For I Am A Submariner

I served on the Holland over a century ago. I still
serve to this day on the
Trident, Los Angeles and Seawoif class boats and
look forward to shipping on
the Virginia, Texas, and Hawaii. Places like
Fremantle, Rota, LaMadd,
Chinhae, Pattaya, Sasebo, and Subic stir my soul.
For I am a Submariner.

I rest in peace beneath many seas across this earth.
I was on the Barbel off
Palawan, the Scorpion off the Azores and the
Bonefish in the Sea of Japan.
We gave them hell in the harbors at Wewak and
Namkwan.
I am a Shellback, a Bluenose, a Plank Owner, a MCPO
of the Navy, a CNO, and
a President.
For I am a Submariner.

I heard Howard Gilmore’s final order, “Take Her
Down.”
I heard the word passed, “Underway on Nuclear -
Power.”
I have done every job asked of me, from Mess cook to
Torpedoman to Motorman
to COB to Skipper.
I know “Snorkel Patty” and Admiral Rickover.
For I am a Submariner.

I have twin Dolphins tattooed on my chest and twin
screws tattooed on my
ass.
I know the difference between a Lady and a Hooker
but treat both with equal
respect.
I know Georgia Street and Magsaysay Drive.
And although the Horse and Cow keeps moving I will
always find her.
I know the meaning of “Hot, Straight, and Normal.”
For I am a Submariner.

I have stood tall and received the Medal of Honor
and been thrown in the
Brig for being Drunk and Disorderly.
I know the reverent tone of “Diesel Boats Forever”
and the Gudgeon’s “Find
em, Chase em, Sink em.”
I was on the Spearfish evacuating nurses from
Corregidor and the Skate when
she surfaced at the North Pole. I have spent time in
the Royal Hawaiian.
For I am a Submariner.

I have gone by names like Spritz, Cromwell, O’Kane,
Ramage, Breault, “Mush”
and Lockwood.
I have served on boats like the Nautilus, Thresher,
Parche, Squalus, Wahoo
and Halibut.
On December 7th I was onboard the Tautog at Pearl
Harbor.
I was also on the Tusk in 49 and sacrificed myself
for my shipmates on the
Cochino.
For I am a Submariner.

I have stood watches in the cold of Holy Loch and
the heat of the South
Pacific.
I know what the “41 For Freedom” accomplished.
I was on the Sealion at Cavite in 41 and the
Archerfish in Tokyo Bay in 45.
I have endured depth charges and POW camps.
I was on the Seafox when we lost five sailors to a
Japanese ambush on Guam.
For I am a Submariner.

I tip beers over sea-stories with my shipmates at
yearly conventions.
We toll the bell and shed a tear for our buddies who
are on eternal patrol.
Many pilots have been glad to see me, including a
future president.
I have completed numerous highly classified missions
during the Cold War.
Because “Freedom Is Not Free,” be assured that I am
out there at this very
moment.
For I am a Submariner.

by John Chaffey
Powell, Wyoming
DIVE DIVE