ENGINEERS LAMENT

By Al Schreiber

Written while serving aboard the Coast Guard manned

U.S.S. RICKETTS  (DE 254) 1943 - 1946



We never get to see a port as we enter or leave, the engines we must tend.

Sealed down below in the enginerooms to make sure they all go.

We never get to fire the guns,or drop the depth charges,but replace the shattered lights, and contain the flying debris.

When the ammo flies fast and furious, we're called to bring it from magazine to deck.

If hit we're ready to quench the fires,plug the holes,pump the water,but never see how we were struck.

When the fresh water runs low, we are accused of using to excess. But then who makes it but us.

We're called "snipes" and "black gang", but we are a tough lot. We can stand the hours sealed below.

Secure in the knowledge that the engines will run, the electricity will flow, and have the tenacity to keep her afloat.

We are the marine engineers, proud to say, "we brought her into port that we never see, to go out and fight another day"..

Return to Coast Guard Stories