For those of you who watch this blog semi regularly, you’ve probably been wondering where on earth I am.
Well, I had a deadline to meet, and I pretty much shoved aside everything that wasn’t absolutely necessary (including sleep) to get there. I finished the final re-write/revising of the book! One step closer to publication!
In the future,I’ll try to let you know when I’m going to be away from the blog for an extended period of time, but thanks for your patience.
To return to the Flier, she arrived in Pearl Harbor sixty-six years ago last Saturday, and is once again, running drills around the Hawaiian Islands and updating technology.
If her crew did not have to stay aboard Flier during the nights, they were staying at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Honolulu.
See, submarine duty was dangerous, and by and large the Navy only took volunteers into the Sub Force (though they were not above seeking out exceptional people and encouraging said volunteering, as I’m discovering the more I do this ) so they tried to make the fringe benefits of being a submariner offset the claustrophobic conditions and constant danger, since the sea was as dangerous as the Japanese during WWII.
Submariners had the best accomadations at their bases and in Honolulu, that meant the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. Built on Waikiki Beach in 1927 and visited by the wealthy and famous prior to WWII, the Navy rented the entire building for the duration of WWII exclusively for the submariners between patrols. (Though the Navy made an exception whenever President Roosevelt visited Hawaii, for he stayed there too. During this time, the Royal Hawaiian was called the “Western White House”.) The hotel was so high end, many of these men probably could never afford to stay there prior to the war, even if they could afford to come to Hawaii.
They had access to Waikiki Beach, though it was lined with several rows of razor wire in case of invasion, landscaped gardens, restaurants and many dances and shows put on for the military men there.
After WWII, it was re-opened to the public. It closed in 2008 for $85 million dollar overhaul, and reopened recently. It is still one of the premiere hotels in Honolulu.
On another note about my last post a week ago about what would happen to Flier’s wreck, I received a wonderful corrective e-mail from Mr. Charles Hinman of the USS Bowfin which corrected me on some information. He has far more experience with divers and Naval regulations than I do, so I appreciate the correction.
When I said the Navy likely would not allow dives into the interior of the Flier, Mr. Hinman slightly corrected me told me that the Naval History and Heritage Command could authorize penetration of the wreck by either divers or ROVs. That would, however, be on a case by case basis, and might be done on any wreck especially if it is needed to gain information, not just for morbid curiosity, the same way if someone digs up a person’s grave for curiosity would be prosecuted, but if authorized for a specific reason, would not be.