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Welcome to the Coxswain's Grot - Issue 104.

Fellow Submariners, welcome to the next installment of the Grot. Another fortnight passed in lockdown and it is hoped that this article brings some joy, interest and amusement.


Submarine Institute of Australia
Last Chance - Early Bird Discounts for SubSTEC6 finish on 31 July
Submarine Institute of Australia - 26 July 2021
Take advantage of Early Bird discounts for the 6th SIA Submarine Science, Technology & Engineering Conference (SubSTEC6) to be held in Adelaide 8-10 November 21. Your ticket is safe if COVID gets in the way. Register now and save 10%!
Submarine News
Strengthening our defences amid strategic challenges
The Australian - 2 August 2021
Defence Minister Peter Dutton, showing commendable strategic foresight, has flagged broadening participation in Australia’s biggest war games with the US, Exercise Talisman Sabre, to include India in two years’ time. In an exclusive interview with ...
Defence Minister Peter Dutton, showing commendable strategic foresight, has flagged broadening participation in Australia’s biggest war games with the US, Exercise Talisman Sabre, to include India in two years’ time. In an exclusive interview with ...
Submarines: Innovation Takes Longer and Costs More - 1 August 2021
Australia has decided to spend over $4 billion to refurbish all six, instead of just three, of its current Collins class diesel-electric ...
all six, instead of just three, of its current Collins class diesel-electric submarines to deal with delays in the construction of the
Vietnam Navy Commissions New Submarine Rescue Vessel
Global Business Press - 31 July 2021
The Vietnam People’s Navy (VPN) officially commissioned its new submarine rescue vessel at the state-owned Z189 Shipyard in Haiphong today. ...
new submarine rescue vessel at the state-owned Z189 Shipyard in Haiphong today. Also known as the Multipurpose Submarine Search-And-Rescue
Navy to Christen Submarine Rickover
Mirage News - 31 July 2021
The Navy will christen one of its newest Virginia-class attack submarines, the future USS Hyman G.
nuclear-powered submarine, USS Nautilus (SSN 571). This accomplishment led to the world’s preeminent fleet of nuclear-powered submarines
Renovated Pearl Harbor submarine museum uses history to teach STEM
KHON-TV - 30 July 2021
HONOLULU (KHON2) — The USS Arizona may be what comes to mind for most when thinking about Pearl Harbor. But how many are familiar with the ...
Renovated Pearl Harbor submarine museum uses history to teach STEM
ASC, Schneider Tie Up for Australia’s Submarine Programme
Global Business Press - 27 July 2021
Schneider Electric has entered into an agreement with Australia’s sovereign sub-marine company, ASC, to support Collins Class submarine ...
company, ASC, to support Collins Class submarine sustainment and plan for Australia’s Future Submarine programme. Schneider Electric is an
COLUMN | Proliferation of naval and paramilitary assets means Vietnam is a rapidly emerging maritime power [Naval Gazing] - Baird Maritime
Baird Maritime - 27 July 2021
China’s unrelenting efforts to dominate the South China Sea (SCS) and to restrict its use by vessels of other nations has proved to be a ...
Friends of Holbrook Submarine Museum host disaster survival webinar
The Border Mail (Licensed by Copyright Agency) - 27 July 2021
Recent submarine tragedies prompted a Holbrook community group to organise an online event on Wednesday, July 28, ...
More than 80 people have registered for Submarine Disasters and Survival, a free webinar hosted by Friends of Holbrook Submarine Museum and
SA researchers hope to eliminate biofouling
Australian Defence Magazine - 27 July 2021
Breakthrough experiments conducted at ASC’s deep submarine maintenance facility in Adelaide have demonstrated how electrically charged ...
. “This research could lead to protecting various parts of the Collins Class submarine hulls, leading to fewer interruptions to naval
China threatens Australia with missile attack
The Strategist - 26 July 2021
In the face of an increasing torrent of abuse from Beijing, Canberra should seek a much clearer commitment from Washington that its United ...
are barely credible as a second-strike capability and its submarines armed with strategic nuclear weapons are noisy. However, US estimates
Sydney Harbour to remain at core of east coast defences with navy to expand at Garden Island
The Courier-Mail (Licensed by Copyright Agency) - 24 July 2021
Sydney Harbour has had a navy presence since the First Fleet which is set to expand our defences against threats ...
internal Defence analyses showed a need for a two-ocean basing of a future submarine fleet with a presence on the east coast, at its own
US-owned Cobham close to takeover of UK defence manufacturer Ultra
ExecReview - 24 July 2021
The move would further extend the private equity industry’s grip on British aerospace
makes sonobuoys – floating sonar detection devices dropped from submarine-hunting planes – and other super-sensitive sonar equipment for the
German Navy Orders Two Trials Support Ships
SeaWaves - 23 July 2021
(Google Translation) – On July 22nd, 2021, the Federal Office for Equipment, Information Technology and Use (BAAINBw) signed a contract ...
, support the securing and recovery of torpedoes in the context of tests, the accompaniment of submarines during the shallow water tests,
Managing risk in the submarine transition: Is there a Plan B?
The Strategist - 23 July 2021
In my last post, I looked at the latest information on the life-of-type extension program for the Royal Australian Navy’s Collins-class ...
Royal Australian Navy’s Collins-class submarines. That’s essentially Defence’s strategic risk mitigator for its long submarine transition.
USN claims SSN(X) will be the 'ultimate apex predator'
Shephard - 23 July 2021
Thu, 22 Jul 2021 15:30:38 +0000 The USN continues to shape its plans to field a new type of attack submarine that RADM Bill Houston, ...
to maintenance and life of the ship’. Looking towards the future attack submarine, Houston said that the USN was taking what it already knew
Babcock Australasia delivering genuine maritime sovereign capability
Defence Connect - 22 July 2021
A strong focus on forging partnerships with their customers and industry, Babcock establishes long term, sovereign capability for the ...
a sustainment organisation into one that includes local delivery of critical future submarine systems. These plans will also deliver local
Buying military hardware from the US: wish list or shopping list?
The Strategist - 22 July 2021
A few years ago, an American friend of mine cocked an eye at me sceptically when I raised the issue of Australia’s air force buying F-22 ...
and can’t even train navy and civilian nuclear engineers. If we had a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines, we’d be relying on another
Taiwan’s first indigenous submarine to launch in 2023
Taiwan News Online - 21 July 2021
Taiwan's first locally made submarine could take to the sea as early as September 2023. Taiwan's first locally made ...
News) — The launch of Taiwan’s first indigenous submarine and the delivery of heavyweight torpedoes by the United States are expected to
India issues RFP for six conventional submarines
Naval Technology - 21 July 2021
The programme involves building six modern AIP fitted conventional submarines indigenously for the Indian Navy.
involves the construction of six air-independent propulsion (AIP) fitted conventional submarines. The RFP was issued to the Mazagaon Dock
Thailand’s submarine plan torpedoed again as govt takes flak for COVID battle
Thai PBS World - 21 July 2021
Thailand’s Navy has once again shelved plans to buy Chinese submarines, following growing pressure on the government to divert the budget ...
Thailand’s submarine plan torpedoed again as govt takes flak for COVID battle
The Navy Is Looking At Fitting Its Future Attack Submarines With Inflatable Sails
The Drive - 21 July 2021
The Navy has called upon industry to develop pop-up sails for its submarines in an effort to maximize speed, stealth, and maneuverability.
that will advance traditional submarine design toward accommodating an Inflatable Deployable Sail System (IDSS) for future submarines.”
India floats tender for six new submarines
The Week - 20 July 2021
It will be the first acquisition programme under Strategic Partnership Model
per cent larger than its Scorpene-class submarines and capable of carrying and launching 18 heavyweight torpedoes at sea. Besides, to have
French Navy Conducts Evacuation Exercise From Submerged Submarine Suffren
Naval News - 20 July 2021
The French nuclear attack submarine SSN Suffren carried out an individual evacuation exercise through the submarine airlock, in Toulon ...
to collective evacuation using mini rescue submersibles like the NSRS (Nato Submarine Rescue System). Many actors were mobilized, including
How Three Vancouver Divers Built One of the World’s First Miniature Salvage Submarines
MONTECRISTO Magazine - 20 July 2021
exact location and time where the US Navy were deploying anti-submarine torpedoes. Pisces is therefore a testament both to the success of
War Powers: four perspectives from politicians who have served
Michael West - 19 July 2021
Parliament does not need to be consulted before Australian troops are sent to war. What do the politicians who have donned the uniform have ...
years in the Royal Australian Navy, including serving on Oberon and Collins submarines. Senator Patrick believes that in the case of self-

I note when reading the items published (all good and informative I might add) I am now even more confused than ever (4th article posted) and all due respect to the Author of the Strategist Plan A vs Plan B vs what next? Is there in fact a C,D,E etc? I am sure the powers that be will sort it out sooner or later and we will have a definitive plan and way ahead,

Our National Historian has been busy and provides the following
Thoughts on a pandemic by Peter Smith.
One morning recently while listening to a radio news report, the announcer stated that it had been reported that it appears that some countries were using the current pandemic virus as a weapon to attack other countries. While musing over the comment, out of left field I recalled my lessons in NCBD (Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Defence) when I first joined the Navy and the outcome of those lessons. One of the first things we were issued along with our uniforms was a gas mask in a canvas bag.
During my lessons at classes in Recruit School, we were shown mainly American Military made films of the outcome of the nuclear attacks on Japan and the tests on various islands in the Pacific and some public announcement films on how to protect oneself during a sudden attack. Although the climate of possible nuclear war seemed to diminish, it was not until I went to sea that I would see further training in a possible future attack. One that came to my mind was the possibility of being attacked and all crew were called below decks and the ship sealed up tight. Then the water jets would be turned on to spray the ship to rid it of any fallout. Then the Engine room ratings would dress in safety gear and check the decks to make sure all spray systems worked on every part of ship. Not being privy to this exercise, I assume that Geiger counters were employed to test the ship for hot spots that the water had not cleared away. It is about fifty years since I last saw this exercise being undertaken, so I wonder if it’s still part of ship’s safety drill.
Back to the gas masks. One of the first lessons in Recruit School was the correct fitting of the mask and its seal. Oh, how green and gullible were we as we marched to the gas chamber, unaware what this exercise would do to us. After putting on the mask and checked by the senior sailors in charge we were ordered to move into the chamber with the masks on. The drill was, that once the door to the chamber shut, we had to breath strongly to make sure that the seal was correct then to put our hand over the mouthpiece still breathing strongly, having been checked out by our instructors we were told to take the mask off. Bastards! After all of the recruits had de-masked, they did not open the doors until a minute and a half later, we all came out poring tears down our faces, from the effects of tear gas. I remember one of recruits demanded why they had done that to us, a question that we wanted to ask. The snide reply we got back was, you had to learn what its like to be gassed! I do not recall any of us being adversely affected by the gas or a Sick Berth Attendant being present.  After Recruit School and several postings later, we had to lug the gas mask with us, until there was a general order to return all gas masks to Naval Stores. I think for all of us, good riddance! It was during the early seventies that the canvas bags that had carried the masks, which had been sold through disposals turned up as hippy handbags with stickers like “make love not war” on them.
What changes had come about to get rid of the masks, I am not sure, the Vietnam war was still in progress and the service personnel serving there did not require them and it was not until later that Agent Orange and other agents colours reared their head. So, two parts NC of the NCBD lessons had come and gone. Now it appears the defence department will be looking at Biological Defence and how to protect their departments and the population from this type of warfare. I wonder how far we have to progress past the face mask in defence of themselves or will we all look like the medical doctors in their HAZMAC gowns and shields prior to surgery.  The future is not rosy, and I feel sorry for our defendants in what our future enemies dream up.
So being old is good, we are only some large paces to the end and will not have to worry about what will come. I am not ready yet to double up to the fast track bus to hell!
    The following is an account of a gun duel between an Eastern Fleet submarine and a Japanese Patrol vessel as reported in the A/S Warfare book for East Indies Station, November and December 1943.
    0622. I ordered “Surface” and “Gun Action” and reached the bridge to find the enemy right astern and directing a heavy but ineffective machine-gun fire at us from about 1,000 yards (914.4 metres) The four-inch would not bear at first, and, having no steering, I could do nothing about it, but eventually the enemy obligingly moved so that my ‘A’ arcs bore, at the same time opening fire with his gun, which was a three-inch or 12-pounder, I should say.
    Meantime, my Oerlikon had opened fire, but at full depression the shots went over the target due to the submarine having a slight list, so it was not very effective. In any case it jammed (as usual) after the first pan had been fired, and took no further part in the action.
    The range increased to about 2,000 yards (1,828.8 metres) and we were running on parallel courses firing as hard as we could at each other. All the enemy’s rounds fell over, some quite close but we scored the first hit which landed on the forecastle. His guns’ crew immediately retired below, but came up again soon afterwards and seemed to be trying to get the gun in action. In this they did not succeed, and there was only a machine-gun to contend with after that.
    I was now able to steer by engines quite effectively, and so was able to alter course towards the enemy to close the range. The next hit was right on the bridge, which seemed to cause the enemy to forget the demands of Bushido, for he turned away and increased speed. There were one or two hits which enveloped him in smoke forcing me to order cease fire for about a minute. When fire was reopened a hit right on the stern was observed, which evidently put his steering out of action, resulting in him turning beam on. Two more hits on the hull stopped his engines.
    Eight hits in all were observed. His machine-guns having ceased fire he was now at my mercy, unable to shoot, steam or steer.
    Unfortunately, the inevitable aircraft had by now appeared and performed a circuit of the battlefield at a discreet distance. When he turned in and dived, I felt it was time to dive too, which I did, pressing the hooter while the gun was still firing. Everybody got down all right and I made off seaward at 60 feet.
    0635. The submarine was under full control, all defects having been made good during the 13 minutes on the surface. The expected bombs did not fall until three minutes after diving, when three explosions occurred at four-minute intervals. The failure of the aircraft to take a more effective part in the action is curious.
    Knowing that the submarine chaser was out of action, I was able to use speed in getting away. When I came up for a look 15 minutes after diving, the enemy was still stopped in the same position, and to my prejudiced eye looked low in the water. He was probably towed in eventually, so I cannot claim the honour of having sunk one of His Imperial Japanese Majesty’s ships, but in any case my object was achieved.
     After finding this report and doing some intense research, I was able to discover that the submarine was HMS Taurus under the command of Lieutenant Commander M.R.G. Wingfield RN. As portrayed in the photograph left. (Smudge). 
    Taurus was one of a group of ‘T’ Class submarines to join the Fourth Submarine Flotilla at Colombo on 12 October 1943. Her first patrol was on the 6 November where she left for the coast off the island of Penang in the hopes of attacking a damaged U-boat returning to port. On the 13th a large U-boat was seen approaching the Island, Taurus was moved into a favourable firing position after 10 minutes of sighting Wingfield fired six torpedoes individually aimed and spread over four target lengths, one of those torpedoes were heard to detonate at the correct running distance. After the explosion the target was no longer visible. Wingfield judged that the U-boat was Japanese and claimed it as ‘sunk,’ which proved correct as the 2,212-ton Japanese U-boat was IJS I-34.
    Moving south on the morning of 14th, Taurus evaded several patrol vessels until 0345 when they were sighted by a submarine chaser that started to follow. After trying violent alterations of course, the submarine could not shake its pursuer off, so Wingfield decided to dive and this was the start of Taurus problems due to dense layers the submarine experienced trim problems and as soon as speed was reduced depth could not be held, and neither pump could obtain a suction. Just as ‘A’ tank was being blown, Taurus

bottomed gently at 150 feet (54.68 metres). As the submarine chaser could be heard approaching Wingfield decided to stay where he was. At about 0415 the vessel dropped two depth-charges, causing minor damage; the vessel remained hovering in the vicinity. At this stage Wingfield decided that, as his pursuer would probably call up reinforcements, he must come out and fight it out on the surface if the A/S vessel did not move away.
    After placing confidential books and documents in a weighted bag for destruction and closing up the guns’ crew, Wingfield attempted to come off the bottom by blowing main ballast and going slow ahead.
    The A/S vessel heard Taurus almost at once and came into attack. The submarine was still on the bottom but the first depth-charge lifted her off, Wingfield increased speed and got his submarine more or less under control, but five more charges arrived, each one a little closer than the last. Telemotor pressure failed for steering, planes and periscopes, all depth gauges, telephones and order instruments were out of action, as well much other minor damage. Telemotor pressure was soon restored but the after planes, steering and depth gauges were still inoperative and at 0622 Taurus was brought to the surface on the fore planes.           
    In the London Gazette dated 8 February 1944 was the following report:  War Patrol in the Malacca Strait in November 1943. Sank the Japanese Submarine I-34 on 13 November 1943. LCDR Mervyn Robert George Wingfield his second DSC which was present by His Majesty the King at the Investiture at Buckingham Palace on 12 December 1944. TLt (E) Anthony Ernest Corlett the DSC. PO Leonard Watts Baker the DSM and TALSea Robert Tallis Hunt the DSM, the last three had their medals posted to them.
 Captain Mervyn R. G. Wingate DSC and bar, DSO, MID retired from the Navy on 7 July 1962. He passed away in West Surrey District, Surrey on 15 March 2005 aged 95 years.

And Now For Something Completely Different (from our Historian)

I thought a little laughter would be nice😂---------- here goes:

Last year, my friend Joe was drinking with a group of buddy's at a neighborhood bar.
At closing time, one by one each friend said goodbye and left. My friend was the last man in the bar. He finished his drink stood up and took a step towards the door. But he immediately fell flat on his face.
Lying on the floor he mumbled to himself, "I must be more drunk than I thought. Maybe if I crawl towards the door and get some fresh air I'll feel better."
So he began to Army crawl his way to the door. Once he got there, he pulled himself up on the frame, popped the door open and took a deep breath of the cool night air.
He instantly felt much better and decided he could walk home now.
Once again he took one step forward and fell flat on his face.
"Shoot, I must be worse than I thought!", he thought.
He looked down the road to his home, and realized that if he could Army crawl to the door of the bar, he could do the same to his front door. So he painstakingly began crawling towards his home.
After about an hour of slowly inching himself home, he finally made it. Covered in sweat he decided to try walking again.
He thought, "I must have burnt off some of that alcohol by now. This should be easy."
He pulled himself up the frame of his front door, opened it up and took a step inside. Once again, his face found the floor immediately.
“Good grief, I just need to sleep this off”, he thought. So, being defeated he crawled upstairs, pulled himself into bed and drifted into a deep sleep.
The next morning he woke up to a huge platter of food in front of him with his wife smiling over it. He said,
"Wow Honey! This is great! All my favorite food, eggs, bacon, sausage, and coffee! Why did you do this?"
His wife lovingly replied, "Well I figured you would have a rough hangover and would need a pick me up."
My friend, confused by this asked, "I'm glad you're not mad that I was out so late, but how did you know I was going to be so hungover and would have such a rough morning?"
She said,
"Well, the bartender called.
You left your wheelchair at the bar last night."..................

Other items of interest:

Last ‘TOT’ ceremony HMS TERROR July 31st 1970
Attended by many Senior Sailors from the 7th S/m Sdrn Singapore
The first 3 attachments are from the last ‘TOT’ summer ball at the Senior Rates club family pool… The menu is on the inside of the last photo of the Rum Tub…

Russia's Spy Submarine Is One of a Kind (And a Complete Mystery) | The National Interest

Russia's Spy Submarine Is One of a Kind (And a Complete Mystery)

Perhaps no other Russian submarine has elicited as much speculation as Russia’s Losharik submarine, alternatively known by its hull number AS-31. It has more than a few unique abilities — let’s take a closer look.

by Caleb Larson

Perhaps no other Russian submarine has elicited as much speculation as Russia’s Losharik submarine, alternatively known by its hull number AS-31. It has more than a few unique abilities — let’s take a closer look.

One of a Kind

The Losharik is arguably one of Russia’s most advanced submarine designs. Intended to conduct deepwater operations on the ocean floor, the submarine hull is a unique design. Unlike many submarines that feature a single or double cylinder hull, the Losharik in contrast is made up of seven interlocking titanium spheres encapsulated into a single cylindrical submarine hull.

While the extensive use of titanium in a submarine is both an engineering challenge as well as significantly more costly than a traditional steel hull design, the use of a lightweight and high-strength metal like titanium allows the Losharik to withstand intense water pressure at the seafloor and it therefore integral to the submarine’s mission. In keeping with the most advanced in submarine propulsion, the Losharik is powered by a single nuclear reactor, allowing it to stay underwater for a virtually unlimited amount of time.

Compared to other combat submarines, the Losharik is actually not that large — in fact, it is small enough that it is carried by a mother submarine, mated to the larger submarine’s hull. Once released, the Losharik is able to “sit” on the seafloor thanks to several retractable skids.


Although the submarine is nominally operated by Russian Navy personnel, the Losharik is thought to operate under the command of the GUGI (Main Directorate Deep-Sea Research), lending credence to theories about the submarine’s potential espionage role.

From Russia with Love

Like the submarine’s specialized design, so too does the Losharik undertake special missions. Speculated mission profiles include tapping into undersea telecommunications cables, used to relay internet traffic and other information.

Cables like these that stretch between continents on the seafloor are particularly vulnerable, as they are virtually unprotected — severing even a single of the multitude of underwater cables could throw internet traffic, bank transactions, or a variety of telecommunications haywire.


A near-catastrophe struck the Losharik in 2019. During the course of an underwater operation — nominally taking seabed measurements in Russian territorial waters — a fire broke out onboard. Though the submarine was able to surface and the crew members successfully put out the fire, there were 14 fatalities.

Though speculative, some commentators have suggested that the cause of the fire was a short-circuit somewhere in the sub’s batteries. Still, despite the fire, the submarine is repairable. Russian sources claim the sub will reenter service in 2025.

Caleb Larson is a Defense Writer based in Europe. He holds a Master of Public Policy and covers U.S. and Russian security, European defense issues, and German politics and culture.


Egypt receives fourth German S-44 submarine at Alexandria base


A German-made S-44 submarine arrives to an Alexandria naval base in August 2021. (Egyptian Defense Ministry)

BEIRUT — Egypt received the fourth German-made S-44 submarine at its Alexandria naval base on Monday, the Egyptian Navy announced. The model 209/1400 mod 4 sub was shipped from the German port city of Kiel.

“This latest addition to Egyptian naval forces represents a huge reinforcement for the capabilities of the Egyptian army, which will contribute to the protection of the country’s economic resources in the Mediterranean and Red seas, as well as the Suez Canal,” Egyptian Armed Forces spokesperson Gharib Abdel Hafez said in a statement.

The four diesel-electric submarines received between December 2016 and August 2021 are the result of a 2011 contract between the Egyptian Navy and German company ThyssenKrupp for two subs, and an additional two added in 2015.

Egypt procured the four submarines for €1.4 billion (U.S. $1.7 billion), as the contract for the first two was worth about €900 million, while the second contract is estimated to exceed €500 million, according to German news agency Deutsche-Presse Agentur.

Other than the S-44 boats, Cairo has only four outdated Chinese Type 033 Romeo-class submarines.

In April 2016, German Vice-Chancellor and Economic Minister Sigmar Gabriel met with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi in Cairo, offering Germany’s help in boosting Egypt’s border security.

“The Egyptian government did not ask Germany for a weapons deal during this visit, but there was discussion about supplying two naval submarines. We are ready to fully cooperate with Egypt to secure its borders with Libya,” Gabriel said at the news conference.

Mohamed al-Kenany, who leads the military studies unit at the Cairo-based Arab Forum for Analyzing Iranian Policies, said Egypt is developing its submarine fleet to maintain its place in the region’s naval power balance. But there’s more to come, he told Defense News.

“As many countries in the region are boosting submarine capabilities ... Egypt will not be satisfied with four submarines from Germany,” he said. “Egypt needs to boost this capability since it has two fleets: the Northern Fleet in the Mediterranean and the Southern Fleet in the Red Sea, with the growing challenges and threats to secure navigation [as well as] combat terrorism and arms and terrorists smuggling.”

The S-44 submarine is a 62-meter-long vessel. It comes in at 6.2 meters in diameter, with a surface displacement of 1450 tons. It has eight weapon tubes and can carry 30 crew members.


Subject: Dog Tag Memorial
This is a sight you have probably never seen.  This is a rare memorial to our US veterans who were killed in the Vietnam War.  It hangs in the National Veteran's Art Museum, Chicago.        
When visitors first enter the museum, they will hear a sound like wind chimes coming from above them and their attention will be drawn upward 24 feet to the ceiling of the two-story high atrium.

Dog tags of the more than 58,000 servicemen and women who died in the Vietnam War hang from the ceiling of the National Vietnam Veterans Art Museum in Chicago on Veterans Day, November 11, 2010. The  10-by-40-foot sculpture, entitled Above and  Beyond, was designed by Ned Broderick and  Richard Stein.

The tens of thousands of metal dog tags are suspended 24 feet in the air,  1 inch apart, from fine lines that allow them to move and chime with shifting air currents.  Museum employees using a kiosk and laser pointer help visitors locate the exact dog tag with the imprinted name of their lost friend or relative


Middle Finger:

Well,'s something that is not widely known, and so I feel compelled to share it with you.
Before the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, the French, foolishly anticipating victory over the English, proposed to cut off the middle finger of all captured English soldiers.  Without the middle finger it would be impossible to draw the renowned English longbow and therefore they would be incapable of fighting in the future.  
The famous English longbow was made of the native English Yew tree, and the act of drawing the longbow was known as 'plucking the yew' (or 'pluck yew').
Much to the bewilderment of the French, the much better trained and disciplined English forces naturally won the battle, and they began mocking the French by waving their middle fingers at the defeated French, saying, See, we can still pluck yew!  Since 'pluck yew' is rather difficult to say, the difficult consonant cluster at the beginning has gradually changed to a labiodental fricative 'F', and thus the words often used in conjunction with the one-finger-salute!   It is also because of the pheasant feathers on the arrows used with the longbow that the symbolic gesture is known as 'giving the bird' and / or "flipping the bird'. 
And yew thought yew knew every plucking thing - didn't yew?



From our National Advocate Ray Kemp OAM:
Attention all Compensation and Welfare advocates, if you wish to still have coverage under VITA insurance working as a volunteer advocate for the Submarine Association can you please contact Ray Kemp 0419829299 or You need to provide what level advocate you are, what stream and that you have completed your 2019 - 2021 Continuing Professional Development program as screen shot will suit. I know a lot of you work for other organisations however it would be great if we could have as many as possible working under the SAA banner as well.
I asked Mick Wood re changing of the guard and if the new DVA Minister would continue with DVA releases. Short answer from Mick:
Hi No6, good question, short answer is yes, this is because he doesn’t have any  input to these updates, as I understand it, DVA does all this with his title behind them.  A negative for us ESO’s is is that Andrew Gee as far as I am aware no  background in defence which if this is true does not fill me with hope that he intends to support veterans and like our last DVA minister, may simply tow the party line.

Another one of interest from Jeff Stein:
27 July 2021
The Hon Andrew Gee MP                                  
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs
Minister for Defence Personnel
Parliament House
Canberra  ACT  2600
Dear Minister,
Re: Means Testing of TPI Pensioners’ Service Pension – FADT Senate Committee Inquiry.
May I firstly take this opportunity of congratulating you, on behalf of the Federation, on your appointment as the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel. We welcome you to the veteran community and look forward to meeting and working with you on veteran’s issues in the very near future. We also wish you well during the tenure of your portfolio.
No doubt you would have been acquainted about subject issue by now and I understand that a number of Ex-
Service Organisations (ESOs) and other veterans’ groups, of whom many TPIs are members, have or will be writing to you with further comments, views and recommendations concerning this issue.
We have strong views on the subject matter.
The FADT Senate Committee Inquiry made the following comment:
2.90 – The committee notes that this proposal has not been examined previously in as great detail as the core proposal of the TPI Federation for a structural increase to the TPI payment. The committee considers that the government could undertake further work to examine the extent to which means testing of the Service Pension is creating significant financial hardship for TPI veterans, and potential remedies if this is found to be the case.
This raises two points: –
The first is that for TPI pensioners, the Service Pension should be seen as ‘compensation’ and not as ‘welfare’. As compensation it should not be means tested - This point is supported by the KPMG Review of TPI Benefits in November 2019, in which it stated on page iii:
“The TPI Pension is also considered an income replacement benefit for TPI veterans (ie. Compensation). This is consistent with the insurance principles, and the observation that early access to a Service Pension on disability (ie. before the Service Pension age of 60) represents compensation for lost income and is not considered welfare”
Indeed, it should be noted that in the recent Federal Budget, the DIFISA was considered compensation. You would be aware that this payment is the same amount as the Service Pension and paid to non-operational service veterans – those deemed not to have ‘Qualifying Service (ie. Operational Service).
The second point is that there is an additional and separate rationale for a spouse’s earned income not being means tested against the partner’s Service Pension. Australian families generally need two incomes to have a decent standard of living, especially if one of those incomes is the TPI Pension that does not increase in real value over time.
We would be grateful if you would agree that TPI’s Service Pension is recognised as ‘compensation’ and exempted from means testing.
There is an associated issue of importance – It is beyond doubt that spouses often suffer as much as the veteran from war caused trauma. We would be grateful, therefore, if you would consider making the spouses of TPI pensioners eligible for the Gold Card
Respectfully yours,
William (Bill) Roberts  OAM JP
National President

G’Day Greg,
One out Naval Heritage archives I found. Might be of interest for your Newsletter. Little did they know what lay ahead in a few short years. 
John Goss

Although not a member of the SAA, I believe was very active in Stirling and fondly remembered.Fair winds and smooth seas to your final port.


It will come as no surprise, that Snowy Ross’s ashes remain in limbo in Lauriton with his Brother and until there is some resolve will remain there.


To all SAA Members,
I had a chat to Bob today and he is in good spirts and as he described it he is on ‘light duties’ as he does his therapy.  WE discussed the decision on cancelling SUBCON 21 and he agreed it was the right thing to do in the current circumstances and is looking forward to SUBCON 22 in WA.
I am sure you will agree it is great to see Bob on the mend and up and about.
David Strangward
National Vice President SAA

Having a nice quiet Sunday morning and Facebook and phone went viral.
Jumpa Cross rang to inform me that he was in Westmead Hospital. Apparently after a routine Dr’s Appt his BP hit 200 and was flown down to Westmead Hospital. He has settled but they still want to go in and he lies there in waiting. He welcomes any calls from old Mates just give me a bell and will give you his number.
Then I spoke to Jeff Anderson who is two weeks out of hospital with a hip replacement and doing well.
Ian Prodger came up on Facebook as having the big “C” (Throat) I rang him and he called me back the next day. He began his Chemo and Radiology on Wednesday.
Then I get word that Bob O’Grady has been admitted to Shoalhaven and is also going his rounds of Chemo and Radiology.
I have their respective numbers and all would welcome a call.


Our National Vice President and President of ACT Branch sums it up:
Dear SAA Members and Friends,
 The SUBCON21 organizing committee made the decision today to cancel SUBCON21. This decision was based on the following main considerations:
 1.  The current COVID outbreak in NSW has created considerable uncertainty.   This has resulted in the withdrawal of a third of the registered SAA members and their guests.  
 2.  It is uncertain when the current social distancing regulations in NSW regional areas will be lifted.  This means that masks are compulsory, no standing up inside the venues and a 50% reduction in the number of members able to attend planned SUBCON21 events, with the exception of the farewell BBQ.   
 3. Uncertainty around  Border closures and Quarantine regimes that have caused many members to withdraw or not register to attend.
 4.  Financial situation.  To date SUBCON21 has not made any significant financial commitments .  However, over the coming weeks we are required to commit funds.  Additionally, due to the reductions in attendance numbers the costs per head are anticipated to increase. 
 5.  In response to the questionnaire, only 29 SAA members indicated that they are still attending..  The Quorum for the National AGM is 50 financial SAA members.  Additionally, there is only 1 member of the National Committee able to attend so the National Executive Meeting cannot be held in Holbrook.  The main purpose of SUBCON, apart from catching up with our mates,  is to provide the social events around the National AGM.
 6.  Sponsors.  SUBCON relies on the support of its valued Sponsors.  SUBCON21 has received the generous support of KCM consulting, SIA, JFD and THALES.   It is important for future sponsorship that we ensure that our Sponsors get value for money. 
 The SAA ACT Branch very much regrets the cancellation of SUBCON21.   From the outset we undertook to deliver a COVID safe and Financially responsible SUBCON.  Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond our control, we are unable to deliver on that undertaking.
 We would like to thank our many friends, providers and supporters in Holbrook who have been very flexible and understanding over the past 2 years.  We know that they will be disappointed but hopefully we can make it up to them in the not too distant future..
The National Executive committee will advise the SAA membership on matters concerning the  2021 National AGM.  In due course, the National Executive will also advise the location of the next SUBCON.
Finally, thanks to all SAA members and friends who have supported our efforts throughout the past 2 years.  We know how important this event is to the members and it was just plain bad luck and poor timing that COVID trumped our efforts.  It is great to see that  the Submariner spirit is alive and as strong ever.  See you at SUBCON22.   


To SAA Members,
As most of you would be aware, SAA ACT have had to make the difficult decision to cancel SUBCON 21 mainly because the risk and uncertainty surrounding Covid was deemed too high.  The branch also undertook a number of surveys to see how many members would be attending.    At the last survey (undertaken last week) there would not have been enough representatives from the National Executive, National Committee or their representatives,  or financial members to conduct an AGM.  The AGM is the cornerstone of a SUBCON and last year we were also due to hold an election of office bearers (which of course did not happen).
With the cancellation of Holbrook SUBCON 21 SAA WA have agreed to host SUBCON 22 (and I have been informed have appointed a SUBCON planning committee), for which I am sure planning will commence in due course and then more information will become available.
As of this year we would have been 4 years without an election,  and therefore the National Executive are investigating a number of possible actions until we can actually hold an AGM in person at a SUBCON,  hopefully at SUBCON 22, those actions include:
1.       If the incumbents are happy to continue in their current roles the National Executive would stay the same until 2022, or
2.       If any members wish to nominate for a position on the National Executive we would investigate holding a virtual election.         
I hope all members are keeping safe in these very trying times and hopefully we can get to WA next year and have a great weekend.
David Strangward
SAA National Vice President

I have pretty well covered Around The Traps with of course my passion OTAMA and I will continue to push buttons until there is some resolve. Took the bull by the horns last week and made contact with PD Briggs and he was most receptive and emailed me straight back. Simply asked from his perspective what his prognosis of the situation was and his involvement if any. Received the following:
Hi Greg,
I am not involved in the machinations of trying to get Max Bryant to hand over OTAMA, so I am not current on that battle.
I have no doubt that Parks will prevail in the end - they seem to be tip toeing around it at the moment.
The weather has been bad down here recently, delaying any move to a shallow water berth.
As far as I am aware, OTAMA is upright and stable on the old mooring.

Peter Briggs 

As most are aware, a backwater Hastings Hillbilly turnout took place and went viral (intentionally I am guessing) went for 45 minutes and will not insult your intelligence with it. Suffice to say, a last ditch effort be a desperate man to lobby Council into approaching Parks about their ultimatum to the Custodian.
There is also a petition going around the traps  that I hope is well supported. Also had the opportunity to talk to the Western Port Harbor Master who is a great bloke and at wits end and indicated that this whole scenario was turning into a bureaucratic nightmare. WE WILL GET THERE.
Off my hobby horse now as NBN usage in lockdown made me resort to scribing this at 0200 this morning. Funnies with a few exceptions at this link:

Boris at his best…. 


A Tale of Two Cities - Be sure to read the conclusion!
Population 2.7 million    2.15 million
Median Household Income $38,600    $37,000
% African-American 38.9%    24%
% Hispanic 29.9%    44%
% Asian 5.5%    6%
% Non-Hispanic White 28.7%    26%
Pretty similar until you compare the following:
   Chicago, IL                Houston, TX   
Concealed Carry    -  Legal No                Yes   
Number of Gun Stores None    184 Dedicated gun stores plus 1500 - legal places to buy guns - Wal-Mart, K-mart, sporting goods, etc.   
Homicides, 2012 1,806    207   
Homicides per 100K 38.4    9.6   
Avg. January high temperature  (F) 31    63   
Conclusion:  Cold weather causes murders. This is due to climate change.
Well that wraps it up for another fortnight. Hopefully NBN Foxtel and everything else sorts itself out by then. VMT to our many contributors and will play catch up with the ones missed
NB: Given the current COVID environment, the Webmaster and I agree that we hold off on posting. It would and is inappropriate given one of our loved ones may well be affected by this monster.
dedicated to the good people of Hastings

Shut and Clipped for this week

Yours Aye 
Greg Jones #6
0432 559 283
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