Temper, Temper

by Billy Bob 'Launcher' Lary
 
 

In my youth, I was known for my quick and vicious temper.

My qual boat, USS ANDREW JACKSON SSBN 619B, had two divisions in the missile compartment. They consisted of Missile Technicians and the Launcher Torpedomen. Most, if not all of the work in the compartment, was split into technical and non-technical thus pitting the MT's against the TM's. Towards the end of my tour in ‘77-‘78, we received notice that the Launcher TM's were being "done away" with; either you converted to MT or went to the "room". This meant that a lot of the jobs that only TM's did, now fell to the MT's. This also meant that those TM's opting to convert had to be "educated", however, as it was proven over and over, there wasn't anything that an MT could teach a TM, because we already knew it all, heh heh heh.

Now during the end of one long patrol, we were directed, as usual, to change ready conditions from 2SQ to 4SQ. Now part of this meant that we had to enter the missile tube and install plates (which is where I'm gonna leave that). Anyway, we split into two teams, one made up of TM's and one of MT's. One more part of this tale... We also were getting a lot of new personnel, both of our chiefs were leaving, so we had a new one, MTC DuSavage (Some of you may know of him from Dam Neck, Va. or one of the tenders). We also received a new first and second class, both of which were dink from the get-go (They both were non-SS and coming straight from the tender, MT1 Forgy and MT2 Merswa (sp)... Yeehaw, this was gonna be fun) and being a third class standing LOS with a first class MRCP, tender puke at that, was almost more than I could ask for.

Anyway, we were directed to set 4SQ and the two teams started. We had already shown the MT's what needed to be done and it was expected that the TM's would finish their tubes ahead of the MT's and give them help. Well, the TM's ran into several problems installing the plates and the MT's finished before the TM's and left us to finish by ourselves. This pissed us off... We were supposed to be a team and they were keeping it split.

We finally finished and words were exchanged, but nothing came of it. However I was still pissed, I was seething, I was looking for something or someone to hit.

With only one shitter in the missile compartment and it being in use, I went to the lower level Ops crew's head on the port side, did my business and was washing my hands when a TM from the room came in and started busting my cajones for letting the wimp MT's beat us. He was a small dude, TMSN Carl Lindlau, and was laughing at me and having a real good time with it.

I looked at him in the mirror... He was standing right behind me, actually he was entering the stall directly behind me. He looked back at me in the mirror, saw how pissed I looked and ducked into the stall. Luckily for him, he was quicker than me. Just as he closed the door, I was turning and swinging. Just as the door latched, I punched it which snapped both hinges off and Lindy was standing there holding the door with both hands.

I was instantly calmed, mostly because I knew I was in trouble, but also because I was able to vent some of that pent-up fury. Well I knew shit was gonna hit the fan, so I went to the person I felt needed to know about the problem, MMC Martin, A-gang LCPO. I told him what I did and asked if their was anything he wanted me to do, all he told me to do was to have the MM1 add it to the 3-M list and he'll include the needed 2Kilo. I did as told and hit the rack.

Not two hours later, this new chief of ours racked me out, and then bitched me out, first about my role in breaking the door, then not informing him, and for not filling out the required work requests. Anyway, no amount of explaining to MTC DuSavage worked, he wouldn't listen to anything. I still had to work up all that paper work and have it approved by him to pass along to MMC Martin before I could hit the rack.

Oh yeah, and Carl... Well, Carl never did try to make fun of me again nor try to piss me off...

Billy Bob Lary

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