The Saga of the
Why They Wear Dolphins
Long patrols, long hours, and personnel shortages rated next on their list of
dislikes, followed by the lack of laundry facilities and enough water for daily
showers at sea. One submariner volunteered that most of his sub pay is used for
laundry expenses, which, he said, puts him in no better financial position than
a surface Navyman who receives free laundry services.
Ever since the crew of USS Holland was formed in 1900, sub-mariners have boasted
about their food.
Since no survey of submarine personnel would be complete without a query on the
subject, an attempt was made to support or refute that long-standing claim.About
three-fourths of those questioned upheld the traditional boast. A few were undecided.
And a few more said, “It depends.” One replied, “not necessarily,” and one opposed
the claim altogether concerning meals in submarines.The affirmative replies were
due to a variety of reasons. Some praised the high caliber of food and supply
personnel, and their pride in their work. Others reasoned that a smaller crew
permitted a more personal touch. Then, too, many approved of the family-style
dining atmosphere, as well as the quality and quantity of food.One dolphin-wearer
had the final answer. He couldn’t make a comparison, he said, because he had been
in submarines so long he had forgotten how it was in other segments of the Navy.
W. J. Thomas, JOC, USN
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