Erik Davis | On 07, Apr 2017
Santa Barbara Maritime Museum Lecture Series: Roger C. Dunham, M.D. served as a nuclear reactor operator aboard a spy submarine for several years, conducting espionage against the Soviet Union during the Cold War. In early 1968, the Soviet Navy experienced a disaster at sea on their missile-carrying submarine, code-named the PL-751, killing 99 sailors, and leading to an urgent and top secret mission for the American submarine crew to find the destroyed vessel in the great depths of the Pacific Ocean. This was a mission never acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Defense or any other United States government body. Cruising through waters deep beneath the searching ships of the Soviet Union, the nuclear submarine hunt was so classified that even the men on the vessel were never told of the destination. The exploits of the sailors and their remarkable commanding officer, enduring near-tragedies and nearly-impossible challenges below the Pacific, are described in the book SPY SUB by the author, who also provides his own personal experiences under the tightest secrecy ever required for a submarine mission. The challenges are described in personal detail, and the final outcome, bringing critical Cold War information to the President of the United States, is a saga like none in the annals of submarine exploits.