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Memories of Robert Anderson Lt., '54 - '55

I was the Conning Officer when we contacted the USS NORRIS.   The C.O. and the X.O. came into the conning tower and I went down to become the Diving Officer.   There was some maneuvering in close quarters with the NORRIS, but we in the Control Room didn't know just what was going on.   Suddenly I heard the C.O. say, "Oh God!" and "Take her deep!".   I don't recall if he said to flood negative or not, but I did.   Suddenly (at 0320, I believe) the boat heeled over to port about 60.   I pulled the lower conning tower hatch shut and passed the word, "Collision in the Conning Tower".   The boat was rigged for collision quicker than I thought possible (especially at 0320) and we got word that there was no flooding anywhere.   We surfaced and sent a message to ComSubLant that our "diving capability was unimpaired", thinking that this would tell them we were in no danger.   But it didn't work that way and they got all excited.   The actual damage was really the minimal that it could have been.   The destroyer's bow went between the periscopes and the snorkel mast, not damaging either, and only took out masts that were much easier to repair.   The next morning someone came up to me and said, "Mr. Anderson, when you passed the word on the collision, you made it sound just like a drill."   I've always been proud of that.

I reported aboard BERGALL in Portsmouth NSY in January '54.   I don't recall any of the ops after getting out of the yard until the LATFLEX where we got clobbered.   In early '55 we went on SPRINGBOARD to St. Thomas, V.I. and then on our way home to NLON in March (?) we had a port visit in Kingston, Jamaica.

Norwood Outten had been a commercial fisherman out of Stonington, Ct. and whenever we were cold, tired, wet and miserable, Outten would say, "Well, it beats fishin'".

I left the boat in June '55 and went to SubDiv 81 staff as Division Engineer.

Bob Anderson

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