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Memories of USS Willis A. Lee (DL4)

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> USS Norfolk Mystery # 1
> USS Norfolk Mystery #2
> The USS Norfolk Arrives...
> Poem regarding the Wilkinson's...
> Mitscher Log '59
> Together Again...
> I Was Once A Sailor
> Reunion Pictures
 
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From a Shipmate

A poem submitted by Bob O'Hara, DL 5 (1954).

O'Hara writes:

"I came across this momento the other day while looking for something else. The author is unknown by me, but I believe the poem was directed toward the Wilkinson's (DL 5) pre-commissioning problems."

The keel was laid, the mast was stepped;
The draft marks set in place.
With rocket launchers for and aft,
She'd be a ship of grace.

The super structure took its place;
The boilers, then the shafts.
With screws attached for reving up,
She'd have both speed and class.

The radars helped the silhouette;
The guns were like a dream.
But, that was a minor factor,
As to the pressure of her steam.

The turbines were of a class alone;
The reduction gears were fast.
This ship built toward the future,
Not looking in the past.

The crew was one of luster
When ordered to this ship.
With thoughts of happy steaming days
While on the shakedown trip.

The date was set and plans were made
To take this ship to sea.
To outclass all the older cans;
A glorious thing t'would be.

Then as the commissioning date grew near,
And sea legs were the fad.
The boilers leaked, the gears got rough,
In fact the case looked sad.

With trials postponed and workmen fired,
The progress now grew slow.
But, we'd be out in a week or two;
Or the inspectors told us so.

Now each his own opinion has.
And, I have formed a beauty.
Instead of taking me to sea,
It's giving me good shore duty.

Alas, were not in this world alone;
Four others are of our type.
But, from the five you must agree.
The lemons sure are ripe!

My own conclusion has been drawn,
And this at last I'll state.
"That hell will fill with ice cubes
Before our commissioning date."

Let's give a hardy rah, rah,
and utter not our damns.
For this ship wasn't made by shipwrights,
But by diggers of the clams.