In mid-February 1954 the CHARR made a two week round trip training cruise from San Diego to Acapulco, Mexico. Several of our regular crew members chose to go on leave during this time and were replaced by experienced surface personnel (two officers and six enlisted), who had expressed a desire to possibly attend submarine school. Captain Whitman personally assigned one of our regular crew to stand watch with each of our "guests". Although only and Ensign, I was to work with a LTJG.
On the day before arriving at Acapulco we were cruising on the surface in a deep blue flat sea. The past few days had been filled with numerous dives and drills where our guests' aptitude had been carefully documented. Now the time had come for my LTJG to make his first dive as a diving officer.
The Captain made his way to the bridge to observe and he had the LTJG go through some basic maneuvers before diving. The Captain would always stand on the small flat section just behind the bridge, in front of the tall part of the sail. Later, upon receiving a nod from the Captain, I asked the LTJG if he was ready to dive. He gave an affirmative answer. I told him I would go below to the Control Room to standby and observe his actions. After a couple minutes, I passed the word to the bridge to commence with the dive.
The diving alarm sounded followed by the words "Dive Dive". The two lookouts came down to the Control Room to man the Bow and Stern planes. The LTJG took his position as the Diving Officer. I looked at him and asked, "Where is the Captain?". The look on his face answered my question. I immediately ordered, 'blow bow buoyancy, blow negative, blow safety and ordered bow and stern planes to full rise".
We all had a great deal to be thankful for that day when, upon surfacing, we found our Captain still on his observation perch and only wet to the knees!