March 20, 2008

Peter Sococo, b. June 29 1921 on Agana (Hagåtña), Guam. He left the island and joined the US Navy in August 29, 1939, reported to Submarine School at New London, CT after his basic boot camp in San Diego, CA.

Following submarine school in the spring of 1940, Peter reported to the USS Stingray SS 186, completed his qualifications before the end of 1940. Peter Sococo served on board the USS Stingray during the whole war in the Pacific Theater of WWII, completing sixteen War Patrols. Some of these patrols included dropping both American forces and Philippine Commandoís behind enemy lines and the removal of much Philippine Treasury "Gold" ahead of the invaders.

USS Stingray returned to the east coast Naval shipyard at Philadelphia, PA in July 1945 for de-commissioning.

Peter was a 1st Class Stewards Mate, and well known in the submarine Navy. He was transferred to New London, CT for duty at Sub Atlantic Fleet headquarters, reporting to the Submarine Commodore and serving on his personal staff. During the late 1940 into the 1950ís he served for a short time on the USS Sarda SS 488 and then was shifted to squadron duty at Key West, FL for some time.

In April 1958 Peter Sococo reported on board the USS Skipjack SSN 585 and was to remain on board until his retirement on August 29, 1970. Peter served with six (6) different commanders during this time. Starting with Captain William Behrens Jr.and ending with Captain Pirie Jr. when retired.

Peter Sococo was on board for all the ships testing by David Taylor Model Basin (DTMB) from Washington, D C. This went on for near a year or longer, it was the basic testing that lead to the development of other classes of Nuclear Submarines. He made more patrols north of North Cape than anyone else in nuclear submarines at the time of his retirement and the more than twelve years that he spent on USS Skipjack.

On the 15th of April, 1969, just four (4) months short of thirty years of service in the United States Navy Chief Peter Sococo is shown cutting the anniversary cake with Commander John Devereaux, present skipper of USS Skipjack. On August 29, 1970 Chief Peter Sococo retired from the United States Navy with his many ribbons and metals from a long and proud service to the United States of America.

This is a very short story of my very best friend that I was proud to serve with Peter Sococo for near eight years on board the USS Skipjack, SSN 585, we both were there for the commissioning and in April 1990 in Norfolk, VA for itís de-commissioning. Peter and I didnít see much of one another for near twenty four years, 1966/1990 and again from 1990/2005 when I pulled up my roots after some fifty years in New London, County, CT and moved to VA Beach, VA. Peter and I are members of the Hampton Roads Submarines Veterans Association, he of the WW II group and me of USSVI, we meet together once a month. Peter and I have lunch together as often as we can make it, we both lost our wives since 2000. Peter still looks well, gets around well, a few more wrinkles and moves a bit slower.

We both enjoy each other company, live independently, have many laughs about the years of service.

Chief Peter Sococo is still called, "Mr. Navy" in the Norfolk, VA area by many of the active and retired US Naval personal that he has known and served with for all his years of dedicated faithful service, still wearing the same uniform that he retired in 1970.

An old shipmate and friend, Miles E. Cochran, Jr. EM1 (SS) 1954-1966 active/1977 USNR (Submarines)