GIMIK and SKIFF A Tale of Two Semi-Submersible Submarines


A Tale of Two Semi-Submersible Submarines

Jim Anderson, LCDR USNR (ret), and Dirk A.D. Smith

In the summer of 1986, a reader of Warship International posed a question to the well-known naval historical journal seeking to confirm the identity of a small vessel on display at the Battleship Cove Naval Heritage Museum in Fall River, Massachusetts. Back then, the museum was describing the boat as a Japanese suicide motor boat that had been found abandoned in Okinawa. But a number of anomalies made this unlikely: the boat had US-manufactured fittings, instruments, and motor, and it had no components that could readily be identified as Japanese.

Twenty years later, I happened across a remarkably similar vessel on display at CIA Headquarters in McLean, Virginia. Hundreds, possibly thousands, of people pass this vessel daily without giving it much thought, but my happening upon it brought to mind the one at Battleship Cove and spurred me to try to answer the question of its provenance posed in 1986. Coincidentally, my coauthor was researching the vessel as well, following the passing of his father, a former CIA officer. Together we discovered that the boats at CIA and Fall River are actually the same design.


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Posted: Jan 12, 2015 01:25 PM
Last Updated: Jan 13, 2015 03:16 PM