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Founder Edward C. Reese,
NCCS, USN, Retired 

Life Member
James R. Santos
Please, click my name for more info

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The photo above was taken, as I recall, on board one of those covered Coaxain's Boats (1969, as TM2(SS), USNR).

This was just after I had completed a week end working in the Torpedo Shop on the Sub Tender USS Sperry or USS Nereus.

Another Reservist from my Submarine Reserve Unit 12-31, TM2(SS) Ruiz. I believe, snapped this photo.  He was a photographer by trade, as I recall.

He took the photo as we were returning to shore from the tender, which was moored out in the water at Fort Roscans, Ballast Point Submarine Base, San Diego, California.

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Navy Veterans
of the
United States of America
Plank Owner
  in good standing

James R. Santos
Senior Chief

US Submarine Reserve 6/1965 to 6/1971

Torpedoman's Mat
Torpedoman's Mate


US Coast Guard Reserve 10/02/78 to 01/01/97

vy & C

U.S.S. Diodon (SS-349) - 1967 thru 1968 

Came aboard about end of Jan. '67 as TMSN(SG), graduate of TM "A" school, and Reserve Submarine School. Worked through quals as Deck Force in port, lookout, diving planes & helm underway. Went to WestPac, and got to Hong Kong. On the way back to Japan, we had a fire on board in the middle of a storm at sea, stranded 3 days before being towed back to Yokosuka, Japan. 

I remember my oral exam in the back of the Forward Torpedo Room while on patrol. I aced the exam by describing how each of a drop of oil and a drop of water could be moved through the boat this way and that. 

II, James R. Santos, qualified on Diodon on Aug. 1, 1967.  I was assigned as an After Torpedo Room watchstander after qualifying. 

 I  remember while I was sitting as Tubes Aft watch while diving that we hit something at about 250 feet down, and we did an emergency surface during maneuvers off of Okinawa with the Japanese Fleet.  Diodon damaged her sonar dome during that collision.

Diodon went back to Yokosuka,Japan for repairs.

 I recall having a fire watch in the dry dock overseeing a welder working on the sonar dome that had been damaged by the collision.   I could see the entire under parts of the Diodon, and wish to this day that I had taken some photos of it from that vantage point. 

Here are a few photos from previous years with Diodon in a shipyard dry dock during various years. 

Diodon in Shipyard Photos 1955 to 1968
(New 07-05-04)

 I remember having to clean out the rotting sea growth throughout the superstructure on our return to San Diego. Remember that we almost blew ourselves up in an incident under topside decking near the Forward Torpedo Room escape trunk when painting the boat.  Remember that we painted the entire sub a grand looking black, and had to repaint it Navy Gray! 

Served as Team Leader of Survey Team during sub's overhaul.  Went out of the ship yard at Mare Island on our test dive to test depth, the deepest I had been while on board. 

We went back to local ops out of San Diego and then up to Vancouver, B.C. where I spent 3 days liberty in that fine town. Left Diodon on about Oct. 2, 1968. 

Now I am the creator and webmaster of the boat's home page:  http://www.diodon349.com/ 

Enlisted in USCGR in Oct 1978 as Port Securityman 3rd Class and came out on 1/1/97 as Senior Chief Port Securityman. 

Well, here I am in USS Diodon (SS-349) Tubes Aft, but photographer caught me at the wrong time, my eyes just blinked closed!


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This is in the After Torpedo Room while submerged on our 55 day patrol.  You can see the War Shot signs on the torpedo tube doors.  This indicates that a live warhead is attached to the torpedo in each tube.

Well, we had to periodically draw each torpedo from its tube during the patrol, to check the mechanics and to re-coat the exterior of the torpedo, if needed. Then, we had to return it to its tube.

Well, here I am in Tubes Aft, again, working on small arms maintenance.


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This is in the After Torpedo Room while submerged on our 55 day patrol.  I was assigned to be the Small Arms Petty Officer. 

As such, I worked on .45  M1911A1  semiautomatic pistols and .45 Thompson submachine guns.

A .45 pistol is disassembled on the table.  I had just taken it apart and cleaned it.

Here I am in Tubes Aft, again, having put together the Colt 45 pistol in the previous photo, after reassembling it.


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This is in the After Torpedo Room while submerged on our 55 day patrol. The duties I did here helped pass time away after I qualified for my Dolphins. 

Before that, most of my free time was spent tracing out each oil, water, ballast sea water, and fuel drop throughout the submarine, as well as tracing each electron, and qualifying on each piece of equipment, each duty for each station for surfacing and submerging, etc.

Here I am, again, clean shaven, in Buckner Bay, Okinawa, post 55 day surveillance patrol

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This  photo shows the bow section of the Diodon. Note the teak decking.  Behind me, to the left is the in-port guard railing for the Escape Trunk access to the Forward Torpedo Room.  Behind me, the right, is the emergency buoy, used to mark the location of a sunken submarine. 

However, on WestPac tours, the forward buoy, and the after buoy, near the After Torpedo Room were welded in place.  This was to prevent them from floating to the surface and marking our position, if we were to be depth-charged.

Just to the left of my feet you can see the safety rail, used at sea for deck crew to tie them selves to when it was needed to go onto the deck.  This railing goes past the Sail and to the stern of the Diodon.  It was mandatory to be secured if on deck. 

An unhappy event occurred on another submarine in WestPac.  A cook and a mess cook were throwing weighted garbage bags over the side from the sail door.  They were NOT secured.  A large wave came along and washed them both overboard.  They were both lost at sea.

I was Qualified in Submarines now, August of 1967, as TMSN(SS).  During our 55 day submerged patrol, I took my verbal qualification test in the aft part of the Forward Torpedo Room.  I was asked to trace a drop of water, a drop of oil, a drop of ballast, a slug of air through the entire submarine and to tell where I could cross-connect what systems to do this and that. 

I did so in such a cool and knowing manner, that the interviewing officer, LT Cooper (Engineering Officer) exclaimed that no one before had passed the test so quickly and thoroughly!  And, I had qualified in about 5.5 months. vs. the regular 6 to 7 month qualification.  You can tell I was one highly motivated non-qual!

Here I am, Topside, in Hong Kong

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We are about to depart Hong Kong in this photo.  My maneuvering watch station was the After Capstan Operator.  So, here I am.  However, I had to be on station before the diesel engines started and through departure into the stream.  That meant that when the diesel engines started and were beginning to warm up, I was enveloped with clouds of black diesel exhaust.    Ah, Diesel Boats Forever!

SKSN(SS) Gibbons has used my camera to snap my picture.  We had spent 3 days in Hong Kong.  The communists had been tossing bombs into the streets before we arrived, and after we left.  However, while we were there, not a bomb exploded.

Note the following in this photo:  I have my SN stripes with a Torpedo over them, indicating that I am a Torpedomans Mate Striker, having gone to Torpedomans Mate  "A" School.  I am wearing the Dolphins indicating that I have Qualified in Submarines.  I am wearing a sound powered telephone.  I also had, though not in sight, a control for running the After Capstan.  You can see the mud tank, from where I took the photo of the burning papers in Okinawa. 


The flag waving behind me is on a flag post attached to the Stern Light.

You can see the After Torpedo Room Hatch coaming, a flat, smooth ring around the hatch for receiving a rescue bell in case we were sunk in shallow enough water for rescue.  Both the After Torpedo Room and Forward Torpedo Room hatches had these rings.
Behind the Diodon is a British Royal Navy ship, rigged with lighting to detect saboteurs in the water at night.

The submarines I served  aboard for USNR Active Duty and Submarine Reserve Duty:

Submarines I served on
(updated 12-02-02)

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