Reminiscences of service aboard USS Flasher (SSN 613) as yeoman submariner in 1966-69.

The sub adopted as its honorary submariner the novelist Louis L’Amour, author of Western thrillers. Dale was the yeoman who corresponded with him, sent him a letter when they crossed the equator, and L’Amour in turn sent signed copies of all his work to the ship.

Ship was assigned spy duty off Kamchatka. Seamen had to read their textbooks until they passed qualifying exams for their “dolphins.” Then they would be free to check out Lamour books. These books went from bunk to bunk and were read by battery light which was bright enough, especially in the privileged position of a high bunk. People also traded his books like trading cards: two old Lamours for one new one. The crew came to a general consensus naming Lamour an official submariner. Dale wrote the letter and Lamour responded to the honor by sending copies of his entire corpus.

Gleave (aka Gleep-Gleep) was also assigned to transcribe intercepted conversations between Russian trawlers with the Captain dictating, communications people translating, and Dale typing the translation. As a member of the E Division of the Ship (Admin.), he was also co-editor/compiler of the ship’s newspaper, aptly named SUC [Submarine Underwater Command, a made-up title], together with the Chief of Boat(COB), with the Executive Officer acting as censor. It was produced “on a very early Xerox machine that barely fit through the hatch and it seems was in constant “jam” mode. Gleave retains memories of the censored material as largely off-color jokes. He also retains a few pages of the original in severely decayed condition, but good enough to provide a few examples of SUC’s deathless prose (undated and unpaginated):

SUC NEWS wishes to announce the engagement of MISS MYRA MARTIN / E & E / TO / MR. JACK BRAVLOR / IC ALLEY /

As a token of her affection, Miss MARTIN has presented MR BRAVLOR with a $3.50 ship’s Zippo lighter. Miss MARTIN was recently involved in the Torpedo Room Grease scandal.

UC looks at next week’s menu, every item of which includes Tuna.

URBAN and MC MINN (nicknames of crew members) describe their newly constructed ULGR, a fictional device, featured in SUC:

SCISSORS HOLDER as “A true and meaningful work of art; a rare and refreshing example of what can be done to create a functional device that can still be subtly called beautiful; an outstanding example of the upcoming trend to functional art, revealed only by such works as Picasso’s “CHICAGO”.

Come into my parlor, said the spider, as he opened his fly.

As to content, the Editor has commented more recently (1/6/2019): “I suppose only Sub Sailors would appreciate our dry humor. It did help tremendously with morale and boredom though.”