The poem below, that I wrote, was read at the May 1997 Memorial Day service of the State of Delaware. This was the 25th anniversary year of the tragedy in Turret 2. It is my hope that it will keep the memory of all those who have fallen in the line of duty alive so their sacrifice will not be forgotten. Anchors Aweigh, Shipmates.
Robert L. Jones Sr. July 17, 2000. (USS Newport News, 09/71 to 01/73.)


The sound of the drum in the distant land,
was loud and clear to the nervous young man.
This was a sound with a ceaseless beat,
the kind of sound filled with heat.
The heat of menís passions, the heat of their guns,
more heat than made by all the suns.
Those pounding drums in the distant land,
sounded louder to the nervous young man.
"Why me," he wants to know,
"tell me why I might have to go?"
The diplomats had met in conference that day,
and there was hope of peace to come some way.
The young man didnít know how diplomats canít seem,
to hear the sound of a dying manís scream.
The pounding drum in the distant land ,
grew ever louder to the nervous young man.
Then one day on a ship of gray,
he sailed forth to go in harms way.
With the cannons boom, came the muzzleís roar,
and enemies were than were no more.
The pounding drum in the distant land,
filled the ears of the nervous young man.
Then it happened one October morn,
just as the brand new day was born.
With the muzzleís roar, came a turret blast,
and shipmates lived and loved their last.
The bodies passed in solemn file ,
and the young man wondered all the while.
Why the pounding drum of every land,
had to play for any man?
His answer came in the desert sand,
where freedom fighters took their stand.
From tyranny we must rid this world,
let freedomís flag fly unfurled.
Then the pounding drum throughout the land,
will cease itís play for all of man.


SSG {R} Robert L. Jones Sr Wilmington, DE

(Dedicated to my fallen shipmates , USS Newport News CA148, Vietnam 1972)