The Silent Service (TV series)
The Silent Service was a 1957–1958 syndicated
Television syndication
In broadcasting, syndication is the sale of the right to broadcast radio shows and television shows by multiple radio stations and television stations, without going through a broadcast network, though the process of syndication may conjure up structures like those of a network itself, by its very...

 anthology television series based on actual events in the submarine
A submarine is a watercraft capable of independent operation below the surface of the water. It differs from a submersible, which has more limited underwater capability...

 section of the United States Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

. The Silent Service was narrated by Rear Admiral
Rear Admiral
Rear admiral is a naval commissioned officer rank above that of a commodore and captain, and below that of a vice admiral. It is generally regarded as the lowest of the "admiral" ranks, which are also sometimes referred to as "flag officers" or "flag ranks"...

 Thomas M. Dykers, who retired from the Navy in 1949 after twenty-two years of service. He began each episode with this refrain: "Tonight, we bring you another thrilling episode of Silent Service stories, of warfare under the sea."

Many of the episodes focused on the history of specific submarines, including:
  • USS Sculpin (SS-191)
    USS Sculpin (SS-191)
    USS Sculpin , a Sargo-class submarine, was the first ship of the United States Navy to be named for the sculpin.Her keel was laid down on 7 September 1937 at the Portsmouth Navy Yard in Kittery, Maine. She was launched on 27 July 1938 sponsored by Mrs. J.R. Defrees, and commissioned on 16 January...

  • USS Nautilus (SSN-571)
    USS Nautilus (SSN-571)
    USS Nautilus is the world's first operational nuclear-powered submarine. She was the first vessel to complete a submerged transit beneath the North Pole on August 3, 1958...

    , the first atomic
    Nuclear power
    Nuclear power is the use of sustained nuclear fission to generate heat and electricity. Nuclear power plants provide about 6% of the world's energy and 13–14% of the world's electricity, with the U.S., France, and Japan together accounting for about 50% of nuclear generated electricity...

  • USS Perch (SS-176)
    USS Perch (SS-176)
    USS Perch was a Porpoise-class submarine of the United States Navy, the first Navy ship to be named for the perch.Her keel was laid down on 25 February 1935 by the Electric Boat Company, in Groton, Connecticut. She was launched on 9 May 1936 , and commissioned on 19 November 1936, Lieutenant...

  • USS Tang (SS-306)
    USS Tang (SS-306)
    USS Tang was a Balao-class submarine of World War II. She was built and launched in 1943.In her short career, the Tang sank 33 ships displacing 116,454 tons Her commanding officer received the Medal of Honor for her last two engagements...

  • USS S-38 (SS-143)
    USS S-38 (SS-143)
    USS S-38 was a S-class submarine of the United States Navy.Her keel was laid down on 15 January 1919 by the Union Iron Works in San Francisco, California. She was launched on 17 June 1919 sponsored by Mrs. Grace M. Collins, and commissioned on 11 May 1923 with Lieutenant Clifford H...

  • USS Tirante (SS-420)
    USS Tirante (SS-420)
    USS Tirante , a Tench-class submarine, was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named for the tirante, a silvery, elongated "cutlass fish" found in waters off Cuba. Her keel was laid down on 28 April 1944 by the Portsmouth Navy Yard of Kittery, Maine. She was launched on 9 August 1944...

  • USS Bergall (SS-320)
    USS Bergall (SS-320)
    USS Bergall , a Balao-class submarine, was the first ship of the United States Navy to be named for the bergall, a small fish of the New England coast. Her keel was laid down by the Electric Boat Company in Groton, Connecticut...

  • USS Spearfish (SS-190)
    USS Spearfish (SS-190)
    USS Spearfish , a Sargo-class submarine, was the only ship of the United States Navy to be named for the spearfish, any of several large, powerful, pelagic fishes of the genus Tetrapturus allied to the marlins and sailfishes....

  • USS Triton (SS-201)
    USS Triton (SS-201)
    USS Triton , a Tambor-class submarine, was the first submarine and third ship of the United States Navy to be named for Triton. Her keel was down on 5 July 1939 by the Portsmouth Navy Yard. She was launched on 25 March 1940 sponsored by Mrs. Ernest J. King, wife of Rear Admiral King, and...

  • USS Wahoo (SS-238)
    USS Wahoo (SS-238)
    was a Gato-class submarine, the first United States Navy ship to be named for the wahoo, a dark blue food fish of Florida and the West Indies....

    , and
  • USS Gato (SS-212)
    USS Gato (SS-212)
    USS Gato was the lead ship of her class of submarine in the United States Navy. She was the first Navy ship named for the gato, a species of small catshark found in waters along the west coast of Mexico....

    , subject of the series finale.

Actors appearing on The Silent Service included Russell Johnson
Russell Johnson
Russell David Johnson is an American television and film actor best known as "The Professor" on the CBS television sitcom Gilligan's Island...

, cast three times in the role of the character "Beach". DeForest Kelley
DeForest Kelley
Jackson DeForest Kelley was an American actor known for his iconic roles in Westerns and as Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy of the USS Enterprise in the television and film series Star Trek.-Early life:...

 and Leonard Nimoy
Leonard Nimoy
Leonard Simon Nimoy is an American actor, film director, poet, musician and photographer. Nimoy's most famous role is that of Spock in the original Star Trek series , multiple films, television and video game sequels....

 appeared in two episodes each as Lieutenant Commander James Dempsey and as Sonarman, respectively. Jerry Paris
Jerry Paris
Jerry Paris was an American actor and director best known for playing Jerry Helper, the dentist and next door neighbor of Rob and Laura Petrie, on The Dick Van Dyke Show.-Life and career:...

 and Liam Sullivan each guest starred twice. Eric Morris appeared in nineteen episodes identified only as "Soldier".

Other guest stars included Joe Conley
Joe Conley
Joe Conley is an American actor.In a career going back to 1956, he has played many roles, but is probably most remembered for the part of storekeeper "Ike Godsey" in The Waltons opposite Ronnie Claire Edwards, who portrayed the bossy wife Corabeth Walton Godsey.He is married with three daughters...

, Mike Connors
Mike Connors
Mike Connors is an American actor best known for playing detective Joe Mannix in the CBS television series, Mannix. Before that, he had played a crime-fighting investigator, wielding a .38 handgun hidden in his back, in another CBS series, Tightrope.-Early life:Connors was born Krekor Ohanian in...

, Lawrence Dobkin
Lawrence Dobkin
Lawrence Dobkin was an American television director, actor and television screenwriter whose career spanned seven decades....

, Ron Hagerthy
Ron Hagerthy
Ronald F. "Ron" Hagerthy is a former American actor known primarily for his guest-starring and supporting roles on television westerns. In 1952, he portrayed Clipper King in the modern western series, Sky King, with Kirby Grant in the title role of Clipper's uncle, Schuyler "Sky" King, pilot of...

, Adam Kennedy
Adam Kennedy (actor)
Adam Kennedy was an American actor, screenwriter, novelist, and painter, who starred as the Irish-American newspaper editor Dion Patrick in thirty-seven episodes during the first season, 1957–1958, of NBC's western television series, The Californians...

, Paul Richards
Paul Richards (actor)
Paul Richards was a Jewish American actor who appeared in films and on television in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s until his death from cancer at the age of fifty. He married actress Monica Keating in 1953.Richards guest-starred in a number of classic television western series, including Gunsmoke...

, Bing Russell
Bing Russell
Bing Russell was an American actor and baseball club owner, and was the father of Golden Globe-nominated actor Kurt Russell.-Personal life:...

, Craig Stevens
Craig Stevens (actor)
Craig Stevens was an American motion picture and television actor.-Early and personal life:Born Gail Shikles, Jr., in Liberty, Missouri, his father was a high school teacher....

 and Stuart Whitman
Stuart Whitman
Stuart Maxwell Whitman is an American actor.Stuart Whitman is arguably best-known for playing Marshal Jim Crown in the western television series Cimarron Strip in 1967...


The Silent Service was produced by California National Productions and Twin Dolphin Productions, Inc.

See also

A similar syndicated offering, Men of Annapolis
Men of Annapolis
Men of Annapolis is a 41-episode half-hour syndicated drama television series in anthology format which aired from 1957–1958 and was hosted by the voice of Art Gilmore. Darryl Hickman appeared four times on the program as Dusty Rhodes, a fictitious midshipman at the United States Naval Academy in...

, aired during the same season and focused on stories about fictitious midshipmen at the United States Naval Academy
United States Naval Academy
The United States Naval Academy is a four-year coeducational federal service academy located in Annapolis, Maryland, United States...

 in Annapolis
Annapolis, Maryland
Annapolis is the capital of the U.S. state of Maryland, as well as the county seat of Anne Arundel County. It had a population of 38,394 at the 2010 census and is situated on the Chesapeake Bay at the mouth of the Severn River, south of Baltimore and about east of Washington, D.C. Annapolis is...

, Maryland
Maryland is a U.S. state located in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east...

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