The watch in the radio shack was busy with incoming messages. Dispatches were quickly sent to the bridge where things were set in motion. Somewhere a task force was in need of fuel and was headed our way. The crew slept on. A rendezvous was set and course changes were made for first light. Still the crew slept on.
Down in the berthing area the dreams went on - - and then - - sometime around 0430 a sound broke into the peacefulness of blissful sleep. Not much at first, just a tiny click. A gentle snap; now it gets a little louder. A groan, a pop, snap, groan, SNAP, POP, POP. Men start to stir, stretch and sit up on the sides of their bunks. Some wander off to the Head; others start to dig out their cleanest dirty clothes. That sound is steam coming up on deck. Everybody knows that means an early reveille. Somebody needs fuel and somebody is going to give it to them - that somebody is gonna be us!
NOW REVEILLE! REVEILLE! UP ALL HANDS! MAN YOUR SPECIAL SEA AND REFUELING STATIONS! ALL HANDS ON DECK!
The fresh morning air starts the blood to flow. Booms are hoisted and made fast, messenger lines flaked out on deck; phonelines made ready; hoses swinging in the saddle lines. The sound of water rushing over the welldeck. The smell of salt air in your nose --- Now I know why I left the farm --- I just love this #@%$ !!!
C. T. DAVIS ~ USS MANATEE
SN 1st DIV. ~ JAN '53 TO APR '55