Saturday, May 26, 2007

Harold Froehlich, Aeonautical Engineer and Submersible Designer

You would think the engineers lead boring lives hunkered over mathematical models of hydraulic pressure and maximum structural loads, not Harold "Bud" Froehlich.

Mr. Froehlich was born in 1922 and served in the US Navy during WWII as a signalman. He went on to become an aeronautical engineer and worked for Boeing and other companies before ending up at General Mills (the Cheerios people) in his native Minnesota. At General Mills he helped design high-altitude balloons for the US military before being tasked to help build a mechanical arm for the U.S. Navy-owned bathyscaphe Trieste in 1960.

Alvin Submerged (Source: NOAA)

As part of his work on balloons he specialized in designing small spheres able to endure hostile environments. Mr. Froehlich also worked on the design for a self-propelled, two-man deep-sea vessel called the Seapup.

This talent and earlier experience became crucial factors in his selection as the project leader for the design of a new US Navy deep-diving research submersible. That submersible was later named "Alvin" by the US Navy after Allyn Vine of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Vine another engineer was a key proponent for the U.S. to develop a national program for manned undersea vehicles.

Part of
Mr. Froehlich team's unique design was to combine a new buoyant material called syntactic foam with hollow metal spheres to build the vessel. Confident in his design Harold even participated in one the first test dives made in 1964 near Woods Hole, Mass. -- "to the great depth of 27 feet," he later said. Years later Mr. Froehlich told Minnesota Public Radio that winning the bid to design and build Alvin was an astonishing feat, because the Navy initially "was skeptical about a Wheaties company designing a submarine."

With Vine and Navy officer Charles B. Momsen Jr son of "Swede" Momsen., Mr. Froehlich received the 1989 Elmer A. Sperry Award for "the invention, development and deployment of the deep diving submarine, Alvin." The award is sponsored by prominent engineering societies.

After leaving General Mills Mr. Froehlich went on to work for the 3M company, designing surgical equipment and retiring in 1989.

Harold "Bud" Froehich died this past week at the age of 82. An engineer at a food company who designed one of the worlds most famous deep-sea submersibles.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Tribute to the Lost Boats of WWII

During WWII the US Submarine Service lost 52 Submarines, 375 Officers and 3,131 Enlisted Men.

The United States submarine service represented only 1.6% of Navy personnel at the time but suffered the highest percentage of casualties within any of the services; a casualty rate of about 22 percent. They also exacted a terrible price on the enemy accounting for 55% of all the Japanese ships sunk; this included a full third of the Japanese Imperial Navy.

Typically the loss of Submarine included the loss of the entire crew...

I put together this video as a 2007 Memorial Day tribute to those still on "Eternal Patrol".

The Final Patrol

Lord, this departed shipmate with dolphins on his chest is part of an outfit known as the best.

Make him welcome and take him by the hand. You'll find without a doubt he was the best in all the land.

So, heavenly Father add his name to the roll of our dear departed shipmates still on patrol.

Let him know that we who survive will always keep their memories alive.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

USS Scorpion (SSN-589) - 39 years ago

Posted so we do not forget that the dangers of the sea and how the service of submariners during hot wars and cold conflicts can exact a toll that still remains a mystery.

USS Scorpion SSN-589 (US Navy photo)
Photo location was Naples Italy and was taken a little over 1 month before her loss.

The following officers and men were lost with Scorpion (SSN-589).

Officers Chief Petty Officers
  • Commander Francis Atwood Slattery,
    Commanding Officer
  • Lieutenant Commander David B. Lloyd,
    Executive Officer
  • Lieutenant Commander Daniel P. Stephens
  • Lieutenant John Patrick Burke
  • Lieutenant George Patrick Farrin,
  • Lieutenant Robert Walter Flesch
  • Lieutenant William Clarke Harwi
  • Lieutenant Charles Lee Lamberth
  • Lieutenant John C. Sweet
  • Lieutenant (j.g.) James W. Forrester, Jr.
  • Lieutenant (j.g.) Michael A. Odening
  • Lieutenant (j.g.) Laughton D. Smith

  • TMC Walter William Bishop,
    Chief of the Boat (COB)
  • MMC(SS) Robert Eugene Bryan
  • RMC(SS) Garlin Ray Denney
  • RMCS(SS) Robert Johnson
  • MMCS(SS) Richard Allen Kerntke
  • QMCS(SS) Frank Patsy Mazzuchi
  • EMC(SS) Daniel Christopher Peterson
  • HMC(SS) Lynn Thompson Saville
  • ETC(SS) George Elmer Smith, Jr.
  • YNCS(SS) Leo Williazm Weinbeck
  • MMC(SS) James Mitchell Wells
Enlisted Men
  • FTG3(SS) Keith Alexander M. Allen
  • IC2 Thomas Edward Amtower
  • MM2 George Gile Annable
  • FN(SS) Joseph Anthony Barr, Jr.
  • RM2(SS) Michael Jon Bailey
  • IC3 Michael Reid Blake
  • MM1(SS) Robert Harold Blocker
  • MM2(SS) Kenneth Ray Brocker
  • MM1(SS) James K. Brueggeman
  • RMSN Daniel Paul Burns, Jr.
  • IC2(SS) Ronald Lee Byers
  • MM2(SS) Douglas Leroy Campbell
  • MM3(SS) Samuel J. Cardullo
  • MM2(SS) Francis King Carey
  • SN Gary James Carpenter
  • MM1(SS) Robert Lee Chandler
  • MM1(SS) Mark Helton Christiansen
  • SD1(SS) Romeo Constantino
  • MM1(SS) Robert James Cowan
  • SD1(SS) Joseph Cross
  • FA Michael Edward Dunn
  • ETR2 Richard Philip Engelhart
  • FTGSN William Ralph Fennick
  • IC3(SS) Vernon Mark Foli
  • SN Ronald Anthony Frank
  • CSSN(SS) Michael David Gibson
  • IC2 Steven Dean Gleason
  • STS2(SS) Michael Edward Henry
  • SK1(SS) Larry Leroy Hess
  • ETR1(SS) Richard Curtis Hogeland
  • MM1(SS) John Richard Houge
  • EM2 Ralph Robert Huber
  • TM2(SS) Harry David Huckelberry
  • EM3 John Frank Johnson
  • IC3(SS) Steven Leroy Johnson
  • QM2(SS) Julius Johnston, III
  • FN Patrick Charles Kahanek
  • TM2(SS) Donald Terry Karmasek
  • ETR3(SS) Rodney Joseph Kipp
  • MM3 Dennis Charles Knapp
  • MM1(SS) Max Franklin Lanier
  • ET1(SS) John Weichert Livingston
  • ETN2 Kenneth Robert Martin
  • ET1(SS) Michael Lee McGuire
  • TMSN Steven Charles Miksad
  • TMSN Joseph Francis Miller, Jr.
  • MM2(SS) Cecil Frederick Mobley
  • QM1(SS) Raymond Dale Morrison
  • QM3(SS) Dennis Paul Pferrer
  • EM1(SS) Gerald Stanley Psopisil
  • IC3 Donald Richard Powell
  • MM2 Earl Lester Ray, Jr.
  • CS1(SS) Jorge Luis Santana
  • ETN2(SS) Richard George Schaffer
  • SN William Newman Schoonover
  • SN Phillip Allan Seifert
  • MM2(SS) Robert Bernard Smith
  • ST1(SS) Harold Robert Snapp, Jr.
  • ETM2(SS) Joel Candler Stephens
  • MM2(SS) David Burton Stone
  • EM2 John Phillip Sturgill
  • YN3 Richard Norman Summers
  • TMSN John Driscoll Sweeney, Jr.
  • ETM2(SS) James Frank Tindol, III
  • CSSN Johnny Gerald Veerhusen
  • TM3 Robert Paul Violeiti
  • ST3 Ronald James Voss
  • FTG1(SS) John Michael Wallace
  • MM1(SS) Joel Kurt Watkins
  • MMFN Robert Westley Watson
  • TM2 James Edwin Webb
  • SN Ronald Richard Williams
  • MM3 Robert Alan Willis
  • IC1(SS) Virgil Alexander Wright, III
  • TM1(SS) Donald H. Yarsbrough
  • ETR2(SS) Clarence Otto Young, Jr.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Alvin On-Line Simulator

Have you ever wanted to pilot a submersible into the depths of the Ocean?

Not many of us will ever get that chance but if a cyber-space version will pass then check out the Woods Hole Oceanographic Insititution's Alvin Simulator. Used as a training tool for scientists it has standalone session mode as well as a joined session mode for collaborative missions.
(Screen shot of Alvin simulator.)

WHOI website provides this description as to the use of the simulator:

"In addition to full mission planning for WHOI scientists, the Alvin simulator was intended to provide applicability as a public relations tool so that users at home would be able to find out about WHOI research.

One of the sumulator's outstanding features is its full functionality as a stand-alone session once the interface is downloaded. All the meters and devices reflect real data that is calculated by the underlying algorithms. Furthermore, scientists as well as public users are allowed to collaborate in teams of up to three persons - just as in the real Alvin cockpit where a team consists of one pilot and two scientists.

Every member's actions in a joined session will influence the virtual dive and will be reflected on all the remote team members displays. In addition, an optional chat tool was provided for communication and surveillance purposes. Since scientists might be separated, the simulator is configured for distributive network-based session management which is supported by a Java 1.3 servlet."

There is a link on the site to an instructional video.

You won't be shooting sea monsters, this is primarily a technical training tool full of device controls and system gages used for mission tasks rehearsals.

If the simulator is to techie for you then here is some video footage from Alvin at a depth of 7644 feet.

Scientists do get excited when they see something unusual or unexpected, such as a lake at the bottom of the ocean.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Blog Changes

Thought it was time for some updating. Changes will be on-going for a few days.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Women, Guitars and Submarine Acoustics

Could the video be a valid argument to have women on submarines?

Artist: Mia Johnson - Style: Folk/Rock - Song Title: Sailor
Here's another sample of her music.

Submarines not the place for a low cut evening dress, except if you're the XO on halfway night. But as long as its a museum like the USS Ling I'm all for "Women, Guitars an Submarine Acoustics".

Sunday, May 06, 2007

What's in a Name - Honor the Monitor

If you follow the submarine blogs you'll see the topic of ship naming surface now and again. There is usually a debate on the best names for submarines which range from fish to States to historic leaders such as Presidents.

There is now a movement to have one of the new Virginia class attack submarines named after a famous naval vessel of the civil war, Lincoln's secret weapon, the USS Monitor.

USS Monitor vs CSS Virginia (Source: National Archives)

The introduction of the innovative USS Monitor could be argued as the end of sailing warships and the beginning of the big iron warships domination of Naval efforts for the next 100 years.

The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable has started a grassroots campaign to have the memory of the USS Monitor honored "For the sake of history, tradition, and symmetry".
USS Virginia "Monitor?" (Photo Source: US Navy)

Now if only the Navy could put a naval rail gun turret in the sail the "USS Monitor" name would be a sure thing. ;-)