A tradition existed in the US Navy that the first entry in the Deck Log for the new year be written as a poem. It usually was the Quartermaster who wrote the Log, then it was okayed by the Executive and/or Commanding Officer. Also, it was usually whoever was Officer of the Deck on the first watch of the New Year who would write the poem - if one were written.
The following poems are examples of such poems taken from the logs of USS Jaccard DE 355 and USS Richard M. Rowell DE 403.
If you have a Deck Log Poem you would like to share with us on this Website, please send them to Jake either in an Email or as an attachment. Write here:
DECK LOG - USS JACCARD DE 355
Tuesday, 1 January 1946
Moore starboard side to the USS Davis DE 357, who
Is starboard side to the South side of Pier number two
In the harbour, the City and the Philippine Island called Cebu.
In use are all the lines from one through six,
By doubling two to five, securely she sticks.
Also in use are boiler number two and engineroom number, the same,
With the regular in-port watch as our goal to maintain.
Now the material condition is Baker "modified",
To keep the ship afloat and save the Captain's hide.
At forty minutes past midnight, aboard came Krizan, Andrew (n),
He is SV6, USNR, and twenty minutes overdue,
And 856-97-00 is his serial number, MoMM2c(T) his rate,
Now a prisoner at large, since liberty expired at 0015 this date.
AT 0050 Madison, James Morgan, 976-34-87, S1c, V6(SV) was back,
Overleave thirty-five minutes, hence a prisoner at large, aware of the fact.
C. W. Coble
Submitted by DESA member Al Gregg, USS Jaccard DE 355
Courtesy of Destroyer Escort Sailor's Association
U.S.S. RICHARD M. ROWELL DE 403 Monday, 1
Here we are at the end of nineteen forty-four,
Finding ourselves in Task Unit Seventy-seven point Four point Four,
Steaming in company with Task Group Seventy-eight point One,
Taking our order from ComBatRon One.
The base course is three two zero,
Our destination is dealing with Hirohitho,
Nine knots, one three five r.p.m., in fleet speed,
Our plans are to make him feel real humble indeed.
The boilers are in use, and the engineering plant is split,
We have the Nips guessing what and where we will hit.
Zigzagging as per Plan Number one,
We are looking for some New Year's fun.
Our immediate superior is ComCortDiv Two Seven,
Who, like us, has no use for sons of heaven,
Our station is number one in Screen Fifty-two,
And since that's all that's exciting, we'll bid you adieu.
Gordon J. Andrew.
Lt. (jg), CD, U.S.N.R" (Communications Officer)
Above poem taken from Log Books received at the SLATER Museum as part of donated items from Joseph Iannucci - radioman aboard USS RICHARD M. ROWELL DE-403 during WW II.
The Log Books had been taken from the ship before it was scrapped in Oregon and sent to Joe and he has saved them for many years. This historical information is now part of the SLATER Library Archives.
USS O'FLAHERTY DE 340
Tuesday, 1 January 1946
Moored starboard side to port side of USS Osmus; (DE 701) at Pier "C", Todd Shipyard, Smith Island, San Pedro, California. Receiving power, steam and water from the dock.
Moored as before this New Year's Day
At Todd Ship Yard, San Pedro,
A Year ago we were far away
Dodging Jap shells and torpedo.
An exciting year was the one just passed
The rest will be different I hope,
The Japs and the Germans we completely outclassed
And we know with the future we'll cope.
(signed) Paul L. Callan, Lt. Comdr. USNR
Submitted by DESA member Sid Morrow, USS O'FLAHERTY DE 340
by Anne McCarthy
Five-hundred-sixty-three trim but deadly DEs
Lead the Navy to victory on all the high seas.
Each DE tells of the deeds, and some of the sorrows
Of all the brave men, some who had no tomorrows.
They roamed the world's oceans, escorting convoys,
Until crews were dizzy from checking buoys.
They guarded the carriers and pilots so brave,
Proud of a chance for just one to save.
They protected supplies, going endlessly on,
Working 'round the clock from dusk to dawn.
They shot down planes the enemy flew
And were badly damaged by quite a few.
They rescued men from the ocean's waters
Who were victims of the enemy plotters.
They sank enemy subs, then rescued their crew
Because they were brave and it was the right thing to do.
Though the sky may dim with the setting sun,
We will never forget their job so well done.
Anne McCarthy, was a noted DE researcher and frequent contributor to DESANews and the Destroyer Escort Sailors Association.
'SeaBat' sent us a message on 2006-12-29, the following:
"It is with great pride, yet sadness that I note the poem of Anne McCarthy. Anne left us in November, 2006. We pray that she is now enjoying smooth seas and following winds with the ships and sailor friends she so dearly loved.
Thank you for allowing her to live on through her work and our friendship with her."
USS Recruit's Log Entry Poem
>From Jan. 1, 1963<
By George E. Johnson, BMC
Time 0000, Day #1, year 1963,
The, watch has begun.
Moored port & starboard at NTC
On this very quiet New Year's Eve
Six hawsers to starboard,
Seven hawsers to port,
Starboard chain to Buoy 1,
We're really held taut.
Concrete and black-top
Her make-believe sea,
She strains her moorings
In a ten-knot breeze.
Draft nine feet forward
Ten feet aft,
It's never change
on this Naval craft.
All services received
Direct from the pier,
She's had no engines
For many a year.
fresh water too,
Furnished by Public Works
Power Plant Two.
North Island to starboard,
A beautiful sight.
To port lies Gate Six,
All's quiet tonight.
Dead ahead lies Camp Nimitz
Where training begins,
Astern lies Point Loma
And the Bali Hai Inn.
Anchor lights burn bright
No stars are in sight,
The decks are silent,
On this New Year's night.
She's made of plywood,
Sheathed in steel.
Her deck guns are wooden.
Her "K" guns real.
Recruits look forward
To a trick at her wheel,
To them her helm
Has a magic feel.
She's been in commission
Thirteen long years.
Started thousands of Sailors
on Naval careers.
Admirals and Generals
Civilians too, Have trod her decks
and met her crew.
She's a famous old ship,
A Training Aid too,
She's open for tours.
To all of you.
Happy New Year
To all officers and men.
Past, Present and Future
From an old wooden friend:
USS Recruit (TDE-1)
A Message from the Web Yeoman - Jake:
Dear friends who visit here...
Although not by tradition a "Deck Log Poem" - the following poem was written by a good friend of mine, CPL Daniel Snuffer, USMC, (Ret) who served aboard the ship I served in, the U.S.S. Hancock CVA-19, during the last days of the Vietnam War and the Evacuation of Saigon, South Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. He was watching a Special on the History Channel about the Plight of the good ship, U.S.S. LAFFEY DD-724.. this poem is one you should all read about this heroic ship and crew during a deadly repeat attack by Japanese Suicide Plans we all know as the feared Kamikaze.. Within one hour, USS Laffey was hit by five Japanese Kamikazes and three enemy bombs...
The Fight for the Laffey DD-724