There are stories told about knights of old and the shooting of Dan McGrew

And the classic tale of the great white whale still thrills us through and through.

There’s Farragut and John Paul but the saltiest of them all

Were the boys in blue from World War Two who answered Freedom’s Call.

Now I won’t boast so I’ll drink a toast to the boys who went down under,

With Navy pride they fought and died when their boats were ripped asunder.

They learned their trade, our debt they paid in the world beneath the sea

And there they sleep in waters deep, a part of history.

Those noble ships with sonar blips once fought their way to Glory

And the men inside, because they died, left none to tell their story.

Proud Argonaut, you had your shot , you and the Amberjack,

'Twas near Rabaul you gave your all and never more came back.

Pompano, you and Runner, too, were lost in forty-three,

Your gallant crew went down with you, defending liberty.

The Pickerel too, the sleek Wahoo, the Grampus, and the Herring,

The Albacore, all lost in war, have taken their last bearing.

So many more, subs by the score, went to their watery grave,

In silence deep, they lie asleep, the young lads and the brave,

But this I know, somewhere below lie those who paid the price,

Our debt is paid because they made the final sacrifice.

Robert L. Harrison, October 16, 1997

Greenfield, Indiana












The Trade

They bear, in place of classic names,
Letters and numbers on their skin.
They play their grisly blindfold games
In little boxes made of tin.
Sometimes they stalk the Zeppelin,
Sometimes they learn where mines are laid
Or where the Baltic ice is thin.
That is the custom of 'The Trade'.

Their feats, their fortunes and their fames
Are hidden from their nearest kin;
No eager public backs or blames,
No journal prints the yarns they spin
(The Censor will not let them in!)
When they return from run or raid.
Unseen they work, unseen they win.
That is the custom of 'The Trade'.

1916, Rudyard Kipling





The Guppies


Long before the advent of the hippie and the yuppie

There was a class of warship that was fondly called the Guppy.

Now the Guppy was a submarine, in case you didn't know,

Long and black and sleek she was, and always on the go.


In World War Two, the submarines were our first line of attack,

Many of them went out to sea and some did not come back,

Now the submariners knew this but still they went to war,

To defend their nation's freedom was what they were fighting for.


After World War Two had ended, when the Japs and Germans quit,

Someone thought the old subs should be streamlined just a bit,

So they re-designed the old boats and named them GUPPY Class

With snorkels, better batt'ries and a hull to make 'em fast.


They went to sea both north and south from the East to setting sun,

They never knew when night was o'er and daytime had begun.

Theirs was a life of silence and the darkness of the deep,

Sometimes their only pleasure were a few hours of blessed sleep.


They ploughed the seas from Pole to Pole in defense of freedom's goals,

From Pearl Harbor, and Yokosuka to the faroff Iceland shoals,

To spy on Soviet submarines and other ships of war

Was the job of these brave lads who roamed the ocean floor.


They ran patrols from Greenland to the shores of Timbuktu

The GIUK GAP and MED RUN were just nothing for a crew

of Guppy sailors who thought the NORTHERN RUN okay,

Then take shore leave in Norfolk for another night of play.


How many Guppies were there?  Far more than I could name.

And each has earned an honored place in the Guppy Hall of Fame.

They fought the war with Soviets in secrecy and guile

Until the foe gave up the fight, which made it all worth while.


Now they're gone, as all ships go when their tour of duty's o'er,

Brave Guppies, stalwart warriors, they roam the seas no more,

They've gone to graves far out at sea and this should be their lot,

Gone from the sight of those they served but not to be forgot.


Bob Harrison, 9/4/00, Greenfield, IN