In early June, 1960, we were enroute from Pearl Harbor to Yokosuka, Japan. We were running on the surface. The Pacific Ocean was flat, like a small lake. The weather was warm and beautiful. I was standing the Port Lookout Watch.
Little by little, the Bridge was starting to fill up, as some of the crew wanted to get some fresh air. Soon the Bridge was packed. Then, Lieutenant Suffian requested permission to come up. Permission was granted. He emerged from the Conning Tower dressed in shorts only. He proceeded to lay a beach towel between the two lookouts. He then jumped up there, rubbed Sea and Ski lotion all over himself, and started to sun himself. Soon, he began to snooze.
Word must have reached the Captain (Lieutenant Commander I. J. Viney), as someone from below whispered VERY QUIETLY that everyone, except the OOD and the Lookouts, should clear the Bridge. Everyone VERY QUIETLY cleared the Bridge.
In a few moments, the Captain, using the 1MC, said, "Bridge, Conn, this is the Captain! Take her down!" Lieutenant Shirley was the OOD. He yelled to us, "Lookouts Below! Clear the Bridge!" Lieutenant Suffian jumped up, rather groggy due to napping in the sun, and cleared the Bridge. We dove the boat.
Our Captain, who would relinquish command of the Menhaden to Commander Boone C. Taylor upon arrival in Yokosuka, apparently had a sense of humor. There were a lot of people in the Control Room laughing as Mr. Suffian came down the ladder.
It was not too long after that when Mr. Shirley ordered me, as off Lookout, to wake up Mr. Suffian with the phrase, "It's Sea and Ski weather on the Bridge, Mr. Suffian!" Of course, you know that it was a cold wet day topside.
There was another round of laughter after Mr. Suffian relieved Mr. Shirley. If my memory is correct, Mr. Shirley soon went up and took the watch, allowing Mr. Suffian to change into warmer clothes.
(Bob Frier Notes: This incident stayed with me because, at the time, I thought that the diving of a submarine was for SERIOUS things! I never thought that a submarine would dive as amusement for the entire boat!)
The USS Menhaden in the early 1960's.