I just got an email from ship modeler Jerry Blair about a model that was donated to near-by Mare Island Museum. The model is that of the 1950’s era diesel-electric submarine that was unusual in that it was the first to sport the modern teardrop shape that is common to nearly all submarines today. As a research submarine, she was unarmed, but was used as a platform for over 20 years, testing hydrodynamic design, sonar and other technologies that would advance the US Navy’s submarine program. The particular model that went to the museum was one of two built by Jerry 11 years ago, the other one being on display at the USS Albacore Museum in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. This particular model was actually built for Stephen Cuff, a gentleman who worked on the Albacore as the Ship’s Superintendent in Portsmouth in the mid-50s. It graced his office in Concord, CA, until he recently donated it to the museum for all to see.
Jerry sent me this photo of one of the models.
I personally haven’t been to the Mare Island Museum, but I know the quality of this models and will now have to make the trip to see Jerry Blair’s no-doubt excellent model. For more of the story about the donation you can find an article at the Vallejo Time-Herald assuming you can get past the idiotic ads.