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U.S.S. Quillback, (SS-424) Home Page

"The Elite of the Fleet"

I'm Gil ( " OX " )Oxley,(former) EM2/SS. I was stationed on the Quillback in the early '70s, until her decommissioning. I earned my "dolphins" there, and still have a lot of fond memories of the boat, the crew,and Key West. If there's anyone out there who remembers me or that time, contact me at my e-mail address below.

I'll be adding to this site from time to time as work allows. Any input is greatly appreciated. Be sure to scroll down to the new photos and stuff sent by fellow crewmembers

Thanks, Gil

( OFFICIAL PHOTO TAKEN DURING LAST CRUISE - 1973 )
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HISTORY OF USS QUILLBACK (SS424)

USS QUILLBACK (SS424) was launched on 8 October 1944 at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, New Hampshire. She was commissioned 9 December 1944 with Mrs. J. A. TYREE as her sponsor.

Following a months training period at New London, Connecticut, QUILLBACK was assigned temporarily at Key West, Florida on an experimental project for the Bureau of Ordnance before leaving for Pearl Harbor and her maiden war patrol off the coast of Kyushu, Japan. During that period, QUILLBACK destroyed a Japanese suicide motorboat and rescued an aviator from the water only a half mile from the heavily armed coast of Kyushu. The award of the Submarine Combat Insignia was authorized for this patrol.

Surrender of the enemy found QUILLBACK refitting for her second patrol at Guam.

Peacetime duties returned QUILLBACK to New London for duty as a unit of Submarine Squadron TWO.

From 1945 to 1951, QUILLBACK operated with the Submarine School in a training capacity and as experimental unit of the Naval Underwater Sound Laboratory at Fort Trumbull, New London.

In April 1951, QUILLBACK departed New London for a six month tour of duty with the SIXTh Fleet in Mediterranean waters.

QUILLBACK left New London in April 1952 and reported to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard for decommissioning and conversion.

On 27 February 1953, QUILLBACK was recommissioned and joined the Submarine Force, Atlantic Fleet as a streamlined "GUPPY" Submarine; "GUPPY" meaning Greater Underwater Propulsion Power. Equipped with the latest electronic and electrical equipment, QUILLBACK reported to Submarine Squadron FOUR at Key West, Florida. She commenced local operations at Key West, with occasional trips to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to assist the Fleet Training Group in Destroyer ASW indoctrination.

In the fall of 1956, QUILLBACK took part in major fleet exercises and in operations in the United Kingdom.

1957 saw QUILLBACK return to the United Kingdom for NATO Fall exercises and exchange services with the British ASW School, Londonderry, Northern Ireland.

In 1958, QUILLBACK completed a regular shipyard overhaul and made a post overhaul trip to Portsmouth, England.

In 1959, QUILLBACK was transferred to Submarine Squadron TWELVE. Submarine Squadron TWELVE remained in Key West, while Submarine Squadron FOUR was relocated in Charleston, S.C.

In June 1960, QUILLBACK departed Key West for an extensive overhaul at Charleston, S.C. After major alterations to improve offensive capacity, she returned to Key West in December 1960.

QUILLBACK travelled to New London in February 1961, for a month of refresher training and then returned to Key West for local operations. She provided services for the Fleet Training Group at Guantanamo through the months of May and June before deploying in October to the Mediterranean as a unit of the U.S. SIXTH Fleet. QUILLBACK returned to Key West in February 1962.

In April 1962 QUILLBACK participated in LANTPHIBEX, a major Fleet Exercise. From May to October, QUILLBACK operated locally at Key West. QUILLBACK was deployed to Guantanamo Bay when the Cuban Quarantine was put into effect and remained there during the first ten days of the crisis. QUILLBACK resumed local operations at Key West in mid-January 1963 after a two month restricted availability period.

In February 1963, QUILLBACK visited Tampa, Florida for the Gasperille Festival, returning to Key West in late February 1963 for an upkeep period prior to deployment to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. QUILLBACK rendered services to the Fleet Training Group for one month and made visits to Kingston and Port Antonio, Jamaica. QUILtBACK returned to Key West on 12 April 1963 and'departed for Norfolk Naval Shipyard in early May 1963. During the months in the shipyard, QUILLBACK was overhauled and modernized. On 1 October 1963, QUILLBACK left Norfolk Naval Shipyard enroute to New London for refresher training. QUILLBACK returned to Key West in mid-November 1963 to complete her refresher training. In early December 1963, QUILLBACK participated in TRANSEX 2-63.

QUILLBACK resumed local operations in early 1964 including a deployment in March to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. During this period, weekend ship visits were made to Port Antonio and Ocho Rios, Jamaica. QUILLBACK deployed to the Mediterranean in July 1964 as a unit of the U.S. SIXTH Fleet and returned to Key West in December 1964. Experimental torpedo development and research projects were assigned to QUILLBACK in 1965 until she deployed to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in June. When QUILLBACK returned from Guantanamo Bay in August, she was wearing the Submarine Division 122 Battle Efficiency "E" for Fiscal Year 1965 as well as holding the Division Award for.Weapons Efficiency. Both awards were made by the Submarine Force Commander as a result of annual competition with the other submarines in QUILLBACK's division. The remainder of 1965 was spent conducting operations in the Key West area.

In July; 1966 QUILLBACK departed Key West for overhaul in Charleston, S.C. She returned to Key West in March 1967 after a long and extensive overhaul.

In August 1967, QUILLBACK departed for the Mediterranean for a deployment with the U.S. SIXTH Fleet, returning to Key West in November 1967. Early 1968 found QUILLBACK resuming operations in the Key West operating areas culminating with a visit to New Orleans in February for Mardi Gras.

In March 1968, QUILLBACK departed for a two month deployment to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, returning to Guantanamo Bay again in October. In between these two deployments, QUILLBACK made two one month deployments to the San Juan, Puerto Rico area for fleet exercises and evaluation of advanced sonar systems. In all QUILLBACK was able to visit four Caribbean ports during her deployments to the Caribbean.

QUILLBACK started 1969 by participating in Prospective Commanding Officer operations in January, followed by local operations in the Key West Operations Areas. In February, QUILLBACK visited New Orleans for Mardi Gras. QUILLBACK continued to operate locally until April when she deployed to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Upon return to Key West in June, QUILLBACK began a pre-overhaul upkeep in preparation for a regular overhaul to commence in July at Charleston, S.C.

QUILLBACK returned to her homeport of Key West in April 1970 upon completion of overhaul at Charleston Naval Shipyard and refresher training at New London, Connecticut. During the next two months, QUILLBACK resumed local operations in the Key West Operations Areas with visits to Fort Lauderdale and St. petersburgh, Florida, and Nassau, British West Indies. In July of 1970, QUILLBACK departed for a six week deployment to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. During this deployment, QUILLBACK visited Montego Bay, Jamaica. After her deployment, QUILLBACK returned to local operations with another visit to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. QUJLLBACK completed 1970 by participating in Prospective Commanding Officer operations in November.

QUILLBACK deployed to the Mediterranean on 3 January 1971 to provide services to U.S. and NATO units. During the deployment QUILLBACK made port visits to PALMA, MAJORCA, VALLETTA, MALTA, NAPLES, ITALY, ATHENS, GREECE, and IZMIR, TURKEY. QUILLBACK was commended for her services by the Commander United States SIXTH Fleet. On 1 July 1971, QUJLLBACK was awarded the Battle Efficiency "E" and the Fire Control Performance Awards for Submarine Division ONE TWENTY TWO the only diesel submarine in the Atlantic Fleet to receive both awards. On 27 August, QUILLBACK embarked members of the Fort Lauderdale, Florida Council, Navy League and local dignitaries on a. guest cruise. In September, QUILLBACK provided services to aircraft, destroyers, and submarines in the Caribbean, visiting San Juan, Puerto Rico and St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. QUILLBACK transited to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to provide services to Fleet Training Group (GTMO) on 19 October, returning 29 November 1971.

QUILLBACK commenced 1972 by transiting to Jacksonville, Florida to provide services to destroyer units, returning to Key West to participate in the Prospective Commanding Officer at-sea training. From February to April, QUILLBACK provided services to Commander Operational Test and Evaluation Force, visited Pensacola, Florida and made a 3 week deployment to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. On 24 June 1972, LCDR Jack Roger GLADIN, USN, relieved CDR Joseph L. STECKLER as Commanding Officer. On 1 July 1972, QUILLBACK was awarded the Battle Efficiency "E" for the second consecutive year. QUILLBACK transited to Charleston, S.C., for a two week upkeep in late July in preparation for a Guantanamo Bay, Cuba deployment during the months of September and October. During the deployment, QUILLBACK made a port visit to Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Shortly after returning to Key West, QUILLBACK transited to Jacksonville, Florida to provide services to Commander Operational Test and Evaluation Force in conjunction with the independent sea control ship project. The month of December 1972 was utilized for holiday leave and upkeep and preparation for GO NAVY recruiting visits in January. In January 1973, QUILLBACK participated in the gulf ports GO NAVY recruiting effort, travelling to New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. This highly successful Public Affairs effort was QUILLBACK's last official operation. On 25 January 1973, QUILLBACK commenced a stand down, going to sea only for a dependents cruise on 3 February. QUILLBACK was decommissioned in Key West, Florida on 23 March 1973.

The following officers have commanded QUILLBACK:

LCDR R. P. NICHOLSON, USN

LCDR C. R. CLARK, JR., USN

LCDR F. C. WISE, JR., USN

LCDR W. S. BROWN, USN

LCDR J. F. HEALD, USN

LCDR H. S. MAY, USN

LCDR F. L. ELEFANTE, USN

LCDR R. G. MUNLY, USN

LCDR M. L. SCHENKER, USN

CDR D. W. DE COOK, USN

CDR J. B. HAYES, USN

CDR H. C. ROCKEFELLER, JR., USN

CDR W. J. SMITH, USN

CDR J. L. STECKLER, USN

LCDR J R. GLADIN, USN

The last Commanding Officer was LCDR J. R. GLADIN, USN, who had been aboard since June 1972.

" DBF "

I found more history about the boat after an e-mail from Gary E. Robinson, ENC (SS) retired (see "LETTERS")

CHECK THESE OUT

Tench class submarines

Submarine Squadron 12 Key West, Florida 1960-1964

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**UPDATED 3/2007**

LETTERS

1960 crew photos

1968 crew photos

CREW ROSTERS

(UNDER CONSTRUCTION)

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THE QUILLBACK BY KEY WEST ARTIST VAN NOBLE

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PHOTOS SUBMITTED BY CREWMEMBERS

PHOTO SUBMITTED BY Bill Severn - ET on the Quillback (August - October of 1953)

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SUMITTED BY Jack Adam

"My father was TM 3/C J. R. Adam [Jesse Ray Adam ] on Quillback"

( DOCUMENT OF SEA RESCUE OFF JAPANESE COAST )

( PICTURE OF PILOT PICKUP - PILOT IN CIRCLE)

( COMMISSIONING PLATE )

( COMMISSIONING CREW )

( 4th row right side- J. R. Adam, 4th row left - Gordon Britten , top - Bill Harvey )

( left photo - J. R. Adams ) ( right photo - Bill Harvey )

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( OFFICERS - RECOMMISSIONING CREW )

( RECOMMISSIONING CREW )

submitted by Lee Davenport

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"Darlene"
Ships Mascot
Mobile ,AL annual Mardi Gras in March 1956
PHOTO SUBMITTED BY Bill Doerrer - EN1/SS on the Quillback

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THE LAST DRYDOCK

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( DECOMMISSIONING CREW )

ARROW POINTS TO ME

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BECAUSE I'VE BEEN BURIED IN SPAM/JUNK MAIL, I HAD TO INSTALL BLOCKERS ON MY OLD ADDRESS "quillback@angelfire". TO CONTACT ME NOW USE MY NEW EMAIL

ss424@lycos.com

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