THE ESCORT

by G. A. (Pat) O’Hara    
 

The convoy, like a crusade for the right
Steamed through the murky dangers of a North Atlantic night,
Never turning backward, always looking to the fore.
Their aim: to break the record,
of reaching safe, that distant shore.

Then, as the dawn cut a crimson ridge
on the precincts of the sea,
So did they turn loose all their hell,
those marauders of the deep.
And as twilight glittered overhead,
We heard the most unearthly roar.
Quite loud enough to wake the dead,
and add to their multitude some more.

The flame and debris squirted high,
as though to penetrate the sky,
Her cargo of oil had caught on fire,
The ammunition in her lockers blew.
The night was ghastly dark and dire,
and the lives left to live were very few.

Survivors of that dark disaster were few,
 we left with her master.
The stench of burning crude oil,
 Permeated the atmosphere for miles,
And we hoped to be the one to foil that foe,
and put him on the sunken files.

This poem was written in December 1943 by G. A. (Pat) O’Hara  when the Huron was part of an escort from Iceland to Russia.
 

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