Hello! A question I have been asked some times is “What’s a Bubblehead? You don’t sound Stupid.” Yes, if you look it up, it’s a Noun meaning “Empty Headed or Foolish.” It was used for a while in Hollywood Movies of the 40s and 50s to describe the roles played by actresses such as Marilyn Monroe or Judy Holliday. And it was used by Don Henly of the Eagles in a rock song. The “Bubble-headed Bleach Blonde comes on at Five…”. But there’s a Nautical meaning to the word, also.
So, back in the 19th, Century, the first Hard-Hat Divers came into being. You might have seen them in old movies such as “20,000 Leagues under the Sea.” The shots where someone was walking on the ocean bottom wearing a Big Brass Helmet that looked like a Bubble with a Hose attached pumping air down to them? Those were the Original Bubbleheads. But by the beginning of the 20th. Century, Submarines started to enter the world’s Navies, along with Diving Bells not long after. In both cases, men were using “Canned Air” to breath. So, if one had to spend any significant time underwater, one had to be some sort of “Bubblehead.”
So when I entered the Navy in the mid-70s, I had Volunteered for the Submarine Service. As I progressed in my career, Surface Sailors and Flyboys like OldNFO used to call us “Bubbleheads”. So the name stuck.
But not to worry. You see, in the Submarine Community, I discovered there no matter what kind of Surface Vessel there is on the Water, in our point of view, there are only two types of Ships in the World: Submarines and Targets.
So now you know. Bubblehead Les Out.