The Ice Diaries

up there and get into trouble and you are going to wreck this program!” when con- fronting Anderson about NAUTILUS’ first planned foray under the Arctic ice pack. CAPT Anderson was able to make Groton, CT Apr–June 2008 The Ice Diaries (continued on page 4) USS NAUTILUS (SSN-571) 2315 EDT, 3 August, 1958; the world’s first nuclear submarine, USS NAUTILUS (SSN571) became the world’s first ship to reach the geographic North Pole. Ice Diaries: The Untold Story of the Cold War’s Most Daring Mission, written by Captain William R. Anderson with Mr. Don Keith chronicles the journey of “The First and Finest” and her brave crew on this historic first. CAPT William R. Anderson was NAU- TILUS’ 2 nd Commanding Officer and a visionary who saw the strategic value of being able to operate submarines under the arctic ice pack. There was also the opportunity for the United States to re- gain the upper hand; an upper hand that had been lost, some regarded, to the So- viet Union when the Russians launched Sputnik I on October 4, 1957 thus be- coming the first in space and literally shocking the US back on its heels. Now, NAUTILUS 90 North, co authored by CAPT Anderson and Clay Blair in 1959 shortly after NAUTILUS’ return from the North Pole tells essentially the same tale, but with much detail missing due to the classified nature of the operation at the time, the people involved both on and behind the scene, and the revolutionary new capabilities of NAUTILUS. Addition- ally, although some used copies are avail- able at various on line purveyors, NAU- TILUS 90 North is out of print so The Ice Diaries is a must if one wants to read to- day about this episode of submarine his- tory. The Ice Diaries begins with an early his- tory of Naval nuclear propulsion and how one visionary, Admiral H.G. Rickover, managed to convince the right people that it was feasible and put teams together, ne- gotiated contracts and made it all hap- pen. It is an interesting history no mat- ter how many times one may have read it before. There are of course the obliga- tory Rickover vignettes including his ex- plosion “you’re going to take that ship a case for the mission, convince Rickover of the thoroughness of planning and in the end won him over. NAUTILUS historic crossing of the North Pole actually occurred on her third

Transcript of The Ice Diaries

Page 1: The Ice Diaries

up there and get into trouble and you aregoing to wreck this program!” when con-fronting Anderson about NAUTILUS’first planned foray under the Arctic icepack. CAPT Anderson was able to make

Groton, CT Apr–June 2008

The Ice Diaries

(continued on page 4)


2315 EDT, 3 August, 1958; the world’sfirst nuclear submarine, USS NAUTILUS(SSN571) became the world’s first shipto reach the geographic North Pole. IceDiaries: The Untold Story of the ColdWar’s Most Daring Mission, written byCaptain William R. Anderson with Mr.Don Keith chronicles the journey of “TheFirst and Finest” and her brave crew onthis historic first.

CAPT William R. Anderson was NAU-TILUS’ 2nd Commanding Officer and avisionary who saw the strategic value ofbeing able to operate submarines underthe arctic ice pack. There was also theopportunity for the United States to re-gain the upper hand; an upper hand thathad been lost, some regarded, to the So-viet Union when the Russians launchedSputnik I on October 4, 1957 thus be-coming the first in space and literallyshocking the US back on its heels.

Now, NAUTILUS 90 North, co authoredby CAPT Anderson and Clay Blair in 1959shortly after NAUTILUS’ return from theNorth Pole tells essentially the same tale,but with much detail missing due to theclassified nature of the operation at thetime, the people involved both on andbehind the scene, and the revolutionarynew capabilities of NAUTILUS. Addition-ally, although some used copies are avail-able at various on line purveyors, NAU-TILUS 90 North is out of print so The IceDiaries is a must if one wants to read to-day about this episode of submarine his-tory.

The Ice Diaries begins with an early his-tory of Naval nuclear propulsion and howone visionary, Admiral H.G. Rickover,managed to convince the right people thatit was feasible and put teams together, ne-gotiated contracts and made it all hap-pen. It is an interesting history no mat-ter how many times one may have read itbefore. There are of course the obliga-tory Rickover vignettes including his ex-plosion “you’re going to take that ship

a case for the mission, convince Rickoverof the thoroughness of planning and inthe end won him over.

NAUTILUS historic crossing of theNorth Pole actually occurred on her third

Page 2: The Ice Diaries

The Klaxon – Apr–June 2008 Page 2

FPOFrom the Desk of the President

There ismuch goingon at the mu-seum as thesummer sea-son fast ap-

proaches. Most of the activity at themuseum this summer will focus onHistoric Ship NAUTILUS and the 50th

anniversary of her history makingfirst trip to the North Pole. The mainarticle for this issue of The KLAXONis a review of THE ICE DIARIES, anew book by CAPT William R. Ander-son & Don Keith which chroniclesNAUTILUS’ historic voyage. Thepublication date for the book is 29July, 2008 and it will be available forsale in the museum store.

On June 27 we will open a newtemporary exhibit: Historic ShipNAUTILUS, 50th Anniversary PoleTransit. The exhibit will highlightseveral historic Submarine Forcefirsts in the arctic. Additionally therewill be a number of activities includ-

As yournew Directorof the Subma-rine Force Li-brary and Mu-seum, I wouldlike to take this

opportunity to briefly introduce my-self. I call Austin, PA, home and gradu-ated from Pennsylvania State Univer-sity in 1995. My sea-service consistsof a Division Officer tour aboard theUSS TOLEDO (SSN 769) stationedout of Groton and a Department Headtour aboard the USS WYOMING(SSBN 742) stationed out of Kings Bay.I also served as a Shift Engineer atNaval Nuclear Power Training Unit inCharleston, and worked as the Stra-tegic Targeting Off icer at

COMSUBPAC.Although at the helm for only 5

months, I am happy to report thatwe have a busy summer ahead filledwith events and facility improve-ments. August 3rd will mark the 50th

Anniversary for NAUTILUS travers-ing the north pole, to celebrate thismomentous occasion, we have aTemporary Exhibit opening on June27th with a showing of the video“Operation Sunshine” accompaniedwith a lecture by our own CDR(ret)Al Charette. In addition to theofficial ceremony commemoratingthe anniversary on August 1st, therewill be two book lectures/signing,on July 12th and August 2nd. FromAugust 1st through August 3rd, therewill be HAM radio operators broad-

casting a special program from themuseum. For more informationabout the celebration and detailscheck local listings and the website

In the upcoming summer months,we expect to have several improve-ments to the facility. These includerefurbishing of the front access gatesand updating the closed circuitvideo monitoring system. Bothitems will greatly improve the safetyand security of the site for both ourstaff and visiting public.

I am truly excited to serve in thishonored position and look forwardto working with the Association andthe many volunteers to improve themuseum experience.

LCDR Greg Caskey

ing book signings, lectures and a for-mal ceremony in August markingNAUTILUS’ North Pole crossing.Events commemorating 50 years un-der the ice are described in detail in aseparate article in this issue. Pleasetry to attend as many of these eventsas you can.

We welcome two new members tothe Submarine Force Library & Mu-seum Association Executive Board;CAPT John Porter and RMCM (SS)John Carcioppolo both joined theboard in April. We appreciate theirenthusiastic support of the museumand we look forward to working withthem in bringing improvements to theassociation.

The association held its 35th annualmeeting on May 9. Nearly 60 mem-bers and guests attended including anumber of our Docents. Followingthe business meeting all members andguests present enjoyed a gala recep-tion in the museum main exhibit hall-way.

Speaking of docents, we continueto seek new volunteers to serve as do-cents at the museum. We currentlyhave 48 great docents on the rosterand we could use 40 more to be ableto achieve our goal of having at leastone docent on duty whenever themuseum is open. If you are interested,or know someone who is, please letus know. No previous experience isnecessary.

We are hoping for a busy summerseason, despite the high gas prices weare all experiencing. If Memorial DayWeekend was a reliable indicator (up20% in visitor count over 2007) weshould be in for a good summer.Please join the crowd and visit, see thenew exhibits, and help us celebrate 50years under the ice. It’s your museum,please come and enjoy it, tell us whatyou like, tell us what you don’t likeand help us make it the best it can be.

David M. Goebel

From the Desk of the Museum Director

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New Asociation Board MembersThe Klaxon – Apr–June 2008 Page 3

NAUTILUS North Pole 50th

Anniversary ExhibitAs part of the museum’s celebration of the USS NAUTILUS historic North

Pole voyage in 1958, a new Association funded temporary exhibit will open onJune 27. The museum’s new exhibit traces the voyage where NAUTILUS be-came the first vessel to cross the Arctic via the North Pole. Highlights of the tripare revealed through images, film and artifacts. The nine panel exhibit coversnot only the well known events, but also the little overlooked acts such as NAU-TILUS’ 1957 initial “forays” under the ice on the East Coast, a full year beforethe 1958 trips from the Pacific Coast. The exhibit panels are based upon previ-ously unpublished color images made on NAUTILUS during the trip. The arti-facts include the ship’s cancellation stamp, made by Nautilus crewmemberswhich was then used to hand stamp a series of commemorative envelopes as theboat steamed under the Arctic ice. Showing on the newly installed LCD flatscreen in the temporary exhibit gallery will be the 1950s film about “OperationSunshine”, the code name for the NAUTILUS trip. As part of an introduction,guest lecturer CDR Al Charette (USN Ret), a crew member on USS NAUTILUSthat made this historic voyage, will compliment this event when the museumshows the movie “Operation Sunshine” in the museum’s main theater.

The Submarine Force Library & Mu-seum Association welcomes two new Ex-ecutive Board Members. CAPT John Por-ter and RMCM(SS) John Carcioppolojoined the board at our quarterly boardmeeting on April 24th.

John Porter was commissioned in theUnited States Navy upon graduation fromStanford University. His entire naval ca-reer was spent in the Submarine Service.He commanded USS KAMEHAMEHA, USSTREPANG, and USS FRANK CABLE. Hisfinal active duty assignment was DeputyChief of Staff for Logistics (N4) on theCOMSUBPAC Staff. Following retirementfrom the Navy, John consulted for the De-fense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board andworked for Electric Boat Corporation. AtElectric Boat he served as both an Engi-neer and Program Manager until his retire-ment in 2007.

John and his wife, Mary Katherine, re-side in Mystic, CT. There son, Philip, livesin Baltimore, MD and their daughter, Sa-rah, lives in Austin, TX.

John Carcioppolo is originally fromLake Ronkonkoma, NY.

He joined the U.S. Navy immediatelyfollowing graduation from High School inSeptember 1975. His first Submarine wasUSS ARCHERFISH (SSN 678) where heinitially qualified in Submarines in July1977. Other sea duty assignments includeda second tour onboard USS ARCHERFISH(SSN 678), USS BILLFISH (SSN 676), andChief of the Boat USS DALLAS (SSN 700).

His Shore Duty assignments includedInstructor Duty at Naval Submarine SchoolNew London CT, Enlisted Detailer for Sub-

marine Radiomen at the Bureau of Na-val Personnel in Washington DC, andas the Command Master Chief for Na-val Submarine Base New London CT

Since retiring from the U.S. Navy inSeptember 1997, John Carcioppolo hasbeen a Project Manager and Labor Ana-lyst for Electronic Data Systems and alogistician for General Physics World-wide.

John goes by the nickname “Gumba”and has been a member of USSVI since1981, and was the SUBVETS GrotonBase Commander from 1998 - 2007.Carcioppolo was the recipient of theUSSVI National Commanders Award in2002, the Distinguished Joe NegriAward in 2003, and was nominated forthe Spirit of Bob Hope award in 2008.He has been serving as the USSVI East-ern Region Director since 2006.

John lives with his wife Dee in GalesFerry CT. Together they have 3 sons,John Jr., Joseph, and Jeremy, and twograndchildren.

John Carcioppo John Porter

Notice ofAnnual Meeting

The 35th Annual Meeting of theSubmarine Force Library and Museumwas held Friday, May 9 at the Museum.Approximately 60 Association Mem-bers, Submarine Force Museum Do-cents and guests attended the meeting.Association officers for 2008 wereelected at the meeting. They are:

President, RADM David M. Goebel,USN (Ret)Vice President, CAPT Ray Woolrich,USN (Ret)Secretary, CAPT John Porter, USN(Ret)Treasurer, EMCM(SS) David Fowler,USN (Ret)Following the meeting, all enjoyed a

gala reception held in the museum mainhall. The reception was catered by Dia-mond** Catering of Mystic,CT.

Page 4: The Ice Diaries

The Ice DiariesThe Klaxon – Apr–June 2008 Page 4

(continued from page 1)

trip up into the Arctic. The first missionwas an experimental expedition operatingwith a diesel submarine, USS TRIGGER,and was conducted in September 1957.Anderson’s orders were to proceed to “ap-proximately” 83 degrees North Latitudewith no definition as to what “approxi-mately” meant. It was Anderson’s inten-tion to proceed as far north as he couldsafely do and if that got him all the way tothe North Pole then all the better. But, itwas not to be. As expected, the magneticcompass began to swing wildly as the shipproceeded further and further north; how-ever, they were done in by an unexpectedloss of power to both gyros. Even thoughthe gyros were restored to operation,Anderson ordered the ship turned aroundat about 87 degrees north, approximately180 miles short of the North Pole. Thetrip back out was not without incident andNAUTILUS nearly wound up on the rocksof northern Greenland, a forty nauticalmile navigational error having been intro-duced by the compass problems. It wasfollowing return to port from this trip that theworld learned about the launch of Sputnik.

The seed for the ultimate trip across thetop of the world grew out of a chance meet-ing between CAPT Anderson and CAPTPeter Aurand, President DwightEisenhower’s Naval Aide. Aurand pitchedthe idea of a submerged global circumnavi-gation to Anderson which would surelysteal some lime light from the Russians.Anderson allowed as how the idea was cer-tainly feasible (but thought to himself “howboring”) Anderson planted the seed for asubmerged Pacific to Arctic transit via theNorth Pole, Aurand fed it to the presidentand Eisenhower instantly seized upon theidea. Admiral Arleigh Burke was also anearly proponent of the idea; interestingly,Rickover was not. The operation, namedOperation Sunshine, was finally authorizedin early June 1958 and NAUTILUS de-parted Puget Sound into the Pacific Oceanon Monday 9 June 1958 “en route Port-land England via the North Pole”. Plan-ning for the mission had been so secretlyconducted and controlled that, althoughmany in the crew suspected none outsideof CAPT Anderson and a select few knewthe mission for sure until Anderson madethe announcement after the ship was un-derway. The reaction of the crew was ec-static. They coined the acronym PANOPO

for Pacific to Atlantic viathe North Pole andcalled themselvesPANOPOs.

This attempt at try-ing to penetrate the Arc-tic via the shallow wa-ters of the Bering Straitsand Chukchi Sea wouldbe unsuccessful; withseasonal ice keels ex-tending too deep forNAUTILUS to be able tonavigate through withouteither striking the sail onthe protruding ice keels orgrounding the ship on theshallow bottom. So NAU-TILUS was forced, on June17 (which by the way wasCAPT Anderson’s 37th birthday), to reversecourse and abort the mission.

Anderson was able to convince thepowers that be that a follow on attemptlater in the summer, after the ice had achance to retreat, would be feasible andadvisable. NAUTILUS lay over in PearlHarbor until 22 July using a carefullycrafted cover story about a “southern mis-sion” to maintain the secrecy of the realmission.

On the second attempt NAUTILUSfound the ice had retreated significantlyin Bering & Chukchi Seas during themonth they were at Pearl. It was still nopicnic though with significant zigging andzagging around treacherous ice floes tofinally reach the deeper water of the Arc-tic Ocean on August 1, 1958. Additionaldrama was provided by a failed garbageejector; repairs to the unit required pres-surizing the compartment so that both in-ner and outer doors could be opened atthe same time to facilitate repair.

The remainder of the transit to theNorth Pole was almost anticlimatic bycomparison. NAUTILUS crossed the geo-graphic North Pole; “pierced the pole” wasthe term used, 2315 on 3 August, 1958.CAPT Anderson prepared his famous“NAUTILUS 90 NORTH” message and itwas transmitted when the ship was ableto surface in the Arctic Ocean on 5 Au-gust. Anderson was whisked off the shipby helo transfer on August 7 to be trans-ported to a hastily arranged press confer-ence at the White House where the world

learned of NAUTILUS’ accomplishment.At the time of the helo transfer, Ander-son and his crew were presented with ashort message that read “To the officersand crew of NAUTILUS: Congratula-tions on the magnificent achievement—Well Done. It was signed Dwight D.Eisenhower. At the press conference,accolades were heaped upon the ship; aPresidential Unit Citation, the first everin peace time, was presented to the ship;Anderson was presented with the Legionof Merit by President Eisenhower. In-terestingly Admiral Rickover was not inattendance, an apparent snub. However,Rickover did accompany Anderson in aticker tape parade shortly thereafter.

The Ice Diaries is a most interestingread. There is drama and tensionthroughout the book. Anyone who hasever sailed in a submarine, particularlyin the arctic region will identify withCAPT William Anderson and his crewof Panopos. This book should be in-cluded in the library of any student ofsubmarine history.

CAPT William R. Anderson passedaway February 27, 2007 just as the firstdraft of The Ice Diaries was being com-pleted. The Ice Diaries will be releasedfor sale to the public on July 29, 2008and will be available in the museum giftshop. Mr. Don Keith, the co-author, willdeliver a lecture about the book at theSubmarine Museum on Saturday August2 and will be available following the lec-ture to sign copies of the book.

Polar Track Chart

Page 5: The Ice Diaries

Page 5

Enclosed is my donation of $__________________ to theSUBMARINE FORCE LIBRARY & MUSEUM ASSOCIATION, INC.for membership as follows:

~Your Donation is Tax Deductible~


__________________________________________________Street or P.O. Box

__________________________________________________City State Zip

Mail to:Submarine Force Library& Museum Association, Inc.Box 501 Naval Submarine Base New LondonGroton, CT 06349


Newsletters and other publicationsare welcome to copy and reprint any-thing appearing in The Klaxon. Whenusing The Klaxon material, editors arerequested to include the following creditline: "From The Klaxon, Submarine ForceLibrary and Museum Association,Groton, CT"

The Klaxon – Apr–June 2008

Annual - Individual$35.00 Annually

Life-Individual$250.00 Minimum

Sustaining(Any amount over $1,000.00annually–organizations/corporations)

Patch $4.00(Available to Members Only)

Museum Store On LineYou can shop at the Submarine Force Library & Museum Store from the comfort of your home.

Go to and click on “Shop our online store”. Or, you can go and click on “Museum Store”. Visa, Mastercard, Discover and AmericanExpress cards are all accepted. Remember, profits from the store go to help support your museum.

Check out the site and tell us what you think. If there are items you want but do not see therecontact our store manager at [email protected] and let her know.

Submarine Museum Summer ActivitiesFriday, June 27, 2008, 2:00 p.m.NAUTILUS NORTH POLE 50th ANNIVERSARY: Film and Exhibit opening.The museum’s new exhibit traces “Operation Sunshine”, the first ever ship to cross the Arctic via the North Pole. A showing of the1950s film “Operation Sunshine” with guest lecturer CDR Al Charette (USN Ret), a crew member on USS NAUTILUS that madethis historic voyage will compliment this event. The exhibit is based upon previously unpublished color images made on NAUTI-LUS during the trip. Exhibit opening will follow immediately after the film

Saturday, July 12, 2008, Noon UNKNOWN WATERS, lecture/book signing, with author: CAPT Alfred McLaren (USN, Ret.)Relive an under ice adventure by joining the former commander of the USS QUEENFISH (SSN651), CAPT Alfred S. McLaren(USN, Ret.), as he takes you on the Arctic-Siberian Shelf Expedition of 1970.

THE ICE DIARIES, lecture/book signing, with author Don Keith.CAPT William R. Anderson (USN, Ret.), worked with noted author Don Keith in this updated edition of the Anderson-Blair book“NAUTILUS 90 NORTH”, the original story of the epic voyage of USS NAUTILUS, the first vessel to transit the Arctic via the NorthPole in 1958. This new addition relates more of the impact of the North Pole voyage against the backdrop of the Cold War.

Sunday, August 3, 2008, 2:00 p.m.50th Anniversary of the North Pole Voyage CeremonyCommemorative Event with remarks by Congressman Joe Courtney and Rear Admiral Bruce Estes Grooms, Commander, Subma-rine Group II, highlighting the achievements of USS NAUTILUS and US Navy operations in Arctic waters.

Page 6: The Ice Diaries

ReunionsThe Klaxon – Apr–June 2008 Page 6

Submarine Force Libraryand Museum AssociationBox 501NAVSUBASE New LondonGroton, CT 06349-5000

Forwarding Service Requested

Non-Profit OrganizationU.S. Postage

P A I DGales Ferry, CT 06335-9998

Permit No. 51

USS MARIANO G. VALLEJO (SSBN-658)July 17-19, 2008Location: The Groton Inn99 Gold Star HwyGroton, CT 06340800-452-2191Contact: Chris FarverEmail: [email protected] at:

USS NAUTILUS (SSN-571) &(SS-168) 2008 REUNION50TH ANNIVERSARY OF 1957 & 1958ARCTIC EXPLORATIONSSeptember 25-28,2008Location: Groton Motor Inn & Suites

Groton, CTContact: Joe DegnanPhone: 860.460.4265

If you have a submarine reunion coming up and would like it mentioned inThe Klaxon, please send us the particulars. We will include as muchinformation as space allows. We will only publish information on submarinereunions.




STAFFCAPT Michael G. Riegel, USN (Ret)

Executive [email protected]

Michelle MencerOffice Administrator

[email protected]

Claudette M. RivardBookkeeper

[email protected]

Karen CudziloMuseum Store Manager

[email protected]

Phone: 860.448.0893Fax: 860.405.0568

RADM David M. Goebel, USN (Ret)President

CAPT Raymond D. Woolrich, USN (Ret)Vice President

CAPT John Porter, USN (Ret)Secretary

EMC (SS) David W. Fowler, USN (Ret)Treasurer

CAPT Mark S. Ginda, USNNavy Liaison

RMCM (SS) John Carcioppolo, USN (Ret)CDR Frank J. Cima, USN (Ret)

RADM Millard S. Firebaugh, USN (Ret)CDR David R. Hinkle, USN (Ret)

CAPT Arne C. Johnson, USN (Ret)RADM John B. Padgett III USN (Ret)CDR Anthony J. Quatroche, USN (Ret)

VADM Joe Williams, Jr., USN (Ret) Emeritus

Email: [email protected]:

USS DIABLO (SS-479)October 1-5, 2008Location: Park Vista Resort

Gatlinburg, TNContact: Robert V. "Johnny" JohnsonOffice: 321.254.8459Home: 321.255.3181Fax: 321.254.2044Email: [email protected]

USS WILL ROGERS (SSBN-659)October 8-12, 2008Location: Ramada

Charleston, SCContact: Rob FieldsTelephone: 781.507.0106Website:

Wanted: New MembersIf you received a complimentary copy of The Klaxon, why not consider becoming a

member of the Association and join the growing numbers who are "Helping to PreserveOur Proud Submarine Heritage?" Use the form provided in this issue to join.

The Association supports the Museum and NAUTILUS by providing funds for displaysand other projects when such funding is not available from appropriated funds. Incomefor the Association is provided by membership dues, donations and museum store profits.

Donations, which are always appreciated, are also tax-deductible.