The Man Behind the Greatest Submarine Rescue in History
Before World War II, before the discovery of sonar and nuclear power revolutionised submarine design, there was a fact accepted by all those who worked on them - if a submarine went down, all aboard were doomed. But Lieutenant Commander Swede Momsen, who had worked on every way to save those entombed in a sunken sub - smoke bombs, telephone marker buoys, deep-sea diving techniques, escape hatches and artificial lungs - never believed that submariners had inevitably to accept their fate.
On Tuesday, May 23, 1939, the submarine "Squalus" went down off the New England coast during her final test-run. Miraculously, 33 crewmen were still alive. With no methods of deep-sea rescue that had ever been used in an actual disaster, Swede Momsen was about to put his life's work to the ultimate test in a race against time to save the trapped men.