By Captain Anne Marie Doering

          In Japanese occupied Philippines, Lt. Colonel Anne Marie Doering, (Ret. G2 Officer), a graduate of Dayton High School, penned this poem 64 years ago. After her tour in the combat zone of New Guinea where she won a Bronze Star with a V for Valor, MacArthur made his promise to return. This was the scene as she lived it in Manila in the Christmas of 1945.

T’was the night before Christmas and all through the yard.
Not a creature was stirring—not even a guard.

My socks were stuffed in my shoes to save space
And alas—in my tent there was no fireplace.

My friends in their shorts and me in my shoes,
Had just settled down for a tropical snooze.
When out in the area there arose such a clatter,
That I sprang from my cot to see to see what’s the matter.
I became so entangled in my mesquite net
That if on one had helped me, I’d be there yet.
And then very cautiously I pulled back the flaps
Expecting to see a battalion of Japs.
But to my amazement I saw there instead
The famous St. Nicholas in his suit of bright red.
He sat in his sled, which was pulled by 6 Jeeps
As they bounced along gaily in short bounds and leaps.

Then they came to a halt and away Santa went
And very suddenly there he was in my tent.
He was chuckling merrily and his fat little belly
Just like the poem, was shaking like jelly.

And then I wondered, I sure t’was a gag
When I noticed his pack was a blue barracks bag.
Then he reached in his bag, and without hesitation
Turned to my tent mate with a pack of K rations.

He dug in again and came up with some Spam
C rations, cookies and bully beef ham.
He followed this quickly with dehydrated potatoes
And then reached in for a can of tomatoes.

He remarked there was work that he must do
So he raised a plumb finger and away he flew.
I dashed to the tent flap and was able to see
Him get in his sled as he waved back to me.

"Away Willys"---"On Ford" was his cry in the night
And in no time at all he was clear out of sight.
I’ll still have to laugh when I’m ancient and old
As the thought of St. Nick sliding down the tent pole.

That’s all there is to it—the story is through,
But before I sign off here is my wish to you!

Ann Jamison's Original Copy of Anne Marie's  Twas The Night Before Christmas