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Herman F. Nascimento Oral History

Identifier: OHP 058

Scope and Contents

Herman Nascimento served aboard Growler from 1958 to 1961, as an engineman petty officer third class. Nascimento began his interview by providing a brief overview of his time in the Navy. He then explained his family history, discussed growing up in Hawaii, and recounted some of his memories of growing up in Hawaii during WWII. Nascimento next discussed his motivation for joining the Navy and volunteering for the submarine service. The interview then shifted toward submarine training with Nascimento discussing his time in New London, CT, including his experience in the escape trunk. Submarine training then transitioned to a discussion on the qualification process and Nascimento’s memory of qualifying on Growler. Nascimento also recalled his reaction when he first saw Growler, and he described the POW training the crew received while preparing for their first patrol. He then discussed Growler’s mission and stated that the sub carried “Spooks,” personnel whose jobs were to gather intelligence on the Soviet Union. While speaking about Growler’s mission Nascimento also touched on the sub’s missiles. He next spoke about his job as an engineman, describing Growler’s engines and the maintenance they continually required. He also discussed life aboard Growler, covering topics such as food, playing cards, helping the cooks, bathing, and swim call. Nascimento explained the process of snorkeling as well, describing the discomfort the crew experienced when a shut snorkel created a vacuum inside the sub, and explained how snorkeling affected his job as an engineman. Nascimento also noted that the crew spent Christmas aboard Growler and celebrated by drinking eggnog and receiving small joke-type gifts. He recounted more serious events as well, such as bumping into an object, possibly an iceberg, which tore parts off of the sub, and a battery explosion that occurred in a torpedo in the forward torpedo room. As the interview neared its conclusion Nascimento stated that he was proud to serve aboard Growler and be a part of the Growler family. He also stated that he was proud of the missions they carried out and proud that they were a part of keeping the peace, keeping the enemy at bay, and protecting our country. He also discussed his life after Growler and the Navy, describing his career as a carpenter, as well as the various positions he held in the carpenters’ union, before retiring as the senior union representative for Maui in 2005. The interview then concluded with Nascimento stating that having Growler as a museum means the world to him, and he hopes that visitors learn “after walking through the Growler, they realize that, there was a few of us that, lived in very uncomfortable quarters, uncomfortable situations. And we didn’t think of it as a sacrifice, but we endured it to preserve the peace that we enjoy today.”


  • October 01, 2014



8 Files

25 Sheets

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For full transcript, please contact


David Dzendzel
May 16, 2017
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Repository Details

Part of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum Online Archives Repository

One Intrepid Square
W. 46th Street and 12th Avenue
New York NY 10036-4103 United States