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-Another Unexpected Surprise-

After my family and I were treated to a most unusual and exciting Submarine School visit I was later invited back by the last Commander of the Sand Lance to attend the boats inactivation ceremony. Below is the formal written invitation from Captain Bud Baker, USN. I most certainly accepted this honor and was also allowed to bring along a guest. I was not able to attend this ceremony with any of my immediate family members, so in recalling a special event, I remembered speaking to my sister Marie (O’Neill) Griffith the day before we set sail out to sea trials. I had reminded her that many of us were conscious of the fact that the Sand Lance was the first 637 Class Submarine to go to sea trials from
Portsmouth since the loss of the USS Thresher. So who was more appropriate to invite then she? We both attended and recall that time in very special ways. It was then at the inactivation ceremony where Michael Hewitt (Nuclear Engineering Officer on the Commissioning Crew) was the guest speaker. He took the time to recognize my personal accomplishment of earning the first set of Dolphins awarded from the Sand Lance to an unqualified enlisted crew member.

Source: Personal Memorabilia

-Inactivation Ceremony Booklet Cover-

Source: Decommissioning Crew.

Some of the commissioning crew who attended the inactivation ceremony.
Left to Right: Michael Hess, Harvey Cybul, Bernard O’Neill, Capt. William Kennington, Nathan Isenhour
Photo by: Mark Henson, IC1/SS

-Miscellaneous Photos-

Sea Trials High Speed Surface Run
Source: Sand Lance CD ship2.jpg


Sea Trials High Speed Surface Run
Source: Sand Lance CD ship3.jpg


Source: New London, CT. Base Store Post Card - 1970

USS SEA LEAPOARD (SS 483) once assigned to search for USS SCORPION (SSN 598)
The first diesel boat I was at sea on for “Drill duty.”
The weather conditions were so poor we never attempted a dive.

A “Sand Lance” is a type of fish, here, Capt. Bill Kennington holds a Maryland “Rock Fish”.
(Summer - 2002)


26 AUG 1970 Plan Of Day
“The Navy has a Plan for Everything”
Source: Personal Memorabilia


A Treasure Chest Full Of Memories.

CD Front Cover

CD Back Cover

Anchors Aweigh! My eldest son: Ryan W. O’Neill.
The Naval Future Is Up To The Youth Of Today.
Photo by: A Proud Father of a “Super Son!”


Bernard F. O’Neill, MAS/PMP
Mount Airy,
Maryland - 21771



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©2003- 2005 Bernard F. O’Neill, MAS/PMP