Somewhere in reading histories of World War II I came across stories about the USS Monaghan. She was ready destroyer (required to be able to get underway with 30 minutes notice) in Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. She did get underway as the Japanese attack was beginning. Spotting a sub inside the harbor, the CO went to flank speed and tried to ram it but it scraped down the side of the destroyer. The crew on the fantail was alert and set the depth charges for thirty feet and blew up the mini-sub.
I was impressed with the ship's performance on the first day of the war.
Of course, in The Happy Life, Preston Katt is a boot Seaman Second Class. He has some things to learn, but he has great teachers, just as there were on the Monaghan.
Then Monaghan went on to earn 12 battle stars before encountering a typhoon in December of 1944. Quite a ship, the Monaghan.