The Saga Of DD Fifty-Three*

     With the 69th anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 1944, this past week, I thought I would post a tribute to those who served so well and so long, to keep this nation free and strong. Their numbers are dwindling rapidly now, but we must never forget their sacrifice. They fought and died for this country and what it (used to?) stands for, freedom, justice and the pursuit of happiness. Theirs, was a time of greatness for America. One nation under God, indeed! 

     Being a **U.S. Navy veteran, this one is especially gratifying to me, I hope you enjoy it and will  remember those who made America strong and kept America free. Thank you to the “Great Society” we will miss you dearly.

Have a wonderful weekend,


* DD is the U.S Navy designation for “Destroyer” in the category of naval vessels.

** To the best of my knowledge and research DD-53 was not involved in WWII and is therefore, a fictional entity for the purpose of this poem. The USS Winslow (DD-53) was however, a participant in WWI. And proudly she served.


They steamed out of Norfolk and into history.

They steamed out of Norfolk and into history.




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.



“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 “Klaxons” 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-boat’s 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”

J. D

Copyright© Jack Downing, aka Jake All rights reserved. Contents may not be reprinted or disseminated in any manner without the expressed written consent of the author. JRD.

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 Americana, Elders, Freedom, history, land of the free, men, oceans, seafarers, ships, women and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Saga Of DD Fifty-Three*

  1. The two hundred year-old USS Constitution is unique in that she is the only ship in the USN that does not have a classification other than her name. The Secretary of the Navy, J. William Middendorf, II, ordered her reclassification from “IX-21” to “None” effective as of 1 September 1975. She is now listed on the Naval Vessel Register (NVR) of active in-commission ships only by her name. .

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