The history of the USS Irex:
The “E” Boat, August 1954–July 1956
Under Captain Snyder

[ Capt. Edwin Snyder ] LCDR Edwin Knowlson “Ted” Snyder assumed command of the Irex on 10 August 1954. He had previously served on the Irex in about 194–49. Many considered Captain Snyder to have been a remarkably able captain, and he is remembered with respect and fondness by all who served under him and by his successor, Captain Gallemore. The Dolphin ran an article on the Irex that provides a biography of Captain Snyder, a brief history of the boat and a complete list of crew members.

In May–June 1955, the Irex won the Squadron 8 Battle Efficiency pennant. It also received the Atlantic Fleet Submarine Force Battle Efficiency (“E”) pennant. There was also a ship's party in 1955. Wally Krupenevich recalls:

The two-day final competition for the Force “E” in 1955 was between Irex and another NLon boat. On the first day, both sortied on signal. In the Op Area, Irex held a lot of drills while running target for the other boat, and did fine. The second day, just the opposite, and the other boat did fine, with one slight mishap. When getting underway the second day, instead of backing, they went forward and banged her bow against the wall. Irex won the “E”.

In December of 1955, Philip B. Pennington from the Sea Lion became X0 in place of Lando Zech.

In January 1956, the USS Grenadier (SS525) and the Irex were deployed for a three-month Mediterranean tour with the 6th Fleet to relieve the Jallao (SS-368) and the Bergall (SS-320). The Irex left New London on 5 January under Snyder's command.

During the transit, the Irex superstructure near the bow-planes was very badly damaged by a heavy storm. Bob Laurie (TM1 (SS) remarked how nasty the weather was and that parts were missing when they reached the Mediterranean. The Irex headed for Valencia and tied up next to an aircraft carrier for repairs. The next port of call was Monaco harbor, where the Irex tied up next to the Grenadier. Then off to Naples. In one of these ports, the Irex entertained some 100 orphans on board. The boat then left Naples for Beirut.

In February 1956, as Egypt began to take measures to decolonize her canal (known as the “Suez Crisis”), the Irex began to patrol the Red Sea and the Israeli-Egyptian border. She returned from her eleven-week Med cruise in March 1956 to New London (apparently before the Suez Crisis actually reached its peak). Arrival was on 26 March.

Upon her return, the Irex engaged in fleet and group exercises as well as training cruises, including a trip to Halifax, Nova Scotia. The crew took over the floor of a local hotel for an orgy best not described.

At some point in May to July of that year, the boat again won the Squadron Eight 1956 Battle Efficiency “E” Pennant and also the Battle Efficiency Pennant of the Atlantic Fleet Submarine Force.

Captain Snyder was relieved 31 July 1956 by CDR Gallemore. He went on to become Captain of the Allagash (AO) and eventually was VADM, Commander of US-Tiawan Defense Command, Taipei, Tiawan. He retired in about 1976.

History index
History 1956–1958