Nuclear Pioneer’s Oral History on Tap
Vice Admiral Eugene P. “Dennis” Wilkinson is best known for his skillful execution of two historic assignments. In August 1953, he took command of the world’s first nuclear-powered ship, the submarine USS Nautilus (SSN-571). Five years later, he became skipper of the Navy’s first nuclear-powered surface ship, the guided-missile cruiser USS Long Beach (CGN-9).
During extensive interviews with the Naval Institute, the admiral covered his entire life and career for the Institute’s oral history program. Threading through a fascinating discussion of his profession, he covers such diverse topics as his famed prowess at poker and marbles, and the 1951 rescue at sea of Collier’s correspondent Charlotte Knight by the submarine Volador (SS-490), under his command.