USS THOMAS C. HART (DE/FF-1092) VETERANS ASSOCIATION

Sea Story: Mark Dammer
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As a young third class and new member of the crew during the Med cruise of 77-78, while at sea, the crew was called to muster so the Chiefs & Officers could conduct an impromptu Health & Comfort inspection.  For those who have never been fortunate enough to experience one of these, it is basically a search mission for contraband or specific target. Someone went into the Unit Commanders stateroom and had stolen the Commodore's TCH personalized Ball Cap.  We were on station for a long time, if memory serves me well, over two hours.  We in ranks were both irritated and amused, you know how it goes - we all knew it would never be found.  ... but whats a sailor to do?  At the end of this muster, the ball cap was in-fact not found and the ships routine returned to normal.

Couple of weeks later  someone jacked the Commodores replacement TCH VIP hat.  This hat was also distinctive as it had the scrambled eggs on it and said VIP on the back.  BINGO, another Health & Comfort Inspection.

So we found ourselves in ranks yet again, more irritated this time than the previous instance because we ALL knew the hat was gone  over the side for sure, never to be seen again  NO WAY  NO HOW!  ... and NO, the hat was NOT found.  Once again the ships routine reverted back to normal, and the matter slipped into history.

Sometime later  perhaps weeks - while the IC men were rigging for the evening movie in the Wardroom  perhaps the coolest thing I experienced in the Navy  as the movie screen was lowered, attached to the screen was a Polaroid of the two hats sitting side-by-side.

I do not remember if there was another Health & Comfort inspection after this, but I do remember that word the picture was found spread around the ship faster than a speeding bullet.

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USS Thomas C Hart (FF 1092)