BT2 Helps the Doc

By Garland Davis

The young Fireman, right out of Machinists Mates’ “A” School, reported aboard a couple of days before the departure for six or more months in the Western Pacific. The Destroyer would participate in a Battle Group evolution with the carrier where the aviators qualified and requalified. The group would make a port visit to Pearl Harbor eight days after leaving San Diego.

The Fireman was busy helping get everything ready for the deployment.  He loaded stores and cleaned areas in the Engineroom where the civilian shipyard workers had not cleaned well enough to meet the Chief’s standards. He learned that he would stand messenger watches once they were steaming. The Petty Officer assigned to train him walked him through his watch stander duties.  He was assigned watches under the supervision of a qualified watchstander.

He was excited the morning they were to leave. He really wanted to go topside and watch the getting underway, but he was kept busy by the self-important FN assigned to train him to stand messenger.

The other guys in the Engineroom swore he turned green when the word was passed to “Single Up All Lines” and was at a full-blown puke by the time “Shift Colors” was passed. By the time they cleared the bay, he was sitting in the lower level, dry heaving into a bucket.

He received advice to eat crackers, which brought on a bout of heaving.  Sailors being sailors, an MM3 showed up with a bacon sandwich he had purloined from the Messdecks and proceeded to eat it in front of him. More gagging and dry heaves. By the end of the watch, the MM1, becoming concerned, took him to sick bay.

The ”Doc” was an HM1 just beginning his first tour as an Independent Duty Corpsman. Doc listened to MM1 and prescribed Dramamine, ‘seasick pills’.” The problem was the kid couldn’t keep pills ad water down. Doc had been told that there was such a thing as chronic seasickness, but he had also been told that it was rare and sailors would use seasickness as an excuse to get out of duty. He issued a  No Duty chit until the next morning and told the FN to hit his rack and see if he felt better the next morning

When FN didn’t show up for Sick Call the next morning, Doc went to MM1 and asked how the kid was doing.  The First Class told him the boy was curled up on the deck, still dry heaving into a bucket. Doc became worried that the FN was becoming dehydrated and thought he might have to hydrate him intravenously. He dreaded telling the XO and CO that he thought there may be a chronic sea sick aboard. He was afraid they would think he was inexperienced and overly cautious.

Doc went to the snipes’ compartment to find the F sitting at the table with a bucket between his feet.  He checked the Kid’s vital signs and asked if he had tried to eat.  The FN shook his head as he was wracked by another bought of dry heaving.

Doc said, “You have to try to eat and drink something, or I will have to put in an IV.”

BT2, passing by, said, “Feed him ice cream Doc.”

Doc, thinking that here was an opportunity to learn from a sailor who had been around long enough to know many ‘Salty” solutions for sailor’s maladies, asked the BT, “Does ice cream help with seasickness?”

BT2 replied, “Hell, I don’t know, but it will taste better when he pukes it up!”


Land of Love Again

by Garland Davis

Far above in the sky, Albatross rides the Westerly winds

Above the horizon, white clouds rise in pristine majesty

The bow cuts the waves as the ship slips ever Westward

The wake stretches endlessly, from whence she came

Our sanity lies ahead, a sailor’s paradise, on the Pacific Rim

Go with us there, to our land of love, once again

Where we will quietly and slowly regain

Memories of our youth for the years that remain


Happy Thanksgiving


Breakfast Trivia

Trivia: What is “Shit on the Shingle”?

If you’ve served in the Navy or any military branch, you have most likely eaten “Shit on a Shingle,” which is creamed chipped beef on toast, better known as SOS. The nickname SOS was derived from the Navy.

The term derives from any brown or white creamed substance which Sailors call sh*t on top of toasts, known as shingles.

The exact origin of SOS is fuzzy.

According to some historians, there is no specific origin is known.

The dish, which consists of sliced dried beef mixed in a thick creamy gravy, appeared in military cookbooks at the start of the twentieth century.

Some cooking sources claim the dish came from the Army. The Army claimed the “Army favorite” has become “the most popular version of SOS.”

However, some Navy veterans disagree!

One of the original versions of chipped beef 1910 used beef stock, evaporated milk, and parsley added to flour, butter, and dried beef.

A creamier recipe using salty chipped beef was adopted during the Second World War.

This style was clearly evident in Navy cookbooks.

The 1944 Cook Book of the US Navy recipe for “Creamed Sliced Dried Beef” included a hefty amount of dried beef, approximately 7 pounds, added to a paste-like roux and boiled milk.

Variations of the recipe exist.

Navy cookbooks also used a similar recipe for minced beef on toast, which had a tomato-based sauce with ground beef and sautéed onions.

Some recipes for minced beef use a can of tomato juice for the sauce. Most Sailors on Navy ships referred to the dish with the nickname “Red S.O.S.”

The popularity of creamed chipped/sliced beef soon extended beyond the military.

Like the explosion of popularity in pizza after WWII, Sailors and servicemen craved the warm and filling dish when their time in the military ended.

Home recipes of creamed chipped beef published in the later twentieth century included SOS variations using other meats such as tuna and sausage in a white sauce.

Stouffer’s still makes a “classic” creamed chipped beef frozen meal to this day.


What Do I Owe The Navy!

by Roger Korth

So often we hear those famous words, “Thank you for your service.” How often do we say, “Thank you Navy for the memories.”

Aside from being scared sh—less a few times, they took a kid and returned a man. They sent or took me to places I never would have gone in my entire life. We got to see so many wonderful things that we had seen in movies and didn’t really believe were real.

From looking in an aquarium to being able to swim in one is one of my greatest memories. Now retired and landlocked, I remember back to the days of going to sleep in star-studded skies and tropical seas. Awakening to brilliant sunrises on the horizon. From riding terrifying oceans with massive swells to sailing glass-covered tranquilily serene seas.

Visiting ports of call crowded with people of every race, creed, and color speaking languages we didn’t understand. Experiencing cultures and foods and religions unknown to us, and us melding into their society. Learning to see and understand experiences we never knew existed.

Meeting so many friends and shipmates; some names you can’t remember and some you’ll never forget. Hoisting a beer to celebrate anything and wobbling back, remembering nothing. Never forgetting some things we wish we could and trying to remember something we can’t. But most importantly, thank America and the United States Navy for being a very important part of our lives.


I’m a Pit Snipe, You Need Me!

stolen from Al Easley

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Image result for steve mcqueen as jake holman image

Son, we live on a ship that needs power, and that power needs to be generated by people in The Pit.

Who’s gonna do it, you OS1? You RM3?

I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom.

You weep for OPS and Deck, and you curse the Engineering Department.

You have that luxury.

You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that the boo-boo you got during a Main Space fire drill, while tragic, probably saves lives.

And our existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you saves lives.

You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about in air-conditioned radio rooms, you WANT me in that pit; you NEED me in that pit!

We use words like SSTG, DFT, Shaft Alley, and FUCK YOU.

We use these words as the backbone of a life spent supporting the entire ship; you use them as a punch line!

I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a person who freely takes Hollywood showers with the very water I provide, AND THEN QUESTIONS THE MANNER IN WHICH I PROVIDE IT!

I would rather you just say thank you and go on your way; otherwise, I suggest you find some coveralls and scrub the bilge.

Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to!


They Call Me “Doc”

stolen from Fred “Doc” Gardner

I Am A Navy Corpsman

© 2003 by Mark A. Wright, HMC(SS/FMF) USN

I am a navy corpsman. I possess the stamina and enthusiasm of youth and the wisdom and experience of an old man.

I am 3 parts doctor, 1 part nurse, 2 parts marine, 1 part yeoman, and 3 parts mom, yet I am 100% sailor.

I am unemployable to the civilian world in my given profession yet have been the very lifeline for countless marines, soldiers, and sailors since 1778.

I have carried marines from the battlefield… and have been carried reverently myself by marines who mourned my passing like that of a brother or sister.

I am young. I am old. brave, scared, and scarred. my title has changed over the years: loblolly boy, surgeons steward, pharmacist mate, hospital corpsman, IDC, yet with all the changes I am still simply known as “Doc”.

I have celebrated peace; yet felt the sting of war on the seas, in jungles, in foreign cities, in Washington D.C., and on beaches of every shade of sand… white, tan, coral, and black.

I have raised hell on liberty; hope in the midst of battle …. and Old Glory on Iwo Jima.

I have removed appendixes on submarines and limbs in the midst of battle and many other procedures far above and beyond what I am expected to do by the normal practice of medicine because it had to be done in order to save the life of a marine or sailor in battle or under the ice, far from a doctors care.

I have ignored my own wounds to the point of death in order to stay at my station treating the wounded of my nation’s Navy, Marine Corps, Army, and Air Force.

have the highest number of Medals of Honor of any corps in the Navy …..most of them presented to my wife, my child, or my mother because I was already in heaven at the time.

I am proud to know in my heart that every marine who has ever fought and every sailor who has gone to sea on ships owe their very lives to those they simply, yet respectfully know as “Doc”

30You, David McAllister, Paul Hanes and 27 others4 CommentsLikeComment


Japanese Clay Grenades

stolen from Facebook

They may look like Christmas tree ornaments—but their origin is a bit deadlier. While they now sport beautiful decorative paintings depicting Mount Fuji through the four seasons, these colorful orbs actually began their existence as World War II hand grenades.

Type 4s, or ceramic grenades, were produced by the Imperial Japanese Navy in the waning days of the war as the raw materials of conflict, such as metals, were in ever-rarer supply. As the noose tightened and Japan prepared to defend the Home Islands to the last man, these crude, porcelain-encased fragmentation explosives were cranked out and distributed en masse to home-front reservists, volunteer defense groups, and the like. They also made their way to the beleaguered front lines, adding to the din at Iwo Jima and Okinawa. Revered pottery kilns famous for their exquisite Japanese export pottery were mustered into the war effort to mass-produce the cheap boomers. Measuring approximately 4 inches in height and 3 inches in diameter, they employed a simplistic firecracker-like fuse, a rubber cap, and a glorified blasting cap as a detonator.

Because they were so prolifically manufactured, the Type 4s have become a popular collectible—sometimes turning up in their original plain and unadorned state, and sometimes repurposed into an odd sort of postwar folk art—as in this aesthetically pleasing quartet, now in the collection of retired U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander Paul Reuter. And while they do look like they’d be great hanging on the Christmas tree, such an option is a no-go: They’re so heavy, they’d weigh the boughs down to the floor as droopily as Charlie Brown’s infamous tannenbaum. Still, it’s heartening to see how a device born of desperation and warfare can evolve into something that evokes thoughts of peace on earth, and good will toward men.


Military Veteran

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To understand a Military Veteran you must know:

We left home as teenagers or in our early twenties for an unknown adventure.

We loved our country enough to defend it and protect it with our own lives.

We said goodbye to friends and family and everything we knew.

We learned the basics and then we scattered in the wind to the far corners of the Earth.

We found new friends and new family.

We became brothers and sisters regardless of color, race or creed.

We had plenty of good times, and plenty of bad times.

We didn’t get enough sleep.

We smoked and/or drank too much.

We picked up both good and bad habits.

We worked hard and played harder.

We didn’t earn a great wage.

We experienced the happiness of mail call and the sadness of missing important events.

We didn’t know when, or even if, we were ever going to see home again.

We grew up fast, and yet somehow, we never grew up at all.

We fought for our freedom, as well as the freedom of others.

Some of us saw actual combat, and some of us didn’t.

Some of us saw the world, and some of us didn’t.

Some of us dealt with physical warfare, most of us dealt with psychological warfare.

We have seen and experienced and dealt with things that we can’t fully describe or explain, as not all of our sacrifices were physical.

We participated in time honored ceremonies and rituals with each other, strengthening our bonds and camaraderie.

We counted on each other to get our job done and sometimes to survive it at all.

We have dealt with victory and tragedy.

We have celebrated and mourned.

We lost a few along the way.

When our adventure was over, some of us went back home, some of us started somewhere new and some of us never came home at all.

We have told amazing and hilarious stories of our exploits and adventures.

We share an unspoken bond with each other, that most people don’t experience, and few will understand.

We speak highly of our own branch of service, and poke fun at the other branches.

We know however, that, if needed, we will be there for our brothers and sisters and stand together as one, in a heartbeat.

Being a Veteran is something that had to be earned, and it can never be taken away.

It has no monetary value, but at the same time it is a priceless gift.

People see a Veteran and they thank them for their service.

When we see each other, we give that little upwards head nod, or a slight smile, knowing that we have shared and experienced things that most people have not.

So, from myself to the rest of the veterans out there, I commend and thank you for all that you have done and sacrificed for your country.

Try to remember the good times and make peace with the bad times.

Share your stories.

But most importantly, stand tall and proud, for you have earned the right to be called a Veteran.