Welcome to the official USS Gambier Bay (CVE 73) & Composite Squadron VC10 web site.


This intuitive poem was written by L T John P. Sanderson, VC-1O Torpedo Bomber Pilot, shortly before a fatal catapult launching which claimed the lives of L T. Sanderson and his crewmen J.L. Richards and William Zanon, on July 26, 1944, off Saipan, Marinas Islands.


Carrier Life

"Carrier life is something" we've all heard people say,
"If you've missed this grand experience, get your transfer in today."
But when it comes to flying, you can put me on the shore.
For life on a CVE is something worse than war!

They get you up at three o'clock with a whistle and a bell,
And you stand by in the ready-room just sleepier 'n hell.
Word is passed to man the planes, and you race out on the double.
Then word is passed to go below, there is no end to trouble.

You'll be sitting in the cockpit when Borries says "fly off!"
Y ou jam the throttle forward, and the engine starts to cough.
You go rolling down the deck, but you always feel the need,
Of just one extra knot to keep above stalling speed.

Or you're up on ASP, or combat air patrol
Your gas is almost gone, and your belly's just a hole.
You'd like to eat, you and your plane have both been cruising lean,
But airplot says to orbit, there's a bogey on the screen.

Sometimes we're told to scramble, and you go charging to your plane,
But you sit there twenty minutes while the shrapnel falls like rain.
When the enemy is gone, the Admiral says "Let's go!"
So you retire with your gear to the ready room below.

They put you on the catapult, and secure you in the gear,
Pilgrim sticks his finger up, and looks up with a leer.
You're drawing forty inches when Charlie points "away!"
And you hope to hell you've power to get in the air and stay.

It's when you're landing back aboard that you find it really rough
You're high, you're fast, you're low -Christ Mac!! that's slow enough!
You're out, you're in your gear, and now Krida signals things
"Like Hook Up, Hold your brakes! Spill your flaps, Now fold your wings!"

YES Carrier life is something, dangerous and hard
Your wings will all turn green, and your ass will turn to lard.
Oh take us back to" Dago " , and give us stateside duty,
Where once a month we fly four hours, or maybe strop a beauty! !

Note: They are not forgotten. These brave men, and all their ship and squadron mates who perished in the air and in the sea, will forever be remembered by their country. Their names are engraved on granite monuments in Fort Rosecrans National Cemetary for future generations to know they made the supreme sacrifice for God and Country.

USS Gambier Bay CVE 73 - VC10.com