The Silent Service

This is intended as scenario for a circa 2004 CE Delta Green group, but can shifted by perhaps a decade either way.

US Navy Rear Admiral (Retired) William "Bill" Sturbois died in 1999 in a Newburyport ( nursing home at the age of 90. RADM Sturbois was one of the few surviving members of Admiral Charles Lockwood's ( pantheon of storied Second World War submarine commanders. RADM Sturbois was survived by three children and numerous grandchildren. His son (Dr. Matthew Sturbois) was designated in the will as executor.

The Known

The elder Sturbois (born in 1909) enlisted in the US Navy in 1927, serving on the early submarine force during the interwar period. In 1932 he obtained commission as an officer from the enlisted ranks, a rarity in that time. In 1941 he received command of his first submarine and participated extensively in the US Navy Pacific war with Japan. The best short summary of this campaign can be found in Williamson Murray and Allen Millett's A War To Be Won (pages 223-227). During this time he was decorated with his first Navy Cross. A fair description of individual experiences in this overall campaign can be found in Don Keith's Undersea Warrior. Sturbois retired from the Navy in 1970 and settled in Newburyport. He published a brief autobiography in 1973 similar in tenor and content to the works listed above. Sturbois earned three Navy Crosses during his career, the latter two being for classified matters, but which he hinted at times were for Cold War related assignments "he couldn't talk about," when pressed. He remained vigorous until 1989, when ill health and what became dementia confined his last years to a nursing home.

The Unknown

As a young enlisted Sailor, Sturbois' submarine was assigned to the naval element of Project COVENANT (the 1928 Innsmouth raid), firing the torpedos into Devil Reef, and hearing a sister submarine be "lost at sea" during the operation in a struggle with the Deep Ones. After that he was among those selected to participate (Delta Green Sourcebook pages 32-39) in the ONI "P" Division. Most notably he commanded the submarine in Operation SIC SEMPER TYRANUS in 1953, infiltrating the team and then extracting the shattered survivors. In 1963 he played a role in the planning and command of Operation RIPTIDE, although too old and senior in rank by that point to actually take the field.

In summary, Sturbois rose from a position as a low level P Division member to become a primary Delta Green Navy Department "fixer" for maritime resources. He retired before the official Delta Green was disbanded.

Sturbois was quite willing to speak openly about the "official" side of his long career. He was extremely reticent to speak about the classified work he performed, except to make an occasional (and misdirecting) vague suggestion about Cold War matters.

Him Who Shall Follow After

RADM Sturbois had three children, including a son named Matthew, born in 1939.. The two undescribed children do not figure in this tale, so the Keeper can desribe them as best facilitates the scenario. His wife died in 1975 of cancer.

Matthew followed in his father's footsteps to some degree. He attended the US Naval Academy (, graduating in 1961. Matthew Sturbois served honorably, albeit without distinction, on various surface ships for six years before leaving the service. Matthew then pursued his primary interest, history. Matthew earned a 1975 history doctorate (Brown University) and became a naval historian. He enjoyed considerable success, with many published and well received books. He has lectured at the US Naval War College (, the Pritzker Library (, and has held various academic posts during that time. Dr. Matthew Sturbois is 60 years old in 1999. He knows no specific details of his father's classified work, and has no knowledge or interest in the occult. Dr. Sturbois currently resides in Salem ( where his wife has extensive family ties. His two children are long grown. One resides in New England and the other settled in California. The Keeper is free to design this family as needed.

Upon his father's death, as estate executor, Matthew cleared out RADM Sturbois' Newburyport bank safe deposit box. The box contained family documents, savings bonds and the like. It also contained a typed manuscript for his father's published memoir. There was one major difference. This was not the version sent to the publisher, which Matthew helped draft and submit. The bank manuscript was four times as thick as the published biography, and was a complete account of his father's service. This includes an extensive first person account of Delta Green operations..

Matthew was taken aback by this document. Certainly, he knew his father had been involved in "black" operations of one form or another. Matthew held a security clearance for historical research and from his own prior service. He had even written a book on Second World War cryptography (see John Prados' Combined Fleet Decoded for Keepers needing inspiration). He knew what legitimate secret material looked like. This was impossible. The supernatural did not exist. But he had also never known his father to lie, or be given to fantasy.

Matthew resolved to verify this memoir. In 2001, after other matters were addressed, Dr. Sturbois began to research the memoir. An initial trip to the National Archives ( found the files he was seeking "missing." Not classified at a level he could not access, but simply gone. The index indicated that the files had once been present, but were now gone, with no clear indication of when or who removed them. This was most unusual. With that option closed, he began to look up ship deck logs and unit histories, which should normally be found in the National Archives, or with some indicator given as to where the records had been relocated. Nothing again. After exhausting other routes of inquiry, he tried to contact those people who his father had listed by name in the unpublished memoir as shipmates for the questioned side of his career. Things became extremely troubling. Dr. Sturbois expended considerable time and energy to find that nearly all of the people listed had either died, gone insane, committed suicide, or simply vanished. He was able to trace exactly one person who had served with his father in what the elder Sturbois called "Delta Green" who remained on radar, and that man (now known as Brother Samuel) had become a Carthusian monk in Vermont ( Brother Samuel is an elderly cloistered monk who did not reply to correspondence and the religious order refused any access. By this time it was 2004.

Matthew made no effort to conceal this research. All of this inquiry leaves footprints, which eventually come to the A cell's attention (one too many trips to the Library Of Congress, perhaps?). It may also come to the attention of Majestic or Mythos cults at the Keeper's discretion to complicate things further.


This was an entry in the 2014 shotgun scenario contest, written by Jaron Bernstein

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