MERRY CHRISTMAS 1955
MERRY CHRISTMAS 1955
(articles from JET BLAST Christmas Day)
On Christmas Day, one thousand nine hundred and fifty-five years ago we were promised there would be peace on earth, good will toward men. We, the officers and men of Task Force 77 are doing our part in these Far Eastern waters to further the keeping of that peace on earth. Throughout the remainder of your assignment in Task Force 77 you can take pride in the maintenance of a vigil which will hasten the day when we can all spend our holidays at home in a truly Christian era of peace on earth and good will toward men.
To all of you who have served so faithfully during my command of Task Force 77 I extend my sincere wishes for a very Merry Christmas and a joyous and prosperous New Year.
Rear Admiral, U. S. Navy
Thanks for sending that great memory from 1955.
In a message dated 12/8/2008 5:00:04 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
Re: 1955 Christmas
The Benny Boat was in Hong Kong and there was an arrangement to bring orphans for a Christmas celebration aboard ship, which was at anchor in the middle of Hong Kong bay.
There were nearly a hundred children that were brought out to us by motor whale boats.
They were served cookies and hot cocoa on the mess decks and then taken up on the hanger deck where Santa [a first class machinist's mate] handed out toy gifts.
Santa's red costume was made from a set of Navy pajamas from Sick Bay that had been dyed red from Gram's stain that was used in the lab to diagnose certain unmentionable problems sailors get from time to time, and the white fur trim was cotton, also from Sick Bay.
JO2 Paul Lazzaro was one of the guys that did the work on the "Ship's Lounge".
Someone told me that he became a syndicated comic strip writer.
Don Calavan-MacRae [I was a Third Class Corpsman back in 1955]
Night Before Christmas
by: Paul Lazzaro JO2
T'was the night before Christmas, when all through the ship
Not a swab was a'stirring, not a faucet did drip.
The stockings were hung in the heads with care
In hopes they'd dry before morning was there.
The men were tangled all up in their beds
While visions of Yokosuka danced in their heads.
The Captain in his nightshirt and the Exec in his too,
Had just left the Bridge as the chronometer struck two.
When out on the flight deck, the watches did scurry
To avoid the landing of an FJ-2 Fury.
Away up the ladders and through the hatches I tore,
Then I cracked my shins on a watertight door.
When, what to my bloodshot eyes should appear,
But a hot rod pilot rigged in strange looking gear.
And then, in a jet blast, I heard on the deck,
The bellowing roar of that airdale wreck.
He was dressed in all fur, from his head to his boots,
It looked like he was wearing one of those Hong Kong suits.
Six cases of beer, he had flung on his back,
I knew at a glance it was the famous Schlitz six-pack.
His eyes - how they twinkled! His smile was so weird.
And I wondered if he had permission to grow that beard.
He had a cigarette dangling from his mouth,
He didn't care if the smoking lamp was out.
He was chubby and plump, he looked naughty as sin,
But, I had to laugh, in spite of my shin.
He spoke not a word, but went right to his work.
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk.
What he put in each one, I could hardly believe,
Late sleeper's chits plus thirty days leave.
A year's supply of P.O.D.'s
Which granted nothing but early liberties.
Then, pulling the life ring of his "Mae West",
He said he'd give the "cats" a test.
With a shout of "launch aircraft", he jumped to his jet
And took off, for where, I know not yet.
But I heard him exclaim, before he zoomed out of sight,
"Happy Christmas, Big Benn and to all a good night".
The above information was provided to Joe Pires by Donald Parnell.
The information was retyped so that it could be viewed by all.
Thank You Don for making this data available to the members