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Author Topic: Jerry Rudd - Submarine boatswain.  (Read 834 times)

Martin [Admin]

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Jerry Rudd - Submarine boatswain.
« on: April 30, 2010, 06:10:23 pm »

I went to the Wicksteed MBC meeting on Monday to prep for the BIG Mayhem bash on May 29, 30.  :-)

I ended up chatting with Jerry Rudd an ex British submariner...
  (sorry, I don't know the correct derogatory term for British submariners!)  

.... what an interesting fellow!

Amongst Jerry's exploits were:
 Submarine boatswain & Drive training officer at Dolphin -

 He told me about being holed up in Jamaica when his submarine broke it's engine mounts (A frames?!) and needed to be towed
all the way back to Blighty for repairs. The stay extended to 3 months in Kingston harbour in the sunshine, with all the food you
could eat The crew had been reassigned leaving them with a freezer full of food., needless to say they were very popular with
the local army station. They were tasked with supping the sub skeleton crew with there daily ration. The rations were usually
dispensed with, over the side of the gang plank and a much better meal served up on board. I can’t imagine how tricky  it
must be to tow a submarine 4,600+ miles!

Jerry spent a lot of time aboard various subs T,S,O classes are some of those I remember hearing… Jerry remember very distinctly
the various characteristics of the various boats and I will meet up with him after Wicksteed and get more details for us.

Me; “How deep have you every dived Jerry?”
“620 feet… in a sub rated at 500 feet maximum.  A valve malfunctioned… these things happen…..”

Jerry then told me about Gun crew training. …….

“Before we surfaced, the captain would increase the internal pressure of the sub. The order then would be given to blow the tanks
for surfacing but plainsman would told to hold both fore & aft dive planes at full dive to counteract the increased buoyancy of the
boat. At the command, the planes were reversed and the submarine would pop to the surface like a cork! All the gun crew would
be crouched up in the fore compartment of the conning tower (ready room?) waiting for the whistle. Of course the whistle would
blow BEFORE the submarine was completely surfaced, as the gun crew wouldn’t mind getting the feet a bit wet! The end result?
The boat was still rapidly rising to the surface at a steep angle, the casement was still at least a foot below the surface, the whistle
blew, the pressurised air in the sub would blow the doors wide open as soon as the handles were released,  the crew would all
tumble out the door and run across a slippery deck, under a foot of water, to the gun platform whilst hanging onto several live 4inch
high explosive rounds! His personal best time was 13 seconds from whistle to the first round away.
The British record is apparently only 11 seconds!

Due to the roll of submarines, the gun crews aimed & timed shots to coincide with the target just coming down onto the bearing
as the sub rolled. Jerry recalled a time when they got this completely wrong and the shell hit the sea at a very steep angle close
to the boat; “It made a hole in the water and ricochet off into the distance, spinning,  whistling & buzzing off into the distance. I
can distinctly remember the sound even now! "Peweuzuzuzuzuz!"   The hole in the water, where the shell had parted it, seemed
to just stay there for what seemed several seconds!..... We never did see where that shell landed. A 4” deck gun could throw a
shell over 10 miles you know.”

Me: “What did you do if you had a misfire? I’ve read somewhere that you have to leave it in the gun for a certain length of time
before opening the breach…”
“Naaa! Just open the breach, get the duff  shell and over the side and shove another one in as quick as possible.”

Jerry spent a lot of time at ‘Dolphin’ , ending up as an instructor for the 100 foot dive tower.

Me; “You must have done a lot of swimming in that tank.”
“Oh yes, lost count of dive in the end. The tower is quite interesting in that it doesn’t look that deep from the top.
The refraction of light through the water, looses 1/3 of it depth so it can be quite deceiving when preparing to jump in.
To get to the bottom you just have to get down past 15 feet and the water pressure compresses the gases in your body
and you continue down because you’ve lost all buoyancy.“

Me. “How far could you go down on one breath?”
“Me? Oh I could dive all the way down swim around the bottom a few times and all the way back up on one breath! When I started
my lungs could hold 4.5 litres of air, at the end I could hold 5.2 litres and hold it for 5 minutes. I was very popular at service sporting
events such as running as I wouldn’t loose my breath as much as the other athletic chaps!”

Me, “What do you remember most about your extended shore leave in Jamaica?”
“Oh. I woke up one morning. Got off my cot, had a good stretch, tripped over something, fell over and knocked out 3 of my front teeth!”

More after Wicksteed……

"This is my firm opinion, but what do I know?!"    -   Mayhem FaceBook Group!


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Re: Jerry Rudd - Submarine boatswain.
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2010, 10:22:19 pm »

Great stuff Martin.... want more! :-))
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