“Get some time on the ROC!” was one of Dennis Bass’ favorite retorts. Well everyone of us was a NUG at some point. And until someone else came along to take your place, it seemed that you would never get enough time and would continue to be the victim of some creative practical jokes. I arrived on the ROC in Feb of 1971.
I think I was also the victim of the more elaborate EMHO Log pranks. Ron Fulcher assigned me to take the EMHO log to every intercept operator in the house about 0300 one mid watch. This included NSA, ASA, and Zoomie positions. In addition to having each operator record wave-length and band width, (which seemed to vary between 6″ x 1″ and 8″ x 2″) they would describe their contact in terms such as throbbing, and pulsing. I was also directed to calculate the average frequency for every R390A receiver in the joint, which was quite a few. Now keep in mind that was 1971, when the closest thing to an electronic calculator around was the Chinese abacus Chou Di-Di used to tally up beers tossed during the deusch parties at the Kings Club. The final assignment I was given was to have the EMHO Log signed and approved by the ranking officer of the watch. This happened to be a very stern looking Lt. WAF (female officer), who seemed pretty annoyed at my request for her autograph. “Sorry, Just following orders Ma’m”.
On another watch I was told to go around the section and take donut orders. “Donut orders?” I asked. Yeah, donut orders, you know plain, glazed, jelly filled, Boston cream. Many of the crew were bewildered with my request “what kind of donuts do you want?”. But I took their orders just the same. I went to the security shack and waited……, waited….., waited……… Finally the Air Force Security guard asked me why I was hanging around and I told him I was waiting for the donut truck. He said he never heard of such a thing. Busted again. There is a story of a NUG actually coming back to the watch section with donuts.
My butt was set on fire at least once, my ball cap’s brim folded in half and stapled together, with holes punched in it.
The only time I got even was when a higher ranking member of the section ‘ordered’ me to make coffee. I didn’t drink coffee at the time and saw no reason why I should make it. But, I followed orders and made the worst batch of coffee anyone had ever tasted. I wasn’t allowed to make coffee again.