History of Diving Museum Presents Ed Uditis of the Historical Diving Society “Greatest Submarine Rescue Ever”

History of Diving Museum Immerse Yourself! series hosts Historical Diving Society Board of Directors, Ed Uditis as he presents on the “Greatest Submarine Rescue Ever”

During a sea trial off the coast of New Hampshire, on the morning of May 23, 1939, the USS Squalus unexpectedly took on water and sank in 240’ with 59 crew on board. The events that followed are known as the “Greatest Submarine Rescue Ever.”

Squalus Recovery Plan

The Squalus was on her nineteenth test run when the main engine air induction valve failed and water poured into the boat’s aft engine. The traumatic flooding quickly claimed the lives of twenty-four sailors and two civilians, leaving thirty-three others trapped below the surface. To signal for distress, the boat’s captain sent up a marker buoy that was labeled, “Submarine sunk here. Telephone inside.” They also released red smoke rockets and blew slugs of oil out of the toilet bowl to supplement the smoke bombs. When the ship failed to surface for its regular check-in, the shipyard commander’s instinct was that she was in trouble. His quick response and call to action proved crucial to the rescue of the men.  

Squalus Rescue Diver

Historian Ed Uditis will explain the steps that it took on this incredible rescue mission, the equipment and technology that was used to bring the survivors to the surface and how the submarine was raised. Join him at the History of Diving Museum on Wednesday, June 20th. Museum and Exhibit Store will remain open late, admission tickets are available to 6:15. The Immerse Yourself! series is FREE and open to the public on the third Wednesday of every month. Presentation begins at 7pm.

Squalus Rescue using Momsen / McCann Bell











The History of Diving Museum is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit which opened its doors in 2005. Located in Islamorada (MM83), it’s a must see for anyone traveling along Overseas Highway. Divers and non-divers alike are astonished by over 4,000 years of “man’s quest to explore under the sea”.  Check out DivingMuseum.org to find out about speakers, upcoming events, group discounts, or private tours. The facility is also available for private meetings and events, email programs@divingmuseum.org to find out more.

We invite you to become a member and help support educational outreach like the Immerse Yourself! series and other special programming. Your memberships would enable HDM to continue to be a participating Blue Star Museum. This program allows active military and up to five immediate family members free admission from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Join today and make a difference!

Share this!

Leave Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *