Family Gram

Memoirs of an American Cold War Submariner

by Phillip Norris


Book Details

An ordinary American in an Extraordinary time in American History

Phil Norris chronicles his service as a Reactor Plant Supervisor aboard 5 nuclear submarines during the Cold War in this candid and intriguing autobiography. Phil focuses on his personal challenges and triumphs during his storied career in the nuclear submarine service. The name "Family Gram" refers to the 40 word messages that submarine sailors could receive from their family while they were on patrol. Phil writes this book as a collective reply to those Family Grams.


About the Author

Phillip Norris

Phil Norris grew up in Hamilton, Alabama. Inspired by the U.S. Space Program and President Eisenhower's speech entitled "Atoms For Peace," Phil decided by the 5th grade that he either wanted to be an astronaut or nuclear scientist. His preparation for those careers led him to enroll in a highly scientific curriculum at Hamilton High School and to begin flying lessons at age 15. By his junior year in high school, Phil had decided that being a scientist on a nuclear submarine was his calling. He joined the Navy Nuclear Program while still in high school. Upon graduation in 1979, Phil began his nuclear power training and following his training, reported onboard the USS Thomas Jefferson (SSN 618). The USS Thomas Jefferson was a converted Ballistic Missile submarine that performed unique missions and deployed Navy Seals in forward areas. Phil subsequently served on four more submarines, both attack and missile submarines during the Cold War. His last assignment was onboard the USS Frank Cable (AS-40), a submarine repair ship. Phil retired from the Navy in 1994 and has been an advocate for Navy Submarine Programs and Nuclear Power since his retirement. Following his retirement from the U.S. Navy, Phil worked in the civilian nuclear industry in various roles. He has served as a Plant Manager for a nuclear facility and as a Radiological Engineer. He has also published several technical documents related to the nuclear industry. Phil ran for U.S. Congress in 2012 in Alabama's 7th Congressional District as a Republican. Phil has two grown sons, Scott and Brett. Phil currently resides in Hoover, AL.



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