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DID YOU KNOW, November 2022

Updated: Aug 11, 2023


November 7th - Dahlgren Base Residents Gain Right to Vote in State & Local Elections


Did you know that, prior to about 1968, Dahlgren base residents were not allowed to vote in state or local elections?


In March of that year, Rep. William L. Scott introduced a bill to Congress that would grant them that right. Dahlgren had been considered the exclusive political jurisdiction of the federal government. This did mean, however, that they had to give up their previous perks of not paying personal property taxes in Virginia, not having to purchase local automobile tags, and paying less in state sales taxes because they made purchases on base.


We encourage you to exercise your right to vote tomorrow, if you have not already done so.


Image: William L. Scott, former U. S. Senator from Virginia.



November 14th - Dr. Cohen and the First Operational Six-Degree-of-Freedom Trajectory Simulation


Have you ever heard of the six degrees of freedom and their relationship to Dahlgren?


According to Wikipedia: “Six degrees of freedom refers to the six mechanical degrees of freedom of movement of a rigid body in three-dimensional space.” Objects can move forward or backward, up or down, left or right, tilt side to side (roll), tilt forward and backward (pitch), and turn left or right (yaw). Considering all the variables involved, one can see how difficult it is to predict the path of something like a missile.



In 1950, Dr. Charles Cohen and his team completed the world’s first operational six-degree-of-freedom trajectory simulation at Dahlgren. The effort was developed to study the unexpected instability of the 12.75-inch diameter antisubmarine rocket. This breakthrough simulation made the successful development and deployment of guided ballistic missiles possible.


Image One: Dr. Charles Cohen (U.S. Navy Photo)

Image Two: Visual explanation of the six degrees of freedom from HERE.



November 21st - Thompson and Parsons and the Suspected Submarine


Members of the King George community have a reputation for looking out for each other and for protecting our country.

Early in WWII, two U.S. destroyers headed up the Potomac River bound for the Navy Yard. A civilian on shore missed seeing the destroyers go by, but he did see the large train of waves that followed. Thinking that they might have been signs of an enemy submarine submerged and headed for Washington, he telephoned the Commandant of the 5th Naval District there.


The Commandant called the Naval Proving Ground at Dahlgren and ordered them to put a plane in the air to scan the river. LCDR William “Deak” Parsons, acting commanding officer, went to the bridge, saw the destroyers, and identified them as friendly. However, to comply with the Commandant’s wishes, he ordered a plane to be armed with a depth charge and flown over the river. (U.S. Navy Photo)



November 28th - Conical Shock Tube


If you were the Navy and wanted to safely test the effect of a nuclear blast on a ship’s equipment, how would you do that?



In 1966, a conical shock tube was built at Dahlgren that was designed to simulate 20-kiloton nuclear blast environments above ground using non-nuclear materials. This tube was capable of absorbing the full explosive force so completely that only a light breeze could be felt outside it. Compared to other shock tubes of the time, the one at Dahlgren created an almost perfect simulation of a nuclear blast pulse. After over 130 tests had been conducted, the tube was closed in 1974 and eventually sold as scrap metal.


(U.S. Navy Photo)

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