SUBMARINERS There are stories told about knights of old and the shooting of Dan McGrew And the classic tale of the great white whale still thrills us through and through. There’s Farragut and John Paul but the saltiest of them all Were the boys in blue from World War Two who answered Freedom’s Call. Now I won’t boast so I’ll drink a toast to the boys who went down under. With Navy pride they fought and died when their boats were ripped asunder. They learned their trade, our debt they paid in the world beneath the sea And there they sleep in waters deep, a part of history. Those noble ships with sonar blips once fought their way to Glory And the men inside, because they died, left none to tell their story. Proud Argonaut, you had your shot, you and the Amberjack, ‘Twas near Rabaul you gave your all and never more came back. Pompano, you and Runner, too, were lost in forty-three. Your gallant crew went down with you, defending liberty. The Pickerel too, the sleek Wahoo, the Grampus and the Herring, The Albacore, all lost in the war, have taken their last bearing. So many more, subs by the score, went to their watery grave, In silence deep they lie asleep, the young lads and the brave, But this I know, somewhere below lie those who paid the price, Our debt is paid because they made the final sacrifice. A Poem by: Robert L. Harrison Oct. 16, 1997 Greenfield, Indiana
Ray was originally from Naoma, West Virginia
Birth Date Loss Date
November 14, 1957 April 24, 1988
Not all of the BONEFISH’s crew survived.
Bonefish (SS-582)suffered a battery fire off Florida in April 1988 and led to the early decommissioning of the class 1988-90. At the time, they were the last operational diesel submarines of the US Navy. The Bonefish fire in the battery compartments gutted the submarine, and killed three sailors. The damage was so extensive that the sub had to be deactivated and decommissioned. Later in 1988, the sub was scrapped in her entirety. She was struck from the Naval Register, 28 February 1989; Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 17 August 1989, by the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service
21 years ago, the USS BONEFISH (SS-582), while operating to simulate a Soviet diesel submarine, experienced a fire in the battery well. The fire spread quickly, resulting in the surfacing and abandoning, while at sea, the boat. The prior post in this series discuss the lead to, and operations on that day, to rescue the crew at sea.
USS Bonefish (SS-582) 1959-1988
In this post, I’d like to ensure the story of LT Ray Everts, USN, is highlighted. It appears that LT Everts, made a decision that cost him his life, but made sure the conditions he and his shipmates were facing, was not compounded by a collision with one of the two ships using them as a training target. Last year, a former crew member, FT2(SS) Bill Baker, on the BONEFISH had found the posts by accident, and left this comment, with more details, specifically about LT Everts, and also about other details of the conditions of the equipment, and what it was like to be in that fire. He ends with some well deserved some BZs for his shipmates, all of this not reported elsewhere:
Born in the shops of the Devil, Designed in the brains of a fiend; Filled with acid and crude oil, And christened "A Submarine".
The poets send in their ditties, Of Battleships spick and clean; But never a word in their columns, Do you see of a submarine.
I'll try and depict our story, In a very laconic way; Please have patience to listen, Until I have finished my say.
We eat where’re we can find it, And sleep hanging up on the hooks; Conditions under which we're existing, Are never published in books.
Life on these boats is obnoxious, And that is using mild terms; We are never bothered by sickness, There isn't any room for germs.
We are never troubled with varmints, There are things even a cockroach can't stand. And any self-respecting rodent, Quick as possible beats it for land.
And that little one dollar per dive, We receive to submerge out of sight; Is often earned more than double, By charging batteries at night.
And that extra compensation, We receive on boats like these; We never really get at all, It's spent on soap and dungarees.
Machinists get soaked in fuel oil, Electricians in H2SO4; Gunnersmates with 600W, And torpedo slush galore.
When we come into the Navy Yard, We are looked upon with disgrace; And they make out some new regulations, To fit our particular case.
Now all you Battleship sailors, When you are feelin’' disgruntled and mean; Just pack your bag and hammock, And go to "A Submarine"
Steven Scheunemann 1970
Bonefish; photo taken in 1980–81 by a Navy helo in Subic Bay.
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