By Garland Davis

I started running in 1976. I wasn’t interested in races or fast times at the beginning. The most running I had done before then was around the bases of a baseball diamond. The Navy had decided that I should, at thirty-two years of age, run a mile and a half in thirteen minutes. I barely made it. Thought I was going to die.

I thought that if I ran each day the annual PT test would be easier. From my house in the Catlin Park Navy housing across from the Honolulu Airport around the Navy Marine Golf Course through Officer Housing and back to my house was three miles. For most of three years I ran it at least once a day. For a couple of months when I was shanghaied to operate the Flag Mess for Third Fleet on Ford Island, I ran about the same distance around the island.

Didn’t have any further problems with running the annual PT.

In early 1977, I decided to attempt the Honolulu Marathon in December. I upped my distance to ten miles a day. I subscribed to the theory that if you could run ten miles every day then you should be able to run twenty-six miles one day.

I finished the ’77 Marathon in three hours fifty-nine minutes. I did ’78 in four hours and twelve minutes.

In ’79 I was transferred to an FF out of Yokosuka. Inport I ran around the housing area. At sea I ran around the Mack or around the flight deck. In’81 when I went to Midway there were few opportunities to run. The flight deck was used for aircraft and the hangar deck was congested. I sometimes worked out with the Marine Detachment, but, I am here to tell you, those dudes are Gung Ho! In ’84 on to another FF and back to running around the Mack. Later running on the Cruiser was much easier, eight times around the deck was a mile.

In ’87 back to Pearl Harbor and a twilight tour, I went back to running three to five miles a day. There is an annual eight-mile event, the Great Aloha run. I did it for sixteen years. Before the H-3 freeway was opened there was a run there. I don’t remember how far it was but a group of us did it hungover. A memorable run. Navy MWR conducts a run across the Ford Island Bridge, around the island and back across the bridge. About six miles. I ran that the first seven years.

BTW, the last time I ran PT, at age forty-six, I finished in twelve minutes.

’89 High Year Tenure caught up with me and I retired from the Navy and went to work for a living. I ran sporadically but stayed in condition to do the Aloha and Bridge runs. I ran a couple half marathons during those years after retirement.

I walked a half mile this morning in twenty-five minutes. Someday I expect I’ll try it with a walker, but I’ll hold that off if possible. A walker has never been on my bucket list. But then, neither was this fucking cane.


A Snipes ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’

A Snipes ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’

By John Petersen

On the first day of Christmas, the CHENG he gave to me (while sitting with all the other new arrivals in the mess decks),

The order to the Pit you will be!

On the second day of Christmas, my new LPO gave to me,

Directions to the bilge young swabee!

On the third day of Christmas, my Chief he gave to me,

Orders to the mess decks, for cranking is required! (it doesn’t rhyme..write me up..)

On the fourth day of Christmas, that pencil sharp E5 gave to me,

A bucket of water/citric acid and a swab(ee).

On the fifth day of Christmas, the upper level dude gave to me,

Five, golden crows feet…..

On the sixth day of Christmas, T’was a break we were given,

Six San Miguels and a warm little LBFM to shake off the shivers (m) ?

On the seventh day of Christmas, my LPO gave to me,

One full tin of Never-Dull and a fistfull of rags to make things shin-eeey

On the eighth day of Christmas, to my LPO I gave,

A detailed drawing of the main engine, with all 29 bearings and the complete lube oil route, HP and LP steam intake and condensation course, SSTG operational parameters, EVAP line drawings including the Ameroil addition specs, HP and LP drain system, firemain, fresh water lines, etc. (Again, doesn’t rhyme, but what the…)

On the ninth day of Christmas, the LCPO gave to me, (happily),

The responsibility of the plant to run as I see…

On the tenth day of Christmas, to my troops I gave to thee,

Relief from the Chief’s arbitrary melee.

On the eleventh day of Christmas, my snipes they gave to me,

High fives all around and shiny new coffee cup (ee, again)

On the twelfth day of Christmas, to my Snipes I freely give,

All my wishes for you and yours, for this time of year belongs to you and yours for which you live.

God Bless


Chief Makes a Speech

Chief Makes a Speech

By Garland Davis

“First of all, I would like to thank Hardass, I mean Captain Stewart. I know, I know I’ll try not to do that again. But it’s hard to call someone Captain when you wiped their nose and kept them out of the shit when they were a boot Ensign. Anyway, thanks for permitting me to speak for the CPO Mess at this Ship’s Party saying farewell to Hardass—Captain Stewart.

Oops, almost spilled my beer. Hard trying to stand up and juggle a mug of beer and a microphone at the same time. I was told to keep it light. You know funny stories.

‘After all,’ Suck-up, er, the XO said to me, ‘You have known Hardass, oops, there I go again, longer than anyone in the crew.’

I always thought it was pretty funny when Hardass—Captain—Stewart—busted the Third-Class Laundryman for hanky-panky in the fan room with an LBFM one of the Snipes, who passed out in the mess decks, brought aboard and the newly minted SHSN retaliated by pressing bleach dust into the crotch of Hardass’s—the Captain’s—skivvies. Doc said it was the worst case of crotch rot he had ever seen.

Where’s the waiter? I need a refill on my beer. That’s it; let’s hear some applause for old Hard—er- Captain Stewart.

Talking like this is especially hard for me, especially with this microphone in one hand and this empty mug—HEY WAITER, didn’t you hear me say that this mug is EMPTY? — Now, where was I? Oh Yeah, funny stories.

There was the time the Commodore was expected for a visit. Hardass – there I go again, the Captain— dressed in whites, walked out on the starboard wing of the bridge to look down the pier. The QM’s had just painted the deck. QMSN was in the chart house making Wet Paint ON Deck signs. Hardass—excuse me—slipped and busted his Hardass on the wet paint. His whites had a deck gray ass. I have always gotten a chuckle telling that story.

Waiter, this glass must have a hole in it, the son-of-a-bitch is empty again. Tell you what, don’t pay any attention to these other people, just keep bringing me fresh beers. All this talking is making me as dry as a popcorn fart.

What’s that Master Chief, you can’t hear? Well move your deaf ass a little closer to the podium.

Watta ya mean, XO? NO, I ain’t finished yet, you can’t have the microphone. Waiter bring me a shot of Jack along with the next beer, wait make that a shot of Jack and two beers.


Sorry for banging the microphone. I lost my balance. You know it is really hard to hold the microphone in one hand without spilling the beer in the other. Now that I just spilled one, it’s time for a refill to get me going again. Good man waiter, you’re right on time. Thanks that’s good. I do believe this cheap beer swallows better than all that Craft beer crap.

Oops. Sorry about that Mrs. Hardass—I mean Mrs. Stewart. You know, it’s a good thing you didn’t come to Hong Kong this cruise. You would have really been pissed off at the antics of your husband.

Now XO –I mean Suck-up—you asked me to speak so just sit down and quit trying to steal the microphone. Waiter, my glass is empty. You’re slacking off, boy.

Oh, you’re sending a waitress this time. Hi Sweetheart. Thank you and bless your Mama for making you so pretty. Just between you and me, steer clear of old Hardass there. In Hong Kong he made a Chinese bar girl jump four feet when he ran his hand up her dress. Be careful.

Back to Captain Hardass. He took his golf clubs to Westpac. The only reason they weren’t covered with dust when we got back to the States was because the Steward kept them dusted. The only holes he played in Wespac were surrounded by hair or lipstick.

Where’s Mrs. Hardass going in such a hurry. Hey Captain, let her go. She’ll get over whatever is bothering her.

Okay Suck-up, you can have the microphone. Old Hardass is gone. The way he rushed out of here, he must have had to piss really bad. Matter a fact, me too. I can drink a lotta beer before I have to go but then I might as well move my table into the head. Old Merrill at the Subic CPO Club got kinda pissed when I did it there.

What, they are out of beer. Well that is all I have to say. I’m going to un-ass this place and go where they have beer. Hey sweet thang, Suck-up just closed the bar and said the party’s over. So, you don’t have to do any more waitressing. You want to go with me?”


Day of Infamy

Day of Infamy


President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s address to a joint session of Congress on December 8, 1941.

“Mr. Vice President, Mr. Speaker, Members of the Senate, and of the House of Representatives:

Yesterday, December 7th, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy — the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

The United States was at peace with that nation and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its government and its emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific.

Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in the American island of Oahu, the Japanese ambassador to the United States and his colleague delivered to our Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent American message. And while this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or of armed attack.1

It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time, the Japanese government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.

The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian Islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. I regret to tell you that very many American lives have been lost. In addition, American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu.

Yesterday, the Japanese government also launched an attack against Malaya.

Last night, Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong.

Last night, Japanese forces attacked Guam.

Last night, Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands.

Last night, the Japanese attacked Wake Island.

And this morning, the Japanese attacked Midway Island.

Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday and today speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our nation.

As Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense. But always will our whole nation remember the character of the onslaught against us.

No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.

I believe that I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost, but will make it very certain that this form of treachery shall never again endanger us.

Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory, and our interests are in grave danger.

With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph — so help us God.

I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December 7th, 1941, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese empire.”

“I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and filled him with a terrible resolve.” — Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto. Commander in Chief of the Imperial Japanese Combined Fleet


Down to the Sea Again

Sea Fever

By John Masefield

I must go down to the sea again, to the lonely sea and the sky,

And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by.

And the wheels kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,

And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.


I must go down to the sea again, for the call of the running tide

Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;

All I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,

And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the seagulls crying.


I must go down to the sea again, to the vagrant gypsy life,

To the gull’s way and the whale’s way, where the wind’s like a whetted knife;

And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,

And a quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trips over.




Washington, D. C., December 5, 1942

New York Times, December 6, 1942.

On the morning of Dec. 7, 1941, Japanese aircraft temporarily disabled every battleship and most of the aircraft in the Hawaiian area. Other naval vessels, both combatant and auxiliary, were put out of action, and certain shore facilities, especially at the Army air bases, Hickam and Wheeler Fields, and the Naval air stations, Ford Island and Kaneohe Bay, were damaged. Most of these ships are now back with the Fleet. The aircraft were all replaced within a few days, and interference with facilities was generally limited to a matter of hours.

When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, two surface ship task forces of the Pacific Fleet were carrying out assigned missions at sea, and two such task forces were at their main base following extensive operations at sea. Discounting small craft, eighty-six ships of the Pacific Fleet were moored at Pearl Harbor. Included in this force were eight battleships, seven cruisers, twenty-eight destroyers and five submarines. No United States aircraft carriers were present.

As a result of the Japanese attack five battleships, the Arizona, Oklahoma, California, Nevada and West Virginia; three destroyers, the Shaw, Cassin and Downes; the minelayer Oglala; the target ship Utah and a large floating drydock were either sunk or damaged so severely that they would serve no military purposes for some time. In addition, three battleships, the Pennsylvania, Maryland and Tennessee; three cruisers, the Helena, Honolulu and Raleigh, the seaplane tender Curtiss and the repair ship Vestal were damaged.

Of the nineteen naval vessels listed above as sunk or damaged, the twenty-six-year-old battleship Arizona will be the only one permanently and totally lost. Preparations for the righting of the Oklahoma are now in process, although final decision as to the wisdom of accomplishing this work at this time has not been made. The main and auxiliary machinery, approximately 50 per cent of the value, of the Cassin and Downes were saved. The other fifteen vessels either have been or will be salvaged and repaired.

The eight vessels described in the second sentence of paragraph three returned to the Fleet months ago. A number of the vessels described in the first sentence of paragraph three are now in full service, but certain others, which required extensive machinery and intricate electrical overhauling as well as refloating and hull repairing, are not yet ready for battle action. Naval repair yards are taking advantage of these inherent delays to install numerous modernization features and improvements. To designate these vessels by name now would give the enemy information vital to his war plans; similar information regarding enemy ships which our forces have subsequently damaged but not destroyed is denied to us.

On Dec. 15, 1941 only eight days after the Japanese attack and at a time when there was an immediate possibility of the enemy’s coming back, the Secretary of the Navy announced that the Arizona, Shaw, Cassin, Downes, Utah and Oglala had been lost, that the Oklahoma had capsized and that other vessels had been damaged. Fortunately, the salvage and repair accomplishments at Pearl Harbor have exceeded the most hopeful expectations.

Eighty naval aircraft of all types were destroyed by the enemy. In addition, the Army lost ninety-seven planes on Hickam and Wheeler Fields. Of these twenty-three were bombers, sixty-six were fighters and eight were other types.

The most serious American losses were in personnel. As a result of the raid on Dec. 7, 1941, 2,117 officers and enlisted men of the Navy and Marine Corps were killed, 960 are still reported as missing and 876 were wounded but survived. The Army casualties were as follows: 226 officers and enlisted men were killed or later died of wounds; 396 were wounded, most of whom have now recovered and have returned to duty.

At 7:55 A.M. on Dec. 7, 1941, Japanese dive-bombers swarmed over the Army Air Base, Hickam Field, and the Naval Air Station on Ford Island. A few minutes earlier the Japanese had struck the Naval Air Station at Kaneohe Bay. Bare seconds later enemy torpedo planes and dive-bombers swung in from various sectors to concentrate their attack on the heavy ships at Pearl Harbor. The enemy attack, aided by the element of surprise and based on exact information, was very successful.

Torpedo planes, assisted effectively by dive-bombers, constituted the major threat of the first phase of the Japanese attack, lasting approximately a half hour. Twenty-one torpedo planes made four attacks, and thirty dive-bombers came in in eight waves during this period. Fifteen horizontal bombers also participated in this phase of the raid.

Although the Japanese launched their initial attack as a surprise, battleship ready machine guns opened fire at once and were progressively augmented by the remaining anti-aircraft batteries as all hands promptly were called to general quarters. Machine guns brought down two and damaged others of the first wave of torpedo planes. Practically all battleship anti-aircraft batteries were firing within five minutes; cruisers, within an average time of four minutes, and destroyers, opening up machine guns almost immediately, averaged seven minutes in bringing all anti-aircraft guns into action.

From 8:25 to 8:40 A.M. there was a comparative lull in the raid, although air activity continued with sporadic attack by dive and horizontal bombers. This respite was terminated by the appearance of horizontal bombers, which crossed and recrossed their targets from various directions and caused serious damage. While the horizontal bombers were continuing their raids, Japanese dive-bombers reappeared, probably being the same ones that had participated in earlier attacks; this phase, lasting about a half hour, was devoted largely to strafing. All enemy aircraft retired by 9:45 A.M.

Prior to the Japanese attack 202 United States naval aircraft of all types on the Island of Oahu were in flying condition, but 150 of these were permanently or temporarily disabled by the enemy’s concentrated assault, most of them in the first few minutes of the raid. Of the fifty-two remaining naval aircraft, thirty-eight took to the air on Dec. 7, 1941, the other fourteen being ready too late in the day or being blocked from take-off positions. Of necessity, therefore, the Navy was compelled to depend on anti-aircraft fire for its primary defensive weapon, and this condition exposed the Fleet to continuous air attack.

By coincidence, eighteen scout bombing planes from a United States aircraft carrier en route arrived at Pearl Harbor during the raid. These are included in the foregoing figures. Four of these scout bombers were shot down, thirteen of the remaining fourteen taking off again in search of the enemy. Seven patrol planes were in the air when the attack started.

This is one of the first pictures of the Japanese raid on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941. A P-40 plane which was machine-gunned while on the ground. (AP Photo)

There was a total of 273 Army planes on the Island of Oahu on Dec. 7, 1941. Very few of these were able to take off because of the damage to the runways at Hickam and Wheeler Fields.

It is difficult to determine the total number of enemy aircraft participating in the raid, but careful analysis of all reports makes it possible to estimate the number of twenty-one torpedo planes, forty-eight dive-bombers and thirty-six horizontal bombers, totaling 105 of all types. Undoubtedly certain fighter planes also were present, but these are not distinguished by types and are included in the above figures.

The enemy lost twenty-eight aircraft due to Navy action, and the Army pursuit planes that were able to take off shot down more than twenty Japanese planes. In addition, three submarines, of forty-five tons each, were accounted for.

The damage suffered by the United States Pacific Fleet as result of the Japanese attack on Dec. 7, 1941, was most serious, but the repair job now is nearly completed, and thanks to the inspired and unceasing efforts of the naval and civilian personnel attached to the various repair yards, especially at Pearl Harbor itself, this initial handicap soon will be erased forever.