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Bombers Lament

The following was received from an anonymous source. I cannot vouch for the validity of the stories quoted!.

Now that my signature on the 'Official Secrets Form' has expired, I can tell you Diesel Submariners in our midst what we in the Bombers had to endure and put up with, keeping you safe from the 'Red Hordes' on our Patrols!

For a start we had to bring our Number One's on board for the Patrol Mess Dinner. For those without ties an enterprising 'Tiff' had a good deal going 'Tots for Ties' made of cardboard and black masking tape!. Talking of food, a mutiny started brewing halfway through the patrol, with the galley running out of chips. But some quick thinking 'Tiff' had thought ahead and loaded an empty Missile Tube with sacks of potatoes. Unfortunately the tube was pressurised by mistake during an early morning WSRT and so it was cheerio to chips.

We did however end up with a Missile Tube full of potato mush which, when drained and filtered of bits left us with a passable gin! Sandy Bottoms! So it was back to the chef to manufacture chips out of 'Pom' which turned out to be square and greenish and not very tasty. At the time a film was being showed called 'Soylent Green'. It's about the old and dead being fed into a vat and turned into square green food tablets we never did find that ex Diesel POME who wouldn't change into whites after 1800.

Talking of films, just when things were getting interesting off went 'Action Stations Missile'. I'm sure the 'Sparks' in the W/T Room had a direct line to Northwood and let them know the moment the leading lady started to disrobe! This didn't affect most of the crew as they had been taking their 'Bromide' but it did affect a certain 'Tiff' as he didn't take sugar in his tea!!

Then to cap it all someone was nicking all the last pages of the Wilbur Smith novels in the library and then trying to sell them for 'Tots'.

I can remember when computers first appeared in the Bombers and they had to be used to communicate with shore instead of the old trusty phone. The letter 'O' caused the most trouble with a few of the 'cock ups' listed below.

  1. The caterer ordered ten cases of cabbages and a whole train load of one hundred arrived on the jetty. The 'scrubbers' worked overtime on that Patrol I can tell you!
  2. The canteen manager thought he had ordered ten boxes of Mars Bars and only one turned up hence a fight to get the last one!
  3. Several accidents happened on one Patrol and our 'Surfacing Report' requested one ambulance to be on the jetty on arrival alongside. When we arrived every ambulance in Dumbarton had turned up. The wives and families and brass were waiting for us wondering what disaster had occurred.

One other event which comes to mind was when we decided to have a social 'mid patrol' to raise spirits and in order for a bar extension we had to invite the Skipper who duly turned up.

After a few hours the XO arrived with an 'Eyes Only' for the CO in the form of a piece of folded paper which he duly presented. After a few more hours the two of them were singing arm in arm and passing a certain 'key' between them arguing on who was to have it next!

A few hours more and a phone call from the Control Room from the OOW asking when he was getting relieved as he wasn't quite sure of where we were. Which only goes to prove the point that no-one knew where a Polaris Boat was when on Patrol. Note that the piece of folded paper was blank.


1 comment

Good dit well done. The potato incident however was on the way back from DASO and they had been loaded on top of the ballast cans in one of the missile tubes. When dealing with a moisture in tube alarm, the drain valve was opened and noxious gas was detected ie from the rotten potatoes. Clear lower deck to empty the potatoes into canvas bags and taken forward. Right smelly mess along the main drag. Not sure which boat as I did 3 Daso, Repulse 1972 ish, Revenge 1983 ish and Repulse 1987 ish. First one as a MC Patrol so it wasn’t then and later ones as a back afty. Close enough for ministry work.⚓️????
   Derek Jervis Mon, 8 Feb 2021

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