The Argentine Navy submarine ARA San Juan (S-21) is currently missing inside a 482,507 sq.km area to the east of Argentina, north of the Falklands, while on a scheduled trip from the naval base at Ushuaia in Argentina’s extreme south to Mar del Plata. Her closest point to land is estimated to be about 200 miles offshore in 500-700m of the coldest and most inhospitable waters on earth.
The search area is being scoured by ships and aircraft from her home country (to include vintage but still effective S-2 Trackers), as well as Chile, Peru, South Africa, Brazil, the Royal Navy (a C-130 out of Port Stanley and the ice patrol ship HMS Protector), and the U.S.– the later of which has provided at least two Navy P-8A Poseidon multi-mission maritime aircraft, a number of UUVs, and a NASA P-3B research aircraft which still has its MAD sensor equipment.
The RN’s Submarine Parachute Assistance Group, NATO’s submarine rescue unit as well as two assets from the U.S. are staging to effect an emergency rescue is needed:
Three U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III and one U.S. Air Force C-5 Galaxy aircraft will transport the first rescue system, the Submarine Rescue Chamber (SRC) and underwater intervention Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) from Miramar to Comodoro Rivadavia, Argentina. The four aircraft are scheduled to depart Miramar Nov. 18 and arrive in Argentina Nov. 19.
The second rescue system, the Pressurized Rescue Module (PRM) and supporting equipment will be transported via additional flights and is scheduled to arrive in Argentina early next week.
The SRC is a McCann rescue chamber designed during World War II and still used today. SRC can rescue up to six persons at a time and reach a bottomed submarine at depths of 850 feet. The PRM can submerge up to 2,000 feet for docking and mating, with a submarine settled on the ocean floor up to 45-degree angle in both pitch and roll. The PRM can rescue up to 16 personnel at a time. Both assets are operated by two crewmembers and mate with the submarine by sealing over the submarine’s hatch allowing Sailors to safely transfer to the rescue chamber.
Waves 4,5 meters in height and winds of 90 km are hampering the search.
While some attempted satellite communications attempts may have been made by the San Juan on Saturday, there has been no contact with the vessel since Thursday.
The San Juan, a West German-built Thyssen Nordseewerke TR-1700 type diesel-electric sub (a design used only by Argentina) was commissioned in 1985 and was most recently refit in 2014. The two completed TR-1700s were basically stretched Type 209 SSKs designed in the 1970s and, while four were to be constructed– half in Germany/ half in Argentina– just the pair of European subs were completed.
As the San Juan was built to NATO-specs, the dive rescue chambers being rushed to the area should prove compatible if she is located in time and the pressure hull is intact.
Organized first with students who were trained in the U.S. in 1917, the Escuela de Submarinos received their first three submarines– Italian Tosi-built boats– in the 1930s. Since then the force has operated four Balao-class fleet boats and two Type 209 submarines, with one of each of the latter types, saw service in the Falklands conflict.
At least 44 servicemen on board the missing submarine. Among the crew is South America’s first female submarine officer, Eliana María Krawczyk, who joined the Armada in 2009 and was accepted into the Escuela de Submarinos in 2012.
Please keep them all in your thoughts and prayers.
Union Private Albert H. Davis of Company K, 6th New Hampshire Infantry Regiment in uniform complete with shoulder scales and Model 1858 Dress Hat (“Hardee hat”) with a Model 1841 percussion Mississippi rifle, the impressive 27-inch-long M1855 sword bayonet mounted, a tarred U.S. Model 1855 double bag knapsack with bedroll, canteen and haversack.
Civil War soldiers carried between 30 and 40 pounds of supplies on their backs when in marching order as shown above and could pull down 16 miles on average per day. As for Davis’ rifle, it was common in Civil War-era regiments formed in the beginning of the conflict to equip two of their 10 companies as flank units with rifles rather than more traditional muskets, for skirmishing. As the war wound on, all companies would typically be equipped with .58 caliber minie ball-firing Model 1855/61/63/64 US Sprinfield rifles with 21-inch triangular socket bayonets, replacing both earlier smoothbores and the .54-caliber Mississippi, though a large number of foreign pieces were utilized as well.
Organized in Keene, New Hampshire, the 6th NH mustered in for a three-year enlistment on 27 November 1861 (156 years ago today!) and fought in the Army of the Potomac and Army of Tennessee, seeing the elephant at such places as Antietam, Vicksburg, Fredricksburg, the Wilderness, Cold Harbor and the Battle of the Crater, losing 418 men in the process.
Check out this beautifully etched 1796 Pattern Light Cavalry Officer’s Sabre from British service in the Napoleonic-era up for auction.
The blade bright over a third of its length to the point, the forte etched and gilt against a blued ground on one side with a cherub bearing the maker’s details on a banner, a martial trophy, post 1801 royal arms and Union foliage, and on the other a horse amid foliage, a cavalryman firing his pistol, crowned ‘GR’ cypher within a garland, and a design of foliage, regulation steel hilt retaining its buff leather tassel, and wire-bound leather-covered grip (leather with minor damage), in original steel scabbard with two rings for suspension, the throat on one side engraved with maker’s details in an oval (some light rust patination)
This image, shows the converted light cruiser USS Topeka (CLG-8) firing a Terrier guided-missile on 18 November 1961, during weapons demonstrations for the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral George W. Anderson, a week before Thanksgiving. Photographed from on board USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63). Planes preparing for launch on the carrier’s flight deck are a F8U Crusader jet fighter, at left, and an AD-6 Skyraider attack plane (Bureau # 137588), in the lower center.
While probably not aiming at Thanksgiving dinner, Topeka was known for warming up some VC and NVA on occasion.
The ex-USS Shadwell (LSD-15) is a 7,300-ton, 457-foot gator– the last member of the 19-ship Casa-Grande-class dock landing ships. Commissioned in 1944, she was hit by a torpedo and downed a kamikaze in WWII. She was part of the Third Fleet in Tokyo Bay, Japan, on that fateful day in September 1945 when the war concluded.
After more than 25-years faithful service around the world, she was on 9 March 1970, placed out of commission, and mothballed. In 1976 her name was stricken from the Navy List and she was a warship no more.
However, the Navy Research Lab’s Navy Technology Center for Safety and Survivability’s Shipboard Fire Scaling Section operates and maintains Shadwell as the Navy’s full-scale “Real Scale” Damage Control Facility dedicated to integrated Research, Development, Test and Evaluation studies on active and passive fire protection, flooding and chemical (simulants) defense for the past 30 years. As such, she has been renovated and instrumented to a degree that her builders never imagined.
Among the high-tech systems, the ship has been a testbed for is Virginia Tech’s SAFFiR robotic firefighter built for ONR.
Based in Mobile Bay since 1988, she is currently on the disposal list.
Shadwell is to be dismantled in place and all fire testing will be shifted to land-based facilities located at NRLs 168-acre Chesapeake Beach Detachment.
Below is an All Hands video of her from 2015, highlighting some of what made her so special.
The Sterling-Patchett Mk 5 was a silenced version of the Sterling Submachine-gun. The modification was the work of George Patchett, who had originally designed the Sterling itself. The Mk 5 was adopted by the British armed forces as the Gun, Sub-machine, 9mm L34A1.
This is the commercially sold version with a “crinkle” finish, which featured a wooden foregrip to protect the firer’s hand from the integral suppressor unit, which became hot from the propellant gas which vented into it upon firing:
This particular gun was captured from Argentinian forces during the 1982 Falklands Conflict by the British Army in June 1982 along with 20,000~ other sundry surrendered arms. It was issued (along with standard versions of the Sterling SMG) to the Argentine Marines, and was most notably used by their assault commandos – the Buzos Tacticos – during the initial stages of the Argentine invasion.
Once described as being a product of the “most dangerous publisher in the world,” the Boulder, Colorado-based media house and distributor is closing its doors at the end of the year.
As noted on the company’s website, Paladin is shuttering following the death earlier this year of their co-founder and publisher, Peder Lund, and is selling off remaining inventory at greatly reduced prices. Over the decades, Paladin has marketed 800 how-to books and videos on topics like self-defense, firearms, martial arts, and survival as part of its Professional Action Library. Some are downright hokey, but others are very valuable texts, especially those on military history.
“There will be no more books or videos sold after November 29, 2017,” the company’s website says. “We are incredibly grateful to all of our amazing customers and authors for their continued loyalty and support over the decades.”
I ordered a mystery crate of 50 titles for $50 as well as a few classic volumes that I didn’t have hard copies of for basically chump change. For example, they have Maj. John L. Plaster’s excellent work on Great War snipers, which just came out and has a $40 MSRP, on sale for $6 measly dollars.
You are welcome!