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Re: USS Okala, ARS(T)-2
The term comes from those who were first aboard because they built their ship, plank by plank. My Dad says it was 'not' official' Navy term but more like 'scuttlebutt', another term from early days of wooden ships. My Dad was part of the crew when it was commissioned, therefore, first aboard, i.e. plank owner. Dad says it gives you something like 'senior status' on the ship.