Posted by: arbeam | August 20, 2018

O’Kane Cribbage board passed to USS Olympia (SSN-715)

CDR Travis Zettel Commanding Officer USS Bremerton(SSN-698) passed the O’Kane Cribbage Board to CDR Benjamin Selph Commanding Officer USS Olympia (SSN-715)

There are few special perks that accompany the title of Oldest Submarine in the Pacific. USS Bremerton at 37 years of service has entered the Puget Sound Naval Ship Yard and commence the decommissioning process.

Cribbage has been a tradition onboard submarines dating back to World War Two. It was used to ease tensions after particularly trying encounters. This Cribbage Board Story goes back to 1943 onboard the USS Wahoo on War Patrol in the Yellow sea. Captain Dudley “Mush” Morton challenged the Executive Officer Richard O’Kane to a game of cribbage as a way to relax after a trying day. After dinner Mush dealt O’Kane a perfect 29. This was taken as a good luck omen and resulted in a very successful patrol.  O’Kane both went on to command the USS Tang and was subsequently awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for action on the USS Tang.

The Second USS Tang presented O’Kane with a Cribbage board which still in use today. After Richard O’Kane died in 1994 his personal cribbage board was presented to the oldest SSN in the Pacific. At the time that was the USS Kamehameha (SSN-642). USS Kamehameha was the last surviving  41 for Freedom SSBN and had been converted to a drydeck carrying SSN. It was then transferred to USS Parche (SSN 683) who served over 36 years. When USS Parche was decommissioned in 2005 it then passed to USS Los Angeles (SSN-688). USS Bremerton inherited it in 2010. USS Bremerton at 37 years of commissioned service passed the cribbage board to the USS Olympia (SSN-715, when she entered PSNS in May 2018.

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