USS ALBACORE (AGSS 569)
NEWSLETTER # 66
September 2016

Dear Shipmate,

Recently, I had an opportunity to see what the Navy's newest destroyer looks like when she pulled into nearby Naval Station Newport. USS Zumwalt is over 600-feet long and streamlined to reduce her radar signature. She cost something over twice that of a single Virginia-class boat. Only three ships of her type will be built.

Owing to a mechanical failure in the south tower of the Sarah Mildred Long (middle) Bridge, the bridge has been permanently closed to vehicular traffic. Originally stuck in the "down" position, the bridge was raised to the "up" position to allow marine traffic access to Great Bay and the ocean. Both Maine and New Hampshire DOTs agreed to permanently shut down the bridge. Repairs were estimated to cost upward of  $1M and take more than six weeks to accomplish. The bridge was to be permanently closed on 1 November to make way for construction of the new bridge. Cianbro, the general contractor on the replacement bridge, will begin removing the center span early in October. Cianbro has stated that the earlier than scheduled dismantling of the old bridge will not have an adverse effect on the construction of the new one.

Shipmate John Gandiello has moved and can be found at 5018 Lilium Drive, Plainfield, IN 46168. Email of "gandiello@sbcglobal.net" and phone of (317) 441-8843 are unchanged. Gerald Matthews has a new email of "39humpback@centurylink.net".

 The annual meeting of the Portsmouth Submarine Museum Association will take place on Thursday, November 17th, location to be determined.  All members in good standing (membership dues paid for 2017) are encouraged to attend.

Three additional plates are up on the portside covering wrinkles in the ship's hull. This year, a professional company was hired to attach the new plating. PSMA Board members Ken Herrick and Jim Wakefield ensured the process proceeded smoothly. Several more plates will be added next spring to complete the port side work before starting on the starboard side.

Another David Tailor Model Basin employee has surfaced and has been added to our shipmates list. Ken Todack was onboard in the mid 60s during trials. He remembers: Setting the speed record; hitting bottom off Key West; tripping of the main circuit breaker and free diving into the aft free flood area to patch accelerator cables in Key West. Ken was an Instrumentation Specialist focusing on low frequency sound reduction. His work consisted of measurement system design and assembly, conduct of ship trials and data analysis. Ken lives at 7705 Hayfield Road, Alexandria, VA 22315. Phone (703) 971-1637 and email of "ktodack@cox.net". Welcome aboard, Ken.

 Shipmate Roy "Luke" Riley went on Final Patrol on 7 September. Luke was Albacore's navigator while attached from 1967-'68. An Albacore Condolence Card has been sent to his wife Linda.

I met former DTMD employee Robert Roddy after our FOA meeting on the 24th. He had run down from Portland to see the boat and we had a chance to chat before he headed back to Portland. Bob recalled his first time underway on Albacore and his failure to fortify himself with anti seasickness meds. Ship's motion led him to the bridge where fresh air and seeing the horizon helped his queasiness but the exaggerated ship's motion soon overcame him. The OD suggested he go below and use the head in the forward battery, which Bob did.  A passing crewmember led him to believe that he had just used the Captain's private head. Feeling bad about this seeming transgression, Bob was relieved to later learn that this was not the case.

Until next time, shipmate.

Jack Hunter
11 Admiralty Drive, Apt 3
Middletown, RI 02842-6254
(401) 849-7282
Jhunter2007@cox.net