OFF CAPE HENLOPEN
May 1960, off the coast of Rehoboth Beach, Delaware and the Henlopen Capes, the worlds largest nuclear powered submarine, a 7750 ton monster, the U. S. Triton, triumphantly burst from the Atlantic Ocean.
She had just finished a 83 day, 40,000 mile underwater voyage around the world, along the same course taken 400 years ago by Ferdinand Magellan, the Portuguese explorer.
President Eisenhower and the Defense Department praised the skipper, Captain Edward L.
Beach and his 176 man crew. Beach, 42 years old, was a WWII submarine hero and Eisenhower's first navel aid.
Beach and his crew surpassed the 60 day underwater record of the Seawolfe set in 1958. The Triton had to broach the water twice, off the coast of Uruguayan to remove an ill petty officer and again off the coast of Cardiz, Spain to honor Magellan.
There was a special White House Ceremony held where President Eisenhower and Defense Department officials bestowed the Legion of Merit on Beach.
U. S. Triton left New London, Connecticut , last February 15th, with a sealed order for mission to carry out missile launching research for the Polaris. Also being tested was a automatic guidance system. Orders were to dive off Montauk , Long Island. Beache's first emter in his log was” we will come to periscope depth occasionally but not surface until May” . That red letter day, May 10, U. S. Triton , sufaced off Rehoboth Beach at 4:30 am. The
mission of tremendous strategic importance was completed. A Navy helicopter hovered overhead to fly Beach to the White house.
The Triton was driven by two atomic roters, each with a propeller, began circumnavigation off St. Paul Rocks, at the tip of Brazil, 55 miles south of the equator. She then rounded Cape Horn , but lost four days, 2000 miles, by a diversion to relieve the ill petty office. Then headed toward Easter Island, passed 1200 south of Hawaii, and was off Guam March 28th, bearing for the Phillipines and south toward Indonesia, crossed the Indian Ocean , to the Cape of Good Hope. Rounding Africa
the 17th of April and was back at St Paul Rocks April 25th. Her circumnavigation was complete but she remained submerged for the voyage to Cadiz and the back across the Atlantic for the rendezvous
The crew and skipper were pale for lack of sun and many wore beards which caused gales of laughter among happy wives and children upon the return to home base.
Source: Pasadena Independent, California Monday May 16 1960. Opinion Page