I remember a time back in 1972, we were having trouble with one of our engines, so we were reassigned from Operation Linebacker duties off North Vietnam to the gunline off the DMZ. So we provided gunfire support along with a number of other ships, part of which was to lay in a round of 5" in every 100yd grid every hour at night, as harassment.
One day it was the VC's turn to harass us. We were several miles off of the coast, and were pretty much dead in the water off the DMZ, and had just started the lunch time meal, which that day included a helping of cherry cobbler (a favorite with most of the crew). Next thing we knew we heard General Quarters, so everyone took off for their battle stations, leaving our trays of food on the mess deck tables. The VC had lobbed a few shells at us (not even close), however we wanted to ensure we were at least a "moving target", so we moved away as fast as 1 engine could provide. To this day I swear that this was the VC's way of getting back at us for all of the harrassment fire at night.
No big deal, this was very minor compared to Operation Linebacker duties when we were dodging 175mm shore batteries off the coast of Haiphong, however the surprise came when we went off GQ and returned to the mess decks. The damage control team whose battle station was either at or near the mess decks, had systematically gone from tray to tray, devouring only 1 item; our cherry cobblers!
Now as everyone that's ever been to sea on a warship knows, to get shot at is part of the job, that can be forgiven...... but to lift our cherry cobblers.... that's war!
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