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Old 10-16-2021, 07:36 PM   #1
SirCory
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Default Officers positions on sub

I'm fairly new to understanding the working of a US sub during WW2 (and if this is the wrong section let me know and I'll move it). Based on what I've gathered and read so far, the crew management page isn't quite close to how it was in real life.

What duties did the officers hold? How many was there depending on the type of sub?

Looking for any history buffs with knowledge or suggested reading. I see some say 5-8 depending on the war, but besides the CO and XO, I'm at a loss.
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Old 10-16-2021, 10:14 PM   #2
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Command room officer x 3 (1 ea. watch). Bridge watch officer x 3 (1 ea. watch). Con. 2 officers (battle stations*).
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Old 10-17-2021, 01:01 PM   #3
Bubblehead1980
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It really depends (like so much with US Subs in WW II) on variety of things....Class of boat, era of the war, as with additional equipment such as radars, more officers were needed, special mission, in some cases preference of Captain, did they have a PCO (Prospective Commanding Officer. Usually a qualified for command LTCDR or CDR who were sent out to observe how things were done, before taking command of the boat or another.) Did they have unqualified officers (did not have their dolphins yet) making training runs, learning on the job or no? I'll break it down below in general terms. Something you'll encounter in the books I suggested.

I am working on adjusting this for future releases of my TMO Update mod.

Early war period (pre-war as well)

S Class- three to five Officers, including the Captain.

Porpoise Five Officers, including the Captain.

Sargo/Salmon - Five Officers, including Captain.


Tambor/Gar Six Officers, including Captain


Gato - Six to seven Officers, including Captain. Usually six.


Early Balao Class boats went to set with ten as far as can tell. This was done because from the start of their operations in 1943, they had radar etc.





Mid late war period:

S Class- Same as early war, far as I know.

Porpoise Six to seven officers including Captain. The excellent memoir "The Luck of the Draw" by Captain Ken Ruiz speaks to this, if I recall correctly. Unfortunately, I can't reference it as my dog literally destroyed the book some time ago, and I have yet to replace it.

Ruiz was a young Ensign aboard a heavy cruiser (Vincennes if I recall ) at the Battle of Savo Island, where Vincennes was sunk . Ruiz spent the night in the water and was rescued next morning , returned to Pearl Harbor, when asked if anyone would volunteer for submarines, Ruiz did so. Off he went to the old Porpoise Class boat Pollack SS-180. No submarine school etc, he would learn on the job(!) Two things in that book always stood out, aside from his harrowing first hand description of Savo Island and nearly cheating death (thus the title of the book).

Aside from the nature of which he was put into submarine duty, one is Pollack, with its riveted hull, going 300 ft deeper than test depth , as went out of control during depth charge attack.

Other is during a night surface attack in mid 1943..a MK 14 torpedo (unknown to the crew) went into a circular run came back and exploded. Fortunately, it was running deep, so Pollack did not get the full force of the magnetic detonator's explosion, had it, surely would have destroyed the sub. However, it did knock out power , and leave boat dead in the water...with enemy escort vessels closing fast. They managed to "reboot" and get out of there in time, can't remember if had to dive or not.




Sargo/Salmon - Six to seven Officers, including Captain.


Tambor/Gar Six to seven Officers, including Captain


Gato - Six to seven Officers, including Captain.


Balao- Ten to Eleven Officers, including Captain


Tench, ten to eleven officers including Captain.



S Class/ Sargo/Salmon: When surfaced , the Officer of the Deck was on the bridge. If had to dive, the Chief of the watch in control room, along with those on the planes, etc. would initiate the dive and the OOD would drop down to the control room to take over the dive . The port and starboard look outs would drop down from bridge and take over the dive plane controls. When time came to surface, reversed the procedure. Another qualified dive officer would usually take over, while the OOD went up , as OOD was always first on the bridge upon surfacing.

Tambor/Gar- Same procedure as others, except OOD would inmost cases stay in conning tower, AOOD would take the dive if qualified. AOOD would be in the conning tower, to interpret radar contacts etc. Upon sounding of dive alarm, if dive qualified, would drop down to take over the dive and OOD would stay in conning tower.

Gato -same as Tambor/Gar, once had six officers plus Captain on board, always had two on watch. Exception being the XO, as he typically did not stand a watch, as was the navigator and quite busy, in addition to his other duties.

Balao/Tench Not absolutely sure on this but with ten officers, minus captain and xo, could have 8 on watch and work it out accordingly.

Also, I am sure some of the more senior CPO's were capable of diving the boat if needed, likely they filled in at times, with OOD passing orders from conning tower when he was only one available.
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Old 10-17-2021, 06:31 PM   #4
KaleunMarco
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SirCory View Post
I'm fairly new to understanding the working of a US sub during WW2 (and if this is the wrong section let me know and I'll move it). Based on what I've gathered and read so far, the crew management page isn't quite close to how it was in real life.

What duties did the officers hold? How many was there depending on the type of sub?

Looking for any history buffs with knowledge or suggested reading. I see some say 5-8 depending on the war, but besides the CO and XO, I'm at a loss.
well, sir cory, i've been on the boats. specifically Gato and Balao class.
they were berthed for eight commissioned officers and four chiefs.
that is the maximum berthing capacity of Officer Country (7) and the Goat Locker(4). The CO had his own "stateroom" but that is a misnomer. the captain's space was less than a handicap stall in a commercial building. shorter too.
there is no one alive today who can say with certainty what the berthing arrangements were when the number of either group exceeded the berthing space.
the real problem would have been the stowage of the extra person's personal gear as there is precious little extra room on a sub, especially late in the war, when every cubic inch was crammed with new gadgets, and absolutely zero extra room in either berthing compartment.
i can only guess, based on the USN traditions of which i am aware. Most probably there was time-share for the bunks of the lowest in seniority among the officers or chiefs. i can tell you that none of them would be bunking among the enlisted ranks.
i hope that helps.

fortunately for SH4-Subsimmers, we do not have to contend with all of that space issue crap, so....party out and carry as many chiefs and officers you feel like. (lol)

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