USS Alexander Hamilton

REUNITING SHIPMATES OF THE USS ALEXANDER HAMILTON, SSBN 617

For the first 7 Blue Crew patrols, Joe Birkle would hang a Playboy centerfold at Launcher on the side of the MAM for 1-8 so that it was visible to the Launcher Watch. At the end of every patrol, it was removed and hidden and then subsequently retrieved when we returned to the boat. Does anyone know what every happened to that picture? I believe that the Polaroid photos taken would show her in the background.

One more story. Watch stations were not permitted to have music playing. The FTBs in MCC tapped into the ship's entertainment system; then installed a microswitch on the MCC door so that the music would go off as soon as the door was opened. The MTs then figured out how to use unused cabling to get the music piped into the Missile Compartment.

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I do not remember that particular Playboy centerfold, but that may have been long gone by the time I got their in '79. I do remember the VAMP (Valve Alarm Monitoring Panel) girl though. Was VAMP there when you were there? It was on Tube 3 just behind the left shoulder of the LOS. It had two or three knurled knobs that you unscrewed to open the door to the panel and inside was Miss VAMP. She made a ton of patrols in there!

I think the MCC music system was pretty much a fleet-wide thing when I was onboard. I never met an FTB that did not talk about it on their boat. The only difference was that our FTB's supplied their own music, but the microswitch in the door was alive and well. We never had music at Launcher like that though.
"Was VAMP there when you were there?"

No. There were two panels called Missile Alarm Monitor (MAM) that were located between the LCPs and IMP. MAM 1 was just forward of IMP and just aft of LCP 1 and MAM 2 was just aft of IMP and forward of LCP 2. So if you were sitting at Launcher the equipment (forward to aft was LCP 1, MAM 1, IMP, MAM 2, LCP 2). Then couple feet further aft was the IC/T2-FA. The only thing that I remember next to the tubes at Launcher was a panel that controlled access to MCLL which was designated an Exclusion Area. The two hatches than provided access to MCLL were locked all of the time and the Launcher Watch was capable of unlocking the hatch to allow access so that the mess cooks could go down there to get coffee, flour, and sugar (accompanied by the MCRP and ALOS watches).

The only time I remember music in the MC was during field days when we were treated to Johnny Horton singing North To Alaska. We spent so much time shining the Missile Tube Access Door locking rings with Never Dull that I probably am suffering from brain damage.
The MAM was replaced with what they called DAMP. Digital Alarm Monitoring Panel. You will see it in the photos I have on my profile page. The C3 missile had heaters installed around the aft end of the motor to help mitigate the huge temperature spike at motor ignition that had previously resulted in failures. It digitally sampled the temperature x amount of times per second and controlled power to the heaters automatically like a thermostat. I remember it had a wire wrap backplane that would cause us trouble every once in a while. You can see DAMP here: http://afrog617.ning.com/photo/3478459:Photo:338?context=user. I remember there was a PM called "Clean DAMP Filters". It was probably one of the most radio'd PM's we had. We usually put greenie pads in front of the wire mesh filters because we could just replace them without having to clean anything. I am sure it restricted air flow. Done correctly we would have to take the wire mesh filters out, wash them, coat them in a sticky substance, let them dry, and put them back in. Did they use the term "radio" when you were onboard? When you did something by "radio" that meant that you did it via remote control or more correctly didn't do it at all!

You can see VAMP here: http://afrog617.ning.com/photo/3478459:Photo:322?context=user. It was used to monitor the position of certain Missile Gas valves. You will see 3 columns of lights. The first column was for Middle and Lower Level . The second column was for Upper Level. The 3rd column was for Instrumentation valves (sea pressure sensing and tube pressure sensing valves). If any valve was misaligned for a given tube the light would go out. It also was used to read the Relative Humidity for each tube. The rotary switch was used to select what tube you wanted and then you would press one of the red buttons to read the humidity level in the tube. Miss VAMP resided in that panel and we looked at her quite often.

George Murray said:
"Was VAMP there when you were there?"

No. There were two panels called Missile Alarm Monitor (MAM) that were located between the LCPs and IMP. MAM 1 was just forward of IMP and just aft of LCP 1 and MAM 2 was just aft of IMP and forward of LCP 2. So if you were sitting at Launcher the equipment (forward to aft was LCP 1, MAM 1, IMP, MAM 2, LCP 2). Then couple feet further aft was the IC/T2-FA. The only thing that I remember next to the tubes at Launcher was a panel that controlled access to MCLL which was designated an Exclusion Area. The two hatches than provided access to MCLL were locked all of the time and the Launcher Watch was capable of unlocking the hatch to allow access so that the mess cooks could go down there to get coffee, flour, and sugar (accompanied by the MCRP and ALOS watches).

The only time I remember music in the MC was during field days when we were treated to Johnny Horton singing North To Alaska. We spent so much time shining the Missile Tube Access Door locking rings with Never Dull that I probably am suffering from brain damage.
I do remember the heater SPALT. But I thought that the heater was installed at the forward end of the C-3 second stage rocket motor. (By this time I was no longer a Missile Technician and was serving on a different submarine.) I left AH in about May of 1968. It was a very critical period. The Vietnam War was raging, MLK and RFK were killed within a very short interval. I think that one of my former shipmates went to 617 (Rick Conte). He may have been there at about the same time as CDR Friedman. My naval service ended in February of 1982. I appreciate those who started this web site. It sure brings back a lot of memories. If I'm really fortunate, I'll be around for another 14-15 years, but I'll never forget boring those holes in the ocean.

I also know what radioing log readings are. Gosh it's been a long time since I heard that term. The Missile Technician of the Watch (MTOW) was responsible for hourly checks of all four missile tube access doors (4 x 16 = 64) plus checking the interlocks, plus ducking back into AMR1 UL and checking the Missile Heating and Cooling (MHC) System, plus checking Sanitary 4 hull and backup valves, plus checking the bilges in MCLL. Is it any wonder that there was some radioing going on?

George Murray said:
"Was VAMP there when you were there?"

No. There were two panels called Missile Alarm Monitor (MAM) that were located between the LCPs and IMP. MAM 1 was just forward of IMP and just aft of LCP 1 and MAM 2 was just aft of IMP and forward of LCP 2. So if you were sitting at Launcher the equipment (forward to aft was LCP 1, MAM 1, IMP, MAM 2, LCP 2). Then couple feet further aft was the IC/T2-FA. The only thing that I remember next to the tubes at Launcher was a panel that controlled access to MCLL which was designated an Exclusion Area. The two hatches than provided access to MCLL were locked all of the time and the Launcher Watch was capable of unlocking the hatch to allow access so that the mess cooks could go down there to get coffee, flour, and sugar (accompanied by the MCRP and ALOS watches).

The only time I remember music in the MC was during field days when we were treated to Johnny Horton singing North To Alaska. We spent so much time shining the Missile Tube Access Door locking rings with Never Dull that I probably am suffering from brain damage.
You may be right on the forward end vs. the aft end. I find it amazing that I can remember some things like it was yesterday yet other things are just foggy.
The MTOW had already been renamed to MCRP (Missile Compartment Roving Patrol) when I got there in '79. Sounds like the same function though. A log with a ton of stuff to check every hour on the hour.

Our 1.2 kW rectifiers were named Winkin', Blinkin', and Nod. They were labelled as such with Dymo Tape and had been that way for years before I got there. Were they named that when you were on the boat?
You know, I can't even remember what the 1.2 KW rectifiers were for. I think they were in the upper level and supplied power to SINS, but it gets hazy here. (Just issue me another qual card and a Mickey Mouse Book.) I do remember the 18 kw rectifiers in the middle level that supplied 28 VDC - they were also a convenient place to dry our socks after freezing topside in the rain at Holy Loch.

I remember the heater SPALT because by then I was on 619 and we were the first boat to get it, so they sent several of us out to Sunnyvale, CA to learn how to install it. Then on the first patrol after we got it, they called us in early to do a missile test.

Stan Tribble said:
You may be right on the forward end vs. the aft end. I find it amazing that I can remember some things like it was yesterday yet other things are just foggy.
The MTOW had already been renamed to MCRP (Missile Compartment Roving Patrol) when I got there in '79. Sounds like the same function though. A log with a ton of stuff to check every hour on the hour.

Our 1.2 kW rectifiers were named Winkin', Blinkin', and Nod. They were labelled as such with Dymo Tape and had been that way for years before I got there. Were they named that when you were on the boat?
The 1.2 kW rectifiers were part of Weapons Power and were fed from WP3 and WP4. They received 440 VAC and output 28 VDC. Rectifiers #1 and #2 were used for Missile Power Transfer for transferring to internal power and transferring to external power. #1 and #2 were also used to supply power to IMP via an MBT. Rectifier #3 was used for application of Valve Power to the missile.
I remember Mike Stadt and I had a class on the 1.2 kW's during off crew and when it was time for the hands on lab portion they split the class up in groups of 2 people. Mike and I had an afternoon session, so we went to the bowling alley and had our fair share of liquid lunch. I remember going to the lab and removing a fuse from the 1.2 kW using my bare fingers instead of the fuse pullers. I did the 60 cycle shuffle momentarily!

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