, Walter E., G.M.1c, USN.  
   BADDERS, W., C.M.M. (PA), USN.  


DEPTH: 220 ft.
-------------------------------------------------------------

TIME         REMARKS
1345..........Flooding portable ballast.
1352..........Rescue chamber lowered into water.
1355..........Having trouble engaging clutch.
1401..........Lifting rescue chamber out of water to open hatch.
1403..........Clutch engaged.
1404..........Flooding portable ballast.
1409..........Ballast tanks flooded; taking in slack in wire. Starting down.
1422..........Rescue chamber at 80 feet.
1425..........Exhausting; 105 feet.
1435..........Venting pressure; 160 feet.
1440..........25 lbs. pressure. Almost on submarine.
1441..........On submarine.
1442..........Flooding main ballast.
1450..........Main ballast tank flooded. Venting upper compartment; preparatory to opening lower compartment.
1453..........Blowing lower compartment.
1456..........Seal not completed.
1458..........Blowing lower compartment.
1505..........Opening lower hatch.
1506..........Lower hatch open; putting on holding-down rods.
1511..........Holding down rods on; opening submarine hatch.
1515..........Submarine hatch open; taking men into rescue chamber from submarine.
1527..........Holding-down bolts off; blowing lower ballast. Down-haul wire secured.
1538..........Flooding lower compartment.
1541..........Lower compartment flooded; blowing-main ballast tanks.
1544..........Main ballast blown; seal broken. Starting up.
1552..........12-1/2 lbs pressure at 100 feet.
1555..........20 lbs pressure at 75 feet.
1602..........20 lbs pressure at 30 feet; venting to 10 lbs.
1605..........shifted to brake at 25 feet.
1608..........On surface.
1609..........Lifting rescue chamber out of water.
1610..........Rescue chamber out of water.
1611..........Open hatch; men coming aboard.

Following survivors rescued on second descent of Rescue Chamber:

MORRIS, L.B., .E.M.3c, USN.
BOLTON, W.D., Sea.1c, USN.
GAINER, L.J., C.E.M. (PA), USN.
SMITH, W.W., S.M.2c, USN.
O'HARA, R.F., PhM.1c, USN.
BLAND, J.T., E.M.1c, USN.
MURPHY, F., Jr., Q.M.1c, USN.
WASHBURN, R.L., Sea.2c, USN.
GALVAN, B., M.Att.1c, USN.



THIRD DESCENT OF RESCUE CHAMBER

 OPERATORS:  DATE: 24 May 1939
     BADDERS, W., CM.M(PA), USN  
     MIHALOWSKI, John T.M. 1c, USN  


DEPTH: 220 feet.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

TIME         REMARKS
1624..........Having trouble with clutch.
1625..........Starting down; blowing Main Ballast.
1626..........Main Ballast blown.
1630..........14 lbs. pressure; venting 15 pds. pressure.
1633..........Flooding Lower Compartment.
1634..........Lower compartment flooded.
1643..........Down 80 feet.
1646..........15 pds. pressure; 115 feet.
1654..........Down 175 feet.
1657..........On seat; 22-1/2 lbs. pressure. 194 feet.
1657..........Flooding Main Ballast.
1701..........Main Ballast flooded; 198 feet.
1702..........Blowing lower compartment; venting upper compartment.
1705..........Blowing lower compartment.
1707..........Venting lower compartment.
1708..........Seal made; opening hatch.
1715..........Seal broken.
1720..........Putting on holding-down bolts.
1724..........Holding-down bolts secured; opening hatch.
1736..........Closing hatch.
1738..........Taking off holding-down bolts.
1755..........Flooding lower compartment.
1757..........Lower compartment flooded; blowing Main Ballast.
1759..........Main Ballast blown.
1801..........Seal broken; starting up.
1803..........Blowing small bubble in lower compartment.
1811..........98 ft.; 20 lbs. pressure.
1813..........70 ft. 22-1/2 lbs. pressure
1815..........Stopped to vent at 60 feet.
1817..........15 pounds pressure.
1818..........Pressure 11 pounds; starting ascent.
1820.........13 pounds pressure; 42 feet.
1822..........15 pounds pressure; 30 feet. Put on brake.
1823..........On brake; coming up.
1824..........Rescue Chamber on surface.
1825..........Taking Rescue Chamber out of water.
1827.........Hatch open; men disembarking.

Following survivors rescued on third trip descent of Rescue Chamber;

COYNE, Garvin J., MM2c, USN.
POWELL, R.B., MM2c, USN.
BOOTH, A.L. R.M.2c, USN.
ELVINA, F., M.Att.1c, USN.
PRIEN, A.G., MM.2c, USN.
FITZPATRICK, Wm. J., T.M.2c, USN.
MADERIOS, L., T.M.3c, USN.
CAMPBELL, R.H., C.T.M., USN.

Lieutenant R. N. ROBERTSON, USN.



FOURTH DESCENT OF RESCUE CHAMBER

 OPERATORS:  DATE: 24 May, 1939
     McDONALD, J., CMsmth, USN.  
     MIHALOWSKI, John, T.M.1c, USN.  


DEPTH: 220 ft.
-------------------------------------------------------------

TIME        REMARKS
1841.........Hatch closed.
1842.........Blowing Main Ballast.
1843.........Main Ballast blown; flooding lower compartment.
1849.........Lower compartment flooded; slacked down-haul.
1852.........Down 30 ft. Tank sloshed over; refilling.
1909.........Down 130 ft.
1918.........Flooding Main Ballast.
1922.........Main Ballast Tank flooded.
1924.........Down 191 ft.
1925.........Blowing lower compartment.
1931.........Seal made; opening lower hatch.
1931.........Putting on holding down bolts.
1938.........Opening Submarine Hatch.
1941.........Upper submarine hatch opened.
1947.........Taking passengers into Rescue Chamber.
1952.........Hatch closed on Submarine.
1954.........Taking off holding-down bolts.
1955.........Emptying Portable Ballast.
2007.........Portable Ballast Tanks Empty.
2007.........Lower hatched closed; flooding lower compartment.
2011.........Lower compartment flooded; blowing main Ballast.
2014.........Seal broken; Main Ballast blown. Starting up.
2022.........Motor turns over and then stalls.
2023.........Starting up on brake.
2025........Coming up on brake; 155 ft.
2027.........Stopped; brake not working.
2029.........Taking strain on down-haul wire.
2031.........Fast heaving.
2033.........Heaving around on down-haul wire.
2037.........No strain on brake; depth 158 feet.
2038.........Flooding main ballast.
2040.........Taking more strain.
2041.........Slack off.
2042.........Stopped flooding main ballast; 170 feet.
2044.........Depth; 185 feet.
2049.........Depth; 195 ft.
2050.........Depth; 200 ft.
2051.........Depth; 205 ft.
2052.........Starting to list over; 210 ft.
2115.........Diver on Submarine.
2122.........Down-haul wire cut.
2124.........Rescue Chamber on side of Submarine; 210 ft. Going up smoothly.
2125.........205 ft; going up slowly.
2126.........200 ft; going up slowly.
2126.........195 ft.
------........215 ft.
------........225 ft.
2127.........230 ft; hit bottom.
2129.........232 ft.

25 May, 1939

0004.........Blowing Main Ballast; one minute.
0005.........Up to 228 ft.
0006.........Up to 215 ft.
0008.........Up to 200 ft.
0012.........Up to 190 ft.
0013.........Up to 180 ft.
0014.........Up to 170 ft.
0019.........Up to 110 ft.
0020.........Up to 102 ft.
0022.........Up to 80 ft.
0023.........On surface.
0025.........Opening hatch.

Following survivors rescued on fourth trip descent of Rescue Chamber:

Lieut. Q.F. NAQUIN, USN, Comdg. USS SQUALUS.
Lieut. W.T. DOYLE, USN.
BRYSON, A.C., f.1c, USN.
KUNEY, C.S., Y.2c, USN.
POWELL, C.A., R.M.2c, USN.
PIERCE, C.N., M.M.2c, USN.
CRAVENS, E.D., G.M.1c, USN.
PERSICO, D., S.1c, USN.




FIFTH DESCENT OF RESCUE CHAMBER

 OPERATORS:  DATE: 25 May, 1939
    BADDERS, W., C.M.M., USN.  
    MIHALOWSKI, John, T.M.1c.  


DEPTH: 239 ft. on gauge. 247 ft. to deck of Submarine.
------------------------------------------------------------

TIME REMARKS
1704.........Rescue chamber in water.
1705.........Taking in slack in wire.
1707.........Blowing main ballast.
1709.........Flooding lower compartment.
1715.........Lower compt. flooded; starting down.
1719.........Descent actually started.
1725.........Reported at 60 feet.
1729.........Reported at 100 feet.
1738.........Reported at 195 feet.
1745.........On the Submarine; 239 feet.
1746.........Flooding main ballast.
1749.........Recompression tables phoned down.
1753.........Blowing lower compartment.
1756.........Lower compartment blown; Equalize pressure in main chamber.
1803.........Pressure equalized.
1805.........Opening hatch. Lower hatch is open.
1816.........Slack off down haul wire to open submarine hatch.
1819.........Trying to open submarine hatch.
1820.........Water flooding bell from submarine.
1821.........Leave bolts on hatch.
1826.........Lower hatch closed.
1828........Reached 100 ft.
1830.........Left 100 ft.
1834.........Reached 90 ft.
1837.........Left 90 ft.
1830.........Blowing main ballast. [Transcriber's note: time as listed in the log]
1838.........Reached 80 ft.
1839.........Main ballast blown. Left 80 ft.
1840.........Rescue Chamber coming to 100 ft. level. [Transcriber's note: depth as given in the log]
1843.........Reached 70 feet.
1850.........Left 70 feet.
1851.........Reached 60 feet.
1901.........Left 60 feet.
1902.........Reached 50 ft. Main ballast equalized.
1917.........Left 50 feet.
1917........Reached 40 feet.
1932.........Left 40 feet.
1932.........Reached 30 feet.
1933.........Rescue Chamber at 30 feet.
1957.........Left 30 feet.
1957........Reached 20 feet. (Rescue Chamber at 30 ft.) [Transcriber's note: As in log]
2027.........Left 20 ft.
2028.........Reached 10 feet.
2058.........Left 10 feet.
2059.........Atmospheric pressure.
2101.........Clutch disconnected - up on brake.
2102.........Rescue Chamber on surface.
2103.........Blowing lower compartment - hooked to boom - up on deck.
2107.........Bell on deck - hatch open.



Source: USS Squalus: Report of Rescue Operations, World War II Command File, Operational Archives Branch, Naval Historical Center



20 June 2000