The evidence indicated, Larsen said, that when the sub began to submerge, one of the men on the bridge had been washed overboard and was later picked up. The other man, Lt. Howard Blind, knowing that the ship was doomed with the hatch latched open, had held on to the bridge long enough during the submersion to get the hatch unlatched, and the force of the water slammed it shut. He lost his life in the process, but would be awarded the Navy Cross for his bravery.
Another sailor, Motor Machinist First Class Robert Yeager, took it upon himself to order the submarine's engines all back full speed within seconds of the start of the incident, and his quick thinking was also instrumental in the sub surviving. He was awarded a Silver Star.
The Crevalle suffered extensive damage in the incident, and had to be emptied by bucket brigade after it resurfaced, Larsen said.
Larsen has attended several veteran conferences over the years, but this trip to Washington on Sunday was special. Getting to meet former Senator Robert Dole was an honor, but the best part, Larsen said, was that he saw a few of the other surviving crew members of the Crevalle.