1 January 1959

The tradition of rhyming midwatch (0000-0400 Hours) deck logs to ring in the new year are almost as old as the Navy itself. Though not official, this storied tradition is over-looked by command and will probably continue for years to come. The practice of keeping the deck log entry short, concise, articulate is replaced my holiday cheer and riming prose. The honor of composing the first on Mullinnix went to LTJG J. A. Sears, JR, USNR, who penned:

Moored here in Boston on a rather brisk night
Warmed by the quarterdeck Christmas trees’ light.
Port side to pier three using standard manila
My coat lined alpaca, or perhaps it’s chinchilla.
With rigged wire preventers of inch and one-eighth
We watch for the Atlas’ orbit in spath.
We have been here in Charlestown most of this year
And are currently on the west side of the pier.
Cold iron prevails in our hill quite impervious
With the shipyard providing the needed pier servious
Of telephone, power, steam, nuts and bolts,
A few BTU’s and a couple of volts.
Cold iron watches on roving patrols
In the Main engine spaces – The city clock tolls
The birth of another in a series of years
That move silently round like some well-oiled gears.
Material X-RAY is our current condition
And its absolute setting is no supposition
For it’s checked by security watches terrific,
Merrill-Lynch, Pierce, Fenner, and Smithic.
Ships present include some of CINCLANT’s best tricks,
The BOSTON, the WASP, and the Young Mullinnix,
The shiny new EDSON who will cross the Equator.
There are TUGS from the District, YD’s from the Yard
But duty ashore can’t be nearly as hard
Or as interesting as it can be on a “CAN”
An all-purpose ship for a well rounded man.
SOPA is here in the hull of the Boston
He’s COMCRUDIV FOUR near a town I get lostin.
We have been in commission just under a year
And March ’59 makes our birthday quite near.
The commissioning program was something to boast
With grand Mrs. Mullinnix here from “The Coast”.
The Ensign was broken, the first watch was set,
Twas a day that none of us soon will forget.
An outfitting period quickly ensued
And the hull with new Ship-Alts was firmly subdued
By air hammers, chippers, and welders galore
But by May we survived and left Boston’s shore.
After training in GTMO, we went south with a stranger
An obscure little vessel known as the RANGER.
From Trinidad’s coastline we sailed for Brazil
And we drilled and we drilled and we drilled and we drilled.
Then the Shellbacks gave out with sadistic ingratitudes
As we left in our wake the Northern Horse Latitudes.
On to Rio, Bahia, and Reciffe too,
Where we welcomed the people, they welcomed our crew.
Our Tampico stop later proved one of the best
And when it was time to sail from the west
Back to Boston for overhaul, families, forsooth!
For a few dry martinis, light on vermouth.
With our second yard period a thing of thing past,
We have painted the ship from the keel to the mast.
As COMSOLANT Flagship we’ll soon be displayed
So it’s goodbye to bean-town and “Anchor’s Aweigh”.
Anapestic quadrameter couplets, Adieu!
To my whole duty section a Happy Year New.

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2009 by Frank Wood, All rights reserved.