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Book Review

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Naval Historical Foundation Book Reviews



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In the fall of 1964, USS Skipjack (SSN 585) participated in in anti-submarine warfare (ASW) exercises in the Atlantic Ocean. Skipjack’s engineer, Lt. Alfred “Fred” McLaren, was in good spirits, both because the ASW exercises afforded a chance to demonstrate the capabilities of one of the U.S. Navy’s most modern submarines, and because the boat’s supply officer had acquired an unusually sumptuous array of steaks for evening meals. McLaren was displeased, then, when Skipjack‘s executive officer placed him on the evening watch. Disappointed at consistently missing out on his favorite food, the young naval officer soon devised an ingenious workaround. He would ask one of his fellow officers to provide a quick head break, during which time he would make his way to the wardroom pantry and take a big bite out of the juiciest steak he could find. Putting the rest of the steak into the fridge, McLaren would find it waiting there for him when he got off watch. For a while, this stratagem worked splendidly, until one night he opened the fridge and found nothing but teeth marks rimmed by a thin border of meat. McLaren could do little but laugh and admit that he had been foiled.


This is a book review published as Timothy S. Wolters, review essay of "Silent and Unseen: On Patrol in Three Cold War Attack Submarines," by Alfred McLaren, Naval Historical Foundation Book Reviews, vol. 59, 14 December 2016, 3 pp. Posted with permission.

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Naval Historical Foundation



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