Category Archives: Uncategorized

NAMU ADDENDUM

We received a fine comment from the mildly anonymous Phil D. today in response to a blog post we made some time ago about the killer whale Namu’s time at Pier 56.  The link is http://pauldorpat.com/ivar/pier-56-aquarium-in-the-1960s-very-big-sharks-and-namu/

That intrepid Boeing retiree Werner Lengenhager's capture of the Namu's sidewalk sign.  (Courtesy, Seattle Public Library)
That intrepid Boeing retiree Werner Lengenhager’s capture of the Namu’s sidewalk sign. (Courtesy, Seattle Public Library)

Phil’s comment follows.

“2013, and 1966 was a long time ago…but what an outstanding experience in my life.  I was privileged to be hired by Ted Griffin to work with Namu at Smith Cove in the early part of 1966 until Namu was brought to Seattle.  Then, I was given a wireless microphone and said to present demonstrations of Namu to the public…which I did many times that summer.

“I really came to love Namu with the closeness of feeding, petting, scratching his back, sides and belly.  Many times I was able to get very close to Namu while feeding him with a slice of salmon.  I was 21 at the time, and really enjoyed the people who came to see the show.

Namu-and-Ferry-WEB

“At times, Namu, when demonstrating a high jump, would go back into the water without hardly a splash.  Other times, however, he would come down  kinda falling over so as to completely soak the ones in the way of the huge wave & spray!  One incident in the evening took place with no one there, but two men and a lady who were dressed to the hilt for a night on the town.  For them, I’m sure it was as memorable an evening as it was for me.   When I cautioned them they’d be safer from getting wet if they went up the ramp and observed from there, they decided to take a chance and see at float level.   You guessed it…it was the greatest of Namu’s jokes on the crowd…the got entirely drenched.  Their reaction???  They all, after catching their breath from the cold water drench, broke out laughing, and even grateful for this fantastic memory…seeing the huge body of Namu nearly leap completely out of the water (after having carefully popped his head out of the water prior to the jump, scoped out the situation…including the three observers and the ball held out high above the water by yours truly).  Then, with no time to react, they saw Namu falling toward them!  You can well imagine the rest…as I see it still clearly in my minds eye.

“Thanks for the memories, Namu and Seattle”

This appeared in part first in the Seattle Times for August 23, 1970.
This appeared in part first in the Seattle Times for August 23, 1970.

 

HELIX – Vol. 4, No. 8, (late September, 1968)

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We learn in this issue that it is the last of our bi-weekly offerings.  After this we went weekly until the end.  We surely felt confident.  Here again, although thousands of miles apart, Bill White and I read an issue together with the generous help of Skype.  These edited versions are shorter than the time we took and recorded, but still even with Bill’s pruning we do ramble and sometimes stumble.  Each trip (issue) we discuss is, however, certainly instructive, and considerably more than smoldering nostalgia for our lost youth.  Well I should speak for myself, for Bill, much my junior, is still living lucky and in his prime.  Thanks – repeated – to Ron Edge for doing the scanning.   It certainly suites his assiduous side, and boundless love for old publications.  [If you have any old regional papers - really old - please consider sharing them with Ron.  He'll make a disk for you, Id' bet.]

B.White and P. Dorpat

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04-08 Cover

SUBS EXPLAINED – Letters from BILL HOELLER

In our last Sunday feature I shared with Berangere and Jean the hope that some reader would respond with explanations for the largely mysterious – for us – submarines that we included there.  We were blessed with just such from Bill Hoeller.  Now we will print out his explanations beneath the subs they apply to.  And we will introduce this with the introduction to his first letter to us.  Thanks much Bill.

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Dear Paul,

Having been born and raised in Seattle I always look forward to your Seattle Now & Then feature every Sunday.  In 1940 when I was born I lived in the Rainier Valley.  My wife and I currently live in Wallingford.  I saw you had some questions concerning submarines, which I know a little about, so I thought I would respond.  I’m also anxious to see additional posts about submarines.

All the best,

Bill Hoeller

This submarine is the H-Class submarine H-1 (SS-28).  She was commissioned as the Seawolf, but was renamed the H-1.  The H-3, built here at the Moran shipyard, was named the Garfish (SS-30).
This submarine is the H-Class submarine H-1 (SS-28). She was commissioned as the Seawolf, but was renamed the H-1. The H-3, built here at the Moran shipyard, was named the Garfish (SS-30).
I’m still trying to find the name of this submarine.  She’s a Balao or Tench class submarine that underwent a Guppy conversion.  The shark fin looking thing up near the bow and just aft of the sail are two of the three sonar arrays for the PUFFS passive underwater fire control BQG-4 system that would give the range and bearing of a target.  The third array would be well aft on the submarine.  The high sail was added to the original configuration of the boat to provide more protection for those on the bridge from heavy seas, and was referred to as a North Atlantic Sail.  These sails were also made partially of plastics to reduce weight and reduce corrosion.  The boat may very well have been a foreign submarine when this photo was taken, one of the many Guppy boats we gave away.
I’m still trying to find the name of this submarine. She’s a Balao or Tench class submarine that underwent a Guppy conversion. The shark fin looking thing up near the bow and just aft of the sail are two of the three sonar arrays for the PUFFS passive underwater fire control BQG-4 system that would give the range and bearing of a target. The third array would be well aft on the submarine. The high sail was added to the original configuration of the boat to provide more protection for those on the bridge from heavy seas, and was referred to as a North Atlantic Sail. These sails were also made partially of plastics to reduce weight and reduce corrosion. The boat may very well have been a foreign submarine when this photo was taken, one of the many Guppy boats we gave away. LATER . . .  Thank you very much for asking Paul.  You’re more than welcome to quote me.
 
Regarding the mystery boat moored across from the Continental Can Company, I belong to the United State Submarine Veterans, Inc. (USSVI) so I asked a friend of mine, Patrick Householder, who lives here and who once was the National Commander of the organization.  The USSVI has over 13, 000 members, so the pool of knowledge within the group about U.S. submarines is infinite.  Patrick knows more than most about U.S. diesel submarines.
 
Patrick said the boat was either the USS Salmon (SS-573) or the USS Sailfish (SS-572), and now that he said it I agree.  Since the Salmon was a west coast boat and the Sailfish was an east coast boat, the boat in the picture is the undoubtedly the Salmon.  I should have thought of Salmon because she was in our flotilla in San Diego when I was on Sea Devil (SS-400).  
 
Salmon and Sailfish were purpose built as radar picket boats and both were 350’ long, which at the time was huge.  The standard Gato, Balao and Tench class fleet submarines at the time were 312’ long.  The boats carried a huge radar antenna on deck aft of the sail, and another huge antenna on top of the sail when they operated as picket boats, but when they were re-classified as regular diesel attack submarines their huge radar antennas were removed.   [Here I asked Bill Hoeller to explain the meaning of "picket boats" in his passage above.  His answer follows.]  Don’t hold my feet to the fire on this, but the term “picket” would be likened to a picket fence around a house to act as a barrier to keep dogs in the yard (or perhaps outside the yard.)  During the battle for Okinawa destroyers formed a picket barrier away from the main battle fleet to give early warning of Japanese aircraft Kamikaze attacks, and although the destroyers performed their job well many of them naturally became targets of the Kamikaze and many were sunk.  The notion came up that perhaps a submarine could better do the job by submerging before the aircraft attacked, but nothing was done until shortly after the war.  Perhaps eight or so conventional fleet diesel submarines were configured with huge search radars that allowed them to determine the range, distance and altitude of an aircraft.  Here on the west coast I remember there were the Spinax, the Rock, the Raton and the Rasher.  The Salmon and the Sailfish were purpose built as radar picket boats, as was the nuclear powered submarine USS Triton (SSRN-586).  She was the boat that sailed around the world submerged.  The whole program of using submarines as radar picket boats didn’t last long, perhaps for a year or a bit longer.  Radars on long range aircraft performed the job much better.
Here’s a photo of Salmon in San Francisco Bay that I found on the Internet.  I think it’s rather cool.
Here’s a photo of Salmon in San Francisco Bay that I found on the Internet. I think it’s rather cool.
These two boats are the Bass (SS-164) and the Bonita (SS165).  They were V-Class boats.
These two boats are the Bass (SS-164) and the Bonita (SS165). They were V-Class boats.
Here’s the Bass again.  Inboard of the Bass is probably the Barracuda (SS-163).  The outboard boat is the Dolphin (SS-169).  When she operated out of the old Coco Solo submarine base in Panama she was the D-1.  Like the Bass and Barracuda the Dolphin was a V-Class boat.
Here’s the Bass again. Inboard of the Bass is probably the Barracuda (SS-163). The outboard boat is the Dolphin (SS-169). When she operated out of the old Coco Solo submarine base in Panama she was the D-1. Like the Bass and Barracuda the Dolphin was a V-Class boat.
Below as you know is the USS Carp (SS-338).  She was a Balao class boat, commissioned in February 1945, and made one war patrol before the war ended.  She was sold for scrap in 1973.
Below as you know is the USS Carp (SS-338). She was a Balao class boat, commissioned in February 1945, and made one war patrol before the war ended. She was sold for scrap in 1973.
The USS Puffer (SS-268), a Gato class submarine, had a stellar career in WWII.  She sustained one of the longest depth charging of any submarine, over 31 hours.  She was submerged for 38 hours before coming back to the surface.   Puffer holds a special place for me.  I enlisted in the Navy aboard her in 1957 when she was the training boat for Submarine Reserve Division 13-16 here in Seattle at the Naval Armory.  I spent a lot of time aboard her, and spent a lot of time marching around inside the Armory.   You mentioned you lived for a time in a houseboat along Fairview, and told the story of the Puffer going adrift.  When I was fourteen I worked for a commercial diver as his tender.  He had a moorage for his diving barge at the north end of Lake Union, just east of the Gas Works.  He managed to corral a lot of galvanized barrels.  We filled the barrels with water, placed them under houseboats between the cedar logs upon which the houses were built, and blew the water out using compressed air, which helped to raise the houseboat up a bit.  The cedar logs over the years would become waterlogged and slowly sink.  We worked on houseboats all around Lake Union and Portage Bay.
The USS Puffer (SS-268), a Gato class submarine, had a stellar career in WWII. She sustained one of the longest depth charging of any submarine, over 31 hours. She was submerged for 38 hours before coming back to the surface.
Puffer holds a special place for me. I enlisted in the Navy aboard her in 1957 when she was the training boat for Submarine Reserve Division 13-16 here in Seattle at the Naval Armory. I spent a lot of time aboard her, and spent a lot of time marching around inside the Armory.
You mentioned you lived for a time in a houseboat along Fairview, and told the story of the Puffer going adrift. When I was fourteen I worked for a commercial diver as his tender. He had a moorage for his diving barge at the north end of Lake Union, just east of the Gas Works. He managed to corral a lot of galvanized barrels. We filled the barrels with water, placed them under houseboats between the cedar logs upon which the houses were built, and blew the water out using compressed air, which helped to raise the houseboat up a bit. The cedar logs over the years would become waterlogged and slowly sink. We worked on houseboats all around Lake Union and Portage Bay.

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HOPEFULLY – if we can find it – we intend to return to this SUBMARINE SECTION of our blog with something on THE PRINCESS ANGELINE, the “first atomic submarine built for Puget Sound commuter service.”  We doubt that it was ever built.  Were we not quoting we would have preferred to write “planned for Puget Sound commuter service.” Please check for it later.

 

 

 

 

 

 

HEXLIX Vol. 4, No. 7, (early September, 1968)

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We were not very good about getting every issue of Helix properly noted for its number and date.  This was the first issue printed after the first (of 3) Sky River Rock Festivals gathered together over Labor Day.  So this is from 1968.   Without any confidence in the internal evidence of this tabloid itself, we have dated it above “early September, 1968.  It occurs to me that this negligence or uncertainly is, in part or from one prospect, a sign that we were then living in eternity.  (This week – for the next Helix and hopefully within a week or two – we will look for other photos taken at the first Sky River.  An google search will certainly show others.)

B.White and P. Dorpat

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04-07 Cover

A NIGHT IN OLD MASONIC TEMPLE ADDENDUM – Jef Jaisun Pixs and Reports

Our old friend (who yet does not seem to age), rock-n-roller, bluesman, front-stage photographer, party-thrower, columnist, incessant wit and politico, Jef Jaisun sends this press-photo and clipping – his creations from a 1979 concert at the Capitol Hill Masonic Temple on Pine Street, the site of the Link Lingenbrink’s Artist League balls covered here earlier this week.  Thanks to Jef.

Butterfield-WEB

ButterfieldDankoStory2-WEB

 

 

 

HELIX REDUX & RELAX continue – Bill While has arrived in his New World

Bill has arrived in Peru. Ron is back to scanning the issues and will have the next Helix in line and it is expected soon. First, however, we will put up a True Confession and or Sentimental Sea Shanty from Bill recalling his trip by cruise ship nearly straight south from Florida to Peru but with a necessary jog through the Panama canal. His letter will include a video of his passage through the canal and, we expect, more photographs of his trip by Sea. (The story of his train trip from Seattle to Florida may come later. Hope so, for I like traveling in trains and their tales too.) Meanwhile for the Helix routine to resume we must also wait while we figure out how to make Skype work between here and Lima. And that is the sum of it - until we put up Bill's Caribbean Shanty and soon.

This most recent record of the old Helix was record last Oct. 29, and may be compared to one below it from 2008, and then another from the 1970s.  At the bottom the door is open, but to the first Helix office, which was in the University District on Roosevelt Way and a half-block north of 45th Street..

Below: While I recall the faces and beards of the two on the left at the Helix front door on Harvard Ave., I no longer remember their names.  But to the right are Pat Churchill and Tim Harvey.  Both contributed to the paper.  Tim handled the UPS and LNS selections and edits and also did some of the best reporting for the paper, as well as drama reviews.  In our recorded remarks Bill White and I have referred to Tim’s writing often enough.  Rereading Tim I wish that I could indicated somehow my admiration.  He may still be in Maine but I’ve not found him as yet.   I remember that both Pat and Tim often had a cup of coffee in one hand and sometimes a smoke in the other. As did I and almost everybody in the smoke-filled office. But at that time we were eternal.