17 Jan 2007
Dick enlisted in November 1951 as a 17 year old High School graduate and spent the
winter of 1951 and spring of 1952 at boot camp in Bainbridge, Md., and attended IC
Electricians Mate School in Great Lakes, IL.
During 1952-1954 he served in Korean waters on two Patrol Frigates PF-70 and PF-51
and the heavy cruiser USS St. Paul CA-73. In the spring of 1954 he attended Submarine
School as an IC3 and then onto USS Piper SS-409 where he earned his Silver Dolphins
and advanced to IC2(SS).
During 1955-1957 he was attached to USS Seawolf SSN-575 Prototype in Ballston Spa,
NY and was promoted to IC1 (SS). In the spring of 1957 he was assigned to USS Nautilus
While on board Nautilus in June 1957 he was selected for, and attended, OCS through
the Integration Seaman to Admiral Program. In September 1957 Dick was commissioned
as a line officer Ensign and assigned to USS Batfish SS-310 in Key West. Dick earned his
Gold Dolphins aboard Batfish, and upon the Batfish decommissioning, was transferred to
the USS Thornback SS-418.
In 1959 Submarine Squadron 4 was reassigned to Charleston, SC (which included
Thornback), Dick wanted to stay in Key West. Jerry Levy who was aboard the USS
Threadfin SS-410, which was staying in Key West as Squadron 12, wanted to go to
Charleston. They asked their Skippers, Blackie Johnson (Threadfin) and Frank Babbit
(Thornback), if they could swap assignments. The switch was approved and BuPers so
ordered; hence his arrival on Threadfin as a qualified LTJG in 1959.
Dick was promoted to LT and met and married his wife Grace while attached to the
Threadfin. In September, 1961 he left the Threadfin to serve two years as Engineer
COMSUBDIV 101 aboard USS Fulton AS-11 in New London, CT. Dick was the Squadron
10 duty officer the day the USS Thresher SSN-593 was lost at sea. Many of Dick’s former
shipmates from Seawolf and Nautilus made their final patrol that fateful day.
The Hartfelder’s first son was born May 1962. In September of 1963-1965 he served as
Officer-in-Charge, USS Batfish SS-310 Reserve Training Submarine, in New Orleans in
support of Naval Reserve SubDiv 8-32.
The Hartfelder’s second child, a daughter, was born April 1965. From September 1965
through October 1967, Dick served as 3rd Officer on USS Jallao SS-368 and promoted to
LCDR. In September 1967 the Hartfelder’s adopted a second son.
From October 1967 to August 1969 Dick served as XO on USS Cobbler SS-344, one of
only four Guppy III boats. Dick was transferred in September 1969 and served at
Submarine School as the Department Head for the Basic Enlisted Department until May of
1971, when he asked for a twilight cruise in Florida in anticipation of retirement.
Dick was assigned to Advanced Undersea Test and Evaluation Center in West Palm
Beach, and performed the duties of Range Scheduling Officer for the missile and acoustic
torpedo range. MK 48 torpedo evaluation was going on big-time.
On December 31, 1971 Dick retired to the west coast of Florida at Ft. Myers and
supervised construction of two mobile home villages for retired persons, working for
Inland Steen Urban Development Division.
In 1975 Dick and Grace moved to their present farm in Tennessee. Dick worked for ten
years as Maintenance Section Foreman for an Emerson Electric Craftsman Bench Tool
manufacturing facility. 1985 Dick entered the real estate profession and started his own
construction and remodeling company. In 2001 at the age of 67 he gave up crawling
under, and through, houses and is now just engaged in Real Estate Marketing and
enjoying their four grandchildren. Two live on seventeen acres attached to the farm, and
two live in Nashville. All grandkids enjoy coming to the farm to hunt, fish, and ride the
horses. Grace and Dick will celebrate their 46th Anniversary on march 24, 2007.
His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.