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[‘Mush’ Morton (right) with his X.O. Dick O’Kane (left) on Wahoo’s bridge]

Questions & Observations About Our Evangelism


Inspired From ‘Mush’ Morton’s Command Style


Question:  Are we as a church/denomination operating by an incomplete “playbook,” an incomplete Gospel-evangelistic tactics book?  Have we fully explored the ways Jesus Christ outlined for us to proclaim the Gospel to the world?  We have been called to wage an information war against the arch-deceiver, Satan, who has deceived the whole world.  Isn’t that what Revelation 12:9 indicates when coupled to Matthew 28:19-20?  “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world:  he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”  We’re people of the Truth, who hold the Truth of God.  Jesus has asked us to preach the Truth of God to the whole world, and those who respond favorably we have been told be baptize, and then nurture as new-believers into the Church, Body of Christ.  Our radio, television and literature departments are set up for that express purpose, and so is the local ministry.  Matthew 28:19-20, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost [Spirit]: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:  and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.  Amen.”


Jesus Highlights Two Ways To Preach The Gospel


1. Matthew 24:14, “And the gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.”  Mark 13:10, “And the gospel must first be published among all nations.”    So, we have mentioned the preaching and publishing of the Gospel, and truth of God to the entire world.  We in the Sabbath-keeping Churches of God, from the Worldwide Church of God heritage of Herbert Armstrong have long been used to these verses, and assumed that this is the only method Jesus mentioned about how to get his precious Gospel knowledge to the world.  We have tended to remain stuck in an old paradigm, operating with an old “playbook”, and with what amounts to rowing with only one oar in the water.  In this sense, our tactics in this information war Jesus has given us to wage have remained archaic and somewhat ineffective.  Something has been missing.  When all the Scriptures related to our witness to the world are added up that came from Jesus’ mouth, we find that the Gospel really walks on two legs, rows with two oars in the water, and not one.  Let’s look at the second method Jesus gave us for preaching the Truth, Gospel of God.


2.  Matthew 5:13-16, “Ye are the salt of the earth:  but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted?  it is therefore good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to  be trodden under foot of men.  Ye are the light of the world.  A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.  Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”  Who do we let our light shine to?  To those less fortunate than us, both inside and outside the Body of Christ.  It says, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works…” Again, historically the Sabbath-keeping Churches of God under Herbert Armstrong majored in the first Biblical method of Gospel proclamation while totally ignoring the second method.  Jesus mentioned both as being essential.  We’ve been operating on an incomplete Gospel proclamation playbook, the world hears our words, but doesn’t see us living the Gospel to others via our good works.  The old saying is so true, “Actions speak louder than words.”  When both are combined, our proclamation will become effective and very powerful. 


While a church denomination may have a headquarters that distributes Gospel proclamation literature, radio and television broadcasts, our local congregations are the one’s most suited for carrying out good works within their local communities, quietly doing good works, and then when “asked of the hope that lies within us, we give an answer.”  So then when they ask us, we show those interested where to look for the answers, ‘teaching them to observed all things whatsoever I have commanded you…” (cf. Matthew 28:20).   After they’ve experienced the light of our good works, that’s when they have been prepared to hear the verbal and read the written Gospel message.  There’s a proper order for the type of Gospel presentation being presented, light first, printed-spoken Word second.  Until they see and experience our agape-love for them in action, in most cases our words mean nothing to them.  They must first experience the “light” of the Gospel of Christ, the light of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, shed abroad on them.  Many in the world, my own adoptive daughters included, regard Christians as being like the hate-mongering Westboro Baptist Church.  They don’t know any better, they’ve never experienced the light of the Gospel acting upon their lives.  Each area where we have a congregation is really a target-rich environment for the good-works type of preaching the Gospel, which will back up and add substance to our headquarters or home-office’s proclamation efforts.  And each pastor should have total freedom to lead his congregation(s) in carrying out these good works projects, tailoring them to his local area.  Individual members, like lookouts on a submarine, need to be on the lookout for opportunities to serve others in need within the geographic area of the local congregation, and should be made to feel free to call for the resources of the local congregation when extra help is needed.


We’re In A War


We’re in a war against Satan, an information war.  Mr. Armstrong was a brilliant ad-man, and utilized one of the Gospel proclamation tools to the fullest, but he ignored the other, not utilizing the Holy Spirit/agape-love force of each congregation to it’s fullest.  I often study actual World War II histories and battle tactics, transferring some of the principles to the spiritual warfare Jesus has called us to wage.  Paul said we are in a war.  Ephesians 6:12-13, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness [wicked spirits] in high places.  Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”  “2nd Corinthians 10:3-5, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ…”  And really folks, when the Gospel has been effectively presented to someone God intends to call, isn’t that just exactly what occurs in this spiritual warfare?--- mental  strong holds are cast down in the mind of the unbeliever, imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, i.e. atheism, ‘No, God doesn’t exist, the Bible isn’t his inspired Word of God, it’s the writings of a bunch of wandering Jews who lived long ago in the Middle East,’ these are the strong holds Satan has placed within the minds of all those who do not believe.  The proper presentation of the Gospel initiates spiritual warfare at the most fundamental level there is, within the minds of unbelievers.  At the beginning of World War II our submarine skippers were operating on a pre-war battle tactics playbook which was woefully inadequate for the enemy they were fighting in the Pacific.  They were heading out to sea with 24 torpedoes per sub, and sinking very few ships and wasting a lot of expensive torpedoes.  Something was radically wrong.  Recently, fascinated as I am with everything to do with World War II fleet submarines, I purchased a book titled “Wake of the Wahoo” by a surviving Yeoman (Forest Sterling, ship’s secretary), who lived to write the true story about ‘Mush’ Morton and the Wahoo.  Then I purchased and read Richard ‘Dick’ O’Kane’s “Wahoo.”  He was Mush Morton’s executive officer, who wrote another very good book about the Wahoo and Mush Morton, his skipper.  Why was I so fascinated in this one boat and her radical skipper?  Because Mush Morton did more than anyone prior to him to change World War II American submarine battle tactics to what they needed to be in order to be effective against the sea-going Empire of Japan, which thrived and survived on her merchant marine.  I found unfolding within those two books a real story of leadership and innovation under fire, told about one of those very rare individuals who knows how to lead and inspire men, and get the most out of them, and inspire them to greatness as a team. Each church congregation is like an independent ship, submarine if you will, so the lessons are definitely transferable. Most of the Sabbath-keeping Churches of God that I’ve visited or even attended for awhile (while desperately searching for a spiritually live and growing one), including two house-churches, and a few other Sabbath-keeping Church of God denominations, are stagnating, running in place with existing members, who themselves are growing old and dying off, with no replacements coming in. I heard it stated once in one of these Sabbath-keeping Church of God denominations “that the Church of God is not evangelical.”  Well if it isn’t, it’s wrong, it’s functioning on the wrong “playbook.”  The early apostolic Church of God under Paul and Peter, especially Paul, was the most evangelical of Church eras.  I did a whole study on early Church history, covering the evangelism of Paul and the early Church (see:  Acts 2 itself is the inspired history about a major evangelistic thrust, initiated by God through the Holy Spirit, where Peter took up the baton and ran with it, giving one of the most evangelistic sermons ever given---to non-believers---and 3,000 people were led to Christ.  And don’t forget, these people had just experienced the Light of Jesus Christ’s good works where he healed multitude thousands of people during his three and half year ministry.  Within a few weeks they had 5,000 members, and the growth continued.  It is estimated that the Church in Judea numbered over 50,000 before 70AD.  (The Church in Judea was actually considered a sect of Judaism by the Jews themselves, indicating its large number of members.)  But studying the book of Acts, evangelism wasn’t a one-time event, they were effective witnesses of Jesus Christ’s death, burial and resurrection throughout the Book of Acts.  Herbert W. Armstrong was highly evangelistic with his radio broadcasts and the Plain Truth Magazine, and advertisements he’d run in public periodicals and newspapers.  Matthew 24:14 and 28:19-20 is Jesus Christ’s personal command to give a witness and evangelize, and to spiritually nourish those God the Father calls through our evangelism.  We know only God calls a person, as clearly seen in John 6:44, but what we don’t know is who God intends to call, or how many. 


Where Is Our Assigned War-Patrol Area?


In Jesus’ life and Paul’s statements, we see where Jesus told us to fish, what group of people comprised the richest fishing grounds, the weak of the world, the downtrodden, the hurting and maimed.  They are the ones Jesus reached out to in his physical ministry, and Paul showed why in 1st Corinthians 1:26-29.  We also know God is using us to draw those he intends to call to Christ, we’re his instruments.  We also know Jesus intends to give a witness to the entire world, through the Church, in the end times.  The bigger the church, the bigger the witness, if that church is being properly led and inspired in its witness.  The pastor’s central job and responsibility is to nourish and help the membership grow spiritually, so that our individual lights shine brightly to the world around us.  That’s the prime job and responsibility of the pastor in any given congregation, helping the individual members of each congregation to shine brightly as lights to the world (cf. Ephesians 4:1-16; Matthew 5:14-16).  Now switching back to the submarine analogy.  It’s the crew of any given boat, under the leadership of its’ skipper, that actually sinks the ships.  Following through on the spiritual analogy, spiritually, when those “ships sink,” they are going under the waters of baptism.  When God uses our examples of light through our good works to draw a person to Christ, they have been effectively “sunk” to the world, below the waters of baptism, they’ve died to the world so they can live to Christ.  The skipper is responsible for welding his crew into an effective fighting unit.  Likewise it’s the local member who works in the world, rubbing shoulders with those in the world on a daily basis.  It is the local member, properly inspired and mature spiritually, who is our most effective witness to the world around each and every one of them, not the pastor.  A full-time pastor no longer works in the world for a living, and is somewhat isolated from the world.  But under an effective pastor, a local congregation can be a powerful evangelistic tool.  It’s been said of sheep, healthy sheep reproduce, and it applies to literal sheep as well as Christian sheep, the sheep of Jesus.  How do Christian “sheep” reproduce?  By drawing people to Christ by the light they shine to the world around them---“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works…”  There is a third part to this verse, which shows what our ‘light shined before men, our good works’ actually accomplishes, “…and glorify God which is in heaven.”  If the light of our good works before men causes them to “glorify God which is in heaven” these folk are no longer hostile toward God---thus they have successfully been drawn, called to God (the Romans 8:7 affect reversed).  There is a whole lot being stated in this short 16th verse of Matthew chapter 5. (see: for more on this theme about good works projects.)  There are a lot of ideas about proper command and improper command in this third book I found written about ‘Mush’ Morton and the Wahoo.  The title is:




AND THE USS WAHOO  (by Don Keith, 2011)


I know healthy pastors are fascinated with books like this, just for that reason.  As Halsey said to Ray Spruance, “When you’re in command, command.”  And there is a right way to do it, and a wrong way.  Should you purchase this book, enjoy it, meditate on it and these things.  And if you start to believe our tactical “playbook” has been wrong, incomplete, don’t be afraid to throw it overboard, as Mush did.  In the end, the whole United States submarine force ended up using Mush Morton’s battle tactics and sinking over two-thirds of Japan’s merchant fleet of cargo ships, troop ships and tankers, even though he and his gallant crew never lived to see it happen.   It’s an exciting, enthralling true story, a real page-turner, but with a purpose.  I’m sure it’s on the Naval War College’s required reading list for students.


“Mush” Morton’s Unique Command Style


Dudley Walker ‘Mush’ Morton had a command style all his own, coming from his natural born qualities as a leader.  The United States Navy, as in many other navies of the world, has a very strong separation between its enlisted men and officers.  Officers are to be addressed as Mr. or Sir and given the utmost of respect.  This enforced code of respect was to help guarantee the officers would be followed (whether their leadership and tactical skills warranted it or not).  Some legalistic churches are run in a similar manner, where their members are often ‘commanded’ to show the same respect toward their pastors or ministers which an enlisted man in the Navy was commanded to show a superior officer.  Mush Morton, a natural born leader of men understood this “unnatural barrier” of “respect protocol,” saluting, calling officers Sir and Mr. could and often did run against the grain of real cooperation and teamwork between officers and enlisted men onboard a submarine, and if there’s anywhere teamwork is needed and essential, it is onboard a submarine in time of war.    Some grace oriented churches promote this same kind of teamwork exemplified under Mush Morton’s command, while other more legalistic churches have raised artificial barriers through enforced “codes of respect” and emphasis on ministerial rank, as compared to a local members standing.  In such churches, local members are treated as if they could never possess a good idea that might advance the church’s cause and mission in evangelism.  Mush Morton did not run the Wahoo like that, and neither should we be running our church congregations like that.  I’ll give you an example, a real-life example of a pastor who did it Mush’s way, following the ingenious idea of one of his local members.  This local member approached his pastor with the idea of taking hot soup in thermoses and warm blankets down to where the young female and male prostitutes, many of them teenagers, who were freezing in a section of the city called the Salt Mines---and then invited them back to church for a hot meal (accompanied by a sermon given by the pastor).  The pastor put this man’s suggestion into action, putting this man in charge and giving him resources from the church.  The “mission” was accomplished, and some of these people being served came to Christ and had their lives turned around.  What follows are some significant quotes from Forest J. Sterling’s Wake of the Wahoo, which clearly shows Commander Dudley Walker Mush Morton’s command style, and why it ought to be followed in our congregations.  I think you can read between the lines to see what loosening the rules of naval protocol did onboard Wahoo to foster cooperation and teamwork, which led to astounding successes. 


Significant quotes from Forest Sterling’s book


[Just after Mush Morton took over command of the Wahoo (SS 238)]  “I could feel the stirring of a strong spirit growing in her [the Wahoo].  The officers acted differently.  The men felt differently.  There was more of a  feeling of freedom and of being trusted to get our jobs done.  A high degree of confidence in the capabilities and luck of our ship grew on us and we became a little bit cocky.”  (Wake of the Wahoo, p. 68)  Forest Sterling, the ship’s yeoman, even related how ‘Mush’ Morton, just after assuming command, even told him he could address him as ‘Mush’.


[Mush Morton’s speech to his crew just before setting sail on their first war patrol under his command]  “Morton walked forward and began to address us quietly.  “I am glad to have everyone of you aboard the Wahoo, personally.  I will be brief, as what I have to say can be stated simply.  Wahoo is expendable.  We will take every reasonable precaution, but our mission is to sink enemy shipping.  We are going out there on this war patrol to search for Japs.  Every smoke trace on the horizon, every contact on watch will be investigated.  If it turns out to be the enemy, we are going to hunt him down and kill him.”  He paused for effect.  “Now, if anyone doesn’t want to go along under those conditions, just see the yeoman.  I am giving him verbal authority now to transfer anyone who is not a volunteer.  This is still a volunteer service as far as I am concerned.  Nothing will ever be said about your remaining in Brisbane, but I must know within half and hour who will be leaving so I can get replacements.”  He turned to Pappy and added, “that will be all.  Dismiss the men from quarters.”  (ibid. p. 72 emphasis mine)


As local members of our church congregations, what is our target,” smoke trace on the horizon,” the enemy ships we’re looking for?  Those ships are people in need, people in the world who are in need of our services shed abroad on them in love, the love of Christ shed on them through our good works (cf. Matthew 5:16 and Luke 4:16-18 and 1st Corinthians 1:26-29). 


“When I returned to the office, Captain Morton was waiting for me, “Yeo, do you keep a Captain’s Mast Book?”  I answered, “Yessir.”  “Don’t deep-six it,” he said, “but somehow get it lost while I am Skipper.  We won’t be needing it on my boat.”  [ibid. p. 50] [The Captain’s Mast Book was a disciplinary book]


“That’s what Morton said.  And something else, too.  ‘Mush’ says that anybody who makes contact on watch, and we sink the ship, is automatically promoted on the spot.” 


Mush breaks ranks with officer-enlisted military formality:


[Just after Mush Morton had been given command of the Wahoo, while still birthed in Brisbane:] “Early on, Mush Morton called the officers together for an informal meal, meeting with them in the boat’s wardroom.  It was a meeting that would never have happened under Pinky Kennedy [their former skipper].  Morton laughed and joked and made a point of involving each of the junior officers in the conversation.  By the time the meal was complete, every one of them understood there was a new way of doing things on Wahoo.  Junior officers were not only allowed to comment or make suggestions, they were encouraged to do so.  The captain trusted them, cared about their opinions…He had already told the officers---and even Yeoman Sterling---to call him “Mush.”  He quoted the old submariners’ adage, “You leave your rank on the dock.”” [UNDERSEA WARRIOR, by Don Keith, p. 141 emphasis mine]


“We looked up, startled, to find out what had caused this sudden quietude.  Captain Morton had come into the messroom [crews mess], but the thing that caught our attention and made us speechless was the way he was dressed.  He had on an old red bathrobe and go-ahead slippers.  He also had a navigational chart under one arm and a bucket of soapy water in the other hand.  He said, “Good evening, men.  Can I join you for a few minutes?”  There were some scattered “Yessirs,” and then a quick movement to clear a space for him at the table.  He set the pail down and proceeded to thumbtack the chart to the bulletin board.  It looked to me to be a map of New Guinea.  He came back, sat down on the end of a bench, pulled a soaked khaki shirt from the pail, and began to alternately douse it and knead it between his large knuckles.  He asked, “Any of you men ever operate in this area before?”  When he received all denials he said, “We’re headed for Palu Island, but we have a special mission to try to locate a harbor along this coast that the Japanese seem to be using pretty heavily…Would you guys like to go in and look around?  Maybe we will find a submarine tender with a lot of submarines alongside.  I sure would like that”…He picked up the bucket.  “Guess I’ll go back and hang this shirt up in the engine room to dry out.”  He slippered along the passageway until he was out of sight.”  [If anyone knows anything about US Naval protocol, officers, especially commanding officers, did not do this, especially consulting with enlisted crew members about the location of potential operations.] 


“Each day brought with it a quota of changes and new surprises.  Most of them could be traced back to Captain Morton’s stateroom, but the initiative fever was catching and we all began to have ideas.  Communication between officers and men became increasingly easier.  We had the best morale I had ever experienced aboard a ship since my Nautilus days before the war.” (ibid. p. 78, emphasis mine)  [ideas, like that local member had about going down to the Salt Mines with hot soup and warm blankets.]


“I looked at Carter in surprise and, walking over to Rowls, raised my eye-brows in silent interrogation.  “It’s the new deal,” he almost whispered back.  “We’ve been laying off an unknown harbor and looking it over.  The Old Man thinks it might be Wewak Harbor---the one we’ve been hunting for.”  “How’d he get the name of it?  I thought it was uncharted.”  “Keeter bought a two-bit atlas in Brisbane and it had a map in it.  ‘Mush’ sure was tickled to get some information on it…”  [Wahoo snuck into that harbor and sank a Japanese destroyer that was coming at her, sunk her with a down-the-throat-shot.]  “How come GQ wasn’t sounded?”  “Like I said, it’s the new deal.  Morton is only going to sound GQ when there’s an emergency.  They just went around quietly waking the people up they needed.  Guess you wasn’t needed.” (ibid. p. 79)


“Keeter, Dalton C., Machinist-First [Class], from Victory, Texas, came over and said in a confidential tone in my ear, “Has the Old Man told yuh he rated me chief as of yesterday?”  I said, “No, it’s news to me.  How did this happen?”  The others quieted down to listen.  “It was my atlas I bought in Brisbane.  Lieutenant Grider enlarged a photo of a map that was in it and got a good map of Wewak Harbor from it.  ‘Mush’ was so tickled he told O’Kane to make me chief.  I thought you’d know about it by now.”  (ibid. p. 94)  [Mush wouldn’t have gotten that map if he hadn’t informally enquired about this harbor in his old warn-out red bathrobe and go-forward slippers.]


[After expending all Wahoo’s fish sinking an entire Japanese convoy of four ships, and making her way ‘back to the barn’] “One afternoon Captain Morton came by and drove me into the typewriter with a slap of his massive hand, and after laughing at my frustration asked, “Have you made out the papers on Keeter’s rating yet?”  Yessir.”  Good, that atlas of his was a real find.  Also, I rated Hall for spotting that first convoy while on lookout.”  “The papers are all made out and waiting for Mr. O’Kane’s signature.”  “Good men, all of these.”  (ibid. p. 115)


Remember, our “sinking of ships” equates to the drawing of family, friends, and acquaintances to Christ by shedding the light of Christ to them through our good works, done in the name of Christ.  These folk, as God uses us in this drawing and calling process, “get sunk” to the ways of this world, sunk under the waters of baptism.  The analogies fit.  Let’s make our church congregations like the Wahoo under the command of ‘Mush’ Morton.  See and


‘Mush’ Morton’s Boss, Uncle Charlie, ComSubPac


“In his very short tenure, he shared the wardroom of his submarine---USS Wahoo (SS-238)---with and tutored other officers who went on to make their own indelible marks on the enemy.  Each of them employed his inspiring style and nonconformist but effective tactics.  They acquired as if by osmosis Morton’s unique ability to bring out the best in a crew.  To inspire men to follow him willingly into some of the most harrowing situations any one of them could have imagined.  And to do it over and over again. (“UNDERSEA WARRIOR”, p. 10, emphasis mine)  And if Mush Morton was able to do this, it was mainly due to his boss, Rear Admiral Charles Lockwood, who adoringly praised Mush all the time, and held him up as an example of the way things should be done.  Now, if my local pastor is like a submarine skipper, what does that make the leader of a denomination in this analogy?  If you get that book about ‘Mush’ Morton and read it, you will see that along the way, the Admiral in charge of Submarines, Pacific (ComSubPac is both his command and title), Admiral English, who was more or less ingrained in the “old” battle-tactics playbook, sadly, but providentially, was killed in a airplane crash somewhere in California.  Rear Admiral Charles Lockwood was immediately transferred from commanding submarines out of Australia to being given command of all US submarines in the Pacific, he became ComSubPac.  All the sub skippers, sub-drivers as we call them now, came under his direct command, they were “his boys.”  This change of command occurred shortly after ‘Mush’ Morton took over command of Wahoo from “Pinky” Kennedy and his ineffective command.  Lockwood wisely realized ‘Mush’ Morton was really onto something with his personable and aggressive command style and new set of battle tactics.  Lockwood did his best to help Mush transfer this effective style and these tactics to the entire US fleet of submarines under his command.  Uncle Charlie, as his skippers affectionately called him, spread Mush’s battle tactics throughout the fleet, and the USS Trigger was one of the high scorers for sinking Japanese shipping.  Commander Beach in his book Submarine! said “We decided that because of my good fortune in having excellent night vision, I should function for him exactly as I had for Dusty [Dornin]---that is, on the bridge during night surface attacks, on the periscope when submerged.  This was Wahoo’s system which Trigger had adopted…Three weeks later, after bumming some urgently needed repair parts from Tang at a midnight rendezvous, Trigger sank four freighters and one escort out of a convoy of five freighters and five escorts” (p.217, p.224 Submarine!).  Mush’s tactics also lived on through Tang and Dick O’Kane, “By the time O’Kane was ready to return to port he had added four more scalps to Tang’s belt---one a huge naval tanker carrying a crew estimated at more than three hundred men.  When she arrived at Midway after that first run, the Submarine Force, Pacific Fleet, knew that spiritually as well as actually it had received the replacement for Wahoo…It was a characteristic of O’Kane---as well as of Morton before him---that the most thorough and meticulous preparation was always made for any mission, and this one was no exception.  Employing daring tactics, using to the fullest extent all available assistance such as search planes, special radio circuits, and the like, and bombarding the shore batteries whenever he found (or made) the opportunity---usually during the height of an air raid [during our air raids over Truk], thus confounding the enemy all the more---Tang proceeded to the rescue of twenty-two aviators who had been forced to land in the water. For this remarkable feat, performed in seven different pickups close to the reef at Truk, usually under enemy gunfire, Tang and her skipper won the plaudits of the whole Submarine Force, and the heartfelt gratitude of the carrier task force.  This was one of the rare instances in which a sub returning from patrol with no scalps to add to her belt needed no excuses, and actually added to her reputation.  And on her third run Tang sank ten ships, for a total of fifteen” (pp.159-160 Submarine!).  Tang went on to sink an estimated 30 ships in all before she was accidently sunk by one of her own fish which did a circular run.  O’Kane and nine others survived the sinking.  Unlike Morton, O’Kane was not burned out at the end of Tang’s career, even though he was one of the forces longest running skippers (Tang’s career, mid-1943 to mid-1945) and was Wahoo’s XO for five of her seven war patrols.  In a sense, as seen by Charlie Lockwood’s actions, it is the head of a denomination that is responsible for transference of effective evangelistic battle tactics to all the congregations under him.  Lockwood did it for our submarine force in the Pacific, with great success.  Can you do it for the churches under your command?


Uncle Charlie’s Command Decisions: Relief Before Burn-out, Tough Training and Expectations


As you will see in UNDERSEA WARRIOR, ‘Mush’ Morton became “burned out”, and his and the Wahoo’s loss was directly attributable to that fact.  ComSubPac learned to relieve skippers before they reached the exhaustion level ‘Mush’ had reached on his sixth war patrol.  “ComSubPac long ago had decided to relieve his skippers while they still were going great guns, before the terrific physical and emotional strain began to tell.  Undoubtedly this policy often resulted in relieving a skipper who had several fine patrols left in him, but this was infinitely better than the reverse---keeping him too long on the firing line.  If such a policy had been enforced at the time, the loss of Mush Morton and Wahoo might have been averted” (p. 191 Submarine!).  Uncle Charlie became careful about the training of his skippers and their boats, “So we worked our way through the training program at Balboa and Pearl Harbor with a vengeance and a will, finishing both of them in the minimum possible time, and then there remained only one thing before we could be on our way---the selection of our patrol area.  To us this meant a lot [Edward Beach, speaking now as the ‘Exec’ of the new submarine Tirante (SS 420)], for ComSubPac never gave a sign of how well or how poorly trained he considered any particular submarine.  If she passed the stiff requirements he had set down, he sent her on patrol; if she did not, he held her up for more training; in extreme cases, he had been known to relieve the skipper and others of her crew.  You could tell what Uncle Charlie thought of you only by where he sent you:  the hottest ships went to the hottest spots, for obvious reasons.  Finally our assignment came:  the East China and Yellow seas---just about as hot an area as he could hand out” (p.262, Submarine!).  (Buy and read “Submarine!” by Edward L. Beach to see what ‘Mush’ Morton’s command style and tactics did for the United States’ Submarine Force in the Pacific.)


Related links:


The Early Church was an evangelizing church.  See:


The Gospel walks on two legs, one of those two is being a light to the world through our good works.  See:


The Early churches of God in Asia Minor had some mighty “good works” which grew the population of the Body of Christ hugely.  See:


What is our target-rich environment, we as ‘look-outs’ and crew-members within our respective congregational submarines’ should be focusing on?  see,






For an example of what can be done by letting our light shine in an organized way, see:


To witness what this shed light has done in just one area, Vinogradov, Ukraine.  See,


Taking it to a new level


There are many opportunities to shed the light of Christ in the area of your local congregations, in your own communities, and amongst even your own families and friends in the world.  As a local member of your congregation, don’t be afraid to take them on, and where needed, seek the help and resources of your local congregation through your pastor. If possible, always try to let those you are serving and helping know it is being done in the name of Jesus Christ, in a quiet, gentle way, without preaching at them.  In the case of your local church getting involved, that fact will become obvious without words.








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