1963 Submarine Emergency Ascent

Balloon System Preliminary Design


The information on this page came from good friend and retired Navy hard hat diver, Jack Lehman.  I first met Jack a few years ago at an Olive Garden restaurant.  He was wearing his USS Saratoga cap and we struck up a conversation.  We had dinner together that night and have been friends ever since.

In 1963 the Navy was considering a way to bring a submarine to the surface in an emergency situation.  They developed the idea to use a sytem of balloons that could be deployed and filled to do the job.  The idea was scrapped, but what follows are photos of the preliminary design from 1963.  You can see Jack's signature on the lower left of the title block as he was assigned to the project.

Here is the full sheet.  Too big and too faded for the scanner, we photographed each section and 'tweaked' the photos to make them as legible as we could.

full sheet


A full shot showing the five balloons they thought would be needed.

side view


The title block of the drawing with the 24 April 1963 date, Jack's signature and the names of the designers and draftsmen.



The flush in the deck balloon container is shown below with deflated balloon, pressure activated hatch, air supply hose and dye marker to be released when deployed.



This is a cross section showing one of the two balloons that would be deployed from their storage space recessed in the side of the sail.

sail balloon



A section showing the deployed aft twin balloons.

aft twin balloons