25 June 59
As a 15-year-old boy, I had the honor and priviledge to be
aboard the U.S.S. Archerfish. On the
wall of my bedroom/"office" still hangs a color
photograph of the SS311, which I found in the photo files at
KOIN-TV News circa 1973 (where I worked as a journeyman
reporter). In the frame is the card I received: "Honorary
Submariner. Be it known to all good sailors of the seven seas
that: Joseph Haran (NAME) 25 Jun 59 (DATE) was this date totally
submerged in the USS ARCHERFISH
SS311. In consequence of such dunking and his initiation into the
mysteries of the deep, he is hereby designated an Honorary
Submariner. Be it therefore proclaimed he is a true and loyal son
of the Wearers of the Dolphins. //Beck// C. E. BECK, COMMANDING
OFFICER." I shall always be proud of the fact I was
allowed to take the helm of the SS311 while submerged; and I have
the utmost respect for all those who sailed aboard her.
Joseph A. Haran, Jr. <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Portland, OR USA - Wednesday, January 24, 2001 at 16:14:24 (CST)
Doc Carter, Ken Henry and Jerry Cornelison all sent e-mail messages back to Joe thanking him for sharing his experience and memories of ARCHERFISH. He sent back these replies:
Dear Mr. Cornelison,
Thank you, for your kind message today. Several years ago, I happened across a copy of Captain Enright's book at the public library. It was fascinating reading! I was deeply impressed by the knowledge required in anticipating the location of an enemy ship -- taking into account the currents, ship's capabilities, et cetera.
I had not known the ultimate fate of the U.S.S. Archerfish; and I was quite saddened to learn she had been used, finally, as a target. Then, today discovering your excellent web site, I learned Captain Enright had recently passed away. You and your shipmates did a fine thing, in making the Captain's final days happy ones!
My turn at military service came several years after I'd been aboard the U.S.S. Archerfish; and I experienced hostile fire whilst in the Republic of Viet Nam. Today I live in happy retirement, having eschewed the profession of journalism in 1994. .............. Although I was just a kid when I spent a day aboard the U.S.S. Archerfish ("Salty!"), I'll always cherish that memory. May that fine ship and her illustrious Captain rest in eternal peace.
Dear Mr. Carter,
Thank you very much for your kind message of welcome! I'm honored to be considered a part of the crew (in a strictly honorary capacity to be sure). Here's how I came to be aboard the Archer-Fish:
With a friend I'd joined an organization in Miami, Florida, called the Navy League Cadets; it was part of the Navy League of the United States. It was, I suppose, similar in many respects to the Sea Scouts of the Boy Scouts of America -- but at the Explorer level. (I was already an Explorer in the B.S.A. at the time.) Anyway, we met at the Naval Reserve Training Center once a week. We studied the Bluejacket's Manual, took examinations, were given demonstrations of various types (e.g., first aid), stood in ranks for inspection, were taught naval etiquette, et cetera. (We had uniforms much like those of the "real" Navy.)
In the summer of 1959, we went on a field trip to the naval base at Key West. We were divided into several smaller groups, for the purpose of going to sea aboard various ships. I ended up on the Archer-Fish! We spent the day as part of an anti-submarine warfare exercise, submerged all the while; and from time to time a submariner in the aft torpedo room (where I spent most of the day polishing brass) would send a signal to the surface via a plunger of some sort.
While submerged, I was invited to take the helm for several minutes. An officer would call out the course ("Come to course thus-and-such."), I would turn the big wheel until the compass overhead told me we were on course, then I'd respond ("Course thus-and-such aye.") in confirmation. Or something like that. The very idea of steering a submerged submarine seems a big deal to me, even now!
And yes, the food was excellent (and plenty of it as well).
Several years later, I ended up in military service in the Republic of Viet Nam: in the U.S. Air Force rather than the U.S. Navy. A few years ago, I stumbled across Captain Enright's book at the public library. I devoured every word! The chase for "Shinano" was quite impressive, I must say. Then I learned of the ultimate fate suffered by the Archer-Fish. What a pity, that such a distinguished ship should end her days being destroyed by the very navy which she served.
Well, I've gone on long enough! Thanks again for writing; and take care.
Dear Mr. Henry,
Thank you for your message today! I am more than happy to send to you, via postal service, the photograph and Honorary Submariner card in which you've expressed interest. You are welcome to keep the "original" color print of SS311, as a copy will do just fine for me. (Hey, you're the guys who served aboard her!) As for the Honorary Submariner card, please send me the original and keep a good copy.
If you'll send me your postal-service address, I'll get these items in the mail to you .......... R.S.V.P.
Thanks again; and take care.
Ken has searched the Archives and so far, Joe Haran is the only individual we are aware of who was officially designated an Honorary Submariner aboard ARCHERFISH. (There may be others, so designated, but they must present their Honorary Submariner Card to be recognized.)
Thank you Joe for sharing your ARCHERFISH memories!