Eight Bells (Obituaries)

One of the unfortunate realities of the passage of time since the N.S. Savannah sailed is that her designers, crew, and former passengers are getting older. When a merchant mariner dies, it is said that the ship's clock has strck "Eight Bells" - the end of a typical watch. The N.S. Savannah Association plans to publish obituaries for any person previously connected to the ship on this page to celebrate their life and involvement in President Eisenhower's efforts towards Atoms for Peace. If you know someone who should be featured on this page, please send us an email.


Former Crew


Wayne Britz:Wayne Britz


The Nuclear Ship Savannah Association, Inc. (NSSA) is deeply saddened by the passing of Wayne Britz, NSSAís Chairman/President. His involvement in the establishment of the NSSA and his dedication to its operation contributed significantly to its success.

Wayne sailed on the N.S. Savannah from 1966-1970. He first encountered the Savannah during its maiden voyage to New York City, when he was attending the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and playing in its band for the arrival ceremonies. Wayne knew at that time that he wanted to sail on the Savannah and thus took all the nuclear engineering electives at the Academy. After graduation, he served as deck officer, reactor operator, health physicist, auxiliary plant operator, and water chemist. He sailed on the shipís last voyage before it was removed from active service in 1970. Wayne stayed involved with the Savannah ever since, either planning for reunions on board the ship and at the Merchant Marine Academy, or inspecting the ship while with the U. S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Needless to say, he played a significant role in efforts to raise awareness of the significance of the N.S. Savannah as a landmark maritime vessel, and was one of the key individuals involved in supporting that effort.

The NSSA offers sincere condolences to Wayne's family and to all who knew and appreciated Wayne and his work.


Robert "Bob" Cain:Bob Cain


Robert David Cain, of Harker Heights, passed away on July 26, 2014. He was born August 2, 1939, in Holyoke, MA, to the late Chester and Winnifred Cain. He graduated from Holyoke High School. He later earned an MBA from Suffolk University. Bob proudly served in the merchant marine, graduating from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy in 1961. He attained the rank of Captain, and then served as a deck officer and engineering officer on the N.S. Savannah, the only commercial nuclear-powered ship in the U.S.

He was a 34-year resident of Marshfield, MA, where he was part of the Rotary Club of Marshfield (former President), and the MMA Alumni Association. He enjoyed reading and playing golf. Bob is survived by his loving wife, Margaret Cain; children RaeAnn Melvin and husband John, of Harker Heights, and Chester Cain of St. Louis, MO; grandchildren, Caitlin Hall of Wichita Falls, TX, Christian Hall of Dallas, TX, and Camden Hall, Cassidy Melvin, and Caitlin Melvin, all of Harker Heights; sister Judith Krok of Brunswick, ME; and two nieces.

The family asks that donations be made to the Massachusetts Maritime Alumni Association, Class of 1962; or the American Cancer Society.

The following remarks were provided by Dave Carriere following the memorial service for Bob on September 28, 2014 at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy.

The service was well attended by his MMA classmates, friends from Marshfield, of which he had many, former co-workers and family. The service was hosted by the Academy at Admiral's Hall with color guard and music. His daughter RayAnn led the service and there words or readings by his son Chester, brother in law and grandchildren. Pat Shields spoke for the class of 1961, Don Haggerty spoke about the Savannah years and I spoke ad hoc on behalf of our licensing class. MMA alumni association has an annual golf outing fund raiser at homecoming Friday. This year a special trophy was presented to the class of 61 to give to his family in memory of Bob as he was always the first payment received for the outing.

Bob and I had a long friendship starting with the training in 1969, interrupted for the 9 years I was in N.J. and resuming in 1981 when I moved to Marshfield and we carpooled together to S&W and we saw each other frequently through the years until he moved to Texas 3 years ago. Prior to this year he had driven to the annual alumni golf outing with me for the last several years. I missed his company very much this year.


Capt. Douglas Smith Glenn:


Capt. Douglas Smith Glenn graduated from the Maine Maritime Academy in 1964 after attending high school at the Admiral Farragut Academy in Pine Beach, NJ. Born in Mineola, NY and raised in Hillsdale, New Jersey.

Doug came from a family with a nautical history. As Doug wrote years ago in a published history of LAST OF THE BOOM SHIPS..."I have a seagoing heritage. My father...and my grandfather went to sea, and my grandfatherís ship was torpedoed off the coast of Greenland during WWII. My mother worked in the Paymasterís Office of United States Lines in NYC.

When family friends passed through, I heard stories from all over the world. The sea was ingrained in me and I had a wanderlust from a young age." After graduation, Doug immediately sailed for a couple of years with his Third Mates License on the (Victory Ship) SS Remsen Heights with American Export-Isbrandtsen Lines – and quickly advanced his license to that of Chief Mate.

He continued with American Export Lines aboard various other of their break bulk cargo ships until he joined the NS Savannah in 1965, and continued on the Savannah in Third, Second, and Chief Mate billets. He also earned his Reactor Operatorís License after studying in Furuseth Hall at the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, NY. He continued on the Savannah until it was deactivated in 1972.

From 1972 to 1978, Doug continued with American Export Lines until a Captainís position came up in 1978...he then skippered the diesel-powered research vessel, the RV Fay, working in collaboration with the US Navy, along with his brother Alan on board in an unlicensed ER billet. Then with his Masterís License, Doug was off to LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) transport school with Burma Oil and Energy Transportation Corp., and was Captain aboard the LNG Aquarius and several of her sister ships until he retired in 2000 – after 35 years at sea.

The last 20 years aboard the LNG ships were primarily going between Indonesia and Japan, carrying LNG Cargo through the sometimes treacherous Straits of Malacca. Doug made many friends in these years, and had a beautiful estate built in Dauin in the South of the Philippines. In his retirement, Doug split his time between the Florida Keys and the Philippines, and continued to travel the world as a civilian. To all who were blessed to know him: we lost a great friend, terrific shipmate, talented and dedicated Mariner and a wonderful mind. He passed away in the Philippines on October 29. Requiescat in Pace!


Robert Earl Moody:Bob Moody


Robert Earl Moody, 71, of Gadsden, Alabama passed away Sunday, March 4, 2018.

Bob was born in Camden, Maine on September 18, 1946. He graduated from Camden High School where he played trumpet in the band and won the Junior class speech medal. He attended Maine Maritime Academy from 1964-1968, where he was the drum major for the band, and upon graduation he earned his United States Coast Guard merchant marine engineering license and Navy commission. Bob studied engineering and Health Physics at the University of Michigan Graduate School.

He started in the nuclear power area in 1969 as a reactor operator/health physics and water chemistry technician on the Nuclear Powered ship Savannah. Bob spent 42 years in the nuclear industry in various capacities from the commercial nuclear industry to government regulation. He visited over 50 US nuclear power plants and three international plants while with Institute of Nuclear Power Operations and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Bob retired from the NRC in 2011 and moved to his wife's childhood home of Gadsden, Alabama.

Bob was an avid golfer and the home in Gadsden on the number 6 green of the Gadsden Country Club was a perfect fit. He played golf regularly with his friends and was a member of the Alabama 60+ Golf Association. He won the Julius Fargus Trophy for the best score at the Alabama 60+ annual tournament in Waynesville, NC. in 2015.

Bob loved to travel with his wife and friends, and they were always on a trip both in the US and internationally. His favorite trips were cruises because he loved ships. Bob was good at recalling trivia and loved playing it on cruises with friends. He was very good at music trivia because he could name most of the titles and artists of any 50's and 60's song. He and his family were frequent visitors to Walt Disney World and he always enjoyed seeing the smiles on the children's faces, and seeing his favorite character - Snow White.

Bob found woodworking relaxing and fulfilling and built many items for schools and church fundraising fairs with his son and other volunteers. Throughout his life, he could always be found fixing something.

Bob made friends easily at work and at play. He considered friendship one of the most important values in life. He will always be remembered for his giving back, teaching, coaching, and mentoring. Bob believed what Winston Churchill said: " We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give." He was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Gadsden, Alabama 60+ Golf Association, The American Nuclear Society, and former President and member of the Board of Directors of the NS Savannah Association.

He is survived by the love of his life and wife of 33 years, Christine (Christie) Marie Adams Moody; his beloved son, David Adams Moody; sister, Ruth Ann Allen; and brothers, Roger A. Moody, Richard J. Moody, Raymond H. Moody, and Ronald E. Moody. A funeral service will be held at First United Methodist Church of Gadsden on Friday, March 9, 2018 with a visitation in the sanctuary starting at 1pm and the service at 2pm. Burial will be at Forrest Cemetery in Gadsden with a short graveside service following the church service.

To respect his wishes, the family requests no flowers and that donations be made to the Music Fund at First United Methodist Church of Gadsden, 115 South Fifth Street, Gadsden, AL 35901.


Technical Staff


Russell Martin Ball:


Russell Martin Ball, 87, died on Wednesday, November 19, 2014, at Lynch General Hospital following a brief illness. Born in Chicago, he began his studies in journalism at the University of Illinois, but after service in the Army at the end of World War II, he returned to earn a degree in Physics. He later trained at the Oak Ridge School of Reactor technology and earned a doctorate in Nuclear Engineering at the University of Virginia.

He married Ruth Halvorsen in 1955. He raised three children and was Opa to three granddaughters. Dr. Bell joined Babcock and Wilcox in 1955. He was a lab manager during the reactor criticality tests for the N.S. Savannah. He holds numerous patents in the nuclear power and medical isotope fields. He was an active member of the First Unitarian Church of Lynchburg for more than 50 years. He was an opera lover and organ music enthusiast. He was a passionate Humanist who campaigned for justice and liberal ideas. In addition to his wife Ruth, he is survived by three children, R. Martin Ball, Jr., and wife, Amy Ball; Thomas Ball and wife, Christine Hartman; and Sarah Ruth Ball; and three granddaughters, Sarah Katherine Ball, Alexa Ball and Grace Morales. Memorial gifts may be made to the First Unitarian Church of Lynchburg, VA. A memorial service was held at the church on Sunday, November 23, 2014, at 3 p.m.

George Kulynych provided the following personal note.

Dr. Bell was instrumental in the critical experiments that validated the N.S. Savannah initial core design. He was also with me observing the first criticality of the reactor and the sea trials.


Capt. Moses William Hirschkowitz:Moe Hirschkowitz


CAPT Moses William Hirschkowitz, USMS (Ret.)
Professor Emeritus, Department of Marine Engineering
United States Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point
January 28, 1920 Ė January 22, 2018

Mo was born on January 28, 1920 in the Bronx, NY, the only child of Rosa Danilevitz (Russia) and Isadore Hershkowitz (Poland). Rosa died of the flu three days after the birth, and Mo was sent as a foster baby to a cottage on the estate of Benjamin Stern of the Stern Brothers Department Stores. He spent his early years under the watch of the Sternís family cook, Marie Wesky, a Finnish woman whom he called mother. The Stern estate was on the North Shore of Long Island, the "Gold Coast" of the Gatsby era, and Mo recalled seeing JP Morgan drive by in an open Rolls Royce on his way to Wall Street. From this pinnacle of capitalism, Mo was sent to a socialist commune in Stelton, NJ where he spent his elementary school years. Living at such extremes of the economic and political spectrum may have given Mo a unique perspective on society. He once said, "Capitalism may be the best way to figure out how to do things, but it may not be the best way to figure out what to do." Also: "There should be a way to measure degrees of economic freedom besides just counting money."

Mo returned to Long Island for Jr. High School. Living on his own in boarding houses and with different families, he found work in the local yacht clubs and boatyards. He developed a love for sailing and shipbuilding that became the foundation of his career. Summer jobs brought opportunities to crew and skipper the great yachts of the rich and powerful, including Stavros Niarchos, the Greek shipping magnate, Robert Johnson of Johnson & Johnson, and Albert Phelps Armour, the inventor of the telephone booth. On graduating from high school, he found a berth on the Joseph Conrad, a square-rigger that Huntington Hartford planned to sail around the world. When the cruise was canceled at the last minute, Mo contacted his high school principal who made a few phone calls. Mo was placed on probation in the freshman class at Clarkson University in Potsdam, NY.

Mo graduated from Clarkson in 1942 with a degree in mechanical engineering and went to work for Bethlehem Steel as a test engineer in the shipyard at Quincy, MA. During World War II he wanted to enlist in the Army Air Corps, having earned his pilotís license during college, but his job in the shipyard was considered critical to the war effort. He ultimately served in the Army Transportation Corps carrying troops, munitions, and later war brides across the Atlantic. The Chief Engineer of the USAT President Tyler, one of Moís ships during the war, said of his service:

Although a graduate engineer he adopted the proper attitude to his job and no work was too dirty or too hard for him to tackle when it fell to him.

After the war, Mo earned a masterís degree in mechanical engineering from New York University and was hired in 1949 by the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) at Kings Point, NY where he served on the faculty for 46 years. A self-described "coveralls engineer," he was a licensed Professional Engineer, Chief Engineer, and Nuclear Reactor Operator and was instrumental in building the Marine Engineering Laboratory at Kings Point. His philosophy was, "Practice without theory is gambling, and theory without practice is speculation." During his career at USMMA, he also served in the US Coast Guard Reserve.

While at the academy, Mo participated in the development and operation of the N/S Savannah, a nuclear-powered cargo and passenger ship sponsored by the "Atoms for Peace" initiative of the Eisenhower administration. His involvement in the Savannah project resulted in two important innovations at Kings Point: the formation of the Dual License Officer program in deck and engineering, and the development of the Nuclear Engineering elective program. For his contributions to marine education and technology, he was awarded the William H Webb medal from the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, and a bronze medal from the US Department of Transportation. He is a co-author of Merchant Ships, A Pictorial Study. An exceptional teacher, his legacy inspires the careers of thousands of Kings Pointers, ashore and at sea. He saw the good in every character and improved it, and never spoke ill of the bad.

Mo married Esther Goodman in 1952. They raised daughters Judy and Jane in Great Neck, NY. Mo and Esther were active in their community and were members of the Steppingstone Sailing Club and the Great Neck Planning Board. Mo traveled the world as a merchant seaman and as a tourist. His large photo collection shows his love of adventure and talent for photography. Never long on dry land, he kept a boat until he was 88 years old. For all his expertise in steam, diesel, and nuclear propulsion, his own boat was powered by wind and sail...or paddle!

Mo died on January 22, 2018 in Pasadena, CA surrounded by his family. He had lived with Parkinsonís Disease for over two decades but never lost his zest for life: days before his death he said, "Take me for a ride on the Staten Island Ferry!"

An excerpt from a letter that he wrote for his grandsonís 15th birthday gives us Mo in his own words. After describing his early life and his career at sea, he wrote:

My shipmates came from all segments of society: from ex-priests to ex-convicts, from super-wealthy families to those living on welfare. I tell you this to indicate to you the wide scope of people who have enriched my life. They all had something of interest and value to offer. Gems of wisdom and good ideas can emerge from the most unexpected people and situations. Recognize this, be selective of your friends and peers, but as you continue your education and professional development, donít be aloof to those outside your circle. Mutual respect is essential to a civilized society. If we respect each other, we learn from our differences; if we donít respect each other, we generate animosity.

Beloved husband of the late Esther Goodman, father of Judith (Jeffrey) Cain and Jane Hirschkowitz (John Radulovic), and granddad of Joshua (Joanna Ghosh) and Leslie Cain, and Jesse and Alexander Radulovic.

"Fair winds and following seas."