"I could see the rage starting to build. I think it started somewhere in his neck, but maybe it started lower than that." - Captain William J. Toti, USN (Ret.)
Includes explicit language
This article was originally published in the US Naval Institute Proceedings. Copyright US Naval Institute. Reprinted with permission.
"I look back and realize that I was part of Admiral Rickover’s amusement for the day with him smiling at times, something he was not known for." - Captain Jim Petersen, USNR (Ret.)
Photo courtesy of Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corp.
"I didn't have to sit and wait very long before I was called to enter the sparse office. It was nicer than I thought it would be; so was the Admiral." - Captain John Paulson, USN (Ret.)
"It was the ingenious Admiral who initially, hand wrote the process based approach. [...] These notes by the Admiral were then loaned to the Royal Navy. [...] Conveniently the US as source and Admiral as the author seems to have been forgotten." - Dr. IJ Arora
"I started the tour and had not gotten but a few sentences out before Admiral Rickover really took over. He started by describing the valves at the Discharge Station as “works of art”, apparently appealing to a non-engineer." - Captain John J. Mackin, USN (Ret.)
"It was a Rickover tradition to "ride" a new SSBN during sea trials (prior to commissioning) to assure the quality of the boat and its crew. To commemorate the event, Rickover prepared a letter about the boat, but more importantly about the person for whom the boat was named." - Rick Connole
"The whole process took about 17 seconds, and I was escorted out of his office before my posterior barely grazed the seat of the chair in front of the admiral’s desk." - Captain Eugene Holler, USNR (Ret.)
UA 436.02.01 Admiral Hyman Rickover Photo Collection, Archives Branch, Naval History and Heritage Command, Washington, DC
"He asked me if that wasn’t a total waste. I said I didn’t think so. He looked at me as though I had committed a deadly sin." - Winston H. Peterson
UA 436.02.03 Admiral Hyman Rickover Photo Collection, Archives Branch, Naval History and Heritage Command, Washington, DC
"My face must have gone white as I considered my dilemma. Here I was with the submarine force’s chief engineer and me, a newly promoted CDR, hoping someday soon to take command." - Captain Alan Lawver
DN-SN-82-05062 USS Atlanta (SSN-712), Archives Branch, Naval History and Heritage Command, Washington, DC
"This poem was mounted within the USS Rickover and served, I'm sure, as a synopsis of his contributions and a source of pride for all who sailed aboard the sub during its two decades of naval service." - Ronald Bell
"He immediately hit me with some questions and then directed me to step across the hall and wait for him in an office there. The office was a janitor's closet. I was happy to be there." - Captain Mike Pestorius, USN (Ret.)
So, as we sat, I asked, “Eleonore, there must have been many nights when the Admiral came home after a difficult day frustrated, angry and tired. What did he do to relax and rest?” - Lieutenant John Lindstedt, USNR (Ret.)
"I swung around to shoot the first bearing, unaware of how far my butt was sticking out. I hit the Admiral a solid blow broadside. He bounced off the helmsman and landed on the bear trap grating." - Lieutenant Commander Luther L. Biggs, USN (Ret.)
"Without introduction, as I recall, he immediately stated, 'Officer Candidate Weber, you have the worst background of anyone I have ever interviewed for this program.' Without objection I simply answered, 'Yes Sir.'" - Herbert G. Weber
"During my tour, the Commanding Officer of the Nuclear Power School requested my assistance to obtain the Admiral’s permission for students to use hand-held computers. My task was to convince the Admiral that using hand-held computers would be beneficial. This was not an easy task." - Edward S. Little
Photo courtesy of Seth Morabito, September 15, 2007
"The officers in particular told me to never volunteer information, never answer more than what was asked. So, a little apprehensive, I awaited my turn." - David Campbell
"One of my more senior colleagues later told me that the Admiral’s ritual was to face the Pentagon, gesture with his arm and say 'Phooey.'" - William Johnson
"He jumped up and started screaming that my priorities were all screwed up that I had some ‘A’ and ‘B’ grades in useless literature and history courses and that I needed to concentrate on math, science, and engineering." - Mike Payne
"...the answer seemed pretty obvious to me: 'You’re older, sir.' He rose half-way out of his chair and yelled, 'How can someone so smart say something so stupid?'" - Rear Admiral Paul Ryan, USN (Ret.)
"The Commodore informed me that I was selected by a special visitor to be that night’s duty officer. Yep, it was Admiral Rickover. The Admiral was coming to Charleston to inspect the nuclear capabilities of the Charleston Naval Shipyard." - Lieutenant Alvin C. Hanson Jr.
"The KOG looked at me and said, I want to hear more stories. Send me a letter when you get back to that Disneyland place." - Mark J. Harper, U.S. Naval Academy ’75, 14th Company
"I was dismissed and I said, 'Yes sir, thank you sir,' To which he replied, 'What are you thanking me for?' 'For allowing me to come to see you.' I replied and walked out." - Former Lieutenant Jim Gutierrez, USN
"A few of the stories dealt with his reluctance to spend his own money. In this regard, in 1973-74, prior to marrying Eleonore Bednowicz, any time he wanted to see her, he would always arrange for a business trip..." - Harvey Rosenblum
Admiral Rickover was well known for his personal meetings with those who served with him in the Navy. Recollections of these and other encounters with the Admiral should be preserved and made available to members of the U.S. Navy and the public at large. Therefore, we encourage all who have memories of meeting with Admiral Rickover, or of serving with him or under his command, to submit them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.