"Squalus" Memorial Benefit Concert Program

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Little Boar's Head - New Hampshire

July 30, 1939

[Memorial Program courtesy John & Connie Holman -- 2000]



General Chairman
Mrs. John Paine Wingate

Mr. George B. Lord

Executive Committee

Rear Adm. & Mrs. Dismukes
Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Rosser
Senator H. Styles Bridges Mr. John L. Sullivan
Senator Charles W. Tobey Mr. Thomas E. Dolan
Hon. Arthur B. Jenks Dr. Donald Leonard
Hon. Foster Stearns Mrs. William Marston Seabury
Mrs. Alvan T. Fuller Mr. and Mrs. R. C. L. Greer
Mr. Arthur L. Hobson Mr. and Mrs. Charles Amhoff
Mr. Philip Hobson Mrs. Katherine S. Hill
Maj. Charles Greenman Mrs. John Swinnerton
Hon. Charles M. Dale Miss Adeline C. Marston
Mr. Robert Cleveland Mr. and Mrs. Richard D. Currier
Mrs. Mary I. Wood Mr. Edward S. Seavey, Jr.
-- NASHUA -- -- EXETER --
Mr. Herman H. Davis, Chairman Dr. Donald W. Leonard, Chairman
Mrs. Ruth Coffin James A. Pirnie, President Lion's Club
Hazel M. Rollins Mrs. Mary H. Leonard, Pres. Woman's Club
Mrs. Duane Clarridge Mr. H. Gray Funkhauser, Phillips-Exeter
Mrs. Carroll B. Wilkins Mr. Renfrew A. Thomson,Cha'b'r of Com.
Mr. Earl F. Mellon
Mildred Johnson
Mrs. Sarah M. Mercer
Edith April -- MANCHESTER --
Allan G. Saunders Mrs. Thomas F. Dolan, Chairman
Edward G. Blomberg Miss Marguerita Broderick
Mrs. Seymour T. Cook Mr. Samuel Merchant
Mrs. Katherine S. Hill, Chairman Mrs. Charles Amhoff
Mrs. Alice Cahill Mrs. Wallace H. Garrett
Mrs. Joel F. Sheppard Mrs. Katherine S. Hill
Miss Lena Minot, Chairman
-- HAMPTON -- Mrs. Charles H. Carroll
Mr. Harold Keene Miss Margaret Emmons
Mr. Reginald Grenier Mrs. Paul Farnham
Mrs. Harry Parr Mr. Frank N. Sawyer
Mrs. Henry Fleming Mrs. McCoy
Mrs. Caroline Brownson Hart
Sponsor For U. S. Submarine Squalus
Launched September 14, 1939.

USS Squalus

Historical Notes

The Submarine SQUALUS was authorized to be built under Naval Appropriation Act for Fiscal Year 1937 and the Secretary of the Navy placed the order for construction of the vessel with the Navy Yard, Portsmouth on 18 September 1936. The keel of the SQUALUS was laid on 18 October 1937. The SQUALUS was launched at the Navy Yard, Portsmouth, N.H., on 14 September 1938. The sponsor for the vessel was Mrs. Thomas C. Hart, wife of Rear Admiral Thomas C. Hart, U. S. Navy, who has recently been ordered as Commander-in-Chief of the United States Asiatic Fleet.

Lt. Oliver F. Naquin, U.S. Navy, Louisiana
The SQUALUS was commissioned on 1 March 1939 at which time Captain William F. Amen, U. S. Navy Captain of the Portsmouth Navy Yard, turned the vessel over to Lieutenant Oliver F. Naquin, U. S. Navy, who assumed command. Construction of the vessel was completed on 12 May 1939.

Men of the Squalus

One minute, in the precious sun and air,
The next, entrapped in steel at depth of sea;
Self-rescue barred by crushing pressure, there,
Heroic means alone could set them free.
How gruelling a test of fortitude,
What stamina of mind and body too,
To let no trace of craven fear intrude,
But steadily conserve and carry through!
Unquestioning obedience at command,
Instant performance of the task assigned;
Intrepid were the rescued, brought to land,
Brave martyrs were the perished, left behind.
The Navy's best traditions were held high
By men trained to endure, to dare, to die.
  --Mabel Rogers Holt

May 23, 1939

With the calm of deep water, in the murky depths to which only the last feeble rays of sunlight filter from the heaving surface far above, all is quiet with a stillness that is filled with a quality of ageless, invisible motion. It is the cool world of the small fishes through which an occasional larger form slides noiselessly with outlines distorted in shimmering patterns of sunlight on its curving back.

Thus the stage is set when, from the limit of underwater vision, there appears a shadow against the lightness of the ocean's surface. Nearer it comes until the dark under side of the fish-like craft can be distinguished in a frame of foamy brightness and with a seemingly inadequate flutter of propellers under its stern. It appears progressively larger but its increasing size seems to signify more than decreasing distance. A rounded hull, a pair of fin-like projections and darker shadows reveal the unmistakable characteristics of a submarine coming down in a dive. A swirl of churning water and a cloud of bubbles follows its wake as the conning tower and the deck structures come under. In the shimmering light the number "192" painted in white under the bow identifies the "Squalus", a newcomer in the ocean's depths. Inside are men. The ports of the conning tower gleam dully and serve only to emphasize the blind faith of those men who put their trust in a man-made machine.

Down, down; a graceful diving slant under control. But wait! Too many bubbles are belching in a cloud around the after part of the ship. It wavers; its forward motion is lost; the angle changes but its progress downward accelerates as the stern falls. The heavy steel walls hide swift drama inside and , as in a picture on a silent film, the stricken submarine sinks noiselessly to the bottom coming to rest in a cloud of churning mud. Tragic bubbles still issue from the undersea giant whose 299-foot length is mocked by the infinite sea.

A moment of inaction -- stunned indecision -- while riled mud settles and bubbles continue to rise from a depth that never before has seen air. The fallen craft with its cargo of trapped survivors seems to stir as clouds of mud rise from the outlets of the valves under the bow with the outward rush of water from the ballast tanks. The long gray ship shows no other sign and the struggle to increase buoyancy ceases as air spurts from the muddy valves. Another moment of thought; inside, probably a conference, and a small movement can be seen ion the middle of the forward deck. Lazily at first, but gathering speed rapidly, there rises from a small hatch a bobbing float which struggles upward on the end of a small cable still attached to the boat. It breaks the surface and the foundered "Squalus" can do no more. To those at the bottom the smoking beacon of the buoy released is in another world, a world of air and sunshine, calling for help.

Who can record what is said as minutes pas within that long black hull? Who can picture the tension of the officer waiting at the receiver of the telephone leading to the buoy above? Who can be said to have been the first to sense the approach of another long, black shape gliding on the surface with a frame of foam and the stur of its beating propellers? The approach of another undersea boat duplicates the image of the silent shadow which disturbed the sea at the start of the ill-fated "Squalus" dive. As though in answer to the call of family, the sister ship "Sculpin" has been drawn to the spot and from the smoking beacon discovered the plight of the craft below. Above the surface intense activity must be starting and, in this other world of sunshine and air the alarm is already spreading to shock into purposeful action the resources of the American Navy. The lives of a crew of trapped men has become, in an instant, the major concern of a nation.

Silent hours pass. The gradual darkening of the ceiling above the inert submarine indicates the fading of daylight. Those above have established the fact that life still exists in the sunken hull and the gently rocking sister ship stands by at the upper end of a slender anchor chain which slants through the murky depths to the ocean's bottom.

May 24, 1939

Lighter and lighter grows the greenish tint of the water's surface and deeper and deeper into the profound darkness penetrates the light of dawn. The shadowy shape of the sunken craft is discovered still held in the grip of the sucking mud. Darkness saturated with fear and uncertainty must certainly still grip the souls of the hidden men who cover their desperation by mocking it with ribald story and song. Through the floating space a bulky figure with spouting helmet dangling on the end of his lifelines has come from one of the many surface craft whose bottoms are clustered around that of the "Sculpin." The slender telephone line to the surface has been repaired. The water makes no record of the stimulating and encouraging pleasantries that pass over that "private line" to the "Squalus."

The light is high and small craft have shuttled endlessly in and out of the range of vision until a larger, more sturdy prow cleaves a path for a throbbing hill whose purposeful approach gives mute evidence of its race from a distant base. Unheard cheers resound in the stuffy compartments of the "Squalus" as the news the "Falcon" has arrived is related. Unheard by these survivors are the words that crackle through the atmosphere to the millions of the world who wait by loudspeakers, "the 'Falcon' has arrived!"

With a celerity born of experience the "Falcon" throws out a circle of anchors which maintain its position over the wreck. A diving stage comes overside and, after a short drop through the green water, discharges the figures of divers who slide to the deck of the submarine each dragging his lines and his inseparable swirl of helium-oxygen bubbles.

["Martin Conrad Sibitzky, boatswain's mate, second class, the United States Navy's tallest deep-sea diver, 6-foot 4-inch, and the man selected to make the first dive to the Squalus. He was 30 years old, a Navy man since January of 1928, and rated a first-class diver qualified to go to 200 feet or more. He was a regularly assigned crew member of the Falcon." --"BLOW ALL BALLAST! The Story of the Squalus" by Nat A. Barrows - 1940.]

It is a scene of fantastic unreality. To a certain point on the forward deck the diver directs his efforts and at some signal, a cable slides down the guide line on a weighted loop. A moment of crouching and this cable is firmly fastened to a bulging hatch on the submarine. The thud of leaded feet on the deck has been cheerful accompaniment to the frenzied nonsense of the trapped men whose talking has prevented serious thought and the knowledge that no one has ever been saved from a disaster of this type. In spite of this, there is an uplifting faith in comrades of the navy and in the recourses of a nation whose experts, military and civilian alike, will not rest until rescue is accomplished.

Thus starts the climax of a chapter in history. Breaking the surface alongside the "Falcon" there appears a strange bell-like shape. After bobbing about for a minute, the cable from the under surface of the bell to the submarine hatch tightens, the bell pulls itself under and starts downward trailing a row of violent bubbles and hose connections. Gently it settled on the deck of the submarine with the flattened end at the apex of tapering sides guided by the diver. Inertly it stays there like a growth marring the sleek lines of the hull. Varying degrees of bubbling surround the bell at the only evidence that its chambers are being blown out or flooded to accommodate the passage of men from the torpedo room of the submarine to the bell.

Finally the bell stirs. It moves and, under the tug of its cables above, it begins to rise with its freight of survivors. It breaks the surface at the end of its slow journey and it is known by the world that this task has been accomplished for the first time in history. Down again; up again; down again; up again; two more trips go smoothly -- so smoothly that tension grows. The last trip down. Darkness has fallen and the action can only be occasionally glimpsed by the flash of underwater lights. The last trip up. Catastrophe -- almost! Snagged by the tangled downhaul cable the bell hangs suspended unable to break away from the inert wreck and hanging by a frayed cable above. Desperate action to clear the foul consumes four dreadful hours but is at last rewarded. In the last load comes the Commander of the ill-fated "Squalus" to be the only Commander to have survived a submarine disaster.

Up above, the survivors. Every man not lost at the time of the accident is saved. Down below, the lonely tomb; further challenge to the "Falcon" that accomplished the greatest rescue in the history of the world.

This narrative is contributed by Donald Leonard, M. D., through the co-operation and courtesy of Naval Officials who have submitted accurate detailed description for publication.

U.S.S. Squalus Survivors

Lieut. O. F. Naquin U.S. Navy Louisiana
Lieut. W. T. Doyle U.S. Navy Maryland
Lt. (jg) J. C. Nichols U.S. Navy Illinois
Lt. (jg) R. N. Robertson U.S. Navy Texas
Roland Blanchard F2c. Michigan
Jutson Thomas Bland EM1c. Virginia
Arthur Lagrand Booth RM1c. Connecticut
William David Boulton S1c. Iowa
Allen Carlisle Bryson F1c. South Carolina
Roy Henry Campbell CTM Nebraska
Gavin James Coyne MM2c. California
Eugene Donald Cravens GM1c. Missouri
Feliciano Elvina Matt1c. Cavite, P. I.
William Joseph Fitzpatrick TM2c. Massachusetts
Lawrence James Gainor CEM Ohio
Basilio Galvan Matt1c. Manilla, P. I.
William Isaacs SC2c. New Jersey
Theodore Jacobs SM3c. New York
Charles Smith Kuney Y2c. California
Gerald Clifton McLees EM2c. Kansas
Lloyd Bronzia Maness EM3c. North Carolina
Leonard de Medeiros TM3c. Massachusetts
Francis Murphy, Jr. QM1c. Massachusetts
Raymond Frederick O'Hara PhM1c. New York
Donato Persico Sealc. New York
Carol Nathan Pierce MM2c. Kansas
Carleton Blair Powell MM2c. California
Charles Allane Powell RM2c. Louisiana
Alfred Gustave Prien MM2c. California
Warren Wiley Smith, Jr. SM2c. Texas
Robert Lyle Washburn Sea2c. Ohio
Charles Yuhas MM1c. New Hampshire
Harold C. Preble Naval Architect Pennsylvania

U.S.S. Squalus Deceased

Ensign J. H. Patterson U.S. Navy Oklahoma
James Andrew Aitken FC3c. Connecticut
John James Batick EM1c. New Hampshire
Joshua Casey F1c. Florida
John Allan Chesnutt CMM. California
Robert Lyle Coffey EM2c. California
Elvin Leon Deal MM2c. Tennessee
Lionel Hugh Fletcher EM3c California
Kenneth Ross Garrison CMM. Missouri
Robert Franklin Gibbs TM1c. South Carolina
John Plesent Hathaway F1c. California
Eugene Arthur Hoffman MM1c. Michigan
Alexander Biggs Keegan S1c. Pennsylvania
John Joseph Marino S2c. Iowa
Huie King McAfee EM2c. Georgia
Alfred Charles Priester TM2c. New York
Frank Henry Schulte MM1c. Missouri
Bascom Slemp Scyphers Em1c. Virginia
Sherman Luther Shirley TM1c. Arkansas
Jack John Strong MM1c. Wisconsin
John Laurise Thomala MM1c. Minnesota
Robert Preson Thompson SC3c. Tennessee
Marion Lawrence Ward RM3c. Oklahoma
Robert Ross Weld F2c. Idaho
Charles M. Wood Electrician New Hampshire
Don Smith Electrician Ohio

How 33 Lives Were Saved

The Diving Bell
The Diving Bell

This self-explanatory diagram shows how the thirty-three trapped sailors aboard the "Squalus" entered the diving bell that brought them safely to the surface twelve miles off Portsmouth. The bell is ten feet high, holds eight persons.
From The Portsmouth, (N.H.) Herald, May 26, 1939.

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By Seventy Members of the
under the direction of Arthur Fiedler

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Overture to "Oberon" . . . . . . . Weber

Symphony No. 5, in C minor, Opus 67 . . . . . . . . . Beethoven
I. Allegro con brio
II. Andante con moto
III. Scherzo
IV. Allegro


Roumanian Rhapsody No. 1, in A major . . . . . . Enesco

Finale of the "Pathetique" Symphony: Adagio Lamentoso . . . . . . . . Wagner
(In Memoriam)

Prelude to "Die Meistersinger" . . . . . . . Wagner

"Eternal Father, Strong to Save" . . . . . . . Whiting-Dykes
(The audience is asked to join in the singing of the hymn)

Star Spangled Banner

At the conclusion of this program on the field, the audience is requested to journey with us across lots to the shore where final tribute of this service will take place, by the gracious act of Aviator Frothingham casting a memorial wreath on the waters over the Squalus.

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Survivors of the U. S. S. Squalus have graciously offered their services as ushers for the concert.


The executive committee wishes to acknowledge their gratitude to Mr. and Mrs. Arthur L. Hobson for their generosity in providing the beautiful setting for this Memorial Concert and to Admiral Cyrus W. Cole (Commandant Navy Yard) and members of his staff for their loyal cooperation. To the members of the Navy Yard who have been untiring in their efforts in assisting in the promotion of this affair, the committee is most grateful. And to Mr. Rothwell of the Navy Yard for his original artistic poster, the printing of which was generously given by Lew A. Cummings Co. of Manchester, N.H.

The Memorial page and artistic cover design is the inspirational work of Donald W. Leonard, M. D. of Exeter. Under his supervision are also the arrangements for the emergency medical care during the convert, including the attendance of Mrs. Frank Kucharski, R. N., and the ambulance loaned by F. L. Junkins of Exeter.

We are indebted to the New Hampshire Department of the American Legion for the state-wide promotion of the sale of tickets and to Hampton's [American Legion] Post No. 35 and Auxiliary for the management of the refreshment booth. To the state and local police the organization expresses its appreciation for the expert handling of traffic. For the free parking facilities the committee is indebted to Mr. and Mrs. Clinton H. Taylor.

Through the gracious cooperation of Mr. C. Dekker of the Manchester Union, we are indebted for the donations of the engravings used in this program, and to the gentlemen of the press and radio for the use of their facilities for spreading the spirit of the concert to the nation.

The chairs used to seat the audience were furnished by Pettingill and Pear at a considerable discount. The cooperation of the Casino Associates has been evidenced by the offer of the use of the Casino Ballroom for the concert in case of rain. The patriotic spirit of "young America" is typified by the enthusiastic dilligence of "Dusty" Currier of Rye Beach in assisting members of the committee, and the stenographic service so willingly given by Miss Ann M. Carley.

A generous donation of ice cream from Badger Farms' Creameries and tonic from C. Leary and Company, which is for sale on the Field, is still another contribution for which we are duly grateful.

The many courtesies extended by the employees of Mr. and Mrs. Hobson are greatly appreciated.

The committee deeply regrets that they are unable to print the lengthy list of the names of our patrons.

We would appreciate your mentioning this program when patronizing our advertisers as only by their cooperation could this program have been made possible.

A model of the Squalus was later donated to the Tuck Museum.

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