|U.S.S. Allen M. Sumner DD-692|
U.S. Navy Memorial, Washington, D.C.
On Saturday, September 29th 2001, members of the ships crew held a dedication at the U.S. Navy Memorial for the USS Allen M. Sumner Plaque. The Plaque is dedicated to the over 5,000 men who served as a part of the ship's crew from 1943 to 1973. In a very moving service, Admiral McKinney reminded us of service in the U.S. Navy and the unique view of "Tin Can" sailors. The Admiral is a veteran of the USS Wedderburn (DD-684). Shipmate Dan Coli represented the Ship's Company and presented a poem in honor of all who have sailed and the memory of the first crew, it is displayed below. The photos were taken by Captain Laighton's son-in-law Elliotte Want and Bill Babuka's son Ron represented the Plankowner's and World War II crew. The Officer's were represented by Ed Mott.
|Admiral McKinney addresses us||Dan Coli remembers our Legacy|
by Dan Coli
Standing to the wind salt air in my face
I look at the sea as a timeless place
Where the depths of the ages cradle the souls
Of sixteen young men who will never grow old.
They had come to the sea from which life began
On a tiny little ship they called a "tincan"
By the light of the day and dark of night
They faced up to their fears preparing for the fight.
In the midst of battle you can't think of home
Through the guns and the bombs you dare not feel alone
You fight for your lives, you fight for right now
No time for distractions, no time to ask how.
Far away from where they were born
Not looking for glory, their emotions torn
Swept into battle they saw in the sky
The Japanese pilot, he was ready to die.
From high above he'd seen the ship
Sailing straight on as if daring to be hit
Guns filling the sky with a wall of flame
Desperation and fear, did it make them the same?
With death his objective he started his run
Making his dive coming out of the sun
Crashing the ship behind the after stack
An explosion of fire left the metal twisted and black.
Confusion?, maybe panic, but through the fear
They had all done their duty and that duty had been clear
A huge flaming hole is where one could say
Seventeen young men died on the Sumner that day.
Violently lurching from the force of the hit
Others desperately fighting to save their ship
The torture of minutes became an agony of hours
Courage strained to the limit would prove the ultimate power.
The blood on the decks of the Sumner that day
And the Men of her first crew who showed us the way
Left something special never to die
It's here with us now, to forget, no not I.
Now the Sumner is gone too though she carries on still
Underway in our memories as she always will
That's why forever they'll be sailing with her as proud and as bold
Those sixteen young men who will never grow old.
THIS POEM IS COPYRIGHT MMI -MMX - USS ALLEN M.
SUMNER REUNION ASSOCIATION
FOR NON COMMERCIAL PRIVATE USE ONLY. NO PART OF THIS WORK
MAY BE REPRODUCED, COPIED OR TRANSLATED IN ANY FORM
WITH OUT THE CONSENT OF DAN COLI OR THE USS ALLEN M. SUMNER
REUNION ASSOCIATION. ALL OTHER RIGHTS RESERVED.