USS Whitehurst Logo by: Pat Stephens, Webmaster, DESA

The Heroes of Whitehurst


They were just kids in forty two, in the eyes of dads and mothers.

Much too young to leave their homes, and go to war like others.

But they were heroes, big already, in the eyes of younger siblings.

Brave men, strong of heart, with courage to fight, and willing.


They were young men ripe for training in the eyes of Uncle Sam.

With bodies to be muscled, and minds with facts to cram.

They were simply canon fodder in the eyes of basic trainers,

Who's job it was to take the lot and turn them into sailors.


They graduated boot camp, in their own eyes men,

Sailors ready to brave the storm, to fight the foe and win.

But they came aboard as raw recruits, in the eyes of captain and crew.

Then the  old salts set to work, to prove them sailors true.


They got their sea legs quickly, while sailing west to war.

They manned their battle stations 'til it seemed their bones were sore.

For Whitehurst was an escort, with other ships to guard.

Not there to protect herself, but first to protect her wards.


In time of war, young men grow fast, and by November forty four,

these "canon fodder" raw recruits, were sailors hardened by war.

They had faced the foe's attackers, from the air and from the deep.

They had fought his planes and sank his sub, with hardly time to sleep.


On April twelve of forty five, the final fiery hell,

Attacked by three Kamikazes, but only two were felled.

Through radar shack and helm house, came the flaming, flying horrors.

And in that blast, forty-two good men, gave all of their tomorrows.


They were still just kids in forty-five, in the eyes of loving mothers.

Should never have had to leave their homes, and go to war like others.

But they were heroes, bigger than life, in the worshipful eyes of siblings.

Brave men, strong of heart, they had the grit, and they were willing.


They came back home, true heroes, in the eyes of all the nation.

They'd given the best of body and heart, for the hope of generations.

But in their eyes, they were just men, who did what they had to do.

They fought the fight they had to fight, for themselves, for me and you.


To those of us too young to go, in our eyes they're heroes still.

We owe them much, for all they gave, and of course we always will.

Our admiration and gratitude will ever be the due,

of these brave men who fought the fight, who did what they had to do.

                                                             max crow, Memorial Day,2001


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