Overheard While Napping in the Flag Bag

by: Tim Dorgan SM2

 


Tim Dorgan recent


Tim Dorgan 1962

 

 

When I was on active duty with the US Navy I was really slim. Waist size was 29 and I weighed
between 125 and 130. When the Whitehurst was in West-Pac in 1961 and 1962 I was airing bunting one
day and discovered that I could squeeze into the flag bag rather easily. I also discovered that with all
the flags hanging in the flag bag there was plenty of cushion on the bottom. This made the flag bags a
great place to grab a nap, something every sailor looks for.
 

        I usually took my nap just after noon chow in the Port flag bag because there was less traffic on the
Port side of the O-1 deck and therefore quieter. One day, for reasons unknown I decided to take my
afternoon nap in the Starboard flag bag. I had been asleep for about a half-hour when voices woke me
up. I recognized the voice of our Chief Master at Arms and he was ordering every one off the weather
decks and inside the skin of the ship. I thought this was rather strange, as it was a beautiful afternoon.  I
soon discovered the reason; they were holding Captainís Mast directly below the Starboard flag bag.

        Now a flag bag has a large number of half-dollar size holes in the bottom for the purpose of drainage
in the event of inclement weather. For that reason I could hear everything that was said during the
Captainís Mast quite plainly.  The enlisted man for which the Mast was being held was brought before the
Captain and the charges were read. The sailor was from the engineering division and I wouldnít mention
his name even if I could remember it.  

        The poor fellow was being charged with masturbating in the shower and was caught by the Chief
Master at Arms himself.  I donít know what Navy Regulations say about that sort of thing these days but
in 1962 it was a serious offense and you could lose your stripes if found guilty. The Skipper, a most fair
man, asked the sailor if he had anything to say in his defense. The sailor replied; ďItís my dick, Iíll wash it
as fast as I want to.Ē 

        I had to hold both hands over my mouth to keep from giving away my position, and I swear the
Skipper  let a snicker slip out. The Yeoman laughed out loud and the Chief Master at Arms didnít even
crack a smile. The Captain gave the fellow a six months suspended bust; he was a third class and
remained so. After the Mast was over I crawled out of the flag bag and returned to my duties, every once
in awhile I would burst out laughing and everyone wondered if I had gone over the edge. 

Timothy Dorgan  (Seaman at the time)

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