Vice Admiral Allan Rockwell McCann, USN


Born in North Adams, Massachusetts in 20 September 1896, to James Allan McCann, and Carolyne (Carrie) Utman McCann.

Allan married Katheryne Frances Gallup and they had three daughters, Barbara McCann, Lois McCann and Carolyn McCann.

He attended schools in North Adams, Massachusetts, Graduating from Drury High School in the Class of 1913.

Allan McCann graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1917 and from the recently instituted U.S. Navy Submarine School in 1919.

Vice Admiral Allan R. McCann, USN (Ret) Service Record and Biographical information

1901-1913 - attended Mark Hopkins Grammar School and Drury High School in North Adams, Massachusetts

23 Jun 1913 - Appointment to the US Naval Academy, Midshipman, from the First District of Massachusetts

6 June 1914 - Joined USS Illinois
28 Aug 1914 - Cruise completed total sea duty: 2 mos. 23 days. During the summers of 1913 and 1914 Illinois made training cruises to Europe with Midshipmen.

5 June 1915 - Joined USS Missouri
8 Sep 1915 - Cruise completed total sea duty: 5 mos. 27 days.

3 June 1916 - Joined USS Ohio
28 Aug 1916 - Cruise completed total sea duty: 8 mos. 23 days.

March 1917 - Graduated and commissioned ensign in US Navy.

USS Kansas, 1921

24 Mar 1917- Det. Naval Academy 29 March and attached to the KANSAS, Det. 29 Mar., rep. 2 Apr.

6 October 1918 - Married at North Adams, Massachusetts to Katheryne Frances Gallup. Home Address 36 Cherry Street, North Adams, Mass.

24 March 1917-1919 - Assigned to USS Kansas (Battleship No.21) in which he served until September 1919. Kansas had entered the Philadelphia Navy Yard for overhaul 30 September 1916. Kansas was still in that yard 6 April 1917 when the United States entered World War I. She arrived in York River from Philadelphia on 10 July and became a unit of the 4th Battleship Division, spending the remainder of the war as an engineering training ship in Chesapeake Bay.

28 May 1917 - Commissioned regular Ensign from 30 March 1917.

5 June 1917 - Took Oath of Office, accepted commission as Ensign from 30 March 1917.

1 July 1917 - Lieutenant, temporary.

1 February 1918 - Lieutenant.

USS Fulton, at Coco Solo, 1923

23 September 1918 - Det. and attached to the FULTON on 1 Oct. for duty under Instruction in submarines. Detatched 24 Sept., reported 1 Oct.

1919-1920 - Submarine school (USS Fulton, Submarine Tender No.1), Submarine Base, New London, Connecticut

K-6 in port.

K-6 in the Azores

11 December 1919 - Detached and attached to the USS K-6 (Submarine No. 37), assumed Command of USS K-6 on 18 May 1920. After overhaul, K-6 proceeded to New London, Connecticut 28 May 1919, to resume development and tactical operations along the New England coast.


20 September 1920 - Detached from USS K-6, transferred to Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation, Quincy, Massachusetts, For duty connected to fitting out USS S-19 (Submarine No. 124). Assumed Command USS S-19 (Submarine No. 124) 27 September 1920. (prior to its commissioning)

5 November 1920 - Ad interim Lieutenant, junior grade, effective 30 March 1920.

Submarines N-4 and N-5 (in decommissioning).

7-12 January 1921 - Detached from S-19, to Command the submarine USS N-4 (SS-56) N-4 sailed for New London in early April 1921, she operated off the New England coast, out of Newport and New London until she put into New London 6 December 1921 to have her main engines removed and transferred to a newer L-class submarine. Tug Sagamore (AT-20) then towed the hulk of N-4 to Philadelphia. She arrived 13 April 1922, and was decommissioned 22 April

31 March 1921 - Commissioned as Regular Lieutenant, Junior Grade, effective 30 March 1920, (No O&A required)

10 June 1921 - Commissioned Regular Lieutenant effective 1 July 1920.


4 February 1922 - Detached to additional Duty in Command of USS L-3 (SS-42), at New London, Connecticut reporting 21 February 1922, the submarine operated along the East Coast, performing experiments and developing submarine warfare tactics. L-3 returned to full commission 26 January 1922 with operations out of New London, Connecticut.

6 April 1922 - Relinquished Command of USS N-4, which was decommissioned. Continue as Commander of USS L-3. Command until 27 June 1922.

June 1922 - Assigned to Coco Solo, Panama Canal Zone, Command of USS R-21 (SS-98) from 1 July 1922 until 29 April 1924 when the USS R-21 was decommissioned. Through the spring and summer months R-21 operated out of New London and Newport. The craft of Submarine Division 1 sailed from New London 2 October 1922 for Coco Solo. R-21 served as flagship as the boats cruised via Hampton Roads and Guantanamo. After 11 days out, R-24 developed engine trouble and was temporarily taken under tow by R-21. The Cuba-bound steamer SS Bethore rendered assistance, and R-21 arrived at Coco Solo 27 October. R-21 spent the rest of her active Navy days operating out of Coco Solo and undergoing repairs at Balboa. She sailed from Coco Solo for the last time 15 February 1923 in company with a tender, Quail (AM-15), and eight other submarines. Two days later R-21’s engines malfunctioned. The disabled submarine was taken under tow by the escorting tender and pulled to Guantanamo Bay. Voyage repairs were quickly accomplished. The R-boat then resumed her northern transit, on 22 February 1923, and proceeded to the Philadelphia Navy Yard at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania...via a repair layover at the Charleston Navy Yard at Charleston, South Carolina.(McCann returned to Coco Solo, but remained administratively in Command) and R-21 sailed for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on 22 February 1923, arriving there via Charleston, South Carolina, on 9 November 1923. R-21 was decommissioned at the Philadelphia Navy Yard on 21 June 1924, and placed in the reserve fleet at that Navy yard.

1 July 1922 - Command USS R-21, Coco Solo, Canal Zone.

October 29, 1923 - Rescue of Submarine 0-5, 1923, near Gatun Locks. (see article)

29 April 1924 - Detached from administrative command of USS R-21, at Coco Solo, Canal Zone.

21 June 1924 - Enroute to USS Chewink, (AM-39), at Submarine Base, New London, Connecticut.

12 July 1924 - Duty aboard USS Chewink, (AM-39) Instructor in Diesel Engineering.

17 November 1925 - Chief Engineer and Repair Officer, Submarine Base at New London, Connecticut, (Still assigned USS Chewink) Assigned additional duty as Technical Advisor to the Peruvian Naval Commission (Electric Boat Company, Groton, Connecticut.)

18 October 1926 - Detached from USS Chewink.

USS V-2 and USS S-46

24 November 1926 - Commanded the submarine USS S-46 (SS-157), based at Coco Solo, Panama Canal Zone. The submarine performed a schedule of local operations, from Coco Solo and from Balboa, Panama, which were interrupted only for semi-annual extended training cruises and annual fleet problems (Operational Readiness Inspections) in the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean. Repairs and overhauls were performed at Balboa. In 1927, SubDiv 19 was transferred to the Battle Fleet and based at San Diego, California, with Mare Island Naval Shipyard as homeyard for its boats. S-46 departed Panama on 11 June; arrived at San Diego on 31 July 1927; then proceeded, via Mare Island attached to Pearl Harbor to participate in tactical exercises with other Battle Fleet submarines. During the latter part of August, she participated in the search for missing Dole Air Race pilots; and, at the end of the month, she headed back to San Diego for two months of local operations. In December, she returned to Mare Island for an overhaul; and, in June 1928, she resumed operations out of her home port.

1 May 1929 - Detached USS S-46

19 March 1929 - 18 July 1931 - Design Division, Bureau of Construction and Repair (now Bureau of Ships), Navy Department, Washington, DC - assigned to diving operations in connection with development of submarine escape apparatus, at Philadelphia Navy Yard, and was in charge of the development of a submarine rescue chamber.

Others assigned to this task were: Cmdr. Charles B. Momsen, Gunner's Mate Clarence Tibbals, and Lieutenant Carlton Shugg, who would later be head of Electric Boat, and an assistant Director of the Atomic Energy Commission. Shugg's future contributions would be essential in developing a nuclear reactor for submarines. McCann's additional duty in this assignment was as Liaison Officer/Engineer in the refit of Submarine 0-12, which became the 'Nautilus', and attempted the first under ice crossing of the Arctic sea, a mission which failed. (The Wilkins-Ellsworth Trans Arctic Submarine Expedition of 1931). The submarine underwent extensive modifications, and McCann directed the engineering aspects, working under Simon Lake, as the US Navy's representative to the Project. Part of his contribution was an Air Lock and integrated Diving Chamber built into what had been the forward Torpedo room of USS 0-12. Additionally the Conning Tower of 0-12 was modified to become retractable. The feat was amazing considering that the modification must remain pressure tight while submerged.

The Rescue Chamber Project

Photo of Chamber co-designers. Left to right:

Lieutenant Carlton Shugg, USN(CC),
co-designer of submarine rescue chamber and designer of the New London submarine escape training tower;
Lieutenant Norman S. Ives, USN,
Commanding Officer of USS S-4 (SS-109);
Lieutenant Charles B. Momsen, USN,
developer of the submarine escape "lung"; and
Chief Gunner Clarence Tibbals, USN,
co-developer of the submarine escape "lung" and of the submarine rescue chamber.

Photographed at New London, Connecticut, circa the Winter of 1928-29.

Courtesy of Mr. Wallace Shugg, 1984. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph

The USS S-1, with Water-tight Hangar.

The S-1 used a small aircraft housed in a pressurized hangar on the deck. When it was deemed too unwieldy, the plan was scrapped. The hangar, however, was salvaged and used to make the Momsen-McCann Diving Bell Prototype, which was a precursor to the design used to rescue the crew of the Squalus in 1939. Momsen who developed the Momsen Lung, at this time was Skipper of the S-1.

18 November 1929 - Commissioned as a Lieutenant Commander effective 6 June 1929.

Momsen-McCann Diving Bell Prototype (one of two)

Before October 1931 - Commander Momsen was detached to commence crew training using the Momsen Lung, and Lt. Comdr. McCann continued with the redesign of the Momsen-McCann Diving bell, making improvements, the result was a improved new chamber, called the McCann Submarine Rescue Chamber (a newer larger version is still in use as the "Submarine Rescue Chamber (SRC)")

McCann Submarine Rescue Chamber

The McCann Submarine Rescue Chamber is a device developed in 1929-1930, from a design co-designed by Lt. Cmdr. Allan R. McCann, Lt. Cmdr. Charles B. Momsen, Lt. Carlton Shugg, and Gunner's Mate Clarence Tibbals, which was called the Momsen-McCann Diving Bell. The Purpose of the device was to enable removal of crews from sunken Submarines. A history of several submarine sinkings since the early part of the twentieth Century led to development of the concept by Cmdr. Momsen, and he initiated the project.

Momsen had developed an interest in rescuing crews from submarines based on his history of working submarine salvage, and inability to rescue crews trapped in previous sinkings, although the trapped crews were alive when divers arrived at the sunken subs.

In addition to Momsen and McCann the primary participants in this project were:

Lieutenant Carlton Shugg, a co-designer of the submarine rescue chamber and designer of the New London Ct. submarine escape training tower, later became Deputy Director of the Atomic Energy Commission and director of (General Dymanics) Electric Boat, the company that made many of the submarines the Navy uses, including the Nuclear Submarines.

Gunner's Mate Clarence Tibbals, co-developer of the submarine escape "lung" and of the submarine rescue chamber (Note: there is an academic achievement award at West Point named after him).

Cmdr. McCann, who had been present at the only successful submarine crew recovery operation, the raising of Submarine 0-5 in 1923, off Gatun Lock of the Panama Canal, near Coco Solo, joined the project at an early date. He was like Momsen a submarine Commander, and had an engineering background. They would work together many times in their careers.

Development of escape devices for submarines were already in the works in several navies around the world, but the projects were not shared internationally. Momsen had begun by his development and self initiated testing of the Momsen Lung, a rebreathing device that allowed oxygen to be used in a rebreather bag, cleansed chemically of CO2, to allow a crewman to ascend from up to 250 feet. When the Navy found out about his independent efforts, and that a prototype had already been successfully tested, they adopted the device and assigned him to teach in its use. To this end he was deployed to tour the Submarine bases, and teach. This left Lt. Cmdr. McCann in charge of the Bell program, and the subsequent redesign and finalization of the concept.

Previously, Momsen while in operational command of Submarine S-1 was working on a project that was designed to encapsulate a seaplane on the deck of a submarine, and allow that seaplane to be launched and recovered at sea, by the submarine. The project ground to a halt when it was determined that the time required to launch and recover the plane left the submarine on the surface for far too long to be an effective use in wartime. (The Japanese went much further with this concept, developing the I-400 class of undersea carrier submarines in WWII.)

The incoming captain of S-1, wanted permission to uninstall the airtight hangar capsule, and wanted disposition instructions. Momsen sent the capsule to NY to be cut in two, and had the halves made into the prototype diving bells, the Momsen-McCann design. These prototypes were open bottomed bells, and the design was faulty for the purpose, Momsen stated in 1939, that they tended to "tip, and fill with water". Also the capacity was limited to very few people, they needed to be bigger.

It was at this point that Momsen left the Bell program.

Commander McCann, continued with a basic redesign and manufacture of a prototype device. The device was modified to double interior space, had a floor bulkhead installed with a water tight hatch, adaptive skirting to interface with the submarine deck, and a pneumatic haul down system installed. The new bell operated by use of an umbilical from the surface which provided the air for the haul down device, and breathing. Communications were also hard-wired into the bell. The Bell also had ballast tanks that could help stabilize and control ascension rates. The Navy adopted the Bell, and had twelve made, naming it the McCann Submarine Rescue Chamber, or simply SRC.

In 1930 the SRC was completed and testing began, using submarine S-4, a boat which had been raised months earlier after sinking with all hands lost. The S-4 had been reconfigured to be a 'sinkable' classroom for submarine escape. It had been initially used for the Momsen Lung training, and now that training would be supplemented with Rescue Chamber training.

Submarines were modified by adding anchor rings next to each hatch, these rings were added as attaching points for the Chamber when needed. A diver would attach haul down cables to these rings which running up to a rescue ship above, would allow the rescue chamber to be lowered exactly into position over the hatch, for a water tight seal. Water would be pumped or blown out of the skirt of the rescue chamber, and a pressure seal would be established, in addition hold down bars would 'lock' the seals so increased pressures from the submarine would not dislodge the Chamber upon hatch opening.

This gives the chamber operators a 'dry' space to transfer crew through, and allows the crew to enter the Chamber directly. The Chamber as originally designed could hold 8-9 personnel safely. This system also allows the submarine's ambient air to be exchanged directly from the surface.

The ascent phase was the opposite of the docking phase, seal the submarine hatch, unlock the skirt hold-downs, seal the floor hatch of the chamber, flood the skirt and mechanically retrieve the Chamber to the surface with the haul-down system, using the ballast tanks to achieve and maintain neutral buoyancy.

Redesigning the Nautilus (USS O-12)

1931 additional duty of engineering liaison officer on a project converting Submarine 0-12 to under-ice use, for the Sir George Hurbert Wilkins expedition to circumnavigate the north pole. The 0-12 became the Nautilus, and although the submarine's mission to the arctic failed, it became a point in the history of the submarine that would later be revisited by McCann. Wilkins 'leased' the Nautilus from the US Navy for $1.

Initial modifications were begun at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, but when that facility was unable to perform the required work the submarine was moved across the river to the Mathis Shipyard in Camden, New Jersey. Thirty-two new features were added to the boat, designed by the original builder, Simon Lake. These included a cushioned guide arm, a cushioning bowsprit 12 feet long to act as a bumper, an ice drill to provide access to the surface in case the submarine was unable to break through the ice, an emergency air intake system, and a diving chamber. The original superstructure was removed, and the conning tower and periscope were modified to be retractable. Lake also had the deck fittings enclosed within a wooden superstructure four feet wide and six feet high, inside of which he installed extra buoyancy chambers, which he considered necessary to prevent loss of stability during surfacing. On top of the superstructure Lake installed iron-shod "sledge runners" and two cleats at each end. Wilkins did not concur with all of the modifications introduced by Lake, fearing that they were more likely dangers than aids. A verbal agreement between the two men, however, gave Lake the final say.

Rechristened the Nautilus after Jules Verne's fictional vessel, the boat's record during the expedition was less then stellar. Plagued by mechanical difficulties and engine problems from the start, the crew were less than confident in their vessel's capabilities. When Captain Danenhower noticed that the diving rudders were missing on August 22, he suspected sabotage by the crew, and as a result of the damage, many of the scientific experiments had to be cancelled. After spending some additional time in the arctic, Wilkins headed back to port in Bergen, Norway, having failed in his mission. (source:]

V-3, The USS Bonita

8 August 1931 - Command of USS BONITA, Consecutive duty with the Board of Inspection and Survey, Pacific Coast Section, at San Francisco, California, and at Long Beach, California

19 December 1931

From: Secretary of the Navy.

Lieutenant Commander Allan R. McCann, U.S.N. Commanding U.S.S. BONITA Via: Commander Submarine Division 12, Submarine Force.

SUBJECT: Commendation.

1. The Officer in Charge, Submarine Safety Tests, and the Chief of Bureau of Construction and Repair have been pleased to commend you to the Department for exceptional services in connection with the development of a submarine rescue chamber. It is noted that through your intelligent application of an intimate knowledge of submarine materiel and submarine operation, and the various problems involved in deep sea diving, and through great personal risk in subjecting yourself to the dangers of underwater submarine abandonment while in the experimental stage, you have contributed directly and in large measure to the successful development of means for rescuing entrapped personnel from sunken submarines.

2. The Department takes pleasure in commending you for your ability and devotion to duty as set forth above. Your disregard of personal safety In the interests of the service, in connection with experimental work with the submarine rescue chamber, is in keeping with the highest traditions of the Naval service.

3. A copy or this letter will be made part of your official record.

C. F, Adams.

Copy to; Press Room BuNav News Bulletin Officers records

home address: 28 Spring St., North Adams, Mass.

4 March 1934 - Additional Duty, Board of Inspection and Survey, Pacific Coast Section, Long Beach, Ca. until Detached 15 April 1936

11 April 1935 - Additional Duty, Board of Inspection and Survey, Pacific Coast Section, San Francisco, Ca. until Detached 5 June 1937

1 Aug 1935 - Bonita attends "Fleet Week" at Seattle Washington.

Uss Indianapolis

18 April 1936 - joined USS Indianapolis (CA-35) as First Lieutenant and Damage Control Officer.

McCann is seated in the front row, second from the right.

7 June 1937 - Damage Control Officer on the staff of Commander Cruisers, Scouting Force, USS Chicago (CA-29) until detached 18 June 1938. The Scouting Force operated from its home port at San Pedro, California.

24 May 1938 - Navy Department, Bureau of Navigation (now Bureau of Naval Personnel) reported 25 July 1938, as Planning Officer, Office of Personnel Division.

Uss Squalus (Later USS Sailfish)

May 23 1939 - Ordered to duty in connection with rescue of crew and salvage of USS Squalus (SS-192) sunk during a trial run off Portsmouth, New Hampshire. He received a "Well Done" commendation from the President of the United States for the success of this extremely difficult operation. Four of the Navy Divers received the Medal Of Honor.

Navy Department

IMMEDIATE RELEASE 16 September 1939

The President of the United States has addressed letters or Commendation to Rear Admiral Cyrus V. Cole, U. S. N., Commander SQUALUS Salvage Unit and attached to the SQUALUS Salvage Unit.

The letters of commendation follow:

"From: The Commander in Chief. To: Rear Admiral Cyrus W. Cole, U.S.N. Commander, SQUALUS Salvage Unit.

Via: (1) The Secretary of the Navy, (2) Commandant, First Naval District.

Subject: Commendation,

1. Upon the occasion of the completion of the salvage operations of the U.S.S. SQUALUS, the Commander in Chief expresses his appreciation of the services rendered by you as Commander of the SQUALUS Salvage Unit in the rescue of the survivors and the salvage of the stricken submarine.

2. The successful termination of your task, a labor involving continuous conflict with contrary weather and apparently insurmountable difficulties, indicates leadership, exact planning and perseverance of the highest order.

3. I commend you for the manner in which you have brought this extremely difficult operation to its successful completion. The Secretary of the Navy is directed to have a copy of this letter made a part of your of official record.

4. Please take appropriate action toward official recognition of the accomplishments of the officers and men of the Salvage Unit."

S/ FraNELin D. Roosevelt"

"From: The Commander in Chief, To: The SQUALUS Sa1vage Unit. VIA: The Secretary of the Navy. Subject: Commendation.

1. The Commander in Chief expresses to all of you his appreciation of the untiring devotion to duty, courage, skill, Initiative and self-sacrifice shown in the operations resulting In the rescue of the survivors and finally in the successful salvage of the U.S.S. Squalus. These hazardous and grueling tasks have been accomplished in spite of obstacles imposed by bad weather and unfavorable conditions incident to the great depth of water in which the Squalus was submerged.

2. Your determined and efficient efforts have held the attention of the entire nation, and the successful completion of this unprecedented task merits the highest approval and admiration.

3. I commend you for upholding the reputation of the Navy in Accordance with its time honored traditions.

4. Well done!!"

/s/ Franklin D. Roosevelt."

Squalus Recovery

USS Falcon with McCann Rescue Chamber on Aft deck.

(Medal Of Honor Awardees)

Allan R. McCann is on the Far right.

SQUIRE, Walter H., Chief Torpedoman, U.S.N. Born 24 July, 1908 at Los Angeles, Caiifornia First enlisted 30 April, 1934, as Apprentice Seaman at Navy Recruiting Station, Los Angeles. Designated Master Diver on 17 June, 1939. Home address: 1809 Burke St, S.L, Washington, D. C.

McDONALD, James H., Chief Metalsrnith, U.S.N. Born 15 July, 1902, at New Mand, Scotland, First enlisted 15 October, 1920, as Fireman third class at Navy Recruiting Station, Denver, Colorado. Designated Master Diver on 30 September, 1934. Home address: Trinidad, Colorado.

FRYE, Henry H., Ship Fitter 1st class, U.S.N. Born 27 September 19O6, at Golconda, Illinois Enlisted 6 August, 1924, as apprentice Seaman at Navy Recruiting Station, St. Louis, Mo. Designated Diver first class on 27 June, 1935. Home Address: 300 Pecan St., Carbondale, Illinois.

THOMPSON, John Wilbur, Torpedoman 1st class, U.S.N. Born: 15 January 1910, at Fort Dodge, Iowa Enlisted 2 March, 1929 at Minneapolis, Minnesota Designated Diver 1st class. Home address: Waterford, Connecticut.

Read Commander Charles B. Momsen's speech on the Squalus accident, rescue and salvage operations. Click here.

November 23, 1939 - North Adams Tribune, North Adams, Massachusetts -

Navy Gives 13 Nations plans for McCann Bell

Submarine Rescue Chamber invented by North Adams Native Made Available to other Countries as "Humanitarian Device" Germany, Russia, France and Japan among those given the Blueprints - Great Britain and Italy fail to request Data - Use as War Weapon of device which saved 33 from Squalus held Unlikely - Improvements Underway.

The "McCann Rescue Chamber" designed by Commander Allan R. McCann, United States Navy, a native of North Adams, and used effectively by the Navy in the rescue of 33 men from the sunken submarine Squalus last May, is now made available to 13 other nations, including Germany, Russia, France and Japan, as a "Humanitarian Device".

Sought Plans

Blueprints and additional data on the rescue chamber have been given to 13 nations by the Navy high Command, after a conference with the State Department at Washington. These countries obviously impressed by the tremendous success of the rescue chamber or "Bell" sent word to their Washington diplomats to to secure the Navy plans.

This country has given the plans and data of its Rescue Bell to the foreign powers solely for humanitarian purpose, one high official pointed out. "The device is a humanitarian one, that will be of invaluable service to to the whole world if properly handled", he said. American Navy officials do not regard the Rescue Chamber as an implement of war. Because of a long standing agreement all nations distribute inventions of "mercy" and the Rescue Bell is regarded as such. It has one "war use" although that possibility is quite remote.

Possible War use

With the Bell properly attached to a hatch, a nation at war could enter a "dead" submarine of an enemy, secure such things as ship's papers, and other data and bring them to the surface. However the Rescue Chamber works best when attached to a submarine lying on an even keel, and a submarine made "dead" by depth bombs in the time of war (unreadable - would?) be unsuitable for access by a Rescue Chamber.

In addition to Germany, Russia, France and Japan, Denmark, The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Jugoslavia, Argentina, Brazil, and Peru have been given the mechanical instructions for the construction of the rescue chambers. Poland, which asked for the plans a short time before Germany invaded that country, has also been handed a set of the plans, but these are probably still in Washington at the Polish Embassy.

Two nations which have many submarines - Italy and Great Britain - have not asked for the rescue device and plans. Great Britain has had several similar devices of its own, and is now working on a new invention which she thinks will be of greater service to her because of the construction of British submarines. Italy also, it is understood at Washington has a "rescue device" which its engineers have completed after many years of work.

While the McCann "Bell" represents the efforts of many men, it was designed by Commander McCann and it was mainly through his efforts that "Bell" reached the high point of efficiency that it did. He was on-hand last May when the bell went to the bottom at 40 fathoms, and rescued the men of the Squalus, and he was also inside it the night it dangled in mid ocean with a broken cable and the nine men inside were faced with death if a single thing more went wrong (transcriber note: McCann wasn't in the Bell, although he was cited for his actions in saving the Bell and its occupants when the cable failed). He stayed on the scene off Portsmouth for much of the summer leaving for Washington after the "bell" had no further use. He and the Navy are now perfecting the device so that it will render greater service.

Works like a Submarine

The "Bell" which costs $10,000 to build, weighs about 18,000 pounds and goes down to a submarine from a salvage ship on a cable. It is really a baby submarine except its functions are supplied from the outside.

Commander McCann is a graduate of Drury High School, Mrs. McCann is the former Katheryne Gallup, daughter of ex-Senator Harvey A. Gallup of this city.

May 1941 - Commander, Submarine Squadron 6, Pacific Fleet, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. In this position during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941. Divers from the escape training tank and the submarine rescue vessel Widgeon rushed to assist in the rescue of men trapped in damaged ships.

December 7, 1941, Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii

Pearl Harbor, Narrative of McCann in the battle:

Silent Victory, The U S Submarine War Against Japan, Page 99

The Submarine Tender USS Widgeon dockside during the attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941. The McCann Submarine Rescue Chamber is on deck. This was Dock 1010 at the submarine base. Widgeon and Pelias were docked here with hthree of teh four subs in the harbor at the time of the attack. Captain McCann was abord Pelias which had just arrived as a new Tender less than two weeks previously, and was under-going initial equipping.

On the tender Pelias, moored in a backwater at the sub base, Al McCann commanding Submarine Squadron 6, was in his stateroom, in his pajamas performing Gene Tunney exercises when the alert came. He raced to the bridge in his pajamas. What he saw he later said "turned my stomach upside down". It was "Unbelievable ... shabby ... absurd" Battleship Row - California, Oklahoma, Maryland, West Virginia, Tennessee, Arizona and Nevada - was under severe air attack. The noise was deafening. There was smoke and flame all over the harbor.

Pelias was not yet fitted with her full complement of anti-aircraft weapons. McCann did not fire those he had, lest his gunners hit friendly ships, but watched in disbelief as as the bulk of the Pacific Fleet crumpled under the weight of the attack. For a while he considered getting under way and standing out of the harbor, but his path was blocked by flaming and exploding ships. When a wave of torpedo planes came over McCann was certain they were headed for Pelias, but they over flew the tender, and and attacked Hickam Field. (Pelias having only arrived November 25, was not on the Japanese target list, and only one crewman was injured: He lost his footing and fell off the gangplank while craning for a better look at the holocaust.)

That morning there were four submarines in Pearl Harbor. In addition to Wilkin's Narwhal, and Raine's old Dolphin, there was one older V boat, Cachelot, and the new Tambor-class Tautog. just returned from a long patrol off Midway. Narwhal, Dolphin and Tautog were moored at the sub base finger piers (1010 docks). Cachelot was in the Navy yard undergoing overhaul.

When the first Japanese planes appeared, the crews on all four boats ran to battle stations, setting up .30 and .50 caliber machine guns. When a Japanese plane came over Tautog, the duty officer, William Brnard 'Barney' Sieglaff, coolly directed enlisted gunners manning a .50 caliber machine gun. The tracers climbed upward into the fuselage, and the plane burst into flame, and crashed into the water 50 yards off the sub base piers. Tautog was the first U S Submarine to destroy anything Japanese.

At the navy yard, gun crews on Cachelot hammered away at Japanese planes with machine guns but got no positive hits. During the battle a Japanese plane headed for larger targets strafed the boat, hitting Seaman Second Class G. A. Myers in the right lung. Myers was rushed to the Sub base dispensary where, in time, he recovered. Myers was the first submarine force casualty of World War II and the only submarine casualty of Pearl Harbor.

(Squadron 6 was in two divisions (Division 61 - Tambor, Triton, Thresher, Trout, Tautog, and Tuna, all Tambor-class)(Division 62 - Grenadier, Gar, Gudgeon, Grayling, Grampus and Grayback also Tambor-class, only Gudgeon and Tautog were in Hawaii, Gudgeon was at sea.) Most of the Tambor-class boats were still stateside.)

After the attack on Pearl Harbor, The Philippines and the Aleutian Islands in early December 1941, the Pacific Submarine force, and the 3 Aircraft Carriers, became the primary Pacific US Navy operational vessels. The destruction in Hawaii was a long time in recovery, unfortunately the Submatrine's primary weapon the Mk. XIV Torpedo was a unacknowledged failure.

Following numerous Mark XIV torpedo failures early in World War II, RADM English worked with RADM McCann in leading successful torpedo testing and improvements in torpedo construction. Four issues were involved in the failures, weight of the warhead was greater than "test" warheads used in design validation, making the torpedoes run in nose down trim; The depth sensor was in a location where increased speed and water flow caused the sensor to 'think' it was shallower than it was, sending a signal to dive deeper; direct impact at high speeds caused the warheads to crumple the firing pin path, causing the pin to malfunction by not reaching the detonator, or by missing it; the Magnetic proximty device didn't work at the equator, or in southern hemisphere. MCCann developed solutions, moving the sensor to a neutral flow area; installing an electrical mercury switch to fire the detonator cap, and disabling the magnetic proximity fuse. The Torpedo's designers also came up with solutions, but AFTER McCann's solutions were implemented in the field.

January 1943 - additional duty in temporary command of Task Force 51, The Joint Expeditionary Task Force,(CTF 51, Miscellaneous Task Groups) and Senior Representative of Commander Submarines Southwest Pacific, to General MacArthur. The objective of TF-51 during this period was the taking of New Guinea.(Operations in the southwest Pacific)

January 2, 1943 - Allies take Buna in New Guinea.
January 22, 1943 - Allies defeat Japanese at Sanananda on New Guinea.

April 1943 - Commander, Submarine Squadron 7, Atlantic Fleet. Naval Historical Center records show Submarine Squadron SEVEN was first established during the Second World War, organized with two submarine divisions (COMSUBDIVs 71 and 72), whose mission was to conduct anti-submarine warfare (ASW) training. The command was homeported in Bermuda during the latter part of 1942 and consisted mostly of older R- and S- boats. In April 1943, the Operational Training Command, Atlantic Fleet was established with Rear Admiral D. B. Berry in charge, Squadron SEVEN was placed under Allan R. McCann who established the squadron. Operational control of Submarine Squadron Seven was shifted from the Commandant Naval Operating Base, Bermuda, to Commander Operational Training Command. Late in 1943 (September) two Free French submarines were made available for the Training Command under United States supervision. Five more were added in 1944. After the invasion of Sicily and the landing at Anzio in January 1944, five Italian submarines came across the Atlantic in February 1944 and were assigned to ASW Training Command. These foreign submarines were assigned by COMSUBLANT to Submarine Squadron SEVEN. The French and Italian submarines were excellent for training purposes due to their heavy hull construction and they made good substitutes for the newly commissioned U.S. Navy submarines rerouted to the Pacific for combat duty. With the curtailment of the escort program, the activity at Bermuda was no longer needed and was transferred to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Following cessation of hostilities in the Pacific, Submarine Squadron SEVEN was disestablished in 1945.

September 1943 - Fleet Maintenance Division, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Navy Department, Washington, DC.

Iowa Fires.

July 1944 - Command of the Battleship USS Iowa (BB-61) and from 16 August to 28 November 1944 was in the Western Pacific. (Rear Admiral)

This period was a very important period, leading to the arrival of General Douglas MacArthur back in the Philippines on October 20, 1944.

General McArthur returns to the Philippines.

(Source: The Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships published by the Naval Historical Center) On 19 June, in an engagement known as the Battle of the Philippine Sea, USS Iowa, as part of the battle line of Fast Carrier Task Force 58, helped repel four massive air raids launched by the Japanese Middle Fleet. This resulted in the almost complete destruction of Japanese carrier-based aircraft. USS Iowa then joined in the pursuit of the fleeing enemy fleet, shooting down one torpedo plane and assisting in splashing another.

Throughout July, USS Iowa remained off the Marianas supporting air strikes on the Palaus and landings on Guam. After a month's rest, Iowa sortied from Eniwetok as part of the 3d Fleet, and helped support the landings on Peleliu, 17 September. She then protected the carriers during air strikes against the Central Philippines to neutralize enemy air power for the long awaited invasion of the Philippines. On 10 October, Iowa arrived off Okinawa for a series of air strikes on the Ryukyus and Formosa. She then supported air strikes against Luzon, 18 October and continued this vital duty during General MacArthur's landing on Leyte 20 October.

HOLD FOR RELEASE Afternoon NEWSPAPERS AUGUST 14, 1944 23 OFFICERS AND ENLISTED MEN DECORATED AND COMMENDED The Secretary of the Navy has authorized the following awards:


Allan R. McCann

Captain Allan Rockwell McCann, U. S. Navy, 47, a native of North Adams, Massachusetts, whose wife Mrs. Katheryne F. G. McCann, is now living at 3709 Yuma Street, Northwest, Washington, 31 D.C. was awarded the Legion of Merit "For exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services to the Government of the United States as Commander of a Submarine Squadron, Senior Representative of Commander Submarines Southwest Pacific, and as Temporary Commander of a Task Force and of Submarines Southwest Pacific Force from February 10 to March 7, 1943. Demonstrating exceptional ability and untiring devotion to duty as Squadron Commander, Captain McCann inspired the officers and men under his command attached to the successful completion of dangerous and vital missions. As Senior Officer, he relieved the Task Force Commander of many details and assisted in the expeditious establishment and efficient operations of units. His brilliant leadership and proficient execution of many difficult tasks were reflected in the splendid material condition of all units of this task force and the excellent morale of his men, resulting in a tremendous toll in enemy shipping.'

August 1944 - After a month's rest, Iowa sortied from Eniwetok as part of the 3d Fleet, and helped support the landings on Peleliu, 17 September. She then protected the carriers during air strikes against the Central Philippines to neutralize enemy air power for the long awaited invasion of the Philippines. In a last ditch attempt to halt the United States campaign to recapture the Philippines, the Japanese Navy struck back with a three pronged attack aimed at the destruction of American amphibious forces in Leyte Gulf. Iowa accompanied TF-38 during attacks against the Japanese Central Force as it steamed through the Sibuyan Sea toward San Bernardino Strait. The reported results of these attacks and the apparent retreat of the Japanese Central Force led Admiral Halsey to believe that this force had been ruined as an effective fighting group. Iowa, with Task Force 38 steamed after the Japanese Northern Force off Cape Engano, Luzon.

1 October 44 - USS Argonaut christened by Mrs. McCann

10 October 1944 - Iowa arrived off Okinawa for a series of air strikes on the Ryukyus and Formosa. She then supported air strikes against Luzon, 18 October and continued this vital duty during General MacArthur's landing on Leyte 20 October.

20-25 October 1944 - The Battle off Samar - USS Iowa commanded by AR McCann. (McArthur arrived back in the Philippines on October 20, 1944.)

The US Third Fleet in the Leyte Gulf.

25 October 1944 - Japanese Central Force was attacking a group of American escort carriers off Samar. This threat to the American beachheads forced Iowa to reverse course and steam to support the vulnerable "baby carriers." However, the valiant fight put up by the escort carriers and their screen had already caused the Japanese to retire and Iowa was denied a surface action. Following the Battle for Leyte Gulf, Iowa remained in the waters off the Philippines screening carriers during strikes against Luzon and Formosa.

the US Navy Third Fleet


NOMINATED: To be a rear admiral in the Navy for temporary service - to rank from the 25th day of March 1943.

CONFIRMED: 12/17/44

December 1944 - June 1945 - Assistant Chief of Staff (Anti-Submarine), and Chief of Staff to the Commander, Tenth Fleet, Headquarters, Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet, Navy Department, Washington, DC. organized to exercise unity of control over the Navy's war against the U-boat operations in the Atlantic from Iceland attached to Cape Horn. The first Chief of Staff of the Tenth Fleet was Rear Admiral Francis S. Low, who was relieved in January 1945 by Rear Admiral A. R. McCann. To the Tenth Fleet were assigned the following tasks: (a) Destruction of enemy submarines. (b) Protection of Allied shipping in the Eastern, Gulf, and Caribbean Sea Frontiers. (c) Support of other antisubmarine forces of our own and of the other Allied nations operating in the Atlantic areas. (d) Exercise of control of convoys and shipping that were United States responsibilities. (e) Correlation of United States antisubmarine training and materiel development.

Feb. 25, 1945 - new electric-powered sub sank 1st ship and easily escaped underwater at 20 knots.

April 1945 - Seewolf group of 6 type IXC boats with schnorkels was sent to U.S. east coast in the last German attempt to attack convoys; U.S. responded with 4 escort carrier groups in Operation Teardrop directed by Adm. McCann that destroyed 5 of 6 subs.


"For heroic service as Commanding Officer of the USS IOWA, in action against enemy Japanese forces in the Western Pacific Area,' Rear Admiral Allan Rockwell McCann, U.S.N., 43, today received the Bronze Star Medal. Under Secretary of the Navy Ralph A. Bard presented the award during a ceremony in Room 2054, Navy Department, this afternoon.

Text of the citation is as follows: "For heroic service as Commanding Officer of the USS IOWA, in action against enemy Japanese forces in the Western Pacific Area. Fighting his ship with determined aggressiveness during powerful raids executed in coordination with other units of the United States Fleet, Rear Admiral McCann consistently blasted the formidable defenses of strongly held enemy positions and, delivering his shattering broadsides with devastating accuracy, inflicted heavy losses upon the Japanese and aided materially in keeping to a minimum serious damage to his task force despite the enemy's determined opposition. A forceful leader, Rear Admiral McCann, by his superb tactical skill, daring initiative and cool courage under fire, contributed essentially to the success of our forces during a prolonged period of fierce hostilities in the Pacific Theater and his unwavering devotion to duty throughout was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.'

Rear Admiral McCann, previously awarded the Legion of Merit, is now on duty on the Staff of the Commander in Chief, United States Navy, in the Navy Department. Rear Admiral and Mrs. McCann are living at 3709 Yuma Street, Northwest, Washington, D.C. Their usual residence is North Adams, Massachusetts.

The following is an excerpt from the:

Covering the period 1 March 1945 to 1 October 1945
by Fleet Admiral Ernest J. King,
Commander in Chief, United States Fleet, and Chief of Naval Operations
(Issued 8 December 1945)


The operations of the United States Navy in the Atlantic and Mediterranean Theaters culminated in the victory of the Allied nations in Europe. The success of the joint antisubmarine campaign and the tremendous achievements in shipbuilding were essential preludes to the landings in Normandy and southern France and the great land offensive, which in three months carried the Allied Expeditionary Forces to the German frontier and brought total victory on German soil six months later. This victory was possible because ships were available and their protection by the Navy effective.


In the antisubmarine campaign our Atlantic Fleet had responsibility for Atlantic areas under United States operational command, and the British Admiralty was responsible for North Atlantic and European operations in which United States naval task forces participated. In the British control areas Commander U.S. Naval Forces in Europe assured proper liaison between the Admiralty and the Tenth Fleet organization in my Headquarters, which was responsible for convoy and routing of United States shipping and the development of plans, weapons, and tactics to be employed in antisubmarine operations.

In the final month of the European war, German submarines made a last determined effort, in great strength, to reach the eastern coast of the United States. That attempt was thwarted by a powerful task force of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet, which, during an engagement lasting several days, destroyed five U-Boats. The United States Navy's final successful action against German submarines occurred on 6 May, only two days before V-E day, when a U-boat was sunk off Block Island by the destroyer escort ATHERTON with the frigate MOBERLY assisting. The development of new techniques, the intensive training of antisubmarine crews, and the persistence with which the U-Boats were hunted offensively all played vital parts in the surrender campaign. German submarines began to surface and surrender shortly after V-E day, and U.S. Atlantic Fleet escort vessels brought several of them to the United States east coast ports.

A review of antisubmarine and convoy operations since 1939 illustrates clearly these major naval contributions to victory in Europe. The summarized statistics on the Battle of the Atlantic are as follows:

German Submarines Sunk # Allied Submarines Sunk (x1000 tons) New Construction
(x1000 tons)
Net Gains(+)
or Losses(-)

(4 months)
9 810 101 231 332 -478
1940 22 4,407 439 780 1,219 -3,188
1941 35 4,398 1,169 815 1,984 -2,414
1942 85 8,245 5,339 1,843 7,182 -1,063
1943 237 3,611 12,384 2,201 14,585 +10,974
1944 241 1,422 11,639 1,710 13,349 +11,927
(4 months)
153 458 3,551 283 3,834 +3,376

Totals 782 23,351 34,622 7,863 42,485 +19,134

From the foregoing statistical summary the chief features of the Battle of the Atlantic are clear:

(a) Until the closing months of 1942 the German submarines were continuing to reduce the available total of Allied tonnage;

(b) Antisubmarine operations resulted in the sinking of an average of 12 German submarines per month after 1 January 1943, or a total of 480 in the two years 1943-44;

(c) American shipyards alone produced an average of a million tons per month of new merchant ships after 1 January 1943, or a total of 24,000,000 tons in two years.

In the 12 months from 1 June 1944, 135 convoys arrived in United Kingdom ports from overseas with a total of 7157 merchant ships totaling more than 50,000,000 gross tonnage. The escort of this shipping and the provision of trained naval armed guard crews aboard the merchant vessels were among the primary tasks performed by the United States Navy in the prosecution of the war in Europe. The Navy's antisubmarine campaign with the British-United States integrated convoy system was in great part responsible for the vital shipping necessary for the Allied land offensive which broke into the Fortress of Europe in 1944 and overwhelmed the Germans ashore in 1945.


On 15 June 1945 the Tenth Fleet was dissolved. This effective organization was established 20 May 1943 under my direct command, with Headquarters in the Navy Department, to exercise unity of control over United States antisubmarine operations in that part of the Atlantic Ocean under United States strategic control. The first Chief of Staff of the Tenth Fleet was Rear Admiral Francis S. Low, who was relieved in January 1945 by Rear Admiral A. R. McCann.

To the Tenth Fleet were assigned the following tasks:

  (a) Destruction of enemy submarines.

  (b) Protection of Allied shipping in the Eastern, Gulf, and Caribbean Sea Frontiers.

  (c) Support of other antisubmarine forces of our own and of the other Allied nations operating in the Atlantic areas.

  (d) Exercise of control of convoys and shipping that were United States responsibilities.

  (e) Correlation of United States antisubmarine training and materiel development.

To accomplish these tasks the Tenth Fleet was organized into four principal divisions: Operations; Antisubmarine Measures (materiel, training, analysis and statistics, and operational research); Convoy and Routing; and a Scientific Council composed of distinguished civilian scientists.

The Tenth was a fleet without a ship. However, this highly specialized command coordinated and directed our naval forces in the Battle of the Atlantic, making available the latest intelligence to the Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet and attached to other fleet and sea frontier commanders who directed the actual operations at sea, and supplying antisubmarine training and operating procedures to our forces afloat. The Tenth Fleet correlated the antisubmarine developments of the various technical bureaus of the Navy Department and the fleet training schools concerned with antisubmarine activities. In addition, it worked closely with the General Staff of the United States Army and with the British Admiralty and Canadian Naval Headquarters to avoid duplication and confusion, and attached to insure that maximum effort would be directed against the German underseas fleet. The effective work of the Tenth Fleet contributed outstandingly to the success of the United States naval operations in the Battle of the Atlantic.


At the time of inception, Tenth Fleet chief-of-staff was Rear Admiral Francis S. Lowe; by April 1945, he had been replaced by Rear Admiral Allan R. McCann inventor of the McCann diving bell used to rescue submariners trapped in sunken boats. [Morison, Samuel Eliot, The Atlantic Battle Won, History of United States Naval Operations in World War II, Volume X. (Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1956), pp 21-26, 345.]

June 1945 - Staff of the Commander in Chief, Atlantic Fleet,

NAVY DEPARTMENT JUNE 15, 1945 TENTH FLEET DISSOLVED The Tenth Fleet, organized in 1943 to direct the U.S. Navy's war against the U-boat in the Atlantic from Iceland attached to Cape Horn, has been dissolved the Navy Department announced today.

Liquidation of an entire fleet organization in time of war is unique.

It followed the winning by the Tenth Fleet, with cooperation with the British and Canadians, of a great strategic victory in the Atlantic, breaking the back of Germany's desperate effort to stave off complete defeat through the U-boat campaign. Throughout its career the Tenth Fleet was under immediate direction of Fleet Admiral Ernest E. King, U.S.N., Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet, and Chief of Naval Operations, who guided the anti-submarine operations in addition to his other duties. During the critical months of the Atlantic war in 1943, Rear Admiral Francis S. Low, U.S.N., Assistant Chief of Staff (Anti-Submarine), U.S. Fleet, served as Chief of Staff, Tenth Fleet. He was succeeded, in January, 1945 by Rear Admiral A. R. McCann, U.S.N.

It was in February 1943 that Adolf Hitler elevated his chief of U-boat warfare, Karl Doenitz, to rank of Grand Admiral and Commander in Chief of the German Navy. It was soon apparent that Doenitz planned to use his undersea weapon with determination. In Washington, May 20, 1943, the Tenth Fleet was organized to exercise unity of control over the U.S. Navy's war against the U-boat in the Atlantic. Rear Admiral Low, with a background of submarine and anti-submarine duty in World War I and subsequent extensive submarine duty as well as service in surface ships, was assigned to supervise the fight. The Tenth was a fleet without a ship. However, this highly specialized command could, and frequently did, call upon the surface and air forces of the Atlantic Fleet and Sea Frontier Forces to carry out offensive strikes against enemy U-boats. The very existence of the Tenth Fleet was not revealed until it had been in full operation for more than four months.

The Tenth Fleet was directed to destroy enemy submarines, protect Allied shipping in the U.S. Sea Frontiers, support Allied anti-submarine forces operating in the Atlantic areas, control convoys and shipping that were U.S. responsibilities and attached to correlate U.S. anti-submarine research and personnel instruction.

To accomplish its assignment the Tenth Fleet was formed into four principal divisions: Operations; Anti-Submarine Measures (materiel, training, analysis and statistics and operational research); Convoy and Routing; and a Scientific council of civilian scientists.

Through this specialized organization Tenth Fleet headquarters made instantly available latest intelligence information, anti-submarine development and training and operating procedures to Admiral Royal F. Ingersoll, U.S.N., Commander in Chief, Atlantic Fleet, and other Fleet and sea frontier Commanders who directed the actual operations at sea.

18 July 1945 - 8 August 1945 - President Truman departs for Potsdam. Assigned as Commander, Task Force 68, USS Philadelphia (CL-41) during the Presidential trip to Berlin. This was the Potsdam Meeting with President Truman, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin, to decide how to divide the lands held by Germany.

6 August 1945 - Admiral McCann personally informed President Truman of the successful bombing of Hiroshima in Japan.

7 August 1945 - Commended by President Harry S. Truman

20 August - 10 October 1945 -

CINCLANT FILE UNITED STATES ATLANTIC FLEET P15/(4269) care F.P.O. New York, N. Y.., 26 Sep 1945

From: Commander in Chief, United States Atlantic Fleet. To: Commander in Chief, United States Fleet. Subject: Letter of Commendation - forwarding of.

Enclosure: (A) ONE (1) Letter of Commendation (B) ONE (1) Commendation Ribbon.

1. The Commander in Chief, United States Atlantic Fleet, takes great pleasure in commending Rear Admiral Allan R. McCann, U.S. Navy, for meritorious performance of duty as Commander Task Force SIXTY EIGHT during the Presidential trip to and from the Berlin Conference, 4 July to 8 August 1945.

2. It is requested that the enclosed Letter of Commendation and Commendation ribbon be presented to Rear Admiral McCann with the congratulations of the Commander in Chief, United States Atlantic Fleet.

Oscar Smith, Chief of Staff

Copy to: SecNav BuPers

USS Fargo

18 December 1945 - Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, Flagship is the light cruiser Fargo (CL-106), Submarine Base, Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii.


4 June 1946 - The Japanese I-400 was a Submersible Aircraft Carrier, and the largest Submarine ever built. I-400 is a target ship in the Pacific off Pearl Harbor for tests of the Mark 10-3 exploder. At 1210 hrs. (12:10 PM), she sinks by the stern at 21-13N, 158-07W after being hit by three Mark 18-2 electric torpedoes fired by Cdr D. B. Bell's new USS TRUMPETFISH (SS-425). ComSubPac, Rear Admiral Allan R. McCann (former CO of IOWA (BB-61) is embarked on the TRUMPETFISH and witnesses the I-400's sinking.

USS Nereus

15 Jul 1947 - Submarine Tender USS Nereus was assigned to Task Group 17.3. On 28 June 1947 she got underway for Operation 'Blue Nose', an Arctic familiarization cruise, with the submarine tender USS Nereus (AS-17) and submarines USS Boarfish (SS-327) and USS Cabezon (SS-334). On 15 July she left for the Aleutian Islands where Rear Admiral Alan R. McCann, Commander Submarine Force Pacific came aboard at Adak Island. The group was underway again 25 July, this time for the Pribiloff Islands. During this transit Army Air Force planes based at Adak took part in the antisubmarine training. On 30 July the group passed through the Bering Strait and crossed the Arctic Circle. Following along the International Date Line, the ships of Operation "Blue Nose" sighted pack ice on the morning of 1 August 1947. After reaching 72 degrees 15' north latitude, the ships continued independently along the ice pack to determine its shape. This cruise was entirely novel for a submarine tender. Admiral McCann commanded the operation and accompanied the submarine USS Boarfish on the first under-ice voyage of a US Submarine, transiting about 17 miles under the Ice-pack. He also with several crewmembers, manned a dory and explored the pack ice.

3 September 1948 - Member of the General Board of the Navy Department




The Bureau of Naval Personnel has announced routine duty changes for the following three Navy Flag officers: Rear Admiral Allan R. McCann, U.S.N., to be Naval Inspector General when detached this month from present duty as member of the General Board of the Navy Department. His official address is 36 Cherry Street, North Adams, Massachusetts.

[Section deleted]

*(Note: Rear Admiral McCann will relieve Rear Admiral Lee H. Thebaud as Naval Inspector General [section deleted] These duty changes were previously announced.)

In 1948, as the result of the National Security Act ("Unification Act") the Navy IG was established in OPNAV under both SECNAV and CNO as an agent for both.

14 June 1949 - Naval Inspector General, Navy Department, additionally tasked by the President of the United States to investigate the "Revolt of the Admirals"

1 May 1950 - Retired as Vice Admiral.

May 1950 - February 1978 - No data found.

22 February 1978 - Died in San Diego, California (Social Security Death Index, and California Death Index)

Decorations summary

In addition to the Legion of Merit with Gold Star in lieu of the second Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal, and the Commendation Ribbon, Vice Admiral McCann has the Victory Medal, Atlantic Fleet Clasp (USS Kansas), the American Defense Service Medal, with Fleet Clasp; the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal; European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, and WWII Victory Medal. He subsequently progressed in grade until his promotion to Rear Admiral, 25 March 1943. He transferred to the Retired List of the Navy on 1 May 1950, and advanced in rank to Vice Admiral.

End of Military Biography

Other Records

Name: MCCANN, ALLAN ROCKWELL Social Security #: 261721800 Sex: MALE Birth Date: 20 Sep 1896 Birthplace: MASSACHUSETTS Death Date: 22 Feb 1978 Death Place: SAN DIEGO No Parents Names Provided (Ca, Death Index)

Admiral McCann retired to Winter Park, Florida, just north of Orlando. he is listed there in the 1950-3 "Who's Who in America" and in a 1951 North Adams Tribune article, and again in 1960.

ORLANDO SUN HERALD. MARCH 9, 1978 MCCANN Vice Admiral Allan R. McCann, 81, U.S. Navy, Ret, died Wednesday, Feb. 22 at Balboa Naval Hospital in San Diego, Ca.

Admiral and Mrs. McCann resided in Winter Park for many years after his retirement. McCann had a long and distinguished career following his graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1917. He was closely associated with the submarine force from the time he commanded the K-6 at age 23, until being assigned as Commander Submarine Force Pacific Fleet in 1946.

Admiral McCann was, best known for his work involving submarine safety and rescue. As a young officer, he devised a system for locating and rescuing personnel from a sunken submarine. The rescue unit called 'McCann Rescue Chamber' was installed in all U.S. Submarines. [sic - The Chamber was operated from a salvage vessel] McCann achieved national prominence in 1939 when the submarine Squalus sank off Portsmouth, N. H. trapping the entire crew, more than 240 feet below the surface. McCann, who directed operations, utilized the Rescue Chamber to remove 33 survivors.

During World War II, he had diverse assignments. He commanded a Squadron of submarines operating in the Pacific, directed operations against German U-boats in the Atlantic, and then returned to the Pacific in command of the battleship, Iowa. Following the war, he transported President Harry S. Truman to Potsdam for the historic peace conference.

Surviving are his wife, Katheryn, Laguna Hills, Ca.; daughters, Mrs. Miles Finley, Solana Beach, Ca., Mrs. David Maher, Camarillo, Ca., and Mrs. A.C. Hays, San Antonio, Tex.; nine grandchildren, and six great grandchildren.

Non-Military records

There is a city directory that contains the names of Allan's father and a brother.

North Adams, MA City Directory 1919 McCann Allan, USN bds 28 Porter McCann James A. President and Treasurer P J Boland Co. bds 28 Porter McCann J Roy , student bds 28 Porter

New London, Connecticut City Directory 1925 McCann Allan R. (Catherine) 494 Ocean Ave.

1930 U.S. Census Bethesda, Montgomery, Maryland Hunt Ave 4700-107-109 McCann, Allan R. head R($100) mw 33 m 22 MA NY MA LT. Commander U.S.Navy Katheryn E. wife fw 31 m 20 MA MA IL Barbara F dau fw 10 FL MA MA Lois K. dau fw 7 CN? Alyn C. dau fw 4 8/12 Connecticut

Extracted from The Berkshire County Eagle, Pittsfield Mass

Wed Dec. 26, 1945

North Adams Man Put In Charge Of Pacific Subfleet (from Thursday's Eagle)

Pearl Harbor - Rear Adm. Allan R. McCann of North Adams, Mass, today relieved VAdm Charles A. Lockwood Jr. of Lamar, MO., as commander of the submarine force of the Pacific Fleet.

Rear Adm. McCann, one of the designers of the rescue chamber used in cases of sunken subs, was born in North Adams in Sept. 1896 and graduated from Drury High School. He attended the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, graduating in 1915. His wife is the former Katherine E. Gallup, daughter of former Mayor, Harvey A. Gallup. They have three children and live in Washington D.C.

Extracted from The Berkshire Evening Eagle Monday August 5, 1946

Former Mayor Gallup, North Adams Dies

North Adams - Former State Senator Harvey A. Gallup, 76, for 35 years head of the insurance company that bears his name and former Mayor of the city, died at his home at 8 last night. He had been in failing health since 1942. Mr. Gallup was born in Clarksburg, son of William W. and Eugenia Olive Smith Gallup. His first job was in a bank and in 1891 he established the Gallup Insurance Company.

He entered politics in 1906 when he was elected to the city council. In 1918-19 he served on the Board of Health and was elected Mayor the next year.

In 1924 he was elected to the State Senate on the Republican ticket where he was the chairman of the committee on labor and industry. Re-elected in 1926 he was defeated in 1928 by Atty. Charles W. Faulkner of Pittsfield.

He leaves his wife, the former Katheryn Lyons; three children by a previous marriage; two daughters, Mrs. Allan R. McCann who is the wife of Rear Admiral McCann, now at Pearl Harbor, and Mrs. Walter H. Ridley of Foxboro; a son, Harvey A. Jr.; a sister, Miss Louisa E. Gallup; a brother, Charles L. of Granby; five grandchildren and one great - grandchild. The body was taken to the Cherry Street residence. The funeral will take place at St. John's Episcopal Church, 2:23 Wednesday afternoon.

North Adams Historical Society Gene Carlson

Here is the information that I found in the North Adams Transcript files. This is a list of newspaper articles about Admiral McCann. The public library has the Transcripts on microfilm.

McCann, Allan Rockwell

3-23-17 To graduate Friday (from US Naval Academy)

3-30-17 Graduated from Annapolis

10-07-18 Marries Katheryn Gallup

6-23-31 Invents submarine rescue device

7-20-31 "McCann Bell" proves worth

1- -32 Citation copies received

1-28-37 Is made commander in U. S. Navy

7-28-37 Assigned to duty in Alaska

5-25-39 Success of submarine rescue bell triumph for him

6-01-39 Name wins applause in House

6-26-39 Navy dept. letter only recognition

9-18-39 Commended for Squalus rescue work

11-23-39 Navy gives 13 nations plans for McCann bell

4-10-41 To command sub unit

6-20-41 At scene of 0-9 disaster.

12-8-41 Commands subs at Pearl Harbor when japs attack

12-17-41 Believed active in U-boat engagement

1-27-42 Promoted to Captain in Navy

5-24-43 In Pacific(?) Squalus there as USS Sailfish.

10-12-43 Returns from long tour of active duty in submarine warfare on Japan.

8-14-44 Wins Legion of Merit. Now commands battleship.

12-18-44 Nominated for Rear Admiral

5-4-45 Bronze Star.

5-9-45 Citation made public.

12-21-45 commands submarine forces.

8-28-47 Leads cruise under polar cap.

6-21-48 Former N. A., on general board; relieved to take assignment in Wash.

6-24-48 Former Squalus whose crew members were saved by McCann bell to be scrapped.


10-31-49 Ordered to probe navy rebellion, 'The Admirals Rebellion' [more commonly referenced as a 'revolt'].

3-15-50 May be retiring

8-21-51 On way north.

10-10-60 Adm. Lunches with relatives

Died Feb 22 1978 in Solana Beach California

City Directories