The US Navy has a tradition that no submarine is ever considered lost at sea. Subs that don’t return, including 52 lost during WWII, are considered “still on patrol.” Every year at Christmastime sailors manning communications hubs send holiday greetings to those listed as still on patrol.
Between 1798 and the Civil War, the U.S. Navy lost two-thirds as many officers to dueling as it did to more than 60 years of combat at sea. In the 18th and early 19th Centuries, personal honor could have a very real impact on a man’s life, especially for a naval officer. Most naval officers aspired to use glory and prize money to join the upper classes, but no one would give command of a ship to a cowardly or dishonorable officer. That’s why an insult in the wardroom could quickly turn into a deadly duel – if you were considered meek, your chances of promotion and prosperity could disappear.