Heavy Rolls and Horsecock Sandwiches

Heavy Rolls and Horsecock Sandwiches

By:  Garland Davis

Everyone who reads the crap I write may not have had the absolute pleasure of riding out a typhoon in the South China Sea in an Ocean Going Tug, A Forrest Sherman class destroyer, or a top heavy Fast Frigate.  This sort of paints a picture of the way it was.

There is not an amusement park ride that comes anywhere close to riding into the seas with swells breaking over the signal bridge.  If you like a pitching gyration insane motion, you get it big time riding out a typhoon.  Unlike the thrill park rides, it doesn’t cost a lot and lasts a long, long, long time.

There are foam-capped swells the size of skyscrapers that bounce a ship around like a flea on the ass of a belly dancer.  The pleasure of being damn near beat to death by bouncing from bulkhead to bulkhead trying to dodge valve wheels, valve stems and each other is one that airdales and bubbleheads seldom experience.

There is majesty to heavy seas.  It is almost impossible to witness the raw power of heavy seas and not wonder if there is a greater power controlling everything.  Only a Deity should wield and control that much power.

One minute you are climbing an enormous swell with bow pointed skyward and the next the bow is submerging and the water is smashing over the bridge.  “Ride ‘em Cowboy.  Put another quarter in Mama, I want to ride it again.” It repeats and repeats, accompanied by lateral motions, figure eight stern gyrations, and little jerks and vibrations thrown in by the Devil just for the hell of it.

Inside the ship, grown men are tossed and stagger around like drunks, forgotten booty falls out of overhead hiding places and the meals become an endless succession of fucking Horsecock sandwiches and coffee or bug juice.

The lyrics of an old song tell it well: “Oh, it’s roll and toss, And pound and pitch, And creak and groan, You rusty son of a bitch. Oh, boy, it’s a hell of a life on a destroyer.”

Your God Damn fillings get loose in your teeth, you lose your watch, your smokes go flying, guys shoot their lunch, roaches do flips out of the overhead, the cooks are cussing, and guys in their racks dying to take a piss ask themselves, “Do I really want to work my way to the head to watch some son of a bitch puke while I attempt to piss in a moving target?”

Suddenly, over the 1MC comes, “Now stand by for heavy rolls to port.”

Do we really have a fuckin’ choice?  Are heavy rolls to port different from what we have experienced for the last day and a half?  Did I miss something?  Is there still shit in the overhead that needs to hit me in the head?

Actually, all that “Heavy Rolls to port” means that all the stuff that flew by you in one direction will be coming back and putting knots on your head from the other side.

“Supper for the crew.  Watch reliefs to the head of the line.”

“Hey Bill, do you think it is Horsecock and cheese sandwiches again?”

“Does a hobbyhorse have a wooden dick?”

“Hey you guys, you ought to go back to after steering and listen to the rudder slamming.  Son of a bitch is going nuts.  Who has the helm?”

“I got it next watch.”

“Not me, I am going to strike for Mess Deck Master at Arms and sit in the Mess Deck eating Horsecock and cheese sandwiches.”

“How the fuck did I end up in the Navy?  Nobody said anything about a seagoing puke barge.”

“You know you love it Davy, where else could a hillbilly like you from North Carolina with an IQ of a cockroach get rich baking bread for horsecock and cheese sandwiches and throwing the leftovers in the Pacific Ocean for a living.

And so it went, on and on.  Stuff banging around in lockers, water sloshing around in the galley and heads, dishes and mess gear rattling around, the acrid smell of gastric juices and puked up horsecock and cheese mixed with last night’s coffee and bug juice.

Sailors stumbling around bouncing off bulkheads, stumbling over watertight doorsills.  Already eighteen years old and finding out that the guy at the recruiting office who promised a life of wonder and adventure was a lying, airdale, shore duty son of a bitch.




13 thoughts on “Heavy Rolls and Horsecock Sandwiches

  1. Sean Daley says:

    I had the pleasure (insert sarcasm here) of riding out a typhoon in the South China Sea on an old Sumner class destroyer (USS Wallace L Lind). As a skivvie waver, I thought I was accomplishing something just getting up to the Signal Bridge. The only upside was the fact that, after the first day, no one would have dared send us a flashing light message. So I was content with spending my watches hanging on to something and not getting swept overboard.


  2. Tom says:

    I remember up in Alaska taking a 55 degree roll. Man that was bad
    We tried to out run it for 3 days. Then the Oldman decided to turn around and go dark through it. Took 2 more days.


  3. Was a cook 60- 65 know what you are talking about, didn’t have aotomatic slicers in those days so you would have to picture us trying to slice that horsecock for your sandwiches and hating the fact that you had to eat what we gave you instead of getting to cook you good food,USS NEW DD 818


  4. Bill Hrrons says:

    Cape Hatteras, mid 1950’s, USS Murray (DD576), 18-19 year olds, never thought the ship could break in two…give anything to do it again….


  5. J T Richardson says:

    I was on the Midway, and we did have some rough days. Not what you guys dealt with. How the hell did you take a dump with the ship pitching like that?


  6. I just read “Once There Were Heroes” by davisg022 sent to me in an email. I am not sure who is the website administrator, or who collects the and from where. but that his a familiar tune to me. I came into the canoe club in 1962 and on the “Boats” I was walking in the shadows of GODS. More that 1/3 of the crew on my boats wore WAR PATROL devices and they had earned it. I know how fortunate I was to be in their company.


  7. Tony passarella says:

    Shipmates I had that experience in the North Atlantic on a DE Edsall class old WW11 type DE took a beating split a seam in the mess decks not fun
    Horse o know sandwiches you got that right 56/62 🇺🇸⚓️😵


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