Connecticut’s Submarine Century
Governor Malloy’s letter to the Secretary of the Navy
Dear Secretary Mabus,
On behalf of the citizens of the State of Connecticut, I request your support as I designate October 2015 through October 2016 a year-long celebration of Connecticut’s Submarine Century. Over this year, we will commemorate the centennial anniversary of our Submarine Base and Submarine School, which along with Electric Boat and the host community of Groton, we collectively and affectionately call the Submarine Capital of the World.
The initial Navy installation established along the eastern shore of the Thames River in Connecticut was a result of the generosity and efforts of the State and its citizens, who conveyed some 86 acres to the Navy in 1868. But it was not until 1915 that the installation, then a Navy Yard, took on historic prominence. October 18, 1915, marked the arrival of submarines G-1, G-2, and G-4 under the care of the tender USS OZARK. And on June 21, 1916, the Navy Yard changed forever as Commander Yeates Stirling assumed command of the newly designated Submarine Base, the newly established Submarine School, and the New London Submarine Flotilla.
Connecticut was the perfect location for our Nation’s first submarine base in 1916. The Lake Torpedo Boat Company in Bridgeport, founded by Simon Lake, and the Electric Boat Company in Groton, founded by Isaac Rice and inventor John Holland, were the foremost submarine manufacturers of the time. As you are well aware, Electric Boat continues to build the most advanced and capable submarines in the world.
Since the founding of the Submarine School, Submarine Base New London has produced all of the talented and courageous military professionals in our submarine force. It is the professional birthplaces of every officer and crewmember in the Navy’s undersea profession. In this way, the storied history of the Navy’s submarine force is directly connected to the State of Connecticut. And that history and heritage is archived at the Submarine Force Library and Museum in Groton.
To highlight the centennial of Naval Submarine Base New London and the Naval Submarine School, and to celebrate Connecticut’s submarine heritage, I invite you and the Navy to promote and participate in our year-long observance of Connecticut’s Submarine Century.
Community leaders and stakeholders in Southeastern Connecticut are working with Navy representatives to create and expand opportunities for Navy leadership and citizens alike to commemorate this historic milestone for the Navy and the nation. We would welcome additional Navy outreach efforts to raise awareness of the Navy’s compelling history in Southeastern Connecticut.
Bob Ross, Executive Director of the Connecticut Office of Military Affairs, will be coordinating state agency support for this high visibility project. He will work with local communities and representatives of the Navy to assist in their planning and coordination. Your staff may contact Mr. Ross at (860) 270-8074.
On behalf of the people of Connecticut, I commend the men and women of the world’s greatest Navy and its submarine force. I thank you for your superb leadership of our Navy. And I look forward to your support as we celebrate Connecticut’s Submarine Century.
Dannel P. Malloy