27 July 2006

Scary sights


Somewhere in the middle of my naval career I found myself on a skimmer. It didn't take me long to determine that, although we wore the same uniforms, the submarine and surface fleets were two totally different navies. However, I made some good friends there, and the fact that Slimy Snake (occasionally known as USS Simon Lake AS-33) was homeported in Scotland more than made up for all the skimmer nonsense I had to put up with.

My first year on board, logically enough, was spent in R-4 Division (Electronic Repair). But then I found myself working in 38N, the nuc repair shop, which was part of R-10 Division (Nuc Repair).* 38N was mostly composed of HTs, but there were also a couple of MMs and EMs, and an ET (all non-nuclear types). And me, the RM.

Which led to the afternoon I was sitting around the office chatting with one of the nucs from 10D (Nuclear Planning), the other half of R-10. And we got onto the subject of scary sights. No idea what input I had for that part of the conversation, but his was pretty memorable.

"The scariest sight I've ever seen was watching the RC door open up, and a radioman come out with a handful of wrenches. And knowing that he'd been using those wrenches in the RC...."

So what's the scariest sight you've ever seen?

* "It's a long story, Harold."

2 comments:

sigo said...

Here's a story for you:

I was a brand new butter bar (2nd Lieutenant for you non-military types) just back from my Officer's Basic Course and my unit was out on it's summer camp (annual 2 week training or AT). No....this isn't the scary part...remember that this is from MY perspective.....besides I knew everything, didn't I?

Anyway, my section had two tents, the commo switchboard (where I slept) and the sleeping tent (for most everybody else. That year we were short handed, taking only 10 out of a section of two platoons, so I got to know the attendees pretty well.

Duty positions were pretty much assigned to the most experienced at each with minimal rotation. It seemed like a good plan at the time...until I happened to going back to the switchboard tent one night.

Movement caught my attention through the slight opening in the flaps and made me pause....the person manning the switchboard looked to be doing some sort of Kabuki. I stood there transfixed for almost a minute before the thought hit me that I should just back away slowly...and never, ever say anything to anyone since that person slept in the same tent with me.

PigBoatSailor said...

The scariest thing - heh, easy, as it still scares me to think about it:
Imagine walking into Control as the boat is coming up to PD, and spying the FTOW, a crusty, grumpy ol' bassid, kneeling in front of the Fire Control stacks, hands folded, a look of total fear and pleading on his face, and the OOD, completely oblivious, on the scope on the way up to the surface.

Yeah, there is a lot more to that story, but at that moment, seeing that FT suddenly resorting to prayer, took my breath away in sheer shock.