By Peter T. Yeschenko

“Taps” is a musical piece sounded at dusk, and at funerals, particularly by the US military.

tune is also sometimes known as “Butterfield’s Lullaby”.

The tune is actually a variation of an earlier bugle call known as the “Scott’s Tattoo” which was used in the US from 1835 until 1860, and was arranged in its present form by the Union Army Brigadier General Daniel Butterfield, an American Civil War general and Medal of Honor recipient.

In July 1862 to replace a previous French bugle call used to signal “lights out”.

General Butterfield’s bugler, Oliver W. Norton, of Erie, from Pennsylvania, was the first to sound the new call.

Within months, Taps was used by both Union and Confederate forces. It was officially recognized by the United States Army in 1874.

Captain John C. Tidball, West Point, Class of 1848, started the custom of playing taps at a military funeral.

It became a standard component to US military funerals in 1891.

“Taps” is sounded nightly on military installations at non-deployed locations to indicate that it is “lights out”.

When “Taps” is sounded at a funeral, it is customary for serving members of the military or veterans to salute.

The corresponding gesture for civilians is to place the right hand over the heart.


“In Ocean Waves”

May be an image of ocean and text that says 'Here we see the unmarked graves of many sailors who never made it home. No flags. No ceremony. They gave all. Please remember them on Memorial day.'

“In Ocean waves no poppies blow

No crosses stand in ordered in row,

There young hearts sleep beneath the wave

The spirited, the good, and the brave

But stars a constant vigil keep,

For them who lie beneath the deep,

‘Tis true you cannot kneel in prayer

On a certain spot and think he’s there

But you can to the ocean go

See whitecaps marching row on row;

Know one for him will always ride,

In and out with every tide

And when your span of life is passed

He’ll meet you at the ‘Captain’s Mast’

And they who mourn on distant shore,

For sailors who will come home no more

Can dry their tears and pray for these

Who rest beneath the heaving seas,

For stars that shine and winds that blow

And whitecaps marching row on row

And they can never lonely be,

For when they lived, they choose the sea.”

Eileen Mahoney


China Visit

by Garland

In November 1986, USS Reeves CG-24, USS Oldendorf DD-972, and USS Rentz FFG-46 made history as the FIRST U.S. warships to visit China since 1948.

May be an image of outdoors

USS Reeves CG-24, CINCPACFLT Flagship moored at Qingdao, China in November 1986.. The Chinese North Sea Fleet ceremoniously welcomes the American ships…


Quarters, Soon To Come

by John Petersen

May be a closeup of 1 person and flower

Freedom at last! You’re North of the ‘Gate’.

The evening is early, your night in the hands of fate.

Made your first stop for a few primers and grub,

After politely excusing your legwarmer, it’s off to the next pub.

As you look down this avenue, full of people, traffic signs and lights,

things seem overwhelming, overbearing, your brain cells in constant fights.

“Which way do I go? Which door do I enter”?

Seems every establishment is slightly off center.

Chief laid the order, to my LPO in charge of my first night,

“Bring him back in one piece, free of the clap and without a fight.

For if this young booter, who’s life you are entrusted,

Comes back spoiled or soiled, your ass is busted”!

Let him sweat bullets, you think, as this is your night to explore.

‘Omaha ain’t nothing like this, oh God gimme more’!

One after another, gotta try each dimly lit and noisy place,

If you could put them all in alphabetical order, it would only slow your pace.

Olongapo, the Barrio, amazingly the choices are endless, yet so many treats,

But cross the line into Subic City young and wise Cherry Boy,

And you’ll find an adult Disneyland, for before your eyes a deviated feast!

The debauchery, the deviousness, the seemingly endless show of skin,

The more San MaGoo’s you plow down, the more of the Peso’s in that stack you put in!

The night goes on, everything happens so fast, time flies like the wind,

And somehow, some way, you’ve made your way back to where it all seemed to begin.

You’ve tried just about everything from Mojo to Bullfrog both red and green,

And the bet is on that no one back home will believe anything you’ve seen.

Heading unsteadily back to the gate, it’s very dark, LPO got lost, but wait, hold up! Food! Oh God how you need it, something to fill the gut is required, Ayup!

Your prayers are answered, river queens replaced by BBQ carts, the smell is commanding,

You haven’t had a thing to eat in hours, the body is demanding.

Sustenance is needed and no question to that fact,

You’ve still got a pocket full of coin, and now is the time to act.

Absolutely no idea as to the origin of this meat,

All you know is it hits the spot, fills the void that the night has demanded to defeat.

Made it through the gate, no strip search this time around,

You’ve made it back to the ship oh heroic one, your rack you actually found!

As you pour yourself into your private place of slumber, oh inebriated one,

Don’t forget the alarm clock as quarters are soon to come!



by John Petersen

May be an image of 3 people and people standing

Finally off watch, it’s been one helluva night.

Six in the morning, no more flourescent light.

Been almost three weeks since the lines have been pulled,

just the sight of anything but water would be like finding gold!

The last couple of days, they’ve been strangely upbeat,

To assume the crew is anxious is, safely bet, a simple feat.

Liberty’s a’comin’, God knows we’ve all earned it!

Several weeks of continuous watches and work, no break from the grit.

Always hearing the stories, of debauchery and fun,

this next place to visit holds no candle to anything under the sun.

Out on the fantail for a smoke then fresh air,

off in the distance is the sight that all have desired to ensnare!

Finally here! Can it be true?

Will the truth come forth, from all the tales others spew?

Only time will tell, for within a few hours,

life will do a 180, all aboard will be under it’s powers.

We’ve finally made it, worked our asses off for it,

this place called P.I., and the Gods be thanked, no shit!

After all is secure, and standing on unmoving ground,

link up with your buddies and head towards where treasures abound!

First stop of course, and this is required,

the famous money exchange, how else will your night be mired?

Todays rate is 21 to 1, oh damn what a deal!

All the San Miguels you can drink, and more than one meal!

For if all the stories you’ve heard prove to be fact and not fiction,

You’re in for one unforgettable night, all fun and no bitchin’!

Past the front gate you go, the MP’s stare you simply ignore,

let him think what he will, you’ve new lands to explore!

First order of business as you have been instructed to adhere,

is crossing Shit River, second only to obtaining Shellback status you hear.

The river queens, all dressed up (or down) and calling for your sight,

along with their ‘assistants’, who’ll dive for Peso’s day and night. (ugh!)

Stopping to grab a pack of black market smokes,

Time to venture forth, many fires that require continual stokes.

Hundreds of offerings on this street called Magsaysay,

The lights, the noise, the girls, so much candy for the eye.

You’ve finally made it to Subic, this land of low standards and high hopes,

activities abound that would clearly upset Popes!

The sights, the smells, these get your heart a pumpin’,

it seems from all directions the music is a bumpin’.

A cacauphony of noise, people, glitter and colors abound,

seems almost more than the brain can take and still hold its ground.

At each door at least two honey’s beckon you in,

very pretty they are, their charms alone raise little bumps on the skin.

They appear to be everywhere, flesh the color of root beer brown,

you can’t blink once without seeing a thousand more in town.

Throwing caution to the wind you choose your first stop,

of what seems like a million of stops you’ll definitely hop.

Convincing your buddies, ’cause the CO set the word,

“The Buddy System is enforced, no arguments to be heard”.

Ah, yes, Magsaysay, your avenue to moral descent,

Whoever said “What goes on in Vegas, stays in Vegas”,

Obviously not a minute on this street they spent!

No sooner than the moment your foot graces the door,

Mamason and her charming charges escort you across the floor.

Not quite firmly seated and ingesting your first gulp of beer,

You have a new friend, one who finds your lap comfortable and clear.

And with the charm of a litter of kittens, she’ll wiggle and ask you so nicely,

“You buy me drink? Pay bar pine? It not too pricey”.

For one, you think, it’s way too early on your first nights foray,

To sink for one so seemingly sweet, so early this eve, no way!

Secondly, you think, there’s too much to do, too much to see.‘

All the stories I’ve been told, tonight the truth for me!

Let’s see if they hold water, these tales of dark fun and lust,

I’ll find the truth or die trying, this accomplishment a must’.

Bidding farewell to your little lap warmer now all alone,

You gather up your buddies and Northward you all shall roam.

Just remember one thing, as you sample each place and watch every penny,

That the warm little wiggly thing on your lap just may have been named Benny!

MM1 Petersen



May be an image of 1 person, standing and indoor

Who was the youngest Navy Chief Petty Officer?

ANSWER: Diego Enrique Santiago, age 6, was pinned an honorary Chief Petty Officer at the USO in Jacksonville, North Carolina in March 2006.

He was a cancer patient and his wish was to be a Navy Chief just like his father, HMC Jesus Santiago. The son of Chief Hospital Corpsman (FMF/AW) Jesus “Chico” Santiago, his fondest dream was to be just like his dad – to follow his father footsteps into the naval ranks, and someday, hopefully, earn the respected title of “Chief.”

But Diego grew ill – very ill – and his dream looked increasingly like an impossibility.

Chief Jesus Santiago’s brothers and sisters in the CPO mess heard of Diego’s illness, and did something, they made Diego an honorary Chief Petty Officer, initiated him into the mess.

The pinning ceremony was approved by the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy himself.

He was 6 years old when he got pinned.

He was very pleased, and his pleasure made all of us in the Chief Community throughout the Navy, very proud, even those who did not know him.

Proud to be part of an organization which could make such an impression upon such a young man. Proud to be a part of an organization that could have such leaders and fathers that a young man would want to emulate.

Diego passed away.

Diego was originally only given a few weeks to live when initially diagnosed with cancer but he fought a hard fight for 14 months, but his little body couldn’t hold out any longer.

Our Youngest Chief transferred to the Supreme Commander for his final duty station on 2 August 2006..



HMS Hood

Artwork by Dale Byhre

Later this month, on the 24th of May, is the 80th anniversary of the sinking of the battle cruiser HMS Hood. As tragic a loss as this was, it was even more so when it is remembered that of a crew of more than 1,400, only three survived. In this tribute I chose to paint possibly the final image of the Hood prior to the cataclysmic explosion that sank her. It shows the column of flame bursting upwards out of the hull after a shell from the Bismarck ignited the Hoods 4” magazine. This in mere moments would lead to the massive explosion of the after 15” main magazines.

No photo description available.