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Born on this day
Clement G. Hurd
2nd week in year
12 January 2019

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Operation Sandblast of the submarine USS Triton25.4.1960

Wikipedia (21 Mar 2013, 14:25)

Operation Sandblast was the code name for the first submerged circumnavigation of the world executed by the United States Navy nuclear-powered radar picket submarine USS Triton (SSRN-586) in 1960 while under the command of Captain Edward L. Beach, USN. The New York Times described Triton's submerged circumnavigation of the Earth as "a triumph of human prowess and engineering skill, a feat which the United States Navy can rank as one of its bright victories in man's ultimate conquest of the seas."

The actual circumnavigation took place between 24 February and 25 April 1960, covering 26,723 nautical miles (49,491 km; 30,752 mi) over 60 days and 21 hours. Operation Sandblast used the St. Peter and Paul Rocks, located in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean near the Equator, as the starting point and terminus for the circumnavigation. During the course of the circumnavigation, Triton crossed the Equator four times while maintaining an average speed of advance (SOA) of 18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph). Triton's overall navigational track during Operation Sandblast generally followed the same course for the first circumnavigation of the world led by Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan between 1519-1522.

While the initial impetus for this mission was to enhance American technological and scientific prestige prior to the May 1960 Paris Summit between U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, Operation Sandblast also provided a high-profile public demonstration of the capability of U.S. Navy nuclear-powered submarines to carry out long-range submerged operations independent of external support and undetected by hostile forces. Additionally, Operation Sandblast gathered extensive oceanographic, hydrographic, gravimetric, geophysical, and psychological data during Triton's circumnavigation.

Although official celebrations for Operation Sandblast were cancelled following the diplomatic furor arising from the shooting down of a CIA U-2 spy plane over the Soviet Union in early May 1960, the Triton did receive the Presidential Unit Citation in recognition of the successful completion of its mission, and Captain Beach received the Legion of Merit for his role as Triton's commanding officer. In 1961, Beach received the Magellanic Premium, the United States' oldest and most prestigious scientific award, from the American Philosophical Society in "recognition of his navigation of the U.S. submarine Triton around the globe."

On 25 April, Triton crossed the Equator a final time, re-entering the Northern Hemisphere, and shortly thereafter, she sighted the St. Peter and Paul Rocks, completing the first submerged circumnavigation. As Captain Beach wrote, "We are not yet home, but we may be considered to have taken a long lead off third base."

" Beautiful moments of our lives."