USS ODAX (SS-484) US Service 1945-1972 Tench-Class Submarine (1945), Converted to Guppy (1947), Converted Guppy II-Class Submarine (1951) This site is dedicated to the USS ODAX (SS-484), the officers, and enlisted men who served on board during her career in the silent service. E-MAIL WEBMASTER       Site Revision Date: 7-19-2017

Stories & Submissions

Memories of Charleston! by Charlie Killough

Hello my name is Charlie Killough

I was a Em on board the odax from 1962 until

1965. I have been wanting to thank a hero

that was on board during that time. This hero

was named Walker and at the time we were

low on Senior Controller man and even as a

chief he elected to stand watch as a

controller man.

The Odax had a split cubicle the junior

controller man operated on the Portside and

the Senior operated from the Starboard side.

I can still remember hitting the engine air

shut off that was above the starboard

controller man head. 

That day I was relieved by Chief Walker and

had retired to the after torpedo room to talk

to the torpedo man on watch. We had been

waiting for the dive alarm all my watch, and I

am glad the Chief  Walker was on duty that

day. 

The Odax had been prepared for dive by MM

and the Diving Officer and a very grave error

had been put into the trim calculation and

after trim had 10,000 gallons to much in the

tank if you do the math that’s 80,000 pounds

heavy in the after trim tank. The dive horn

was sounded and we started down for what

could have been our last dive and the Odax

would have been on eternal patrol with the

thrasher.

I was setting on the starboard torpedo tube

loading table  as we went on our dive as soon

as the sail started to go under we started to

go down stern first, I remember looking at

the torpedo man and I know we both had a

look of horror on our face. Then all of the

sudden you could hear the power being

added to the main motor the power was

removed and we started sinking again power

was applied and we made it to the surface.

I went to the maneuvering room to find out

what had happened. Chief Walker told me he

had applied the power without a bell from

the conning tower. Most of the crew was in

their rack and was never aware of the near

disaster we had just experienced that night.

 I am not sure if I thanked him that night, but

today all these days later I want to thank

him for my life and all the other good men

that were on board that night chief Walker

was never recommended or punished for his

act of great courage that night and I have

often wonder why? I guess it quite simple

The officer would have been in great trouble

and the Captains of the Odax that signed the

diving calculation.

I have searched my heart about that night

and I can tell you if I would have been at the

starboard control At that time I would have

not had the courage to apply the power

without a bell or orders from the conning

tower. We would all have perished that night

and still have been on eternal patrol and I

would have never seen our grand children

and lived a good LIFE .

SO ON THIS MEMORAL DAY 2010 I SAY TO YOU

CHIEF WALKER THANKS YOU FROM THE

BOTTOM OF MY HEART. O by the way L still

remember who was the diving officer that

night.

I sure feel a lot better for getting this off my

chest.

Thanks,

Charlie Killough

59 Marsie Ave.

Scottsboro Alabama 35769.

Phone # 256 244 0863

Ann Margaret and the Vietnam Vet! by a Vet’s

wife

Viet Nam 1966   

This is a story about a Viet Nam vet and Ann

Margaret as told by the vet's wife.

Richard, (my husband), never really talked a

lot about his time in Viet Nam other than he

had been shot by a sniper. However, he had a

rather grainy, 8 x 10 black and white photo

he had taken at a USO show of Ann Margaret

with Bob Hope in the background that was

one of his treasures.  (photo below)

A few years ago, Ann Margaret was doing a

book signing at a local bookstore. Richard

wanted to see if he could get her to sign the

treasured photo so he arrived at the

bookstore at 12 o'clock for the 7:30 signing.

When I got there after work, the line went all

the way around the bookstore, circled the

parking lot and disappeared behind a

parking garage.  Before her appearance,

bookstore employees announced that she

would sign only her book and no

memorabilia would be permitted.

Richard was disappointed, but wanted to

show her the photo and let her know how

much those shows meant to lonely GI's so far

from home.  Ann Margaret came out looking

as beautiful as ever and, as second in line, it

was soon Richard's turn. 

 

He presented the book for her signature and

then took out the photo.  When he did, there

were many shouts from the employees that

she would not sign it. Richard said, "I

understand.  I just wanted her to see it."

She took one look at the photo, tears welled

up in her eyes and she said, "This is one of

my gentlemen from Viet Nam and I most

certainly will sign his photo.  I know what

these men did for their country and I always

have time for 'my gentlemen.'"

With that, she pulled Richard across the table

and planted a big kiss on him.  She then

made quite a to-do about the bravery of the

young men she met over the years, how

much she admired them, and how much she

appreciated them.  There weren't too many

dry eyes among those close enough to hear. 

She then posed for pictures and acted as if he

was the only one there.

Later at dinner, Richard was very quiet. 

When I asked if he'd like to talk about it, my

big strong husband broke down in tears. 

"That's the first time anyone ever thanked

me for my time in Viet Nam," he said.   

That night was a turning point for him.  He

walked a little straighter and, for the first

time in years, was proud to have been a Vet. 

I'll never forget Ann Margaret for her

graciousness and how much that small act of

kindness meant to my husband.

I now make it a point to say "Thank you" to

every person I come across who served in our

Armed Forces.  Freedom does not come

cheap and I am grateful for all those who

have served their country.   

If you'd like to pass on this story, feel free to

do so.. Perhaps it will help others to become

aware of how important it is to acknowledge

the contribution our service people make.

With global circulation   ... this may even

reach Jane Fonda!

The Submariner

You’ve no doubt heard the people rave of

battleships, spotless and clean. But stop!

Have you ever heard a word of life on a

submarine?

I shall try to tell you the story, now that i

think i may. And am hoping that you’ll

hesitate ‘ere going your busy way.

In the cankerous mind of the devil, there

festered a fiendish scheme; he called his

cohorts around him and designed the

submarine.

They planned and plotted to do their worst in

perfecting this awful thing; and since

completing their hideous work are awaiting

what evil it will bring.

I’ll try and describe this monster, that the

imps of hell have wrought; and when i’m

through, there’s still the fact i’ll have left out

a lot.

And all the time i’ll tell about the officers and

crew, some of the hardships we must stand

and some of the things we do.

The engine room when underway is a place

of torture for the brain, with two big diesel

engines, roaring and shaking as though in

pain.

Throttle man and lowly oiler, striving to

stand the pace; while with the rag half-

soaked in fuel oil, they wipe the sweat from

their face.

The motor room is another hot place, just

motors and pumps and things, but none the

less a busy spot when the diving signal rings.

The after battery is where we eat, that is,

when we roll the least; while hanging on to

keep our place, like some reprehensible

beast.

Most of us in the battery room close to a

lurking death; with the storage cells giving

off gas, that smothers our every breath.

The torpedo room is a deadly spot, but we

have small choice, you know; so some sleep

there next the overhead with tons of tnt

below.

The coc is a little place, just crammed with

levers and tools; and let me tell you, on a

dive, it’s not a place for fools.

It takes ten good men to operate the diving

gear that’s there, and each man knows that a

clear , cool, brain insures his return to air.

When the diving siren sounds, theres action

never seen, at any place upon the earth, but

on a submarine.

Hatches are closed and engines secured, all

openings closed up tight, for it takes less

than a minute to submerge clear out of sight.

Main motors are started, periscopes raised,

bow diving planes rigged out; all done in a

very few seconds and you’ve never heard a

shout.

Everything’s silent, everything’s calm, not a

sound is heard but the orders of the captain

given by a quiet word.

We know it’s serious business, you never

hear laugh or quip; efficiency prevails

supreme; our lives are forfeit for a slip.

Yes, daily we make a risky dive, while uncle

sam, with his brimming cup, bets us a dollar

while we’re alive, a dollar to nothing we

won’t come up.

We’re bottled up, just like a trap, with

nothing in between; the sea and death but a

metal cap like the lid of a soup tureen.

We get a five dollar bonus; they call it extra

pay; but it always goes for dungarees that

the acid eats away.

The best blood in the service, you’ll find on

the old pig boat, for it takes more than a

common mind to sink and still to float.

The officers are real he-men of character and

nerve supreme; it takes the keenest intellect

to command a submarine.

They must be democratic, broad minded men

and strong; capable of quick decision should

anything go wrong.

The electrician’s man has a rather hard lot,

for labor as much as he might, he returns

from a dive only to find he has to charge his

batteries all night.

The radio man has his troubles too, cooped

up in a little shack, with an underwood mill

against his chest and a bulkhead against his

back.

Seaman, torpedo men, gunners’ mates all

have their share of woe; they must take care

of the upper decks and the armament below.

You’ve seen these bronco busters suffer

while doing their stuff; they don’t hold a

candle to what we stand when the gods of

the sea get rough.

She’ll roll and twist, and pitch and squirm,

with the devils own curse upon her; the

movements like those of a mighty sperm,

cause all to suffer from mal de mer.

With all of this it may seem strange, when

you ask a cob off any pig boat; he’d rather be

there than anywhere as long as there’s a sub

afloat.

There’s a sort of fascination attends this job

of ours that could only be duplicated by a

rocket trip to mars.

We cuss and mutter "never again" until we

get paid off; but the blamed all life will drag

us back, no matter how we scoff.

We all come back, come back for more, and

there friends is the rub; we like the life

beneath the sea, life in a dammed old sub.

Other Submissions:

Diesel Boat Era by Michael D. Skurat – YN2SS,

LTJG – RET.

Diesel Boats by George Kaufman

IN THE BEGINNING(SUBMARINER!) by DBF

Submarine Chiefs By Unknown

As a little curiosity to the history of your great

ship I can tell you the following story. In 1981 I

came to the Verolme Shipyard with the

Maersk Pioneer, which is a semi - submersible

oil drilling rig, for repair and overhaul. I was

serving onboard as senior electrician.

At the shipyard we were located next to a

submarine with the ID. S-13 on it waiting to be

dismantled, curious as I am and armed with a

flash light, I went over to have a look at it,

there was not much to see inside, it was dark

and wet but I got hold in a little souvenir, the

nameplate from one of the main diesel

engines. The S-13 was shortly after

dismantled.

At the USS ODAX history page I can see that

the S-13 is the former USS ODAX SS484.

I have been reading the history and noted

that she visited my country Denmark in 1970,

very interesting.

Further more I can tell you that the Verolme

Shipyard is located a little south of the city Rio

de Janeiro at a place called Angra dos Reis. In

the Portuguese language Angra dos Reis

means "The bay of the kings", and that's

where the USS ODAX ended her days .

All the best to all of you from a 62 year old

Dane, former private in the Royal Danish Navy

(1962-1963) at the korvettes, U-boat hunters!

We never got one.

Regards Mogens Christensen, Denmark.

Last sailor on board your great ship

Click the Engine Nameplate to learn about the

Fairbanks-Morse 38D8 Diesel Engine!!

All the best to all of you from a 62 year old

Dane, former private in the Royal Danish Navy

(1962-1963) at the korvettes, U-boat hunters!

We never got one.

Regards Mogens Christensen, Denmark.

Last sailor on board your great ship

I Remember by Master Chief Hank Baxter

US Navy (Retired)

Here's to us, one and all

Who heard the message and answered the call

To break away from the old mainstream and

live our lives on a submarine.

Sub School gave us the chance to pass the test

To declare that we were

The Best of the Best.

When we left New London with orders in hand

We all headed out on different courses for

distant, faraway lands.

Some went East coast some went West

But no matter where you ended up, your first

boat's the best.

You reported on board not knowing what to

think

But now you're known to all as a nub and a

dink.

You learn about Tradition and learn about

Pride,

You learn about Honor and the men who have

died,

You learn about the heritage that's been

passed on to you

Because now you're considered one of the

crew.

You study that boat from bow to stern

From the conning tower to the bilges, it's your

duty to learn

Where and what makes that boat go, how it

operates and in what direction it flows

How to charge those batteries and keep them

alive or how to rig the boat for dive

Draw those systems fore and aft, blow the

shitters, Check the draft

These are duties that you must glean when

you live your life on a submarine

When you've learned all there is to know

about your boat

You show 'em you know it, by your walk

through vote

You go before the Qual Board, card in hand

Where they question and grill you to beat the

band

And when you think you can take no more

They tell you to wait just outside the door.

For what seems like eons, Time stands still

And when they call you in, you feel quite ill!

But they congratulate you for doing so good

And welcome you into their Brotherhood.

Right of passage declares that you must drink

your "fish".

And the tacking on process is not something

you wish

But you wear those dolphins on your chest

with pride

Because down deep in your heart, you know

you're Qualified.

It seems like yesterday, it seems like a dream

That I truly lived on a submarine

Most Boats are gone, a memory of time

I wonder what happened to that crew of

mine?

The Old Boats that are left, are all museums

And even if you rode 'em, you have to pay

admission to see 'em.

So here's to us, those that remember

Who rode the boats out in all kinds of weather

To those past, present and even the future

To those young, hardy lads who still love

adventure

So let's lift our glasses and have a toast

To the memory of those daring young sailors

and their undersea boats.

"Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in

their shoes, that way when you do criticize

them, you are a mile away and you have their

shoes!"

Master Chief Hank Baxter US Navy (Retired)...

... 41º 28' 1.2" north; 72º11'40" west

Sailor by Unknown

 I was that which others did not

want to be.

I went where others feared to go,

and did what others failed to do

I asked nothing from those who gave

nothing, and reluctantly accepted

the thought of eternal

loneliness ... should I fail.

I have seen the face of terror; felt the

Stinging cold of fear; and enjoyed

The sweet taste of a moment's love.

I have cried, pained, and hoped...

But most of all, I have lived times

Others would say were best

Forgotten.

At least someday I will be able to

Say that I was proud of what

I was... a sailor

Warshot by Mike Hemming

"Captain, Nine minutes at 8 knots is up..."

"Very well, bring her up to 55 feet."

"Coming up to 55 feet from 150 feet, Aye."

"Up scope."

"Bearing should be 030, Captain."

"Very well, slow to 1/3."

"Answers 1/3."

Slapping the handles down the Skipper does

the quick crouching spin to check all around

before stopping at 030.

"Bearing Mark."

"Zero three zero."

"Range mark."

"0ne four double 0."

The low to the water dark hull sails on in the

scope seemingly unknowing and uncaring to

its impending doom.

"Down scope."

The Captain stares a thousand miles into the

hydraulic oiled descending shaft, his mind

locked onto the job at hand.

"Set depth at one zero feet"

"Flood tube four and open outer door."

"Next observation will be a shooting

observation."

"Have the COB report to the Conn."

"Coming up..."

"COB will you hit the firing key on this one?"

The COB with a strained look on his face, "Aye

Skipper."

The Captain with a kind of sad smile says, "It

won't be the first now will it?"

"No Skipper, but I hope it's the last like this."

"Hmmmmm, yeah."

"Been a long time since we walked down the

pier together to this boat as non quals, huh

Chief?"

"Yeah me an E2 and you an O1, I outranked

you even then didn't I?"

The Captain chuckles, which ease the strain

on both their faces, "Yes, you always did

outrank me in some ways. You took grumpy

old chief lessons long before you were even an

E5."

Smiling for a second the COB says, "We have

both come a long ways since those days, and

now they are nearly at an end."

"Captain, Time."

"Yes, up scope"

Again the awkward spin around the scope to

stop with the submarine in the cross hairs.

"Bearing Mark."

"Zero two zero"

"Range mark."

"One One double 0"

"Solution checks, Captain."

"Very well, this will be for MOT, Shoot tube

four."

The COB's hand comes up quickly then pauses

over the firing key and wavers there. In a

stern voice that cracks ever so slightly the

Captain says, "Shoot the fish!"

The tough hard hand of the chief that doesn't

match the pain in his eyes smashes down on

the key.

"Tube four fired electrically," The chief reports

sadly.

"Running time?"

"Fifty Five seconds, Captain."

"Very well."

"COB, I better not have missed."

"Yes Sir, sorry, but it's hard to sink your qual

boat."

"Skipper, Sonar reports, Torpedo running hot

straight and normal."

"Very well."

"Time?"

"5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Skipper, Plus 1, 2, 3,"

The Captain looks through the periscope his

"Damn" to be rewarded with the violent

geyser of sea foam under the engine room of

the sub. Lifted high already broken in two by

the Mark 16 torpedo's explosion she is

doomed to the rest of forever on the sea floor.

"COB take a look. It's a better end that being

scrapped."

Looking, he sees the ends of the broken black

hull disappear quickly into the deep blue sea.

"Yes she will rest with all her sisters now

where she belongs, Skipper."

"She has served us well again."

This dedicated to those boats that gave the

last final extra measure for us in weapons

tests. S(T) Sunk as target from "US Submarines

Through 1945" by Norman Friedman. Jim

Christley did research in other places and

kindly allowed its use here. Also comments

have been added by sailors that rode the boat

that sank them or have knowledge of the

sinking. Click link below to view list.

Diesel Boats by George Kaufman Aug. 23, 1992

The Last Sailor by Mogens Christensen

Ann-Margret, surnameless Swedish actress, was born April 28, 1941. She came to the US a child of five, and quickly entered showbiz, first with her parents, but soon with her own independent dual career as a recording artist and a film actres Courtesy of JACK BAIRD/STARS AND STRIPES
© 2001, USSODAX.COM.
USS ODAX (SS-484) Submarine  US Service (1945-1972) “Any time, any where, always ready, always there.” (Official Navy Submarine Motto)