Lot 849

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On May 23, 1938, following 18 test dives, the USS Squalus suffered a catastrophic failure of her main induction valve, causing massive flooding and the immediate drowning of 26 crewmen. Fast action resulted in 33 crewmen remaining alive in another part of the vessel. Divers from the submarine rescue ship USS Falcon, under the direction of the rescue expert Lt. Cdr. Charles B. "Swede" Momsen, employed the Rescue Chamber he had invented years earlier but which the Navy had repeatedly blocked. They were able to rescue all 33 surviving crew members from the sunken submarine, and four enlisted divers earned the Medal of Honor for their work. We offer a 3 1/2" x 1 1/2" x 1/8" section of steel from the hull of the Squalus, which later saw action as the USS Sailfish. It is mounted black lucite black with ca. 1950 descriptive plaque. Very good. From the personal collection of World War II and Civil War historian Michael Miner. Miner's thirty-year collection was built through an extensive system of contacts he developed with artifact hunters and diggers in Europe and the Far East, and he maintained careful records of the items he amassed.

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January 21, 2010 10:00 AM EST
Stamford, CT, US

Alexander Historical Auctions LLC

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