Sea Stories

That Would Be MORSE Code...

QM2(SS) Frank Dyess

I was a Quartermaster in the USS Gurnard (SSN-662). One time we were doing ops with the Korean and Japanese navies. While at PD, the captain noticed that the surface ships were using signal lights. He asked the QMC if anyone in the division could read flashing light. The chief told the captain that I had just come from signalman school, and had done quite well.

When I got up to the scope, they were blinking at a hundred miles an hour (or should I say knots). The XO was standing there to take notes of what I read. So as not to look too stupid, I began, "Xray, Charlie, One, Foxtrot,... Captain, I think they are using code." He said that I was probably right, and let me go back to the plot. When we had our awards ceremony seven months later, I got a Group 5 commendation for what I did.

And that's no lie.

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