My heroes . . . The Submarine Veterans of World War Two
by John (Gumba) Carcioppolo, May 12, 2007

First presented at the US Submarine Veterans of WWII
North East Regional Convention 2007


As you take her down, and take her deep
And level off at 400 feet.

Remember well those who went before
who rest in peace on the ocean floor.

Their boats rust in silence, and yearn to tell their story
of how the crew died defending Old Glory.

It's up to us to always remember
how you fought the war after 7 December

"The Submarines are all we have left" it was told
As boats departed on war patrols.

It was to the Submarine Force that we turned
after the Pacific Fleet was sunk and burned.

While the fleet rebuilt you held the lines.
and kept sinking targets time after time.

From Pearl out to Midway and the Sea of Japan
You all were committed down to a man.

Slowly but surely and one by one.
You sank the ships with the Rising Sun.

All enemy ships you did attack
Sadly one in five boats did not come back.

You cleared the seas of enemy shipping.
And their mighty warships were also slipping

beneath the waves to the ocean floor
to attack Americans never more.

You did great things in that long war.
as you filled the history books with your lore.

If things went well a broom youd fly.
But if things went wrong shipmates would wait and cry.

You won this war with nerves of steel and veins of ice.
But our Submarine Force paid a heavy price.

It started with SEA LION in late forty one
And ended with BULLHEAD before it was done.

PERCH, TRITON and KETE to name a few
And dont forget others like TROUT and WAHOO.

Names like Morton and Dealey were some of the best.
But just as important are all the rest.

Lockwood said "they went down fighting"
to depth charge attacks that were always frightening.

We lost 52 boats during World War Two.
Over 3600 men, but none of you.

You are the ones who did survive.
And have always kept their memories alive.

For 60 years you have tolled the bell
For all your shipmates who fought like hell

And now as you all turn gray and old
We will tell the stories that weve been told.

We have the watch and will always remember
The Submariners who served after 7 December.

We will toll the boats and tell the story.
Of our Brothers of the Phin who went down in glory.

Today as our Submarines put out to sea.
We reflect on your impact on history.

On every boat and on every day
Well always remember you paved the way

For you are our heroes and there is no doubt
Living up to your standards is what its about

When we wear our dolphins with pride on our chest
its because of you that we are the best.

Like the Marines you are the Proud and the Few
Who served your country in a Submarine Crew

You are shining examples of our great Nation
And reverently called the Greatest Generation.

This poem is my humble tribute to you
My heroes . . . The Submarine Veterans of World War Two