SOMETIMES YOU JUST DON'T KNOW WHO YOU ARE TALKING TO
By Paul R. McKenna
Here is a sea story told by every Radioman on every "Weather Wagon" that manned the radios on Ocean Station Charlie.
An RM was standing the mid-watch on Ocean Station Charlie one damn cold and rough January night when an Air Force plane transiting from West To East called in with his routine radio report.
The pilot identified his plane and gave all the routine information required, i.e., point of departure, destination, SOB's (Souls on Board), fuel capacity, fuel remaining, latitude & longitude and all the other data required in those days of propeller driven aircraft. When all the required data had been passed to the ship, the aircraft commander asked the RM how the weather was down there.
It was about 0300, the RM was dog tired, the ship was pitching and rolling it was cold, rainy and just a downright nasty night.
"It's wetter than a well digger's ass and colder than a witch's tit," the RM growled, wondering why a stupid question like that was ever asked.
"Don't you know that you can't use language like that on the open airways," said the Aircraft Commander.
"If your ass was down here on this damn bucket of bolts, you'd be swearing, too," replied with RM with just a trace of hostility in his voice.
"Do you know who you are talking to Sparks?" said the plane.
"No Sir," replied the RM.
"Well, this is Major General Smith of the U. S. Air Force," said the plane.
The RM then asked, "Do you know who you are talking to General?"
When the General acknowledged that he did not know who he was talking to, the RM replied, "That's a damn good thing General," and immediately shut down the transmitter.
An entry in the log on that cold, nasty, rough day in January said, "Ocean Station Charlie's transmitters were temporarily out of commission due to technical difficulties."
Return to Coast Guard Stories