Two Cavalla Poems
The USS Cavalla is a submarine memorial boat located in Galveston, Texas.
Further information as to ongoing restoration may be found at the link below:
The CAVALLA Project
by Robert L. Harrison
October 28, 1998
Greenfield, Indiana
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.

They tittered 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.”

“Down through the years, those buccaneers gave all that a man can give,
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.”

Cavalla’s done, her race is run, she fought her own good fight,
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

Cavalla left her home port in nineteen forty four,
Deadly was the purpose of this Navy man-o-war.
Her orders were to relieve a sub called Flying Fish
But the crew and Captain Kossler had another wish.

Now a submarine’s main purpose is to seek the foe at sea
And Cavalla’s crew was eager to find the enemy.
On their way to San Bernadino they were told to turn around
And head for Marianas where some big ships could be found.

So Captain Kossler altered course to reach his destination
And it wasn’t long till Radar had four ships in observation.
But Captain Kossler played it smart and made a wise decision
To pass the ships so he could find a good attack position.

Then orders came to trail the ships and wait for bigger game
And this they did for hours and hours until their big chance came.
For suddenly the radar showed a screen that was alive
But just as quick the Japs saw her and she was forced to dive.

She lay submerged throughout the day until the darkness fell,
And when they surfaced after dark, they looked around for quite a spell.
But nowhere on that wide expanse could they see the slightest trace
Of the battleships and destroyers that had forced them from the chase.

They turned around and headed back for San Bernadino Strait,
When they reached their destination they hunkered down to wait.
It wasn’t long till Sonar reported heavy screws approaching
Twas a carrier and two cruisers-not a good time to be broaching!

Captain Kossler lined ‘em up with a final mark and bearing,
And Cavalla fired six torpedoes with an accuracy unerring.
Three torpedoes found their marks and Shokaku took the hits
Explosions rocked that once proud ship and she was blown to bits.

Cavalla then was forced to dive to avoid interventions
By some Japanese destroyers who were filled with bad intentions
For three long hours depth charges came and made their lives pure Hell
But Cavalla and her hearty crew came home with tales to tell.

Cavalla is retired now along with all her former crews
No longer will she plumb the depths, no more will turn her screws.
Her Glory Days are over, she has reached home port at last,
May she live forever in the memory of her past.