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Indianapolis

Richard Pickett Avatar  Send Soup Mail  Block poet from commenting on your poetry

Below is the poem entitled Indianapolis which was written by poet Richard Pickett. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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Indianapolis

The date is twenty six July,nineteen hundred forty five
soon, only three hundred seventeen would be alive
Eleven hundred ninety six of you assigned 
eight hundred seventy nine lives denied,

Two torpedoes, that found their mark
at twelve fourteen in the morning, very dark
the first hit the bow, blew it away
the second, amidships, what more can I say?

The explosion, tremendous, thick acrid smoke
she sank in twelve minutes, three hundred revoked
this ship had no escort, orders from command
while the Commander of CINCPAC sat on dry land

the sun broke the horizon, ere the Philippine Sea
the sharks, knew exactly where their meal would be
for, four horrific days the screams would be heard
no others could hear them, not even a word

On the forth day it came, relief from the sky
not soon enough, almost six hundred would die
at that point the survivors, thought their outlook was grim
they were spotted by a pilot, Lieutenant Will Gwinn

In his Ventura bomber,while on sub patrol
found the men from the ship, that never would show
his mic at full throttle, his radio it threw sparks
he relayed their position, to Adrian Marks

In his PBY seaplane he answered the call
disobeyed orders, to try and save all
the USS Doyal, DD- three sixty eight
diverted from her orders, to help save her mates

With his PBY full,and about out of time
he tied men to his wings, with parachute line
as the Doyal arrived, with a full head of steam
not knowing what she'd find, when she entered the scene

to the very last man, the sharks had their way
three hundred seventeen men, had been saved on that day
the High Navy Brass, needed someone to blame
so they pointed their fingers, at Captain McVay

From Tinian Island, where she delivered the bomb
McVay brought them safely, to the Island of Guam
new orders from CINCPAC, get back in the War
between Guam and Leyte, she was heard from no more

For 54 years,Command wouldn't sway
Captain Charles McVay, put his men in harms way
he didn't zigzag, is what they would conclude
standard procedure for them to elude

In a high level hearing, at Naval Command
the Commander who sank her, at last took the stand
he spoke, and they listened of what happened that night
the zigzag wouldn't matter he had them in his sights

In the millennium year, the world sedated
a panel recessed, he was exonerate
Years after the War,it is finally calm
for the 1200 men, who delivered the bomb.

I Salute all the sailors and Officers of the USS Indianapolis CA-35, God Bless you!   

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  1. Date: 9/4/2011 9:34:00 PM
    AMEN and again i say AMEN!!! Thanks for sharing this important story with all. The suffering that goes on for this countryis taken for granted by those who think all must go their way with no thought of anyone else . .... okay... just don't get me started ...

  1. Date: 9/1/2011 10:35:00 AM
    Thank you for sharing your excellent poetry with us today Taz. I enjoyed reading it and look forward to reading more soon. Love, Carol