Wednesday, September 26, 2018

USS Torsk, Baltimore

One of the Historic Ships in Baltimore is a submarine, the USS Torsk.

USS Torsk, Baltimore Harbor

The Torsk was commissioned in December 1944 and was deployed to the Pacific from April to August 1945. It torpedoed a Japanese freighter and two coastal defense frigates before the war ended. After the war, the sub served as a training boat at the New London, Connecticut, Navy Submarine School. It also served as an active vessel in the Atlantic and Mediterranean. It received commendations for service during the Lebanon Crisis in 1960 and the Cuban Blockade in 1962. The Torsk was decommissioned in 1968 and came to Baltimore in 1972 to be a museum and a memorial.

Gangway onto the sub

We started our tour climbing down to the aft torpedo room, following the instruction from the previous ship to have an adult go first on the steep stairs.

Kids coming down

We were surprised to see a bunk on top of the torpedoes. Later we learned that every last inch of space is used on a submarine, so lots of spots had bunks or food storage.

Torpedoes with a bunk above

Where they fired the torpedoes

Further on, we came to the Maneuvering Room, which showed how subs dive and surface. My kids were more interested in playing with the equipment than reading, so I took a picture to study later.

Diving and surfacing primer

Maneuvering room

At the controls

Ready to spin the wheel

Speed controls

Ready to throw another switch

Looking down the main hallway

The bunks on the boat are packed in. The After Battery Compartment (so named for the batteries that were beneath the room) had bunks for 36 of the 80-man crew. Bunks are either coffin bunks or pipe bunks. Coffin bunks have a small space beneath the mattress to store personal items; pipe bunks are half pipes attached by chains to the hull. Sailors had lockers against the hull to store their items.


Checking out the storage

Checking out the sleeping conditions

A seal

The crewmen's mess and kitchen are located nearby.

Crew dining

Coffee maker

Crew kitchen

In the middle of the boat are the radio room and the engine room.

Radio room

Too many switches to choose from!

More mysterious systems

The captain had his own quarters with a lot of non-personal items that he would use to perform his duties.

Desk with many rubber stamps

Captain's bunk

Toilet facilities

The officers had a Wardroom which served both as dining area and recreational area. Formal dishes and silver are standard in the United States Navy.

Officers' Wardroom

A separate kitchen too!

The final part of the boat was the forward torpedo room which was much the same as the aft.

Forward torpedo room

Standing by

The next ship will be the USS Taney...

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