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 .... 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.

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