Home From the Sea

Home From the Sea

By Garland Davis

The neon lights were flashin’

And the icy wind was blowin’

Water seeped into his shoes

As the drizzle turned to snow

His eyes were red, his hopes were dead

And his wine was runnin’ low

When the old sailor came home

From the sea

 

Tears fell on the sidewalk

As he stumbled in the street

Faces stopped to stare

But no one dared to speak

For his castle was a hallway

And the bottle his only friend

When the old sailor stumbled in

From the sea

 

Up the dark and dingy staircase

The old sailor made his way

His ragged peacoat around him

As upon his cot, he lay

And he wondered how it happened

How he ended up this way

Getting lost like a fool

Here away from the sea

 

As he lay there sleeping

A vision appeared

Upon his mantle shining

A face of one so dear

Who had loved him in the Asian spring

Of a long-forgotten year

When the flowers bloomed

In her garden by the sea

 

She touched his grizzled fingers

And called him by his name

And then he heard the joyful sound

Of children at their games

In an old house on a hillside

In some forgotten village

Where the river runs down

To the Western sea

 

With a hum and roar vehicles move

Through the cavern streets

And life goes on

For the city never sleeps

And to an old forgotten sailor

The dawn will come no more

For the old man has come home

From the sea

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Getting out of the Navy? Looking for work? Good Luck!

Sea Stories and other lies

No matter how much you love the Navy (and this can change dramatically over the course of the day), you have to get out some time. When this happens, whether you retire or simply get out after your enlistment is complete, you are going to need to get another job.

While you have been serving your country, you have received many heartfelt thanks for your service. Unfortunately that gratitude does not put actual food on the table and no matter how patriotic the public is, nobody is going to pay you a livable wage to sit around the VFW telling sea stories. Trust me, I have looked into this.

So how are you going to get by? If you are lucky, you chose a rate that you love and transfers easily into civilian employment. If you are like me, you didn’t. You instead chose a rate that has no standard…

View original post 939 more words

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The West Loch Disaster

The West Loch Disaster

A few days ago a car carrying two civilians tried to enter the Naval Station at Pearl Harbor. The security guard noticed what appeared to be a mortar round in the car. The two people in the car were taken into custody, EOD was alerted, and the base was locked down. Subsequent investigation showed that the device was inert and the people were released. This incident brought the little known story of the West Loch Disaster which, it is believed, was caused by a mortar projectile.

The West Loch Disaster was a maritime accident during World War II at the Pearl Harbor U.S. Naval Base in Hawaii. The incident, which occurred just after 1500 hrs. on Sunday 21 May 1944, began following an explosion in a staging area for Landing Ships, Tank (LSTs) and other amphibious assault ships in West Loch. A fire quickly spread among the ships being prepared for Operation Forager, the invasion of the Japanese-held Mariana Islands. Over the next 24 hours, six LSTs sank, 163 naval personnel died and 396 were injured.

A subsequent Naval Board of Inquiry never determined the exact cause of the disaster but concluded that the initial explosion was caused when a mortar round aboard LST-353 detonated during an unloading operation because it was either dropped or went off when gasoline vapors ignited. The incident – together with the Port Chicago disaster two months later – led to major changes in weapon handling practices within the United States Navy.

The LST wreckage was quickly cleared in a salvage operation and dumped at sea 3 mi (2.6 NMI; 4.8 km) south of Hawaii. Only the hull of the partially beached LST-480 was left in West Loch. A press blackout was enforced and naval personnel were ordered not to talk about the incident. The disaster was classified until 1960 and is therefore not well known.

During the salvage and removal of the wrecks from West Loch, the U.S. Navy found remains of a Japanese midget submarine. Researchers now believe this to be the fifth Japanese midget submarine used in the attack in December 1941.

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Raising the Flag

Raising the Flag

Raising the United States flag at Yokosuka, Japan on August 30, 1945, as U.S. Marines and Sailors assume responsibility for the base. Brig. Gen. William T. Clement, USMC, presided over the ceremony. In this view, the flag is at the bottom of the mast, ready to be hoisted. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

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At Quarters

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THESE ARE MINE

THESE ARE MINE.

By Mister Mac

I share them with all who have gone through the same crucible. They (like us) were forged in pressure. They were quenched in the waters of the darkest parts of the ocean. They symbolize a tradition that is shared by only a few. Fire, flooding and the crashing of the waves above us only strengthened their character. They cannot be given, they must be earned. They cost little but their value is immense. They are silver and they are gold. But they are bonded together in shared sacrifice and duty.

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