Culture on My Mind
Behind the Scenes of Nautilus
October 8, 2021
This week, the educational side of YouTube is on my mind. Specifically, I’m looking at a slice of submarine history with the Submarine Force Library and Museum in Groton, Connecticut.
The Submarine Force Library and Museum is home to the USS Nautilus (former SSN 571), the first nuclear-powered submarine in the world which now serves as a National Historic Landmark to educate visitors about the United States submarine force. The museum sits downstream from Naval Submarine Base New London on the Thames River, which is where I served for part of my submarine career. In normal times, it receives approximately 250,000 visitors per year.
The museum has a tour route through the forward compartment of the Nautilus, offering an in-person look at life on a nuclear submarine, including where sailors would eat, sleep, and work. In early 2021, Commander Brad Boyd presented a series of videos that go beyond the normal tour route and offer a substantial amount of historic and experience-based information.
I went through sub school with Brad and we served together at two duty stations. I was very pleased to see the news in 2018 when Brad took over as the Officer-in-Charge (OIC) of Historic Ship Nautilus, and this series was part of a larger effort to keep the museum in the public eye during the pandemic. It was a smart move during a tough time to run a public attraction.
Brad was recently relieved as OIC and sent on to his next duty station. I wish him and his family the best of luck. I know he’ll do well in the future.
This series of eighteen videos represents a great way to learn about history and life in the Silent Service.
Episode 1 – Nautilus Introduction and Overview
Episode 2 – Nautilus Torpedo Room
Episode 3 – Nautilus Wardroom
Episode 4 – Staterooms
Episode 5 – Operation Sunshine
Episode 6 – Attack Center
Episode 7 – Sonar, ESM, and Ship’s Office
Episode 8 – Control
Episode 9 – Radio & Interior Communications
Episode 10 – Crew’s Mess
Episode 11 – Storerooms and Battery
Episode 12 – Berthing and Chief’s Quarters
Episode 13 – Gallery and Storeroom
Episode 14 – Berthing
Episode 15 – Underneath the Superstructure
Episode 16 – Escape Trunk
Episode 17 – Sail
Episode 18 – Bridge
You can find the Submarine Force Museum on YouTube, Facebook, and their official site. If you’re ever in Groton, Connecticut, it’s also worth an in-person visit.
Culture on My Mind is inspired by the weekly Can’t Let It Go segment on the NPR Politics Podcast where each host brings one thing to the table that they just can’t stop thinking about.
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