T H E W
E D E P A R T M E N T
|I suppose the Department's work started at
Ascension Island where we fully stored for war, with missiles and torpedos being put in
all the places one should not put them! We even had a supply of the newly introduced Sea Skua, air to surface missiles to play with. |
As soon as defence watches began the department was split three ways. The day work hands, watchkeepers, and our own local "councillor" loaned to the Town Hall Cleansing Department, as "Starboard Watch Co-ordinator". How did the watchkeepers amuse themselves when not sleeping? You may well ask! Apart from RAS(L) and RAS(S), missile humping, and drying out trackers, they managed to find time to repair some 300 to 400 headsets, a dozen or so handsets, repair and rebuild three 15" signal projectors and numerous pairs of electronic ears for the Engineers Some even had time to sit, and pass, their PPE.
At Action Stations the Department regrouped to help the ship repel boarders! The main body was the WART (Weapon Action Repair Team to you!), with the Torpedo prep team, Seawolf maintainers and the hands for the Damage Control parties who were spread around the ship. The WARTs were kept in the picture by the newly wired Command Open Line, and therefore had all the hot buzzes, such as "I think it's a Super EĢ... or an A4.... no it's not it's the CAP returning", and whenever Aircraft Warning Red was sounded a mysterious blue haze filled the Surveillance Office from numerous Benson and Hedges. (WEO never smoked his own!).
|The department managed to survive without any serious damage. Only a few communications were severed: 3R Mess could no longer hear the dreaded pipe "Call the Hands", as their mess broadcast was cut off by a flying 'visitor' who just happened to pass through the ship, and out again, giving the ship's Budgie a bloody nose on the way. SWEO had a cannon shell through his cabin but since it wasn't near his model ship he did not seem to worry. We were part of the ships team and are proud of what was achieved.|