Thursday, July 19, 2018

USS Silversides Museum

I toured the USS Silversides submarine this week with a tour guide that served on Nuclear subs. The sub is from WWII and all original. The complete story of this submarine is located at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Silversides_(SS-236). The Navy submariners are all volunteer to serve on submarines. I don't believe it would be for me!


The ships sunk and damaged and other awards are painted on the ship.

The museum has lots of displays and information about submarines.

This is a 4 inch shell that is fired from the deck gun.

A torpedo cut away. Several types are in the museum. They weighed about 3000 pounds each. The explosive was in the nose. Compressed air was in the large center section. The motor to drive the torpedo is at the rear.

I had to look over all the old radio gear. The technology they had improved rapidly after the war started. Sonar and radar equipment on this sub were high tech at the time. This looks like some of the early radios I worked on before transistor equipment appeared.

The aft end of the sub has four torpedo tubes. The 3000 pound torpedos are stored on each side. They are pushed into the tubes by the roller seen on the left side.

Torpedo stored on rollers in the rack.


Electrical control is very important. Diesels power the electric generators that turn the propeller and operate most things on the sub. Every man on the sub had to know how to operate everything on the sub.

The aft engine room with four huge diesel engines.

Mechanics bench.They had to do repairs as needed. They needed small men to get in areas behind equipment.

Those water tight doors are not good for larger people to pass through. The deck plates are all removable to access more of the engine under the floor.
We did not get to see that area.


The galley, not very big to feed everyone. They did eat well on subs.

Food served here.

The radio room. It was locked so I could not get a close look.

Lots of brass and copper! Remember, everyone had to know how to operate all of this.

They called this side of the control room the "dry side". These controls were used for surfacing operations.


The control room called the "wet side" where diving and steering takes place. The ladder goes to the conning tower where the battle is controlled. Access to that area was not available. If you watch submarine movies, that's where the action happens.

Lights indicate all valves and tanks for diving and surfacing.

That small table at the bottom of the photo is the chart table.



Bunks were right by the torpedos in the racks.

The forward torpedo tubes. There are six here, two under the floor.
One torpedo for tube 5 is visible in this photo.

The underwater escape access, hatch is on the top deck.
Torpedo loading done here. Cranes lift them onto this skid.
This folds down when not in use.

Deck gun shells are stored behind the round watertight doors.
The gun on the left is a 20mm gun.

The four inch forward deck gun for surface firing. Five men operate the gun, two on seats left and right for rotation and elevation and three to load shells.

The 50 cal gun is visible on the conning tower. Our tour guide did a great job of
explained all the equipment on the sub.


The Hedgehog fired all these mortars from surface ships to destroy submarines.

Underwater rescue diving sphere, used one time to rescue some men from a downed sub.
It latched onto the rescue hatch if the sub was reasonably level where it sank.
It could hold nine men and cost one million dollars in the 1940's

If you are in Muskegon, you should stop and see this sub. My timing was lucky due to the tour guide being there during our visit. You can walk through on your own but he his tour was great. I was on the sub for over two hours. They still run the engines, usually on holidays. Most things on the sub still work.

2018 Summer Trip

We are now in Muskegon Michigan, stop number 4 on the map. We will return to Indiana about October 15th. The map is in two sections due to the Good Sam trip planner limitations. You will notice two parts, 1-10 and 1-15. We will be in Michigan for almost the first month. We are delaying our arrival in South Dakota due to the Sturgis motorcycle rally in August. Everything is booked up during the rally and prices for RV parks are extra high during that time. We will arrive in the Rapid City area after Sturgis is over. Stop number 8 is Yellowstone, WY.