My Dad Was Just a Lad
He was on a brand new ship,
The USS Horace Bass,
The KEEL was laid in ‘44
APD would be her class.
With a crew of over 200 strong,
But for most, their first time out.
In the weeks and months ahead,
They’d learn what “WAR” is all about.
Headed out for the great Pacific,
Okinawa, at Hagushi anchorage.
371 Enemy planes shot down,
As our Fleet would vent her rage.
Then came those grueling days,
They called this duty, “picket line”.
The enemy must cross this space,
But heavy shelling is what they’d find.
There were occasional escort trips,
To Guam and then Saipan.
It broke the tension of daily fire,
Which was fine with every man.
Returning from such an escort trip,
A submarine blip came on sonar.
8 depth charges would be dropped,
Watch for oil slicks, on open water.
History was made April 25,
Bass had sunk a mid-size sub.
The only APD to, “git’er done”.
36 enemy, “sank” inside that tub.
It was the night of July 3 0,
Things were seeming very still.
When they heard the cough & sputter,
Of a crippled plane, out for the kill.
It caught them really by surprise,
Flying in darkness, fast and low.
Headed straight now toward the Bass,
Wanting to take its fatal blow.
The very last moment before impact,
That killer plane went o’er the side.
An aerial wire had caught his wheel,
Missing our ship, that “kamikaze” died.
One American killed, 3 badly injured,
More injured slight, but still could fight.
The Bass puts into Buckner Bay,
Ship & injured were soon made right.
They would be among the first,
Task Force 31 would find their way.
To take position way up front,
To occupy 'their' Tokyo Bay.
August 27, at 0810, Captain Flynn,
It’s official: Nagato admits defeat.
The last lone fighting battleship,
Of their Great Nipponese fleet.
Well now I pause to catch my breath,
Our young man will soon be home.
As thousands more hit U.S. soil,
So many of them, will feel “alone.”
Families were there, that’s true,
And friends, now by the score.
But they had not seen the suffering,
The deaths, and so much more.
* * * * *
Written by oldbuck to record for his
growing family, The story of his father,
and the brave fighting crew of the
* * * USS Horace A. Bass * * *
Copyright © Old buck | Year Posted 2016