|Halt or I'll Shoot!
by C.R. (Bart) Bartholomew
Early in 1941 the SARGO'S commissioning Captain, Lieutenant Commander E.E. Yeoman was relieved at the SubBase, Pearl Harbor by Lieutenant T. D. Jacobs. The new commanding officer tested his crew at emergency drills, running the old hands through various drills as the new seamen watched. Securing from drills at the end of the day, the seamen were assigned instruction watches with experienced petty officers.
Shortly after taking over the mid-watch, the deck watch petty officer needed another cup of coffee. He turned to the new seaman as he handed him the 45-caliber gun. "You take over the watch,” he said. “Just don't let any civilians aboard."
Shortly a man in a civilian suit approached the gangway. "You can't come on board this ship,” the Seaman said drawing his pistol and pointing it at the stranger. The stranger said, “Son, I'm the Captain.”
"No you ain't. Our Captain wears a uniform.”
“I'm coming aboard."
“Halt, or I'll shoot.”
“Son, get your petty officer of the watch."
The Seaman stood his ground waving the pistol at the man in the suit. The Petty Officer of the Watch appeared with a mug of coffee in his hand an cigarette dangling from his lips. It was not recorded what the Captain said but one can assume that all hands were thoroughly indoctrinated to recognize their commanding officer in of or out of uniform.