Badders, William, Chief Machinist's Mate, USN (Ret.)

Badders, William, Chief Machinist's Mate, USN (Ret.)

(1900–1986)

Chief Badders, who enlisted during World War I, got a taste of battleship and aviation duty before being brought into diving and salvaging work in the mid-1920s. In his oral history he describes the woeful status of the Navy's diving capabilities at the time, and he was in on the ground floor of the improvements that occurred during his career. Of particular interest is his account of the rescue attempts and salvaging of the sunken submarines USS S-51 (SS-162), S-4 (SS-109), and Squalus (SS-192). For his dangerous and aggressive rescue of 18 Squalus crew members, Badders was awarded the Medal of Honor in January 1940.

Sports constitute a prevalent theme throughout Badders' memoir. He played on various professional and semipro baseball and football teams, and he recalls encounters with such greats as Satchel Paige, Lou Gehrig, and Ted Williams.

Transcripts of this oral history are available in many formats including bound volumes, and digital copies.

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About this Volume

Based on three interviews conducted by John T. Mason Jr. from September through November 1971, the volume contains 157 pages of interview transcript plus an index. The transcript is copyright 1986 by the U.S. Naval Institute; the interviewee has placed no restrictions on its use.