For more than 75 years, two dolphin fish have rested their heads comfortably on the bow planes of the surfaced boat that slices through the seas on the submarine force’s warfare insignia. But sometimes, as described below by former Navy Chaplain Steve Jensen, one of those fish ends up giving up his spot.
“I got underway on boats from the diesels Bang [SS-385] and Clamagore [SS-343] to Subron 2’s Sculpin [SSN-590] and all of the Devron [Development Squadron] 12 boats. However, when I was being assigned as Group Two chaplain in Groton, I asked to make a patrol on a boomer to understand the challenges of qualifying. Admiral Scott arranged with Hamilton [SSBN-617] Gold crew C.O. CAPT Badgett to develop a qual package modified from the SupO [Supply Department Head] one for me. I met the ship January ’80 in Port Canaveral and made the patrol to Holy Loch [Scotland]. While the captain and qualifying testing team were more than generous, I managed to qualify as DOOW [Diving Officer of the Watch] during that patrol. To my knowledge, I am the only chaplain who has qualified as a chaplain in subs. The crew fashioned a one-of-a-kind set of dolphins for me with one dolphin modified into an angel wing and the conning tower modified into a cross.”
If there are any other sub chaplains out there, please feel free to comment!