March 3, 2019

From Trouble to Triumph, part 2

 “Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me.”-- Psalm 138:7 (KJV)

Last week, I wrote about one of my husband’s miracles of protection here. Today’s writing will uncover another example. This incident happened while John was serving in the U.S. Navy.

He was stationed on a submarine just off the coast of Russia. His rank was Petty Officer 2nd Class Cryptologic Technician Interpretive (CTI2). (For us civilians, that’s a fancy name for translator.) He intercepted and interpreted radio conversations from the Russian navy. This was before the Berlin Wall was brought down.


My husband’s sub was moving at periscope depth. This is less than 50 feet from the surface. In order to be able to use their radio antenna, they had to be close to the surface of the water. He was on duty. His had two tasks:
  • Listen to general Russian navy traffic
  • Take note of any indication the sub had been spotted

He heard some Russians saying they’d spotted a foreign sub, which he knew had to be the one he was on. He passed the information up the chain of command to his captain.

While the top officer was being informed, the opponent’s navy was already moving a destroyer full speed toward the submarine. Also, KGB (secret police) agents were using small patrol boats to go to the submarine. Both kinds of vessels had sonar, depth charges, and artillery.  It was the KGB’s job to keep people from leaving, or going into, the country without permission.

The destroyer came close enough to chop off half of the sub’s antenna as it was being reeled in. The craft went into an emergency dive situation. Battle stations were sounded. That indicated the need to submerge as quickly as possible.

The captain wanted to go beyond the depth at which the sonar and depth charges (anti-submarine weapons designed to be dropped in the water near the vessels and explode) could locate and reach them. Even the shock waves from the depth charges could crush the hull (outer shell) and cause death.

The Chase

The sub submerged to the maximum operational depth, and they were still being pursued. The captain decided they had to go further than that, which was incredibly dangerous. Everyone had to be quiet, so the destroyer couldn’t hear them. In addition, the KGB was still circling the area throwing depth charges into the water.

The hull started creaking because they were so deep. There was too much pressure from the water. If the depth charges didn’t get them, the water pressure may have made the sub implode.  Either way, moving at that depth is a likely death sentence.

The Aftermath

The U. S. Navy members finally got far enough down that they evaded the sonar. They were able to escape detection because of the different layers of warm and cold water.

For his efforts, my husband got awarded the Navy Expeditionary Medal. This is to acknowledge landing in foreign territory and engaging in armed opposition.

My Conclusion

“God's promises for protection will never bounce back like a bad check. He is always watching.” ― Naide P Obiang (from Goodreads)
 “A God wise enough to create me and the world I live in is wise enough to watch out for me.”--Philip Yancey (from

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How many times has God protected you?


  1. What a great story. Thank you for sharing it. I can only imagine the tension and yet, not only did God protect him but what a testimony to share.

  2. Carol Graham, thanks so much for your positive feedback! I agree about feeling the tension. The story practically had me gripping the edge of my seat. Only God could have saved them, and it is a wonderful testimony to share.