Alfa Papa
July 14, 2005 6:37 AM   Subscribe

An old carrier pilot that flew very dangerous night spy flights during WWII (no deck lights, primitive radar, poor radios) told me a funny story about one landing.

One night as he was coming in he saw the signal man looked different. Rather than lit by a spotlight, he had little Christmas tree lights all over him. as the pilot began to descend the signal man started wildly changing signals, "too low," "too high," "left wing dipped" etc. all of a sudden he just waved him off and the lights went out. When the pilot circled back around for another try, this time there was a different signal man lit by the spot. Upon landing he found out that the Navy was testing a new system where lights were imbedded in a flight suit. It worked on land in the test facilities, but as soon as the signal man got out in the salt sea air the suit began to short out. The signals were actually the signal man getting a series of shocks!
posted by Pollomacho at 7:05 AM on July 14, 2005

I've been flying the Juliet for years.
posted by leapfrog at 7:34 AM on July 14, 2005

Cool post. Bravo Zulu!
posted by maryh at 7:49 AM on July 14, 2005

I've been flying the Juliet for years.

I find it a little sad and a little appropriate that most of Central America has flags based on a signal flag that means"I am on fire and have dangerous cargo; keep clear"
posted by Pollomacho at 7:50 AM on July 14, 2005

In the early '50's, an admiral was dancing with a young female guest at the Annapolis graduation party. By way of conversation, he asked her about the significance of her necklace, which was made of three small signal flags on a gold chain.

She replied that it was an engagement present from her fiance who had just graduated and that it said "I love you".

The Admiral could not remember a flag for "love", so upon looking up the manual the next morning, he was reminded of how Naval officers are trained to be courteous at all times. The flags' true meaning was "Request Permission To Lay Alongside".
posted by RMALCOLM at 9:10 AM on July 14, 2005 [1 favorite]

from EWALL definition, some device which has the effect Consequently, patterns of common thought threads emerge while atypical ideas fade into the background.

Great, time for lunch. How was that game? You're fired!
posted by nervousfritz at 9:19 AM on July 14, 2005

speaking of which, I wonder if space warfare is a bit like counter intel. You say space, people think of exploration, discovery of the new. You say intelligence, people think of expansion of technology or understanding.
posted by nervousfritz at 9:20 AM on July 14, 2005

Metafilter: I am on fire and have dangerous cargo; keep clear.

(Advantage: can be shortened, for those in the know, to MF:J)

or, possibly better:

Metafilter: Whiskey! I require medical attention!
posted by The Bellman at 9:39 AM on July 14, 2005

The "illustrative signals" link is even better as it includes two flag signals such as:

"OY! The port is mined!"

Who new we jews had been involved in naval warfare signaling?
posted by The Bellman at 9:46 AM on July 14, 2005

FYI: The International Code of Signals. Looks like Quebec Romeo One is request permission to come alongside. Much more courteous than Sierra Quebec Three.
posted by leapfrog at 1:45 PM on July 14, 2005

MMD - Rash consists of rose-colored spots that do not blench on pressure

Damn, those guys thought of -everything-.

posted by Ogre Lawless at 2:12 PM on July 14, 2005

RMALCOLM, I have a necktie patterned with the same flags. Permission denied every time, so far.
posted by emelenjr at 2:34 PM on July 14, 2005

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