- Nicholson, Ian
- Humour, Poetry
- RAN Ships
- None noted.
- June 1999 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
The following verse was apparently composed on the occasion of the initial Task Force of the British Pacific Fleet joining up with the US 3rd/5th Fleet in the North Pacific in 1944. I don’t think it was penned by an RN Communicator, but by a Gunnery Officer, and he was probably Commander Michael Le Fanu. He was RN Liaison Officer aboard the US flagship Indianapolis at the time.
He became First Sea Lord, 1968-70, and was popularly known as the “Chinese Admiral” – because of his name, and later as “Dry Ginger” – because of his red hair and his wise move in abolishing the RN daily rum issue. He was destined to be CDS but died suddenly of leukemia – though not before writing some witty verse about missing out on this appointment.
“This OLD PACIFIC OCEAN had inspired a strange devotion
It was bitter and at intervals it stank
It was tough and it was risky
It was full of rotten whiskey
It was rugged but goddammit it was “yank”
Until there came invasion, on that memorable occasion
When towards the TBS we turned an ear
And a voice both arched and skittish, and undoubtedly British
Said … Rogah … Thanks old boy … You’re loud and cleah”.