My name is Stanley M. Emerson. Prior to WW II, I was employed as a Shipfitter at the Mare Island Navy Yard and worked in new construction. Submarines I had occasion to work on were the Tuna, Trout, Silversides, Wahoo, Gudgeon and others.
I entered the Navy in October, 1944, volunteered for Submarine Service and attended the School in New London when the notorious Chief Spritz was the Chief of the Boat. I attended Radar School at Groton, Conn., and then Sound School in San Diego.
I shipped out from Mare Island in a relief crew to Pearl Harbor. On arrival of USS Menhaden in the Fall of 1945, I was assigned to ship's company as an F-1/c. At this time the war was over and our operations were that of testing.
I recall an incident that may be of interest. We were assigned the task of testing a torpedo on a landing craft. This was a surface shot from our after tubes. I was stationed as a lookout at this time. The torpedo malfunctioned, and upon leaving the tube, it went directly to the bottom and blew up. The boat was in shallow water at the time and it lifted our fantail. We did not sustain serious damage, but it did rupture the hydraulic lines in our After Torpedo Room. It was a hairy moment.
I was aboard the Menhaden as a crew member when Fleet Admiral Nimitz relinquished his command in November, 1945. There was standing room only for Admirals. Because Admiral Nimitz was attached to our boat with all of the spit and polish (as well as our illustrious crew), we were dubbed by other submariners as "the Hollywood boat."
In January, 1946, we returned to the States via the Golden Gate. Captain McClintock was flying a pennant with one foot of material for each man aboard from the periscope mast that extended clear over the fantail. Later, each man got his foot. The Skipper had to keep the boat in full ahead to keep the pennant out of the water. We had a hairy moment when we hit the ground swells approaching the Gate and almost capsized.
We went to anchor at Tiburon in the Bay north of San Francisco and began to prepare the boat for mothballs and decommissioning.
In March of 1946, I left the boat and was separated from the service. I returned to my civilian job and returned to Mare Island as a Shipfitter and had occasion thereafter to see the Menhaden many times. She was tied up with other subs in mothballs at the pier at North Gate. She was still a beautiful boat.
"Mothballed" Submarines and Submarine Tenders at the Mare Island Naval Shipyard in late 1946. In the left center of this photo, there appears to be a floating shed at the end of the pier. The second submarine to the right of the floating shed is the USS Menhaden (SS-377).
(Official U.S. Navy Photograph taken by Mare Island Naval Shipyard)