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The Snipes Lament

Now each of us from time to time has gazed upon the sea,
and watched the warships pulling out to keep this country free.
And most of us have read a book or heard a lusty tale,
about these men who sail these ships through lightnin', wind and hail.
But there's a place within each ship, that legend fails to teach.

It's down below the waterline, it takes a living toll.
A hot metal living hell, that sailors call "the hole".
It houses engines run by steam, that make the shafts go round.
A place of fire and noise and heat, that beats your spirits down.
Where boilers like hellish heart, with blood of angry steam,
are of moulded gods without remorse, are nightmares in a dream.

You have no time for man or God, no tolerance or fear.
Your aspects pay no living thing, the tribute of a tear.
For there's not much that man can do, that these men haven't done,
beneath the deck deep in the hole, to make the engines run.
And every hour of every day, they keep the watch in hell.
For if the fires ever fail, their ship's a useless shell.

When ships converge to have a war upon the angry sea,
the men below just grimly smile, at what their fate might be.
They're locked in below like men foredoomed, who hear no battle cry.
It's well assumed that if their hit, the men below will die.
For every day's a war down there, when the gauges all read red.
Twelve hundred pounds of heated steam, can kill you mighty dead.

I've seen these sweat soaked heroes fight in superheated air,
to keep their ship alive and right, though no one knows they're there.
And thus they'll fight for ages on till warships sail no more,
amid the boilers mighty heat, and the turbines hellish roar.
So when you see a ship pull out to meet a warlike foe,
remember faintly if you can, the men who sail below.

Author Unknown
 
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Outstanding! I'm printing this off for me and my dear ol' Dad.

Dad is a retired USN Master Chief Petty Officer and a "Snipe",( Boiler Technician).....1957-1977, Plank owner of the USN Boiler School at Great Lakes Naval Training Center in Illinois.

He also served on many a fine ship, hardly saw him at all during the Vietnam War years.
 

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A tribute, To All Snipe Ratings

Hey Fellow Snipes...

I took the previous posting about the Snipes Lament and I did the following which I have distributed to my local fellow Skimmer/Target and Submarineer Shipmates…

I "added" around “The Lament” all the Engineering Ratings which have existed
from WWII and some newer ones till now... It is done in a PDF format and Looks Kick Azz!!

I had it done at the local bindery. It is meant to be printed on a 11"x17"format. It looks great, I'm having some printed for my local Skimmer/Target and Submarineer Engineering types...

If any here wish to have this, shoot me a private message with a home 20 e-mail enclosed.. I'll shoot you a copy....

Best Regards and....

“May You All Have Fair Winds and Following Seas”
IC2(SS)19Z50C5
 

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I never had the slightest inclination to strike for a snipe rate but I did have snipe shipmates that us ops div types would pal around with on the beach during liberty.

Sometimes when I was bored, I would go down in the hole to the engine room and visit with some of my snipe buds to see how the other half lived. To say that place gave me the willies would be an understatement. The engine room was hot, smelly and noisy but amazingly clean. The snipes on watch down there would be standing around under blower vents trying to stay cool. I was always glad to get out of there and back up on the bridge to the radio shack where I belonged.

7th
 

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My dad was Navy 1943-1946 and served in the South Pacific the whole time. He said that he had to down to the hole once and it was everything he could do to not panic. He was claustrophobic and between the noise, the cramped conditions, the heat, he said it felt like the whole place was crushing him.

I spent more than three years aboard Naval vessels while I was in the Marine Corps and I always remembered what my dad told me and I had tons of respect for those guys down there and throughout the ship. It takes a lot of work keeping those things working (of course you could throw the MAs overboard as far as I was concerned) DI5
 

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Snipe Related....

My dad was Navy 1943-1946 and served in the South Pacific the whole time.
HAHAHAHA!!!!!, I Love your thoughts on the MA rating… (Yes, MAs, Sea Going, “We’re Cops, You’re Not) Pukes…
BTW, what was your Father’s Rate/Rating???.. Is he still with us???... If you would like, just shoot me a private message with your e-mail and I’ll send you a PDF file with the rating symbols surrounding the “Lament”…

Even though I was a Fare Weather Snipe in Skimmer/Targets, I spent more than my time in the Fire rooms and Engine rooms of the U.S.S. LEAHY (DLG-16) during full power runs. Nothing is more kick-azz inspiring than to see, hear, smell and experience the raw power of the engineering spaces of a black oil/steam powered surface combatant… It gets in your blood…. I gave two of my Curly’s tavern Pards/ Main propulsion (MM) Machinist Mate types a copy tonight and it brought tears to their eyes…
PS, what ship did your Father serve “in” during his WWII Service…
 

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HAHAHAHA!!!!!, I Love your thoughts on the MA rating… (Yes, MAs, Sea Going, “We’re Cops, You’re Not) Pukes…
BTW, what was your Father’s Rate/Rating???.. Is he still with us???... If you would like, just shoot me a private message with your e-mail and I’ll send you a PDF file with the rating symbols surrounding the “Lament”…

Even though I was a Fare Weather Snipe in Skimmer/Targets, I spent more than my time in the Fire rooms and Engine rooms of the U.S.S. LEAHY (DLG-16) during full power runs. Nothing is more kick-azz inspiring than to see, hear, smell and experience the raw power of the engineering spaces of a black oil/steam powered surface combatant… It gets in your blood…. I gave two of my Curly’s tavern Pards/ Main propulsion (MM) Machinist Mate types a copy tonight and it brought tears to their eyes…
PS, what ship did your Father serve “in” during his WWII Service…

That is exactly what the MAs that I met were like and I got stuck on SP duty every time we went ashore (I was a Ssgt. so they figured I was able to handle the Marines when we had to break up the bar fights) so you would think that I would have gotten along with them...no way, I wasn't part of their club.

Dad is gone now but he was a heck a good man. He made it up to Boatswain's Mate 2nd and most of the time he handled the sea going barges that they used to move supplies from the supply ships to the shore. He had originally been assigned to a destroyer but he was reassigned due to his training as an engine mechanic, I guess they figured that those barges needed somebody that understood how to keep them running. He was lucky, the destroyer he had been assigned to was sunk a little while after his reassignment and most of the guys he went through boot camp with were on board and didn't make it.

He spent his whole time working the area around northern Australia and New Guinea and then on up the slot to the area around and including Rabaul. He told me that only battle he was ever involved in was up around Rabaul and he was coming in to the bay with supplies while a Japanese Cruiser was shooting the place up. He said with all the shooting and him being on an open deck barge he headed for the nearest large ship to hide behind. So as he was pulling up astern of this ship he looked up at the ensign and it was a Japanese flag. He about filled his shorts. He finally made it to the nearest spot to beach the barge and ran to the nearest bunker.
 

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RAMMAC, Great stories about your Father... Many Thanks.....

Check out this website if you have not visited it already....

http://www.navsource.org/

I have it has my Internet Homepage...
 

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As an electrician's mate, . . . I saw well over my share of below decks watches.

Also spent some time with the PBR's in RVN.

Made it up to Platoon Sgt in the Army NG.

If I hadda go back today, . . . it sure wouldn't be as a snipe again, .............. It'd either be small boats, . . . or the other half of the Navy, . . . . whatcha call em, . . . uhhhhh, . . . y'know, . . . oh yeah, . . . Marines !

May God bless,
Dwight
 

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RAMMAC, Great stories about your Father... Many Thanks.....

Check out this website if you have not visited it already....

http://www.navsource.org/

I have it has my Internet Homepage...
Very nice web site. I had a little heart pang though, I deployed several times on the U.S.S. Tarawa and I saw that they have decommissioned her. I'm sorry to see the old girl go.
 

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AE's, Unheralded Heroes

Here's are some pictures of the engine room of my ship for the snipes on the forum, taken from our reunion association website.

http://ussrainier.com/

7th
Thanks 7th Fleet, I have viewed this website several times before... And especially the link to the famous disastrous loss of the U.S.S. MOUNT HOOD (AE-11) on 10 November 1944 at Seeadler Harbor, Manus, Admiralty Islands
More to follow about reunion related activities…

“May You All Have Fair Winds and Following Seas”
 

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snipe

started of as a snipe in 97 MMFN onboard the USS Independence CV62 7 th fleet the oldest ship in the fleet at the time flying the dont thread on me flag... yep living in the bilges was the life much respect was given by other sailors as we occasionally emerged from the machinery and boiler rooms only too eat and sleep ... at the time of her decommisioning we were the last too leave ... from there i made MM3 and was transferred onto the next oldest ship the sister ship of the Indy the Kittyhawk .... good times being a snipe unfortunately my rate was being phased out too EN and GS so i switched ratings too MA which had great advancment oppurtunities due too the increase in security brought on by the USS Cole incident in yemen....but for the rest of my service i always considered myself as a snipe !!
 

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If I hadda go back today, . . . it sure wouldn't be as a snipe again, .............. It'd either be small boats, . . . or the other half of the Navy, . . . . whatcha call em, . . . uhhhhh, . . . y'know, . . . oh yeah, . . . Marines !

May God bless,
Dwight
Marines are a "Department" of the Navy. The MENS department!MCORPS1
 

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Ex mm

Only those who have stood 6&6 in Main control or #1 Fireroom really know what the "lament" means.
Having stood 6 years of those watches on destroyers, it has a truly special meaning to me.

"When I die, I know I'm going to heaven, cause I've spent my time in hell"

Snipe
USN2
 

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Snipes Rule!!!

Only those who have stood 6&6 in Main control or #1 Fireroom really know what the "lament" means.

Snipe
USN2


If you would like a copy of the Lament as I had it made up at a local print shop shoot me a private message with an e-mail address and I’ll send you a copy.
It has been very popular with my fellow Tin Can Sailors and Main Propulsion Submarineer Shipmates.

Just so you know, I has it printed on hard white card stock. All the Engineering and Hull ratings that have existed since WWII till present surround it as follows:

Along the top left to right EM, BT, MM. Down the right side EN, MoMM, HT, SF. Down the left side IC, GS, DC, BR. Along the bottom left to right MR, PM, ML.
The rating symbols are of the shade of blue as they would appear on an older cotton wash dress white jumper or tropical short sleeve shirt.

On a side note being a Tin Can Sailor you should checkout this website:

www.tincansailors.org

“Fair Winds And Following Seas”
 

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ex MR also

Very nice

I'm also an EX-MR What years where you in , what ships?
 

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Back In The Day.....

What years where you in , what ships?
June 1969 to June 73 USN, USNR Jun73 – Jan76
U.S.S. LEAHY (DLG-16), Mar70 - Aug71, (Homported D&S Piers, Norfolk, VA)
U.S.S. JOHN ADAMS (SSBN-620)G Jan72 – Jun73 (Homeported Pearl Horbor, HI, crews rotated in Guam)
U.S.S. PINTADO (SSN-672) TAD Spring of 75, (Homeported San Diego, CA)
 
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