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October 12, 1942.
PACIFIC FLEET NOTICE 23N-42
1. The following memorandum from King Neptune as reported by Comdespac is quoted for information and guidance of all those to whom applicable:
"MEMORANDUM FROM KING NEPTUNE TO DESTROYER SCREEN:
'1. On this occasion of your nth crossing of the equator, I want to wish all hands a round trip. To achieve a successful round trip may not be too easy. From what I read in the papers, I believe the area where you are going is lousy with Jap submarines and small torpedo boats, in addition to a battleship or cruiser here and there. These little fellows have done and will do their dirty work at night. The only offense against them is prayer and you. The big ships will do the praying which leaves you to do the work. To sink them, you must find them in the dark. You have sound, radar, and lookouts. All three of these can be just as good or just as bad as you make them. You may still have a few days to work on it, and I offer the following suggestions, hoping you have already carried them out.
'2. You can't make a soundman listen, or a lookout look, or a radarman radiate information by getting tough or putting him on the report. You've got to instil morale - an eager desire to do the job not well but perfectly. To this end, the Captain and officers must camp on their trail - explain, discuss, persuade, cajole, practice, test, teach, check, and double check. Tell them about the little orphans back home who'll never say Daddy, if he doesn't recognize that little flicker on the radar screen. If you haven't any, tell them about mine - and those who'll never be born, for lack of a father. Instead of having the Captain, Navigator, O.O.D., and Jr. O.O.D. all demanding the range and bearing of the HORNET, let one of them keep demanding the range and bearing of something else - even a Pixie. Anybody can recognize the HORNET. These people should be drilled, trained, exercised, and urged, 24 hours a day. You have enough officers on watch to do it and it may prevent your wife from squandering your insurance on gew-gaws and bric-a-brac.
P. V. Mercer,
Transcribed by RESEARCHER @ LARGE. Formatting & Comments Copyright R@L.
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