Into the Deep Transcript

Narrator: Some USS Growler crew members served on surface ships before volunteering for submarines. How was life below the surface different than life on other Navy ships?

Edward Bell: I had been around submarine sailors and their life impressed me compared to on that surface craft I was on. So I start to say, “Hey, the submarine service ought to be a real good adventure.”

It was a completely different world, being in submarines.

John Ekelund: The beauty of the submarine is that all of the guys who are on it are volunteers. No one is ordered to a submarine that doesn’t want to be there.

Duane Heatwole: The officers, it’s unlike any relationship that you’d see on a surface ship, because they can’t have the military separation that you’d have normally between officers and enlisted men.

Cornelius Brown: You go through the same trials and tribulations, you’re there, you’re eating the same food, you’re breathing the same foul air.

Herman Nascimento: And with 80-some people on board, you need to be the kind of personality that you can get along with everybody.

Brown: I never had any racial issues on none of the subs that I’ve served on, and like I said, I was on five different boats.

Bell: But the other branch of the service, yes. But that was just what I was saying, was going from surface craft, going aboard submarines.

Wayne Mehl: It’s like you’re going to build an experiment so that people learn to work it out together, at any cost.

Lawrence Glacy: I think if you have really strong feelings about things, I don’t think you belong in submarines. I don’t think you would’ve made it through the exam, the psych exam in sub school.

Ekelund: There is a qualification system, and everybody has a job to do, and they’re well-qualified to do the job.

Bell: [laughs] So it was great, being finally qualified. It was really, I felt proud of myself that – now I’m really part of the elite group.