US Submarine Veteran visits the UK

The objective was simple

Richard Tow a US Submarine Veteran and his Nephew, Dennis McNannay reached out to the Submariners Association as they planned a visit to the UK and we were not found wanting. The purpose of the visit was simple he longed to visit naval museums and, if fate allowed, share a pint or two with fellow retired British submariners.

Discovering the naval museums was relatively straightforward; however, our quest to connect with local submariners became the driving force behind our journey.

We planned to traverse the entire stretch from the southern cities of Plymouth and Portsmouth to the northern landscapes of Dunoon and Aberdeen. Our chosen mode of travel, by car, afforded us the freedom to veer off the well-trodden path whenever we felt compelled to do so.

We reached out to the staff at naval museums, seeking their guidance. Our inquiries aimed to uncover potential volunteers or contacts within naval associations who might be willing to engage with us.

Additionally, we were curious about any group meetings or events that might coincide with our visit, which was scheduled from September 4th to 14th.

Our Response

Having contacted our association via the website, the message was quickly passed. Our response was unequivocal, we would be more than happy to host Richard and Dennis if at all possible.

I would like to extend an invite to you and your Uncle to the Scottish Submarine Centre in Helensburgh.

We are more than happy to meet up and spin some dits and down a few beers. I can arrange accommodation for you both in Helensburgh if you would like and my branch will pay.

Please feel free to get in touch, I am sure we can arrange some UK Submarine dolphins etc as a gift.

Andy Knox

Chairman of the West of Scotland Submariners Association, Vice Chairman of the Submariners Association

Additionally a visit to the Gosport Branch was also offered and both were accepted and plans were made accordingly.

Gosport Branch visit

West of Scotland Branch Visit

Richard Tow: Submarine Veteran

1955: Joined Navy Submarine Service and attended submarine school.

1958: Served on USS Stickleback SS415 (was subsequently sunk as a result of accidental collision with US destroyer.

1960: Re-enlisted in the Naval Nuclear Program and passed advanced welding training

1961: Served abroad the nuclear submarine USS Permit USS Permit SSN594

My uncle not only survived two submarine–surface ship collisions, but was also aboard an USN submarine which was once forced to surface by the Russian Coast Guard in Vodvalstok harbour after a 24hr standoff. 

More Photographs from the Branch visits