Earliest Midwatch Article

One of the earliest, if not THE earliest treatments of the midwatch in verse tradition can be found in the 1959 USNI Proceedings article by Robert McNitt entitled, “The First Watch.” Read the article here.

NHHC Podcast on Deck Log Poetry (2/21/2024)

From NHHC Facebook Page:  Did you hear that?! NHHC has launched its podcast “Anchored in History – Stories of America’s Navy.” The first episode, ‘Navy Deck Logs and Sailor Poetry,’ NHHC Archivist Alexis Van Pool and Fleet Historian Anna Holloway discuss the Navy’s use of deck logs, command operations reports (CORs), and how Sailors have had a unique opportunity to express themselves while standing the New Year’s Eve watch, writing the first watch of the year in poetic verse. Also discussed is the history of the Navy Deck Log Poetry Contest, its prizes, and deadline for submission on February 23, 2024!

Midwatch on social media!

Links to Youtube and Tiktok

 All Hands Magazine Treatment of Midwatch Poetry

The US Navy began publishing a magazine for sailors in 1922 and it has been published continuously in various forms since that time. Since 2011, All Hands (AH) has been published only in online form. Back in June of 1953, it published a poem and an explanation of the tradition for the first time. In the January issues of 1960 through 1964, AH published  midwatch poems that were sent in from several ships. In 1965, AH announced that it was going to run a yearly contest for “best” midwatch poems. This continued until 1971. The All Hands archive can be found here. 

From National Archives Blog

The National Archives houses the deck logs of US Navy ships back into the mid-19th century. This blog entry addresses the Archives project to digitize Vietnam War era logs and contains many example poems.

 Article from September 27, 2022 – The Washington Post Magazine

Written by Danny Freedman, Can this quirky Naval poetry tradition make a comeback?

Book Appears in Weird Universe Blog on January 20, 2023

The blog, Weird Universe highlighted Midwatch in Verse in a January 2023 post

Article from the January 1, 1960 issue of the Wilmington Morning News, Wilmington, DE

The article briefly talks about the midwatch tradition and provides a few excerpts from poems prior to 1960.

Article from the January 1, 2006 issue of the Stevens Point Journal Sun, Stevens Point, WI

Another article that refers to the tradition and includes excerpts from past years.

 Poems from USS Midway (CV 41)

The library volunteers at the USS Midway (CV 41) Museum compiled a book of midwatch poetry written aboard the ship. Rhymes of the Midway Mariners (2014) and The Complete Rhymes of the Midway Mariners (2016) contain midwatch poems, photos, and other related poetry from a variety of sources.

A Poem about the Midwatch

Written by Harry Mayer.