Overdue & Presumed Lost – 108

Written by: Paul J Levine, John Schulian; Watch Now: – Sorry, not available on Amazon

[A barely believable episode with inconsistencies; but it was dedicated to all USN submariners on the event of the 100th anniversary of the first USN sub.]

On 5 Dec 1941 the USS Dolphin, a submarine on patrol, spotted the “entire Jap fleet,” 45 miles NW of Hawaii. They stayed on the surface, despite being discovered and shelled, until their warning radio message to Pearl Harbor was received. Fifty-nine years later the sound of a sunken ships hull was picked up on sonar listening devices and triangulated to the last known location of the Dolphin. Self claimed archeologist/treasure hunter, Jack Riggins, immeditately ran to the site and “dropped his flag” claiming in court, “finders keepers.” Riggin’s attorney, Stewart Grossman, told Chegwidden (C) that “the judges down here are different” than what he was used to. Admiral Matthew Stanton, an old friend of Cs represented the SECNAV and interests of the submarine community. Chegwidden told Harm (H) that a privilege of rank is the “opportunity to squash parasites like Riggin’s myself.” He assigned H to fill in for him at his budget hearings saying “last time you got the funds to repair your holes in the courtroom ceiling.”

Judge Green was flippant and full of herself making snide comments in court. Chegwidden pointed to specific laws which made US vessels property of the government in perpetuity, that it hadn’t been abandoned, and that it was a gravesite for 60 sailors. Green asked Riggins if a restraining order would cause him hardship and he replied that it would; then accused the navy of covering up the fact that the government had deliberately ignored radio messages in order to actually get the US into war by solidifying public opinion with outrage. The accusation was so completely idiotic it flummoxed C. Green refused the restraining order but said C could be on the vessel as an observer.

Using a remote sub they brought up the ships lock box and found the ships log intact. It showed that a warning message had, in fact, been sent and acknowledged by Cardinal Point listening station. Chegwidden, with H and Gunny (G) had to overcome the ineptitude of the records storage facility personnel and eventually found the message log book; but, the applicable page had been razored out! Riggins came to Cs office and told him that he would help solve the puzzle because “you’re hooked- the ghosts are speaking to you.” Chegwidden asked G to find the personnel of Cardinal Point and C’s friend, Admiral Stanton, was revealed. Stanton told C that he had definitely received it and sent it on to Washington, per protocol. They were supposed to decide which messages to send back and when he saw the zero’s three miles out he was surprised that the fleet was still at anchor because he had forwarded the message hours before. He told C that the message had been received by undersecretary of war Malloy (or something that started with an M). Gunny personally twisted the records clerk into searching boxes for the undersecretary’s material and found the actual message misfiled in a folder on the Panama Canal.

Judge Green pontificated that in this court I am the law” and claimed that the laws cited by C didn’t pertain to “historical truth.” She went ahead and allowed the salvage claim of Riggins.[??!!] Upset, C told Riggins to “listen to see what the ghosts were telling HIM now.” Later C and Stanton were shown in a memorial service at Pearl Harbor. Riggins told C that he had withdrawn his claim citing that he had “listened to the ghosts, and to you (C).”

Renee told H that the JAG budget was just like a movies and shamed him into saying that he preferred doing budget with her, than onboard the vessel with C. Eventually, he was able to tell C that he hadn’t gotten the 4.3% increase that C had told him to get; rather, he got 8.1% by adding funds for inflation factor, contingency fund, and travel allowance. Bud (B) was assigned to defend PO 2nd class Potts in his court-martial for ditching his mandatory physical training and taking diet pills to loose weight. He said he wanted to stay in the service but Mac (M) told him that his love of the Navy was outweighed by his utter lack of military discipline. B identified with him and said that the navy was using him as a scapegoat to send a message. He told Potts that he had “lost 20 pounds when he had his jaw wired.” In court, B showed that Potts’ job required him to sit and run a 50-million dollar missile system and that his CO stated that he didn’t care how much Pott’s weighed unless he broke the chair. A BMI greater than 25 was considered unfit for the navy (weight in pounds X 705 / square root of height in inches) and Potts could do the calculations in his head. There were two recruiters watching the trial who started a bidding war in the hallway over Potts, including $120K, stock options, condo’s etc. Mac was astounded when he said he “just wanted to stay in the navy.” She counter-offered the bidding war with: “$20k, forfeiture of 30 days pay, two weeks confinement to quarters, drug testing, mandated PT and a regulated diet… and you may end up in combat.” He took it!

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