By Jack Hawkins
A tale of Coast Guard chutzpah better than, but not as rare as a snowball fight in hell ........
During 1967 and 68 I was an SNRD then a RD3 aboard the CGC STORIS. This is a short remembrance of one of best crews I ever had the pleasure to serve with.
It was a quiet spring day in Kodiak. All three cutters where in port. STORIS and CONFIDENCE at the fuel pier and the CITRUS at the buoy dock. Old Women's Bay was flat calm and there had been a light snowfall the night before.
Now, you must remember that Kodiak was a Naval Base before the Coast Guard took over, and sometimes relations with the "Squids" and "Jar Heads" were not always the best. On more that one occasion the liberty section would be escorted back to the Cutter, with a Marine Guard truck in front and a Marine Guard Truck behind, owing to a brief interservice discussion at the club. We won't even begin to talk about the Naval Base at ADAK, the night the STORIS crew wore the new Flat Hats (Donald Duck hats) ashore in "67".
It's afternoon on the STORIS quarterdeck, when this snowball thrown from the CONFIDENCE lands next the QMOW. WEEELL, this insult can not be tolerated, especially to the MIGHTY STORIS, so one snowball, is answered by two; two by four; four by eight; in absolute perfect numerical progression, until it seemed that both Ship's Crews are involved. (I swear, I saw the CONNIE's EO throw a snowball at his equal on the STORIS.)
Well, things are progressing quite well, when this Navy officer, leaves the CONNIE's Quarterdeck. Like Moses parting the Red Sea, the snowballs sail completely around him. He seems oblivious to the flurry of white stuff around him. 'Til it happens. (You know where we're going with this don't you?)
The Naval Officer had just passed the bow of the STORIS, (Port side to the West side of the pier. CONFIDENCE was starboard side to the East side.) The Officer's hat suddenly flew off his head. Then it just appeared that a cloud opened up and small private snow shower descended upon this hapless Naval Hero.
The new snow bank in the pier was unmoving for a short time, then it straightened, shook off the snow, and the Naval Hero reappeared. He looked around and there was NO ONE to be seen on either Cutter. Just two poor QMOW's trapped by their duty stations with their heads buried in logbooks. The Naval Hero, continued to shake the snow from his clothes, recovered his headgear and continued down the pier. He took several more steps, then turned, and saluted both Cutters with the Famous Fickle Middle Finger Salute, again turned and left the combat area.
Ah, it was good to alive in Kodiak that day!
That's My story and I'm sticking to it.
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