U.S.S. CANBERRA & FRIDAY 13th
Friday the thirteenth,
I never gave it a thought;
A day that I would never have sought.
We were eighty miles from Formosa Shore,
Two hundred thirty miles from China, and not far from Nippon's door.
After evening chow Air Defense Blew,
More planes coming in, which we all new.
"Thirty five enemy planes" the Skipper said,
"Our C.A.P. will make sure their dead".
We were almost sure that they would too,
But somehow, eleven of the Japs got through.
Seven came on our Port - coming in fast.
We opened fire and got two with our blasts,
The ships on our port got the other five,
The four on our Starboard started their dive.
One headed for the Wasp, but made too short a run,
He turned for our ship then dropped a big one.
Our murderous fire hit him, and made him splash,
But his torpedo struck us with a resounding crash.
It happened so sudden, but yet it was true,
For there we laid in that ocean of blue.
We express our pride to the Wichita and the rest,
Who protected us and pulled us away from that hornet's nest.
Our speed that night was two knots, and not much more the next day,
But still we were retreating farther, farther away.
Tugs came up the following day, and we started our run,
But we swore we would be back to sink the Rising Sun.
That same day a sneak came in, started his dive
He'll not boast for we riddled and burned him alive.
Five days past and we were out of their reach,
Their planes could not touch us from their beach.
Admiral Halsey of the great Third Fleet
Sent us this message of the Jap defeat;
To the Canberra, Officers and crew;
"I am proud to be the Commander of you.
Your courage and guts will be a Navy tradition,
And my sympathy to the men, who gave their lives for this mighty mission"
"George Shane Korey"