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True humour in uniform (Bill Kennedy)
(true, original, smirk, swearing)

I have heard this told as a joke many times after it happened but I was on
watch on the ship when it happened.  Eric (chief engineer) was the Officer
of the Deck and I was his assistant.  We were steaming in a very large
formation, roughly 30 ships, complete darken ship, and no radio or radar
permitted other than the short range UHF tactical radio.  Everyone was on
edge because we couldn't see and we couldn't use radar to avoid colliding
with another ship.  About 0230 the formation commander sent a very complex
formation change as "immediate execute" which means "do it as soon as I
finish" rather than "I'll give you some time to figure it out, then do it".

The orders were encrypted and encoded which meant I had to decrypt and then
decode before I could figure out what we were supposed to do.  When the
"Execute!" order was given Eric asked me if I had the solution and I told
him I was still decrytping.

The Captain slept with a sound powered phone in his bunk so Eric reached down,
pressed the Captain's buzzer and said
"Captain, get up here quick!  I'm f**ked up!"

When he released the button on the handset the radio speaker came back on,
Eric had grabbed the wrong handset.

Almost immediately the formation commander came on the radio with
"This is abate hotel...  Station making last transmission identify!"

Without a hesitation Eric reached down and took the radio handset and replied
"I'm not THAT f**ked up..."

That was the relief we needed, everybody turned on their lights and radars
and we spent the next hour or so getting back into formation.
Bill Kennedy ...{rutgers,cbosgd,ihnp4!petro}!ssbn!bill  or bill@ssbn.WLK.COM

(From the "Rest" of RHF)

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