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My hired swimmer sank

Oscar Roloff by Oscar Roloff
During a period of World War II, I was sent to the Advanced Torpedo School at Newport, R.I. for a three-month introduction to new changes being made to put out a better torpedo. Already German torpedoes were better than ours.
   At the end of the course, the captain called me in and said, "You've been at the top of the class and I want to send you to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as an instructor and to work on the secret torpedo."
   (Goodness, I thought I'd been at the bottom of the class.)
   Boy, that would be a feather in one's cap, to be sent to that prestigious place. But, I said, "Sir, the war is on and I belong at sea."
   "Very commendable," the three-striper said. "In that case, you must take the swimming test in the morning at 9, and I'll then send you to sea."
   Whereupon I went to the lounge to figure out one flaw I had: I can't swim.
   Maybe I can pay someone to take my test, I thought. I looked around and saw a young lad somewhat my size. I walked up to him and asked if he could swim. He replied, "Like a turtle."
   Pulling out a twenty, I asked, "Would you take my swimming test in the morning by jumping off the tower and swimming the length of the pool and back? My name is Oscar Roloff."
   Grabbing the folded money, he said, "No problem."
   That night he went ashore (the base is on an island) and got drunk off my dough.
   The next morning the bleary-eyed tar wobbled aboard, changed into swimming trunks, laboriously climbed the tower, mumbled "Oscar Roloff" to the checker and dove off.
   Though I stayed away, I had a friend watch my North Dakota swimmer.

On the bottom
   He sank to the bottom of the pool, and because there were so many jumping off and such, no one noticed him lying there.
   Awhile later, one of the pool instructors saw him on the bottom and jumped in to pull him out and work on him. All other swimming stopped.
   He was about gone. For an hour or so, they worked on him and finally brought him back to life. My friend watched the whole proceedings and later clued me in on the mishap.
   When pumped out, the fake swimmer staggered away.

What now?
   The instructors, fearful of what would happen if the higher-ups found out about their failure to keep an eye on everyone, completely covered up the mishap. There might have been a Captain's Mast or a court martial.
   Soon, my orders for sea duty arrived, and I left for sea. Never saw the fake to ask for my money back.

Since then
   Over the years, I've pondered and pondered about that whole shenanigan. Who would I have been had he not survived? He'd have been Oscar Roloff and would have been buried in a nearby cemetery. Often during wars, there's not much time for anything else.
   Where would I have gone? The Navy would probably notify my Pop out west at Yakima, Washington, that I'd died while on active duty. He had no money to come back east to be at my burial ceremony. The guy looked just like me. He'd not have noticed any difference.
   Again, I wonder. Where would I have gone. Had no ship to go to. Couldn't go home.
   Then, too, I wonder if someone would have told officials about the drowning, I'd be court martialed and still be in a Navy brig.
   It gives me a headache to even think about my stupid plan. The other sailor's folks would have sued me for the loss of their son. Boy! Never again.
   Oh, yes. Two years ago, a short article on that stupid stunt appeared in the Newport newspaper. Woe is me!