Vigilis posts about Wheeler Lipes, a WWII submarine Pharmacist's Mate who passed away this week, and asks for our favorite Corpsman stories. I don't have any good stories about any of my Corpsmen performing surgery, so I'll have to rely on a drinking story.
So there I was... on liberty at Sub Base Bangor when I was on the Topeka. We were just in for one night, and there really isn't anything to do in town, so a bunch of us went to the club on base. It was an ORSE run, so there was a lot of frustration to work off. The van from the boat came to pick us up at the club to take us back to the ship, and as we're driving, the idiot in the front passenger seat starts grabbing at the steering wheel, making us swerve a little. The Base Police (active duty type) see this and pull us over. As they're talking to the driver, a couple of drunks in the back get into a fight, so they have us all get out of the van. We all get calmed down, and the only problem is one crewman who's lying on the ground, projectile-vomiting the contents of his stomach all over the road. The MPs asked who was in charge, and I looked around, and noticed that I was the only officer in the group, so I said I was -- I was a fairly junior J.G., but still "in charge". The driver and I convinced the MPs that the driver in fact hadn't been drinking (he was part of the duty section) so they decided to let us go back to the boat, but told me to make sure that the really drunk guy, who was still vomiting, saw the Corpsman as soon as he got on board. Here's where my inexperience showed through, for I replied, "Well, he IS the Corpsman". (For the non-submariners out there, subs only have one medical guy onboard.) As a result of this idiotic statement, the MPs decide that they should take our drunk HM1 to the station to have their doc look at him, and I decided that I should probably go with him. So when the van gets back to the boat, the guys go aboard and word gets to the Duty Officer that "LTjg Bubblehead and Doc are at the MP station because of a drunken fight". So, my Department Head has to come and get us, and everything ended up OK... even if the Doc had quite a headache the next morning.