by Robert L. Harrison
October 28, 1998
A bucket of rust
was gathering dust in her bay at Seawolf Park,
A noisy crowd with
voices loud was there for a Sunday lark.
The gathering horde
soon came aboard with expectations high,
But the tarnished
brass and the broken glass soon caused their dreams to die.
and grinned to the chagrin of an old salt standing near,
As he rose to leave,
he used his sleeve to wipe away a tear.
But ere he went,
he heard a gent talk with a sneering lip
Of the profits lost
and the sky-high costs to care for this old ship.
Then he spoke
aloud to the festive crowd and the guy concerned with cost,
“You speak to me
of cost?,” says he, “Do you know of the boats that were lost?”
“And the brave, young
men all trapped within who went down to a watery grave
All ask of you and
the Park Board too, to consider the price they gave.”
the years, those buccaneers gave all that a man can give,
her race is run, she fought her own good fight,
And our Nation’s
pride, the ones who died, paid the price for those who live,
“So don’t tell me
of cost”, said he, “the costs have all been paid
With blood and sweat,
and tears, you bet, in the sacrifices made.”
Now History demands
that we must do for her what’s right.
Protect her now,
we must avow, as she protected us,
One and all,
we must stand tall to guard our Sacred Trust.
- by Bob Harrison
April 18, 1999
- Geenfield, Indiana
left her home port in nineteen forty four,
was the purpose of this Navy man-o-war.
orders were to relieve a sub called Flying Fish
the crew and Captain Kossler had another wish.
a submarine’s main purpose is to seek the foe at sea
Cavalla’s crew was eager to find the enemy.
their way to San Bernadino they were told to turn around
head for Marianas where some big ships could be found.
Captain Kossler altered course to reach his destination
it wasn’t long till Radar had four ships in observation.
Captain Kossler played it smart and made a wise decision
pass the ships so he could find a good attack position.
orders came to trail the ships and wait for bigger game
this they did for hours and hours until their big chance came.
suddenly the radar showed a screen that was alive
just as quick the Japs saw her and she was forced to dive.
lay submerged throughout the day until the darkness fell,
when they surfaced after dark, they looked around for quite a spell.
nowhere on that wide expanse could they see the slightest trace
the battleships and destroyers that had forced them from the chase.
turned around and headed back for San Bernadino Strait,
they reached their destination they hunkered down to wait.
wasn’t long till Sonar reported heavy screws approaching
a carrier and two cruisers-not a good time to be broaching!
Kossler lined ‘em up with a final mark and bearing,
Cavalla fired six torpedoes with an accuracy unerring.
torpedoes found their marks and Shokaku took the hits
rocked that once proud ship and she was blown to bits.
then was forced to dive to avoid interventions
is retired now along with all her former crews
some Japanese destroyers who were filled with bad intentions
three long hours depth charges came and made their lives pure Hell
Cavalla and her hearty crew came home with tales to tell.
longer will she plumb the depths, no more will turn her screws.
Glory Days are over, she has reached home port at last,
she live forever in the memory of her past.