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PHOTOS WANTED! I'd like to put up any old photos you have of CUBERA, especially any you have showing below-decks!

(All photos are either by the author, sourced from the public domain, or contributed by crew members and given attribution where known.)

1999 - Shipmates reunited in Reno after 33 years. Karl ("Dutch") Krompholtz (L), Rik Nilsson (R). Dutch had found my Cubby site on the web and sent me an email. We traded life histories and agreed to meet at the National USSVI convention in Reno, in September of 1999. We had a great time in spite of the 7,500 Harley bikers in town for a different kind of convention. I think we established that we were on different battle station teams, Dutch on stern planes, me on sonar/radar. There is a strangely similar parallelism to our civilian lives since leaving Cubby in the mid-60s.
(Wives' pictures undisplayed pending negotiations.)
Summer 2002 - First CUBERA Western States Reunion; Rik "Beachball" Nilsson, Al "Overboard" Sabatino, and Karl "Dutch" Krompholz at Rik's place near Medford Oregon, sucking down a few Foster's and reminiscing.
(Most of these B/W images below were scanned from my original circa 1964 Polaroids) See also, for additional photos.

Forward engine room looking aft. Engines one and two are hidden behind the lockers and benches on port and starboard sides. On Guppy-II submarines like CUBERA, the propeller shafts were driven from large batteries by electric motors, both on the surface and submerged. The motor armatures were actually wound on the propeller shafts. The four sixteen cylinder General Motors diesel/generator sets (two in each engineroom) charged the batteries while on the surface. The CUBERA also had a snorkel, modified from the original Dutch design, that permitted running one or two engines at a keel depth of about 54 feet.

Want to know more about WWII Fleet Submarines? The site has

the complete series of NAVPERS 16160 training manuals online

Interactive demo -
How a Sub Works!

[PDF: Require Adobe Acrobat 4 ]

Balao-class sub layout
(160Kb PDF)
Or as a JPEG (60kb JPG)
Interior diagram of Cubera
(Revised Apr 2004)

(120kb PDF)
Or as a JPEG (325K JPG)

Visitor's handout circa 1947, courtesy of Ben Miller, weapons officer, USS Georgia/Blue.

Visitor's handout (rear) circa 1947, courtesy of Ben Miller, weapons officer, USS Georgia/Blue.

Cubera's patch
(1950's-1960's version)
Cubera's patch
(re-created 1998 version)
1946 "Disney" patch
(Courtesy Al Conner)
Ship's plaque circa 1963, courtesy of Nelson Seyford, nephew of R. Boykin

Cubera launches June 17, 1945 (Photo courtesy I was only 11 months old at the time!

Cubera christening June 17, 1945 (Photo courtesy Dave Berry)

CUBERA Crew photo at Destroyer and Sub Piers, Norfolk 1964.

Here I'm pretending to be operating the bow planes. I had a shipmate follow me around one night on below-decks watch in port and take shots in various rooms (compartments to you skimmers). At sea, lookouts manned the planes after clearing the bridge for diving. Bow planes controlled the depth, stern planes the angle. The large dial behind the wheel is the shallow depth gauge, that reads down to one hundred feet. The smaller one to the left of it reads down to one thousand feet. We could only operate down to about 650 feet, although the theoretical "crush" depth was 900 feet. We went to 660 once, by accident.

Those at the launch received a "plank" like this to commemorate the occasion.

Control room. I'm at what was known at that time as the WLR1 ESM scanner. It would display and record signal characteristics, allowing us to identify radars. I tracked several Russian radar trawlers down around Cuba with this gear. Above my head is the hull opening indicator panel, called the "christmas tree" - red lights meant an open hatch, green - closed, Hence the term "green board" signified all openings were shut and it was safe to proceed with the dive.

Here I was in 1964, in the forward engine room door. I'd just ironed on my fresh 3rd Class Petty Officer patch, known as a "crow." The device on the left is one of the fresh water stills. Below the door is a 250lb ships air utility manifold. Doors were open in port, shut "on the latch" (not dogged tight) while at sea.

Radar watch in the conning tower. I'm standing facing the CW-55AGV-3 display/control console of our SS-1 radar set. I had the air conditioning duct taped to keep the icy North Atlantic air off my forehead. Condensation dripped into the scope from there when it was cold, and I had to continually wipe the PPI screen. My arms got a workout fighting the rolls in heavier seas.

When we were submerged, my watch station switched from the radar in the conning tower to the sonar console. It was located on the inboard bulkhead of the sonar shack in the forward torpedo room. The BQR-2B sonar array under the bow of the boat consisted of many upright tubular transducers arranged in a circle. The ring of transducers were selected in groups by an electronic scanner, effectively generating a listening beam that rotated around the sonar dome. It could be set to rotate automatically or manually using the large wheel on the console. The direction of the beam relative to the heading of the boat was shown on the circular display above the wheel.

Contacts were found by listening in headphones and fine-tuning the direction beam with the wheel. The operator had to learn to tell closing or opening contacts, their type and other characteristics by comparing sounds with library tapes -- and hours of experience.

Crew's Mess. Left to right, QM3(SS) Billy Joe Price from Georgia writing a letter, big guy is "Suitcase" Simpson RM1(SS), the lead radioman. Seated is Jerome Leach, a seaman just relieved of lookout watch during stormy weather. We used to rotate the bridge personnel down for a coffee and a smoke. The dark streak is an artifact in the polaroid film.

In Toulon, we met a couple of French sub sailors in a local bistro. They took us on a tour of their boat, and we of course recipicaded...reciprotated...did the same. Here we are, (me on the far right) sloshed ti the gills, after consuming a great prtion of pickled vegetables from the jar visible in the lower right. We, of course, subsekwently... subsquently... ah, afterwards, we returned to the city (hic) and drank until we (hic) dropped.

Merrill (Gus) Negus and I having a smoke break in front of the starboard motor control cubicle, in the Maneuvering room. Below the deck under our feet was the motor room, containing the huge DC electric motors that powered the sub's screws (propellers). Gus was in the process of overhauling an engine - that's why he's so hard to see.

This is the port motor and engines control cubicle in the maneuvering room. I was standing a battery charge watch for qualification. The dials behind me indicated voltages and currents to and from the battery and generator. The box behind my head with the handle on top is a "battle lantern", a battery operated flashlight to be used when main and emergency lighting fails (a BAD situation).

See and hear Cubera's
bell aboard USS COD

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