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SQUAW Submarine Targets (USN)

RyanCrierie

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Slight resummarization of information in an article I wrote on Nuclear Subsurface Weapons Effects HERE...

The SQUAWs were simplified 4/5th scale models of SS 563 Tang class submarines 134 feet long, with 14.5 foot diameter pressure hulls constructed of 1” thick HTS plate with a yield strength of 56,000 PSI, using one dimensional bends only for economy of production. Pressure hull end caps were constructed of STS. Total beam was about 22' 12”, and displacement was about 400~ tons. Engine-Generators were simulated with 4/5th scale cast iron weights weighing 11,900 lbs each. Motors were also 4/5th scale cast iron weights, weighing 25,000 lbs each. Batteries were simulated by concrete weights. Three were constructed by Long Beach Naval Shipyard and designated SQUAW 12, 13, and 29 respectively.

Their first use was at Operation Wigwam, a test of the Mark 90 “Alias Betty” Nuclear Depth Bomb with a yield of 32~ kilotons.

SQUAW-12: 5,150 ft (1,570m) from Hypocenter, submerged at an up angle of 36 degrees at a depth of 290 ft (88m); with a slant range of 5,428 ft (1,654m) from the device, received a peak shock pressure of about 850 psi and was probably destroyed within 10 milliseconds, with the loss of all data recorded from its internal sensors.

SQUAW-13: 7,200 ft (2,195m) from Hypocenter, submerged at a depth of 265 ft (80m); with a slant range of 7,408 ft (2,258m) from the device, received a peak shock pressure of about 615 psi and was damaged, but did not sink. However, as it was being towed to the salvage area, it sank, causing the loss of all data recorded from its internal sensors.

SQUAW-29: 10,200 ft (3,109m) from Hypocenter on the Surface; with a slant range of 10,394 ft (3,168m) from the device, received a peak shock pressure of about 440 PSI and little, if any damage was inflicted.

Later, for Operation HARDTACK I; specifically Shot Umbrella; the sole survivor, SQAW-29 was reused again.

SQUAW-29 was submerged 1,600 ft (488 meters) from surface zero at apparently periscope depth. It suffered pressure hull deformation, mainly dishing in of the hull between frames. Heavy damage was sustained in the main ballast tanks, with 1,340 PSI peak pressure being recorded. This was probably due to the presence of air pockets within the ballast tanks amplifying the shock pulse. Despite this, damage was considered as being significantly shorter than lethal.

I have no information about what later happened to SQUAW-29; whether she was scrapped or put on a yard somewhere...
 

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