"Sharing can be a way of healing. Grief and loss can isolate,
anger even alienate. Shared with others, emotions unite
as we see we aren't alone. We realize others weep with us."
~Susan Wittig Albert

Through our writing, we walk out of the darkness into the light
together, one small step at a time, recording history, educating
America, and we are healing.
~CJ/Todd Dierdorff

Monday, October 27, 2014

Of Subs and Dolphins: by Russell "Rusty" Daily

Russell "Rusty" Daily and Wife, Kathleen

I'm proud of what I did, but I'm no hero.

I would like to say, in my younger years I was a gung ho 18 year-old wanting to join the service and defend my country. I wasn't.

What I really wanted to be was a surveyor. Back then, I didn't have the money for school, so I joined the Navy to get an education.

During my induction, I took a test that showed I was fairly intelligent.

After the test, a guy recruiting for the Nuclear Navy asked me if I was afraid of tight places. I told him I didn't think so, so he asked if I would consider submarines. 

He went on to tell me about all the good things regarding nuclear power, its projected use in the world, and the many possibilities for employment, once I was discharged. So I said Okay.

Well, I went through boot camp, machinist mate school, submarine school, nuclear power school, and then on to the nuclear prototype in New York. After that, I was sent to Hawaii to await duty on the Tecumseh's Blue Crew.

Nuclear Missile Subs had two crews. One out and one in to keep the missiles deployed for as much time as possible.

Dolphins for Submarine Qualification
It took two patrols to become qualified in submarines, which resulted in the distinct honor of wearing dolphins. It has been the proudest day in my life, so far.

While on the boat, I qualified on six watch stations, as required by my billet. It was an easy life, if you didn't mind being under water for two months at a stretch.

We were safe and warm inside our metal cocoon. There were no bullets, swamps, or dying for us. There were no harrowing stories of night patrols, tunnel fighting, or holding a dying buddy in our arms.

We enjoyed our time off in Hawaii, chasing women, getting drunk, and having the time of our life. As they say. Young and dumb and full of ....

Blue Crew
I don't know how I would have fared, had I been sent to Vietnam. It is my hope that I would have done my duty in a proud and distinguished manner, as would have been expected of me. 

I never considered myself a hero, a word that is perhaps used too much. Those who fought, whatever the cause, are the true heroes.

What my shipmates and I did was necessary because of the cold war and that crazy f'ing Khrushchev. We had to insure mutual destruction in order to keep the peace, so to speak.

What we did was important, but in my heart, it's the warrior we should forever give our thanks to.

God bless them all.

Russell "Rusty" Daily
U.S. Navy Dec. '63 - Nov. '69
Nuclear Missile Submarines
Tecumseh's Blue Crew

“I am only one, but I am one. I can't do everything, but I can do something. The something I ought to do, I can do, and by the grace of God, I will.” ~Everett Hale

Feel free to comment on this post. You are also invited to write about anything you want to share. Memoirs From Nam is YOUR blog. You are writing America's history.

Send it to me in an e-mail and I will be proud to post it for you.


  1. Rusty, you did your duty, and sacrificed much of your life in the service of your country.. Thank you...

  2. I say, "Thanks for your service", no matter what it was or is! You did your duty and that was to keep us safe from the Soviets! You "done good!" We don't speak Russian after all, now do we! Iol Thanks! --William Carr Jr.

  3. sub service not dangerous? you have to had heard of the thresher and the scorpion.


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