19 December 2006

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like ...

OK, so why all of a sudden all the posts with Coral Sea playing a significant role? Well, in part, because YHS was once a Seabat (VAW-127) and participated in her decom (along w/CVW-13 and eventually the 'Bats themselves). In part because the Coral Maru had a personality all her own, decidedly more raw-edged than the big nuke boats on either side and that carried over to the CSEA/CVW-13 team. Skippy-san knows...right? Always felt like we had something to prove to the big ones across the pier. But mostly it's because of the most excellent website I stumbled across recently on all things Coral Sea. The sequence of photos for the "Chronicles of Naval Aviation" post a couple of days back came from that site, for example.

In the spirit of the season then, and courtesy the Coral Sea Tribute site, herewith The Christmas Poem (with a Coral Sea Twist):

T'was the Night Before:

T'was a few nights before Christmas and through Coral Sea,
Not a watch was stirring-not even intergrity.
The stockings were hung on the bunks with care
In hopes they'd absorb a little fresh air.

The sailors were squeezed all safe in their bed
In such odd shapes you'd swear they were dead.
Skipper in his kerchief and Exec in his cap,
Were trying to find Norfolk on the map.

When out on the flight deck there arose such a clatter
I rolled from my rack and fell with a splatter.
Away to the hatch I flew like a flash
Run over a butt kit aaand tore a big gash.

The moon on the crest of the new brewing strom
Gave light as an MAA caught a man out of uniform,
When what to my spray-filled eyes should I see
But a very heavily laden AD.

With the way the old boy handled that stick
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than a Banshee as on he came
In that sputtering bucking frame.

No Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, or Vixen.
But on its side were photo's of Ike and Nixon.
On and on he made his approach
As if he didn't even need a coach.

And on he came as he began his glide,
Although he was drifting a little to one side.
So on to the vessel's top his course he flew
With a plane full of toys and a letter or two.

And then in a twinkling he hit the barrier
On this efficient aircaft carrier.
Then out he jumped and off with a bound,
Up the smoke stack, and then down.

Then from the boiler room there came such a clatter,
But this time I knew what was the matter.
As quickly from the stack he reappeared
With his suit smoking, soiled, and seared.

T'was a nice suit with fur from head to foot,
Now all covered with fuel oil and soot.
The bundle of toys he'd flung on his back
Was now in a smoldering, burning sack.

His eyes how they twinged, his dimples how glarry,
His cheeks smarting-he looked pretty "hairy."
His drawl little mouth was chugging black smoke
And I'd sworn up and down he was goin to choke.

And the beard of his chin was there no more-
Only singed stubble where it'd been before,
But the stump of his pipe he still held in his teeth
As smoke engulfed his head like a wreath.

He had a hot face and just a as hot belly,
Though not shaking with laughter-cause he felt smelly.
He was short and fat, a right sour old elf,
But I laughed at him anyway just to spite myself.

A blink of his eye and a jerk of his head
Soon gave me to know he wished I'd drop dead,
But he spoke not a word and he really turned to
Distributing toys from forecastle to screw.

Then with his finger a thumbing his nose,
He received his signals from the flight deck PO's
And jumping into his plane and giving all it's do.
Away down the flight deack and away he flew.

Then we stopped to realize what all he'd been through,
And we sorta hated it too-
So we yelled and exclaimed as he flew out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to you"-and "have a good flight."