CHAPTER SEVEN Maintaining the Leading Edge
With the assistance of a crane, sailors load a torpedo onto a diesel submarine in this 1962
Captain William T. Groner
July 1, 1960-June 30, 1961
Captain Harry C. Maynard
July 12, 1961-June 19, 1963
Captain William H. Wright
June 28, 1963-May 1, 1966
Captain James L. Hunnicutt
July 28, 1966-June 27, 1968
Captain Howard G. Garnett
June 27, 1968-June 29. 1972
By the 1960's, virtually every torpedo manufactured was proofed by the Naval Torpedo Station,
Keyport. The Station continued to maintain its leading position under its parent command, the
Bureau of Weapons (forerunner of today's Naval Sea Systems Command) and was at the top,
nationwide, in underwater ordnance test and research work.
Security became tighter than ever during this decade. Certain work areas were accessible to
only those with badges the color designated for that area.
During the first half of the 1960's decade, the Station received one award after another: the
Award for the best small mess in the 13th Naval District (three years); three gold stars to add
to the Station Minute Man Flag for 15 years of maintaining over 90 percent savings bond
participation; and five Achievement in Safety Awards.
In 1963, the consolidation of Keyport's and NAD Bangor's Public Works Departments resulted
in the transfer of numerous longtime employees to Bangor.
Torpedo airdrops from P-2 aircraft were common during the 1960's, testing the ASW
readiness of surface ships.
One of the decades most significant events was the agreement between the Station and the
Canadian government to establish the U.S./Canadian Joint Torpedo Test Range in the Strait of
Georgia near Nanaimo, British Columbia-also known as the Nanoose 3-D Range.
The wide-open, deep-water range filled the needs of both the U.S. and NTS in testing the newer
torpedoes to their design limits. Both the Dabob and Hood Canal ranges were considered too
confining for certain tests.
An initial installation was established in 1962 to survey and evaluate the range for its
usefulness. Then, after diplomatic discussions, the agreement between Canada and the U.S. was
signed on May 12, 1965, which firmly established a sense of cooperation between the two
countries, each providing support to the other. That cooperation and friendship continues today.
A two-man submersible-or mini submarine Pisces, was put into use in August 1967 to
recover sunken torpedoes. Station officials were pleased with the mini submarine's
performance record of bringing up four torpedoes in eight hour's time.
USS Ramsey (DEG-21 is moored at the service pier at Bangor in November 1967 while
preparing for Weapon System Accuracy Trials on Dabob Bay. (photo courtesy of Capt. Robert W. Hoag, II)
Senator Warren G. Magnuson was on hand at Keyport for a ceremony dedicating Bushnell Drive
in memory of former Commanding Officer Carl Bushnell. The plaque shown above is still on
display at the corner of Bushnell and Strom Avenues. Senator Magnuson also presented Keyport
with the Minute Man Flag symbolizing the patriotic participation of federal employees in the
Savings Bond program. Pictured above, from left, Commanding Officer, Captain Harry Maynard
Mrs. Carl Bushnell and Senator Magnuson.
In 1968, the Station began using the Cable Controlled Underwater Vehicle (CURV II). This
free-swimming submersible was controlled via a cable linked to the ship. Operators, who
determined the vehicle's direction through a television camera monitor, manipulated CURV's
clamp device in order to pick up sunken torpedoes.
"Life in a Day of NTS Engineers," an open house of sorts, took place in 1964 to give the rest of
the workforce a chance to see what engineers do.
The Quality Evaluation Laboratory (today known as the Weapons Quality Engineering Center),
took on the Polaris Missile as one of its programs in the 1960's. This program, along with NTS'
contributions in torpedo development and testing, boosted Keyport to the top of the underwater
ordnance field, nationwide.
In the 1960's, an NTS theme could have been. "Keyport keeps pace via quality and economy." Here, a row of workers in the Electronic Parts Assembly section keep up that pace, putting
diligent efforts into torpedoes' electronics.
The Station's range craft have come a long way technologically since this wooden hull specimen.
A new flagpole was constructed in 1962 in memory of Seaman Francis McGrath who was killed
in an accident at the Dabob Bay Range. His sister, Sister Mary Susan, above, gazes
contemplatively at the plaque dedicated in his honor.
On July 13, 1965, the Station firing craft, YF-885, was renamed USNV Keyport.
The charter establishing Keyport as a Naval Industrial Fund activity was signed into effect by
Captain William Moore in January of 1960. Members of the Comptroller Department and other
high ranking officials stand by to show support of the move which changed NTS' accounting
The Olympic Mountains frame the horizon as Keyport sailors dock newly arrived range craft at
Pier #1 in 1965.
Australian frigate HMAS Canberra conducts WSAT exercises in Dabob Bay.
Shipboard ASW Testing:
It has Its Roots at Keyport
The ever-increasing threat of adversary submarines has long been a problem the Navy doesn't
take lightly. The advent of technology which allows these submarines to glide through the waters
virtually undetected makes Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) a difficult job.
As new ASW fire control equipment was developed and put into use in the 1950's, programs
were needed for testing these systems. NUWES has performed a key role in developing these
ASW ship test programs. From rudimentary sonar testing and weapon firing, to many well-respected and essential test programs, NUWES has taken the lead. The main modern-day ASW
test programs all have their roots at NUWES.
The origin of ASW testing can be traced to events occurring in 1959 when unexplainable ship
system errors were detected during torpedo development tests at the Station's test range in
Dabob Bay. As part of a torpedo research and development investigation, USS Falgout (DEG-324) was brought to the range. While there, Falgout's sonar system was not following the target
as it should have been. Later testing showed the existence of similar sonar errors in other
By 1962, NTS, as the Station was then known, was regularly taking measurements of ship
sonars. Results indicated that these problems existed universally within the ASW-equipped
Fleet (including submarines). A formal program was developed to deal with these problems:
Fleet Operational Readiness Accuracy Check Site.
At about the same time as the early sonar testing, the Station was conducting Torpedo Tube
Trials aboard submarines to check alignment and operation. Since these trials and the sonar
bearing error test programs were related, NTS began investigating the concept of combining the
testing, which eventually resulted in the Navy's first test of a ship's total ASW capability:
Weapon System Accuracy Trials (WSAT).
In 1972, test requirements for submarines were expanding due to Fleet introduction of the Mk
48 Torpedo. NTS assisted in the development of the Training and Certification Program to be
conducted aboard submarines. Today, all crews aboard new submarines receive this training
prior to deployment.
In the late 1970's, Hawaii Detachment personnel developed a process to evaluate the
effectiveness of Fleet ASW operations. This time it involved aircraft as well as submarines and
surface ships. Tools to aid in determining weaknesses and strong points in simulated ASW
battles were developed under the new program known as Post-Operational Analysis Critique and
By the early 1980's many minor test programs had been invented by various activities. Station
personnel developed a program to consolidate these individual test programs to increase
efficiency. The program, Consolidated ASW Readiness Test, now in full use by both Atlantic and
Pacific Fleet submarines has improved readiness and reduced testing time.
Since 1959, Keyport has been the Navy's main aggressive force in determining the need for and
promoting ASW test programs. The Station, including its Southern California and Hawaii
Detachments (both primarily established for conducting ASW testing), continues to be
recognized for its exceptional work in the ASW Test Program field.
USS Jouett (CG29) test fires an ASROC missile at the Nanoose range.
The Gettysburg Oak:
Keyport's Living History
Transplanted from the famous Pennsylvania battlefield by Civil War hero Brigadier General
Hollon Richardson of the 7th Wisconsin volunteers, who lived here from 1900 until his death
December 24, 1916 at age 81.
The leaders of the Naval Torpedo Station in 1960, were determined that Keyport's one piece of
living history should not be forgotten; so a plaque with the above inscription was carefully
attached to the trunk of the great Gettysburg Oak.
The land where the oak still stands today, west of the Station's lagoon, was the homestead of
General Richardson and it stayed in his family until World War II when the Station acquired it.
Richardson was noted as one of the bravest officers in the Union Army and was reputed to have
taken part in every important action during the Civil War.
His military career began when he enlisted as a private at the outbreak of the Civil War.
Exceptional service on his part earned him three brevets which took him to Brigadier General.
At the end of the war, he returned to his hometown of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, where he won
the reputation of a great criminal lawyer and orator.
In 1900, he moved his family (and his oak) to
Keyport, where he lived for 16 years, in what is now the Station's Quarters 133, until his
The 1960 ceremony dedicating the tree was attended by Captain William Moore, Louis Strom,
and Richardson's great grandson, a Station firefighter, David Hilstad.