It’s birthday month for the U.S. Submarine force and, while the official birthday is April 11 and I’m going to post accordingly on that day, I just had to post this. It’s got to be about one of the funniest things I’ve seen. It’s a picture of “Fred” the polar bear gnawing on the rudder of the USS Connecticut (SSN-22). It’s old news in the submarine community as it actually happened back in April 2003. I forgot about it until I saw a recent post that mentioned it again. Sorry to say, I never had the experience of breaking through ice… seen lots of dolphins, and warm sunny shores in the Atlantic and Med… I’ve even come down from the bridge after long spells as a lookout with icicles on my brow and water down the back of my “pumpkin suit” from some wild waves that crashed across the top of the sail… but never broke ice.
According to the description of the “attack” in Wikipedia,
In April 2003, Connecticut surfaced through the Arctic ice at the University of Washington’s Applied Physics Laboratory Ice Station (APLIS). While there, she came under attack by a polar bear, which gnawed on her rudder for a while before disengaging. Connecticut was able to complete her mission and return to base under her own power.
That’s just too friggin’ funny! I’m willing to bet that another “bubblehead” actually wrote that into Wikipedia’s entry. LOL! There are more photos of the “attack” and even the approach of the menacing bear at this official Navy site!