Saturday, July 23, 2005

Coryphaenidae Qualified Kleptomania

Coryphaenidae qualified kleptomania or dolphin fish qualified thievery.

Submarine enlisted crewmembers have been known to from time to time procure a certain luxury item from the Executive Officer without his prior knowledge. Said item affords the XO a level of needed privacy while underway. The selection and gratuitous theft of this item seems to be a bit of a tradition in the Submarine Service.

All you Submariners out there know exactly what I’m writing about it’s……. “Who took the XO’s door!!!!”

Where the F*^*#$% is my door?!!!!!

In the past and present, I've had a number of shipmates and friends relate theirs and others stories of XO stateroom doors that have gone missing. Here’s a few presented purely for their entertainment value (Active duty, please this is not a meant to be a how to guide).

My story:
I was a on my first patrol on the Simon Bolivar SSBN641 and we had been underway for about a month. Off watch and studying my ships Quals I had found the upper level electronic room forward of sonar a quiet place to read ship systems manuals. After about a half hour of study I was suddenly interrupted by a QM2(SS) standing in the passageway with the XO’s door. He proceeded to quickly slide the door behind a large sonar equipment cabinet just inside the electronics room door, put his finger to his lips and went Sssssss and left.

Not 10 to 15 minutes later I’m interrupted a second time, this time it’s the Chief of the Boat COB. He looks at me and says, “The XO’s pissed and wants his door back, I know someone in NAV division took it, do you know who and where it is.” I said “No COB, don’t know a thing, just been sitting here studying my Quals.” If it was a snake it would have bit him, but he didn’t see it and went on with the search.

I little while later I went to the control room and found the watch section discussing the missing door, a busy QM2(SS) was the only one not participating in the conversation. The door was found a few days later just before Halfway Night.

Ric Hedman manager of Juliett 484 had this story for me today:

As Ric tells it on the USS Flasher SSN613 the XO's stateroom door went AWOL during the maneuvering watch while heading out on patrol. The XO stationed a someone outside his stateroom to verify that anyone entering the passageway had to either have the CO or his permission to be there. Ric being a Stewards MateTN(SS) was the only one who had a blanket permission. This went on for the entire patrol and no door. Finally at the end of patrol and, of course during the maneuvering watch, the XO's door was retrieved from the freezer, frozen solid, and returned its proper location. The ice that accumulated in the XO's door promptly melted ruining the fine wool carpets that were donated and installed in the boat during construction. The XO was not pleased.

Stories from others I found searching the internet:

From the USS Memphis guestbook.
"I remember stealing the XO's door and hiding it in ERUL outboard the Port Main Engine. After the Wardroom poker game broke up the XO went up to his state room (sp?) then got on the 1MC and ordred field day until his door was found and returned. That was a great night. Soaking Ens. Grosicki and the Engineer between the MSW Pumps was very satisfying too. Looking back, I can say the time I spent on MEMPHIS was a great time of my life.
Sincerely, "Spit"MM1(SS) Scott Benson"

From the USS Spinax newsletter page. or Submarine humor page
"On board the Robert E. Lee SSBN601B, the crew stole the XO"s door. The next day's POD said there were to be no movies until it was returned. For privacy the XO, E.O. Warren hung a blanket over the opening.
By the 3rd day he had gotten into the habit of walking thru the blanket instead of moving it. On the 5th day we replaced the door. Re-hanging the blanket over it, and then settled back to watch the fun.
Suddenly the XO came running down the passageway enroute to his stateroom and thru the blanket/curtain, coming up very short upon meeting the door. Nose bleeding and demanding an answer, the CO came to his rescue.

After surveying the damage the CO, R.W.Aldinger, marched to control, grasped the 1MC and announced, "This is the Captain. The XO's door has been found. MOVIE CALL!"
W.S. Wantland QMC(SS) USS Hawkbill SSN 666"

Sea stories on
"From LCDR(Ret) John Arnold
On Halibut, after our 2nd back-to-back Ivy Bells mission, my 4 Chiefs were bored and up to mischief on our return to CONUS. They stole the CO's stateroom door. The CO had the XO's door transfered to his stateroom & told the XO he didn't care if they ever found the door. Needless to say the XO was ticked. Each watch section had a search/recovery team looking in vain for the elusive door. To add insult to injury, the spook Chiefs re installed the (missing for 10 days) door on the XO's stateroom. All of this accomplished without discovery or even a clue as to who pulled off this great TF. It wasn't until our mission debrief at NSA that we revealed the Mystery to the skipper-Chuck Larsen. I've heard that other ships have tried this but the door has always been found and many times the culprit is caught in the act of removing the door. These guys were a cleaver team aside from providing NSA with hundreds of the finest broadband tapes that they had ever received! "

SSBN622 homestead Sea Stories webpage
"I was stationed on the Monroe from 1979 to 1983. The XO at the time had a thing about DYNO labels being around the boat. The officers aboard got together and put labels all over his stateroom. He didn't know who did it but he blamed the nukes on board and made them do an extra field day. Then a A-Gang member stole his stateroom door and hid it. One thing to remember is that we were underway and we couldn't compact it. The XO went for three days searching for the door and couldn't find it until he made some A-Ganger act as a door until the door showed up. The XO apologized to the nukes and we allowed him to bring us bug juice for a couple of shifts.
Robert Crowe

A couple of good ones from a forum

"one halfway night the XO's door showed up, with the ENG taped to it. Carried by 2 MM1's. Now that was a halfway night."

and this

"I got an old door from salvage one time and cut it into a jig saw puzzle. Took the XO's door at halfway night and put the pieces on his rack. He really freeked. We hid his real door under the deck plates in the crew's library, you know how many screws there are in those deck plates? (Lafayette Class 616) Takes hours..."

And finally this about not taking the door

"There was one time the door did not disappear. The XO at the time had a thing about flickering fluorescent light bulbs and was constantly combing the boat for 'em. Pissed E Div off to no end.Anyway, the XO comes back from halfway night festivities to find his door still there, he's shocked and amazed. He opens the door to his stateroom and flicks on the lights. Every bulb had been replaced with the flickering lights he made E div change out."

If anyone has their own story of an UNHINGED XO door or otherwise just add to the Comments section.


Anonymous said...

Our XO's door went missing during the '98 deployment. It was gone for a couple of days, but returned when the XO threatened that the upcoming field day would begin at the usual time and last until the door was returned.... It was fairly common knowledge that our HM1 had something to do with it. When I asked him, a few weeks later, he said that he had borrowed the keys to the SK shack and to the stowage space under it (this was on a 688), then just taken the door straight down the XO's ladder and the scuttle leading to the SK shack.

RM1(SS) (ret)

Anonymous said...

The opposite occurred on an SSN.
Submerged 2 hours out on a long ops from Groton, the XO (Mac)found the AFT-BUOY plaque in his SR. Mac was beside himself for the rest of the deployment. No one would admit any knowledge of the strange appearance. We returned to port only to find the aft-buoy plaque was definitely not missing, nor the forward one. Later it was learned a yard craftsman had left the mistakenly manufactured spare in the XO's SR for someone else.

CDR Salamander said...

Thanks shipmate, this reminds me why I love the Navy and love Sailors....even when/just because they know how to make life worthwhile.


I think this is link worthy.....

chaoticsynapticactivity said...

I have yet to write my "missing door" sea story. I can write it from the other perspective, as the XO...and it was on an FFG.

I'll try to get to it in the next few days.

It's a long tale, for four months later, I returned the favor to the SCPOC in spades.....

What the sailors didn't ever get to know, is that I really thought it was funny...maybe now, many years removed, the truth can be revealed. :)

Anonymous said...

First boat, a boomer 655 blue, had a real turd as my second XO. A few weeks into a patrol I and two other folks with drills had the door off (except 2 rivits) in 45 seconds; when the CO door came flying open. Seems he was a little late getting up from his nap. An A ganger finished removing the door a few minutes later and the door dis-appeared. Gone! I could not find it. I still think it was in the AMR space but ??? It showed up about 4 weeks later when the COB started asking around.

bstntn said...

Talked to a friend on subs. The XO was on the bridge during maneuvering watch leaving for patrol. Upon returning to his stateroom, he found the door missing. He looked everywhere including personally checking every diversion space during weekly zone inspections. He could not find it and placed a duct taped sheet where the door had been.

Upon returning to port at the end of the cruise the XO was again on the bridge. Returning to his stateroom he found his door in its proper place and the sheet neatly folded laying on his bunk. He promptly reported to the CO on the return of his door. The Skipper replied he was thrilled as he kept getting stuck in the back by the doorknob when he slept. Seems the skipper had the door placed under the mattress on his bunk.

HM2(SW) Ret