Three Knots to Nowhere

A Cold War Submariner on the Undersea Frontline


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About the Book

This book follows the author’s experiences in the United States Navy from 1966 through 1972. They include a personal background, boot camp, electrician’s school, the U.S. Naval Nuclear Program, assignment to the USS Henry Clay during an overhaul in Charleston, South Carolina, subsequent transit to Hawaii, and deterrent patrols out of Guam. The work begins with the crew of one of the most powerful weapons on earth, the fleet ballistic missile submarine USS Henry Clay, manning Battle Station Missile. What follows is a fresh perspective on the secret world of submarine life, ranging from behavioral insights and humorous anecdotes to many undocumented attributes of submarine life, exposing aspects of life under the sea no one else has revealed. This book is the most complete representation of submarine duty to date, with a high level of detail. The narrative focuses on the enlisted men—the backbone of the submarine service.

About the Author(s)

Ted E. Dubay is a Nuclear Technical Specialist III at the Millstone Power Station in Waterford, Connecticut. He has worked there four decades and lives in Colchester, Connecticut.

Bibliographic Details

Ted E. Dubay

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 224
Bibliographic Info: 9 photos, index
Copyright Date: 2014
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7874-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1404-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Preface 1
Introduction 5
1. Battle Stations 9
2. Troubled Times 13
3. Odyssey 16
4. Admiral Rickover’s Nuclear Power School 25
5. Submarine School—The Final Preparation 32
6. Reporting to the USS Henry Clay 35
7. Inside the Henry Clay 39
8. The Forbidden Zone: The Engineering Spaces 47
9. Test Depth 60
10. Transit to Hawaii 77
11. The Eve of My First Patrol 89
12. Getting Underway 99
13. Christmas on Patrol 107
14. Dolphins and Patrol Pins 123
15. R & R in Hawaii 136
16. The Escape Tower 148
17. Change of Command—The Good, the Bad and the Ugly 159
18. Surprise Package from the Blue Crew 165
19. Typhoon 170
20. Farewell to the Henry Clay 189
21. Flight Back to Hawaii 195
22. Ford Island 199
23. The Circle Begins 206
Index 209

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “The author provides an excellent account of his service onboard Henry Clay during the course of two deterrent patrols. Those interested in U.S. Navy nuclear submarine operations will find much of interest in this book and it would be a welcome addition to anyone’s Cold War history library”—Military
  • “A refreshingly straightforward recollection of six years of a young man’s life in the U.S. Navy serving onboard a nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine…recommend…an excellent scene-setter for life onboard submarines”—The Northern Mariner/Le marin du nord