It happened one time, on the USS WATCHMAN, that the AN/SPS-5 surface search radar became inoperable. The Skipper was not happy about this because apparently, there was the possibility of reduced visibility in the coming days. The secondary air search radar (AN/SPS12) could be used for surface search but there was always a lot of sea return making it difficult to track surface contacts. As a consequence, all ET's were put upon the task of fixing the "5" ASAP. As a day passed, the skipper asked the EMO to report to him every hour on the hour of their progress.
Another day passed and still no surface search. The ETs, many of whom hadn't slept for almost two days could see no end in sight and felt that a little rest might refresh them to new heights. A couple of more resouceful of the group decided to claim that a particular part was at fault knowing that the part was not carried on board. They reported that the "5" radar required to have a WAVE GUIDE FERRET ISOLATOR or it couldn't be repaired.
Yes indeed, they were extremely surprised, and maybe a little bit nervous, when a Navy P2V showed up the next day with the phantom part! As it turned out, they were very close to solving the problem and the situation passed with all the important people convinced that the WAVE GUIDE FERRET ISOLATOR was the problem all along. The picture below shows the part being retrieved from the MWB..along with the mail! All's well that ends well.