Some awards for USS SAN FRANCISCO crew members

San Francisco crew members honored for heroism

20 crew members of the USS SAN FRANCISCO were recognized for their actions after the nuclear sub collided with an undersea mount. Three days earlier, six crew members had been recognized in a far less positive light for their actions before the collision. One crew member was killed and two dozen more were seriously wounded in the collision.

Two crewmembers — Lt. j.g. Craig Litty and Hospital Corpsman 1st Class (SS) James Akin — were given the Meritorious Service Medal for administering emergency triage to 70 injured crew members and organizing the crew’s mess into a makeshift emergency trauma center. Akin also was commended for his assessment of injuries and recommendations for which injuries most required transfer off the sub, which “enabled the ship to adopt the correct posture with respect to operational risk management,” according to the citation.

Nine Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals were awarded, as well as four Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals and five letters of commendation from Submarine Group 7.

One additional interesting note is that the story says the sub will

transit to Hawaii this summer for further damage assessments

Most of the previous stories I’ve seen were written in a way that seemed to presume the sub would be repaired and rejoin the fleet, which sort of surprised me. “Further damage assessments” indicates that maybe repairing the sub isn’t a given.

The pressure hull wasn’t damaged, so repairs are certainly possible, but in this day and age of deactivating subs with life left in them I would think that perhaps one other sub would be kept on longer and the SAN FRANCISCO deactivated. The SAN FRANCISCO is not one of the “Improved” LOS ANGELES class subs, so keeping one of the other non-“Improved” subs online for a little longer would not bring a loss of capability, though I know that there’s a lot more to it than that.

UPDATE: I had the wrong link in the story. Thanks to a reader tip it’s been fixed.


  1. Clicking on the top link ‘San Francisco crew members honored for heroism’, leads to a NavyTimes page featuring this article instead: ‘Development of Prowler replacement proceeds’

  2. b33f: Oops. I had the Growler story up at the same time, intending to write about it as well but I didn’t have time. I must have grabbed the wrong URL for this one. I fixed it now. Thanks for the heads up.