I Had Pride in What I Did Because of my Father

Mike Dunphy: Hired as a Machinist in 1962

In 1962 when I graduated from Fitch, kids did one of five things. A small percentage went to the family business and/or college, maybe 15 percent. The other 85 percent either went in the military, went to work at EB, or went to Pfizer.

I half-way knew that I would probably end up at EB. My father preceded me by just a matter of months. He got out of the Navy in, I think, December of ’61 and went to work at Electric Boat.

He was one of the first members of the Radiography Department, where they X-ray the welds.

That was new technology when he first went to work there.

It was exciting. All kinds of stuff going on. Back in those days, they had four boats in the North Yard, two or three down at the wet dock and three more down in the South Yard. The Cold War was going strong.

I took a lot of pride in what I did because of my father. He was on submarines in World War II and for quite a while thereafter.

At the onset of the Cold War I would be lucky to see him two months out of the year. He’d be out patrolling in the North Atlantic and whatnot for five, six months at a time. He’d come home for a month and go back out for five or six more. But that was his job. I was 14 years old in 1958 when he got off the boat.

My father instilled in me a pride in workmanship. If a job is worth doing, it’s worth doing right. I never slacked off in anything. To this day, I’m a bit of a perfectionist and it drives my wife crazy.

There was a sense of pride in what I was doing. It wasn’t the foremost thing in my mind at the time, but looking back now, I’m kind of pleased that I was able to do what I did.