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David E. Bishop Oral History

Identifier: OHP 118

Scope and Contents

David Bishop served on Growler as a torpedoman third class from December 1959 to September 1961. He began his interview by explaining his decision to join the Navy when he was seventeen years old. Bishop then noted boot camp in San Diego and submarine schools in San Francisco, stating that submarined schools taught you the basic systems aboard a submarine and that the actual operation of these systems occurred once you were on board a boat. As Bishop continued, he described his first day on board Growler and stated that he did not know anything about Growler’s missiles. He also discussed becoming a torpedoman and an accident that occurred while he was working on a torpedo. Bishop stated that hydrogen gas, which was generated by the battery inside of the torpedo, had blown up while he was laying on top of the torpedo. He explained that the explosion occurred because the battery was not properly vented. He also noted that a court of inquiry had initially blamed him for this explosion, ruling that he was negligent, however he was later exonerated. As the interview continued, Bishop also stated that he had learned his father had passed away while Growler was on patrol. Bishop noted the support he received from the crew, particularly the chief of the boat, and stated that he had the support of “half a dozen fathers.” He then spoke about the diversity on board Growler and the family mentality of the crew, before the interview transitioned to a discussion on Growler’s mission as a deterrent strike force. Bishop also noted an interesting training experience that occurred in a simulated prisoner of war camp in Hawaii, and while discussing his time in Hawaii, Bishop explained the importance of going to church before leaving on a patrol, stating that there were two times when the chapel was always full, on Sundays and when a submarine was about to leave on a patrol. The interview then returned to Bishop’s time aboard Growler, and he discussed his qualification process and explained the procedures for firing a torpedo, from start to finish. The interview then shifted to a discussion on free time aboard Growler, and Bishop recalled reading, playing cribbage, and simply sitting and talking with friends. Bishop ended his interview by speaking about his family and stating that he attended college on the GI Bill after leaving the Navy.


  • September 16, 2016



1 Files

23 Sheets

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David Dzendzel
October 1, 2018
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Repository Details

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

One Intrepid Square
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New York NY 10036-4103 United States