Family Gram: Memoirs of an American Cold War Submariner
Author: Phillip Norris
Format: Kindle Edition
Publisher: Outskirts Press
Release Date: June 25, 2014
Phil Norris chronicles his service as a Reactor Plant Supervisor aboard 5 nuclear submarines during the Cold War in this candid and intriguing autobiography. Phil focuses on his personal challenges and triumphs during his storied career in the U.S. Navy nuclear submarine service. The title "Family Gram" refers to the 40 word messages that submarine sailors could receive from their families during their long and arduous patrols. He talks about lessons that he learned as a young man in Hamilton, Alabama that helped him be successful during the rigorous Naval Nuclear Power training and in his career aboard Ballistic Missile and Attack submarines. A chapter is devoted to describing what daily life was like on a Cold War Era submarine, including how they slept, ate, their entertainment options, how to flush the toilets, how to get rid of trash, how the atmosphere is controlled on submarines, and how to deal with the stresses of a 70-80 day patrol under the ocean. The reader is left with a good understanding of the culture onboard war-going submarines and an appreciation of the enormous responsibility that each crew-member had in ensuring the success of each patrol or mission.