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Shipmate Memories - Twas The Night Before Christmas

by W.E. Kohl

Twas the night before Christmas on the eight-o-two;
I was sitting on my locker with
nothing to do-
When over the "Bitch Box" came,
the cry- Liberty's canceled,
All hands stand by;
Down in the magazine "Sowenski" did jump-
with his shoes in his hands and a submersible pump,
he-shouted his orders and danced with glee-
come all yee gunner's mates and bail with me.
The ammo was passed from man to man-
into the hoist and up to the can.
We stacked them, brushed them,
and dried them with care.
Out on the deck - you could
hear the men swear.
The submersible pump was doing fine,
pumping the water into the brine.
But the buckets were stacked by
the magazine with care, hoping
that all hands soon would be there.
The water is out, the magazine is dry
when we started passing the ammo
you could hear the men cry-
"Take heed yee "Gunner's Mates"
or all shall die!!!!"

by: W. E. Kohl
Christmas 1954
(San Diego Bay alongside the Ajax)