The always-present Santa Claus in military operations through the years (PHOTOS)

12/25/17 8:00 AM | by

The always-present Santa Claus in military operations through the years (PHOTOS)

One thing about the military is that Jolly Old St. Nick always seems to know what’s up and manages to make it to the strangest places.

Santa Claus giving gifts to soldiers in camp. Harpers Weekly Jan 1863 (Photo: Library of Congress)

Santa Claus giving gifts to soldiers in camp. Harpers Weekly Jan 1863 (Photo: Library of Congress)

"Sergeant plays Santa for British children during WWII, 1942." Note the Thompson submachine gun and Grant tank

“Sergeant plays Santa for British children during WWII, 1942.” Note the Thompson submachine gun and Grant tank (Photo: U.S. Army)

British RAF Hawker Tempest Mk.V W2-A (NV700) based at B.70 Volkel Air Base near Uden, Netherlands, bringing Santa Claus to the kids, 1944

British RAF Hawker Tempest Mk.V W2-A (NV700) based at B.70 Volkel Air Base near Uden, Netherlands, bringing Santa Claus to the kids, 1944

"Santa and elves arrive by special helicopter for a children's Christmas party at Naval Air Station Oakland, 23 December 1956." (Photo: U.S. Navy)

“Santa and elves arrive by special helicopter for a children’s Christmas party at Naval Air Station Oakland, 23 December 1956.” (Photo: U.S. Navy)

Santa back in the Duck and Cover days

Santa back in the Duck and Cover days

USS SEADRAGON (SSN-584) Caption "Frogman Lieutenant G.M. Brewer is greeted by Santa Claus, the mayor of the North Pole, during the ship's polar cruise, September 1960." (Photo: U.S. Navy)

USS SEADRAGON (SSN-584) Caption “Frogman Lieutenant G.M. Brewer is greeted by Santa Claus, the mayor of the North Pole, during the ship’s polar cruise, September 1960.” (Photo: U.S. Navy)

Santa visits Phuoc Vinh, Vietnam (Photo: Usastruck)

Santa visits Phuoc Vinh, Vietnam (Photo: Usastruck)

USS QUEENFISH (SSN-651) Caption, "Surfaced at the North Pole, August 1970. Chief Quartermaster Jack Patterson, dressed as Santa Claus, greets Commander Alfred S. McLaren, USN, Commanding Officer" (Photo: U.S. Navy)

USS QUEENFISH (SSN-651) Caption, “Surfaced at the North Pole, August 1970. Chief Quartermaster Jack Patterson, dressed as Santa Claus, greets Commander Alfred S. McLaren, USN, Commanding Officer” (Photo: U.S. Navy)

Santa Claus climbs the smokestack of the repair ship USS HECTOR (AR 7), 1986 (Photo: U.S. Navy)

Santa Claus climbs the smokestack of the repair ship USS HECTOR (AR 7), 1986 (Photo: U.S. Navy)

Santa Claus and an elf get out of a T-45C Goshawk during a visit to Training Air Wing One at Meridian NAS for a children's Christmas party (Photo: U.S. Navy)

Santa Claus and an elf get out of a T-45C Goshawk during a visit to Training Air Wing One at Meridian NAS for a children’s Christmas party (Photo: U.S. Navy)

Stone Cold Steve Austin, dressed as Santa Claus, waves at the crowd of US Army Soldiers during a show at Camp Victory, Iraq, 2003 (Photo: National Archives)

Stone Cold Steve Austin, dressed as Santa Claus, waves at the crowd of US Army Soldiers during a show at Camp Victory, Iraq, 2003 (Photo: National Archives)

Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus and Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer on Snake Pit, Ar Ramadi, Al Anbar Province, Iraq with 1st Division Marines 2004 (Photo: National Archives)

Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus and Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer on Snake Pit, Ar Ramadi, Al Anbar Province, Iraq with 1st Division Marines 2004 (Photo: National Archives)

Santa C-130 christmas

drone christmas german ksk making combat TRAP CSAR of father christmas in Afghanistan

German Bundeswehr army soldiers of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) wear Santa Claus hats as they attend a Christmas tombola at Camp Marmal in Mazar-e-Sharif, north of Kabul, December 22, 2009. (Photo:Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters)

German Bundeswehr army soldiers of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) wear Santa Claus hats as they attend a Christmas tombola at Camp Marmal in Mazar-e-Sharif, north of Kabul, December 22, 2009. (Photo: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters)

To keep in shape, here's Santa on the Naval Special Warfare Center's obstacle course, during the Santa Mash 2, annual duathlon competition held at Naval Base Coronado, Calif., in 2006. (Photo: National Archives)

To keep in shape, here’s Santa on the Naval Special Warfare Center’s obstacle course, during the Santa Mash 2, annual duathlon competition held at Naval Base Coronado, Calif., in 2006. (Photo: National Archives)

Santa poses with the crew of an HH-60G Pave Hawk from the 41st Rescue Squadron, Dec. 9, 2017, on the flight line at Moody Air Force Base, Ga (Photo: DoD)

Santa poses with the crew of an HH-60G Pave Hawk from the 41st Rescue Squadron, Dec. 9, 2017, on the flight line at Moody Air Force Base, Ga (Photo: DoD)

Santa Claus visits U.S. Airmen of the South Carolina Air National Guard’s 169th Fighter Wing and their family members at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., Dec. 2, 2017 (Photo: DoD)

Santa Claus visits U.S. Airmen of the South Carolina Air National Guard’s 169th Fighter Wing and their family members at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., Dec. 2, 2017 (Photo: DoD)

Santa Claus waits in a Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter to take off to take him to the next remote Kodiak Island, Alaska, village, Dec. 5, 2017 (Photo: USCG)

Santa Claus waits in a Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter to take off to take him to the next remote Kodiak Island, Alaska, village, Dec. 5, 2017 (Photo: USCG)

Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus, traveling with Operation Santa Claus, de-board an HC-130J Combat King II from the 211th Rescue Squadron, Alaska Air National Guard, after landing in St. Michael, Alaska, on Dec. 5, 2017 (Photo: USAF)

Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus, traveling with Operation Santa Claus, de-board an HC-130J Combat King II from the 211th Rescue Squadron, Alaska Air National Guard, after landing in St. Michael, Alaska, on Dec. 5, 2017 (Photo: USAF)

Lt. Larry Young, dressed as Santa, signals an F/A-18 E Super Hornet, assigned to the Stingers of Strike Fighter Attack Squadron (VFA) 113 on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) Dec. 21, 2017

Lt. Larry Young, dressed as Santa, signals an F/A-18 E Super Hornet, assigned to the Stingers of Strike Fighter Attack Squadron (VFA) 113 on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) Dec. 21, 2017 (Photo: U.S. Navy)

Merry Christmas!

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