Sid's N T I N S Locker
Submarine Experts
A Kodak moment of your typical group of Submariner BBS participants expounding at length on the esoteric submarine issue of the day. They all look alike so if you've seen one group, you pretty much have seen 'em all. Caught here in a discussion being held on board one of the earlier submarine tenders. The topic of the day I believe was the number, alloy, thread size and placement of the bolts in a trim manifold on a Balao class boat.
Note: Cap'n. Bob is not responsible for this editorial commentary about the picture as it is placed here by Sid Harrison. (I took the picture.)
To put the following story in context:
It was after the USS GREENVILLE SSN-772 ramming incident off Hawaii and many heated discussions on a submarine BBS ensued. Mainly those of the "Monday morning quarterback" variety. One of the participants at the time was an 18 year old - 6 months in the Navy - Submarine School student who had made many postings, expressing his "opinions" as to what may have happened and what should have been done.
The following is Captain (USN-Retired) Bob Thomas' musings about all that. 
--Sid Harrison (June 2001)

Submarine Experts

by Cap'n Bob

February 16, 2001

It has been amusing to read some of the recent posts about what probably happened and what the crew of the GREENEVILLE should have done. I even sent a private Email to the young lad in sub school with some "grandfatherly advice" on expressing his opinions.

His private response to me indicates he is a Seaman Recruit (E-1). I am reminded of an old saying that goes " Syx muntz ago I cudn't even spel XPURT, now I are wun."

Incidentally, the young man was so intent on having his Dolphins "tacked on" so he could be part of the submarine tradition. My first submarine force assignment was in 1949 and the last was in 1968. I pinned Dolphins on many a great submarine sailor, and I never ever heard of the "tradition" of tacking on Dolphins. We usually threw the new recipient of his Dolphins over the side, but did so with some care for their safety.

In 1961 the REMORA SS-487 was returning to San Diego from a WestPac deployment. We had a very relaxed atmosphere on the boat and let the crew sleep in whenever they wanted, except we passed the word every morning for all unqualified men to get up and turn to on qualification.

A few days before we reached San Diego, all enlisted men aboard had qualified and earned their Dolphins, so no one had to do the turn-to-on-qualification thing. We had one officer who had not yet qualified, so the last enlisted man to qualify came to me for a request, which I granted. He went to the 1MC the next morning and announced in a very loud voice "LTJG D****, Get out of your bunk and turn to on qualification!".

The Quartermasters made a blue flag with silver Dolphins sewed on and we flew it from #2 scope as we entered port. Needless to say, we were very proud of that crew, but sorry to see so many of them transferred to other boats in the next few days. So we started over with another group of unqualified. Also I never heard them referred to as NQP!

Hope you enjoyed this little sea story (and my rambling on)

Bob Thomas - DBF