(USS Oklahoma City CLG-5)
The Flagship sailed
The world at sea,
The Sailor shipped
To see the world.
The ship’s Ports-of-call
Hosted Sultans and Kings,8
The Seventh Fleet Admiral
United diplomatic gains.
They Steamed for decades
From Perth to Pusan,
They fought for freedom
Off the coast of Vietnam.
Old Salts they became,
A tourist he was not,
Sailors drink beer and chase women
Before the sun gets hot.
An Eleven-year era, this WestPac span,
The “Majestic Lady” received final task.
Sayonara to the Oki Boat in Japan,
She singled-up and shoved-off Old Navy’s past.
A Ship, a Sailor shared glory,
Finally cast ashore to stay.
Many a sea sliced by their bow,
Since the years of yesterday.
MUCS, USN (Ret.)
Copyright @ 2008
Ode to the USS Oklahoma City (CL-91/CLG-5/CG-5)
by Mark Pietz (YN3, 1972-1973)
Sons of the Okie Boat
I once was strong
But now I'm weak
They've stripped my decks of all the teak
And stopped the thunder of my guns
But cannot take away my sons
You came to me
I took you in
And cared not for your shade of skin
Or silver spoon, or origin
Youth from that blessed land on the earth
Devoted sons, you proved your worth
You stood the watch and scraped the paint
And holy-stoned till you grew faint
Your best rewards, though, came at times
You joked with shipmates, made up rhymes
You slept through rumble of my screws,
You ate the steaks and hearty stews
Till pitching seas made you turn green
Just part of life on this machine
King Neptune made you crawl my decks
On hands and knees, you mental wrecks!
Remember coffin, tube and stocks?
And garbage running in your socks?
You kissed the Royal Baby's belly
And tasted tincture made so smelly
What started daybreak low as dogs
By noon were shellbacks, no longer wogs!
Bangkok and Hinode-cho?
Okinawa, Taipei too!
From boys to manhood, there you grew
Remember meat on little skewer
Past the river like a sewer
In front of bars, where maidens sing
"Hey, Bar-B-Q!" they called that thing
And geeks with gators, duckling chicks
And smoke-filled shows with raunchy flicks
And T-shirts, junk, Magsaysay Drive
Dirt roads and Jeepneys, sakes alive!
The hook, the fleet, the countryside
Top-Three, New Jolo's, come inside!
You saw so much of what was base
Yet came back to the human race
So slosh it down with San Miguel
With time you will forget the smell
Now, fish 'n chips in Singapore?
And geedunk from the small ship's store?
The whale spouts and flying fishes
The mermaids and a sailor's wishes
It's channel fever, don't forget
That made for tattoos' great effect
But those were times
You took your ease
From times of danger on the seas
When shell and MiG flew overhead
You sat at GQ full of dread
From on the bridge you saw the flashes,
Time-of-flight, as ord'nance clashes
With weapons forged by freedom's foes
My sons serve bravely, freedom grows
Come, mighty Talos, take your flight!
And give our foes a nasty fright!
Our shooting stars with awesome roar
Have kept the peace at freedom's door
The Rising Sun was put away,
Of Viet Cong, what can I say?
You did your best, hold high your head
Recall the raids and nights of dread
Once sweepers sweepers manned the brooms
And swabbies toiled in little rooms
And boilers steamed within the hull
Around the clock without a lull
They said, "Here comes the Okie Boat
The best and sleekest ship afloat
The flagship of the Seventh Fleet!
The one that heads of state will meet!
A sleek gray lady, gliding by
She parts the waves and makes them sigh."
But now I'll slip into the deep
In wet, cold darkness I will sleep
Without the thunder of my guns
But only thoughts
Of all my sons
Farewell To The Okie
To our Dear Okie Boat:
Sometimes we loved you, sometimes we despised you, but we always cared.
You took us from home, but you always brought us back;
Whether a short cruise or a marathon, you worked to make our adventures.
Your mighty six inch guns and your great Talos missiles:
We crawled your teak decks at the equator and realized how large you really were.
You took us to Hong Kong and Subic, Singapore and Pusan.
You took us to DaNang and I Corps, to Yankee Station and the DMZ.
We loved Penang and Manila, and Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur,
But we really lived to come back to "Yoko".
We'll remember mid-watches and mid-rats;
Cookouts on the fantail and unreps in the wind and rain.
You stood up to typhoons and high winds and waves,
You stared down the enemy in Haiphong.
You carried the flag proudly and represented us well,
And always made us proud to be a part of you.
Farewell, dear Okie; smooth seas ahead.
You were my home, old friend, and I'll miss you.
Thanks for all the memories; Sayonara.
MU2, ComSeventhFlt Band
Jan 6th, 1999
There is always a watch,