Best Dolphin Painting Crew in the US Navy!
Now to tell you about the best Dolphin painting crew to ever spend 18
months in the Puget Sound Navy Shipyard. I saw the article about the dolphins on the
fantail of the Chicago (The Great Chicago Incident at .... http://users.aol.com/SSN594/chicago.htm)
and it brought back memories. The USS Sculpin deck gang developed a talent of
painting dolphins on every skimmer that came into Puget Sound Navy Shipyard. Many ships
got marked by the paint crew. The one we would regret is the set of dolphins that
was painted on the fantail of a skimmer ship (called a Target!) that was tied to
pier with the bow facing out towards the bay. That left the dolphins very visible to all
those in the shipyard. Someone called the local newspaper, the Bremerton Sun, and they
sent a photographer down to the shipyard. Well, Rickover got and read, the Bremerton
Son newspaper, and saw the picture. To say the least, he was not happy! All boat
captains in the shipyard got a warning that this activity would stop. Well, of course, it
did not stop, it only grew. One of the last dolphins painted by the 590 paint crew
was one of the best. The Sculpin Captain and the Captain of the skimmer nuclear
ship, USS Truxton, were at the O club. The Truxton captain said his ship was
leaving in the morning and there would be no dolphins on his ship. Boy, did he ever make a
rash statement. The Truxton had extra deck and pier watches out all night and come
morning, their captain made an inspection of the hull, and was pleased that his ship was
safe from the dolphin painting crew. Well, as you may have guessed, how wrong he was
and he got a picture to prove it. What happened that night is a classic story.
The Sculpin captain let it be known that it would be nice to see a set of dolphins
on the Truxton. He never knew who the paint crew was so he could never call
them to mast, but he was sure that members of his crew were involved. He did arrange
for a photographer to be aboard one of the tug boats that would be escorting the Truxton
out of the shipyard. What the paint crew did was just amazing. They painted
dolphins on the bow of the Truxton that night, and also covered them with some paper.
They lightly taped the top, bottom, and aft sides of the paper and painted all of
it Truxton Hull Grey. That is why in the morning, everything looked a-ok to the
Truxton captain. He had a radio message sent to our captain as they where pulling out,
saying sorry, but your guys did not get them. After the first wave ripped the paper off
the bow, the photographer on the tug took the greatest picture of the whole 18 months of
the dolphin painting crew's activities. The copy of the picture was delivered to the
Truxton. That captain was had and his whole crew knew it and paid for it. So bad that we
got the word back later that the Truxton captain sent a paint crew over the side at sea,
to get rid of those dam dolphins!
......... written by a Sculpin sailor, wishing to remain anonymous, to protect the innocent.
Return to my home page.....