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as remembered by a War-Seasoned Marine
A poem of Reflection
Daniel C. Snuffer
There are many tall tales from the sailor who
sails into that vast blue unknown.
But I must admit I have a tale of grit and a story that's not mine alone.
At Cubi Point the operation was "Joint" as it sailed off to the Frequent Wind.
We're off to save life, from war torn strife the sentence that we would amend.
We were toned and hard from the Corps Drill
yard, Third Division Banner on scene.
We sailed the next day, Hanna underway we were the pride of the Ninth Marine.
Late that night I slept in soft red light as Hanna's Hangar Deck doubled as my bed.
Then awake I shake for a loud noise did take my slumber from me bouncing in my head.
I walked about the deck for the noise held check my slumber now completely held back.
I heard many noises and battlefield voices when I happened on a brazen bronze plaque.
I was born rock hard from the Quincy Mass yard of sweat and Bethlehem steel.
I'm a fighting ship from stem to stern rising up from a Carrier's keel.
I have four battle stars tears and scars I
was Flagship of task force thirty eight.
I'm Hanna on scene I'm sleek and mean holding tribute to the rising sun's fate.
I am Essex flattop with planes that drop five hundred pounds of hell on high.
I have a fighter wing that drove a deadly sting that bid my foe's come die.
I'm a Child of steel plate and uncertain of
fate sailing off into the unknown.
I was part of the largest battlefield that the History of man has known.
I was born in war on a U.S. shore my stars and stripes fluttering so proud.
Daughters of steel put to waves and feel the rumble as her crew yell's loud.
I was born with pride from that Massachusetts yard hell bent with an Amazon's zeal.
I struck hard from that Quincy Mass yard my anger Nippon soon would feel.
"I shall return" Leyte beaches burn and the War like the worm was turning.
Zero's crash with a terrible splash and Nippon's air fields there left burning.
My crew held strong as we went head long and air wings lifted off of my deck.
Many sought my demise several dozen tries my gunners held the foe in check.
At San Bernardino Strait Center Force did break and headed for the Nippon sun.
Born rock hard from that Quincy Mass yard I struck them on their tuck tail run.
At Bremerton Ship Yard I was refitted twice as hard as my deck was fitted for the Jet.
War's oceans seldom calm, I served in Vietnam; five battle stars and my foe's regret.
My crusaders struck hard the invaders backyard as the NVA evacuate the scene.
My jet's swoop fast and launch deadly blast to save our brothers the mud Marine.
To protect and serve with steely reserve earth's
oceans my screws did turn.
My Jet's go North back and forth as many Hanoi targets did burn.
My fighter wing dealt a fiery sting as they swept many MIG's from the sky.
Always on station to protect our nation my sailors pride is do or die.
With nine battle stars in two wars steaming to another conflict.
Born rock hard from that Quincy Mass Yard Hanna's mission now to interdict.
Just off shore in an ending war her orders are to circle and wait.
In massive waves Hanna's crew saves thousands fleeing from a cold hard fate.
I am an American fighting ship; my colors they never run or peel.
I served with men of flesh and blood they sometimes doubled as my steel.
I serve my Country my Captain and Crew I know how their heart beats feel.
I was born in war on a U.S. shore my last mission is now to heal.
In April of 1975 the ten thousand day war ended with the fall of Saigon in South Vietnam. But it did not end until CVA-19 Hancock and the elements of Task Force 76 rescued 7,000 American and South Vietnamese civilians. Hanna's* last mission was to save lives and she accomplished her mission in the highest tradition of the United States Naval Services.
Submitted 24 November 2011
Daniel C. Snuffer, CPL, USMC (Ret),
El Segundo, California
© 2011 - All Rights Reserved
Email Jake about this Poem
* 'Fighting Hannah' - The beloved name for the
USS Hancock's CVA-19)
Other writings by Daniel Snuffer...
Dan's Marine Corps Memoirs
The Lone Rifleman
I Sit and Wait
The Fight for the Laffey DD-724
God's Twinking Light
Moving Stories for Christmas
Christmas Cookies and an Empty Shoe Box
Christmas Eve, A Young Marine and a Snowflake
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Return to Vietnam Poetry Index
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The Official USS Hancock Poems
| The WWII Hancock Poem | LCDR Garvey's "Hannah" | The Vietnam Era Hancock Poem |
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