Friday, September 21, 2007

All hands

I ran across this post on playing Taps at a funeral and it reminded me of "All Hands", a bosun pipe tune played on Navy ships before General quarters.

When a combat ship goes to general quarters (combat is eminent) the watch bosun mate is supposed to play "All hands" on bosun's pipe, a very small flute like instrument.

Here's an example of what "All Hands" sounds like.

Then at the end of the tune he says "General Quarters. General Quarters. All hands man your battle stations". Repeat that a few times.

The first time my destroyer went to General Quarters back in 1968 we were taking incoming shore artillery and the bosun blew a single quick note, not a drawn out note, no tune, then said, "This is not a drill, this is not a drill".

He never did get around to saying General Quarters. The crew pretty much figured it out though.


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