Engine Order Telegraph, Submarine USS Flying Fish, SS-229
This is the engine order telegraph from the conning tower of the WWII submarine USS Flying Fish, SSN-229. Smaller and more compact than a typical engine order telegraph because it was used only in the conning tower when the submarine was on the surface. It consists of a number of gears, motors, and electrical relays which send a signal to a similar device in the sub’s engine room. When an engine order is given by the officer in the conning tower, a signal sounds both there and in the engine room. The engineers respond to the engine commands and signal their device to show that the command has been complied with. This EOT measures 10" long by 8" wide, by 8" high. The frame and gears are of brass and the dial is of stamped steel. One of the motors bears a brass plate with the manufacturer (Henschel), electrical rating, serial number, and date. The device weighs 28 pounds and comes in its original wood box, which is stenciled "SS-229/FLYING FISH/1945/SPARE ANNUN/A125-708/USN HENS.CO." A precision instrument, one can only imagine what it would have cost the Navy in today’s dollars.
USS Flying Fish, SSN-229, a Gato Class submarine, was launched in July, 1941 and commissioned just 3 days after the Pearl Harbor attack. Armed with 10-21" torpedo tubes, a 3" deck gun and 40mm and 20mm antiaircraft guns, she completed 12 war patrols and received 12 battle stars for her service in WWII. She was credited with sinking 6 Japanese warships, 15 merchant ships (damaging 9 more), and numerous smaller patrol craft, totaling 58,306 tons of Japanese shipping. This is especially astounding considering the many times her torpedoes either detonated prematurely or not at all, including when she launched 4 torpedoes at the superbattleship Yamato, for which she endured attacks by destroyers and aircraft throughout much of the day and night. After her final patrol in July, 1945, she returned to New London and served as the flagship of Commander, Submarine Force, Atlantic Fleet. After the war she served as an underwater sound laboratory and was the first American submarine to record 5,000 dives on 29 Feb., 1952. She was decommissioned in May, 1954 and ignominiously sold for scrap in 1959. Provenance: The War Museum, NY