USS Whitehurst Logo by: Pat Stephens, Webmaster, DESA

Kiss My Rabbit A$$ Pennant

By: Tim Dorgan SM2


Tim Dorgan recent

Tim Dorgan 1962


In 1962 when the Whitehurst was deployed to West-Pac during the "Berlin Crisis (you make sense of that, I never could.) our assignment was to train the Vietnamese Navy, what there was of it, in tactical communications. Being a Signalman this put me, and all the rest of the bridge types, in the hot seat.   

Upon deploying from Pearl Harbor we had underway replenishment exercises with the regular Navy type ships. When the first break away occurred they broke their "Go to Hell" or "What the Hell" pennant depending on who you talked with. The "Go to Hell"  pennants were always made up for break, that is they were bundled up and tied with a light thread and when required the downhaul halyard was pulled and the flag or pennant bundle broke open and the flag would open and fly free. 

Our Skipper asked our Chief what flag that was and the Chief explained it to him. The Skipper asked the Chief where our pennant was and the Chief said we didn't have one. The Skipper said "get one".  

Well, it  was already known that I knew how to operate the sewing machine that was kept in the Boatswain's Locker and because of that I had been assigned "Bunting Repair". So the Chief says, "Dorgan!  Make up a  "Go to Hell"  pennant. I said, "What do you want me to make?"  Chief says, "I don't care, use your fertile little brain if you want liberty again." 

Well, a popular come back or retort about that time was "Kiss my Rabbit Ass.", so I found some black bunting and some red bunting and some white bunting. I don't remember just where the light green bunting came from but we had it and I used it. That's what color the panties are, though they are a bit faded now. I showed it to the Chief and he said, "You explain it to the Captain, I'm not going to." 

So I explained it to the Captain saying if you read the flag top to bottom and hoist to fly (that's leading edge to training edge) it reads Kiss (the lips) My Rabbit (the Playboy Bunny) Ass (the panties). The Skipper liked it and told me to take charge of it and keep it safe because I had told him it was a game with Signal types to steal each others "Go to Hell" pennants. 

We often made up the Ensign and our International Call Sign for break and would hoist them to the two-block position and break them free at the appropriate time. 

We, the signal gang, had to explain the meaning of our "Go to Hell" pennant many times. The Skipper mentioned that he had to explain it to other Captains, grinning all the while he was explaining it no doubt. 

I kept it hidden for the rest of the active duty deployment and even back into Reserve status. When they pulled the Whitehurst out of service I took the pennant with me, after all it was the Captains orders.


Tim displays his KMRA pennant

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