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Personnel of USS LEXINGTON celebrate Christmas with make-shift decorations and a firefighting, helmeted Santa Claus.:

Commemorating The Holidays Through The Years

By John Desselle, Naval History and Heritage Command Communication and Outreach Division

While most of us are home sharing dinner or opening gifts with friends and family this Holiday Season, it’s important to remember our Sailors and service members are in harms way aboard ships and in places far away from home. Let us take a look back at how our Sailors have commemorated the Holidays through the years.

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Sailors sending Christmas greeting aboard the USS S-16 (SS-121), just prior to launching, at the Lake Torpedo Company, Bridgeport, Connecticut.

 

 

Christmas lights decorate the battleship USS IOWA (BB-61) at anchor. Boatswain's Mate 3rd Class Salvatore Morgano designed the display, which was awarded second place recognition in the naval base lighting contest.
Christmas lights decorate the battleship USS IOWA (BB-61) at anchor. Boatswain’s Mate 3rd Class Salvatore Morgano designed the display, which was awarded second place recognition in the naval base lighting contest.

 

Comedian Bob Hope performs aboard the amphibious assault ship USS OKINAWA (LPH-3) during a United Services Organization Christmas show for sailors patrolling the gulf. The ship is anchored off the coast of Bahrain.
Comedian Bob Hope performs aboard the amphibious assault ship USS OKINAWA (LPH-3) during a United Services Organization Christmas show for sailors patrolling the gulf. The ship is anchored off the coast of Bahrain.

 

Santa Claus and his helper, US Navy Machinist Mate Third Class Tamera Britton help spread holiday cheer Christmas morning on the mess decks of USS HARRY S. TRUMAN (CVN 75). Truman is on a scheduled six-month deployment to the Meditteranean Sea and Persian Gulf.
Santa Claus and his helper, US Navy Machinist Mate Third Class Tamera Britton help spread holiday cheer Christmas morning on the mess decks of USS HARRY S. TRUMAN (CVN 75). Truman is on a scheduled six-month deployment to the Meditteranean Sea and Persian Gulf.

 

WWI era, Sailors having Christmas Dinner at US Naval Station, Great Lakes, Illlinois
WWI era, Sailors having Christmas Dinner at US Naval Station, Great Lakes, Illlinois

 

Christmas lights illuminate the aircraft carrier USS AMERICA (CV 66) while the ship is in port.
Christmas lights illuminate the aircraft carrier USS AMERICA (CV 66) while the ship is in port.

 

Personnel of USS LEXINGTON celebrate Christmas with make-shift decorations and a firefighting, helmeted Santa Claus.:
Personnel of USS LEXINGTON celebrate Christmas with make-shift decorations and a firefighting, helmeted Santa Claus.

 

Sailors and Marines aboard the battleship USS WISCONSIN (BB-64) watch a wrestling match that is being held as part of a Christmas Eve sports festival aboard the ship. The WISCONSIN is deployed to the gulf region for Operation Desert Shield:
Sailors and Marines aboard the battleship USS WISCONSIN (BB-64) watch a wrestling match that is being held as part of a Christmas Eve sports festival aboard the ship. The WISCONSIN is deployed to the gulf region for Operation Desert Shield:

 

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These Navy Officers are on the USS ST. LOUIS having Christmas dinner in the wardroom in 1918.

 

Happy Holidays! For more Naval History and Heritage, visit the NHHC Website.