Cooks and Snipes

Having served as Night Baker, I can attest that during the four to eight watch, the Night Baker is the most popular person aboard ship. I always tried to maintain a good relationship with the snipes, with the caveat: Don’t let them get the upper hand, they will steal you blind.

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I went to the head and forgot to lock the galley. A canned ham disappeared from the Galley reefer and a BT had the temerity to come and ask me for a flat of eggs and a loaf of bread because they were cooking breakfast in the Fireroom.


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Cooks and Snipes

By: Brian Smith

It was mentioned last night about the wonderful relationship between cooks and snipes. This story happened in USS Bagley FF-1069 during Westpac 90-91.

We were steaming somewhere in the Pacific, about month five of our WestPac. I had the four to eight watch as EOOW. As usual you could smell the fresh bread baking in the Galley all the way to the Engine room.

My usual routine was to have the messenger stop at the Galley for a couple loaves of fresh bread and some butter when he made Shaft Alley checks. Sometime later he came back and told me the “new” night baker wouldn’t give him any.

I picked up the 2jv and called Electrical Central and told them to secure 440 to the Galley, got a sleepy, ” Aye Chief.”

A short while later the MS2, Night Baker, comes running into the booth flailing his arms and babbling about no electricity and his ovens don’t work and breakfast is fast approaching.

I look at him and calmly say ” you don’t have any electricity?”

He goes, “Yeah I don’t have any electricity.”

I say, “That’s funny, I don’t have any fresh bread.”

If you could slam an ellison door that’s what he did as he left.

I called Electrical Central and had power restored to the Galley.

A short while later my messenger brought down a couple loaves of bread and some butter.

And this my friends is no shit.


13 thoughts on “Cooks and Snipes

  1. John Croix MMCS(SW) ret 1961-1988 says:

    The night baker on USS Maddox DD-731 was a big fan of “sh*tkicker” books. I kept a stock of them to trade for hot bread and butter. He wouldn’t give the BT’s anything because the forward fireroom crew would steal pies out of the pie safe which was right at the top of their inboard ladder.
    He also made the best soups for midrats. Used all the day’s leftovers and then topped it off with whatever he needed to make it taste good. Nothing like spaghetti, roast beef, and “SOS” soup.


  2. USS McGinty DE-365 somewhere in the Pacific between Hawaii and Japan; night baker knew the BTs were stealing bread left to cool… so he spiked a loaf with red pepper; it was actually very good… so we went up to the bake shop and asked if he had any more bread with that red stuff in it??!! He was pissed that his prank had failed! Great times at sea! (Retired BTC)


  3. My dad was on the destroyer Wilkes in the North Atlantic, DD-441. The ship bought an ice cream machine in Brooklyn in early 1942. It needed ice and made the ice cream from a powdered mix (something like powdered milk with sugar).
    It was locked up right before lights out. However, the BTs found that the locking bar could be unscrewed, and lifted off. After midrats, when the mess decks were empty, they’d open up the machine, make ice cream, and then screw the bar back on.
    When she deployed to the Pacific, they couldn’t get the powder mix through supply channels, so they had family members ship boxes of it to the ship.


  4. Marc Sahr says:

    Onboard Cochrane, we had a covenant. The night baker specifically requested messcooks sourced from M&B. This ensured that only hard workers were provided, keeping the hole snipes well supplied.


  5. Donald A. Taylor says:

    I was standing the 4am-8am asroc security/roving watch which covered spaces from 1st deck(berthing) thru the 02 level.Had skipped midrats to get some needed sleep so was close to starving.As I passed thru the mess deck the night baker ,a friend from Tennessee, called me over to the serving line and handed me a fresh-baked hot cinnamon bun with a thick slab of butter on it.I almost cried it was so good. I prayed to God to bless this man to make sure his life would be filled with happiness and good fortune.I’m no snipe but had to add this story.


  6. Al Bostick (RM3) says:

    Will always remember the smell of fresh baked bread floating up from the galley into Radio Central in the early morning hours. We generally stood port/starboard watches and it made the all night watch worth it as we were on friendly terms with the baker and always had some good fresh baked bread. USS Henderson DD785 1965-’68.


  7. Bruce Gabbard says:

    As a BT working if bravo 1,
    The bread locker was right at the top of our inboard hatch, can remember being messenger of the watch trying to distract night cook asking for bread while top watch stood burners, so burner man could try to steal ham thru the port hole near our starboard hatch on main deck,
    Sometimes ritz-crackers and polish sausage and games of twenty questions isn’t enough to steam a war ship


  8. Randy Bass says:

    As an EM, one of our tasks was to calibrate the ovens. Basically, put a thermometer in the oven and make sure the dial and the temp matched. Whenever they were baking bred, I made sure those ovens were the best calibrated ones in the Navy!


  9. johnarobertson says:

    When I was stationed on the Nimitz the bake shop hatch was at the top of the Ladder that lead from the Photo Lab (yeah I was a PH, deal). When ever I had the 4 to 8 watch, I would always go up the ladder with a print of the ship to do a little trading and come back with Bread, Butter and Cinnamon rolls in time for morning quarters. Good times were had by all.


  10. Blaise Mahalik says:

    i was in boot camp a glakes in jan 76! i got assigned a recruit petty officer pin because i was the battalion plumber. one day one of th CCs told me to send somebody down for pastry a snacks for the meeting in the 11th battalion after that i sent somebody to the mess hall everyday a shared it w all the battalion recruit master at arms we had a 9 am feast everyday of bootcamp!


  11. RICHARD a CLIPP says:

    One time a very “drifty” MM stood messenger. One night the seas were kind of rough and “stand by for heavy rolls” was announced over the 1MC. The EOOW told this messenger to go up to the mess decks and “get us some fresh baked rolls”. Off he went on the hunt for some “fresh baked rolls”. Needless to say all the BT’s and MM’s on watch were rolling on the deck plates when this red faced messenger returned to the hole. Within 24 hours the story was all over the ship and a cartoon was drawn to remember the event.


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