Every year on 11 November, the day is set aside in many countries to mark the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany. It is known as Armistice Day, Remembrance Day, or Veteran’s Day and is to honor military veterans who have given their utmost in defense of their country. To commemorate this day, the Pattaya City Expats Club (PCEC) usually arranges for a related topic from a military veteran.
This year, the PCEC’s speaker was US Navy Veteran Sherman Richardson who provided an enthusiastic and interesting talk about his career as a “submariner.” Sherman is 61 years old and says he is learning Stoic Philosophy and is a “wanna be” some kind of artist/intellectual who is a wine and scotch whiskey lover, minimalist and a vagabond currently using his money to buy free time to explore his interests without expectations. He was also part of the Improvisational Acting group from Pattaya Players that previously performed for the PCEC on the 27th April.
But today, he was here to talk about his military career on a submarine during the “Cold War.” He began by explaining how he came to join the Navy, his experiences in “boot camp,” navigation training, and his volunteering for and attending “sub school”. He also mentioned that a submarine is the only ship that “sinks on purpose.”
Although not the largest submarine, he served on the USS Pogey (SSN 647), a nuclear-powered attack submarine. He noted that the SSN designation meant “Ship Submersible Navy.” His submarine was involved in “Special Ops” (a term used for highly classified missions). One he described to his audience involved taking divers into Russian waters where they “tapped” communications cables along the seabed to intercept messages.
Other missions included tracking soviet submarines. Also, when a Trident Class submarine was going out to sea, they along with other attack subs were responsible for detecting and “clearing out” any soviet submarines to keep them from tracking the Trident’s movement. When Sherman previously described the different classification of submarines in the US Navy, he noted the Trident was the largest and could launch missiles with nuclear warheads. He also said the Trident had the most luxurious accommodations for its crew, unlike the cramped quarters of the one he was on.
Upon conclusion, MC Ren Lexander brought everyone up to date on upcoming PCEC events and called on George Wilson to conduct the Open Forum portion of the meeting where questions are asked and answered about Expat living in Thailand, especially Pattaya. For more information about the PCEC, visit https://pcec.club. Sherman’s presentation is well worth viewing which can be done by visiting the PCEC’s YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQ6lgRFAPMQ.