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Where our Sailors Rest
ArticleVBlog ^ | May 24th 2019 | Rodney Dodsworth

Posted on 05/24/2019 5:00:32 AM PDT by Jacquerie

“If you ever want to sleep with a blonde again, you had better shoot down these bastards as soon as they come up” - a destroyer captain motivates his exhausted crew shortly before a kamikaze attack. The sea-battle toll for Okinawa, which ended on June 21st 1945, was 36 U.S. warships sunk and 368 damaged. Almost 5,000 sailors were KIA and another 5,000 wounded.

War naturally conjures images of brave infantrymen. Almost 200,000 soldiers and marines rest in cemeteries around the world.

Too often forgotten are the Navy and merchant sailors felled at sea. It’s understandable; there are no battlefield memorials, no marked graves, no poppies, no flags. It’s still a shame. Few are the photo memoirs of engineering room slaughter-by-steam, of those blown overboard, of those who survived the battle only to die of burns, thirst, or sharks.

Some had proper burials. Did boot camp recruits know their Navy-issue hammocks did double duty as burial shrouds? I don’t know, but should your Memorial Day weekend find you on an Atlantic or Pacific beach, make a mental note to say a few words of thanks.

TOPICS: History
KEYWORDS: battleofokinawa; kamikaze; memorialday; okinawa; worldwareleven; worldwartwo; wwii

1 posted on 05/24/2019 5:00:32 AM PDT by Jacquerie
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To: Jacquerie

The five Sullivan brothers who all died when their ship, the USS Juneau as sunk off Guadalcanal in 1942.

As a retired Navy man, I will fly the Stars and Stripes and the Navy flag to remember those who gave their all.
2 posted on 05/24/2019 5:13:48 AM PDT by fredhead (Duty, Honor, Country.....Honor, Courage, Commitment)
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To: Jacquerie

I would extend that request to say that, no matter if you’re landlocked, don’t forget the heroism of “those who go down to the sea in ships, who sail upon great waters.”

They were the first to defend our country, and have never failed her.

3 posted on 05/24/2019 5:17:11 AM PDT by IronJack
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To: Jacquerie

Having served at sea in the USN, I doubt that the captain used the term “sleep with”.

4 posted on 05/24/2019 5:37:59 AM PDT by VietVet876
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To: Jacquerie

A friend of mine served in the 60s aboard a destroyer that had been at Okinawa. He said that it had been relieved early from its duty station by another destroyer, that would be going home after its turn...the destroyer that relieved them was subsequently hit by two kamikazes and sunk.

5 posted on 05/24/2019 5:38:22 AM PDT by M1903A1 ("We shed all that is good and virtuous for that which is shoddy and sleazy...and call it progress")
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To: Jacquerie

Thanks for this. Yes, the brave Navy personnel lost at sea are too often overlooked.

Peace to all.

6 posted on 05/24/2019 5:45:37 AM PDT by beancounter13
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To: VietVet876

“Having served at sea in the USN, I doubt that the captain used the term “sleep with”.


7 posted on 05/24/2019 5:48:46 AM PDT by Mariner (War Criminal #18)
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To: M1903A1

Summer, 1955 and my ship was sailing through Okinawan waters, the crew just relaxing on the way to Hong Kong. Quietly 2 older guys, late twenties/early thirties, wearing their dress blues appeared. They walked to and stood by the starboard (right) life railings. It got very quiet.
Suddenly they snapped to ATTENTION and together saluted across the waters. 200 teen-age sailors wondered “What the H**l?” One kid asked a Chief, “What’s going on? Who are they saluting?”
The Chief’s voice, as always, carried across the decks, “They are saluting their old ship, a destroyer that is STILL on Picket Duty. You guys looking OUTWARD are must look DOWN..’bout a half mile.”
Dead silence as a couple of hundred teen-age sailors stood to attention, facing starboard and saluting.

8 posted on 05/24/2019 5:50:56 AM PDT by CaptainAmiigaf ( N.Y. Times--We print the news as it fits our views)
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To: fredhead

I was told as a young squid that if I wanted to be a hero I was wearing the wrong uniform. Rag hats and dungarees could not compete with parade dress marine attire but our job was more important than any other because how the Hell do you think the heroes were transported to earn their glory? Superheated 600 PSI steam @ 750 degrees from ruptured lines is not an easy way to go when you consider bread is baked at 350 degrees.

9 posted on 05/24/2019 5:55:46 AM PDT by BTCM (Death and destruction is the only treaty Muslims comprehend.)
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To: CaptainAmiigaf

In 1960, USS Princeton discovered a US submarine that had been sunk in WWII. We couldn’t retrieve any bodies (too deep and too old), but we had a symbolic burial at sea, complete with rifle salute.

That’s how I’ll be buried.

10 posted on 05/24/2019 6:05:08 AM PDT by NTHockey (Rules of engagement #1: Take no prisoners. And to the NSA trolls, FU)
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To: Jacquerie

The Men Who Sail Below

Now each of us, from time to time, have gazed upon the sea,
and watched the warships pulling out, to keep the country free.
And most of us have read a book, or heard a lousy tale,
about the men who sail these ships, through lightning wind and hale.

But there is a place within each ship, that legend fails to teach
it’s down below the water line, and takes a awful toll,
a red hot metal living hell, those sailors call the hole.
It houses engines run by steam, that make the shafts go round,
a place of fire, noise and heat, that beats your spirit down.
Where boilers make a hellish heat, with blood of angry steam,
and molded gods without remorse are nightmares in your dreams

Where threat from the fires roar, is like living in doubt,
that any minute, would with scorn, escape and crush you out,
where turbines scream like tortured souls, alone and lost in hell.
Those men who keep the fires lit and make the engines run,
are strangers to the world of night, and rarely see the sun.

They have no time for man no beast, no tolerance for fear,
their aspect pays no living thing the tribute of a tear.
For there’s not much that men can do, that these one’s haven’t done,
below the decks, deep in the hole, to make those engines run.
And every hour of every day they keep the watch in hell,
for if the fires ever fail, their ship’s a useless shell.

When warships meet to have a war, upon an angry sea,
the men below just grimly smile at what their fate may be.
Turned too below, like men fore-doomed, who wear no battle cry,
it’s well assumed that if they’re hit, the men below will die.
Foe every day’s a war down there, when the gauges all read red,
six hundred pounds of heated steam will kill you mighty dead.

So if you ever write their song or try to tell their tale,
the very words will make you hear, a fired furnace wall.
And people as a general rule, don’t hear of men of steel,
so little’s heard about this place, just inches from the keel.
But I can sing about this and try to make you see,
the hardened life of men down there, cause one of them is me.

I’ve seen these sweat soaked heroes fight, in superheated air,
to keep their ship alive and right, though no one knows they’re there.
And thus they’ll fight for ages on, till warships sail no more,
amid the boilers mighty heat and turbines hellish roar.
So when you see a ship pull out, to meet a warlike foe,
remember faintly if you can “the men who sail below”

11 posted on 05/24/2019 6:32:50 AM PDT by Delta 21 (Be strong & prosper, be weak & die! Stay true.... ~~ Donald J. Trump)
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To: CaptainAmiigaf

Summer, 2001 - my Destroyer was sailing to Australia and along the way, whenever we were close to a lost US Navy ship or sub, our Ops Officer informed the crew about the specifics of the battle and we rendered honors.

I hope other ships are still doing this today. Thanks for sharing a great remembrance.

12 posted on 05/24/2019 6:35:57 AM PDT by GreyHoundSailor
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If I remember correctly, the M type boilers on 2100, 2200 and 2250 class tin cans produced superheated steam at a max of 850 degrees.

13 posted on 05/24/2019 7:13:41 AM PDT by Bull Snipe
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To: CaptainAmiigaf

God Bless!

14 posted on 05/24/2019 7:27:10 AM PDT by Home-of-the-lazy-dog ("Leftists will stand before you and cut off their own head just to prove that they'll do it!")
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I did hear that the navy thinks Marine stands for:

15 posted on 05/24/2019 7:57:41 AM PDT by stylin19a (2016 - Best.Election.Of.All.Times.Ever.In.The.History.Of.Ever)
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To: CaptainAmiigaf

Just damn. These stories still bring a tear or two to my eyes...

16 posted on 05/24/2019 7:58:26 AM PDT by stylin19a (2016 - Best.Election.Of.All.Times.Ever.In.The.History.Of.Ever)
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To: stylin19a

Wow! Me too! Just happens!

17 posted on 05/24/2019 11:17:24 AM PDT by gr8eman (Since God has been banished from our classrooms, Satan has filled the void.)
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To: gr8eman

If buried on land, sailors
are gone but not besodden.

I’ll let myself out...

18 posted on 05/24/2019 12:15:15 PM PDT by sparklite2 (Don't mind me. I'm just a contrarian.)
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To: fredhead

From Wikipedia:

The five brothers, the sons of Thomas (1883–1965) and Alleta Sullivan (1895–1972) of Waterloo, Iowa, were:

* George Thomas Sullivan, 27 (born December 14, 1914), Gunner’s Mate Second Class (George had been previously discharged in May 1941 as Gunner’s Mate Third Class.)

* Francis Henry “Frank” Sullivan, 26 (born February 18, 1916), Coxswain (Frank had been previously discharged in May 1941 as Seaman First Class.)

* Joseph Eugene “Joe” Sullivan, 24 (born August 28, 1918), Seaman Second Class

* Madison Abel “Matt” Sullivan, 23 (born November 8, 1919), Seaman Second Class

* Albert Leo “Al” Sullivan, 20 (born July 8, 1922), Seaman Second Class

19 posted on 05/26/2019 2:04:04 PM PDT by Tired of Taxes (Keep fighting, Nick!)
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