|Carol "Nate" Pierce: Squalus
Survivor, Kentucky Colonel
On Sat. 18 Aug. 01, Derby Branch 177 of the Fleet Reserve Assn. held a flag dedication ceremony at its Louisville, Kentucky home. Squalus Survivor, Carol "Nate" Pierce, a life member of the FRA, Sub Vets of WWII, and USSVI, was presented his Commission as a Kentucky Colonel as part of the ceremonies.
Presentation by Otis K. Franks CWO USN Ret. Aug 18, 2001
Today we have the honor of formally presenting the highest honor awarded by the Commonwealth of Kentucky To our shipmate Carol “Nate” Pierce. The Colonels are Kentucky's ambassadors of goodwill and fellowship around the world.
Commissions for Kentucky Colonels are awarded and signed by the Governor and the Secretary of State to individuals in recognition of their noteworthy accomplishments and outstanding service to a community, state, or the nation. In Nates’ particular case, a unique defender of our country.
Born in 1914 puts him in an golden era of when all industry was powered by muscle, man or animal, or waterpower, flow or steam. He has seen wondrous changes in his lifetime from muscle power to nuclear power, from kite-like flight to space flight. More memories than any other era of life can give.
He joined the US Navy as a teen and became a submariner during the first two of three major stages of submarines; riveted hull, welded hull, and deep diving nuclear powered designs.
In 1939 Nate was a crewmember of the submarine Squalus that sank in about 300 feet of water off the coast of New England. Thirty-Three men were rescued through the combined efforts of the ship’s crew and salvage crews. Of that 33 only four are alive today. It was and is the only successful submarine rescue effort in the history of the world. For this to happen, a lot of C-words had to inter play:
Nate spent most of WWII in the western pacific servicing submarines. His survival made him a different person, he developed a deep trust for his fellow man, and he is a giver not a taker. Of course he has no enemies, he’s outlived them all. He is slow of speech and hard of hearing, but if you pay attention and speak loudly you will find yourself involved in a bright conversation.
We of the Fleet Reserve Association, Sub Vets of WWII, and US Sub Vets are proud of his membership. In the name of Governor Paul Patton. I present to him this certificate of his commission and membership in the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels. Along with this special FRA symbolic bow Tie. All present please Stand. Hand Salute, Colonel Nate Pierce we salute you, we are all proud to have you in Kentucky.
Update: Sadly, Nate passed away in early October, 2003 - Ed.
to shipmate Otis Franks for submitting this article.