The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Business

April 7, 2014

Hermitage native pens book about time on submarine

HERMITAGE — Tom Clancy’s popular undersea novels may have a bit of competition.

Hermitage native Ted E. Dubay has written a book about his adventures while serving aboard the USS Henry Clay, a U.S. Navy nuclear submarine.

Titled: “Three Knots to Nowhere, A Cold War Submariner on the Undersea Frontline,” the book gives Dubay’s personal account while serving on the submarine from 1969 to 1974.

This time period covers a good part of American involvement in the Vietnam War and it also was the height of the Cold War with the former Soviet Union.

He writes of the cat-and-mouse games between Soviet and U.S. submarines. Since the Clay was a ballistic missile sub, formally called a Fleet Ballistic Missile sub or FBM, it played the role of mouse in trying not to be detected.

In one passage Dubay tells of trying to keep the sub as quiet as possible. Making a noise could potentially be fatal.

He writes:

“Russian hunter-killer submarines  were constantly on the prowl searching for American missile boats. There were a few documented instances of Soviet Fast Attacks (submarines) trailing FBMs for short periods. These did not last long. The quiet nature of the FBM allowed it to slip away into the ocean’s shadows, leaving Soviet skipper exasperated. There were many other occasions when a Russian submarine was near the Clay and not even aware of our presence.”

He also tells of humorous times aboard the Clay while on patrol. A shipmate, Bill Souder, smacked his head on a steel door generating a loud thunk. He was chastised by fellow sailors nearby for creating a noise.

Dubay writes:

“Rubbing the red mark on his noggin, Souder was in no mood for our lack of sympathy. Glaring at us, he snapped, ‘Normal people would ask if I’m okay.’”

A graduate of Hickory High School, he is a son of Leona Dubay and the late Frank Dubay of Hermitage.

He is now a nuclear technical specialist at the Millstone Power Station in Waterford, Conn. Dubay lives in East Lyme, Conn., with his wife, Paula.

Published by McFarland & Co. ISBN 978-0-7864-7874-3

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