“How may of you mid-60’s and early 70’s Nautilus sailors remember the saga of the Owl? As I recall the Owl made at least one northern run. John Dudas designed this patch in 1970 (my error). If enough interest is generated we might be able to talk our storekeeper Gary Daines into getting a few made for purchase. If interested, Gary’s contact info is on page 2 – Either phone or drop him an email.”
This email from John Dudas ’69 – ’72 is in response to the article and provides some later history;
Just read the Nautilus newsletter  and the article on the OWL Patch. I have to set the record straight. I did not design the owl patch.
I made the proclamation that every crewmember signed to refute the orders given to the Engineer to get rid of the Owl when he was hit as gear adrift by the ORSE Team. What was funny was when I even convinced the captain to sign it and promised the owl would take a trip foreword during any of the following ORSE inspections. The last person to sign it was the Engineer (Mr. Fast). When he saw the captains signature, he was beside himself because the captain ordered him to get rid of it. He calmed down when I explained the future travel plans for the Owl during any future ORSE Inspections.
After the Proclamation was completely signed, I got the idea that something additional had to be done to ensure the Owls legacy would live on – that’s where the idea for the patch came from. We had a competition to design the patch. If my memory serves me, the winning design was from an I&C tech – name escapes me and I’m not completely sure if that is correct, but I did not design the patch.
The only thing I did with the Owl was to make the Peace sign that is hanging around his neck. I made it from a steam trap gasket and some sink stopper beaded chain. It was to establish that the battle to get rid of the Owl from the boat had finally come to an end “PEACE DEC 70” was the day when he was finally safe onboard.
The first time he was removed from the boat is history – the collision with the Essex – we sure did not want any bad Ju Ju with that kind of past experience.
Hope this helps clarify a bit of history and stories that get twisted over time. You might want to pass this on to the Historian – whoever that is?
I still wonder where the Owl went – I toured Nautilus during conversion at Mare Island Shipyard and the yard personnel told me everything was removed and locked up to prevent collectors from taking parts off the boat.
See Ya in 2012