The Saga Of DD Fifty-three

     This poem is a work of fiction, dedicated to those who served aboard naval vessels during World War II. Historical accuracy is not guaranteed, (was sonar actually in use on U.S. surface ships in 1943? I really don’t know.) however, the crew of DD-53 (a fictional destroyer) is representative of those amazingly brave men who went to sea in wartime in defense of liberty. They are an ever vanishing part of history who served with valor and distinction. And that most certainly, is not  fiction.



 They steamed out of Norfolk,

and headed out to sea,

on their maiden voyage,

in nineteen forty-three.


 Off, to join the sixth fleet,

as the war, was raging on,

none aboard, were thinking,

how long, that they’d be gone.


 Their minds were focused only,

on the job, they had to do,

sinking German submarines,

until, the war was through.


 On the third day, out of port,

the sonar pinged, a blip,

and general quarters sounded,

all throughout, the ship.


Battle stations, battle stations,

all hands, man your guns,

they were finally, going to get,

revenge upon the Huns.


 For all the shipping, they had sunk,

in the cold North Sea,

before arrival, on the scene,

of DD Fifty-Three.


 The captain ordered, hard to port,

and the helmsman, spun the wheel,

bringing the ship into a turn,

as the klaxon squealed.


 Prepare to roll, racks one and two,

came, the exec’s command,

the crew, with nervous energy,

was excited, to a man.


 Roll the charges, came the call,

and they dropped, into the sea,

all hell, was on its way,

courtesy, of DD Fifty-Three


 They, waited for the cans to find,

their prey, far down below,

and if they did, there’d be no doubt,

the debris, would let them know.


 Then at last, there came a rumble,

followed, by the plume,

that shot into the morning sky,

signalling, a U-boats doom.


 It was the first of many,

that, the crew would see,

those submarine sinking, S.O.B.’s

of DD Fifty-Three.


 Yes, they steamed out of Norfolk,

an into history,

those submarine sinking, S.O.B.’s

of DD Fifty-three.


Jack Downing

                                                                          Aug. 2009

In honor of the brave and heroic men and women,

of the “Great Society”


©Jack Downing aka Jake aka J.D.  All rights reserved.


About poemsandponderings

Hearth and Health are wonderful things and if you're without either such sorrow that brings So I cannot express enough thanks to my Lord and to my family and friends for the support you afford! ~Jack Downing~
This entry was posted in command, craft, gun, history, Liberty, military/veterans, sailors, seafarers, ships, war. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Saga Of DD Fifty-three

  1. One aspect of WW 2 naval history that has far too little historical recognition and coverage was the courage and deeds of the civilian merchant marines in convoys liberty ships.

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