The ship was silent. All men not on watch were in the rack. No card games, no movies no music, interrupted the silence in the crews mess. There was a watch stationed in each compartment near the watertight doors. Unnecessary equipment was secured. Control was rigged for red although the clocks said 1403. The captain paced behind the #2 scope. I glanced at the depth gauge, 300 feet. We were below the layer. Mr. Brady had the deck.
Sonar was busy, tracking at least 6 active contacts. The closest one was Sierra 3 bearing one zero two, range about 1 mile. I was running the plot. We were well trimmed and maintained slow turns for minimum forward motion and steerage. I glanced around control; everyone seemed to be listening intently for something… anything. There was active pinging from the contact designated Sierra 2, bearing two six five, but it was moving away from us.
Without warning a single ping painted our hull. Everyone looked up. Simultaneously sonar announced a torpedo in the water bearing one zero three, designated Sierra 7.
Mr. Brady looked at the helm and began to rattle off instructions, “Ahead full, hard right rudder, come to course two eight five. Make your depth 400 feet.” The helmsman and planesman echoed his orders as they began to react. I started plotting our maneuver and began a new track for Sierra 7.
“Torpedo room, control, load 48’s in tubes 1 and three. Stand by with countermeasures.”
What do you do when the unexpected happens. You do what you are trained to do. You do what’s expected. You do what you know. You do what it takes to survive.