by Robert L.Harrison
5 December 2000
Greenfield, Indiana
Bob Garlock lives in Pennsylvania. He is a car lover and restorer "par excellence". In fact he owns a 1910 model Stanley Steamer that he restored and which I would like to ride in. But that's not his main claim to fame. He had a brother named "Tink" who was a submariner and was killed while serving on the USS Requin. Tink was just a kid when he died, about 19 years of age, still in the bloom of youth. Thus doth submarine life exact a demanding toll of its crewmen. So Big Brother, Bob, decided that the crew members should have an annual reunion, not only to have some fun and to celebrate old times but to commemorate those brave comrades who never came home. Bob asked me if I could write a poem for Requin, something he could read at the reunion each year. I decided to give it a try. Here it is. I hope that any of the Requin veterans who read it will enjoy it.
-- Bob H.

Of all the mighty warships that ever sailed the Seven Seas,
Deadliest were the submarines and Requin was one of these.
Three hundred feet from stem to stern, twenty seven on her beam,
Not very big as warships go but warfare was her dream.

She came alive in ‘forty five with Slade Cutter as Cee-Oh,
Then headed for Pearl Harbor to give the Japs another go.
Next came the disappointing news of the Jap capitulation,
Although they knew they’d missed a fight, it was a time for celebration.

Skippers come and skippers go, Requin had her share of them,
There were Green, Street, Frame, and Meyer, and Captain Frothingham,
Captain Maynard, Leonard Erb, and last was Henry Bress,
No better captains ever lived than Requin’s CO’s, I guess.

Then came the men who manned her from far across the greatest nation,
From every state, they signed on to fulfill an obligation,
Stewart, Buckner, Born, and Stuke and the one they called Doc Rohr,
They came on board and did their jobs to help US to win the Cold War.

There were Zukowski, Knight, Jim Sannerud, and so many, many more,
For over twenty years they fought to keep the Commies from our shore,
Dex Armstrong and Mike Hemming who replaced Tink Garlock when he died,
So many boys who learned too fast the high cost of Navy Pride.

For it’s a simple fact that all must learn before their hitch is over,
Though Navy life is an adventurous life, it’s not all a bed of clover.
They go to sea to see the world and the good life where it finds them,
But one little slip and the lesson is, Death lurks just behind them.

Requin was born in Portsmouth back in Nineteen Forty Five,
Though she no longer roams the waves, yet she is still alive.
She has a berth in Pittsburgh on the Ohio River’s shore,
A Museum piece, she lies in peace and will patrol the seas no more.

Hand salute to noble Requin and to all her gallant crews,
No longer will they fall asleep to the sound of her twin screws.
No more her diesel engines rumble, no longer dives she ‘neath the wave,
Brave submariners of the Requin, hand salute for all you gave!