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Periscope Duty, Also Known as “Waltzing Matilda”

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In 1960 the USS Triton submarine made history by completing the first submerged circumnavigation of the globe. A crew member recalls that when a sailor was assigned to periscope duty, he was said to be waltzing Matilda, a phrase that evokes both going round and round with arms held high, and a reference to the unofficial Australian national anthem, “Waltzing Matilda.” The song is also part of the haunting score of the 1959 post-apocalyptic film On the Beach, which is set on a submarine. This is part of a complete episode.

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