Monday, October 04, 2010


America's First Submarine Base and Silent Service Monument, New Suffolk, NY

It was in New Suffolk, NY that the Holland Torpedo Co., and its submarines, started the U.S. Navy's "Silent Service" in the early 20th century. Begun by a New Jersey math teacher, it moved to Connecticut. Currently submarines are built in New London, CT.

Is that Mr. Holland?

One of the Holland Torpedo Company's submarines, pre-1903, probably in the vicinity of New Suffolk, NY where the company was. Thirty some odd years after it moved to Connecticut, Albert Einstein posted a letter to FDR, post marked from New Suffolk, warning him of fission experiments in Europe (Time, Inc.) A monument to its origin of the "Silent Service" (US naval submarine service) was recently placed there.
He wrote it vacationing on Nassau Point across the bay.

I sometimes wonder how it got to the country store, since burned down from the time I visited it. Perhaps burned down in error, as was one at Sacket's Harbor, where a former New York City mayor, Fiorello La Guardia grew up and his family lived, his father a percussionist in the US Army. I once visited a brick house on Long Island, the LaGuardia's family's summer house I was told by a fellow anthropology grad student then working (or not) at the Heye Foundation that became part of the National Museum of the American Indian. Actor Tony Curtis served in the "Silent Service" until a torpedo accident, one of the few good things they've ever brought. So said me, the grand-nephew of a Master Mariner, Leman C. Urquhart, who was at the helm of the "S.S. City of Atlanta" torpedoed by U-123 off Cape Hatteras, NC and went down with the ship. It had left NYC for Savannah, GA in January of 1942.

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