Oliver Naquin, 85, of Arlington, Va., Dies at Andrews Air Force Base, Md.
At Portsmouth Navy Yard in Portsmouth, a naval court of inquiry convened in an unadorned room of its administration building to hear testimony from 33 survivors of Squalus submersible vessel, led by its square-chinned and grave-eyed commander Lieut. Oliver Naquin.
He earned international renown after successfully rescuing the sub’s crew members during a two-day operation that made worldwide news headlines. Furthermore, he served as navigator aboard the heavy cruiser New Orleans during battles of Coral Sea and Midway.
Early Life and Education
Born in New Orleans, Naquin earned his degree at Annapolis Naval Academy and conducted postgraduate work at Berkeley. Later he served both wartime and postwar staff positions.
In 1942, he served aboard the heavy cruiser New Orleans during battles at Coral Sea and Midway. While on its bridge when hit by a Japanese torpedo and exploded, he still managed to bring it safely back to Tulagi for emergency repairs.
After the Squalus tragedy, a naval court would commend Naquin for his outstanding leadership. He had been aboard when it sank into 240 feet of water due to mechanical malfunction, keeping an intake valve open.
Oliver Francis Naquin, the retired rear admiral who led USS Squalus during her sea trials and saved 33 of its crew using an experimental diving bell during its sinking, died at Andrews Air Force Base Hospital, Maryland at 85 years old and will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery.
In World War II, he led the heavy cruiser USS New Orleans through a devastating explosion at Tassaforonga in the Solomon Islands and earned himself a Bronze Star for his efforts. Later, he held various naval staff posts throughout the Pacific.
He enjoyed an impressive.313 average at Double A Akron last season before suffering an injured shoulder during an attempt at making a catch at Tropicana Field outfield fence.
Achievement and Honors
Oliver Naquin graduated from Annapolis’ Naval Academy in 1925. During World War II, he served as navigator on board the heavy cruiser New Orleans during battles like Coral Sea and Midway; furthermore he witnessed its destruction due to bombs and torpedoes during an attack on Pearl Harbor.
Submarine Squalus was ultimately lost at sea off Portsmouth, New Hampshire during sea trials in 1939, sinking 240 feet deep. Thirty-three of its crew were eventually saved through an experimental diving bell during a two-day operation that captivated the nation.
He went on to lead an esteemed career in the Navy, retiring as a rear admiral in 1955. Momsen was famously recognized for designing the “Momsen lung.” On Nov 13, 2005 he passed away due to pancreatic obstruction at Malcolm Grow Medical Center in Arlington.
Rear Admiral Oliver Naquin, 85, who earned fame and notoriety as commander of the submarine Squalus that sank off Portsmouth, New Hampshire during sea trials in 1939, died Nov. 13 at Malcolm Grow Medical Center at Andrews Air Force Base from an obstruction to his pancreas. He lived in Arlington Virginia.
Naquin sent emergency buoys and rockets to the surface before waiting for assistance to arrive and saving his crew members within two days of sinking to a depth of 240 feet. His efforts garnered international acclaim.
Naquin served aboard the battleship California during World War II, surviving its sinking by bombs and torpedoes at Pearl Harbor, before later piloting heavy cruiser USS New Orleans during Coral Sea and Midway battles before retiring as rear admiral in 1955.