Unknown Waters: A Firsthand Account of the Historic Under-Ice Survey of the Siberian Continental Shelf by USS Queenfish (SSN-651)

By Alfred S. McLaren | Go to book overview

Epilogue

This Inquiry I must confesse is a gropeing in the Dark: but although I havee
not brought it into a cleer light; yet I can affirm, that I havee brought it from
utter darkness to a thin mist.

—John Aubrey, 1693

Queenfish and her crew received due recognition from both their military superiors and the press following the successful completion of our Arctic operation. The Commander Submarine Forces Pacific and staff and the Commander in Chief Pacific Fleet and his staff received detailed briefings on the expedition during the week following Queenfish's return to Pearl Harbor. I was flown back to Washington, D.C., to brief Admiral Rickover and his principal assistants at the Pentagon as well as the oceanographer of the navy. The admiral was particularly attentive, asking detailed questions, and seemed pleased with the overall success of the voyage. It was certainly the most pleasant time I was ever to spend with him.

On our return, Toby Warson was immediately detached with orders to become the second commander of the U.S. Navy's only deep-diving nuclear submarine, the NR-1. Tom Hoepfner was to follow a few months later with orders to the Georgia Institute of Technology to pursue a graduate degree in mechanical engineering. Tom was later to command the USS Woodrow Wilson (SSBN-626).

The state flags flown at the North Pole were presented to the U.S. state governors during 1970 and 1971 on behalf of the U.S. Navy and the submarine force.

In 1971 Queenfish received a Navy Unit Citation for the Arctic-Siberian Continental Shelf Exploration and the cold war mission that preceded it in 1970. I subsequently received a Legion of Merit for each of the two missions, and individual officers, senior petty officers, and crew were suitably recognized with medals or letters of commendation for their outstanding performance.

Queenfish and her crew were also recommended for a Presidential Unit Cita-

-198-

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