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AN ODE TO A FIGHTING SHIP RINGGOLD DD-500

Destroyers are known as fighting cans, To go out and fight without a plan. Cruisers, wagons, carriers, it seems, Depend on the DD's for all their screens.

Now of all the cans that are afloat, There is one on which I'm here to gloat. DD500, Ringgold's her name, She will go down in the Hall of Fame.

First it was Marcus, with no strain, Then came Wake, still no pain.  The going got tougher from then on, But we had guts and guns to rely upon.

Tarawa was a rotten mess.  Marines and sailors giving their best. Hard for the Japs, hard for us, too; We carried on for the Red, White, and Blue.

After Tarawa we rotted awhile, To fight as a "cripple" wasn't our style.  The "cripple meaning us you see, The Japs had stung us like a bumble bee.

February rolled around , That month we really went to town.  The Marshalls ... Kwajalein and Eniwetok Atoll ... That was known to be our goal. 

The Task Force, mighty, got underway, You guessed it; the Ringgold led the way.  It was an easy one as invasions go, We staggered the Japs with blow on blow.

Strange waters were our next domain, "To fight with Halsey" of renowned fame.  King of all the Southwest Pacific, To put it lightly, he was terrific.

We covered New Guinea from stem to stern, Our pay we really had to earn, Hollandia was an easy mark, For us DD's it was just a lark.

Guadalcanal came and went, To Guam and Hell we were sent.  Now waiting for the Japanese fleet, We sailed around and cooled our feet.

Now at Morotai, It was quite a fight, And the Japanese really felt our might.

Next on the list was the Leyte invasion, And I'm telling you - - It was a gala occasion.

At last, back to 'Frisco for a rest well deserved, To spend all our money which we had preserved.

A short stop at Diego, as we had never been there, Then on past Pearl Harbor to get in the Jap's hair.

Attached to the mightiest of them all Task Force 58 - you will recall.  We sailed North and patrolled West, The Pacific ours, we were the best.

We are underway once again, and we're heading for the Devil's Den.  The course was given 270, To hammer the hell out of Tokyo.

Now this is as far as I can write,  What comes next is out of sight.  It'll not be easy, You can bank on that, But I, Myself, pity the Jap.

The Ringgold's out to give her all, So stick around and see the brawl; Adjust the torpedoes, train the mounts, From here on in everything counts.

 

Submitted by A.P. Yani and written by shipmates somewhere in the Pacific on the USS RINGGOLD, in the spring of 1945. 

Poem brought to the DesRon 25 reunion by Ringgold veteran Gene Bittner, of Madison, Ohio.

 

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