I found this poem among Harold's things, in the box that his wife, my Aunt Dorothy, had given to me in 1999.  The author is anonymous.

 

This is the story of an LST,

With the fightingest crew in any Navy.

That started out in Illinois

With a few old men and a lot of young boys.

So listen closely while I delve

Into the glory and battles of the Invincible 612.

 

We started out with spirits high, and carefree

Little did we know what our future would be.

We made our shakedown like all the rest

And came back thinking we were the best.

We lit all the “dives” in New Orleans

Those few old men, and the boys in their teens.

 

Then came the time we got underway

And started looking forward to that big day.

When we would fight and win like the rest

And prove to the Japs just who was best.

Thru the Canal and to the West Coast,

Where we dropped a few hints but didn’t boast.

Of the time when we would meet the test

And prove to the world we were better than the rest.

 

With hearts brave and souls carefree

We happily learned our next stop would be

The Hawaiian Isles, with a harbor called Pearl,

Where the crew could grab them a hula girl.

We drank beer at the Royal, swam at Waikiki

Enjoyed the shade of a coconut tree.

As all things must end, sometime, someday,

We cast off our lines and got underway.

 

Our play was finished, there was work to be done

Battles to fight, and war to be won.

In ourselves we had confidence, in our ship we had pride

Our own worried minds, we all tried to hide.

We rolled and we pitched, day after day

As we plowed along, on our dangerous way.

Passing enemy-held islands, very plainly seen

Looming up in the distance, a bright green.

 

At a South Sea isle we stopped for the rest

Our last friendly port before the big test.

October twentieth, was the big day

When our training and teamwork began to pay.

The dawn was cool and the sun was bright

When a Zero came over, looking for a fight.

With the sky filled with tracer and red hot lead

Out of there he flew and at home he said.

 

“So solly please, that is no honorable place to be,

My tail is all burnt by that shooting LST.”

When we hit the beach, the fun really began

The Japs really caught hell, then turned and ran.

Their planes came in, to sink us, we guess

When the shooting had stopped, the sea was a mess.

Wreckage was floating like chips of wood

And dead Jap pilots, who never understood.

 

How the 612’s shooting could be so right

How an LST could show so much fight.

Yes:  It was not ours to question why

We came to the Philippines to do or to die.

We are here still, doing our best

Tired and weary, in due need for a rest.

We’re looking forward to that great day

When we weigh anchor and get underway.

 

To God’s country we call it the “States”

Where there’s plenty of beer, and plenty of dates.

But till that day comes, plenty of fighting we’ll do

The fighting and invincible Six One Two.

 

 
 
 
 

 

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