Missing You

Many exercised their creative talents during downtime on patrol by writing poetry or prose. Here's a spot to share yours.
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rmbowen
Posts: 61
Joined: Wed Oct 25, 2006 7:25 pm
First Name: Roy
Last Name: Bowen
Crew?: Both
Which Years on Board: 1967-1971
Special Crew?: Neither
Rate: EM2(SS/DV)

Missing You

Post by rmbowen » Thu Apr 17, 2014 9:48 pm

Missing You

I long for your touch,
Your breath on my hair,
Not for the sensations,
But for the tenderness you share.

How I miss your voice,
The familiar songs you sing,
Not for their beauty,
But for the love you bring.

What do I miss most?
I can’t just name one thing -
Because, when I’m with you,
You are everything!

`
Copyright # TXu001882466

This poem was written in Holy Loc, Scotland at the end of my second patrol, December 1968. I had just made second class and qualified (SS) on the Madison. We were preparing to get underway to Charleston, SC to offload weapons prior to entering the Electric Boat shipyard at Groton, Connecticutt for overhaul and reactor core replacement. I wrote the poem for my girlfriend, Jenny. We were planning to get married while in Conneticutt.

This poem is directly related to a story about one of my shipmates, Chief Gass. I would like to post the story as a "thank you" for the Chief because he probably never mentioned what he did for me afterwards.

Another diver (MM1(SS) GETZ ??) and I were practicing installing (and removing) the resin discharge extension pipe. This pipe would then be installed and primary resin discharged on the way to Charleston. It was January and the water temperature in Holy Loc was 43 degrees. The procedure took around two hours (removal of hull flange, install extension, remove extension, reinstall hull flange). As explanation: the extension had to be removed to allow higher ship speeds to travel the long distance back to a legal, deep water area to discharge the primary system resin.

I had qualified scuba diver just prior to my second patrol. My custom-made wet suit was not ready prior to leaving for patrol. And, unfortunately, it had not been sent to the tender in Scotland to use for the practice/proceedure after patrol. I had to use an OLD standby suit that was kept in the diving locker. Well, #1 - it was too big for me. I was a 170# frame in a 200# suit. #2 - The jacket zipper didn't have a lock and it was constantly coming unzipped. I got a BAD case of hypothermia. When we finished the practice, I swam up onto the hull near the engine room hatch but was unable to get off of my stomach and onto my hands and knees to crawl up out of the water. I could not feel my arms and legs at all.

Chief Gass recognized that I was in trouble and ran down the hull nearly knee deep into the water, picked me up and threw me onto his (VERY BIG) shoulder. I tried to protest, but my mouth didn't work either. Now, if you knew Chief Gass, you might not think this was a very difficult feat for him. Well, it wasn't!! - even with my double 90 psi scuba tanks and weight belt.. I don't remember for sure but I believe the tanks weighed about 50# out of the water, then add about 20# for the weight belt. You do the math. Not many men could have done it on that wet, slippery, curved hull.

I remember him pulling off my tanks, weight belt and my flippers beside the open engine room hatch. I remember the Doc came up, but I don't remember how I got below. I probably had to have help. I overheard talk about giving me some brandy to drink, but they couldn't get it approved. But I did get some rack time where I started writing this poem.

Finally, I want to say that I appreciate - so much - the opportunity to post these poems. They bring back some great memories of people I served with, genuine men like Chief Gass. These memories, in turn, prompt me to share them with you.

Thank you, shipmates and wives; I hope you had the good fortune to know MMC(SS) Gass.
R.M. Bowen EM2(SS/DV)
1967-1970 blue crew April 1970-1971 gold crew

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KellyJoeRay
Posts: 62
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2005 6:06 pm
First Name: Kelly Joe
Last Name: Ray
Crew?: Blue
Which Years on Board: 1974-79
Special Crew?: Neither
Rate: MM
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Re: Missing You

Post by KellyJoeRay » Wed Aug 06, 2014 8:16 pm

Great story man...Great poem too. Thanks for sharing. People will never know about every day heroes like "The Chief" if you don't tell them about him. I can't begin to recall all the acts of bravery I witnessed in my 5 years on the Madison...It truly was Steel Ships and Iron Men...
K.J. Ray MM1/SS Ret.
Blue Crew 1974-1979

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Re: Missing You

Post by Board Admin » Wed Aug 27, 2014 10:09 pm

"everyday heroes" they call them.
Makes them sound ordinary and less like the heroes they are/were.

Thanks for sharing, Roy.

rmbowen
Posts: 61
Joined: Wed Oct 25, 2006 7:25 pm
First Name: Roy
Last Name: Bowen
Crew?: Both
Which Years on Board: 1967-1971
Special Crew?: Neither
Rate: EM2(SS/DV)

Re: Missing You

Post by rmbowen » Fri Sep 05, 2014 4:51 pm

Yes, Shipmates, we thought we were ordinary back then. But Time is a great teacher, and the older I get - and the more I see and hear on the news - the higher I raise my opinions of my Shipmates and the importance of what the "41 for freedom" accomplished.
R.M. Bowen EM2(SS/DV)
1967-1970 blue crew April 1970-1971 gold crew

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