Russian Foxtrot Class Submarine Tour
On Friday morning, we toured a Russian "foxtrot" submarine. JCCVA member, Don
Mathiowetz (LCDR 70-73 Blue) was Engineer on the JCC and he is the docent for the San Diego Maritime Museum. JCCVA members
brought our SSBN 630 brow banner down to the boat so we could unfurl our banner topside on the former soviet submarine B-39.
Here's a photo of the event! Guess we won!!!
Glenn Gerbrand, Reb Burton, and Dennis Lanier proudly display the Calhoun brow banner across the deck in front
of the sail of the Russian "foxtrot" submarine B-39! Is there any doubt that we are the Cold War victors?
All of those months under the sea were not in vain! We were fighting a war, a war even more important than the war on
terror! When we were making deterrent patrols, we'd never have guessed that one day we'd stand on the deck of
a Soviet submarine and display the brow banner of the best of the 41 for freedom, the USS John C. Calhoun SSBN 630!
Put that in your deck log!! BZ to all FBM sailors and fellow Calhouners!
In the top picture, front row: Mike Lewis (MM 66-71 Blue), Glenn Gerbrand (ST
74-75 Blue), Garry Collins (ET 73-76 Blue), Steve Kouski (MM 73-75 Blue), Warren Vige (73-80 Blue). Back row: Charlie
Mineau (MM 70-73 Gold), Dennis Lanier (IC 74-79 Blue, "Reb" Burton (TM 72-76 Blue), and Dave Smith (ET 73-76 Blue).
Bottom picture shows the forward torpedo room with warshot loaded in top tube.
This was such a treat - here's two more pictures. On the top is the CO's cabin (can you
believe this?). On the bottom is the galley! There is no crews mess onboard the boat. The crew had to eat
their meals in their bunks which they had to share with other crewmembers. The crew was around 75 but they had only
enough racks for 1/2 that many. Talk about hot bunking!
Here's a couple more shots of the B-39. Check out the sonar suite in the top picture.
Compare that to our sonar suite in the picture that scrolls in the slide show on the homepage. On the bottom, the infamous
TDU (Trash Disposal Unit).
Dennis Lanier captured this picture of yours truly (Garry Collins) taking a seat on one of two toilets
on the whole boat! Hey, a curtain would have been nice!! On the bottom is the Electrical Controls for the boat.
Don Mathiowetz informed us that very few of the crew had the skills to work on the equipment onboard. Most were conscripts
who only stood watches, leaving the maintenance to a chosen few! Again - no wonder we won! These foxtrots were
chasing boomers for decades. Remember, they even knew where we were thanks to John Walker, the notorious spy, but evidently
they still couldn't find us with this antiquated equipment and maintenance strategy.