Sunday, July 24, 2005

Coryphaenidae Qualified Kleptomania

Crossposted by Lubber's Line at "Hundreds of Fathoms"

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 comments accepted at this same post on "Hundreds of Fathoms" and I won't tell the COB.


At 7:47 PM, Blogger Rob said...


First 'Pac, an A-Ganger, Nuke MM, and MS (now called "CS", always "stew burner") teamed up to, er, "relocate" the XO's door.

They were laughing all the way to their two days of 3 section XO Door Watch (a watch that even had a qual card...)

Next up was the freezing of said XO's pillow...and I swear I had nothing to do with it...


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