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Wed Sep 13, 2017, 07:31 PM

Why did one of the U.S. Navys most advanced subs return to port with a pirate flag?

Source: Washington Post

Why did one of the U.S. Navy’s most advanced subs return to port with a pirate flag?

By Thomas Gibbons-Neff September 13 at 1:52 PM

An image posted to a Pentagon media site and tweeted by Scottish journalist Ian Keddie shows the USS Jimmy Carter, a Seawolf-class nuclear-powered submarine, returning to her home port in Washington Tuesday flying the American flag alongside the unmistakable pirate skull and crossed bones, known as the Jolly Roger.

The 450-foot-long vessel is one of three in its class and is specially modified to conduct some of America’s most covert underwater operations. That fact alone — as Keddie points out — makes the appearance of the black and white flag significant. The Carter, according to photos posted in April, also flew the Jolly Roger returning from its last patrol.

The Jolly Roger’s presence on the conning tower of submarines goes back to 1914, at the beginning of World War I, when a British submarine, HMS E-9, commanded by Lt. Cmdr. Max Horton, sank the German battle cruiser Hela, according to Richard Compton-Hall in his book “Submarines at War 1939-45.” Upon his return to port, Horton raised the iconic pirate flag, signaling he had sunk an enemy warship. As Horton’s kills accumulated, he began denoting them by affixing bars to the flag.


So why did a U.S. submarine return home observing an undoubtedly British tradition? Much is unclear. U.S. submarine activity is rarely discussed by the Pentagon, and the vessels operate in almost complete secrecy. While it’s unlikely that the Carter torpedoed an enemy ship or fired one of its cruise missiles, the flag could represent the success of a more covert mission. The Carter can insert commandos, deploy unmanned submersible vehicles, and probably splice undersea cables all while using specially outfitted thrusters to almost hover off the seafloor. One of the Seawolf class’s namesake subs participated in the Cold War-era operation Ivy Bells, in which U.S. submarines tapped Soviet underwater communication lines.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2017/09/13/why-did-one-of-the-u-s-navys-most-advanced-subs-return-to-port-with-a-pirate-flag/

The Seawolf-class fast-attack submarine USS Jimmy Carter passes through the Hood Canal as the boat returns home to Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, in Washington state, on Monday. (Lt. Cmdr. Michael Smith/U.S. Navy)

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Reply Why did one of the U.S. Navys most advanced subs return to port with a pirate flag? (Original post)
Eugene Sep 2017 OP
Eliot Rosewater Sep 2017 #1

Response to Eugene (Original post)

Wed Sep 13, 2017, 07:32 PM

1. Jesus. Not this now too.

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