WWII (1943-46)

“Seven Spades and the Comic Book”

Memory from: Rear Admiral Allan B. Roby

Setting the Scene

Rear Admiral Allan B. Roby, the KIDD's first commander, recounts a humorous story of one of the KIDD's easier mid-ocean rescues during World War II.

The Recollection

We were underway with a task force composed of carriers and cruisers and a destroyer screen composed of thirteen (13) shifts. It was nighttime and I was in the wardroom playing a hand of bridge when I was dealt seven spades. With this hand, I was invincible and could win anything. At that moment, a message was received from the task force commander that we [were to] retrieve a sailor who had fallen overboard from one of the aircraft carriers. I carefully laid my hand down and went to the bridge. We had plotted a course where the sailor had probably fallen overboard to his probable position in the very dark night sea. It took us about twelve (12) minutes to reach the point, whereupon we immediately located the young man, still clutching his comic book. Apparently, he had been reading and got up absentmindedly, turned to the left instead of to the right, and fallen overboard. We returned to the wardroom where I completed the hand and won the game.