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Lance Nowland Oral History

Identifier: OHP 119

Scope and Contents

Lance Nowland served on Growler as a missile technician second class from 1959 to 1962. He began his interview by recalling his decision to join the Navy and stating that he was in the Coast Guard Reserve while in high school. Nowland then continued, noting boot camp, as well as Temporary Active Duty at Anacostia Naval Air Station in Washington DC, before stating that he attended guided missilman A school in Dam Neck, VA. The topic of guided missileman A school then led to a discussion on the Navy’s missile program as well as Nowland’s thoughts regarding joining the Navy during the Cold War. The interview then transitional to Nowland’s time on submarines, as he noted volunteering for submarine service, qualifying on Blackfin¸ and eventually transferring to Growler. He then explained his first impression of Growler and its mission, and recalled that the secrecy of Growler’s mission required that he sign a will and send a letter to his parents stating that his submarine would be on an extended cold weather training cruise. Nowland noted that this experience, combined with the firepower of the Regulus missile, made him realize the importance of Growler’s mission. The interview then shifted to a discussion on training exercises and a walk-through of the launch process for the Regulus missile. After discussing the Regulus missile, Nowland recalled specific incidents that occurred while he was aboard Growler, noting the extension of their patrol when Gary Powers was shot down and the time when one of Growler’s periscopes was damaged by flow ice. He also noted some lighter moments that occurred, such as the time he snuck aboard a bottle of alcohol so the men who were in the stern room with him could celebrate Christmas. Nowland then briefly discussed hygiene, recalling a bet concerning the first person who would take a shower and taking rubbing alcohol baths. The interview eventually transitioned back to various duties, and Nowland discussed his brief assignment to Grayback in order to learn the boat’s new launch system and his training to become a qualified diver. He then spoke about having to obtain a secret clearance and his family’s support of his decision to join the Navy. As the interview came to an end, Nowland recalled crew member’s nicknames and liberty in Hawaii, before ending his interview by describing his visit to Growler as a museum.


  • September 16, 2016



1 Files

26 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