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Israel’s Second Submarine Leaves British Base Today for Haifa Port

Israel’s second submarine, the 800-ton Rahav, will leave the British submarine base, HMS Dolphin, some time tomorrow for Israel. The Rahav, formerly the British submarine Sanguine, was acquired from Britain two years ago, together with the Tanin which was commissioned in the Israel Navy last December.

Fully armed with 12 torpedoes and carrying a full complement of 56 officers and enlisted men, the Rahav will sail for Israel “ready for action” after completion of training of the crew and testing of the undersea craft. The Rahav is under command of Lt. Cmdr. Hadar Kimche, 31.

Israel’s second submarine will leave the British base following a brief ceremony which will be attended by Lt. Cmdr. Nathan Sofer, the Israel Navy attache in London and officers of the British base. Members of the Rahav crew have been in training in British bases for varying periods. Some of the enlisted men have had only six months training while the officers have had nearly two years of intensive instruction.

Lt. Cmdr. Michael Badbam, one of the British instruction officers, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the Israelis have been “quick on the uptake.” He noted that British submarine commanders usually receive eight years of training and senior petty officers list from eight to 12 years of instruction. Other British naval officers also commenced on the speed with which the Israelis mastered the techniques of undersea warfare.

The Rahav’s crew consists of men from five continents and gives a clear demonstration of Israel’s “ingathering of exiles.” Lt. Cmdr. Kimche is a former kibbutznik born in Ein Harod in Israel. Lt. Ivan Dror, the torpedo officer, is a 32-year-old resident of Tel Aviv who was born in Rumania and who has served in the Israel Defense Forces for ten years. The Rahav’s cook is a former paratrooper who volunteered for submarine duty. Other men come from points as far apart as Poland, Morocco, Hungary and Iraq.

Three crew members became engaged to British girls during their training period. Two of the girls are studying Hebrew at the Liverpool Zion House, intending to emigrate to Israel. The third fiance is taking lessons from a Portsmouth rabbi. The Rahav is the first Israel submarine to introduce the tradition of mascots. Crew members adopted two Pekingese dogs, “Dingo” and “Lady.”

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