Stand by for Action (1942) Movie Script

Out of unsuspected skies,
a day of infamy dawned.
A nation at peace,
staggered by a treacherous blow.
Rallied and grimly gathered in
strength to fight for existence.
But in those early months,
the war was still far
off to most Americans.
Even amid the busy clatter
of a West Coast Navy yard,
many still found time to play.
- Fine. - A little off
your game, Commander.
match point coming up.
I can count!
Go ahead and serve.
Isn't that Lieutenant Masterman?
Yes. Lieutenant Masterman of the Harvard
and Boston, Back Bay Mastermans.
Where the Cabbots only
speak to the Lodges,
and the Lodges speak
only to the Mastermans.
Thank you.
- He's quite athletic?
- Hm?
I mean, very good, isn't he?
Well, I suppose it has
to come sooner or later.
You'd like to meet him,
of course?
- Oh... - I recognize the
symptoms, they all do.
- Hey Gregg!
- Hank!
Thought I left you moored in Washington.
When'd you drop anchor out here?
- Last night.
- Great. What's your duty?
- Destroyer.
- Serves you right.
Oh, pardon me, may I present
Lieutenant Gregg Masterman.
- Presently gracing the United
States Navy. - For the duration.
- Miss Susan Garrison, Miss Audrey Carr.
- How do you do?
Gregg and I put in three
of the loveliest afternoons
pushing each others
faces in the mud.
They called it Navy versus
Harvard on the program.
Aren't you in charge of the reception for the
Senate Naval Affairs Committee, Lieutenant?
- Why yes, I am. - Oh, Mr. Masterman,
anything we can do to help.
Well, the details are
practically all taken care of,
but the Admiral's Junior Aide doesn't
have any partner for the dance.
- Would you...
- I'd love to!
Lucky dog, Admiral's
Junior Aide. Who is he?
I am.
Say, why don't you sit down
and have a drink with us?
No, no thanks. I'm late
for office hours...
Old Iron Pants is running
the Navy by a clock.
- See you around, Hank.
- Right, Gregg.
Anything you want,
just let me know.
- Goodbye, ladies.
- Goodbye.
Any word from the
Commandant's office yet?
- Not yet, sir.
- Holy smoke.
I wonder if they realize how
long we've been tied up here.
Having a little trouble, sir?
A little? Plenty.
You don't happen to know Lieutenant
Masterman, the Admiral's Aide, do you?
- Why, yes. Very well.
- Is he still up at the club?
- No, he just left.
- About time.
- Something urgent?
- Urgent?
Only my ship here, the Crenshaw,
you can see what happened.
Just made it in here
yesterday morning,
nothing's being done to make
her ready for sea again.
What makes you think Masterman's
keeping your ship tied up?
The repair plans and estimates have
been on his desk since early yesterday.
There's a war on, you know?
Well, why don't you go
straight to the admiral?
He just loves to have people
come to him with their troubles.
I'm sure he'll straighten
you out in no time.
Go south! Go south!
Yes, yes...
Old Iron Pants sure has
a full head of steam up.
He sure has...
Yes, yes, I can hear you.
Yes, yes. Of course.
What's that?
The Warren? That hulk?
It didn't take an overhaul and
refitting job to put her in shipshape,
it took a miracle.
Why didn't you fellas build
some ships while you had time?
What? Hm?
You know, I'm trying to
get on with this job here.
Fine, fine.
Always glad to have one of
these friendly chats with you.
Resurrecting ships
from the graveyard...
Masterman, the Warren is to be
made ready for sea at once.
Where's Masterman?
You're not Masterman.
No sir,
Lieutenant Commander Roberts.
The Executive Officer
of the Crenshaw.
Lieutenant Masterman was
not in his office, sir.
- So, I took the liberty.
- Oh... You took the liberty.
Do you realize, sir,
that I am an island
entirely surrounded by bright
young men known as aides
just to prevent people
from taking the liberty?
There is an old custom
in the Navy, sir,
which demands that an officer should be
announced to his commanding officer.
Begging the Admiral's pardon, sir, I'd hoped
he'd dispense with formality for the moment.
- This is urgent. - Everything
about this office is urgent.
Even "good morning" is a crisis.
But don't let that
discourage you.
Thank you, sir. It's about
my ship the Crenshaw.
In the absence of my
commanding officer,
I'm responsible for her repairs.
What do you want me to do?
Roll out with a sailmakers
palm and needle to hem stitch
- some plates onto your precious ship?
- No sir.
I'm just anxious to
get back to sea, sir.
So am I.
I'm more anxious to get
back to sea than you are.
But am I badgering the
Secretary of the Navy about it?
Yes, sir.
I think you are, sir.
Hm? Oh, you do, do you?
Well, you're quite right.
I am.
It's the only place
for a sailor. At sea.
Yes sir, I think so too, sir.
Your face is familiar to me.
- Weren't we ever shipmates?
- No sir. I think not, sir.
Weren't you Charlie Harridge's
communications officer
on the old Norris destroyer,
division seven, patrol 1918.
- Yes, sir.
- I knew it.
I never forget a face.
I was your division commander.
I was commissioned ensign
from chief boatswain's mate
the day we went into
that action, sir.
Great show, Roberts.
- Great show.
- Yes, sir.
But this is a bigger one, sir.
Hm... Haven't got across?
Foreign service?
No, sir. I was retired
as a lieutenant in '37.
The emergency put me
back on the active list.
That's interesting.
So you want to get back
to sea, do you, Roberts?
Yes, sir.
Have you ever heard of
the destroyer, Warren?
You mean that old hulk that's been growing
barnacles in the back bay at San Diego?
A ship of the United States Navy
is not to be called a hulk.
Yes sir.
Particularly by her
commanding officer.
I beg your pardon, sir?
I said her commanding officer.
That's what you've been
for the last 60 seconds.
You'll get your orders as
soon as they can be written.
But she's older than
the old Norris, sir.
She's been lying in a grave
for the past 20 years.
For your information,
Mr. Roberts,
this yard has resurrected her.
And she's a pretty
healthy looking ghost.
She's got a lot of
fight left in her.
But my own ship,
the Crenshaw, sir.
With your permission,
I'd rather stay aboard.
Are you disputing my
judgment, Mr. Roberts?
- No sir. - I am not
interested in personalities,
nor the preferences
of individuals!
What's with the Admiral?
Lieutenant Commander Roberts
of the Crenshaw, sir.
Oh yes, I remember.
The Warren is your ship
now, Mr. Roberts.
I'll expect you to
have her ready for sea
at the earliest possible moment.
- Aye-aye, sir. - We have got
to use everything we can float
if we're going to survive.
You'll do a good job,
I'm sure. Good luck, Roberts.
- Pleasant cruise.
- Thank you, sir.
- Is that all?
- Isn't that enough?
Yes sir.
- Hello.
- Hello.
I see you took my advice.
- Are you...
- Masterman!
Why yes, I am.
Hope you got straightened
out all right?
Mr. Masterman, you have a
peculiar sense of humor.
Just the kind to get you
in a lot of trouble.
- Masterman!
- Coming sir.
So sorry, the Admiral.
If I can be of any further assistance
to you, don't hesitate to call on me.
Mr. Masterman, I expect my aides to
be somewhere within hailing distance.
I thought perhaps your buzzer
was out of commission, sir.
I was given a voice long
before I rated a buzzer,
and it's never
out of commission!
- And much more effective, sir.
- What?
I'm sorry, sir. I had to step
out of the office a moment
to arrange the menu for the dinner to
the Senate Naval Affairs Committee.
Here it is, sir. I thought
we'd begin with oysters.
Oysters? I want the report
on the damage to the Crenshaw.
Oh, that.
Yes sir, here it is.
A hole in her
starboard side, sir.
This report reached your office hours ago.
Why haven't I seen it?
Well, I have had the details for the
committees visit on my hands, sir.
I knew you'd want that
run off shipshape.
I've arranged to meet
them at the airport,
take them to the hotel,
and interview with the press...
We're not celebrating
Old Home Week, Masterman.
Those men are coming here
to try to get fighting ships
back to sea again
in the least possible time.
Maybe you believe,
like a lot of other people,
that we can fight this year's
war with next year's ships.
- No sir. - See that the yard
manager's office gets this at once.
It gives the repairs to the
Crenshaw a high priority.
- Yes sir. - No wonder I have wild
eyed officers barging in on me,
- unannounced.
- I'm sorry about that, sir.
- Won't happen again.
- Right.
It was rather a raw trick
to play on Roberts, at that.
Taking him off a brand new
spic and span destroyer leader
and transferring him
to a ship like the Warren.
Not that old Noah's Ark, sir.
Having him march in like that just when
I needed a new skipper for the Warren
was a great a stroke of luck.
Roberts knows those
old force trackers
from stem to stern
and truck to keel.
Couldn't have found
a better man.
- Congratulations, sir. - Seeing
as he'll have has hands full,
I want to find him a
crack executive officer.
Yes, sir. Whom do you suggest
we condemn to the galleys?
Sit down, Masterman.
Thank you, sir.
You youngsters of the new Navy don't
think much of officers like Roberts.
- Do you? - Well,
to be truthful sir,
I haven't thought of him at all.
I can understand why.
Take you, for example.
You were given the privilege of
a top drawer Harvard education,
with everything that family
and position could offer.
Like any good solid American,
you took full advantage of it.
That shows in your examination
for the Naval service,
and in your service record
since you've been in the Navy.
That's why you've
moved ahead so fast.
- I've tried to do my best, sir.
- Of course you have.
Wouldn't expect
anything else of you.
But Roberts did it the hard way.
He enlisted during the last war.
Must've been as young
as we take 'em.
Maybe a little younger.
His father was a farmer, he had no
family to help him, and no traditions.
He fought his way up.
Masterman, you've never had to
fight very hard for anything.
You've missed a lot of fun...
And a lot of Navy, the real Navy
that doesn't float on salt water,
but in a man's blood stream.
A man that goes to sea as the
Warren's executive officer,
will be lucky.
He can learn a lot from
a skipper like Roberts.
Well, I'm sure of that, sir.
As for me, I've already learned
a lot serving under you, sir.
Yes, yes... I've noticed.
Your lumbago, sir?
Mr. Masterman, an occasional
stitch in the back is not lumbago.
- No sir. - And I'll thank
you not to mention that
where it might be misinterpreted
by some long nosed sawbones.
I still have dreams of sea duty.
Yes sir, I'll be
very careful, sir.
Well, what are you
standing there for?
Do you realize you've wasted
10 minutes of my time?
Get those repair orders
to the yard manager's office.
And don't forget that we're going to
give Roberts a crack executive officer.
Oh yes, sir. I'll draw up
a list of officers available
for the duty, sir.
And don't start with oysters!
- Here you are.
- Oh, how nice.
- May I get you anything else?
- Oh no, Lieutenant.
- Thank you so much.
- Senator?
No thank you.
Excuse me.
Sorry to let all this
music go to waste.
You seem to have the senatorial
party well in hand...
Along with everything else.
Oh, senators are really
quite easy to handle.
You just remember they're human,
like everybody else,
and then remember not
to treat them that way.
Um, now that we're alone,
can you give me one good reason
why I should forsake my
duties as a naval officer,
and accept your
weekend invitation?
Well, you meet a lot of lovely
people and the food's not bad.
Well, I'm on a diet.
Besides, I want to be alone.
Hm... there's a
lovely golf course.
A gorgeous swimming pool?
Oh, and a super tennis court.
Oh, please, don't mention exercise. I
cultivate my muscles all week long.
Come Saturday and Sunday, I just want to
cuddle down some place with a good book.
I beg your pardon, sir.
A message from Lieutenant Commander
Roberts. It's marked urgent.
Roberts? Oh...
oh yes, Roberts.
Excuse me.
- Is there an answer, sir?
- No, no answer.
No, nothing serious.
I beg your pardon, sir.
Admiral Thomas, may
I present Miss Carr.
- How do you do?
- How do you do?
- And my uncle, Senator Masterman.
- How do you do?
Well, what are you
grinning about?
It's very funny, sir.
It seems that Mr. Roberts
new command has
gone to his head.
"Dear Masterman, I should
like to see you aboard
the Warren immediately. Relative to the
ship's business. Signed, Roberts."
What's funny about a captain
wanting to discuss matters
with his executive officer?
I, I beg your pardon, sir?
We agreed that the Warren
needed a crack exec.
Yes sir, I submitted a list
of the names of the officers...
I appreciate your
modesty, my boy,
leaving your own name
off the list.
But I added it to the top
and notified Roberts.
I meant to congratulate
you on your new duty,
but the Senate Naval Affairs
Committee, you understand.
- Oh, happy cruise, Masterman.
- Thank you, sir.
My dear lady,
please allow me to present
you with these lazy loops,
in lieu of our literary weekend.
Attention on deck!
Captain's coming aboard.
Good evening.
Welcome aboard, sir.
I'm sorry I couldn't pipe the
Captain aboard the sideboy, sir.
Thank you.
Doesn't seem to be
anybody aboard.
Oh, no sir. Nobody but me.
I called attention
through force of habit, sir.
Who are you?
Chief Yeoman Henry Johnson, sir.
How long have you been aboard?
Twenty-six years, sir.
- Twenty-six years?
- Yes, sir.
I came aboard when she was first
fitted out and commissioned.
That was 1916, sir.
We've been together ever since.
But she's been
out of commission.
Yes, sir. I went out
of commission with her.
The Navy department laid us
both up together, sir.
You stayed aboard all this time?
It wasn't long, sir.
And I felt more at home here than
I would've on the beach, sir.
Oh, I should've said,
ex-Chief Yeoman, sir.
I've been a civilian caretaker.
But, we, well...
She and I sort of pretended...
things hadn't changed any, sir.
Lieutenant Masterman
been aboard?
No sir. Your the first
of the new officers, sir.
Ask him to step down to
wardroom, if you will.
- Yes, sir.
- Good night, Johnson.
Good night, sir.
Good evening, sir.
Good evening.
So, this is the USS Warren, huh?
- Yes, sir.
- She's a mess, isn't she?
Well, sir, right now,
she's a little like
the lady that was waked
out of her sound sleep
in the middle of the night
with a face full of cold cream
and her hair done up in curlers.
But you give her a chance
to get prettied up, sir,
and she'll give those
new destroyers
cards and spades
in any beauty contest.
Oh, I can see that she's
a Follies Beauty all right.
Follies of 1902.
Has the skipper
come on board yet?
Yes, sir.
His compliments, sir.
And would you step
down to the wardroom.
Thank you.
Oh, Mr. Masterman.
Come in.
- Good evening, sir.
- Good evening.
Glad to have you aboard.
Sit down.
Cheery, isn't it?
When's the funeral?
Don't worry, you won't find anything
scary under the seat covers.
I've looked.
Oh, I met the ancient mariner
at the head of the gangway.
Oh, you mean,
ex-Chief Yeoman Johnson?
He's quite a character.
Mr. Masterman, I want you
to see that the storage light
comes alongside
first thing in the morning.
Have the remainder of our
storage put aboard and stowed.
- Yes sir.
- When that's shipshape,
see that the fuel barge
comes alongside.
- You'll have to pick us a crew.
- Aye, sir.
They may be scarce, but pick as many
experienced destroyer men as you can find.
- Aye, sir. - Oh yes,
the torpedo compliment.
Have them put aboard.
Shall I also check the
bows and arrows, sir?
Mr. Masterman?
Aboard a destroyer,
the executive officer has
got to be a jack of all trades.
I'm a jack, all right.
Begging the Captain's pardon, I brewed
up a little java for the wardroom, sir.
- It smells good.
- Yes, sir.
Nothing like the smell of fresh
coffee to put life in ship.
Thank you, Johnson. Good of you
to go through the trouble.
- Thank you.
- No trouble, sir.
I have a little galley
rigged up topside.
There's something just outside
the door I'd like to show you.
- Cream or sugar, Masterman?
- No, black thanks.
Here it is, sir.
I guess you're the proper person
to be having to
carry this now, sir.
That's a plaque.
It was put aboard
after the last war.
Orders of the Secretary
of the Navy.
Like a medal of honor.
"USS Warren served
in the World War..."
"April 6, 1917
to November 11, 1918.
Sea patrol, 1917 to 1918.
Captured the U, 109.
March 11, 1918.
Sunk the U, 141.
August 3, 1918.
Participated in
destroyer action,
September 9, 1918."
That's where I got this...
shell fragment.
"Carried the Assistant Secretary of the
Navy, Franklin D. Roosevelt to Europe.
July, 1918.
Was present at the surrender
of the enemy fleet at...
Scapa Flow."
That's all, sir.
You'll find the screw holds
for it, sir, on the after stack.
I took it down for safe keeping.
Kept it from getting tarnished.
- All these years?
- Yes sir.
Thank you, Johnson.
We'll see that it goes
back where it belongs.
Thank you, sir.
Thank you.
Begging the
Captain's pardon, sir.
I'd like to ship over
for another cruise.
- Ship over?
- Yes sir.
Johnson, that's a fine spirit.
I'm sure there's
a job you can do
somewhere around the Navy.
- Yes, sir. - You know, destroyer
service is a young man's game.
It's too tough for grey hairs.
I guess, maybe
you're right, sir.
Well, good luck, sir.
I know the Warren will take you where
you're going, and bring you back.
- Good night, sir.
- Johnson?
- Yes, sir. - Mr. Masterman and
I'll take good care of your ship.
Won't we, Masterman?
Oh yes, we'll bring her back
with ribbons in her hair.
I know you will, sir.
She's a proud thing.
Slipping along with the green
seas rolling under her foot.
She's pretty as a picture.
Good night, sir.
- Well? - That kind of
man built the Navy.
Why don't you stretch
your point and take him on?
To board a destroyer, a man needs
more arms and legs than a centipede.
But you can't leave him
on the beach in these times.
You can't run a navy on
sentiment, Mr. Masterson.
I'll remember that, sir.
- I beg your pardon, sir.
- Yes, Johnson?
You'll be taking the Warren
to sea soon now, I suppose.
- I imagine so. - She's a
wonderful ship on the helm, sir.
Takes it like a thoroughbred.
I know her well.
I went to sea on her first
as a quartermaster.
But you'll find, sir, that when you're
turning her on the heel into the wind,
you've got to give her a little
headway to keep her from falling off.
- She likes to be coaxed. - Thanks
Johnson, I'll remember that.
And the throttle valve on
the starboard engine, sir...
Creeps now and then,
towards open.
It never was exactly right.
It's too bad you're not
making this cruise, Johnson.
The captain knows best, sir.
Well, I suppose things have
changed a lot since you went
- on the inactive list.
- Oh, that they have, sir.
But all the time the Warren and
I were tied up in San Diego,
I went to the school at
the base three nights a week.
It kept me up on things.
Just how old are you, Johnson?
Oh, I'm coming on 40,
you might say, sir.
Let's see, that'd make you just past 14
when you were on the North Sea patrol.
Yes sir, but I was a
very big lad for my age.
You'd be a great help to the
executive officer of the Warren,
knowing her as you do.
I'd give anything to
be going with you, sir.
Grey hair makes a man look a lot
older than he really is, you know?
Without that,
you'd look 20 years younger.
It'd make a
different man of you.
Well, good night, Johnson.
Good night, sir.
Attention on deck,
captain coming aboard!
Officer's hands salute!
- Morning, gentlemen.
- Morning, sir.
- Hello Tim, glad to see you aboard.
- Thank you, sir.
- How's everything in the engine room?
- Everything's shipshape.
Lieutenant Royce,
gunnery... Royce?
- How do you do, sir?
- Lieutenant Martin, torpedo.
- Martin?
- How do you do, sir?
- Ensign Lindsay, sir.
- Lindsay?
- First cruise, huh?
- Yes, sir.
I just came aboard
last night, sir.
Think you'll like
destroyer duty?
Yes sir, it's wonderful, sir.
Crew are ready for
inspection, sir.
Very well.
- Chief Signalman Jones.
- Morning sir.
Chief Boatswain's
Mate Jenks, sir.
Jenks, glad to see you aboard.
Thank you, sir.
Right glad to be aboard, sir.
Chief Quartermaster Rankin.
- Rankin, glad to see you aboard.
- Thank you, sir.
Chief Yeoman Johnson, sir.
Johnson... You?
Yes sir, me.
How did you get aboard.
I applied for re-enlistment on the
Warren, sir, in my old ranking and...
...and was accepted, sir.
With the help of
Mr. Masterman, sir.
Mr. Masterman?
You didn't, by any chance, suggest
that Johnson dye his hair, did you?
Your orders were to get
experienced men, sir.
And you can't run
a navy on sentiment.
Very becoming.
Thank you, sir.
"By authority of the
Secretary of the Navy,
contained in order
of May the 21st, 1942,
I hereby re-commission
the USS Warren
in the naval service
of the United States
and deliver her to her
commanding officer."
USS Warren is placed in commission
and is delivered to you, sir.
I accept command, sir.
Divisions right and left, face!
Sound off.
Divisions right and left, face!
Mr. Masterman, set the watch.
Aye aye, sir. Set the
watch, first section!
Aye aye, sir.
Set the watch!
First section!
Set the watch, first section.
Officers and men,
your ship, the Warren,
is now commissioned by the United
States to fight our enemies.
You make up it's crew.
Regulars, reservists,
as you pull together,
as you become a smoothly
functioning machine,
as through your spirit,
you make this ship live...
so will our country live.
For the time,
we must fight
this generation's war
partly with last
generation ships.
The Warren is old,
called back out of its honorable
retirement to fight again,
but it is a glorious ship
with a great history.
There was another old ship
in the United States Navy,
practically falling apart.
She fought in action with a
brand new, blue ribbon frigate.
When she was shot to pieces,
on fire,
the captain of the enemy
frigate hailed her,
to ask if she had
struck her colors.
Her answer to that question
has been the number one
watchword of the American Navy
for a 150 years.
You may remember her name...
the Bonhomme Richard.
Captain John Paul Jones,
a farmer's son, commanding.
Her answer was,
"I have not yet begun to fight."
Request permission to
leave the ship, sir.
Permission granted, sir.
- Happy cruise, Roberts.
- Thank you, sir.
- Happy cruise, Masterman.
- Thank you, sir.
Clear the side.
Leave to quarters.
The old man thinks so much
of the Bonhomme Richard,
it's a wonder he didn't
send us out to sea on her.
You don't think so much
of the Warren, do you?
Frankly, no sir. And I have the
feeling that you don't either.
Mr. Masterman, to me,
John Paul Jones is the greatest
hero in naval history.
Yes, sir.
Perhaps he didn't think so
much of the Bonhomme Richard.
But she was his ship.
The Warren is your ship.
You're her executive officer
and navigator.
Yes sir.
When this shakedown
cruise is over,
perhaps you can get yourself duty
that will be more to your liking.
For now, prepare to
get underway at 1100.
Aye aye, sir.
Tell the engineering officer
to light off his other
two boilers as soon as
- we're through the gates.
- Yes, sir.
Now we're bearing
Mr. Masterman,
if you must smoke the pipe,
would you mind standing
the lower, hereafter?
Oh, sorry, sir.
Noon, sir. Mark.
Seventy-nine degrees.
Thirty-two minutes.
Ten seconds.
You know, Masterman, you're
a pretty good navigator.
Thank you, sir.
This is a lot different
then that chromium-plated
luxury-laden racing barge
of yours, isn't it?
Well, the accommodations
were much better.
One always had that
comforting feeling
that she'd hold
together in a blow.
- Masterman.
- Yes, sir?
As soon as the sky's clear,
we'll have anti-aircraft drill.
We've had one every day
since we've been out.
We'll still have anti-aircraft
drill, Mr. Masterman.
Aye aye, sir.
Ammunition ready?
Release number one!
- Release number one!
- Aye aye, sir.
Use 2.0, range 7-5-0,
scale 1-0-1.
- Use, set!
- Set!
- Ready!
- On target.
Commence firing!
Release number two!
Release number three!
Use 2.2, range 8-5-0,
scale 1-0-4.
- Use, set!
- Set
- Ready!
- On target!
Resume fire!
Use 2.5, range 1-0-0,
scale 1-0-5.
- Use, set!
- Set!
- Ready!
- On target!
Resume fire!
- Nice shooting, sir.
- Fine.
Cease fire and secure.
- Cease firing and secure.
- Aye aye.
- Use 2.8... - Captain says cease
firing and secure the batteries, sir.
- Cease firing and secure.
- Aye...
Nice work, men.
Come in, Masterman.
Battery's secured, sir. Three
rounds expended, no casualties.
Very well. Sit down.
Thanks, sir.
No thanks, sir.
You know, the drill went
much smoother today, Masterman.
- Nice shooting.
- Not very exciting, sir.
Like shooting clay pigeons.
It doesn't get exciting
until the clay pigeons
start shooting back at you.
The sooner the better, sir.
If it happens,
I think we'll be ready.
You know, we've accomplished
a lot the past two weeks.
The Warren's beginning
to shake down now.
She's becoming a war ship.
You couldn't want a better crew.
You're being a little
optimistic, sir.
Mr. Masterman,
there've been a couple of times
when I thought I detected
a slight flaw in your schooling.
If you mean I'm not a graduate of the
"Pollyanna" school, you're right.
I don't know what they
taught you at Harvard,
but the Navy teaches a man
to do the best possible job
with whatever tools are at hand.
I suppose that's from
John Paul Jones too, sir.
No, that's from
Martin J. Roberts.
Yes sir.
- Come in.
- I beg your pardon, sir,
but the radio operator
just picked up this message.
"SOS from SS Lancaster
to all ships.
Being shelled by
enemy submarines,
position latitude 27'45 North.
Longitude 140'36 West."
Mr. Masterman, this is
no longer a shakedown cruise.
Plot this position. Give me the
course and distance to the Lancaster.
Johnson? Tell the
engineering officer
to light off
his other two boilers.
- Prepare for full power.
- Aye aye, sir.
There's a glow in the horizon.
Two points in the starboard bow.
Looks like a fire, sir.
Nothing but burning
oil on the water.
Guess that's all that's
left of the Lancaster.
- Shall we stop the engine, sir?
- Stop the engine?
Mr. Masterman, the sub
that sank the Lancaster
is out there somewhere
right now, waiting. For us.
The Warren at a standstill
silhouetted against that glare
- would be a perfect target.
- Yes, sir.
Come left 10 degrees of course, we'll
search the area for survivors.
Aye aye, sir.
Yes, Mr. Secretary.
No, Mr. Secretary.
Yes, Mr. Secretary.
No, Mr. Secretary.
Goodbye, Mr. Secretary.
That's what I like
about the telephone.
It gives a man a chance
to express himself.
- Yes, sir.
- See that those orders are carried out immediately.
Yes sir.
Well Dudley, what is it?
Message from the
Chief of Operations, sir.
- Read it.
- Yes sir.
"You are relieved of your duties as
Commandant of the Navy Yard of this state."
- What? - "And are directed to
proceed to Pearl Harbor immediately
to assume command of
East Bound Convoy.
Now assembled in Honolulu."
- Read that again.
- Yes, sir.
- You are...
- No, no, no. I'll read it.
"You are relieved of your
duties as Commandant..."
Cruise to
Chattanooga as flagship.
- Active service.
- Yes sir.
Dudley, how long would it
take us to get on our way?
There's a PBY plane
leaving at 4:00, sir.
Good, gives us just
about time to get ready.
Ha! Not much like
my first command!
Took me three months
to get to my ship.
Things move much faster
in this day and age.
Get a hold of the sea at noon one day,
sitting on a PBY at four the same afternoon.
Arrive at Honolulu the
next morning at seven...
Before you can say "Jack Robbin" I'm
pacing the bridge of my flagship.
- And headed right back for
the mainland, sir. - What?
Well, at any rate,
I'll be at sea.
Yes, sir.
- Good morning, sir.
- Morning, sir.
Morning Ludlow,
Morning Dr. Stone.
Fine day, great sailing weather.
Yes, sir.
How are you feeling, sir?
Never felt better in my life.
Salt air and sea,
that's all a man needs.
- Yes sir.
- Smart ship, the Chattanooga.
Proud to have her
as my flagship.
Thank you, sir. It's a great
pleasure to serve with you.
- What is it Dudley? - Just
received this visual message
from our right flank
destroyer, sir, the Murray.
Breakdown in steering gear,
makes maneuvering impossible.
Cannot effect repairs at sea.
Request instructions.
That's a fine thing.
The sun is shining,
everyone is happy.
And the Murray has
a steering casualty.
Serious, sir. Leaves the
right flank unprotected.
Signal the Murray to
return to Pearl Harbor,
and request the base to send
the nearest destroyer available.
Aye aye, sir.
Mr. Martin's instructions were to show
you this at once. It's very important.
Thank you.
Well, looks like this is it.
Priority from the base.
We're ordered to join an East
Bound convoy at noon tomorrow.
Latitude, 23'30 North.
Longitude, 143'20 West.
it looks like we're in it.
How far do you make it,
- About 600 miles, sir.
- Six hundred miles?
That means we'll have to
do 25 knots for 24 hours.
- And what about fuel? - Let's
think about getting there.
- Come on, Tim. Back to the mines.
- Yes sir.
I don't know how to break the news to
those poor old sputtering engines.
Check that position, put her on the
course to the rendezvous, Mr. Masterman.
It's a pretty long haul,
sir, at 25 knots...
- In this sea. - We'll make it.
- We've got to make it.
That's an order
you've got in your hand.
Well, I wish the guy
that sent it were here.
This is more like it, sir.
If the bailing wire that
holds our engines together
don't give way under the strain.
Oh, don't you worry, sir.
She can take it.
These are no better than that.
Signal the Glengow
to stop making smoke.
Aye aye, sir.
It's like standing watch
over a flock of chickens
knowing that a weasel
is loose in the barnyard.
The Warren will join us
at noon tomorrow, sir.
- That flank will be covered.
- The Warren.
With all the modern destroyers
in the United States Navy,
- I get the Warren. - I thought you
put her in commission yourself, sir.
Hm? For coast patrol, yes.
She could've done
that well enough.
To protect a convoys flank?
The Warren.
Aircraft sighted on
the port water, sir.
Bearing 225 degrees relative.
He's crossing to starboard.
Can't make out her marking, sir.
She's none of ours.
Wrong silhouette.
- Mr. Lindsay?
- Yes, sir.
Sound general quarters,
come right 30 degrees to course,
- one mast the battery.
- Aye aye, sir.
Masterman, here's a different
kind of clay pigeon for ya.
- Good hunting.
- Stand by for action!
Load, hurry up, load!
Range, 1-9-0-0.
Scale, 9-7.
Commence firing!
What's the matter?
Those shells aren't bursting!
What's the matter with
Masterman, anyway?
Range, 1-0-0-0.
Scale, 9-4.
Barrage fire.
Commence firing!
Aft to deck!
Aft to deck!
Can't read them, sir.
I'm going in.
Mr. Lindsay, take over.
- Aye aye, sir.
- Look out! Here it comes!
Rapid fire! Commence firing!
Coming around for
another try at us!
- Right at target!
- Masterman! Masterman...
For the love of Mike, you're
forgetting to cut your fuses.
Stop firing!
We won't get another
shot at that bird.
He's on his way back
to his perch.
Have the gun crew
stand by just in case.
Aye aye, sir.
Johnson, have the communications officer
encode and dispatch this message to the base.
Yes, sir.
Attacked and bombed by enemy
catapult-type reconnaissance airplane.
Ask the navigator
to add our position.
Yes, sir.
Wish I could add aircraft
destroyed by gun fire.
So do I, sir.
Why don't you tell him
it was my fault it got away.
- That's all, Johnson.
- Yes, sir.
Come in, Masterman.
It was nice of you, sir,
sparing my feelings.
You've downed that Jap
and covered ourselves with glory
if I hadn't developed a case
of the galloping jitters.
That's what you've been
waiting to tell me, isn't it?
Not at all. Sit down.
For anti-aircraft defense we also
have some machine guns aboard.
- They miss, too.
- I know who's fault it was.
- Mine. I bungled the job.
- Masterman.
A man's first action is a lot like
going into his first football game.
He can be letter
perfect in practice,
but when he gets out
on the field,
face to face
with the real thing,
he'll be liable to get
a little over anxious.
Might even develop a case of the
galloping jitters, as you call them.
But after he's been bounced
around a couple of times,
good and hard,
he usually steadies down.
Thanks for the pep talk, sir.
But we aren't playing games.
Maybe John Paul Jones or
the Navy teaches differently.
Harvard teaches a man
to stand on his two feet,
and accept the responsibility
for his own mistakes.
Aboard ship, the only man that can accept
responsibility for a mistake is her captain.
Yes, sir.
Come in.
Rough log and
reports to check, sir.
Did I ever tell you, sir,
why I don't like fish?
It's quite a story, sir.
See, when I was a lad about 10,
my father took me fishing.
And along about noon,
I began to get hungry.
And my father was taking a nap,
so I stuck both fish poles
in the riverbank,
and got me a sandwich
out of the basket.
Well, sir, I no sooner
picked up that sandwich,
then the cork on one line began
to bob up and down like mad.
So I belayed everything
and hauled away.
And I hooked me a beauty.
I was standing there
admiring the fish.
When, so help me, the cork on the
other line began to jump up and down.
Well, there I was, sir.
A sandwich in this hand,
and a live fish in this hand.
Well, I got kind of
mixed up in my hands.
And instead of putting a sandwich
in my mouth, I put the fish in.
And I've never liked fish since.
It's funny what a man will do
in a moment of excitement, sir.
Thanks, Johnson.
I see what you mean.
Thank you, sir.
No offense.
It's a lovely night,
isn't it, sir?
You look a little green around the
gills, Lindsay. Why don't you go below?
I was below, sir, but...
I just came topside for
a breath of air.
You'll be all right, sir.
I'm glad you think so.
Our eight o'clock position, sir.
Dead reckoning.
Too overcast for star sights.
- Bridge.
- Starboard life raft,
- adrift on deck.
- Aye aye, Jenks.
Chief Paulson's made a report,
starboard life raft
adrift on deck, sir.
Take care of it,
will ya, Masterman?
Aye aye, sir.
- I'll go with ya, sir.
- All right, Johnson.
Be careful, sir!
She's pretty rough!
Better use the safety line, sir.
Be careful, sir!
That was a close one, Johnson!
- You all right, sir?
- I'm all right.
Johnson! Johnson!
- Is he bad, Miller?
- Pretty bad, sir.
I know he has a concussion,
maybe a skull fracture.
But, he has a chance.
At his age, a man doesn't rally
like a 20 year old, sir.
I'm afraid he can't
stand this pounding, sir.
If we were in still water,
or if we could reduce speed...
- Do everything possible.
- Yes, sir.
- Got plugged.
- Yeah.
He kept me from going overboard.
I feel like it was my fault.
Forget it.
Any man aboard would've
done the same thing.
I'm woozy on my feet.
Think I'll turn in
and catch 40 winks.
Keep driving her, Masterman.
But Doc said that Johnson
couldn't take this pounding.
I'm afraid he'll
have to take it.
Don't call me
unless it's necessary.
Hundred line...
- What's he saying? - He's
been talking about his ship.
This ship, sir.
I hear ya, sir.
Coming right up.
If you're going on watch, sir,
better wear your
shammy and leather coat.
Shammy and leather?
I haven't got one.
The one you took from the skipper
of the U109 when we captured it.
You'll be needing it, sir.
There's a smell
of ice in the air.
Thanks Johnson for
reminding me about the coat.
If we could only slow down, sir.
It might make him rest easier.
Force, 3-1-5!
Checking 3-0-2 magnetic.
Standard speed 25, 277 turn.
Steaming the boilers,
one and two.
Maintain present course and
speed throughout the night.
Check with the next fray,
second section.
I relieve you, sir. Good night.
Reduce speed to 1/3rd,
Mr. Martin.
But the orders are to
maintain standard speed, sir.
I accept the responsibility
for changing those orders.
Aye aye, sir.
- Quartermaster?
- Aye.
Notify the captain that I've reduced the speed
to 1/3rd on the advice of the navigator.
- Aye, sir.
- Belay that, Quartermaster.
Captain's orders were not to disturb
him unless I considered it necessary.
Ship's office,
Pharmacist Mate Miller.
That better, Miller?
Well, yes sir, Mr. Masterman.
Much better.
- He's resting a lot easier.
- Good.
Mr. Martin, my orders were to maintain
a speed of 25 knots through the night.
Yes, sir.
I changed those orders, sir.
I hope you have a satisfactory
explanation, Mr. Masterman.
I have a very satisfactory
explanation, sir.
Chief Yeoman Johnson's
lying below badly hurt.
I was aware of that fact
when I gave the orders.
Your counter-manning them
has cost us precious time.
Life of a man like Johnson should
be worth some of the Navy's time,
no matter how precious.
If that's sentiment, sir, I'm willing
to have the most made of it.
You seem to be forgetting
that the convoy we're joining
is carrying hundreds of women
and children and wounded men,
who may be at the
mercy of the enemy.
Risking the life of any one man
must be subordinated to
risking the lives of many.
Resume standard
speed, Mr. Martin.
Aye aye, sir.
When you achieve command,
Mr. Masterman, you'll find
that it'll be necessary
to make many decisions
that will be personally
unpleasant for you.
You'll also find it necessary to carry
out an order, come hell or high water.
All right, Johnson.
It's all right, old man.
Easy now.
Steady, Johnson.
- Good morning, sir.
- Good morning.
- Good morning, Masterman.
- Good morning, sir.
- Morning, sir.
- Oh, morning, Chief.
The next guy that calls
this ship a romantic old tub
with tea kettle engines, will have
me and the black gang to lay.
Boy can she take it.
Listen to her.
Tickin' like a watch
and purring like a kitten.
- Keep her tickin', Chief.
- Aye aye, sir.
Good old, girl.
Too bad the man on board
who knew she could take it
can't hear us
congratulating ourselves.
What? Oh, Johnson.
Well, he took it all right. In fact,
he's much better this morning.
There's a floating object,
one point off the port bow, sir.
Looks like a life boat, sir.
It is a life boat.
There might be survivors, sir.
It might be a Jap hiding
his periscope behind that.
- Mr. Lindsay.
- Yes, sir.
- Circle it at full speed.
- Aye aye, sir.
Survivors, all right.
Mr. Masterman,
stop all engines.
Stop all engines, sir?
Yes, Mr. Masterman.
This is the exception that
always proves the rule.
There's a man in that boat
that looks pretty well used up.
Yes sir.
- Stop all engines, Mr. Lindsay.
- Stop all engines, sir.
There's another man in the bow.
Mr. Lindsay,
all engines back one!
All engines back one, sir.
Stand by on deck to receive
life boat on port side.
All right, men!
Barrel hand!
- See your bow line!
- Heads up!
Over the sides, men.
Come on, Davis.
Make it fast!
Give the stern line!
Make fast the stern line!
Step lively down there.
Get 'em aboard and
cast that boat adrift.
All right, lads.
Bring them up.
All right, give 'em a hand.
- Steady, lad.
- There ya go, fella.
Under the tarpaulin...
He says there's something
under the tarpaulin!
Hey look! Hey Chief, look!
Holy mackerel!
Come on, Jenks!
Show some life!
What's going on down there?
I don't know, sir.
Looks like we made a haul!
Women... and a whole
school of babies!
- Babies?!
- Yes sir.
Kids, sir. Minnow sized.
This is impossible!
What are we going
to do with babies?
Well, if they're that small,
you can throw them back in.
Save time.
- All right, bring 'em aboard.
- Aye aye, sir!
Come on, lift the
women folks up here.
Barrel hands, boys.
You're all right, lady.
Hand those children up here!
Easy going, you big
old nursemaid, you!
- Congratulations, sir.
- What?
Old lady Warren seems to have
become a mother very late in life.
- It's amazing. - Women and
children aboard a destroyer.
Looks like we've got
quite a job ahead of us.
Oh, I'm sure you'll do the best possible
job with whatever tools are at hand.
- What?
- Sir?
Oh yes, you're quite right.
And I know just the man for the
job of looking after them.
- You.
- Me?
I seem to recall how beautifully you took
care of social affairs for the Admiral.
- Wait a minute...
- Mr. Masterman, that's an order.
Come hell or high water,
And you'll probably run into
both on this assignment.
Resume standard speed,
Mr. Martin.
Aye aye, sir.
All present and
accounted for, sir.
Call the men to attention.
Mr. Masterman, I figure
we could stow the babies
here in the crews compartments.
And I mustered all hands who are off
watch to kind of look after 'em.
Them women folk look mighty
pinched to me, sir.
Especially that one.
Looks like we'll have
to organize things to
take care of the situation.
Attention men.
All married men with children,
one pace forward.
The remainder, at ease.
All in line down here.
Well, here's your
nursery detail, Jenks.
All right, sir.
Well, these youngster
can stand this,
they'll live through anything.
You're sure an angelic
looking bunch of papas.
Looks like some of you men will have
to take care of more than one baby.
Put all the little ladies
on the port side,
and all the little gentlemen
on the starboard.
Fall out. All you men who don't
have babies, take one of these.
Careful now.
Restore on of the bunks and rig nettings
around 'em, so they don't tumble out.
- Yes sir. - Tell the cook
to make up some warm milk.
They'll quiet down
once they have some chow.
Oh, thank you
very much, Lieutenant.
You'd make a
wonderful foster father.
Aren't you a little young to be the
mother of such a large family?
You're much too exhausted
to be playing nurse.
She's... pretty bad.
You'll both be quite all right.
I'll have some of the
officers double up,
so you ladies can
use their rooms.
I've heard of
three men in a boat,
but two women and
20 babies, beats me.
Poor children.
They're evacuees from the maternity hospital
in Honolulu on their way to the mainland.
Our ship was separated
from the convoy.
- They got us at night.
- Don't think about it.
You're perfectly safe now.
Is there a doctor on board?
No, I'm sorry. Only
a pharmacist's mate.
- Yes, but...
- Don't worry.
- We'll take good care of you.
- Don't go.
Don't leave me.
I can't leave.
She needs help desperately.
Afraid I must insist. You're
practically out on your feet yourself.
I'll see that your
friend's moved at once.
Oh, Rankin, take the other
lady to Mr. Martin's room.
Aye aye, sir.
You've been through a pretty
nasty experience, Miss...
- Miss...
- Missus.
- Oh.
- Mrs. Steve Collins.
My husband is a flyer
on an aircraft carrier
somewhere in the Pacific.
Well, in that case, you'll feel
right at home aboard ship.
- How is he?
- Better, sir.
He's sleeping now, but his
mind was still wandering.
Still fighting
the other war, huh?
Yes, sir.
Well, you'd better come take a look
at the ladies we just picked up.
They're both in
pretty bad shape.
Yes, sir.
They're in Mr. Martin's
and Mr. Royce's rooms.
Yes, sir.
Masterman, I've been hearing
glowing reports on your
proficiency in the care
and feeding of infants.
- Very gratifying.
- Thank you, sir.
It's too bad that you
and these other gentlemen
are strangers to the soft
caress of a babies hand,
the magic of a dimpled smile,
the charm of
triangular trousers.
You have no idea
what you're missing.
Excuse me, sir.
She's having a baby!
What?! Who?
The woman we took aboard, sir.
- There were two women.
- One of them's having a baby.
The one in Mr. Martin's room.
Miller, you can't permit such a
thing to happen aboard this ship!
It's strictly
against regulations.
Well, perhaps if you read Navy
Regulations to the lady, Miller...
I don't think there's time, sir.
And besides, I'm only
a Pharmacist's Mate!
Query, sir. John Paul Jones must've had
something to say concerning a moment like this.
You don't remember
what it was...
- Mr. Masterman?
- Yes, sir.
Now, wait a minute, sir. I'm a
ship's officer, not a stork!
That's right, you're
the executive officer.
I don't know what John
Paul Jones might've said,
but Navy Regulations say
that all matters pertaining
to the ship's company properly fall under
the jurisdiction of the executive officer.
The lady, through
force of circumstance,
is technically a member
of the ship's company.
Execute, Mr. Masterman. Execute.
Uh... Your attention.
Naturally, this somewhat
unusual duty... situation...
is a great shock to all of us.
But as good sailors,
we must see it through
for the honor of the old ship.
Now, all of you men have
had babies of your own.
Did you ever lend a hand when the
happy event was taking place?
Mr. Masterman, Mr. Masterman!
The Lieutenant, pardon sir,
the Pharmacist's Mate...
he wants to see you right away!
It's that lady, she's...
All right, all right...
Dismissed, back to
your kindergarten.
I got an idea, sir.
- Mr. Masterman!
- Yes, yes...
Mr. Masterman, please.
She needs help right away!
I'm sorry, I can't do anymore.
All right, I'll go back!
Jenks! Jenks!
Here sir, we're going to do
this shipshape and sharp.
Just like a hospital, sir.
It's the Carpenter's Mate, sir.
He'd like a word with you.
Don't tell me he's
gonna have a baby, too.
- Come on in, Chips.
- Thank you, sir.
It's something I wouldn't care to
admit in front of the others, sir.
Well, my wife is
a visiting nurse,
and I have stood by on
a occasions like this,
and I don't claim
to be no expert sir,
I had a chance to sort of memorize
the specifications as it were.
Chip, you're just
what we're looking for.
But this is very
informal Mr. Masterman.
Don't forget I'm a total
stranger to the lady.
Don't worry, Chips.
I'll introduce you later.
Take it easy, Lindsay. After
all, you're not the father.
I know, sir.
But I'm still nervous.
You know, Mr. Masterman,
this is an awful lesson for me.
Once or twice I've thought
about getting myself obliged.
No more.
Uh-uh. Not after this.
- Well? - I wish the report the
presence of a stowaway, sir.
I should say about
six and a half pounds.
Chips, for bravery
you deserve a medal.
I'll settle for a
cup of coffee, sir.
That you'll have.
Well, the launching's
complete, sir.
Mother and baby
are in perfect shape.
It's a boy.
Well, I'm glad that's over.
- Well done, Masterman. - Strictly
according to regulation, sir.
- Jenks, what is it?
- Pardon, Captain, sir.
We're a delegation
from the crew.
- About what? - Well, it's about
a name for the new craft, sir.
Warren is a fine name
for a boy, sir.
Convoy sighted on starboard bow!
Looks like about a
30 ship convoy, sir.
The cruiser leading
is the Chattanooga.
I forgot to tell you the
Admiral aboard that cruiser
- is Steven Thomas, USN.
- Old Iron Pants?
Finally got his wish.
- I wonder how his lumbago is.
- We'll find out.
We're an hour late
arriving at rendezvous.
The Warren's just been sighted two
points on the starboard bow, sir.
- I've got eyes, Dudley.
- Yes, sir.
Signal her to take position
on convoy's starboard flank
- and patrol station.
- Aye aye, sir.
Then ask her to explain why she's
an hour late in keeping rendezvous.
Aye aye, sir.
Orders from the flagship, sir.
"Take position at the starboard flank
with convoy and patrol station."
- Carry out those orders, will
ya, Masterman? - Aye aye, sir.
Second message
from flagship, sir.
"Explain one hour delay
in keeping rendezvous."
Signal answer, regret delay due
to misinterpretation of orders.
Aye aye, sir.
Warren reports delay due to
misinterpretation of orders.
What kind of an answer is that?
Tell the Warren I want the
signal number of the officer
responsible for
misinterpretation of orders.
Aye aye, sir.
From the flagship, sir. "Report
immediately signal number of the
officer responsible for
misinterpretation or orders."
Place my number, Martin.
Aye aye, sir.
After all, sir, I was to
blame for the delay...
Why didn't you hoist my number?
Isn't a question of blame,
The Admiral requested the signal
number of the officer responsible.
- That's right. - Aboard ship, the
captain's responsible for everything.
- Oh yes. - Good. For a moment I
thought it'd slipped your mind.
Warren answered your query with a
signal number of commanding officer,
- Lieutenant Commander Roberts.
- Uh huh.
Just what I expected
from Roberts. No alibis.
I could always tell a crack
officer by the cut of his jib.
And the grace to
go, Mr. Lindsay.
- Change standard speed to 15 knots.
- Aye aye, sir.
Attention. Baby Division.
You will lay aft to
the afterdeck house.
Sunbathing time for the babies.
Don't you forget,
you nursemaids,
we're in a convoy so keep those kids
out of sight as much as possible.
I'm a sailor man
doing what I can
Helping out with the plans of
your Uncle Samuel's Navy
And in any port
I'm a dead James Ford
And I'll jump at the chance
just to beat off the pants
Of the guy who says
that the Navy
And sailing, sailing
over the Seven Seas
Bringing freedom to you
And to me
As we sail along
We're a million strong
And we can't go wrong
'cause we're all in your
Uncle's Navy
Hey Jenks, are you sure baking
powder's all right to use?
Of course it is.
You use it on bread, don't ya?
Yeah, but these
are little babies.
So if it's OK for bread, it's
OK for babies! Spread it on.
Hey Jason, you'd better
take in that pair of pants
pull up some of that slack.
Hey, give 'em a shot out of that
bottom might stimulate 'em a little.
Do you feel better now, sir, now
that the Warren's in position?
Yes, yes, oh yes, sir. But do you see
what I see on the afterdeck house?
It appears to be a
false structure, sir.
Structure? Looks
to me like a pigpen.
They must be crazy
on the Warren.
First a pigpen, and now a pig.
Right before my eyes.
I can't quite make it out, sir,
but it doesn't look...
I know a pig when I see one.
Take a message to the Warren.
Explain presence of unauthorized
pigpen and pig running loose on deck.
- Aye aye, sir.
- I'd never have believed it
if I hadn't seen it
with my own eyes.
Baby Detail! Count your babies!
I got nine!
Hey, wait a minute!
Baby number nine in
division three is AWOL.
He was just there a minute ago.
Where'd that scamp go to anyway?
Signal from the flagship, sir.
"Explain presence of unauthorized
pigpen and pig running loose on deck."
Jughead? Jughead...
Oh, there you are...
What do you mean
running away like that?
I must be crazy.
Not only do they have a pig, but
they've made a pet out of it.
Why, they're babies, sir.
Yes, yes, yes...
Well, it looked like a pig.
Dudley, Dudley! Correct
previous message to the Warren.
Substitute babies for pig
and baby-pen for pigpen.
Aye aye, sir.
Message from the Warren, sir.
From the Warren, sir.
"Have onboard 25 civilian
survivors of torpedoed vessel
proceeding from Honolulu
to San Francisco.
Rescued persons,
number two women,
twenty babies, and two seamen.
Report one of them..."
Two women,
20 children and two seamen.
- That's 24 survivors.
- The message continues, sir.
"Report, one of the rescued ladies gave
birth to a child after being taken aboard."
"In absence of doctor, Carpenter's Mate
officiated. Request your concurrence."
That's the end of
the message, sir.
I'm surprised at Roberts.
Permitting such irregularity.
I should've been informed
of the entire affair.
It's completely
without precedence.
- Boy or girl?
- It doesn't say, sir.
It doesn't say?
What kind of a report is that?
Leaving out the most
important detail.
- I'll find out, sir.
- Yes.
- Another message from the Warren, sir.
- Yes, yes, yes.
It's a boy, sir.
Oh. It's a boy.
It's a boy. Well, well, well.
Signal the Warren.
- Well done, Warren.
- Aye aye, sir.
Now take it easy, Johnny.
- Better?
- Oh much better, sir.
- But still... - Hello
Johnson, how're you feeling?
Oh, I'm fit as a fiddle, sir.
Except for a little
buzzing in my head.
But nothing to keep a man
in his bunk for, sir.
I guess we're entitled
to a day off after what we did
to that Heinie U-Boat
Shot her right
through her belly.
I saw her number
when she blew up.
Take it easy, Johnson.
Hello Papa. How are all
the little children?
- Very funny.
- You look in on Johnson?
Yeah. He's cruising around in
the North Sea 25 years ago.
Still thinks
I'm his old skipper.
Mr. Masterman, sir!
I beg your pardon, sir,
but the other lady this time,
she's about to...
she's about to...
- About to what?
- About to have a baby, sir.
Well... Mr. Masterman?
United States Navy.
I'd give a month's pay to see Masterman
surrounded by all those babies.
- Masterman? - He's my ex-Junior
Aide, he's quite a fella.
Always made me feel a
little uncomfortable.
As if my neck tie weren't
on straight or something.
What's the matter with him, sir?
Nothing that a cruise, and the Warren,
and a bunch of babies won't cure.
Mr. Dudley to see you sir.
All right.
- Message from the Warren, sir.
- Yes, yes, yes.
"Second lady passenger
about to have child.
Request concurrence
and medical advice."
Now look here, Dudley,
this sort of thing must stop.
I am fighting a war,
not running a lying in hospital.
Aye, sir. Should I transmit
that to the Warren, sir?
Certainly not.
Well, Doctor, go on.
Say something.
- Say what?
- You heard the message.
The Warren wants medical advice.
Well, sir, off hand I... I don't
know exactly what to say.
Stone, are you or
are you not a doctor?
I am a Naval surgeon, sir.
Not a baby specialist.
Now if the woman had only broken her
neck, or something more in my line...
Stone, she's having a baby.
The Warren is waiting.
Well, a question like that
takes time to answer...
I'll have to refresh my mind.
Look it up!
What shall I tell
the Warren, sir?
Tell the Warren to
delay everything,
my senior surgeon
is reading a book.
Aye aye, sir.
- How is she?
- Not very good.
I'm pretty scared.
The other lady had a
pretty easy time but...
But Mrs. Collins,
this is her first child...
And she's been through a lot.
The torpedo,
and the bumping around,
the life boat and
it's all against her.
But she's got grit, sir.
You think it'd help any
if I spoke to her?
Might ease her mind, sir.
I'm sorry to be so much
trouble, Mr. Masterman.
I'm sorry there isn't more we
can do for you, Mrs. Collins.
Why, you're doing everything.
I think you've been wonderful.
If we could only get you
aboard the Chattanooga.
She carries a doctor.
Are you scared?
Yes. I'm scared to death.
But I keep thinking of Steve.
My husband.
He's been scared lots of times,
but he keeps on fighting.
That's the least I can do.
Well, if it's any help, you've
got all hands aboard the Warren
fighting with you.
How can I lose?
Yes, sir?
Tell Lieutenant Dudley
I wish to see him.
- Aye aye, sir.
- Yes, sir?
Is there any word
from the Warren?
- No sir. - What's the
matter with Roberts?
Didn't you signal him
to keep us informed?
- Yes, sir.
- Well, signal him again.
Tell him I want to know
what progress is being made.
Aye aye, sir.
Well, Doctor? Well?
I have everything
organized, sir.
- Well in hand.
- Sit down.
After I ask the Warren
a few questions,
- I'll be able to advise.
- What kind of questions?
Well, I'll have to know the lady's age,
height, weight, and physical condition.
And I must know if this
is her first child
- and whether or... - The Warren makes a
simple request for some medical advice
and you answer with a demand for a
detailed history of the lady's life.
Well, how can I give intelligent instructions
if I don't know the case history?
Doctor, a short while ago
another baby was born
on the Warren with the
assistance of a Carpenter's Mate
who didn't even know
the patient's name.
I remember now when the ship's cat
had kittens you lost your head.
That should've warned me.
As I reminded you, sir. I am a
naval surgeon aboard a war ship.
War ship or not, a woman is
having a baby over on the Warren,
and I am having a
nervous breakdown!
All right, Joe.
How is she?
It's too bad.
After all, sir, Chip's is
only the ship's carpenter,
and this is a destroyer,
not a maternity hospital.
I'm sorry there isn't something
more we can do to help her.
There is something
you can do, sir.
Transfer her to the Chattanooga,
get her in the hands
of a real doctor.
That's the one thing
we can't do.
We'd have to bring the Warren
and the Chattanooga to a stop.
That would be inviting disaster.
I keep thinking of
that girl's husband,
inviting disaster every
time he flies his ship
off the deck of that carrier.
I'd hate to tell him that the Navy considers
saving the life of his wife and baby
- to great a risk. - Masterman,
he's doing a job. So are we.
Yeah, I know. Can't make
decisions based on sentiment...
Or humanity.
From the Warren, sir.
"Report Mrs. Collin's condition
critical. Request instructions."
- Ah. - If she could only
be transferred here...
No, no, no, that's impossible. I cannot
jeopardize a 30 ship convoy and it's escort.
Well, in that case,
we may as well turn in.
- Must be almost dawn.
- Turn in?
Stone, have you
ever been a father?
- Why, no sir.
- Well, you should've been.
And perhaps you could've helped
her with this launching.
You talk about this baby
as though it were a ship.
Well, it's practically
the same procedure.
If a ship hangs on the ways,
you give her a start with a good
sound thump from an oak timber.
That's it. A thump!
- But I can't see that... - Did you know
that in the days of the sailing ships
in the British Navy, the sailor's wives
often went along on the old frigates
and when a woman couldn't bring
off a launching by herself,
the gunner always started
with a salvo to Lord.
Oh, that old superstition.
Yes, I've heard those
yarns from old timers.
You mean some
old fogeys like me.
- Oh, no sir. - Do you presume
to call one of the oldest
naval traditions superstition?
Well sir, if you really
think it'd do any good.
Why don't you give the Warren
the order to fire a gun to Lord.
No, no. That'll reveal our
position to the enemy.
And the safety of the convoy
must come before one life.
Even a woman's.
- Yes.
- Enemy aircraft sighted...
Enemy aircraft sighted, sir!
We've been hit!
Standby for action!
Did you hear that?
We're in action!
I gotta get to my station!
Steady, Johnson, steady.
Look sir,
the flagship's been hit.
Enemy aircraft headed
for convoy, sir.
Set fuses to three.
Range, 2-5-0-0.
Scale, 8-2.
- Fuse set!
- Set!
- On target!
- Rapid fire, commence firing!
Masterman's right on his target.
On target!
On target!
One for us!
Lindsay, right full rudder!
On target!
On target!
- They got him, sir!
- Nice shooting.
That's one clay pigeon that
won't shoot back at anybody!
The flagship's out
of control, sir!
Ludlow, what's the matter
with our aircraft lookout?
Well, the plane glided in
above the fog,
and when first sighted,
he was already diving.
- What's our damage? - We should
have a full report in a moment, sir.
Ship's Damage Control Officer
reports our plane catapult disabled
and steering near
out of control, sir.
Do something, confounded!
Can't stay here all day
with my stern shut off.
That plane was launched
from an enemy capital ship
that's somewhere out here
in this blasted fog!
We're doing all we can, sir.
- Your coat, sir.
- Nice kettle of fish.
Hit in the tail with a sneak
punch by a slant-eyed Beelzebub.
Enemy battleship sighted, sir.
On the starboard bow.
Jap. Ishamoto Class.
- Ludlow, commence firing.
- Aye aye, sir.
A Jap battleship.
All my life I've been
praying for a crack
at one of those
pagoda masted buzzards.
And here I am winged
in the tail,
sailing in circles like
a blasted merry-go-round.
- Signal the convoy to scanner.
- Aye aye, sir.
Signal the Warren,
I'm out of control.
- Yes sir.
- Shot in the rear.
- Yes sir. - Don't put
that last in the message.
Oh no, sir.
Shot at us with
their first salvo!
Let them have it, Ludlow!
Radio from the Chattanooga.
She's out of control.
That puts it up to us.
Mr. Lindsay, I'm going ahead,
full speed.
Tell the engine room
to make smoke,
we lay a smoke screen between
the Jap and the convoy.
- Aye aye, sir. - We reverse course
to the left standard rudder.
Left standard rudder, sir.
Look, sir! Through that
break in the fog!
The Warren's reversing her
They've opened on the Warren
with a secondary battery!
Roberts is covering
with a smoke screen!
- Guns 1, 2, 4 commence firing!
- Guns 1, 2, 4 commence firing!
Ready, one!
Four, ready!
- Send for me, sir?
- Yes, Masterman.
Here's my plan of attack.
The enemy's forced it's carrier
directly into the convoy.
Yes, sir.
I'm going to cease firing.
In two minutes,
reverse our course again,
parallel to our smoke screen.
Then cut through and give her a surprise,
and give her every torpedo we've got!
She's a battleship, she'll
blast us out of the water!
- Almost certainly. - What
about the women and children?
This isn't only a destroyer,
it's a floating nursery.
I know... but in a
situation like this,
decisions cannot be influenced
by personal feelings.
When you have a command,
you'll realize that.
- Back to your battle station.
- Aye aye, sir.
Mr. Masterman!
The Captain's been hit!
You bad, sir?
Looks as if you... achieved command
sooner neither of us expected.
Any orders, sir?
You'll do all right, Harvard.
Rock 'em and sock 'em.
OK, John Paul Jones.
Get the Captain below!
We'll take care of you.
I need you again,
with Mrs. Collins.
All right, help me
strap Johnson down.
I'm needed on deck, I tell ya.
Now, come on, lad.
Tell control to cease firing.
- Control, cease firing.
- Yes, sir?
Be ready to fire torpedoes
on both sides.
- Aye aye, sir.
- Reverse course to the right.
Keep her parallel and behind
the smoke screen.
- Right standard rudder.
- Right standard rudder.
The Warren's swinging behind
her own smoke screen, sir.
They're firing blind
behind the smoke screen, sir.
Still just popping away
at things up there, Chips?
Don't be uneasy, Miss. Just because
of a bit of a fuss up topside.
Mr. Lindsay, I'm going to come
right 90 degrees off course.
Well, that'll just turn us back
through our smoke screen, sir.
Right into the face
of the enemy.
Exactly. I'm going to intercept
the Jap at the nearest point.
I'm counting on surprise.
But she'll blow us
right out of the water.
Right standard rudder,
Your new course
is 1-7-5.
Right standard rudder,
course 1-7-5, sir.
But Mrs. Collins and the other lady, sir.
And all those children...
There's only one way of giving
the convoy a chance to scatter.
Let's come charging
out of our smoke screen,
and smack that Jap
with a couple of torpedoes
before he smacks us
with a broadside.
But you can't throw away the lives
of all those women and children.
Mr. Lindsay, the captain of a ship
can't always do what he wants.
If you ever get command,
you'll realize that.
Aye aye, sir.
What's the matter Rankin?
Bring her around!
The rudder's right standard,
sir, but she hangs!
Well, give her right full then!
Give her right full, sir!
- Take the Chief below!
- Aye aye, sir!
- Johnson!
- Don't worry sir,
we'll steer you
a straight course.
We're about to enter
the smoke screen.
- Steady up, 1-1-7-5.
- Steady up on 1-1-7-5.
- There she is, sir.
- Action port, commence firing!
Ready, one!
Ready, one!
Four, ready!
Fire torpedoes when ready!
Targeting 2-9-0!
Targeting angle 2-9-0!
Stand by tubes 2 and 4!
- Two and four standing by.
- Stand by.
- Fire one!
- Fire one!
- Fire two!
- Fire two!
- Fire three!
- Fire three!
- Good work, Martin!
- Thank you, sir.
She's headed for the
smoke screen, sir!
Yeah and the convoy!
How many torps left?
Six on the starboard side, sir.
- Standby starboard battery.
- Aye aye, sir!
What are you gonna do, sir?
I'm going back through the smoke
screen again and finish our job.
Right standard rudder,
come to course 3-5-5 and steady!
Right standard rudder come to
course 3-5-5 and steady, sir!
You all right, Johnson?
Aye aye, sir.
Hey Doc! The lady, hurry!
All right.
Increase to right,
20 degrees rudder.
Increase to right,
20 degrees rudder, sir.
Two points from the
starboard bow, sir!
We're heading back towards
the smoke screen, sir!
She's lefting heavily
towards port!
Action starboard,
commence firing.
- Speed 10! Target angle 1-2-0!
- Speed 10! Target angle 1-2-0!
Right, let's give her the works!
Aye aye, sir.
Stand by 223!
- Two-one ready.
- Torp three ready.
- Fire one!
- Fire one.
- Fire two!
- Fire two.
- Fire three!
- Fire three.
Mr. Lindsay, slow
to standard speed.
Aye aye, sir!
There, sir.
Can you make it out?
Can't see a thing
in this smoke and fog.
Guess that's the end
of the old Warren, sir.
Yes, those poor
women and babies.
That brave little ship.
Nice going, sir!
- Scratched one rice burner!
- We did it, sir! We did it!
A destroyer,
like the battleship.
Mr. Lindsay, behaving like
a Brooklyn baseball fan.
Sorry, sir.
- Quartermaster! Take the wheel!
- Aye aye, sir!
Mr. Masterman.
Are you all right, Johnson?
Yes, I'm as right as rain...
- I must've bumped my head.
- We just sunk a Jap battleship.
Sunk a Jap? Oy.
I must've slept all through it.
I feel as though I just woke up.
Do you understand, Johnson? Your old lady
the Warren, that everybody laughed at,
just knocked over
a Jap battle wagon.
Well, I'm not surprised sir. The
Warren can lick anything afloat!
Look sir! Over the
starboard quarter!
It's the Warren, sir!
Incredible! It was
the Jap that blew up!
Yes, the Warren knocked her out!
Here, here, here... you're acting
like a bunch of school kids.
- Oh, come in, Masterman.
- How're you feeling, sir?
Much better, thank you.
- How's everything with you?
- Everything's under control, sir.
Total casualties, 12 men wounded.
All taken care of.
Forward gun disabled,
otherwise no serious damage.
No casualties to the women and children.
I think that's all, sir.
Mr. Masterman, sir,
can you come at once?
- It's very urgent.
- Yes...
Well, sir.
Ludlow, to the best
of my knowledge,
that was the single greatest
destroyer action in naval history.
Magnificent, sir. If it hadn't been
for the Warren, our whole convoy
- might've been lost.
- Yes.
- Ludlow, I re-commissioned her.
- Yes, sir.
From the Warren, sir.
- Message from the Warren, sir.
- Just one moment, Dudley.
Gentlemen, we are living one of those
moments which may go down in history.
This message from the Warren might
become as famous in the American Navy,
as Paris, "We have met
the enemy and they're ours."
Well? Read it.
It's a boy.
- Hm? - Yes, sir. It's a boy.
- Seven pounds, four ounces.
It's a boy.
It's a boy.
Seven pounds, four ounces.
Sun of a gun.
There's something grand about
a homeward bound convoy, sir.
- Ha!
- Quite a homecoming, sir.
Hm? Quite.
We're making a fine tail
to the Warren's kite.
They're probably laughing from
Cacosol to the Dutch Harbor,
and from Iceland to Australia.
Never dare show my face
in the Army-Navy Club again.
And I felt sorry sending
Roberts to sea
in that old coffee pot.
Lieutenant Commander Roberts.
Lieutenant Masterman.
Chief Yeoman Johnson.
Front and center.
For extraordinary gallantry,
and action against the enemy,
the Navy Cross of
the United States,
is confirmed upon the following by order
of the President of the United States.
Lieutenant Commander Martin J.
Roberts, USN Commanding.
- Congratulations, Roberts.
- Thank you, sir.
Lieutenant Gregg Masterman.
- Congratulations Masterman.
- Thank you, sir.
Chief Yeoman Henry Johnson.
- Congratulations Johnson.
- Thank you, sir.
Well, Masterman, now that
you're a blasted hero,
I suppose you think you've
earned your lazy loops again.
Somehow, sir, oysters and Senate Committees
don't seem so important to me now.
You're a couple of lucky dogs.
I give my flag just to stand
in either of your shoes.
Destroyer in wartime.
That's a job for a real sailor.
Mind you, I'm going to camp
outside the Commandant's office
until I get priority on repairs
and get back to sea again!
What do they expect me to do?
Spend eternity in a dry dock?
- I know just how you feel, sir.
- What?
- Leave to quarters.
- Aye sir.
Leave to quarters!
- Congratulations, sir.
- Congratulations yourself, Johnson.
Yes, indeed.
Seems funny. Me with a medal.
When only a little while ago I was afraid
I was never going to get to sea again.
But I have you to
thank for that, sir.
And you, sir. It's been
great being shipmates.
How soon before we
shove off again, sir?
- Mr. Masterman.
- Yes, sir.
Do what you can to expedite
our repairs and refueling.
- We want to get back to sea.
- Aye aye, sir.
That's the only place
for a sailor. At sea.
Bows and arrows all checked?
Bows and arrows
all shipshape, sir.
That's fine.